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

Sign the Lambeth epetition here.

Picture credit:

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

There are also some Kendo enthusiasts practicing in a sports hall

You can search the archive yourself here:

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


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

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
• 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)

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

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
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