Thursday, 5 November 2009

Remembrance Sunday in Stockwell

Remembrance Sunday will be commemorated this weekend (8 November 2009) at the Stockwell War Memorial and Clock Tower at 11am. All are welcome to attend the wreath laying and service, and your local Labour councillors will be paying their respects.

Before that, the Mayor of Lambeth, Cllr Christopher Wellbelove will host Lambeth's Remembrance Service and Wreath Laying Ceremony outside Brixton Library at 9.00am. This will be followed by a short service and wreath laying ceremony at St Matthew's Church, Brixton. The event will be followed by light refreshments in the Mayoral Suite at the Town Hall.

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

3 community campaigners chosen to represent Labour in Stockwell

Local Labour party members have chosen 3 experienced community campaigners to represent Labour in Stockwell at the next council elections. Councillors Pete Bowyer and Imogen Walker will be restanding for Labour, and they will be joined by local resident Alex Bigham, after Cllr Akhtar decided to stand down at the next election. All three are pictured here near the Oasis play centre in Stockwell.

Pete Bowyer has represented Stockwell residents since winning a by-election in 2003, when the Lib Dem councillor was forced to resign after being found guilty of criminal charges. Since then, Pete helped establish a drinking ban around the tube station, secured a grant for the Dorset Road Community Centre and is fighting for a better concierge service for residents.

Imogen Walker has been your Stockwell Labour councillor since 2006, and lives just off Lansdowne Way. She has helped secure funding for a half million pound community centre for Portuguese residents, has worked with police to get more visible patrols across the area and secured extra funding for youth services at the Oasis centre.

Alex Bigham has lived in Stockwell for over 7 years, and his family for nearly 3 decades. He is a board member of a local housing association. He would like to see the Stockwell war memorial cleaned up and restored to its former glory, and is campaigning for a new bus route to run through Stockwell.

Cllr Steve Reed, Leader of Lambeth Council said “It is great news for the Labour party, for the Portuguese community, and above all for Stockwell residents that we have such a strong Labour action team in place in Stockwell. These are three local campaigners, who truly understand their local community and will stand up for Stockwell – to bring the kind of changes and improvements we all want to see.”

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Out and about on the South Lambeth estate

Local Labour councillors Imogen Walker, Raj Patil and Pete Robbins were out and about on the South Lambeth Estate today along with community campaigner Alex Bigham. This is for the second week in a row, and last week they were also joined by Cllr Pete Bowyer.

They were talking to residents about how the new dispersal zone (which Labour councillors and the police introduced) is working along the Dorset Road, along with other issues including housing, anti-social behaviour, and even one resident who is suffering from a plague of ladybirds outside her house! (Incidentally, this is a national problem –

Although some of the gang problems in the area have now been resolved, residents are concerned about youths congregating in stairwells, smoking and taking/dealing drugs as well as generally intimidating people. These issues are being reported to the local police.

Stockwell’s Labour team are delighted though that work is now complete in Wimborne house (pictured) and residents can now fully enjoy the benefits. The £4.5 million refit, approved by Lambeth Labour councillors has paid for new kitchens, more efficient boilers, redecoration, new lifts and double glazing.

Last week, the team noticed some dumped rubbish (also pictured) outside Wimborne House and reported it to the council. This has now thankfully been sorted.

We hope things are working well, but do get in touch with your Labour team if there are any issues we can help with at all.

Portuguese community centre – an update

At Wednesday’s meeting of Lambeth council there was an update on progress to establish a Portuguese community centre for Lambeth’s many Portuguese speaking residents. Labour’s Stockwell councillors have been campaigning and working with the community to establish the centre. Labour has guaranteed half a million pounds worth of funding to establish the centre, which should be set up soon, when the community has found a suitable site.

Lambeth consulted with 150 Portuguese people, of whom 93% support the idea of a community centre. The community are now looking at 3 options for a centre that will best meet their needs.

The proposals will provide a centre where the community may gather for cultural activities, social support, and public information and access community services. The centre will be owned by a charity in the form of a company limited by guarantee and run by a management committee formed of representatives from the Portuguese community.

Sadly, the Lib Dems seem to want to hijack the project. At a speech in the town hall, a Lib Dem councillor who doesn’t even represent Stockwell said he wanted to force the community to set up the centre by next April, come what may. Well Labour disagrees – the Portuguese community, not Lib Dems should have the final say when the centre is established and where. Surely that’s the point of such a centre – empowering people, not bossing them around? Sadly, the Lib Dems have still not said that they would fund such a centre if they ever sneaked back into power in Lambeth after April next year. How committed are they?

A full report on Lambeth’s work with the Portuguese community is here:

Stockwell History Initiatives

Jason Cobb, who writes the popular local onionbagblog has set up a Stockwell Oral History Project. It seems to be a fantastic initiative, and he writes:
“The area that I have called home for the past fifteen years is rich in characters and stories. It is also extremely transient, with new communities coming and going over a short period of time.

If you would like to be interviewed as part of the Stockwell Oral History project, then please get in touch. The format is open ended, simply having a chat about anything and everything that has a Stockwell strand running through it."

In addition, over on Stockwell News, Bathsheba writes that:

"I don't know if you've noticed but, unlike Vauxhall and Brixton, Stockwell has no historical society. Ruth Miller is keen to put this right and is looking for people to help set up a local history society for Stockwell, focusing on getting the stories of the area - ancient and recent - written down and eventually published.

Please contact her at if you are interested."

Good luck to both of them!

The Picture is of the Swan Pub from the 1780s.

Fireworks Night!

For an exciting and safe Guy Fawkes night, bring all the family along to the Lambeth fireworks display at Brockwell Park, Streatham Common or Clapham Common.

The fun starts at all three venues at 7.30pm on Thursday 5 November.

Find out about travel details and firework safety on Lambeth council’s fireworks page.

Black history month – still more activities happening

Black history month, which is held every October across Britain, is going strong in Lambeth. This year’s activities in Lambeth have been crammed full of inspirational, fun and thought provoking events, which are still going on. On behalf of the Stockwell team, we’d like to congratulate all the organisers of the 2009 programme. The picture is of the Bronze woman monument in Stockwell.

Some upcoming events:
Wednesday 28 October: 10th Anniversary of the Caine Prize for African writing with Brian Chikwava. 7pm Brixton Library
Wednesday 28 October: Storytelling: African and Caribbean Tales, 2.30pm Durning Library Ages 5 – 11 years
Friday 30 October: Nzinga Dance - African puppets/dolls workshops, 2.30pm Carnegie Library

A full list of events and attendance details are here:

Issues around the Hemans estate – reported

Your Local Labour action team has been out and about on the Hemans Estate and surrounding roads talking to residents. Residents tell us they are backing Labour to get things sorted in their area. Amongst the issues raised included graffiti, dumped rubbish, vermin, broken lighting and broken paving and bollards.

We are also aware of problems, including flooding in the Hemans Tenants Hall, where your local Labour team hold their regular monthly surgery for residents (details here).

Community campaigner Alex Bigham has written to the local police about antisocial behaviour concerns on the estate, and they plan a visit soon. Labour councillors are also maintaining a watch on the icensing committee for reports that Stockers pub is applying for a licence to 4.30am. Local residents have been concerned about this plan because of some anti-social behaviour by drinkers, though the pub is, for now, closed.

Your Labour team has reported all of the issues, and we hope they are sorted soon, pictured includes graffiti on Crimsworth Road, broken bollards on Fount Street and rubble from a broken wall on Clapham Road.

We will be keeping an eye on things to ensure progress.

Monument celebrates Stockwell heroine, Violette Szabo

Pictured is the recently opened memorial on the South Bank which commemorates Violette Szabo and other members of the Special Operations Executive who fought during the Second World War. The monument was unveiled by World War Two veterans, the Duke of Wellington and the Mayor of Lambeth, Christopher Wellbelove.

Szabo was a single mother (her husband was killed at El Alamein) who grew up in Stockwell. She ran undercover operations against the Nazis from offices in Baker Street. There is a blue plaque on Burnley Road, Stockwell, where Szabo lived. Tragically, she died aged just 23 after being captured and killed in a concentration camp.

Her work is celebrated in the film, ‘Carve her name with pride’.

Fire safety checks in progress

Tenants and leaseholders living in Lambeth have been told that fire safety assessments will be carried out on all high rise homes by March 2010 as planned. Many will be complete before the end of 2009.

It follows a fatal blaze at Lakanal House in Southwark this July which brought the need for the fire safety assessments into focus. Six people died in that fire, which was started by a faulty television. Lambeth’s own safety assessments were under way at the time of the tragic fire, and some 16,000 homes have so far been visited.

However the majority of the borough’s tower blocks had not been assessed and that work is now continuing, with housing chiefs promising that the deadline of March will be met. All tower blocks (like the Rundell Tower on the Mursell estate, pictured) five storeys and over will have a completed fire safety assessment by the end of March 2010.

At the same time as the assessments are taking place, Lambeth Living has stepped up its daily, weekly and fortnightly inspections by concierge, cleaners and estate services officers. Lambeth Living looks after the borough’s housing stock and its Chief Executive Cathy Deplessis said: “The safety of our tenants and residents is a top priority and we have been working closely with the London Fire Brigade on a robust programme of safety measures, including an action plan for fire risk assessments across every council home. Separate internal home fire checks have already been completed on over 16,000 homes and is underway on the remaining properties.”

(Story from Lambeth Life)

Thousands of Lambeth Living residents will be getting a rent reduction from November

The reduction will be backdated to April of this year and follows a lobbying campaign by the council to have a Government funded rent cut implemented. This year’s rent increases in the borough had been amongst the highest in the country at around 17 percent, but the reduction will bring it down to around 14 percent.

Because of historically low rents tenants are now paying roughly average rents compared to other inner city London boroughs. Councillor Lib Peck, the borough’s cabinet member for housing and regeneration, said: “We are continuing to work hard to improve our housing service and we are pleased that we have been able to achieve this rent reduction. We know there is still a lot more to do, but we are committed to delivering better housing in Lambeth.”

(Story from Lambeth Life)

Green fingered group rescue barren land and get national award!

Four gardens that had been untouched for the past 20 years have been transformed from an overgrown mess into a public garden the whole of the South Lambeth estate can enjoy. The Bolney Meadow Group has now been handed an award from the Britain in Bloom organisers.

The gardening group worked with the council’s Community Freshview team to clear the land and create the space to make the garden a reality. The gardeners have been recognised with a Royal Horticultural Society Britain in Bloom Neighbourhood award.

Charlie Clark, who helped set up the scheme on behalf of the residents, and is pictured with Mayor Christopher Wellbelove said: “We have come a long way and there is lots moreto do but it’s given us all a real sense of achievement to see this part of our neighbourhood transformed and it’s been a great experience for everyone involved.”

As part of the Community Freshview programme Lambeth council’s waste team from Veolia provided assistance, along with offenders from the community payback scheme. Councillor Sally Prentice, Lambeth’s cabinet member for environment, said: “This is such a fantastic example of what can be achieved when residents and the council work together, and together they have made a huge difference to the area. Credit must go to the residents who have pulled together and put in so much hard work.

“Community Freshview is a fantastic  scheme that has helped community groups from across Lambeth make a difference to run down parts of the borough . Whether you want to brighten up an area of green space, give a facelift to a disused area of land or any other activity that improves your local environment, Community Fresh view can help you do it.”

To find out how Community Freshview can help your community call 020 7926 0524 or email

(Story from Lambeth Life)

Saturday, 26 September 2009

Stockwell Festival - Fun day out for all

Local Labour Councillors Pete Bowyer, Tina Valcarcel and Rachel Heywood, along with Stockwell action team member Alex Bigham joined the Mayor of Lambeth, Christopher Wellbelove at the Stockwell Festival today.

This year's festival was combined with the first ever Stockwell Expo, a chance for people from our diverse communities to come together, and have their say in how local services are run.

But it wasn't all the serious business of democratic engagement course. People flocked to the event, held in Larkhall Park and organised by the Stockwell Partnership to enjoy tasty food, great music and the perenially popular pineapple parade.

Cllr Pete Bowyer said "It was great to meet and talk to so many people from Stockwell and elsewhere. It's brilliant to see the community standing up for itself, as well as enjoying a fun family day out."

Alex Bigham said "As well as listening to some fantastic music and enjoying the festival atmosphere, this was a great opportunity to meet some of our hard working public servants including the local NHS, the police, Lambeth council and charities. Congratulations to all the organisers from Lambeth and the Stockwell Partnership for another great event."

Friday, 25 September 2009

187-191 Clapham Road update: Planning Hearing, 29 September

A local resident on Clapham Road writes to says that Lambeth have called a 4-day Planning Hearing regarding Lidl/Crest Nicholson’s plans for 187-191 Clapham Road, which starts at 10am on 29 September at Lambeth town hall, in front of a government planning Inspector. We have a number of concerns on this blog about the development.

"Anyone wishing to speak to the hearing must be present when the hearing opens.

As you may recall, Lidl and the developer Crest Nicholson want to demolish the existing buildings on the site and build five storeys with a supermarket on the ground floor and 68 fats above, with 30 parking spaces for Lidl customers and 2 disabled parking spaces. Lambeth rejected the application but Lidl/Crest Nicholson are appealing, hence this hearing.

You are entitled to see documents relating to the appeal held by Lambeth; contact Gavin Chinniah at Lambeth Panning Division, Phoenix House, Wandsworth Road (by the Vauxhall bus station and St George Wharf development at Vauxhall Cross) or on 020 7926 1257.

If you would like to receive a copy of the Inspector’s decision, you have to ask in writing for one to be sent to you: quote reference APP/N5660/A/09/2105472 and write to: The Planning Inspectorate, Room 3/19, Eagle Wing, Temple Quay House, 2 The Square, Temple Quay, Bristol BS1 6PN."

Monday, 21 September 2009

More activities to tackle youth crime

Labour has doubled spending on youth services in Lambeth to give more young people things to do this summer. Labour’s summer programme is the biggest ever seen in Lambeth with a range of activities on offer including dance, sport, design and computers.

All this in comparison to the Lib Dems – who had the worst funded youth service in London – and as a result the highest level of youth crime. Under the Lib Dems, youth clubs were closed at weekends, while under Labour there have been extended hours for youth clubs.

Labour’s Florence Nosegbe said: “The Lib Dems were wrong to starve youth services of investment. They left teenagers to hang around on the streets where it’s far too easy for them to get into trouble with gangs. Now Labour’s put that right with a summer of activities that will help keep young people busy and out of trouble.”

Examples of activities include dance classes at the YMCA on Stockwell road, the Stockwell Skate Park and basketball at the old Lilian Bayliss school in Kennington.

To find out what’s on offer for young people, Labour has set up

There’s more information about sports in the area for all ages at

Labour Action on Jobs

Your Labour action team has been out on the doorstep talking to residents, and we know that unemployment, or the fear of being unemployed is a big concern for everyone.

Labour is taking action to save jobs and get the unemployed back to work fast. Thanks to Labour, three new skills trainging centres will open across Lambeth – including one locally in Kennington. Labour councillors have won over £17 million from the Government to fund improvements to local homes, roads and schools. The jobs will be prioritised for local people.

Sadly, Lib Dems and Tories provoked fury when they told residents that unemployment would NOT be a priority if they ever grabbed control of the council again. Here’s hoping they don’t.

Lambeth First (the borough’s strategic partnership) has funded an open day for jobs in Waterloo on 1st October. As many as 800 new jobs will be available in the new Park Plaza hotel near Westminster Bridge.

Positions available include in: concierge, food & beverage, front of house, housekeeping, kitchen, maintenance, meetings & events, security, and stewarding.

Details: Thursday 1 October 2009, 2pm – 8pm. Join one of the Information Sessions which run every hour, starting at 3pm. Last session at 7pm. Venue: Lilian Baylis Community Hub, Lollard Street, SE11 6PY. On bus routes: 3, 59, 159, 344, 360. Nearest tubes: Lambeth North, Kennington. Free refreshments

Book your free place, by phoning Waterloo Job Shop on 020 7926 8760 Or drop in to 114-118 Lower Marsh (Opening hours: Monday 9.30am – 4pm, Tuesday to Friday 9.30am – 4.30pm)

More information at

Massive boost for GCSE results in Lambeth, Stockwell Park tops the leaderboard

GCSE results in Lambeth are up by a staggering nine per cent from last year - and for the first time ever they are now higher than the national average.

The percentage of pupils with five or more A* to C grades has soared from 62.3 per cent in 2008 to 71.1 per cent this year. Pupils' achievement at GCSE level in Lambeth has risen for the past twelve consecutive years, and is now four per cent higher than the national average which has seen 67.1 per cent of pupils from across the country achieve five or more A* to C grades.

The Department for Children, Schools and Families indicator which shows the percentage of pupils achieving five or more A* to C grades including English and Maths, reveals a substantial increase in Lambeth from 47.1 per cent in 2008 to 53.5 per cent this year.

The improvement, with English and Maths included, shows Stockwell Park High School to be the most improved at 21 per cent.

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Lots to do during Peace Week in Lambeth

Peace Week in Lambeth runs from 19 to 26 September. Throughout the week there will be events to help address issues that affect us all.

The aim of the week is ‘‘to challenge all Londoners to make a positive change in their communities by engaging in a community safety agenda for London.’’

Lambeth is the fourth most densely populated council area in the country with a population of over 270,000 that speak between them over 130 languages in their homes. It is a diverse community and highly mobile. Our neighbourhoods and communities are ever changing as members of very different communities choose to make Lambeth their home be it for a short time or longer. The resulting diversity is rightly noted and celebrated.

Peace Week in Lambeth has been designed to bring our communities together, celebrate our differences and work together to address issues which affect us all. In particular, we know that tackling anxieties linked to actual and perceived crime are of priority for everyone.

You are invited to join any of the events. Bring along your family members, friends and neighbours and meet up with people who are delivering initiatives which help bring communities together and make Lambeth a safer borough.

On Saturday 26th September there will be a drop in Police Surgery for Spanish and Portuguese communities at the Wyvil School on South Lambeth Road from 12 noon to 3pm. From 12 noon to 6pm there will be a Safer Communities Zone at the Stockwell Festival in Larkhall Park.

Peace Week highlights include:
• a skate park jam
• a multi-faith peace picnic
• Safer Neighbourhoods police team talks
• a 'Living together in Lambeth' event
• a domestic violence seminar
• a young people's question time
• the Safer Communities Zone at Stockwell's Expo.

For more details about Peace Week, email
or visit or call 020 7926 2681

Your chance to quiz the Mayor

Mayor Johnson will be taking questions from the public on Monday 9 November, 7 - 9pm, Brixton O2Academy.

Tickets are free, but are available on a first come, first serve basis - so don't delay.

To apply email including your name, address, postcode, daytime phone number and the number of tickets you require (max 6 per application) OR call 020 7983 4762.

Sunday, 30 August 2009

Support our new bus campaign

Northern Line a Nightmare? then get on board our new Bus Campaign

Do you find getting to work every morning a nightmare on the Northern Line?

Many residents have complained to us about the severe levels of overcrowding on the Northern Line.

The stations are overcrowded and dangerous, and often have to be closed because of congestion. As your local councillors, we campaigning for a new bus service to run at peak hours along the route of the Bank Northern Line, with our London Assembly Member, Val Shawcross.

We want to see a new bus service which starts at Clapham Common. We also want to see the current Mayor honour plans made by Ken Livingstone to increase the number of trains on the Northern Line by a third.

If you support our campaign, please sign up at:

Stockwell War Memorial

Just come across the excellent Stockwell War Memorial website. Bathsheba of Stockwell News has researched the names on the Stockwell War Memorial and provides lots of information about the memorial. The site is well worth a visit -

Stockwell War Memorial: Missing plaque found

Stockwell News has a story about a missing plaque commemorating some of Stockwell's war heroes.

Stockwell Green URC War Memorial

The story says:
"I have located the "missing" Stockwell War Memorial. It was once displayed in the Stockwell Green United Reformed Church but was removed when the church was sold in 1991 (it's now a Muslim centre).

The memorial is now kept in West Norwood Cemetery. Clearly, it needs a new home. Does anyone know of a suitable location for it?

More about the memorial at the War Memorials Inventory.

I will be researching the names over the coming months.

The inscription reads:

The Great War 1914-1918
To the glory of God and in Honour of the Officers and Men connected with this Church and Sunday School who served King and Country during the Great European War."

Full story here.

Activate Festival of Sport: Kennington Park, 5 September

Activate, Lambeth's FREE annual festival of sport, takes place in
Kennington Park
Saturday 5 September
12noon to 5pm

It's a great chance to try out sports, including:
* Volleyball
* Tai Chi
* Athletics
* Duathlon
* Cricket
* Handball
* Table tennis
* Indoor rowing
* Martial arts
* Climbing wall
* Basketball
* Football

Also - free body MOT from NHS Lambeth!

More info from Amy Vowler
Phone: 020 7926 2640

Thursday, 6 August 2009

Labour vs Lib Dem blogging

I don't profess to know everything about the world of blogging, social media or web 2.0, but I do feel strongly about one thing. The whole point of this technology is it's meant to be interactive. You can send your comments, feedback, opinions, likes, dislikes - and that is supposed to start a conversation. The idea is its two way traffic, not a megaphone.

That's why this blog has unmoderated comments, although i'll delete anything defamatory, bigotted, racist, sexist etc. Other Lambeth Labour blogs allow comments as well.

But I was looking at the Lib Dem blog in neighbouring Oval - and they don't allow anyone to comment on their articles.

The questions is, what are they afraid of? Honest feedback from their constituents? Not really very liberal, or very democratic.

UPDATE: It seems the Lib Dems have seen this post and now added the ability to comment on the Oval blog. Glad Labour could be of service to the good people of Oval...

Anyway, feel free to comment about this blog - if there are any changes or improvements you'd like to see.

Lambeth Council introduce new dispersal zone to tackle anti social behaviour


Lambeth Council and Metropolitan Police have taken decisive action against a group who are intimidating local residents and businesses by introducing a new dispersal zone on the Bolney Meadows estate. The dispersal zone will be enforced from Wednesday, August 12, until Thursday, February 11, 2010, and has been designed to specifically target a group of young people and 19 to 35-year-olds, who mainly gather outside a parade of shops in Dorset Road.

The six-month dispersal zone is being put in place following complaints received by the Oval and Stockwell Safer Neighbourhood Teams from residents and local businesses located on the Bolney Meadows estate, which is also known as the South Lambeth estate. The reports include incidents in which the gang have openly sold drugs in flat stairwells and outside shops, vandalism, street drinking, harassment and intimidation.

Councillor Mark Bennett, Cabinet Member for Community Safety, said: "The local community on the Bolney Meadows estate has asked for our help and we have taken decisive action in response. No one should feel intimidated or harassed when they visit their local shops to buy a pint of milk or are verbally abused and threatened as they make their way home. This new dispersal zone sends out a clear message that anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated."
Superintendent Paul Wilson, said: "We will not tolerate drug dealing and anti-social behaviour in Lambeth. The introduction of the new dispersal zone assists with our mission to make Lambeth a safer place. Residents have raised their concerns to their local Safer Neighbourhood Teams and in partnership a dispersal zone has been agreed. In conjunction with the introduction of this new dispersal zone we will proactively target those individuals who cause anti-social behaviour in the borough of Lambeth.

The Dispersal Zone gives Lambeth police greater powers to tell individuals to leave an area where their presence is causing local residents and the business community to feel threatened and intimidated. Those asked to disperse from the area will have their names and addresses taken by officers, with repeat offenders being put forward for further enforcement including an Anti-Social Behaviour Order (ASBO). A team of Lambeth Council youth workers will also be on hand to offer young people information on local activities offered by the council throughout the school holidays.

Section 30 of the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003 provides police with a power to establish and enforce dispersal zones, where there are reasonable grounds to believe there is persistent anti-social behaviour. Authorisation may not be given without the consent of the local authority. Dispersal Zones are not curfews or blanket bans. They do not prevent anyone from entering the designated area, but they address anti-social behaviour through curtailing two or more persons present in that area for up to 24 hours.

The dispersal zone will cover: Dorset Road, Fentiman Road, Meadow Road, Carroun Road, Usborne Mews, Richbourne Terrace, Oval Place, Palfrey Place, Kibworth Street, Bolney Street, and the entire Bolney Meadows Estate and its communal areas.

Monday, 27 July 2009

Date for your diary: Stockwell Festival

This year, the Stockwell Festival will be taking place on Saturday 26th September from 12 noon to 6pm in Larkhall Park.

According to the Stockwell Partnership, this year’s Festival theme is health and wellbeing and there’ll be all sorts of great opportunities to improve your well-being and create a healthier lifestyle for yourself.

Features at the 2009 Festival include:
  • Stockwell’s first ever Expo; a market place with local businesses and voluntary groups showing off their wares.
  • taster fitness classes
  • watch a live cookery demonstration
  • Get a head, neck and shoulder massage
  • If you’ve got a bike problem, Dr Bike will be on hand to fix it
  • Performing on the main stage will be swinging jazz sensations Kingsize 5 and local talents from Lambeth’s Music Service.
  • Capoeira and street dance performances, Flamenco and Djembe drumming
  • Visit the Children’s Village of Tropical Delights and leave your wishes on the peace tree,
  • Watch out for theatrical entertainers Peat Moss and the Topiary Gardeners,
John McCay of the Stockwell Partnership said, “Our ambition this year is to creat another inspiring, interactive community family fun day in Larkhall Park."

The famous Stockwell Festival parade returns again this year and joining the spectacular Stockwell pineapples will be lots of local children dressed as tropical fruit making the procession even more colourful.

If you want to take part in the parade full details on how to participate and a map of the parade route will be available in August at or phone 020 7735 5051.

*This story is from "Home Ground" the excellent magazine produced by Hyde Southbank Homes. The full copy of the magazine is available to download here:

In Harmony Lambeth launches its Summer programme

In Harmony Lambeth aims to provide local children as young as four with opportunities to grow and develop both socially and musically. The project is being supported with £1 million in funding.

As part of the project, a fun and FREE week of musical mornings open to children on the Lansdowne Green estate will be taking place from 3rd to 7th August in the Community Hall from 9am to 12.30pm for 7 to 10 year olds. No music experience necessary. Please call Donna Pieters on 07912 476928 for further information.

There are free music classes starting in September for other local residents, 7 to 10 year olds can join in learning string instruments, violin, viola or cello on Wednesdays from 4 to 5.30pm. Sessions with the early years group from 0 to 6 years olds will explore music through play, using instruments, puppets, drums and singing, and take place from 11am to 12noon on Thursdays. Classes will be held in the Community Hall, 283-291 Wandsworth Road.

Brendon Le Page is head of Lambeth Music Service and theman leading the In Harmony project.“My aim in Lambeth is to offer along experience of music for everychild. I’m always looking for ways inwhich we can reach more children,especially those children who don’tnormally access music education ontheir own and need an opportunity.”

For further information contact, phone 020 7091 1250 or visit

*This story is from "Home Ground" the excellent magazine produced by Hyde Southbank Homes. The full copy of the magazine is available to download here:

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Stockwell Strangler wins appeal

Kenneth Erskine, known as the 'Stockwell Strangler' today had his convictions for murder reduced to manslaughter after winning his case at the Court of Appeal.

Erskine, who killed seven pensioners in 1986 had his conviction quashed after he was found to have diminished responsibility on the grounds of suffering from schizophrenia.

He was serving a life sentence of 40 years for strangling a group of men and women aged between 67 and 94.

It does not mean he will be freed, however - his sentence will now be changed to an indefinite hospital detention order. He will remain in a high security hospital for as long as doctors feel he is a danger to society.

Sunday, 21 June 2009

Update on 187-191 Clapham Road - public inquiry

Original Story:

A local resident on Clapham Road writes:

As you know Lambeth refused planning permission to Lidl and their developers Crest Nicholson to build a five storey building (a supermarket and 68 flats) on the site of the Ryness wholesale lighting shop at 187-191 Clapham Road. Now we learn that Lidl and Crest Nicholson are appealing against this decision and are taking their case to the Secretary of State who will hold a Public Inquiry into the appeal. Local residents can again have a say - but we have to do so before 17 July.

The grounds for appeal largely consist of Crest Nicholson saying they disagree with the Council's grounds for refusal. The Inspector will review all the original letters for and against the original proposal so we now need to consider the grounds for Appeal and respond to them.

You can respond to the Appeal on line at:

Please send copies of your response to our MP Kate Hoey at and to our Councilors Pete Bowyer at, Imogen Waker at, and Pav Akhtar at

Stockwell Neighbourhood Forum - 2 July

Stockwell Neighbourhood Forum

Thursday 2nd July 2009 7.00pm
Venue: Springfield Methodist Church,
200 Wandsworth Road
London, SW8 2JU
Main topic: Regeneration of Vauxhall/Nine Elms and how it affects Stockwell
Contribute Your Ideas and Views!

The Current London Plan identifies Vauxhall/Nine Elms as an Opportunity Area for creating new homes and employment. Along with Stockwell being identified as an area for regeneration in the same plan this will lead to many changes to our physical and social environment over the next 15-20 years. All of which will impact positively and negatively on existing communities and businesses.

The London Plan is current being reviewed by Mayor Boris Johnson. The Stockwell Neighbourhood Forum has an opportunity to contribute our views to this review and also feed into Lambeth’s new planning framework for our area.

Also at 8.30 pm: Exchange news and views and about Stockwell issues and events
At 9pm: Councillors’ question time when local Councillors answer any questions from the floor.
This is an open meeting and everyone is welcome, the venue is fully accessible.

Nearest station is Vauxhall, buses 77, 87, 196 and free refreshments will be provided.

Key developments include: -
Redevelopment of Nine Elms Market site
Development of tall buildings
New American Embassy
Potential for regeneration of public realm in Vauxhall/Nine Elms and Stockwell
Help develop a collective aspiration for our neighbourhood
Lets make sure the things that matter are retained and enhanced
Identify what you would like to see developed in our area

Consultation on Strategy for People with Physical and Sensory Impairments

Lambeth has launched the first stage of consultation on a new Joint Strategy for Services for People with Physical and Sensory Impairments. This continues until the end of July 2009. The Strategy will cover the period 2010 - 2015 and will be mainly about the needs of adults aged 18 - 64. The Lambeth Physical and Sensory Impairment Partnership Board [formerly the Lambeth Disabilities Partnership Board] is responsible for the strategy.

There is a public consultation event at Lambeth Town Hall on Monday 6th July from 11am - 3pm. Carers of people with physical and sensory impairments are also welcome, as are staff /volunteers of VCS organisations working with this client group. Help with transport is available.

There are several other ways in which users can contribute to the draft strategy. There is a dedicated page on the DASL website where there is more information including a special issue of DASL's Mole newsletter and a downloadable copy of the draft strategy. If you would like printed copies of the Mole to pass on to people contact DASL. The webpage is at

DASL and LVAC also hope to organise a consultation meeting in July specifically for voluntary and community sector groups which work with people with physical and sensory impairments so that you can feed in your ideas and comments.

For more details, contact David Strong
Director Disability Advice Service Lambeth
Tel : 020 7642 0040
Email :

New Street Dance Classes in Stockwell

The Sports Action Zone have just set up two new STREET DANCE classes at Stockwell YMCA, 40 Stockwell Road on Friday evenings.

Boys and girls 8 -12 years: Fridays 5 -6pm
Girls only 13+ : Fridays 6 -7pm

They are free and there is no need to book - you can just turn up!

Friday, 12 June 2009

Lib Dem Stockwell Sleaze Scandal

Guido has a story today about the sad cancellation of disgraced Lib Dem peer Chris Rennard's annual barbecue in Stockwell. The Lib Dems have cancelled the festivites while the House of Lords investigate his expense claims. But they will allegedly party away from prying eyes on a boat on the Thames.

According to Guido:

"Lord Rennard is accused of [claiming] at least £41,768 of public money. An accusation he has so far proven unable to refute, failing to justify the designation of Eastbourne (07/08) or Wokingham (03/04) as his ‘main residence’ whilst working full time in Westminster and living in a large family home two miles away in Stockwell since 1998. Nor has he sought any supporting clarification from the fees office about his claim to have ‘followed the rules’. He is therefore under suspicion...which has caused him to bow out of Libdem frontline politics for “medical reasons”.

It goes on to say that

"Cowley Street still has funds to pay for a staff party on a boat down the Thames hosted by Lord Rennard even while he is still under investigation from the party’s “independent auditor” for his implausible expense claims to the House of Lords."

"It remains clear from this boat party that Lord Rennard remains a very active CEO, utterly unrepentant, with the full support of his employer and staff. This is odd given his is by far the most serious accusation of abuse of the expenses system against any Lib Dem Parliamentarian."

Labour wins in Kennington by-election

Despite the national difficulties for Labour, Mark Harrison and the Labour team in Lambeth have won a hard fought victory in a council by-election. Labour won by over 300 votes in the Princes Ward (covering Kennington and Vauxhall), a substantial margin in a local by-election.

Mark campaigned hard to expose the failings of the Lib Dems on crime and over the old Lilian Baylis site, and will be a hard working councillor, who has already campaigned to secure a rent cut for local residents.

Leader of the Council, Steve Reed congratulated Mark:

"This is a stunning victory for Labour in Lambeth despite the most difficult national circumstances for decades. The result is a tribute to our hard-working and popular candidate, Mark Harrison, who has earned the backing of local residents, as well as recognition of how Lambeth is improving with Labour."

Newly elected Councillor Mark Harrison said:

"I’d like to thank everyone who voted for me, and I congratulate my opponents on a good, clean fight. I will do my best to work hard for every resident in Princes Ward. It’s deeply humbling to have received so much support, and I’m very excited about this opportunity to improve life for local people."

To download the full result, click here (pdf)

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Labour secures rent cut

The Leader of Lambeth, Steve Reed has just confirmed that council rents in Lambeth will be reduced by 3.1% as soon as possible. The Government has agreed to change the rules so the council will benefit from a national subsidy scheme we were originally excluded from. This good news follows months of intensive lobbying by Cllr Reed, the three Labour MPs for Lambeth - Kate Hoey, Keith Hill and Tessa Jowell, and Cllr Lib Peck.

Steve Reed went to see Housing Minister Margaret Beckett a few weeks ago. He explained that Lambeth’s rents had just gone up 17% to balance the books after the Lib Dems left a monstrous financial legacy with management costs 50% above the London average, £3m lost in fraud, an £8m overspend and £11m Government subsidy that they failed to claim. This would have been more than enough to cancel out the entire rent increase.

Labour has reined in the Lib Dem overspends and cut costs down to the London average, but the Lib Dems’ financial black hole was so enormous it has still resulted in this huge rent rise just to balance the books, costing the average tenant an extra £12 a week.

Cllr Reed asked the Minister why Lambeth’s tenants should be left to pay the price for Lib Dem failure. She agreed to step in and help. As a result, £2.12 a week will be shaved off the rents, but this is only the start. The rent rise is still higher than we want to see, so we will continue to push hard alongside tenants for more action to reduce rents further.

Council rents in Lambeth will go down by 3.1% thanks to successful Labour lobbying - but there's still more to go!

Monday, 25 May 2009

Milestone in rebuilding of Stockwell Park High School

Members of the community, our local councillors as well as parents and families recently celebrated the completion of the first phase of the rebuilding of Stockwell Park High School. The new building was made possible thanks to the Labour council and with funding from the Labour government's Building Schools for the Future programme.

The building, which cost £28 million was the first BSF building to receive an excellent rating by the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment.

Stockwell Park High School was recently rated as an ‘outstanding’ school by Ofsted and is also a specialist Business and Enterprise College and Training School.

More details here:

There is also a blog about the construction of the new building:

By-election in Princes

Some non-Stockwell news now. There is currently a by-election happening in Prince's ward (which covers Kennington and most of SE11) as one of the Labour councillors is stepping down. The election will be on Thursday 4th June.

The Labour candidate is Mark Harrison, who lives on the Ethelred estate and is a community champion. Mark has lived in Prince's ward for nearly five years. He serves on the Board of the Ethelred Estate Tenant Management Organisation, the Kennington, Oval and Vauxhall Forum and the Friends of Vauxhall Spring Gardens. He is a member of the Kennington Association and attends meetings of the Safer Neighbourhoods Panel.

He's also been working closely with residents of the Vauxhall Gardens and Vauxhall Five Estates to campaign for much-needed improvements for their areas.

Mark wants to be a councillor who is active in the community, ready to campaign for improvements and stick up for Kennington, Vauxhall, and North Lambeth.

Since the election has been called, Mark has helped secure a rent reduction for local people, launched a crime action plan, worked on saving the old Lilian Baylis school site and pushed for repairs to local roads. I'm sure Mark would make an excellent councillor.

To get in touch with him, email or visit

As it's an election, I'm required to put this legal bit in:
Promoted by Alexis Darby on behalf of Mark Harrison and Prince's Branch Labour Party, both at 264 Rosendale Road, SE24 9DL

Tradescant Road rubbish problems...update

Andrew from the Tradescant Road blog has a good post about the action that local residents have been taking to try to sort out the persistent rubbish problem on their road (I wrote about this earlier - here).

Councillor Pete Bowyer met with a set of residents recently and is trying to help them get the problem sorted out. One of the residents' ideas is to set up a local residents' association. Seems like a good idea - I wish them the best of luck.

More details here:

Action for Brazil's Children Trust 10k run

London based charity 'Action for Brazil's Children Trust' is looking for people in the Stockwell area to take part in a 10K race in aid of raising much needed funds to help street children in Brazil.
It's not too late to fulfill your New Year's Resolutions - this is a great way to get fit, lose weight, have fun and help a great cause along the way.
ABC Trust patrons include football legend Pele, rock legends Jimmy Page and Brian May, among many others - if you are a fan, this is great way to help your hero's chosen charity.
The race will take place on Sunday 12th July 2009 in Hyde Park Corner.
To register or for more information contact Fatima Luna on 020 7287 3818 or email

Open Garden Squares in Durand Gardens

Durand Gardens is included in this year's Open Garden Squares weekend (13-14 June 2009). The scheme allows the public access to parks, squares and gardens not normally accessible.
A visit to a single garden in the scheme will cost you £3, but a weekend pass to any of the 190 gardens available costs £8 during the weekend or £6.75 if bought in advance.

More details on the Open Garden Squares website. Durand Gardens will be open from 10am to 5pm on both Saturday and Sunday. There will be refreshments and a small exhibition about the history of the Gardens.

Nearby gardens also in the scheme are:
* Harleyford Road Community Garden
* Bonnington Square (Vauxhall)
* Walworth Garden Farm (Manor Place/Braganza Road)
* Eden at St Paul's Community Garden (Clapham)

(hat-tip: Stockwell News)

Tragic murder of Seyi Ogunyemi

Most readers of this blog will be aware of the terrible stabbing in Larkhall Park at the end of April which resulted in the death of 16 year old Oluwaseyi Christopher Sunday Ogunyemi (known as Seyi).

More details of the incident are available here -

It will come as little surprise that this was as a result of gang violence, and a suspected revenge killing for earlier incidents on the Lansdowne Green estate and also in a neighbouring area.

The sad truth is that gang violence is something that affects a particular section of community - mainly young black men. We shouldn't be frightened to acknowledge that, and that means we need a new emphasis on tackling the root causes of gang violence - often it is the lack of alternative opportunities (such as in education or employment) that create the seeds for gangs to flourish.

But as important, we shouldn't shrug our shoulders and say it doesn't affect us if we aren't in that particular section of the community. It is the responsibility of everyone in our community to tackle this problem.

That can simply mean reporting any information you have to the police (you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111). It might mean trying to build bridges in our neighbourhood. We have some very active community groups in Stockwell - but they tend to be divided between wealthy street properties and estates. It would be great if some of these groups could build the kind of links that would share best practice and ideas that would benefit both. These ideas wouldn't solve gang violence on their own, but they might begin to break down some barriers of prejudice and fear.

Of course we mustn't be paralysed by fear. On the whole, Stockwell is a safe place to live and work, and has been getting safer in the past years. As a local police chief told Your Local Guardian, the police and Lambeth council have begun to work on initiatives to tackle the gang violence that led to so many murders in 2007.

Seyi's death was a tragedy, and it should never have happened. But hopefully if something positive can come out of this - it is not only that his killers will be brought to justice, but that our commuity can respond with something innovative and hopeful.

Sorry for the interruption

Have been very busy with work and travelling abroad without internet access. Normal service should resume now. Sorry for those that have missed SUFS (well Stockwell Toilet Watch mentioned it a few times).

Saturday, 11 April 2009

Happy Easter from SufS

Happy Easter to all our readers from the Stand up for Stockwell Team.

Hope you have a peaceful and happy Easter, Vaisakhi, and Passover this year.

Teenager convicted for murder on Studley Estate

Ngosi Edwards has been sentenced to 19 years in jail after he was found guilty of murdering Robel Tewelde on the Studley Estate in Stockwell in 2007.

Ngosi Edwards, of Hemans Street, was sentenced at Southwark Crown Court on Friday, the second teenager to be convicted of killing Robel Tewelde.

Edwards was with Jermaine Callum - who was found guilty of murder on July 10 last year and sentenced to 19 years - in a communal stairwell of the Studley Estate in Stockwell on Tuesday October 2, 2007.
Just before midnight Mr Tewelde was with his brother and friends when Callum, from Clapham, arrived and produced a Mac-10 machine gun.

Mr Tewelde and the group run away up a communal staircase but Callum fired at least three shots at them as they reached the second floor.

Mr Tewelde was hit by two 9mm bullets.
One struck him in the back of his right leg, the other - the fatal shot - entered his lower back, travelling up and across his body and striking his liver, both lungs and his heart.

Mr Tewelde collapsed on the landing of the next floor. Police officers and ambulance tried to save him, but he died of at the scene.

Edwards and Callum cycled away on their bikes.

Detective Chief Inspector Adnan Qureshi said: “Edwards was an accomplice in this crime and has been convicted accordingly. "Neither he nor Callum has given an explanation as to why the shots were fired. "I do not believe Robel was an intended target.

“Robel was a decent young man from a decent family. "He had started a university course that very day and should have been looking forward to a bright future.

“Instead he had his life taken in a pointless and apparently random act of violence.”

Lambeth Readers and Writers Festival

Lambeth Readers and Writers Festival starts on 5 May and includes talks, discussions, and performances - all totally FREE.

More details at the Lambeth Readers and Writers Festival webpage
For more details and to book tickets email

There are some details of the event at Stockwell News as well.

Women's Football for Beginners

Event for those working with adults with learning disabilities

Increasing Access to Mainstream Leisure Activities for Adults with Learning Disabilities in Lambeth

A day for Statutory and Voluntary Providers and Commissioners

Weds 6th May 2009
9.30am – 1pm
Lambeth Accord, 336 Brixton Road, SW9 7AA

Lambeth Learning Disability Partnership Board in conjunction with Lambeth Mencap and People First Lambeth are inviting Senior Managers, Commissioners and Providers to come to a half day event where people who provide mainstream services can hear how other organisations have opened their services to Adults with Learning Difficulties. We will share information about how to overcome barriers to inclusion and so increase the take up of mainstream services by this often hard to reach group of people.

Hear examples of current good practice and learn how organisations like;
Ø Whippersnappers
Ø English National Opera
Ø The Young Vic
Successfully overcame barriers to inclusion.

Share their experiences, successes and challenges of mainstreaming leisure activities ( i.e. non-educational activities) to Adults with Learning Disabilities.

Listen to the experience of adults with a learning disability

Be part of producing a plan to overcome barriers. to access for Adults with Learning Disabilities

In order for the day to be a success and for us to increase take up of mainstream services by this underrepresented group of vulnerable adults we need draw on a wide range of senior managers and those who can make a difference in their organisations so that we can produce a plan that will show what is working in Lambeth, where there are gaps and how we should move forward. TO this end we need statutory and voluntary organisations to commit to send a representative.

The event is free but to book your place please contact
Rhys Price at Or Alison White at

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Stockwell Labour and the Portuguese Community

As avid followers of this blog will be aware, members of the Labour Party from Stockwell and across Lambeth will be holding a "Stand up for Stockwell dinner" tonight at Casa Madeira near Vauxhall.

The Portuguese community are one of the most important groups in Stockwell and in Lambeth - estimated to be the largest single minority community in the borough. It's therefore only right that we celebrate the great contribution that the Portuguese make to our community.

Cllr Steve Reed, the leader of Lambeth and Cllr Pete Bowyer, Stockwell councillor recently gave an interview to Lusa, Portugal's national news agency. The video is no longer available on their website, but you can read details (in Portuguese) here:
If you want to read more about what Labour has done in partnership with the Portuguese community, read Steve Reed's blog:
Over 100 people from both the Portuguese community and the Labour Party attended the dinner at Casa Madeira, and was a fantastic night with speeches from Antonio Cunha, UK representative of the Portuguese community, Stephen Twigg, Cllr Steve Reed, Leader of Lambeth,Val Shawcross, London Assembly Member and Anne Fairweather, Labour Candidate for the European Elections.