A site for residents of Prince's Ward, SE11, in the London Borough of Lambeth. Check for updates from your Labour Action Team's campaigning, local information, and meetings.

Monday 30 January 2012

Coffee morning this Saturday!

Our fourth annual Prince's ward community coffee morning takes place this Saturday!

Residents of Prince's ward are invited to a community coffee morning on Saturday 4 February, from 11am to 12:30pm, at St Anselm's Church Hall , Kennington Cross.

It will be a chance for residents to meet their neighbours and local councillors, and to discuss issues affecting the area. Assembly Member Val Shawcross, Kate Hoey MP, and Leader of Lambeth Council Steve Reed will also be attending.

We hope to see many residents there!

Wednesday 25 January 2012

Contracts exchanged on the Beaufoy site

We can today announce that Lambeth Council has exchanged contracts to sell the Beaufoy Building and surrounding land.

As you may know the council owns the car park which is being sold to Bellway Homes. The Beaufoy Building and space around it is owned by the Beaufoy Trust and that will be sold to the Tibetan Buddhist Charity, Diamond Way Buddhism.

The sale of both sites will generate around £9 million. Around £7.5m will go to the council and will contribute towards the Council's Capital Programme that is used to fund housing, roads, schools, leisure centres etc. About £1.5m will go to the Beaufoy Trust. After years of having all their money tied up in an unused building and, therefore, not actually helping anyone they will finally have the money to fulfill their objectives;

“The object of the [Beaufoy Trust] charity is the promotion of the education for the public benefit of persons under the age of 25 who are in need of financial assistance and resident in the area of benefit, with a preference for the promotion of vocational training.”

On top of this 40% of all the homes that Bellway will build on the site will be affordable.

Finally, a sum of £200,000 has been ring fenced and will be spent in Kennington on local projects. Your three councillors will be making the decision on what to spend the money on and we shall be back in touch with everyone in the near future in order to get ideas of what to spend the money on.

Buddhist Centre Scheme

The Beaufoy is an iconic local building and a lot of residents will want to know what plans there are for its future. The scheme proposes a mixed-use building which has three predominant functions:

1) Community facility
2) Place for meditation and education
3) Residential accommodation

The building would be occupied by Diamond Way Buddhism, a registered charity centred on Buddhist philosophy in the Tibetan tradition. They intend to offer a facility which would primarily be used by the Buddhist community but would also seek to engage with and benefit local communities.

At the heart of the building, largely within the historic Grade II listed section, the facility would offer a large meditation/teaching space within the existing lecture/assembly hall. There would also be a library, exhibition space, seminar room, meeting rooms, offices and a general welcome area. These areas and rooms would all be at ground and first floor levels and would form the primary location for the charity's work in terms of its public activity.

The refurbished buildings and the proposed extensions would also provide various types of residential accommodation at ground, first and second floor levels of the building which would support a community of permanent residents and guests.

Public Meetings

As you may be keen to meet the prospective new owners and find out more about who they are and what there plans are, public meetings are planned with Diamond Way Buddhism and Bellway Homes.

This will be where the planning application will be presented and discussed so that the local community will be able to give their views on what is proposed. Both Bellway and Diamond Way are introducing themselves at tonight’s KOV meeting.

Diamond Way Buddhism is holding a drop-in session 6pm-9pm, next Thursday 2 February at the Tea House Theatre, 139 Vauxhall Walk, SE11 5HL. This is in advance of their submitting their planning application as they seek your contribution and input to the renovation of the Beaufoy Institute whilst the project is still in its early stages.

The Future

At this stage we have exchanged contracts with the two groups. We will not complete the sale until they have both received planning permission for their schemes.

Everyone will have an opportunity to view the plans and comment on them when they are submitted to the planning department.

If, and when, planning permission is granted, we shall be in touch with all residents and community groups to discuss what projects you would like to spend our £200,000 windfall on.

We hope to see you at the meetings.

Wednesday 18 January 2012

Replacement of Old Paradise Street railway bridge

Residents might have already noticed that Old Paradise Street and Newport Street are now closed to traffic for the next five months. This is to enable the replacement of part of the railway bridge over Old Paradise Street.

Local councillors have been campaigning for the bridge to be upgraded for many years. The bridge has a terrible problem with pigeons roosting in its rafters, causing an unpleasant and dangerous mess on the pavement below. Network Rail have assured us that the replacement bridge will have nowhere for pigeons to roost and cause a nuisance.

Residents in the area should have received a letter from Network Rail explaining the disruption which will be caused by the work. Unfortunately there will need to be overnight work between 31 March and 16 April, and noise disruption is likely. If there are any problems with the work please contact Network Rail on 08457 114141.

Councillors will be keeping a close eye on the works to ensure they have the maximim benefit for local residents. We're excited that once completed there will be further money available from new developments to improve the area around the bridge. With a new art gallery and housing being constructed the junction of Old Paradise Street and Newport Street is going to be completely transformed for the better.

Monday 16 January 2012

2012 Labour Calendar and Coffee Morning

Over the coming days volunteers will be delivering the 2012 Prince's Labour calendar. It has contact details for all your local Labour representatives.

Alongside you should receive an invitation to our annual coffee morning. This year it's being held on Saturday 4 February, at 11am at the usual venue of St Anselm's Church Hall. All residents are invited to enjoy a tea or coffee and a chat with their Labour representatives.

Councillors will be joined by Kate Hoey MP, London Assembly Member Val Shawcross, and Leader of the Council Steve Reed.

Questionnaire from the Friends of the Durning Library

'The Durning Library is an important part of our local community. Lambeth Council is currently considering the future organisation of its library service. We know that there are to be severe budget cuts and if the community does not step in, our library may not survive.

'As the library’s Friends, we need your help to decide how best to plan for its future, and so we need to hear your views, whether or not you use the library. Please complete this short survey – it will not take long and it is important that as many local people as possible have their say. Paper copies are available at the Durning library if needed, or you can download a PDF version from the website. Please complete the survey by 30 January. And please forward it to anyone else you think might be interested.

'We shall be holding a public meeting at the Durning Library on Monday 27 February to enable everyone to give us their views and the results of the survey will contribute to this discussion. So, PLEASE complete this questionnaire, either on paper or on-line, and return it to us by Monday 30 January.

Thank you in advance,
Priscilla Baines
Chairman, Friends of the Durning Library

(Our brand new website www.durninglibraryfriends.org.uk is now live – visit it to complete the questionnaire and to find out what is going on at the Durning library).'

Help Lambeth set its Housing Standard

Lambeth Council and its management agent Lambeth Living are working with residents to set a new standard to which all council homes can be developed and maintained.

The Government is providing Lambeth with some money to invest in our homes over the coming years, though it is not nearly enough for all that we would like to do. Because of this, choices need to be made about what work residents want to prioritise.

If you are a Lambeth tenant or leaseholder please fill in the online survey.

You can also attend a meeting this Thursday at 7pm at Pedlars Acre Hall, Opal Street/ Kennington Lane.

Already, Lambeth Housing have received around 5000 responses from residents - some of the bags of mail received are pictured. We want to ensure everybody has their say.

Prince's councillors have already made the case for the following works:

- new windows for the blocks on the Cottington Close Estate which are still outstanding

- new windows for the blocks on the Vauxhall Gardens Estate which are still outstanding (Aveline Street, Brangton Road)

- new windows for Denby Court

- investment in street properties which is required

- security doors for Cottington Close and Broadgates Court

- new intercom and lifts for Cotton Gardens

- new lifts for various blocks on the Vauxhall Gardens Estate

- new kitchens and bathrooms, with those in the worst condition being prioritised

> Please let us know if there are other priorities you would like us to campaign for!
Promoted by David Amos and Joanne Simpson of Prince's Branch Labour Party (Vauxhall Constituency and Lambeth Borough) all at 264A Rosendale Road, SE24 9DL