Monday, 20 July 2020

Controlled Parking Zone (CPZ) update


We have had a few questions from residents, asking for an update on the council's proposed timetable for the introduction of a Controlled Parking Zone (CPZ) in St Leonard's Ward.

As a result of the pandemic and subsequent lockdown, all schemes requiring permanent traffic orders were paused.  However, a Government announcement on 25 June 2020 means that councils are now again able to make and publish permanent  traffic orders.

We expect a formal announcement soon from the council as to the exact timetable for proceeding with the CPZ.   We would expect that residents and businesses will receive consultation newsletters in the Autumn.  If this happened, then implementation could commence in the first few months of next year, with the CPZ being operational by Easter 2021.

This is however subject to confirmation, and we will provide an update when the council publishes a formal timetable. 

Sunday, 14 June 2020

BLACK LIVES MATTER

The Green Group of councillors sitting on Lambeth council welcomed the opportunity to work cross party with Labour on a Black Lives Matter emergency motion which was passed at last week’s full council meeting. The motion condemns the tragic killing of George Floyd and all police and state brutality towards black people both in America and the UK. The motion also recognises the systemic and structural racism that exists in our society and resolves to stand in total solidarity with all black people around the world.  

Black Lives Matter Emergency Motion – June 3rd, 2020 – full wording
Council notes with serious concern and distress the death of George Floyd at the hands of police in America on 25 May 2020, and the subsequent protests and demonstrations against police and state brutality towards black people in America and around the world, and the systemic racism that exists within society.

Council also notes with alarm the response of the President of the United States of America and his administration, using extreme force to crush and repel protestors.

Council further notes the release of the government report into the disproportionate impact of Covid-19 on black, Asian and minority ethic people and that it is of vital importance that action is taken as a result to alleviate the disproportionate impact of Covid-19 on black, Asian and minority ethnic people.

Council welcomes:

The decision to light Lambeth Town Hall purple in commemoration of the tragic and wholly unnecessary death of George Floyd.

The commitment to a community listening event to be held later this month to hear from our communities about the impact of covid-19, including on policing approaches and any community tensions.

Council resolves:

·         To stand in complete solidarity with black people in America, in Britain, and around the world.

·         To give its support to the Black Lives Matter movement.

·         To lobby for immediate government action on to address the disproportionate impact of Covid-19 on black, Asian and minority ethnic people.

·         To work with the community and the police in Lambeth to ensure that policing in the borough is proportionate and fair to all residents.

To call on the Government to:

·         Make urgent changes to Government policy and guidance to protect BAME communities as the report requested.

·         Implement an action plan as requested by the Chair of the BMA (British Medical Association) to reduce the risk to BAME employees and to address the underlying issues.

·         Carry out an independent BAME Covid-19 inquiry.

·         Implement an immediate suspension of export licences of sales of arms to the US, including riot shields, tear gas, rubber bullets and small arms and an investigation into how British arms are being used in internal repression and violations of civil rights.
 
 

Information concerning lifting of lock down restrictions


Guidelines from the Government concerning the lifting of restrictions following the lockdown are changing daily. For up to date information and a clear FAQ on what can and cannot be done under the new arrangements, in England, please go to the following web site:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-outbreak-faqs-what-you-can-and-cant-do/coronavirus-outbreak-faqs-what-you-can-and-cant-do

From tomorrow, 15th June, non-essential shops can re-open with strict social distancing, hand sanitising and mask (face covering) regulations in place. Also, from tomorrow it’s compulsory to wear a face covering at all times if using public transport. Advice on how to make your own face covering can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/how-to-wear-and-make-a-cloth-face-covering/how-to-wear-and-make-a-cloth-face-covering

Anyone who can work from home should continue to do so. If you have to travel to your place of work, please walk or cycle if you are able. If using public transport, please try to travel outside of peak times if possible.

When face coverings on public transport become compulsory on Monday, travel companies will be able to refuse travel for non-compliance and you could also be fined.

The Government has published further guidance on how people can meet other people who live outside their own household, safely, through ‘support bubbles’. The new guidance is available here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/meeting-people-from-outside-your-household
 

What are the face covering rules on public transport?

(From the BBC news site:  https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-51205344)
Anyone travelling by bus, train, ferry or plane in England should wear a face covering from Monday - to help reduce the risk of coronavirus transmission.
The new rules coincide with a further easing of lockdown - including the return to class of some secondary school pupils and the reopening of non-essential shops.
The number of people using public transport is expected to increase.
  • Continue home working if possible
  • Avoid public transport if they can't work from home
  • Avoid the rush hour on public transport
Some passengers will be exempt from the new rules including:
  • Children under 11
  • People with disabilities
  • Those with breathing difficulties
  • Anyone travelling with someone who relies on lip reading
If it is "reasonably necessary" for you to eat or drink you can remove the face covering to do so.
The rules will apply only on public transport - not while waiting - but the rail industry will ask people to cover their face as they enter a station.
People could be refused travel if they don't follow the rules. They could also be fined, but this will be the last resort.
Public transport excludes cruise ships, school transport, taxis and private hire vehicles. However, ride-sharing company Uber is making face coverings compulsory.
 

Wednesday, 27 May 2020

Stay at home as much as possible to stop coronavirus spreading

 For more information here is the latest government guidance


  • stay at home as much as possible
  • work from home if you can
  • limit contact with other people
  • keep your distance if you go out (2 metres apart where possible)
  • wash your hands regularly

Do not leave home if you or anyone in your household has symptoms
If you think you have the virus, don't go to the GP or hospital, stay indoors and get advice online. 

Only call NHS 111 if you cannot cope with your symptoms at home; your condition gets worse; or your symptoms do not get better after seven days. 

Saturday, 16 May 2020

The proposed commercialisation of Tooting Common Triangle by Wandsworth council


Today, St.Leonard's Councillors sent a formal objection to the Wandsworth planning department and members of the Planning Application Committee on behalf of the many residents who have contacted us expressing their concerns about the proposals for the hardcore pitch on Tooting Common.

The proposal can be found at:
 https://planning2.wandsworth.gov.uk/planningcase/comments.aspx?case=2019/4206 
 
This is what we said:

The St. Leonard's ward boundary runs along the eastern edges of the common and many of our residents - families and individuals, use it for leisure, exercise, play, team sports and dog walking. Many of whom have signed the petition (more than 5000 signatures on 16th May) to end the proposed commercialisation of this wonderful green and open space. The petition can be found at: https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/protect-tooting-common

Whilst supporting the plans to upgrade the Boxing Club and its facilities we object vehemently to the rest of the proposal on the following grounds:
 
IMPACT ON THE LOCAL ENVIRONMENT -

The use and gradual disintegration of artificial pitch materials - which as they disintegrate will result in microplastics seeping into the soil and water course

Use of floodlights on a regular basis which will disrupt bats and other evening/nightime wildlife

This area is prone to heavy flooding and there is a lack of detail in the plans as to how this will be managed.

Loss of trees, shrubs, grassland and resulting impact on birds, insects, other wildlife, impact on air quality, wellbeing and health of common users.

 SUITABILITY OF THE PROPOSAL -

We fully support the upgrading of the Boxing Club and its facilities and the proposed provision of a home ground for the children's football club, The Balham Blazers BUT these gains are totally outweighed by the losses. We support sport provision and outside activities for all, especially children and young people who are so often overlooked by council provision, but overall, these plans will result in loss of provision for young and old.

The Triangle One O'Clock Club - a free provision, much used, loved and essential Children's Centre will be closed and replaced with a cafe (there is already a cafe within 100m of the site on Cavendish Road) and a stay and play area charging £2.50/hour. Turning a fully inclusive space into an area only accessible to those who can afford it, losing all the essential services a Children's Centre provides.

The very well used hard core pitch will be turned into multiple pitches with the erection of chain mail fencing and the replacing and addition of floodlighting. The pitches will remain locked shut, available only to those who have booked and paid to use them, no longer available to residents and common users as it is now. An unacceptable proposal at a time when green/open spaces are an essential amenity due to the ongoing pandemic
 
EFFECT ON TRAFFIC AND PARKING

The site is tucked away in the corner of the common where it is inaccessible to vehicles. There is limited parking in Cavendish Road (4 spaces); insufficient bicycle storage and lack of parking spaces in neighbouring roads.

Footfall - if, as has been suggested, up to one hundred people an hour use the site, insufficient thought has been put into how users will travel to and from the site. No survey has been provided on potential parking stress or thought given to the provision of cycle/scooter parking. Of major concern is the lack of parking spaces for disabled and Blue Badge drivers.

The site accommodates a children's playground - what provision has been put in place for children whilst the major works take place and what thought has been put into the safeguarding of children if the site becomes heavily populated by adult users.
 
APPEARANCE

We object to the chain mail fence - creating a caged effect and its design and visual impact on Metropolitan Open land and a Local Heritage asset.
 
PRIVATISATION/COMMERCIALISING OF THE COMMON

Common land is held in trust by the council for all local people to have free access to.

In a previous case, Muir/Wandsworth Borough Council, concerning the commercial use of a building on Wandsworth Common, the Hon Mrs Justice Lang ruled that:

- the residents are the owners of the open space

- the Local Authority are the trustees of the open space

Sunday, 3 May 2020

Domestic Violence – Advice and Support


If you or anyone you know lives in fear from the threat of domestic violence please don’t hesitate to seek help. There has been an increase in the level of domestic violence during the lock down and often those suffering abuse feel they cannot leave or get to place of safety, perhaps because there are children in the home needing care or because they are unaware of the support that's available.


Refuge runs the National Domestic Abuse Helpline, which you can be called for free, and in confidence, 24 hours a day on 0808 2000 247. Its website provides guidance and support for potential victims, as well as those who are worried about friends and loved ones. It also has a form through which people can book a safe time for a return call.

The Men’s Advice Line is a confidential helpline for male victims of domestic abuse and those supporting them. They can be reached via 'phone at 0808 801 0327.

Galop runs the national LGBT+ domestic abuse helpline. They can be reached via freephone at 0800 999 5428 and can be emailed confidentially help@galop.org.uk

More locally, the Gaia Centre, offers wrap-around services to assist anyone who is experiencing violence and abuse at home  https://www.refuge.org.uk/our-work/our-services/one-stop-shop-services/the-gaia-centre/


If you are in a sitution of danger do not hesitate to call 999 - if you are unable to speak, stay silent and key 55 in to your 'phone.

How to make a silent 999 call
The Home Office has a system in place called Silent Solutions, which helps callers, such as domestic abuse victims, who cannot speak to an operator.
If you have not been able to signal that your call is an emergency by coughing after dialling 999, you will be put through to the operator.
If you are in danger, you will be asked to dial "55".


Help from Lambeth Council during the pandemic


If you need help, advice or support from the council please call the helpline number
020 7926 2999 – open 8am to 8pm every day.

There is more information available on this page of the council website helpline for vulnerable people

The council’s youth service has produced a young people’s guide to coronavirus specifically aimed at 14-18 year olds and a guide for residents which can be found here guide for residents during the COVID-19 crisis.

Information about support available to individuals, businesses and other organisation and how you can help your community is now available through this link in an easier location on our website.

Service updates can be found here -  on a new, separate page.


The Covid - 19 main section of the website is: https://www.lambeth.gov.uk/coronavirus-covid-19



To get support for businesses or advice on commercial activities, such as waste or insurance: https://www.lambeth.gov.uk/coronavirus-covid-19/information-for-businesses

To find out how you can help, by volunteering or making donations to local food banks and other charities: https://www.lambeth.gov.uk/coronavirus-covid-19/how-you-can-help

To access the live and easy-read dashboard which sets out the current status of council services, please visit: https://www.lambeth.gov.uk/coronavirus-covid-19/how-were-responding-and-changes-to-council-service