Thursday, 30 December 2010

Labour condemns Government for cutting services for Lambeth’s Portuguese community

Steve Reed, Labour Leader of Lambeth Council, has condemned the Liberal Democrats and Conservatives for cutting funding for a Portuguese-speaking specialist teacher. The teacher helped schools improve the performance of children from Portuguese-speaking families at schools in Lambeth. The previous Labour government provided 100% of the funding for this teacher, but the new Conservative-Liberal Democrat Coalition Government has taken the money away while, at the same time, cutting Lambeth Council’s overall budget by £90 million. The Government has also cut support for children from other minority ethnic groups in Lambeth.

Cllr Reed said: “I am extremely angry that the Government has cut this funding without thinking about the effect it will have on Lambeth’s Portuguese-speaking residents. The Liberal Democrats promised to protect funding for education before the election, but now they are in government they have broken their promises and taken the money away. At the same time, they have made it impossible for the council to replace the Government’s funding by cutting £90 million from our budget which will result in further appalling cuts in services. People need to understand that every single cut is the result of choices made by the Government that this council does not agree with.”

“Our Labour council and I will work with the Portuguese community and local schools to try and find alternative funding for this post. We want to talk to the Portuguese banks to see if they will help fund this teacher who has done such a wonderful job helping Portuguese-speaking children. I am sickened that the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats have taken away the money for such an important position that the previous Labour Government had funded in full.”

Stockwell Councillor Alex Bigham, who helped set up Labour Friends of Portugal said: "The decision by the Liberal Democrats and Conservatives to cut this post makes a nonsense of their claims to want to help pupils who need it most. Labour is organising an emergency meeting to discuss the impact of this cut with representatives of the Portuguese community to see if we can protect this important post. But the truth is this is just the latest example of how Lib Dem and Tory decisions affect real people - in this case hitting children's life chances."

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Vauxhall Society Remembrance Evening

The Vauxhall Society is holding a Remembrance Evening  on 11 November (see flier above) at LASSCO, Brunswick House, 30 Wandsworth Road, SW8 2LG. The building is the 18th C mansion next to St George's Wharf.

The event is free and all are welcome, though contributions to the Vauxhall Society woudl be appreciated. Speakers will include Naomi Klein who has written a history of the Stockwell war memorial.

You are invited to bring your favourite Remembrance poem to read out, or it can be read  for you. Please email vauxhallcs@gmail.com with your choice.

More  details at http://www.vauxhallcivicsociety.org.uk/.
The picture on the flier is of actor and poet Stephen Haggard who died in 1943.

Friday, 22 October 2010

Claim Cash for your Community: The Ward Purse Scheme

The Ward Purse is an innovative scheme which involves making funds available for small projects that bring real benefits to local communities in each of the Lambeth’s 21 wards.

There is £12,000 capital available for Stockwell to be spent on such things as small building works or the purchase of equipment. These are carried out either by the council itself or by community organisations. Councillors in each ward can choose to pool the money for one big project or use it to pay for up to three smaller schemes.
The deadline for applications this year is Tuesday 30 November 2010. Please contact one of your Stockwell Labour Councillors asap to suggest a deserving cause.

Cllr Alex Bigham
abigham@lambeth.gov.uk

Cllr Pete Bowyer
pbowyer@lambeth.gov.uk

Cllr Imogen Walker
iwalker@lambeth.gov.uk

More information about the ward purse: http://www.lambeth.gov.uk/Services/CouncilDemocracy/Consultations/ClaimCashForYourCommunityWardPurse.htm

Monday, 4 October 2010

Local volunteers get hands dirty as part of Co-op Council

A group of local residents were joined by Labour Councillors this weekend (Saturday 2 October) to help support a youth project in Stockwell and demonstrate some of the ways people can get involved in the co-operative model that Lambeth Council is currently piloting.

The volunteers took part in a new scheme that is being piloted by Stockwell Labour Party, called “Labour’s community action team” to get its members and other residents involved in donating their time to help out with local charities and projects.

The group spent a day helping out at the Oasis Children’s Venture in Stockwell, a charity which runs a number of projects to help young people including an adventure playground, a nature garden and a go-kart track.

The volunteers helped out with painting signs, clearing overgrowing trees and building a ‘living wall’ from compost. The work wasn’t just of benefit to the children that use the playground though - a passageway that runs along the site (between Larkhall Lane and Priory Grove) was cleared of overhanging foliage improving the look and security of the alley which is used by many Stockwell residents.


Councillor Imogen Walker, Labour member for Stockwell said, “It was fantastic to see what a difference just giving a few hours of your time can make to a local charity like Oasis. They provided the tools and advice so that the people who came could play their part in a scheme that relies on the support of many volunteers. This is just the start of our community action team who will be out on a regular basis doing our bit to contribute to improving our local area.

Morgan McSweeney who helped organise the volunteers said, “We would like to thank everyone who took part in the event from the local residents, the councillors and Jess and the other staff at Oasis for making it such a success. If you would like Labour’s community action team to come help with a project you’re involved in, please get in touch.”

To get involved in the community action team, please contact Morgan McSweeeney on morganmcsweeney@gmail.com or call 07739 200 068.

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Black History Month in Lambeth

Now in its 23rd year, Lambeth are holding a series of events to celebrate Black History Month which runs from 1 October to 1 November.

This year the council has been working with local businesses, community groups and residents to put together an exciting array of events and family activities, that will take place in and around Lambeth.

The events are based on three themes: cultural heritage, economic wellbeing and health and social wellbeing. Most events are free. However to avoid disappointment please book in advance for all events.

For details of all the events click here.

Celebrating older people in Lambeth

October is 'Celebrating Age' month in Lambeth, which is jointly organised by the Council and Age Concern.

This involves a wide range of events for older people throughout the borough, many of them free. For instance, there are free activities for over-50s at the Brixton Rec, Flaxman Sports Centre and Ferndale Community Sports Centre.

For the complete list of events click here.

The month kicked off last week with a launch at Age Concern Lambeth’s headquarters at which the Mayor of Lambeth, Cllr Neeraj Patil and the Deputy Cabinet Member for Older People, Cllr Jane Pickard both spoke. On 20 October, the extension to the Woodlawns Centre in Streatham which houses the Streatham Darby and Joan Club will be opened by the Mayor and Streatham MP, Chuka Umunna.The month will end with a tea dance party at the town hall.

All are welcome at the events. Lambeth is leading the way in offering a whole month of events to celebrate older people – most boroughs just observe a national day on 1 October.
For more details download the brochure of events here.

Over 200 sign up to Bring the bike hire scheme to Stockwell

The number of people who have signed up to the Stockwell Labour campaign to extend the cycle hire scheme to Stockwell continues to grow. 90 people have signed the online petition in addition to nearly 140 who have signed the paper copy.

The campaign team will be outside Stockwell tube station signing up people to the petition from 7.30am on Wednesday 6th October along with Labour London Assembly Member Val Shawcross who also sits on the Assembly's Transport Committee.

If you want to help join the team, please feel free to come along on Wednesday morning, or sign the online petition.

The Evening Standard and the South London Press (pictured) have both picked up on the campaign as well as local bloggers, such as Stockwell News

The team will be presenting the petition to Mayor of London in the autumn.

Friday, 1 October 2010

Volunteering in our community

This Saturday (2nd October), Stockwell Labour Party and your Labour Councillors will be helping our local charity, the Oasis Project, to clear up their play area. We will be there from 10am until 1pm, and we would really appreciate your help, for however much time you have to spare.

The Oasis Project run the adventure playground, nature garden and go-cart track, offering local children and young people in our neighbourhood a safe place to play, explore, learn and make friends. More about what they do can be found at oasisplay.org.uk

If you are available to help or would like more information, please contact Morgan McSweeney:
morgan.mcsweeney@gmail.com
or
0773920068

We hope to see you on Saturday!

Alex Bigham, Pete Bowyer and Imogen Walker
Your Stockwell Labour Councillors

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

South London Residents demand – Bring the Bike Hire Scheme to Stockwell!

This morning South London residents joined Labour Councillors to launch their campaign to bring the TFL Barclay's Cycle Hire scheme to Stockwell.

Local Councillors Alex Bigham, Imogen Walker, Peter Robbins and Pete Bowyer were outside the tube station asking local people to sign the petition calling the 'Mayor of London to extend the Barclay's Cycle Hire Scheme to Stockwell at the earliest possible convenience'.

Over 120 people signed the petition in just 1 hour – a rate of 2 every minute. Many were concerned that the bike scheme docking stations are disproportionately located in North, rather than South London.

Local resident Alex Baker said, “As someone who lives in Stockwell and regularly commutes to central London it’s important that the Mayor doesn’t forget people that live South of the river. Bringing the bike hire scheme to Stockwell would ease pressure on the tube station and buses which are already massively overcrowded in rush hour.”

Cllr Alex Bigham said, “We have to ensure that the bike hire scheme isn’t just for Zone 1 and helps people in South London to get around and get fit. The support we had for the petition from local people shows how important an issue this is, and how successful the scheme would be if it came to Stockwell.”

The campaign is continuing to collect signatures and has already been backed by Councillor Steve Reed, the Leader of Lambeth Council who mentioned it on his twitter page (http://twitter.com/cllrstevereed)

The Cycle Hire scheme currently extends to Vauxhall, Kennington and Oval which boarder Stockwell. Extensions to the Cycle Hire Scheme will ease pressure on the very busy Northern & Victoria tube lines that converge at Stockwell.

People can sign the online petition at http://www.gopetition.com/petition/39225.html

Pictured are (left to right) Alex Baker, Morgan McSweeney, Cllr Peter Robbins, Cllr Pete Bowyer, Cllr Alex Bigham, Cllr Imogen Walker and Jack Sutcliffe.

Bring Bike Hire Scheme to Stockwell!

Today, Stockwell Labour launch their campaign to bring the TFL Barclay's Cycle Hire scheme to Stockwell.

Local Labour councillors Alex Bigham, Imogen Walker and Pete Bowyer will be outside Stockwell tube station from 7.30am on Tuesday 21 September asking local people to sign the petition calling the 'Mayor of London to extend the Barclay's Cycle Hire Scheme to Stockwell at the earliest possible opportunity'.

The Cycle Hire scheme currently covers Vauxhall, Kennington and Oval which border Stockwell. Extensions to the Cycle Hire Scheme will ease pressure on the very busy Northern & Victoria tube lines that converge at Stockwell.

You can sign our online petition here:
http://www.gopetition.com/petition/39225.html

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Labour councillors visit Bolney Meadow fun day

The Councillors for Stockwell and Oval, Alex Bigham and Jack Hopkins both attended the community fun day organised on the Bolney Meadow Estate, which crosses the border of both wards on Saturday 4 September.

The event was organised by the housing association Presentation, now part of the Notting Hill Group for local residents to get together and enjoy fun activities such as Tai Chi, facepainting, jewellery making and henna. Many organisations were there including the police, Wates construction, St John's Ambulance, Lambeth council's family division as well as community groups and church organisations.

Entertainment was on hand from local singers, and kids could enjoy a bouncy castle and a chance to see a selection of animals from the Vauxhall City Farm. There were also plans being discussed to involve more local workers in the reconstruction of the estate, which will provide new security entrances as well as internal refurbishment.

Cllr Bigham said "it was a pleasure to see so many residents enjoying themselves with their neighbours and getting into the spirit of the day. Congratulations to the organisers for putting on another fun packed day."

Late licenses challenged by local residents

Two recent applications to extend the licensing hours of local premises have caused anger amongst Stockwell and Oval residents. The Kelly's pub on Clapham Road proposed to extend its license to 5am - and following a campaign by local residents and the Oval councillors, the proposal has been withdrawn.

Cafe a Toca on Wandsworth Road proposes to similarly extend its license from to 4am on Friday and Saturday nights, and 1am the rest of the week  and concerns have been expressed by local residents about the potential for noise nuisance and their compliance with planning regulations.

Cllr Alex Bigham, along with a number of residents in the area, including the residents' committee of This Space have objected to the proposals. This will now come before licensing committee this week - Wednesday 8 September at 7pm in the Town Hall (Room 125). Anyone can attend the meeting, but only those who have made representations in the allotted time frame can speak.

History of Stockwell war heroes published

Naomi Klein, the author of the informative Stockwell News blog has compiled a book recording the lives of the soldiers remembered on the Stockwell War Memorial.

These Were Our Sons: Stories from Stockwell War Memorial contains stories of the 574 men from the area who were killed in the First World War. Using census information from 1911 and earlier, Commonwealth War Graves Commission information, original Service and Pension files, rolls of honour, contemporary maps and the vast resources of the internet, she has pieced together the lives of men whose stories would otherwise be known only to their families.


She has some impressive endorsements:

“Klein makes a memorial come alive – and records lives that deserve to be, as the hope remains, Not Forgotten.”

Ian Hislop

"The book is quite wonderfully moving and reminds us just how many families were torn apart in these streets that we love so dearly. The shock of reading of the sheer numbers lost, in our own neighbourhood, and the youth of so many of the fallen, makes me look at our war memorial with renewed humility and gratitude. It deserves a place in every Stockwell home."
Joanna Lumley (Stockwell resident)

If you would like to order online you can do so at http://www.elefantbooks.com/.

Stockwell Festival and Expo: 25 September 2010

Saturday 25th September 2010
Larkhall Park
Courland Grove
London SW8 2PX
1–6pm
(with thanks to Stockwell news for compiling the details)
Stockwell Festival, produced by Stockwell Partnership in association with Lambeth Council, is an annual highlight of the South London cultural calendar. 2010 marks its 10th anniversary and this year an Expo is included in the event. This year's theme, delivered in partnership with local service providers, local organisations and community groups is COHESION, CREATIVY & WELLBEING.

Highlights include:

The Pineapple Stage
A vibrant line-up with local street dancers Dance Starz, Stockwell Good Neighbours Choir, acrobatic cheerleaders Fyer Flyz and South London’s very own 2008 X Factor boot camp contestants RTI (Reach To Inspire). Plus professional swinging sounds from Kingsize 5 and Congolese favourites Grupo Lokito

Children’s Village There’s face painting, arts and craft workshops, Punch and Judy shows, magic and circus workshops, interactive drumming workshops with Lambeth Music Service plus Bureau of Silly Ideas’ Pineapple Car is back to take you on a hair-raising ride around the park!

Celebrating 10 years, local artists, Art 4 Space invite you to make ‘A Wish For Stockwell’ - watch out for the giant birthday cake.

Jump on board Oasis Go Karts’ pedal cars for some relay racing fun or enjoy creative environmental activities with Oasis Nature Gardens.

Later in the afternoon, Lady Pineapple leads the Pineapple Parade around the park with an array of pineapple puppets, masks and hats culminating in a performance from the Fyer Flyz on the main stage.

Wellbeing Zone
Trust Art Project invite you to join them for The Big Tea - have a brew and a slice of yummy cake and enjoy the exhibition and art workshops.

Lambeth Community Health trainers will be sharing wellbeing information and offering health checks all day.

Plus massage or reflexology treatment. Local therapists are on hand to treat you.

Peace Zone
Meet your safer neighbourhood police team, their dogs and horses and find out all about local safety. The Fire Brigade will be there between 2 and 4pm

Stockwell EXPOsed
Find out what’s available on your local doorstep as organisations and Council services offer a one-stop shop of information. Including chance to meet your local councillors and put your burning questions to them or simply browse around the many arts and craft stalls selling their wares.

DR BIKE – Get your bike fixed for FREE! Lambeth’s Sustainable Transport team offer advice and mechanical know-how.

Friends of Larkhall Park exhibit the latest park developments.

If you’d like to get involved, have a stall or volunteer contact Anna at agodsiff@hotmail.com or call 07973 711173.

Monday, 9 August 2010

License applications in Stockwell

The owners of Kelly's pub at 124 Clapham Road have made an application to vary their license to extend the hours which they can open and play live music from 10am to 1am from Monday to Wednesday and from 10am to 5am on Thursdays to Sundays.

Cafe a Toca, on Wandsworth Road has applied to vary their license to extend their hours from 10am to 1am from Sunday to Thursday and from 10am to 4am on Friday to Saturday, to also include dancing and live music.

If you wish to comment, support or object to either of the applications, please contact:
Licensing Section

2 Herne Hill Road
London
SE24 0AU
Phone: 020 7926 6108
licensing@lambeth.gov.uk

Cavendish Arms launches new open mic night

Tristan, the new manager of the Cavendish Arms in Hartington Road, London SW8 2HJ, tells Bathsheba at Stockwell News that he is launching a weekly networking night for performers of all descriptions - "Monday Night Unplugged". It all kicked off on Monday 9 August.

The Cavenish is on the lookout for acoustic acts or bands who play acoustically or who want try an unplugged set - writers, readers, poets, rappers, storytellers. All acts get 10 - 15 minutes on stage.

In exchange for free entry - and the opportunity to showcase your talents of course - they ask acts to bring at least one friend along and to stay and support the other acts.

Contact tristan@thecavendisharmsstockwell.co.uk

Local Grant Funding in An Age of Austerity

Bolney Meadow Community Fun Day - 4 September

Weapons and ammunition seized in Brixton and Stockwell

On Tuesday 3 August as a result of vigilant members of the public and open searches conducted by Lambeth Borough Police Officers, three firearms have been found in Brixton and removed from the streets of our borough.

These included one handgun with the relevant ammunition, a shot gun and a very realistic BB gun. All weapons are believed to be involved in or for the use criminal activity or the intimidation of others, although it is not believed they are linked to each other.

Each weapon was found in separate locations within hours of each other. An investigation by Lambeth’s Pro-active Firearms Team is underway to identify those responsible for these weapons and any offences which may have involved these firearms.

The ongoing work of this unit and others on Lambeth, together with useful intelligence from the public has played a significant part in reducing gun crime on this Borough. The recovery and removal of these three weapons from criminal hands greatly assists work to further reduce the incidence of gun crime in Lambeth.

Local police will continue to use a wide range of tactics against this crime, to ensure the safety of the local community. This follows the seizure of three other firearms found in the past seventeen days: a loaded 9mm handgun from Streatham, a shotgun in Brixton and a quantity of live ammunition from Stockwell.

Friday, 23 July 2010

Councillors slam Tory/Lib Dem school building cuts

Labour councillors Alex Bigham, Pete Bowyer and Imogen Walker have slammed the recent admission by Tory Education secretary Michael Gove that he is cutting more than £200 million in Lambeth schools funding.

Although no schools in Stockwell are affected thankfully, nearby schools including Lansdowne Primary, Lilian Baylis and Archbishop Tenison’s had been promised new school buildings under the Building Schools for the Future project, but the Tory/Lib Dem coalition government has now dashed their hopes. Michael Gove has now cancelled the rebuild of eleven schools.

Labour councillor Alex Bigham said: “Local families had been promised these improvements for their schoolchildren, but now they will be forced to have lessons in buildings that aren’t as good as they should be. If your child goes to a school with a leaking roof or poor sports facilities, you know who to blame.”

“Lambeth is still desperately short of places for secondary school age children, despite Labour building three new schools from scratch in the last few years. Labour’s plans for school rebuilding would have created the extra places our borough need – but the Tories and Lib Dems will leave our children having to travel miles out of the borough to get to school.

Lambeth Labour are now leading a ‘Save Our Schools’ campaign, to shame the Tory/Lib Dem government into reversing their short-sighted decision. They are urging local parents and children to write to Education secretary Michael Gove telling him how their decision will affect their education. He can be contacted at:

The Rt Hon Michael Gove MP
Secretary of State for Education
Sanctuary Buildings
Great Smith Street
London SW1P 3BT
or email ministers@education.gsi.gov.uk

Sign the Lambeth epetition here.

Picture credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/paul_clarke/

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Historical videos of Stockwell

British Pathé have put their amazing collection of historical video footage online, and it includes some gems from Stockwell. In particular, there is some footage of the Duchess of York visiting the Spurgeon Orphan's Home (long closed) in 1934.


There is some more information about Charles Hadden Spurgeon (who gave his name to the estate on Lansdowne Way/South Lambeth Road) here http://www.spurgeon.org/misc/bio12.htm

There are also some Kendo enthusiasts practicing in a sports hall

You can search the archive yourself here: http://www.britishpathe.com/

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Stabbing in Lansdowne Way

Some of you may be aware from media reports that there was a serious incident in Lansdowne Way, Stockwell yesterday.

Police and ambulance services were called to the scene at approximately 2.40pm on Tuesday 13 July. On arrival they found an 18 year old man who had been stabbed in the neck.

He has been taken to hospital and his condition is described as "serious".

The police have advised that no arrests have yet been made and the investigation is ongoing.

If you wish to know more, the Stockwell police team will be holding a meeting tonight (14 July) at 6.30pm at Benson Court, Lansdowne Green Estate, Hartington Road. Councillors will be in attendance.

Local police meeting

STOCKWELL SAFER NEIGHBOURHOODS PANEL

Lansdowne Green Estate Community Office, Benson Court, Hartington Road
6.30pm Wednesday 14 July 2010

AGENDA
1. Introductions
2. Apologies
3. Minutes of Meeting held on 19 May 2010
4. Matters Arising (if not included in Agenda)
5. Safer Neighbourhood Team Police Report, including
• Counter terrorism
6. Lambeth Community Safety Team
• Lambeth Noise Team – discussion with Geoff Scott (Team Leader)
• Community Payback – operations and proposals from Panel
7. Neighbourhood Representatives reports:
• Bolney Meadow
• Hemans
• CTRA
• Lansdowne Green
• Mursell
• Stockwell Gardens East
• Stockwell Park Conservation Area
• Studley
• Other community organisations
• Individual residents
8. Panel/Police agreed priorities
9. Dates of future meetings
10. Any other business

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Stockwell Forum Meeting - 13 July

The Stockwell Partnership are organising one of their regular Stockwell Forum meetings tonight.

Date: Tuesday 13 July 2010
Time: 7-8.30pm
Venue: The Stockwell Community Resource Centre, 1 Studley Road (to rear of Stockwell tube station)

Agenda
1. Introduction – the new forum agenda – Steve Griffin, Stockwell Partnership
2. Well London in Larkhall – Marie Clough, South London and Maudsley NHS Trust
3. The Cooperative Council - Cllr Alex Bigham
4. 'Get to Know Your Community' – No. 1: The Portuguese community - members of the Portuguese community led by Maria Marques from Stockwell Partnership including
• launch of the new BIG Lottery Portuguese project
• an exhibition of Portuguese culture, including dresses made by the Portuguese Women’s group
• dancing by ‘Os Beiroes’
5. BREAK To celebrate the launch of the BIG Lottery Portuguese project, there will be free Portuguese food / refreshments
6. Local Planning Update – some key developments and planning applications which will - or might - affect the local neighbourhood - Ian Beever, local residents
7. Local Projects Update – open session for Forum members to update others

Do you want to get involved in running Lambeth Council?

Lambeth Council has published detailed proposals that will see the South London authority become Britain's first-ever co-operative council.

Lambeth's Co-operative Council model – first trailed in the national media in February 2010 – will see residents take on a bigger role in running and shaping local services. The model applies the co-operative model of fairness, accountability and responsibility across a broad range of services. It is built on four years experience trialling the approach in specific services in Lambeth.

Lambeth's leader, Councillor Steve Reed, has published a white paper that identifies in detail these plans.


A Citizens' Commission is being set up to consult local people on the proposals and is meeting for the first time today. The Commission will identify new services where the cooperative model can be piloted, and will explore how the approach can be rolled out across further service areas later this year. The Commission will also explore how an 'active citizens dividend' could be paid to reward people who get involved in running local services, possibly in the form of a council-tax discount.

At the same time the council has started a major public debate on the plans. The white paper is intended to form the starting point of a debate on the future of public services in Lambeth and over the coming months it is inviting as many members of the public, staff, partners and interested partners as possible to take part in shaping the plans.

The council has begun an on-line collaboration using a new Lambeth Co-operative Council 'wiki' - a special web site that allows visitors to comment on and edit the content, just like Wikipedia.

People can also join in the conversation on Twitter by using the hash tag #lambethcoop, and a Co-operative Council Facebook group has been set up for people discuss the ideas. Find out more on our How to share your views on the Lambeth Co-operative Council page.

Residents can also email their thoughts to cooperativecouncil@lambeth.gov.uk.

Lambeth has led the country in exploring the cooperative approach to service delivery in recent years. The council has more tenant-managed housing estates than any other borough, and is transferring more assets to community control than any other council. Notable examples include Raleigh Hall in Brixton which is set to become the country’s first National Black Heritage Centre; the Weir Link children’s centre in Balham which is a service run by residents in a building built by the community; and the Old Lilian Baylis community sports hub operating out of a disused secondary school in Vauxhall that has won praise from leading politicians of all parties as well as international sports heroes like Usain Bolt and Michael Jordan.

Other community-led services already succeeding in Lambeth include 2XL, a peer mentoring programme that has dramatically cut youth reoffending levels on tough inner-city estates, the country’s first parent-promoted secondary school in West Norwood, and Community Freshview, an environmental programme that sees local people given tools and support to transform derelict or overgrown wasteland into community gardens or public spaces.

Lambeth's Council leader, Cllr Steve Reed, said: "Lambeth has spent the past four years exploring how the community can get more involved in running local services. In widely different service areas like schools, housing and tackling crime we've learnt it can deliver better services that cost less. Now we will take the model further and become the first council in the country to apply cooperative values right across the board. Our model empowers people to get on and make the changes they want to see in their local area, building better services and a stronger civic society at the same time."


Originally published on http://www.lambeth.gov.uk/
Photo: Community centre at the old Lillian Bayliss school in Lambeth. Photograph: Martin Godwin, (c) Guardian Newspaper

Stockwell residents tell all to Keep Britain Tidy

Over the last six months residents in Stockwell have been talking to national anti-litter campaign group, Keep Britain Tidy (KBT), about what they think of their local area. From what it's like to live in Stockwell, to the positive and negative factors that impact on their neighbourhood and their lives, locals have been having their say in order to make a difference.

Earlier this year Keep Britain Tidy invited Lambeth Council to join eight other local authorities from across the country to take part in an innovative research project known as DAPP (Deprived Area Perception Project). Stockwell was chosen because of its high ratings in cleanliness scores, but low perceptions of environmental quality among locals. The DAPP project aims to understand how residents perceive their local environment and why.

James Martin, project lead at Keep Britain Tidy, said "As a visitor to Stockwell I was greatly encouraged by the local environment, it's clean, attractive and has some wonderful urban green spaces. The challenge for all councils, including Lambeth, is to provide services and local environments that meet the needs of residents, helping and encouraging them to act responsibly. By getting involved in this project, Lambeth Council is demonstrating its commitment to this challenge."

The research has already reaped benefits with the council taking action on key recommendations made by Keep Britain Tidy on the back of residents' views. Over the next five months the council will continue to work with Keep Britain Tidy to improve the local environment of Stockwell by reducing negative behaviours that impact on residents’ perception, such as littering and dog fouling.

For more information on how we making a difference to envirocrime in Lambeth, visit the Big Difference page.

Originally published on http://www.lambeth.gov.uk/

Saturday, 19 June 2010

New Surgery Details

Following feedback from local residents, we have decided to simplify our surgery details. We will now hold surgeries in one central location - The Stockwell Community Resource Centre, 1 Studley Road, SW4 6RA (to the rear of Stockwell tube station). Map: http://is.gd/cVgtX

Our advice surgeries will now be held on:
the first Thursday of every month at 6.00pm
and the third Saturday of every month at 11.00am

No need to make an appointment, just turn up. We can provide advice on a range of issues in relation to accessing council or local services such as housing, crime, benefits and problems in the local environment. We are keen to hear your views, so do please come along.

In addition to the surgeries above, we will be holding roving surgeries on a regular basis across Stockwell. Check back here for details.

Thursday, 20 May 2010

New project to help remove barriers to work

Your Labour councillors Imogen Walker and Alex Bigham attended the launch today of a new initiative to help people into work in Stockwell.

The project, which is being supported by the Lambeth Communtiy Fund and the Stockwell Partnership will be based at the SWAN (Stockwell Women Achievement Network) which is part of the Somali community centre on Stockwell Road.

The scheme is open to people from all backgrounds though and will provide language support and EFL lessons for those who speak Somali, Portuguese, Polish and a whole range of other languages.  It will provide one to one help for people to become more job ready, promoting self development and a stronger sense of well being. Around 100 people should benefit from the project which will last for an initial twelve months.

For more details, plese contact the project co-ordinator, Anne McConnell - anne@stockwell.org.uk

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Stockwell Police meeting tonight

Your local Stockwell Safer Neighbourhoods Police Team will be holding their regular public meeting tonight - all are welcome to attend.

Date: 19 May 2010
Time: 6.30pm
Venue: Stockwell Community Resource Centre, 1 Studley Road (to rear of Stockwell tube station)

Apologies for the short notice.

For more details abou the team, please visit http://www.met.police.uk/teams/lambeth/stockwell/

Friday, 14 May 2010

Labour appoints a new leadership team

With the election finished and the people of Lambeth giving a resounding thumbs up to Labour in Lambeth you voted in 44 Labour Group Councillors including 13 new faces to the council in the Borough elections on May 6th 2010.

The Labour Group would like thank those who voted to keep Labour in control of Lambeth and give us a mandate to carry on the work of improving Lambeth and carrying out our Manifesto commitments to you.

Councillor Steve Reed and Councillor Jackie Meldrum will continue as Leader and Deputy Leader of the Council but there are some new faces. Cllr Florence Nosegbe and Cllr Pete Robbins have both been appointed to the Cabinet for the first time.

The Cabinet is also the most diverse that at any other point in the council’s history. There are 6 women and Cllr Nosegbe and Cllr Campbell as representatives of our diverse communities.

Cllr Steve Reed leader of the Labour Group and the Council says “Thank you to all of those who voted for Labour to continue running the Council, it’s a testament to the Labour Group that we have been getting things right and most importantly listening to what you want in Lambeth. The Labour Group is really looking forward to getting on with the job in hand and making Lambeth a better fairer place for all."

The new Cabinet is as follows:

Leader of the Council – Steve Reed
Deputy Leader – Jackie Meldrum.
Cabinet Member for Communities and Community Safety – Cllr Rachel Heywood
Cabinet Member for Culture, Sport and the 2012 Games – Cllr Florence Nosegbe
Cabinet Member for Housing – Cllr Lib Peck
Cabinet Member for Environment – Cllr Lorna Campbell
Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Planning & Employment – Cllr Sally Prentice
Cabinet Member for Health & Wellbeing – Cllr Jim Dickson
Cabinet Member for Finance – Cllr Paul McGlone
Cabinet Member for Children’s & Young People Services – Cllr Pete Robbins

Congratulations to the new team!

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

A new progressive coalition? Really?

Sorry to get distracted by national politics briefly, but we have experience in Lambeth of what a Tory-Lib Dem coalition looks like. Sadly it seems history is repeating itself.

Much will be made of the 'reshaping' of British politics today, and how it is a momentous event, etc. But when the dust settles we should consider a few of the announcements that were made today and will no doubt get buried in the news cycle of the new Cabinet appointments.

Firstly, NHS spending will not rise in real terms under a Liberal-Conservative coalition. It has only taken one day for Cameron to break one of his campaign pledges - remember this poster?

Secondly, the new Minister for Equalities, Theresa May, has a shameful record on, erm, equalities issues. She has voted against equality legislation, such as stopping IVF practitioners discriminating against lesbians, equalising the age of consent, and failed to turn up for the Section 28 vote. Read her votes on key issues here: http://is.gd/c5XsF. There are few (currently only two) women in the Cabinet, and no ethnic minorities.

To cap it off, the Tories seem to be determined to prevent their government being held to account by Parliament. They have fixed a five year term of office, and are planning to change the 'no-confidence' motion in the House of Commons to 55% - this means in effect that even if the Lib Dems were to leave the coalition, the government would not need to call an election!

Hardly a very democratic or progressive start to Cameron's new politics.

Monday, 10 May 2010

Labour wins in Lambeth, increases number of seats

The results are now in, and for the first time in 20 years, the residents of Lambeth have re-elected an administration, giving Labour councillors a second term in office to deliver real change for our community. Labour has increased its majority on the council, going from 37 seats to 44. Labour won seats from the Liberal Democrats, the Conservatives and the Greens.

In Stockwell, Labour won all three seats, and your new councillors are Alex Bigham, Pete Bowyer and Imogen Walker. They have already been at work hosting a surgery for residents on the Hemans estate the day after the results came in.

After a long election campaign, the hard work really begins. We would like your ideas and input into what you want to see from a Labour council - delivering change for residents. We will begin work on delivering our manifesto promises (remind yourself here) but no doubt you have your ideas on what needs improving in our area. Do feel free to get in touch...

Picture from onionbagblog.com - who provided excellent reporting and live tweeting from the count.

A few technical glitches

Have had some problems with widget functionality in blogger which meant reloading the template - if you're wondering why things look a little different.

Friday, 7 May 2010

Labour wins seats in Lambeth

The Labour Party has won the three Parliamentary seats in Lambeth - Vauxhall, Streatham and Dulwich & West Norwood, holding off a challenge from the Liberal Democrats. Kate Hoey, Chuka Umunna and Tessa Jowell will serve as the respective Labour MPs.

The local election results will begin coming in from 4pm today, with the count being held at Lambeth town hall.

Alex Bigham, Labour candidate for Stockwell said, "First of all can I congratulate Kate, Chuka and Tessa on a great result for Labour in Lambeth. Their hard work and dedication to local residents has been rewarded in the ballot box."

"Secondly, I'd like to pay tribute to the returning officer, the police, the election officials and our opponents in Stockwell for fighting a good, clean election."

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Vote Labour today - it's up to you

Remember you have four votes - one for the General Election and three for the Local Elections. Please use all your votes for Labour. It's your future - don't risk it.

At the polling station you will be given:
• a WHITE ballot paper for the Vauxhall constituency General Election
• a YELLOW ballot paper for the local council elections for Stockwell ward

To vote Labour in the General Election:

• Put an X in the box next to the name of Kate Hoey on the white ballot paper
 
To vote Labour in the local council elections:

• Put an X in the box next to the name of ALL THREE Labour council candidates on the yellow ballot paper - you have THREE votes in the local council election.
 
If you have a postal vote and you haven't sent it in, you can take it to any polling station in Vauxhall before 10pm.

If you have any questions about your vote, please call our Campaign Hotline on 020 8678 0708 and we’ll be pleased to help.

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

The price of voting for Lambeth's Lib Dems

Can you afford the £1,500 price tag for voting Lib Dem?

The Lib Dems are trying to convince people its safe to vote for them. They want you to forget the 40% council tax hike and service cuts they imposed last time they ran Lambeth until 2006.

You ended up paying an extra £1,000 in council tax whil they:

- left 500 children without a school place
- left Lambeth with the worst funded youth services in London
- cut older people's day care centres
- turned the parking service into a profiteering racket
- went soft on criminals

If Lambeth's Lib Dems grab back power on 6 May they will do exactly the same again. Their leader at the town hall is the very man who masterminded thair 40% council tax hike - the biggest tax rise in Lambeth's history. He hiked up your council tax last time and he can't wait to get his hands on your money again.

Lambeth's Lib Dems would take our council backwards. They plan to stop the upgrade of substandard council homes, cut the number of police on the street and reverse Labour's investment in road resurfacing. Then they plan a multi-million pound spending spree on parking and council offices that means your council tax will go up by 10% a year - just like the last time they were in power.

Over 4 years that will cost you an extra £1,500 in Lib Dem council tax hikes with nothing to show for the extra money.

The price of voting Lib Dem is a price you can't afford.

Saturday, 1 May 2010

Labour in Lambeth campaigns with Portuguese MP Paulo Pisco

The Leader of Lambeth, Cllr Steve Reed, joined Stockwell candidate Alex Bigham and a number of Portuguese campaigners to go on a walkabout in local cafes and restaurants this evening with visiting Portuguese MP, Paulo Pisco. Paulo Pisco represents the diaspora communities in the Portuguese Parliament, and works very closely with Prime Minister Jose Socrates.

The group were talking to Portuguese speaking residents in a number of venues from the Centro Cultural on Lansdowne Way, to O Cantinho on Stockwell Road to Estrela and Cafe Portugal on South Lambeth Road.

As well as chatting to locals, they distributed copies of Lambeth Labour's Portuguese manifesto, the first ever manifesto in Portuguese to ever be produced by a political party in the UK. The walkabout was a great success, with Steve, Alex and Paulo meeting over 100 people during the visit.

Friday, 30 April 2010

Your local candidates for Stockwell

Back in October, Stockwell Labour Party voted for three local activists to be their candidates for the council elections next Thursday - Alex Bigham, Pete Bowyer and Imogen Walker (pictured). All three live in Stockwell, and have a strong knowledge and experience of the area. By comparison, the Lib Dems have selected three candidates who don't even live in Stockwell ward! One even lives as far away as Streatham Hill, hardly local to the area.

People locally are telling us that they want community champions who live in their local area, know what is happening locally and can be trusted to stand up for Stockwell residents.

Kate Appleby, a Tradescant Road resident said, "Labour has done loads for young people in Stockwell - from investing in schools like Stockwell Park High and youth centres like the Lansdowne youth club and the Oasis Centre. This investment would never have happened under the Lib Dems and Tories."

Kieran Crotty, a Stockwell resident and housing campaigner told us, "Only Labour is serious about improving housing in Lambeth. They lobbied government to get the rent increase reduced by £100 and will spend money to upgrade 10,000 homes if they get re-elected. Things haven't been perfect, but Labour is sorting out the mess they inherited from the Lib Dems."

Pete Bowyer has represented Stockwell residents since 2003, when the Lib Dem councillor was forced to resign after being found guilty of stealing public money. Since then, Pete helped establish a drinking ban around the tube station and secured a grant for the Dorset Road Community Centre. 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 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 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.

On Thursday 6th May Stockwell residents  will have the chance to have their say - local candidates from Labour who they can trust with their services, or Lib Dems from outside the area who would put everything at risk.

Youth and Community Fun Days

Two youth and community days are being organised by NXT Steps with support from Lambeth First, Family Mosaic and London & Quadrant.

The first will be on Tuesday 4th May from 3pm - 7pm at Stockwell Community Resource Centre, 1 Studley Road and the second on 8th June at Springfield Community Centre, 110 Union Road also from 3pm - 7pm.

The days are open to anyone aged 11-25 years old and will include personal development, life skills, mentoring and guidance for young people. 

For more information, call 020 7737 7663 or 07908 101 003, email info@nxt-steps.com or visit www.nxt-steps.com

13,000 people abandoned by shock Lib Dem housing policy

Labour has once again urged residents to take a good, hard, long look at the Lib Dems in Lambeth after they failed to make a commitment to affordable housing in the borough.

Thousands of people, especially young people and first time buyers, could find it even harder to find a home in Lambeth after opposition parties failed to match Labour Lambeth’s promise that 50% of homes in new developments must be affordable or social housing.

Their scrapping of the affordable housing target is a real blow to the 13,000 people currently waiting for a new home in Lambeth. First time buyers struggle to get on the housing ladder in London’s competitive market and too many families live in homes that are too small for them, making the need for affordable and social housing a real priority.

Labour’s housing lead, Cllr Lib Peck said: ‘we know that the Tory Mayor scrapped the housing targets for London so this is sadly expected from the local Conservatives, but what shocks me is that the local Lib Dems appear to be following Boris’s lead. This would be a real kick in the teeth for a huge number of people who could find themselves abandoned to developers, so voters must know that the only party committed to the 50% target is Labour.’

In both the Liberal Democrat and Conservative local manifestos, no mention is made of affordable housing, which is one of the most pressing issues for Londoners.

Sure Start under threat in Lib Dem coalition plans

Your Stockwell Labour team has always believed that that Sure Start, a major Labour government initiative set up to deliver the best start in life for every child by bringing together early education, childcare, health and family support, is vital to Lambeth’s future. In dramatic revelations about Tory and Lib Dem plans for Lambeth, neither have pledged to protect Sure Start in Lambeth where, with Labour, the borough has developed a valuable network of 30 Sure Start Children’s Centres.

While local Conservatives have mirrored the national party line to restrict access to the service, local Liberal Democrats also have made no commitments to keep the Sure Start programme.

Labour lead on Children and Young People’s Service’s, Cllr Paul McGlone said ‘We all knew that the Conservative Party want to take Sure Start backwards, but what surprises me is that the local Lib Dems appear to have followed suit. These centres really make a difference to people’s lives and now that there is one in every area of Lambeth, residents will be devastated to learn that the Lib Dems might be planning to get rid of them’.

Labour Leader, Cllr Steve Reed added: ‘In Lambeth, it is the Lib Dems that are the ‘nasty party’ who will cut services if they get in. We know this because that’s what they did when they were in power, thanks to the Tories four years ago. Their leader still talks about ‘savage cuts’. The fact that opposition manifestos match where Sure Start is concerned is further sinister evidence that they have paved the way to join forces again.’

Labour’s manifesto specifically pledges to lobby government to protect the portion of funding it receives for Sure Start centres.

Monday, 26 April 2010

Crime rates in Lambeth fall again for the fifth consecutive year


Crime rates across Lambeth have been plummeting since Labour has been running the town hall. A recent crackdown has seen anti social behaviour in crime hotspots slashed by 17% over a 6 month period using enforced dispersal zones. Police across the borough have also been given tough new powers to deal with gangs on estates to stop residents from being harassed and intimidated.
The Liberal Democrats have threatened to derail the efforts of the council and police in as they have not backed Labour’s proposals to expand the domestic violence team in Lambeth and make offenders pay back for their crimes by carrying out work in the local area. Meanwhile Tory Mayor Boris Johnson is threatening cuts to the number of police across London.

Over the past year, Labour has invested an additional £51,000 to help fund 22 new Police Community Support Officers, £300,000 into the flagship Young and Safe programme to help reduce youth violence. Labour has also invested an extra £60,000 more to improve the councils anti–social behaviour team. As a result crime across the borough has fallen by 7.4 per cent – the fifth consecutive year that Lambeth has seen a fall in crime.

Friday, 23 April 2010

Local artists and Labour politicians help save Stockwell Studios

Those of you familiar with recent events in Stockwell will know about the long running saga of the artists based at Stockwell Studios, at the old Annie McCall hospital site off Jeffreys Road. Because of plans to develop the site, the artists feared they were going to be evicted by Lambeth council.

Thankfully, following a petition which was signed by over a thousand people, local Labour MP Kate Hoey and Labour councillors Imogen Walker and Rachel Heywood stepped in to save the studios.

The artitsts have said that following this pressure, "Lambeth Council offered us an 18 month lease with a view to working with us on a long term vision. This is where a new phase of hard work begins, as we secure our future as a comuunity arts education centre within the Annie McCall Hospital building and garden.

"We'd like to thank our local MP, Lambeth councillors and officers who worked very hard to make this happen, and we also could not have managed without your support and generous professional advice."

Their website is at http://www.stockwellstudios.org.uk/

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Labour crackdown on gangs on Stockwell estates

Your Labour team were out collecting signatures for a petition on crime in the Studley Estate recently, and talking to residents on the Stockwell Gardens Estate. You told us that gangs of youths hanging around the estate is a real worry for residents.

The good news is that thanks to your efforts, the local police have now put in place a ‘dispersal zone’ which means they have the power to tell  gangs of people who are loitering in the area to leave, and the police will take their details.

This new power should help make residents feel that bit safer as they go about their normal lives. We believe no-one should feel intimidated in their local area. The powers are now in place, but this won’t affect people who are just carrying on with their normal routine, and it isn’t a blanket curfew.

If you see anyone loitering in the area or causing anti-social behaviour, please call the Stockwell police team on 07920 233836 or the council's anti-social behaviour team on 020 7926 4000 (weekdays, 9am to 6pm).

Here is an approximate map of the dispersal zone:

Portuguese Festival at Lost Theatre

The Lost Theatre is hosting two weeks of events to celebrate Portuguese and Cape Verdean culture, starting on Monday 19 April. There will be theatrical productions, music and art exhibitions and films in original language (English subtitles).

The UK premiere of Kontinuasom, a documentary about Cape Verdean music, in the Crioulo language. The screening will raise funds for cooperative projects conducted by ASAD, a non-government organisation in Cape Verde and Guinea Bissau.

For more information visit www.losttheatre.co.uk or 0844 847 1680.

500 followers and counting

Do you want to keep up with the latest news from the election campaign in Stockwell? Are you keen to know what's going on in SW8 and SW9?

Then join the growing army of tweeters who are following @labourstockwell

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Five days left to change your community

There are just five days left to change the area you live in. If you aren't registered to vote before Tuesday 20th April, you will not be able to take party in the elections on Thursday 6th May.

At the next elections, everything from the potholes in your street, to the troops in Afghanistan will be on the agenda of your political representatives - so don't let your chance to influence what happens pass you by.

Registering is easy, and you don't have to have been born in Britain to vote. Anyone who is an EU or Commonwealth citizen can register, and EU citizens can vote in local and European elections.

If you live in Lambeth, you can register by filling in a short form here: http://is.gd/btRbj

If you think you might be away at the election, or too busy to go to the polling station, why not register to vote by post - it's simple and easy, just fill in the form here: http://is.gd/btQKm

The deadline for both is 20th April. There is more information here: http://www.aboutmyvote.co.uk 

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Labour launches Portuguese manifesto

At a packed event on Friday night, members of the Portuguese speaking community joined with Labour councillors at the Stockwell Community Resource Centre to launch the UK's first ever manifesto in Portuguese. The event was hosted by Stockwell's Labour team, and Cllr Steve Reed spoke along with Portuguese activists Alcino Francisco and Adelina Pereira.

The reception also saw the launch of the new Labour Friends of Portugal and the Lusophone Communities, a network which is intended to strengthen links between the Portuguese and Labour Party, as well as encouraging greater political activism by the Portuguese speaking community.

The manifesto has a number of specific commitments for the Portuguese community, including:
- delivering a £500,000 community centre, run by and led by the community itself
- more English lessons for children and adults and more Portuguese speaking teachers in Lambeth schools
- more help to support Portuguese speaking residents to get back into work
- support for the community to access council services such as housing

If you want to download the manifesto, please click here: http://is.gd/bs0Vr

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Lib Dems admit - Labour is getting it right on parking!

We're glad to see that a spirit of cross party co-operation and honesty has reached the Lib Dems. In Stockwell, they decided to put out their own parking survey. Despite the fact that such surveys are more likely to be returned by Lib Dem supporters, the survey found that most people thought the Labour Council was providing a good parking service for residents.

According to their survey, "62% of respondents said they were happy with the present parking restriction times (mostly 8.30-5.30, Mon-Fri) against 16% who were unhappy." In addition, a clear majority thought there were enough pay and display machines - "51% of respondents thought there were enough, against 20% who were unhappy."

While there were some specific concerns from bits of the local area, and a split in opinion on parking near shops, most people seemed happy with the service Lambeth is now providing. A summary of the results is here: http://www.vauxhall-libdems.org.uk/news/000182/parking_in_stockwell__residents_respond_to_lib_dem_survey.html

This is a result of Labour's improvements to parking. When the Lib Dems were in charge, parking was a major political battleground - Labour had to tear up the bonkers parking contract, which incentivised wardens to give out fines and was massively unpopular.

While of course everything isn't perfect, and we will look into the issues raised, we'll be expecting a letter of congratulations from the Lib Dem team...

Thursday, 1 April 2010

Lambeth Labour Portuguese Manifesto & Labour Friends of Portugal Launch

Manifesto Launch
Labour’s pledges to Portuguese speakers

with special guest
Cllr Steve Reed, Leader of Lambeth Council

Stockwell Community Resource Centre
1 Studley Road,
London W4 6RA
Nearest station: Stockwell

Friday 9th April 2010
7pm to 9pm
Refreshments will be served
Voluntary donation to Madeira relief fund encouraged

For more details, contact Alex Bigham
labourstockwell@hotmail.com
http://www.facebook.com/?ref=logo#!/event.php?eid=113772281968491

http://www.labourfriendsofportugal.com

Monday, 29 March 2010

Trabalhistas financiam novo Centro Comunitário Português

Após vários meses de campanha pela comunidade portuguesa e vereadores do Partido Trabalhista em Lambeth, o projecto para o novo Centro Comunitário Português está, finalmente, em rápido desenvolvimento.

A equipa Trabalhista no Município de Lambeth comprometeu-se a financiar este projecto com uma verda de 500,000 Libras e o Centro entrará em funcionamento assim que a comunidade decidir quanto à sua localização. De momento estão a ser consideradas três possíveis opções.

O Centro Comunitário irá oferecer vários serviços incluindo traduções e aconselhamento acerca de acesso a serviços municipais essenciais, como sejam habitação e subsídios. Será também um local onde a comunidade poderá organizar e desenvolver várias actividades culturais e de apoio social. O Centro será propriedade de uma organização sem fins lucrativos, ainda a ser criada, gerida por representantes da comunidade portuguesa.

Infelizmente, os Liberais-Democratas não se comprometeram a apoiar o projecto. Num discurso nos Paços do Concelho, um vereador Liberal-Democrata expressou a vontade de impôr uma data de abertura do Centro em Abril, ainda que isso possa estar em conflito com os desejos da comunidade portuguesa.

O Partido Trabalhista não concorda com esta posição – terá que ser a comunidade portuguesa e não o
Partido Liberal-Democrata, quem terá que decidir aonde e quando o centro estrará em funcionamento. Os Liberais-Democratas também ainda não confirmaram se, caso voltassem ao poder em Lambeth, financiariam a criação do Centro Comunitário.

Só os Trabalhistas verdadeiramente se comprometem nestes projectos!

Friday, 26 March 2010

Victory for residents as estate service charges frozen


Local residents living on the Studley and Stockwell Gardens Estates have won an important battle against the Hyde Southbank Homes’ management with the support of local Labour politicians.

As this letter indicated, your Labour action team were furious that service charges were due to be hiked by 40% for tenants – well above the local average, and making the service charge for Hyde tower block almost double what Lambeth Living tenants pay in similar properties.

At a packed meeting organised by the Grantham Road Residents’ Association, David Eastgate, the Chief Executive of Hyde apologised for the problems and anger that residents felt both at the massive cost of service charges, and at the poor quality of service that residents had been receiving.

He promised to do a number of things:

-          Freeze service charges at 2009 levels until a full review had been completed
-          Develop an action plan to improve services and respond to residents’ concerns
-          Consult with local residents on what they want to see changed
-          Organise another meeting to speak to residents in the next months

As your local representatives, we will be keeping a close eye on things to make sure Hyde keeps its promises.