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


Ramadan Guidance


As Muslims begin to prepare for the month of Ramadan, the NHS has issued a reminder to those who observe the Islamic holy month to avoid social gatherings because of the risk of coronavirus.
Ramadan will be marked all over the world from Thursday 23 April with month-long fasting and observations of spiritual reflection set to end on Saturday 23 May. This is followed by Eid the festival of fast breaking where traditionally family and friends get together to attend special prayers and celebrate the end of the holy month.

Additional guidance and key advice has been issued to NHS managers and staff working in hospitals and healthcare settings to cover adjustments over working hours and fasting arrangements for Muslim colleagues who are not eating or drinking during daylight hours until evening sunset.

Read the full advice here.

Wednesday, 8 April 2020

Useful Resources Update


The National Education Union have launched a microsite to support parents, carers and students.
The site contains information on key areas of concern for parents and families, including the impact of the cancellation of exams and Government test, learning outside school and supporting children’s health and wellbeing.

Lambeth council’s helpline for vulnerable people operates from 8am to 8pm, enabling people who need help (or those caring or concerned for them) to contact the council as part of the Community Hub.

The helpline number is 020 7926 2999.

For up to date information on what the council is doing concerning coronavirus covid-19 emergency response, please go to: https://www.lambeth.gov.uk/coronavirus-covid-19


Volunteer for the council

Many local residents are registering with groups like COVID-19-mutual-aid on WhatsApp and Facebook to help with contacting households at the doorstep.


For those who would like to volunteer through the council the application form is here : form

Help and advice for families living with dementia during the Covid-19 outbreak


Many of our local families are affected by dementia and, inevitably, the coronavirus outbreak has been, and will continue to be, challenging for the families and people living with dementia as many people living with dementia struggle with changes to daily routines. 
It is also important to take time to prepare for different situations such as the person with dementia getting sick or if carers get sick.

For up to date guidance please go to The Lambeth Dementia Action Alliance for residents and carers which includes helplines and ways to support someone day-to-day at home. Please see below for further details.

Telephone helplines with staff who understand family carers & can talk through options
Alzheimer’s Society: 0300 222 11 22
Dementia UK Admiral Nurses: 0800 888 6678
Lambeth & Southwark Alzheimer’s Society: 020 7735 5850
Lambeth Independent Living & Carers Partnership: 020 7095 5720
Caring4carers: 07939 221 484
Lambeth council’s  Covid19 Vulnerable person helpline: 020 7926 2999

Chat forums on dementia
To connect online with other people affected by dementia, try Talking Point at https://forum.alzheimers.org.uk
Skype, Face Time and Zoom are some online face to face tools - and don’t forget the pleasure of getting a letter or postcard. Simply picking up the phone and making sure people are okay is extremely powerful at this time.

Information on dementia
The Alzheimer’s Society and Dementia UK have many information sheets on aspects of dementia with useful tips and suggestions e.g. on washing , eating , walking about, music: https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/get-support/daily-living or

Dementia services
Many services for people living with dementia are temporarily closed to help prevent the spread of coronavirus, but resources online include:
Lambeth’s AgeUK’s My Community (directory of services)

A few tips on getting through the day

  • Try to persuade & encourage the person with dementia and to avoid confrontation with them if possible.
  • Set up a regular time for telephoning.
  • Talk about early memories. Use music and old movies to help with reminiscence.
  • For people who forget recent news - a notice by the front door can remind people about not going out and other changes due to coronavirus.
  • Set up different areas/zones in your home e.g.: watch favourite films and musicals in the living room, listen to the radio in the kitchen, do jigsaw puzzles at the table.
  • Activity box with puzzles and crafts.
  • Assistive technology can help provide reminders about eating regularly, not going out, washing hands and so on. Available at  https://www.atdementia.org.uk/

Wednesday, 1 April 2020

Advice from Lambeth Made about supporting the Emotional Health & Wellbeing of Children & Young People





Contents:



COVID-19 is affecting everyone’s daily lives. Huge changes in the way society works are happening in order to manage the outbreak, reduce transmission and treat those who need medical attention.
This is bound to be a difficult time for children and young people. Some will show it soon, for some it will take some time, but all will be affected in some way. How it shows will depend on their age, their ability to understand, their home situation, what their family is experiencing and how they cope with challenge and change.
Different children and young people will react in different ways. They may be scared about their own health and their family and friends health, they may not seem worried, but be holding it inside and having trouble sleeping or have physical symptoms like stomach aches.
Whether the impact is obvious or hidden, it's really important that the people close to the children and young people look after their mental health and wellbeing during this time.


Listen to them: Everyone feels less anxious if they talk about how they feel.  Children and young people may find it harder to explain, especially if they have any communication barriers. The important thing is they are heard, their worries are taken seriously, and they get extra love and attention.

Skills for Care advice offers tips for talking about feelings.

Give clear information: They want to feel safe. Understanding what’s happening helps. They need openness, honesty and explanations about what’s being done and why it’s important. They need to know what they can do to help, like washing their hands regularly.

The Mencap website has easy to read information that works with all children and young people

Be a positive example: Children and young people watch how their parents and carers react to what’s going on. It’s important for them to see calmness, kindness and supportive behaviour. It’s important that adults take care of themselves.

Here’s some advice for adults on how to look after your own mental wellbeing.

Connect regularly: If parents and carers cannot be with their children they should make sure they have frequent contact by phone or video call and make sure they understand why they can’t meet up. 

Create a new routine: Knowing what is happening when, even if it's different from usual, helps children and young people feel safe. Give them a plan for the day or the week, so they know when they will be learning, playing and relaxing. Use online learning resources like BBC Bitesize. Keep them physically active using indoor games and activities like Change4Life. Stick to their normal bedtime routines.

Be careful with TV and social media: They could get upset by hearing too much about what’s going on, but don’t cut them off completely. They should have limited access to the news and always have someone to talk with about what they see and hear.


The age children are will have a huge influence on how they react to challenging times:

0 to 2-year olds may become distressed more easily, crying more and wanting to be held and cuddled more.

3 to 6-year olds may go back to having toileting accidents, bed-wetting, being frightened about separation, and they may be more likely to have tantrums or difficulty sleeping.

7 to 10-year olds could feel sad, angry, or afraid. They might also get false news from peers that need correcting. They might get obsessed and want to talk about it all the time, but they may want to avoid it completely. 

Pre-teens and teenagers could become introverted and cut themselves off from friends. They could be overwhelmed by emotions and unable to talk, leading to increased arguing and even fighting with siblings, parents, caregivers or other adults. Older teens might act out and indulge in alcohol or drug use, or get anxious about school closures and exam cancellations.


If they want to speak to someone else, they can call a helpline or visit websites like Shout, ChildLine and The Mix. eQuoo is a fun way to support their mental health.
Shout gives free, confidential support, 24/7 via text. They can text SHOUT to 85258 to text-chat with trained volunteers who can listen and help with problem-solving
ChildLine’s helpline is for any child with a problem. They can  0800 1111 any time for free, have an online chat with a counsellor and check out the message boards
The Mix offers a free 24/7 crisis messenger text service for anyone aged 25 or under, on 85258, a listening and signposting helpline on 0808 808 4994 and a one-to-one online chat service. More about all these services and more at: www.themix.org.uk/get-support

eQuoo is a free app developed by a team of psychologists and the creators of The Walking Dead games. It combines mental health research with play and uses choose-your-own-adventure games to increase emotional fitness and teach  psychological skills. There are currently some in-app purchases, but they are not crucial to gameplay and there will soon be a code for Lambeth users that removes them: equoogame.app.link/Lambeth


Mental Health Resources

Anyone worried about a child or young person’s mental health should seek help from a professional. They can contact their school or college or their GP or get support from South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust’s SLAM crisis line on 0800 731 2864. For more advice on where to get support for a mental health crisis visit the NHS page.

Lambeth Resources

Kooth is an online counselling service for 11-25 year olds living in Lambeth and across south-east London. Free, anonymous mental health and emotional well-being support comes from qualified counsellors in one-to-one sessions, from 12 noon to 10.00 p.m. on weekdays, and from 6.00 p.m. until 10.0 p.m. at weekends, 52 weeks per year. Young people can also log on to kooth.com to access help and support for their mental well-being.

National Resources

Doctors of the World have made COVID-19 advice available in 35 languages. It's based on government advice and health information. It is also on their Google drive..
MindEd is a free learning resource about the mental health of children, young people and older adults. They also offer e-learning for volunteers, students and practitioners.
Young Minds for Parents and Carers offer advice for children and young people up to  25 and their carers. Young people can get ideas about things to do if they are anxious, concerned or stressed at youngminds.org.uk/blog/what-to-do-if-you-re-anxious-about-coronavirus Parents and carers can call their helpline on 0808 802 5544 and get advice on talking about COVI-19 at youngminds.org.uk/blog/talking-to-your-child-about-coronavirus/#ten-tips-from-our-parents-helpline

Papyrus provide online suicide prevention support aimed at young people and adults up to the age of 35 at www.papyrus-uk.org  

Physical Health 

Anyone worried about virus related symptoms a child or young person is experiencing should visit the NHS self-isolation advice website for information. If still worried, they can call NHS 111, but if someone is seriously ill and their life is at risk call 999. 

A mental health emergency should be taken as seriously as a physical health emergency.




Update for residents about Council Services

Useful Help Lines and contact details:

If you aware of any vulnerable residents including those who have no recourse to public funds,
who need help from the council there is a dedicated helpline number to call which is:
020 7926 2999 (8am to 8pm each day)

Anyone experiencing financial or any other hardship can also contact the following advice agencies:

Citizens Advice. Tel: 020 8687 8380
http://www.citizensadvice.org.uk

Brixton Advice Centre 

Centre 70. Tel:  020 8670 0070

South London refugee Association. Tel: 0203 490 3443 or email  info@slr-a.org.uk or call/text/ Whatsapp Rebekka on: 07809736493 or Semsem on: 07711198594.

Domestic violence help lines:

Freephone 24-Hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline: 0808 2000 247


Lambeth council Business helpline: Tel: 0207 926 2344   
enterprise@lambeth.gov.uk, (open every day from 9am-5pm).
The team are answering any queries that businesses may have relating to both government initiatives such as grants and business rate relief, and Lambeth initiatives such as rent relief for tenants.


Rough Sleepers

Not all rough sleepers want to take up the offer of accommodation. If it’s safe for you to do so please approach anyone you see sleeping rough and ask their permission to contact Streetlink:


 Noise nuisance and ASB update

The Public Protection’s noise nuisance service has been reduced. Calls are being logged but investigations are limited to the more serious noise nuisance cases such as parties and Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB)
If you wish to report a noise nuisance or ASB please call 020 7926 5000 or use the webform

Amenities

Prepayment meter card advice for those who are self-isolating and use prepayment meter cards for their electric and gas.  Please contact your energy provider directly or contact one of the advice agencies listed above.
There is also a useful guide from Money Saving Expert which contains good ,practical information.


Thames Water
Have said that they've increased the support available for customers who may be struggling to pay their bill with the introduction of a flexible payment period in addition to existing measures such as:
Social tariff which offers low-income households a discount of 50% on their bills
Customer Assistance Fund which offers grants to those with outstanding bills
Trust Fund which offers debt advice and grants for household appliances and other essentials
More information on the help Thames Water offer and information on how to apply is available at:

https://corporate.thameswater.co.uk/contact-us

Other Resources

Home isolation resources in British Sign Language can be found here


 Community Hub

The Community Hub at Brixton Rec is being set up by Mutual Aid Groups, local Foodbanks and the council to provide food and medication to Lambeth residents who have been contacted by the NHS as part of the Shield programme. If you would like to volunteer to help please complete this form: