Sunday, 16 November 2008

Stockwell drug den cleared up

A drug den on Clapham Road that had become a magnet for addicts and fly-tippers has been cleaned up. The garden of an abandoned house in Stockwell was littered with used needles after gangs of addicts turned it into a shooting-up gallery. Broken beer bottles, dumped rubbish and rotten food was also left at the Clapham Road home leaving neighbours desperate for it to be cleared out.

A team of eight local offenders joined specialist cleaners from Lambeth Council to make sure the potentially deadly waste was safely disposed of. Dozens of needles and syringes were collected at the property, which was know locally as the “Doctor’s surgery”. The private house was overrun with the addicts after it was abandoned and left to go to ruin.

Matt, an offender who helped in the clean-up through London Probation’s Community Payback scheme, said: “It’s jobs like this that make us want to do the work. I’ve got kids and the possibility of a child wandering into a place like this doesn’t bear thinking about.” Lambeth’s street care team, public health and community safety teams were joined by the Stockwell Safer Neighbourhood team and offenders from the Community Payback scheme to get the job done. To make sure the house doesn’t become a haven for drug users again there will be regular checks on it and work will be done to make it as secure as possible.

Sergeant Geoff Ross from Stockwell Safer Neighbourhoods Team, said: “Clearing up this eyesore, which was being used by drug users and becoming a health hazard, will definitely improve the appearance of the area and reduce anti social behaviour. I'd like to thank the council for working with us on this and for overcoming the barriers involved in dealing with a private property of this sort.”

What do you think of how the site looks now? Let us know in the comments, or contact your Labour councillors. (story from: Lambeth Life)

Last week to stand up for Stockwell on housing

There is less than a week left to send in your thoughts about Lambeth's housing strategy. Many residents will no doubt have taken part in the tenants conference on Saturday in the town hall, but if you didn't get a chance, you can still have your say - until Friday 21 November.

There are many problems with housing in Stockwell - from high waiting lists, over crowding figures, homelessness or those on middle to low incomes who cannot afford a place of their own.

Lambeth's new draft Housing Strategy outlines the councils overall priorities for the next five years. Initial discussions have outlines these major challenges:

· improving the supply of dwellings in the borough
· improving neighbourhoods
· improving access to housing and supporting vulnerable people in the borough
· mixed and sustainable communities
· tackling worklessness
· empowering residents.

This is your chance to have your say on the Draft Housing Strategy before it is finalised and published. The consultation period will last until Friday 21 November 2008.

For more information on the Housing Strategy contact: Tunde Hinton on email: or telephone: 020 7926 3109.

Local artists create giant mural in Stockwell

If Stockwell is looking even more colourful than before, it's because there is a new giant mural - at the former Annie McCall Maternity Hospital, on Jeffreys Road which is now home to the Stockwell studios. Nearly 200 people helped create the mural of paintings of their early memories, which was inspired by the old maternity hospital.

The project was run by Art4Space and created by people of all ages.

Onionbag blogger has some more pictures of the mural.

Saturday, 1 November 2008

Fire at Chicken Takeaway on Stockwell Road

There has been a major fire at the Biggz chicken takeaway on Stockwell Road, opposite The Swan. The shop is currently closed and the flats above the shop appear to be badly burnt and damaged. This is especially concerning as the dry cleaners that used to be in the building also burnt down. It looks somewhat suspicious.

Local residents, including the Stockwell Park Residents Association have rightly complained about the shop before. It has become a magnet for youths and gangs who hang around and outside the shop intimidating passers by. I have also heard that it has been the victim of 2 drive bys, and that one of the reasons so many gangs hang out there is that the owner is only 17(!) having been bought the shop by her Dad. Labour councillors and residents rightly opposed the extension of their licence til 3am, but more action may need to be taken if the shop reopens. I'll update this if I hear any more.