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