Thursday, 1 December 2016

Community groups fear loss of Streatham Common Lodge

Local parents have set up a petition to try and prevent the loss of the The Lodge at the top of Streatham Common for use by community groups, including the Forest School, which runs each Monday to help children to experience and nurture the natural environment.

The Forest School group has been running at the Lodge every Monday since April 2013. Children play outdoors in all weathers in a safe environment. They have craft and cooking activities, play in the wooded area at the top of the common, help with conservation work and pursue other outdoor activities under the supervision of the parents.

Parent Alison Whetnall explains: "Until recently the group has run with the full support of Crown Lane Primary School and Children’s Centre, who lease the building from Lambeth Council.

"There has recently been a change of headteacher at Crown Lane Primary School, and understandably the school's agendas are changing. Unfortunately this has lead to other members of staff leaving the school, one of whom is the facilitator for our Monday group on a voluntary basis.

"The situation now is that, after three and a half years of successful community partnership, our self funded group is being denied access to The Lodge. The school management has declined to communicate with our group directly and has offered no explanation for their decision.

"We find it incredible that our group’s longstanding access to this community space has been revoked without consultation, warning or explanation.

"All of this has happened very quickly, and this Monday, 28th November, was possibly the final time our group will be able to meet at The Lodge."
You can sign the peition here:

Facebook group in support of the Streatham Common Forest School:

The Location of the Lodge:

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Hillside Gardens Friends meeting 6 Dec

The next meeting of the Friends of Hillside Gardens will be Tuesday 6th December - 7:30pm - St Simon and St Jude Church Hall, Hillside Road, Streatham Hill.

There will be updates on food growing, sport, the nature garden, progress fixing the wall, and a proposal from a local resident who would like to create a mural on the walls between the tennis and football/basketball courts.

If you have ideas for the park - do come along. There is the possibility of applying for funding for different areas of work. Ideas include refurbishing or replacing the toilet block, installing more play equipment, restarting football coaching. Bring ideas to the meeting email:

Friday, 25 November 2016

The Green Team working with all for a safer A23

Streatham turned out to hear from their MP, Lambeth Council, Southern Rail, TfL, and Network Rail

Getting the message across
Last night's Streatham Transport Question Time saw politicians and influencers of all political persuasions get behind the campaign for a safer A23 through Streatham.

The campaign is calling on Transport for London (TfL), which is responsible for Streatham High Road and Streatham Hill, to balance more equally the needs of moving traffic with the safety of people living in Streatham.

The Green Team's Chris Holt spoke for a safer A23
It's taken several years of campaigning, highlighting the tragic death and injury rate on the A23, but within the last few months, TfL have held a series of meetings where they have listened to the experiences of people in Streatham.

Green Team member Chris Holt, who helps to run the campaign, told last night's public meeting: "Imagine what Streatham would look and feel like if its transport decisions actually put into effect Lambeth Council's stated priority that the needs of pedestrians and cyclists should come first.
Cllr Scott Ainslie speaking up for Streatham

"How many of us would get out of our cars and start to walk and cycle? How many would let our children walk and cycle to school?"

At a meeting with TfL last week, local councillors including the Green Party's Scott Ainslie and members of the Safer A23 Campaign heard that new plans for improvements to St Leonard's junction will be displayed in Streatham libarary in December.

They were also asked to give views on possible improvements to Streatham Hill and Telford Avenue - and several other collision blackspots.

The campaign has already won some minor safety improvements, such as shorter waiting times for pedestrians at some crossings and a re-phasing of traffic signals at the junction of Streatham High Road and Leigham Court Road.

Last night's Question Time, organised by community forum Streatham Action, received hundreds of questions from people wanting to
hold Southern Rail and Network Rail to account for the abysmal train services suffered by users of Streatham's three stations.

There was also strong disappointment that both Boris Johnson and Sadiq Khan have ruled out routing Crossrail 2 through Streatham.

"We haven't had a major piece of transport infrastructure to Streatham since 1926," said Cllr Ainslie. "And that's part of the reason why our high road is ram packed full of cars and lorries.

"It's only now with the power of the community coming together across party political divides that TfL is beginning to listen. We have to keep on shouting."

Streatham MP Chuka Umunna and London Assembly Member Caroline Pidgeon, who chairs its transport committee, spoke last night and gave their backing to the campaign for safer, healthier roads.

Monday, 21 November 2016

Streatham streets to be made 'Greener'

After four years of campaigning by the Green Team in Streatham, improvements will be made over the next few months to streets in four Lambeth wards, including three in Streatham.

Using nearly £300,000 from the Streatham Hub Tesco's development, money will be spent on traffic calming, street de-cluttering, more public seating, and "greening" of the environment with the planting of trees and raised beds.

Green councillor Scott Ainslie has been working with council officers to make the most of the money allocated to his ward, St Leonard's. There the improvements include two "showpiece" schemes:

Junction of Woodfield Ave, Garrads Rd and Abbottswood Rd
Redesign to reduce the dominance of motor traffic, deter rat-running traffic and create a cleaner and greener space

Junction of Greyhound Lane sliproad and Streatham High Road
Soft landscaping and seating and measures to deter rat-running
Other improvements in St Leonard's include:
Traffic calming: Gleneldon Rd, Gleneagle Road, Greyhound Lane, Fairmile Ave, Conyers Road, Stanthorpe Road, Drewstead Road, Shrubbery Road
Trees planting: Norfolk House Rd, Barrow Rd, Bournevale Rd, Mt Ephraim Ln, Hambro Rd, Kingscourt Rd,  Greyhound Ln, Becmead Ave, Shrubbery Rd, Gleneldon Rd
Raised beds and planters:  Gleneldon j/w Shrubbery Rd, Pathfield j/w Rotherhill, Barrow Rd j/w footpath, , Estreham j/w Potters Lane
Bike hangars: Hambro Rd, Kingscourt Rd

The Green Team in Streatham is disappointed that not more is being done to improve conditions for cyclists, such as making Prentis Road two-way for cyclists. They will be holding out for the improvement works to include making Shrubbery Road one-way.

The Greens also question why money from a Streatham development is only being spent on three of the four Streatham wards. Streatham Hill is missing out while Thornton ward, which covers parts of Balham and Clapham Park, has been included.

Lambeth Council's Our Streets web page is promising further updates.

Sunday, 20 November 2016

Streatham's Transport - have your say

There is a chance to questions decision-makers on Streatham's transport this Thursday 24th November.

Streatham's Transport Question Time will bring officers and elected officials from Southern Rail, Network Rail, Transport for  London, Lambeth Council, the London Assembly and Streatham MP Chuka Umunna to answer questions from the public.

You can submit your question in advance here. or do so on the day.

Doors open from 6.45pm and the meeting starts at 7.30pm. The venue is Immanuel and St Andrew's Church Hall, 452 Streatham High Road (opposite Streatham Common).

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Air quality action plan 'lukewarm and lacklustre'

Monitoring air pollution in Streatham
It's a week since air quality monitors went up in streets around Streatham - with several Green party members volunteering to measure nitrogen dioxide levels over the next six months.

The Lambeth-wide project, run by UCL's Mapping for Change, involves replacing nitrogen diffusion tubes every month - and sending them off for analysis of nitogen dioxide in the air.

Air pollution in London currently causes neearly 10,000 deaths each year and frequently breaks EU legal limits.
Lambeth Council is currently consulting on how to reduce air pollution in the borough. But its draft air pollution action plan has been criticised as "lukewarm and lacklustre" by Streatham's Green councillor, Scott Ainslie.

Scott said: “So far these plans show a lack of imagination and ambition when it comes to environmental issues. This is one of the most polluted boroughs in London, in dire need of strong, serious solutions that will actually make a difference and save lives. The proposals contained within the action plan are lukewarm, lacklustre and fall a long way short."

Scott highlighted key steps Lambeth should take in order to take air pollution seriously: 

  • Stop investing in diesel vehicles and favour low emission technologies (hybrid or electric). It seems paradoxical to request the expansion of the ULEZ or to welcome the introduction of clean buses on the A23 routes while planning to continue to buy and use Diesel engines.
  • Build on the experience of Brixton Energy, a social enterprise which installed solar panels on three housing estates. The fact that the terms “solar” or “renewable” don’t appear once in the plan document is staggering.
  • Stop incinerating its waste - causing more air pollution for the whole of south London
Scott said: "The council needs to take full responsibility for its actions and demonstrate real leadership. By outsourcing the incineration of waste, Lambeth brushes under the carpet the true environmental impact of behaviours that occur within its borders, which is why it doesn’t even get a mention.

"While Labour waffles and pays lip service to the major problems of our time, The Green Party is the only one with the necessary experience, understanding and will to truly solve them.”

See Lambeth Green Party's full response to the consultation

Read the proposals and have your say by 15th November deadline

Read more about air quality monitoring 

Teething problems as Quietway trial begins

Green Councillor Scott Ainslie is calling for better sign-posting as there was some confusion at the start of a trial to close Estreham Road to northbound traffic.

Scott got stuck in directing the traffic on Monday as Lambeth Council and cycling organisation Sustrans introduced a 6-month trial of a safer "Quietway" cycle route through this part of Streatham.

The proposed Quietway 5 would create is a safer cycle route between Waterloo and Croydon. By making cycling safer for less confident cyclists, it aimes to reduce road deaths, cut congestion and dangerous air pollution in the area, tackle climate change and increase health and fitness levels in London. 
In Lambeth its route would run north from Ellison Rd along Estreham Road, under the rail bridge on Potters Lane and then onto Conyer’s Road towards Waterloo. 

But on Monday with Estreham Road closed to traffic heading north from Greyhound Lane, there was increased congestion at the bottom of Pathfield and clearly confusion among road users.

Scott said: "We need far clearer signage to stop traffic turning into Estreham Road from Greyhound Lane. This will stop the congestion of two way traffic at the bottom of Pathfield, which must be a nightmare at the moment for those residents near the bottom of Pathfield.

"It is going to take a week or so for motorists to get used to the idea and hopefully the issues will calm down. Unfortunately, some people have ignored the 'road closed' sign, but not whilst I was there! So I have asked for the Lambeth mobile CCTV unit to visit the site until motorists get used to the new layout.
"Unless you are dropping off at Streatham Common station or need access to the bottom half of Pathfield Road, it is utterly pointless entering Estreham Road from Greyhound Lane; you will only have to drive around again."
During a consultation earlier this year, around 56 per cent of the 139 people who responded supported or partially supported the trial closure of Estreham Road is was being used by over 3000 vehicles on an average working day.