Monday, 30 March 2009

Nominate your Community Hero!

Lambeth Voluntary Action Council and Volunteer Centre Lambeth are looking for community heroes; people who have given up their time to help others, to campaign for change or made a difference in their communities.
This could be a volunteer in your organisation, a colleague or a local activist.

If you know someone who you’d like to honour please contact Sarah Yandell on or telephone on 0207 737 9471.

Happiness & wellbeing in Lambeth: how can we make it a reality?

You are invited to an event that can really make a difference to what happens in Lambeth.

Thursday 2nd April 2009 9.30am – 5pm
at the Brit Oval Cricket Ground with a delicious lunch!

Have you got ideas about how to improve happiness & wellbeing?
Do you want to share your ideas and experience with others?
Are you keen to get involved in creative action to make a difference?

Who should come?
Anyone who is enthusiastic about making Lambeth a great place to be! If you live, work or volunteer in Lambeth, if you are working with others to improve services for people in the Borough, if you can see how you can contribute to happiness and wellbeing in Lambeth and what a difference it can make – this event is for you.

Why come?
To take part in an exciting event that will help develop what we are going to do over the next few years to make happiness and wellbeing a reality in Lambeth – particularly at a time when the challenges to people's wellbeing seem to be greater than ever. The day will not be about telling others what needs to be done – but about being a part of making a real difference to what's decided about wellbeing in Lambeth.

What happens on the day?
Come from 9.30am to register for 10am prompt start. Speakers to start our day will include Naomi Eisenstadt who from 1999 ran the Sure Start Programme and was then made responsible for the Government's policy on services for young children, extended schools and parenting. Naomi is now Director of the Social Exclusion Task Force at the Cabinet Office.

Open Space
The rest of the day will be in ‘open space' format, led by Roma Iskander, an experienced open space facilitator. Open Space is used all round the world as a way to hold better, more people-friendly meetings. The people who come on the day will set the agenda. The day will offer plenty of opportunity for you to focus on the topics and interests that matter to you. The success of the day depends on your energy and ideas – it is really important to be there at the start when we set the agenda and to stay to take part in voting on priorities at the end of the day.

And then what?
Very soon after the event, everyone who comes will get a report containing all the discussions, recommendations and priorities.There will be another session on Wednesday 15 April 2009, 2-5pm, to work on the priorities that have been identified. This work will help shape strategic plans for Lambeth for the next 3 years.

How to book a place
The day is free but you need to book early as space is limited and there is lots of interest in this event already! To register either book online at or complete the booking form at & return to or FAX to 020 3049 4357 to the attention of Janika Dixon.

Alternatively, you can phone Janika on 020 3049 4191 to submit your booking.

Rubbish in Tradescant Road

Andrew Orange over at the Tradescant Road blog has some pictures of dumped rubbish on his road. Looks pretty bad - I'll send a note to Lambeth officers, but they really should be on top of this kind of problem already.

A Recession Busting Event from Lambeth Voluntary Action Council

Click on this image for more details...

Saturday, 28 March 2009

Features on Stand up for Stockwell

There are a number of features on this website which hopefully make it more user-friendly and interactive - or web 2.0 as some put it.

You can sign up for email updates - you'll get an email when the site is updated (roughly once a week). There are often online polls, and we put up surveys on surveymonkey. If you're into that kind of thing, there are twitter updates, an rss feed and a facebook group you can join.

You can read Stand up for Stockwell in Portuguese - its an automatic Google translation, so apologies for any inevitable mistakes, but we're trying. Comments are always allowed - and unmoderated (for now), those please try to keep these polite, and free from prejudice or defamation.

And finally, we've put a new feature in - fix my street (what a great site) provides updates on the latest environmental problems in Stockwell, reports them to the council and lets you know when they've been fixed.

Do send your comments in - what feature would you most want to see on the site?

If you don't want to use the comment feature, you can contact us in some more traditional ways.

Saturday, 21 March 2009

Fight for a better concierge service for residents: Tell us what you think

The Stockwell Labour team have spoken to many residents about the concierge service in Rundell Tower, Kelvedon House and Wimborne House. Some people have told us that they would prefer their blocks to be staffed in the evening rather than during the day. We want to know what you think.

You pay for your concierge, and we believe that you should have the service you want.

We know that there are benefits to having a concierge during the day: you don't have to be in to sign for parcels or let workmen in. But some residents have told us that feeling safe and secure is more important, and they prefer having someone on duty during the evenings. This is your concierfe, and we want you to have value for money.

We will support you in whatever you decide, so please take a moment to send us your comments.

You can take the survey here:, or email your comments to

Please tell us:
If you would prefer the concierge to be on duty:
Evenings (Choose one only)

If you would like the concierge to work from ____ am/pm to ____am/pm
Please tell us your Name and Address and if you would like to keep in touch with us.

Yours sincerely,

Cllr Imogen Walker
Cllr Pete Bowyer
Cllr Pav Akhtar

Monday, 16 March 2009

De Menezes inquest won't cost Lambeth tax payers

Lambeth Council tax payers will not have to fork out millions to pay for the Jean Charles de Menezes inquest, the Government has confirmed.

It was feared Lambeth Council would have to pay up to £1.5m to fund the inquest into the fatal shooting of the Tulse Hill man in July 2005 by police firearms officers who mistook him for failed suicide bomber Hussain Osman.

Bills for inquests in the borough carried out under the jurisdiction of Southwark Crown Court usually have their costs shared by Lambeth, Southwark, Lewisham, and Greenwich councils. But given the massive bill for the inquest - estimated by the coroner to cost between £5.5m and £6m - and its national significance, councils and local MPs argued they should not have to foot the bill.

The £1.5m would have accounted for about two per cent of revenue from Lambeth’s council tax bill for 2008/9.

Labour MP for Streatham, Keith Hill, wrote to the Ministry of Justice last September arguing it was “inequitable that the tragic shooting which aroused such feeling in local communities, should now lead to those same communities having to bear extra council tax costs, or cuts in services, to fund the inquiry into it".

He received a reply from Justice Secretary Jack Straw last week saying due to the “exceptional nature” of the inquest, central Government would provide financial support for the local authorities.

The exact amount is unclear but a source said it was expected to be “considerable” and a meeting would be held to finalise the figure in the next few weeks.

More than 100 witnesses spoke at the 12-week inquest held at the Oval cricket ground that ended in December with an open verdict.

Victory for residents in planning battle

Local residents on Clapham Road have defeated plans to build a five story building on a site in between Stockwell Park School and the Stockwell Gardens Estate.

Planning Officers rejected the planning application by Crest Nicholson on behalf of Lidls, which would have included a car park and 68 flats.

The decision was taken by planning officers without reference to the planning committee.

The reasons stated were apparently:
- The retention of the early Victorian villa on the site is considered important,
- The quality of the proposed replacement is not considered good enough for a conservation area, in particular it would have been too big and too 'hard'.
- The layout of the building, particularly its entrances, is not considered to be good enough, and
- The plans included a car park, while official policy is to discourage car use.

Congratulations to local residents who fought hard to protect their area and light into their houses. And well done to the local Labour councillors for taken up their case.

I'll keep you updated if there is an appeal or a new application is filed.

Debating competition for young people

Wednesday 25 March 2009, 6:00pm - 9:00pm
Venue: Assembly Hall, Lambeth Town Hall, SW2 1RP

The Prodigals Education Trust, in association with Lambeth Youth Council Peers Educators and SE1 United Youth Forum, is staging the first of a series of debating competitions to find a new generation of young people who are reflective and critical thinkers and talented orators.

The debate will be judged by a panel of highly respected individuals. Talented artists will be performing tracks from 'The Prodigals' soundtrack album ‘No Place Like Home’ (scheduled for release on April 20th, 2009) and a special screening of ‘The Prodigals’ film will set the context for the evening’s event.

The aim is to provide new and creative opportunities for young people to research, reflect and debate issues that impact on their daily lives. The Prodigals Education Trust aims to engage young people making the transition to adulthood, and to develop them as positive and active citizens, with the confidence, self-esteem and skills they need to examine issues, events or problems from different perspectives. Ultimately, the Trust aims to use debating as a vehicle to help connect their own and others experiences in creative ways, and to help challenge their own and others’ assumptions.

Learning Outcomes:
During the debate young people will be able to communicate their ideas in relevant ways for different audiences. In preparation for the debate, they will learn to work in teams and collaborate with each other to work towards common goals. They will develop their negotiation skills as well as the ability to manage discussions in order to reach agreements and to achieve desired results. We aim to increase young people’s self-confidence, communication and presentation skills by challenging them to present persuasive and plausible arguments and evidence on a range of issues and from a range of viewpoints.

Who should attend?
Young people aged 13-19 years old and their parents or carers
Staff in schools, FE colleges and the Connexions service
Staff and young people from youth centres and other informal settings
Others working directly with young people in the voluntary and community sector
Lead members and officers for Children & Young People Services
Other Councillors

This is a FREE event!!!
Book Now - Places are Limited!
To find out who will be crowned the first Prodigals Debating Champion call now 020 7926 4207 or email to secure your ticket.

Spring into Nature Community Fun Day

The Spring into Nature community fun day promises to be fantastic fun for all the family. There will be Latin music; farmer’s market stalls, including great food from the Giggly Pig; plus lots of fun activities – face painting, minibeast hunt, smoothie bike and bird feeder making – to name a few.

Kate Hoey MP will also be officially opening the new playground in the park. The Friends of Kennington Park and Groundwork London are encouraging all local residents to come along and celebrate this fantastic green space on their doorstep. It will also be an opportunity to find out more about the proposed Nature Trail for the park that Groundwork is designing with input from local schools

Send your views on Lambeth's Older People's Strategy

Your views on "Positive Ageing - An Older People's Strategy for Lambeth" - Consultation Draft

Lambeth First has begun the formal consultation process on "Positive Ageing - An Older People's Strategy for Lambeth." The draft strategy sets out a number of proposals across a whole range of services to be carried out over the next five years in the borough.

The consultation period will continue over the next three months up until 18 May 2009.

You will find a full version and a summary version of the draft strategy on the council's website, together with a consultation tick box questionnaire and form for your views and comments.

Please access the relevant webpage by clicking on:

Email: email your comments to

Write to us: Lambeth Adults' and Community Services,
ACS Consultation, Customer and Community Relations
Phoenix House - 3rd floor
10 Wandsworth Road, SW8 2LL

Telephone us: If you have queries, or would prefer to give us your comments over the telephone, you can call Freephone 0800 013 1497

Sunday, 8 March 2009

Labour Lambeth freezes council tax

Labour councillors have agreed to freeze Lambeth’s council tax for the next two years. At a packed council meeting, Labour agreed there would be no increase in council tax this year or next. A two-year freeze is a stark contrast with the 40% council tax hike forced through by the Lib Dems and their Tory allies while they were running Lambeth before 2006.

With the credit crunch hitting local households, Labour is determined to help in every way we can. We know that keeping council tax bills down will help. After the vote, Lambeth has the sixth lowest council tax out of the 33 London boroughs. Even better, we’ve been able to freeze council tax without the vicious cuts to services seen in Lib Dem and Tory-run boroughs this year.

So how has Labour done this? Freezing council tax, protecting frontline services, and investing in more and better services all at the same time is quite an achievement. Quite simply, it’s because we’ve managed the council’s finances much better than the Lib Dems did. They put council tax up 40%, costing every household an extra £1000, but at the same time they cut services and left the council with zero financial reserves. People paid more but got less – that’s the Lib Dems for you.

With Labour back in charge since 2006, we’ve cut out the Lib Dem waste and reduced the council’s overheads by £35 million. That’s meant more money to put into frontline services and keep council tax bills down.

When we were elected three years ago we promised Labour would give residents a council that’s “on your side”. At the budget meeting, we made that promise real. Lunch clubs for older people will open in every town centre. Youth clubs will have their opening times extended seven days a week. There’s more money to help people through the recession with better debt advice, benefits take-up, advice to keep fuel bills low, and training to get people back to work faster. There are no service cuts. And there is a two-year council tax freeze.

True to form, the taxaholic Lib Dems voted against the freeze. How’s that for the difference voting Labour can make?

Stockwell school launches knife and gun crime campaign

Stockwell Park High School has launched a new intiative called the Black Rose Foundation.
Inspired by the Poppy Day appeal, students at the school devised the multi-layered scheme: The Black Rose Badge, which can be worn to commemorate young victims of knife and gun crime. Wearing it symbolises a commitment to opposing violence. Black Rose Month will be celebrated annually. The Black Rose Foundation will raise money to fund grants and bursaries for young people to develop creative, sustainable projects.

The launch event was held at the Oval on Tuesday 3 March when Stockwell Park students presented their project to an invited audience.
Email enquiries about the Black Rose Foundation to or phone 020 7733 6156 ext 222. also picked up the story. Hat tip to Bathsheba at Stockwell News.

Stockwell Neighbourhood Plan Meeting

Stockwell Partnership are holding a workshop and learning event for Stockwell organisations on

The Stockwell Neighbourhood Action Plan

and the Future Stockwell Framework

Monday March 16th 2009
12.00- 14.00 (lunch provided)

The venue is fully accessible

Come and hear about the Stockwell Neighbourhood Action Plan and discuss how community organisations can work together to plan the services that people need and the projects to make Stockwell an even better place to live.

See how Stockwell organisations can support each other to run more activities and deliver more services. Hear about the Future Stockwell Framework, update each other about your work and see if there are any other projects that you would like to see or your group could be running.

Please let themknow if you would like copies of the documents or their summaries and if you are coming by emailing or call into the office at: Stockwell Partnership, 157 South Lambeth Road Tel; 0207 735 5051.

Community buildings in Stockwell

On Monday 23 March there will be a workshop and learning event for Stockwell organisations on Community Buildings in Stockwell, organised by the Stockwell Partnership.

How can we improve our buildings?
How can we work together more?
Can we get funds?
Can we share some of the management tasks?
Are there common issues we should work together on?

Details of the event
Monday 23 March 2009
12noon - 2pm
(Lunch provided)

Springfield Community and Medical Centre
110 Union RoadLondon SW8 2SH
The venue is fully accessible.

Sean Creighton – researcher and author of the recent major study of the Community Buildings in Stockwell - will be leading this workshop which is hosted by the Stockwell Partnership. Everyone who runs or is responsible for a community building in Stockwell is invited to join this workshop. Those who have projects they would like to run in partnership with community building organisations are also welcome.
Participants are asked to bring with them an A4 sheet setting out news of recent developments, plans, and activities to share with each other.

Through small group discussions the emphasis of this Workshop will be on reaching agreement on which recommendations in the report, and which priorities, can be agreed as a basis for continuing joint working to strengthen all the community building organisations in Stockwell.
The full report evaluating Stockwell Community Buildings, and just the Executive Summary and Recommendations are available by email from Stockwell Partnership. Photocopies of the Executive Summary and Recommendations are also available on request to the office.

If you would like to attend email to let them know you are coming or call into the office at 157 South Lambeth Road or phone 020 7735 5051

Rent rise for a better housing service

Over the last two weeks we have been hand delivering letters to all Stockwell residents in Lambeth Living (ALMO) properties. If you are concerned, do get in touch with us. This is what the letter says:

Dear tenant,

Rent rise will pay for a better housing service

After decades of failure Lambeth’s housing service is getting better. But it’s still not as good as it should be. Labour has invested millions of pounds to put in new windows, roofs and doors, but there is still much more to do. Despite the improvements, too many repairs are not done on time, or to the standard you expect. Too many families live in overcrowded homes. It’s time to put that right and give every tenant the high quality housing service you deserve.

The problem is, fixing all of that costs money. At the moment there’s not even enough to pay for the services we already have. That’s why some services get cut year after year.

There are two things we can do to bring in the extra money to pay for better services.

First, we must work harder to cut out waste and bad management. We will make sure that happens. Second, because rents in Lambeth are low compared to other councils, we have to ask everyone to pay more. We know that’s not easy when times are hard, but the alternative is worse.

If rents don’t go up, the council will have to make £9 million of cuts to your services. Without the rent rise, the cuts could mean:
  • All CCTV switched off and safety patrols removed
  • Repairs cancelled
  • Estates getting dirtier with less cleaning
  • Homes left damp and unheated
  • Much longer waiting times when you phone the call centre
We know you don’t want cuts like that. So, from April, your rent will increase by more than usual. But don’t forget you will still be paying much less than privately rented or housing association homes in Lambeth. And your rent will still be lower than the amount charged by Tory or Lib Dem councils like Wandsworth and Islington. Extra help will be available for people on low incomes, and if you’re already receiving housing benefit the amount you receive could go up. If you need help to pay your rent, please call the Customer Centre 020 7926 6000.

We know this year’s rent rise won’t be popular. But the alternative of massive cuts is far worse. This is the only way we can guarantee the better housing service you want and need. Please get in touch if you want to discuss this or any other issues with us.We are here to work for you, and we promise to do everything we can to improve your housing service.

Yours sincerely,
Cllr Steve Reed
Leader of Lambeth Council

Cllr Lib Peck
Cabinet Member for Housing & Regeneration

New Group for older people

ARE YOU OVER 60?? Do you want to meet new people? And have fun in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere?

Then why not come and join the… ST JOHNS SENIOR CITIZENS PROJECT!

TUESDAYS - 10.30 am to 12.30 pmTHURSDAYS - 1.00 pm to 4.00pm

Everybody Welcome! Just £1 per session

St Johns Community Development Project, 386 Clapham Rd, SW9 9AR (Click here for map)

Includes….trips, holidays, chair aerobics, singing, dancing, socialising, discussions, theatre, meals out, board games, bingo, raffles ,and refreshments!!

For further information ring ROZ or MARIE on 0207 978 2878

Lambeth Labour back free travel for older people

Lambeth has secured a deal to allow older residents free travel on most buses, tubes and trains 24 hours a day – a deal guaranteed until 2015. The extension to the council-funded Freedom pass scheme was agreed as part of a five year deal negotiated between London’s councils and Transport for London.

Each year Lambeth pays Transport for London and rail operators in the capital to allow older and disabled residents to use their services free of charge. For 2009/10 Lambeth will pay £5,877,576 to give 32,196 elderly and disabled residents free travel.

At a meeting of London Councils Transport and Environment Committee Lambeth along with their fellow Labour boroughs, voted to extend the free travel scheme for older people.
Cllr Sally Prentice, Cabinet Member for the Environment said: "Although the Mayor of London is keen to claim credit for this scheme, the Freedom Pass is almost entirely funded by London councils like ours and by extra grants from the Labour government and we are pleased to be part of a scheme that continues to benefit thousands of older and disabled residents in the borough.”

New Youth Mayor for Lambeth

18 year old Samuel Manley has been elected the new Youth Mayor for Lambeth. Samuel was elected by other young people in Lambeth, lives in the borough, but attends Prendergast Hilly Fields College in Lewisham. He will be supported by a new Deputy Youth Mayor, 12 year olf Emmanuel Adepoju from Archbishop Tennison School in Kennington.

New youth mayor, Samuel, said: "Today I aspire to be Youth Mayor for Lambeth - tomorrow I aim to inspire our future young generation to stand up and be positive and influential role models."

At a glittering ceremony on 27 February, Andrew Short, 15, was elected the borough's representative on the UK Youth Parliament. His deputy is Ify Ossai, 18.
Entertainment at the event, attended by Leader of Lambeth Council, Councillor Steve Reed, included Lambeth dance troupe the Stylinquents, and local actor and musician Arnold Oceng.

Lambeth Labour introduced the Youth Mayor in 2008, and it has been extremely successful, despite being branded as a 'gimmick' by the Lib Dems. This year’s Youth Mayor Elections attracted the votes of over 5000 local young people.

The Youth Mayor acts as spokesperson for young people in Lambeth and provides a link between the young people, media, decision-makers and service-providers. The Youth Mayor is responsible for allocating £25,000 in funding to projects designed for and run by local young people. The Youth Mayor will also work in partnership with other members of Lambeth Youth Council to highlight and campaign on issues which are important to local people.