Saturday, 25 October 2008

Lambeth announces credit crunch taskforce - Have your say

We are all aware of the impact of the credit crunch and the current economic crisis. Whether it be concerns about jobs, the cost of heating, the price of goods in a shop, or the difficulty in getting a mortgage, the credit crunch doesn't just effect the fat cats in the city, it has a real impact on our lives in Stockwell.

The leader of Lambeth, Steve Reed has set up a Credit Crunch Taskforce to come up with fresh ideas for how to help local people cope.

Among the ideas being discussed is help so people claim all the benefits they’re entitled to. With the council’s help over recent months, residents have already claimed an extra £1m they were missing out on. Whether it’s Winter Fuel Payments, Child Tax Credits, or grants to help you insulate your home, there are lots of ways people can get more money to ease the burden. If you think you might be missing out on your benefits, please click here.

There are also plans to cut waste in the town hall, to keep council tax low. Ther will be an opportunity to present plans to central Government for extra help for people struggling with mortgage repayments, or bigger cash payments to help pensioners pay their heating bills.

The taskforce will present their ideas in the next few weeks. In the meantime, send your views to Steve Reed via or let us know what you think in the comments section.

Date for your Diary 3: Short breaks engagement day, 15 November

Want to have your say about how Lambeth council develops its short breaks programme for families with children and young people with disabilities? Then do go to the event to be held at Michael Tippet School on 15 November.

Short breaks provide opportunities for disabled children and young people to spend time away from their primary carers. They provide an essential opportunity for carers to recharge their batteries, and disabled children and young people to experience new relationships, environments and positive activities.

This is a chance for mums and dads, children and young people to help Lambeth Council shape the future of short breaks. On the day you will hear speeches from key note speakers, have a chance to participate in a range of workshops for parents and carers. Children and young people can put forward their views; watch performances by CandoCo Dance Company and take part in activities for all the family such as face painting.

A free lunch and refreshments will be available on the day. A crèche will also be onsite. To book onto the event, fill in the booking form, or contact for further information.

Date for your Diary 2: Fireworks Display, Weds 5 November

This year, Lambeth is hosting the only simultaneous firework display in London.

The safest and most impressive way to celebrate Bonfire night will be at one of three fireworks displays at Brockwell Park, Clapham Common or Streatham Common

Our skies will be lit up with an impressive three tonnes of fireworks and 28,000 visual effects in total. For details of how to get to any of the displays, and information including safety tips about holding your own fireworks party visit
So remember, remember, Wednesday 5th November at 7.30pm.

Anybody with information about shops selling fireworks to young people under 18 years old should contact the Stockwell Safer Neighbourhood Team on 020 8649 2533 or 07920 233836, or Lambeth Trading Standards on 0207 926 6109.

Date for your Diary 1: Remembrance Sunday, 9th November

This year, Remembrance Sunday falls on 9th November 2008. Remembrance Sunday is the day traditionally put aside to remember all those who have given their lives for the peace and freedom we enjoy today.

Residents are invited to pay their respects at the Stockwell War Memorial, opposite the tube station where a Remembrance service will be held at 11.00am. Local Labour councillors will be paying their respects at the service.

More school places for Stockwell Primary

The popular Stockwell Primary School is set to receive a major revamp that will mean more than 200 new places for pupils.

Lambeth Council has bought a four storey building and land next to Stockwell Primary. It means the school will eventually be able teach 630 pupils, a 50 per cent rise on the current total of 420. The move is the first phase in the borough-wide plan to increase the number of primary school places available to families, and work will begin on transforming the building in 2010 when the current lease runs out. The new building will provide more classrooms as well as increasing the amount of outdoor space available to the school.

Councillor Paul McGlone, Lambeth’s cabinet member for children and young people, said: “We want to give our children great schools and a high quality education across the borough. Stockwell Primary is an excellent school giving children a great start in life so I’m delighted we’ve been able to give even more local kids this opportunity.”

The latest Ofsted report for the school shows it has been judged to be outstanding in most areas – including pupil achievement. Executive head teacher Janet Mulholland said: “This expansion will not only provide more places for pupils but also improved curricular facilities such as an expanded library, science, design technology and art studios. It will also further enhance the provision for families and provide additional employment opportun ities for the community. This is a very exciting and innovative project – Lambeth Council should be commended for its foresight and vision.”

Have your say - Lambeth Living conference, Sat 15 November

Lambeth Living, the new organisation set up by Lambeth to run council housing in the borough, is holding the annual residents conference on Saturday 15th November at Lambeth Town Hall, between 9am and 4.30pm.

Residents are invited to attend this annual event which has been specially designed for Lambeth Living residents under the theme 'Communities in control: Real people, real power'. This is an opportunity to come together to share ideas and experiences relating to the management of your home.

Speakers include:
Asuman Ozkan - Chair of Lambeth Living
Pete Redman - Chief Executive, Lambeth Living (Interim)
Cllr Steve Reed - Leader Lambeth Council
Keynote speaker:
Phil Morgan - Chief Executive, Tenant Participation Advisory Service

In addition to 8 workshops running through the day there will be exhibitions and a prize draw. Lunch will be provided and there will be a crèche available for 4-12 year olds. There is full disabled access at this venue.

HOW TO ATTEND: Phone: 020 7926 3402/1661 to reserve your place, or email for a booking form.

Sunday, 19 October 2008

The present and future of Lambeth

On Saturday local Labour party members and councillors gathered to talk about how Labour is delivering on its manifesto promises and the future of Lambeth to 2010 and beyond. Alex Bigham, action team member for Stockwell was there to stand up for the needs of Stockwell residents.

There were lots of issues that came up, but there were some clear messages:

- More has to be done to tackle violent youth crime and gangs. There has been a 50% reduction in violent crime in Lambeth, but we shouldn't be complacent. We need to look at long term solutions, including better youth services and more routes into employment, as well as crackdowns on those who carry knives or guns.

- The housing services provided by Lambeth Living and housing associations have to improve their customer service. Tenants and residents must be treated as customers, not as irritants. Problems should be sorted out at the first time of asking, and within a clear timeframe.

- Our environment is our most precious asset. That means ensuring simple things, like bins get put back in their stores, but also we need to get our recycling rates up. Lambeth now has the toughest carbon reduction targets in London - it is all our responsibility to deliver these.

These are just headlines, and there are other priorities for the future - do let us know in the comments what you think Labour should be focussing on in Stockwell.

Saturday, 18 October 2008

What have the Romans ever done for us?

or...what has Labour done since getting elected and ousting the Lib Dems in 2006? Let's look at Labour's manifesto commitments in Lambeth, and see if they have met them, and what Labour inherited from the Lib Dem administration.

1. Your Council Tax kept down

Under Labour
In the 2 years since Labour came to power, council tax in Lambeth has only gone up in line with inflation. In the next 2 years, it will be lower or frozen if possible.

Under the Lib Dems
The Lib Dems raised council tax by 40% when they were in power – adding around £1,000 to your council tax bill.

2. Your safety improved

Under Labour
Labour has introduced safer neighbourhood teams into each ward in Lambeth, including Stockwell, as promised. We cracked down on drug dealers in Brixton and in the last 12 months, violent crime in Lambeth has gone down by 50%. We're tackling the long term causes of crime by trebling the funding for youth services.

Under the Lib Dems
The Lib Dems were soft on crime, opposing measures to tackle criminals, and being on soft on drugs. They even let a fraudster walk off with £3 million of council money – and even tried to hush up allegations when one of their own councillors was caught stealing public money.

3. Your street bright and clean

Under Labour
Labour is doubling the investment to repair roads and pavements. The number of street sweepers in Lambeth is going up and there are new street lights across the borough, including in Stockwell.

Under the Lib Dems
Pavements were left cracked and dangerous, and potholes were not repaired. They wasted millions on buying luxury office blocks and paying off staff, instead of repairing pavements and keeping the borough safe and clean.

4. Your child given the best start in life

Under Labour
3 new schools have been built in Lambeth, and major repairs and refurbishments are happening - including to schools like Stockwell Park High School. Labour introduced the first ever Youth Mayor for Lambeth, elected and with a budget to spend on the services that young people want.

Under the Lib Dems
500 children were not allocated a school at all, a problem Labour sorted. The Lib Dems had the worst funded youth service in London.

5. Your environment greener

Under Labour
Labour expanded recycling in Lambeth, so you can now recycle more waste, like household food packaging. Lambeth now has the toughest carbon reduction targets in London.

Under the Lib Dems
The Lib Dems tried to limit your recycling options until Labour forced them to offer both orange sacks and green boxes. They slipped 60% behind the best councils and didn't let us recycle items that residents in other boroughs could and cut the regular garden waste recycling service.

Labour also had a separate housing manifesto - to make all homes in Lambeth safe, warm and dry. Under the Lib Dems, 10,000 homes didn't meet the decent homes standard. Labour has introduced a new management team - the ALMO called Lambeth Living to bring in £240 million of extra funding to make sure this happens.

We aren't complacent about life in Lambeth, but it's clear that things are better under Labour, and would be much worse under the Lib Dems.

Monday, 13 October 2008

Have your say - crime and safety in Stockwell

Your local Labour councillors want to know what you think about safety in Stockwell, and what could be done to improve it.

Please download, print and fill in the form - Stockwell Crime Survey, and send it back via the freepost address on the form.

We want to know if you've been a victim of crime or seen a crime being committed recently in Stockwell. Also, tell us what would make you feel safer in your community. That way we can ensure that what the decisions made in the town hall truly reflect what you want.

Sunday, 12 October 2008

Crime Survey to be launched on Studley Estate

Your Stockwell Labour councillors and members will be out on the Studley Estate this week to distribute a crime survey.

This is to ask local residents if they are aware of any criminal activity, or have been the victim of crime recently. You can also suggest things that would make you feel safer in your community.

If you're not in when we visit, or if you live somewhere else in Stockwell, you can still take part.

Just download the survey from here - Stockwell Crime Survey, and send it back via freepost, so no stamp needed.

Thursday, 9 October 2008

Bronze woman statue unveiled in Stockwell

Exciting and inspirational news for Stockwell. The first ever statue in England of an African-Caribbean woman was unveiled on Wednesday (8 October) in the Stockwell Memorial Gardens. It celebrates the contribution of Caribbean women, and indeed all women to British society.

The ten foot high bronze statue of a woman holding a baby is based on the poem Bronze Woman which was written by Guyanan-born Cecile Nobrega, who lives locally. Cecile was the guest of honour at the unveiling of the statue, along with Baroness Scotland, and local Councillor Pete Bowyer.

The installation is the culmination of a ten year campaign by Ms Nobrega, and was revealed to coincide with Black History Month.

Some photos of the event have been posted here and here.