Thursday, 6 December 2012

Decluttering Becmead Avenue and Ockley Road

As part of our drive to declutter the streets of Streatham, we have asked for two old metal poles to be removed at the junction of Becmead Avenue and Ockley Road.

We have been told that this should happen by the end of January. We will post an update here when it is done.

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Update on resurfacing of Thirlmere Road and Shrubbery Road

Following our road audits of Thirlmere and Shrubbery Road which highlighted the problems with the road surface, we have now had confirmation that the resurfacing of these roads will take place in the next financial year 2013-2014.

Lambeth have told us that the exact dates have not yet been set so this could be anytime in the year after April 2013. We will provide an update here when we get more information.

The ramp that we requested be put in to improve access at the end where Thirlmere Road meets Tooting Bec Gardens has however already been done

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

New ramp access on corner of Abbotswood Road and Hoadly Road

As well as pushing to get the surface of Abbotswood Road sorted out (it will now be resurfaced between 18-25 February 2013 according to correspondence we have been sent by Lambeth Council)we also asked for ramp access to be put in at the corner where Abbotswood Road meet Hoadly Road, opposite Streatham and Clapham High School.

As you can see from the picture above, anyone coming along that side of the road using a wheelchair would have been stranded and unable to cross the junction. This is something that really should have been sorted out a long time ago, but seems to have escaped the attention of our local councilors/ the council. But we are pleased to report that following our request in September this has now been done.

This is part of Accessible Streatham Campaign - in which we are working to make the local area more accessible for older people, those with mobility impairments as well as those with buggies and prams.

For other examples of where we have done this see these links here:

End of Riggindale Road

Outside Wellfield Road Community Centre

Thirlmere Road ramp access

Ramps on Tooting Bec Gardens

Pavement widening at the bottom of Tooting Bec Gardens/ Garrad's Road

Or more on our accessible Streatham campaign here.

Monday, 3 December 2012

Another collision at the Tooting Bec Gardens/ Streatham High Road/Mitcham Lane junction

No sooner had we updated everyone on TfL's new signal strategy for the junction of Mitcham Lane/ Streatham High Road and Tooting Bec Gardens and the safety review due in April 2013, than there was another collision at the junction.

It happened on Saturday afternoon/evening at around 5.30/5.45pm. It appears to have involved a car crashing into, and completely wiping out a traffic light at the top of Tooting Bec Gardens.

The traffic light was repaired this morning.

However this does again raise more questions about whether the safety review can really wait until next year. It needs to happen quickly and urgently. There was another collision at this spot at the beginning of November, and the traffic appears to have increased significantly at the junction following the closure of the Greyhound Lane Bridge.

[Update 5/12/12: Green London Assembly member Darren Johnson has tabled a question to the Mayor of London asking whether he will bring forward the safety review:

"Although TfL's decision to implement a new signal strategy at the junction of Tooting Bec Gardens/Streatham High Road/Mitcham Lane is welcome, in light of another recent collision here will TfL now urgently bring forward its safety review of this junction, currently scheduled for April 2013?"]

{Update 7/01/13 We have now managed to get the safety review brought forward. More details here]

Friday, 30 November 2012

New signal strategy at Mitcham Lane/ Streatham High Road/Tooting Bec Gardens

Further to TfL's promise of a review of safety next year at the junction of Streatham High Road, Mitcham Lane and Tooting Bec Gardens, there has been some further news.

Following some good work by Green Assembly member Darren Johnson on behalf of a local Streathamite, TfL has promised that:

"a new signal strategy will be implemented at this location to improve traffic conditions in the area. Please be assured we will monitor this junction closely to ensure the new signalling has the desired effect."

A timescale wasn't given, but the implication is that this will take place soon.

Local people will have observed the build up of traffic at this location recently, probably due to the closure of the Greyhound Lane Bridge. Let's hope that the new signal strategy helps to ease the congestion.

Streatham Christmas Lights Switch On tonight - Friday 30th November

The Streatham Christmas Lights Switch On takes place tonight outside the Odeon Cinema.

This is a community event for everyone which runs from 3.30pm to 4.40pm (so children and parents/ carers from the local primaries will have to get their skates on after school pickup!)

We are told there will be some great freebies on offer including mince pies and 'babychinos'). There will also be music from local children.

There was a concern that there wouldn't be any tree this year as Lambeth Council didn't stump up the money. But local businesses El Chicos Mexican Cocktail Bar, the Streatham Odeon cinema, Foxtons, Bar 61, Vale Veterinary Clinic and Nando’s have provided some much needed funding. Network Rail have also provided some cash (possibly keen to improve their image given what is going on at Greyhound Lane) and Sainsburys too, as they face the prospect of the new mega Tescos arriving in Streatham.

The Council may not have provided the money for the tree, but the switch on will feature Lambeth Mayor Clive Bennett and Chuka Umunna MP.

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Free Family Fun Day at Gracefield Gardens - Friday 14th December

There will be a free Family Fun Day at Gracefield Gardens Health Centre on Friday 14th December from 10am to 4pm (thanks to Mel Larsen for the information)

It is being billed as an "enjoyable and relaxing, stress-free and healthy day for the whole family."

Activities will include:

• workshops, talks, classes, stalls and massage

• health checks – check your weight, blood pressure, cholesterol

• light refreshments – grab some tea and a snack, relax in the courtyard

• a prize draw: your chance to win a trip on the London Eye and other great prizes

• stalls - showcasing the different health services offered, including smoking cessation

• Dr Bike. Bring your bike along for a free fix up.

Entry and all activities are free.

Address: 2-8 Gracefield Gardens, Streatham, London SW16 2ST

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Streatham Green Artisans' Market

Some more information emerged at the Friends of Streatham Green meeting on Monday night, about the new Artisans market next to Streatham Green, which will launch on Sunday 16th December.

The new street market - officially Streatham Green Artisans' Market - will take place next to Streatham Green (not on the Green itself) on the corner of Babington Road and Mitcham Lane by the Manor Arms. It will launch with a ‘Christmas market’ on Sunday 16th December, 10am – 3pm. It will then take place twice a month (on the first and third Sundays each month) from January.

There is a website now live here.

The artisan market will be a kind of farmers market meets crafts market, featuring farm produce, fine foods and local crafts, based on Abbeville Farmer's market in Clapham, but with a more 'Streatham' feel. Around 15 stalls are expected for the first event, with 75% of them having fresh produce.

There will also be the chance for local people and businesses to have stalls, and there is also the possibility of local community groups having free space there to let people know what they do.

We asked whether there could also be links made with local food banks and similar projects, so that the produce left over at the end isn't wasted. This is being followed up now to see what is possible.

A number of questions were asked at the meeting about whether local residents were being adequately informed about access to Babington Road during the market, and potential parking implications, as well as the possible impact of refuse and arrangements for clearing up afterwards. This is the responsibility of Lambeth Council. Experience from other similar markets in Herne Hill suggests however that 90% of people walk or cycle to the markets.

There are also apparently plans for the area at the end of Babington Road, where the market will take place, to raised and flattened in June 2013.

There will also be a twitter feed: @londonarti and a Facebook page

Thursday, 22 November 2012

TfL announce safety study of junction at Mitcham Lane/ Streatham High Road/ Tooting Bec Gardens

A number of local people have told us they are concerned about safety at the junction of Mitcham Lane/ Tooting Bec Gardens/ Streatham High Road.

This was the scene of a nasty collision a couple of weeks ago.

There has also been one pedestrian death there in recent years (just to the south of the junction on Streatham High Road).

Of particular concern is the crossing at the South of the junction which runs between the Manna Christian Bookshop and the Time2Move estate agents. This has no Red Man/ Green Man crossing indicator. Neither does the traffic seem to stop at any point for pedestrians, due to the way the lights at the junction are phased.

Transport for London has responsibility for the junction, as it is a Red Route.

The good news is that we have just been told that this junction has been put forward for a traffic and safety study so TfL can "understand the issues on this stretch of the network".

TfL will also undertake analysis of collision data here for the 36 months preceding the study and create a recommendation as to what scheme, if any, is appropriate at this junction.

However the bad news is that this will not be carried out until April 2013. In an email to me they said:

"TfL takes the concern of the public very seriously and it is regrettable that this study cannot be undertaken sooner, however at present there are issues on the network which require immediate attention and this is the earliest date at which this study can be undertaken."

I have asked how local people can input into this study/ review, and will post an update here when I get a response.

[Update 28/11/12. An email from TfL has been received with the following information:

"...we are due to undertake a study at the junction in question in April 2013, and from this we will assess the need for a scheme at this location. Should it be felt that there is a need for an improvement programme, a brief will be put forward to senior management who must approve the principles of the scheme before progressing onto the design phase.

"TfL believe that it is important to listen to the views, ideas and experiences of local residents and would be prepared to consult with yourself and others via the appropriate and necessary channels once a decision is made as to whether or not to progress with a scheme here, this will be decided in the months following the study.

"We would be happy to discuss with you over the phone at a later date or arrange a meeting with yourself and other local residents."

If you want to be involved in this please get in touch with me: jonathan.bartley (at) ]

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Tescos pays "equivalent" to Living Wage if employees on minimum wage spend £511 a Tesco

We have now finally received figures from Tesco in its attempt to substantiate its claim, made at the public meeting last week regarding the new Streatham Tesco megastore, that it pays "the equivalent" of the London Living Wage.

By way of background, the claim was made by Matthew Magee, (@TescoLondon) Regional Corporate Affairs Manager, following my question to him. I asked him to confirm that Tesco would pay workers in Streatham the London Living Wage - set at £8.55 to reflect the wage that a person needs to meet basic needs in the capital.

Tesco notoriously pays its cleaning staff the minimum wage (currently £6.19 for an over 21 year old). But the claim was made by Tesco's representative at the public meeting at the Streatham Hideaway, that with all the benefits that Tesco staff receive, they get the "equivalent" of the London Living Wage.

The benefits listed by Matthew Magee now provided to support this claim are as follows:

An 11% pension contribution (which doesn't count because a pension is paid to everyone who receives the Living Wage by law, and even a generous pension does nothing for a person's standard of living now, which is what the Living Wage is all about)

A 3.6% annual bonus, equivalent to an extra 22p an hour (but this is not payable for another four years so again has no impact on day to day living)

A 10% discount card for products at Tesco.

...and that's it.

But let's be generous to Tesco here. What if the money from such benefits were available now? The 11% pension contribution and 3.6% annual bonus would only bring a cleaners salary up to an "equivalent" £7.09 an hour. This means that if you are employed full time (35 hours a week) you'd have to make up the shortfall through the benefit of the discount card. That means spending £511 each week at Tesco in order to get the extra £51.11 benefit via the 10% discount.

Quite where Tesco they expect someone on the minimum wage to get £511 each week to spend at Tesco isn't, as yet, clear.

In the interests of transparency and fairness, here is the email from Matt in full:


I hope you are well. As promised I’ve put below some detail on our pay. It demonstrates that our employees receive a good and fair salary, and why we are proud of our employment credentials.

Before that, however, I would like you to understand our perspective on this issue, and I hope that you respond with balance in the piece which you do publish. By engaging on this topic, we are being brought publically into an issue on which we compare very favourably against our competitors.

I would ask, therefore, that you do not cherry pick the information from this email, but rather report holistically on our employment credentials.

Firstly, our base rate of pay is the best in the industry. Ranging from 4.5% to 12.5% more (averaging 7% higher), we reward our staff with better pay than M&S, Iceland, Sainsbury’s, Asda, Morrison, Waitrose and Coop.

In 2010 we increased our under 18 pay to match adult pay.

We have the best benefits package in the industry. As you will know, statutory pension employer contribution is currently 1%, rising to 3% when auto-enrolment (workplace pensions) comes into full effect - our pension contribution is 11%. We consistently win awards for our pensions package, which is the one of only 4 defined benefits pension schemes in the Ftse 100. In fact, in September this year we won the top accolade at the Pension Scheme of the Year awards.

We provide a 10% staff discount card, and this year all UK staff were awarded a bonus of 3.6% of salary to be paid in cash from 2015, provided they are still working for Tesco.

We have an industry-leading partnership with USDAW. In fact, USDAW said that as a business, Tesco ‘offers some of the best terms and conditions (including pay) for its staff.’

I hope you can see that we have strong employment credentials. Not only do we employ more people than any other private sector employer, we also pay the most of the retailers and have the best benefits package. I would argue that we do pay equivalent to the living wage when viewed in its entirety, are the certainly the closest retailer to paying it in base pay alone.


Meeting tonight (Wednesday) for local businesses regarding Greyhound Lane/ Streatham Common Station bridge closure

There's a meeting tonight at The Railway Pub SW16 for local businesses who have been impacted by the Greyhound Lane Bridge Closure.

The meeting is at 7.00pm. All local business owners are welcome to attend.

You can see our recent updates on the situation here and here.

There is also a twitter feed for updates: @StreathamBridge

Monday, 19 November 2012

Future of Streatham Library - Open day 24th November

Several community groups are involved in consulting local people about the future of Streatham Library.

There will be an open day at Streatham Library itself, this Saturday (24th November) from 10.00am till 4.00pm setting out some of the questions being asked about its future use.

It comes after several hundred thousand pounds of funding was secured from the Mayor's Outer London Fund. There is now an opportunity to make use of this funding to make a substantial investment to secure the future use of the library as well as dealing with the backlog of repairs to the building following years of under-investment by successive council administrations. Friends of Streatham Library, the Streatham Society and Streatham Action would like to hear your views on what should happen to the space.

Bisset Adams architects have been appointed to look at options for:

1. Restoration and refurbishment of the Library

2. The future use of the Library

3. The future use of the ‘Tudor Hall’ next door in Pinfold Road (currently the IT training centre) and

4. The space that Lambeth Council uses at the Gracefield Gardens Centre around the corner.

This is the existing layout (click on the image for a larger view):

These are the questions that the community is being asked about the space (click on the image for a larger view:

Suggestions have been made that the combined Library and Tudor Hall could house a wider range of arts and community uses - from a small studio theatre to exhibition space to meeting rooms and space for adult education classes. Lambeth Council and the Friends of Streatham Library in particular want to hear the ideas and opinions of local residents for the future use of the buildings.

Local people can drop in at the library any time during the open day on Saturday between 10.00am and 4.00pm to talk to the design team and discuss the ideas.

Friday, 16 November 2012

Update: Streatham Common Train Station and Greyhound Lane

We promised to keep you updated on developments on the Greyhound Lane Bridge Closure.

The following may be useful:

1) The next public meeting is 6th December, 7pm at Granton Primary School, Granton Road, Streatham, SW16 5AN.

2) We have heard from Network Rail's community relations manager John Eccles. He has told us that they have established a website with news about the works, which will be regularly updated. You can see it here:

3. There is also a Network Rail Helpline: 08457 11 41 41. This can be used to contact John Eccles.

4. They have also put together a leaflet which you can see here.

5. Lambeth Council have set up a news item link, for the latest news and updates however, I notice it has not been updated at the time of writing this blog:

6. For detailed maps of diversions click here

7. Any questions you have to Lambeth, can be sent to their dedicated email address:

8. There is a dedicated Facebook page here!/GreyhoundLaneStreathamValeGroupPage

9. We are still waiting on Cllr Mark Bennett for an explanation about the failings of proper consultation on this bridge closure by Lambeth Council. As soon as we have that, we will let you know. (I have emailed Cllr Bennett again to ask for this)

10. We have asked Lambeth to check the pollution levels in the area and for an update on road safety concerns raised at the last public meeting.

If you have any concerns that we can help with please contact or call 020 8769 9133.

You can also see our previous update here

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Update on Tesco Hub development

A quick update on some of the key points from last nights public meeting at the Hideaway regarding the Tesco Hub Development, at which representative from Tesco, Vinci construction and Lambeth Council were present. This isn't exhaustive, and i'll update and link to information as others post it. (You can see the report from the last public meeting here).

1. Tesco won't be paying a London Living Wage to employees (more details here).

2. The new store will be open 24 hours a day. Concerns were expressed about the anti-social consequences experienced at other 24 hour Tesco stores such as Thornton Heath.

3. There are still no plans by Lambeth Council to have a sauna and steam room in the new leisure centre, despite the promise that was made of a like-for-like replacement.

4. Cars have been scraped and damaged by lorries working on the development on Natal Road. Cracks have appeared in the premises of local businesses because of the vibrations from the work at the site. Vinci construction said that local people had to provide proof it was their workers/ contractors which had done the damage.

5. None of the representatives present had any information on the impact of increased air pollution caused by 600 new parking spaces and an extra lane of traffic being put in outside, and what action (if any) is being taken to mitigate it. (Air pollution is the cause of 4,600 premature deaths in London each year, and a major problem on Streatham High Road). Peter Muncaster who is the public liaison said that he would raise this issue with Lambeth Planning. Streatham Green Party will raised it as well.

6. There was no information available on whether new provision for cyclists is being introduced along with the increase in traffic.

7. Tesco suggested that although there would be an increase in traffic around the new Tesco superstore, there would be a "net decrease" more widely.

8. There is ongoing concern about the detrimental impact on new local businesses when the new Tesco opens.

9. There was concern that Section 106 money would not be spent on the area immediately around the development, but would be used for other things.

10. There were questions about the rise in costs. It was confirmed that there had been a recent increase of a quarter of a million pounds.

11. The development is on track for completion in November 2013.

12. Information about the size of any new public space in front of the development was not available.

13. The United Reformed Church, at the centre of the development, is concerned about the location of the entrance.

14. Only 200 newsletters on the progress at the hub are being distributed to local people. Many present said they hadn't received one but wanted to. There is an email list to sign up to. Vinci promised that information would be circulated more widely.

We will be following up these issues with the relevant people at Lambeth, Vinci and Tesco.

Tesco say they won't pay London Living Wage at new Streatham store

At last night's public meeting at the Hideaway regarding the progress on the Tesco Hub development, the representative from the supermarket talked about the new jobs it hoped would come to the area as a result of the 24 hour mega-store.

What the net effect will be on employment remains to be seen (there are major concerns that small business on the High Road will suffer further as a result of the competition, as well as employment at other local supermarkets). Certainly, research by the NEF suggests that big chain stores take money out of the local economy.

I got the opportunity to ask about the quality of the new jobs, and specifically whether employees and contractors would be paid the London Living Wage. This is the minimum income considered necessary for a worker to meet basic needs (for an extended period of time or for a lifetime). It is set by the Greater London Authority, and currently stands at £8.55 an hour.

This is of particular interest as we got Lambeth Council to commit to pay the Living Wage to its employees (and finally this year contractors too). But we also discovered that Lambeth had failed to get any reassurances from Tesco in Streatham. This is of particular concern given Tesco's track employment track record of low pay for its workers.

When I asked Tesco last night whether it would commit to paying the London Living Wage it said it would not. What it said however was that the benefits and perks that employees received were "equivalent" to the London Living Wage - in particular its "bonus" scheme for employees.

I have asked Matthew Magee, (@TescoLondon) Regional Corporate Affairs Manager for Tesco, for details about how they calculate this and reach this conclusion. I will update this blog when I receive a response.

However some investigation reveals that the typical bonuses that are given to the lowest paid employees are in the region of £100 a year. For a cleaner on the minimum wage working full time, this equates to around an extra 5p an hour. But that is not the end of the story. The bonus is not earned until an employee has worked there for a year, and even then, the money cannot be accessed for five years. This is in no way equivalent to a London Living Wage. (As an aside, Staff annual turnover at Tesco tends to be around 30%).

Pension contributions can't be considered either as making up an "equivalent" to the Living Wage, as these are a statutory responsibility paid to those on the Living Wage, and are considered in addition to the way the Living Wage is calculated.

So it is very hard to see how this claim by Tesco can be substantiated. When I receive their figures, I will reproduce them below.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

St Leonard's Ward Safer Neighbourhood Team December meetings

St Leonard’s Safer Neighbourhood Team will be holding two street briefings in December.

These are outdoor events, which any local resident can attend to find out more about safety and security in the local area.

The first is from 7.00pm – 7.30pm Tuesday 4th December at the corner of Thirlmere Road and Rydal Road.

The second is 3.00pm – 3.30pm on Friday 14th December at the junction of Mitcham Lane and Fernwood Avenue.

They will also be holding a drop-in surgery at the Wimpy on Streatham High Road on Thursday 20th December from 7.00pm to 8.00pm.

Friday, 9 November 2012

Streatham Green market

The market that local people in Streatham have been waiting for is finally to be launched in December.

The new street market - officially Streatham Green Artisans' Market - will take place next to Streatham Green on the corner of Babington Road and Mitcham Lane by the Manor Arms. It will launch with a ‘Christmas market’ on Sunday 16th December, 10am – 3pm.

The artisan market looks as if it will be a kind of farmers market meets crafts market, featuring farm produce, fine foods and local crafts, based on Abbeville Farmer's market in Clapham, but with a more 'Streatham' feel.

The timing couldn't be better with the forced closure of Streatham Vale Farmer's market due to the Greyhound Lane Bridge closure.

A website is apparently in the process of being constructed. There will also be a twitter feed: @StreathamArty and a Facebook page: (NB These have not been set up at the time of writing!)

More information is available by emailing Joel Northcott: abbevillefarmers (at)

[Update 28/11/12: Website now here. ]

Monday, 29 October 2012

Who turned out the lights on Streatham Green?

The clocks have gone back an hour, and the evenings are getting darker - which makes the absence of any light after dusk on Streatham Green all the more concerning. The picture above was taken on Friday around 8.00pm, so this was happening before the clocks changed.

There are a lot of lights on the Green as this daylight picture below shows. But for some reason that aren't coming on after dark anymore.

A few locals noticed that one or two bulbs had gone on the lights, but nothing on this scale, so it remains a mystery whether this is an electrical fault, or deliberate (perhaps to save some money?). Either way, several people have been in contact with us expressing their concerns about the safety implications.

We have contacted both Lambeth Streetcare and Lambeth parks and we are waiting for a response. If anyone can, er, shed any light on the situation, we'd love to know!

[Update 31st Oct: An enquiry has been raised with the lights engineer in Lambeth and also a service request in case the lights are at fault. Because the roads around the Green are maintained by Transport for London, Lambeth are unclear whether it may be TFL's responsibility, not theirs. I have therefore also raised the matter with TfL]

[Update 14th Nov: As reported by @CarolineAlng here the lights on Streatham Green were back on last night ]

[Update 28th Nov: According to Lambeth the sensors on the top of the lights had been stolen and this was the reason why they were not coming on. ]

Saturday, 27 October 2012

CitySafe in Streatham

At an event during Streatham's Peace Week last month, we discussed the London Citizen's City Safe scheme which has been spreading across the UK.

The scheme works by setting up CitySafe Havens. These are public places where young people can seek refuge in a difficult situation.

CitySafe Havens sign a charter committing them to:

- Pledge to report 100% of crime to the Police
- Offer their premises as a safe haven for any young person in danger
- Maintain a relationship with neighbours, police and the local community
- Encourage their staff to attend CitySafe training
- Refuse to sell alcohol, knives or other dangerous items to underage or drunk customers.

Hundreds of local shops have signed up to become CitySafe Havens across London, as well as churches, mosques and synagogues, to reclaim the streets from crime, addressing local problems of crime with innovative action.

The initiative is now taking off in Streatham, as reported in the Streatham Guardian this week, in which local Green Lianna Etkind talks about the scheme.

The shops taking part on Streatham High Road are the All Aboard charity shop, Unikob The Stationer and Shoppers Delight newsagent.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Fireworks on Streatham Common - 2nd November

This year's fireworks display on Streatham Common will take place on Friday 2 November, (and not the usual 5th November of previous years).

The event is free and opens at 4.00pm. There will be a funfair, roaming entertainers (including stilt walkers, fire dancers) and craft and food stalls. The 20-minute display with music takes place at 8.00pm.

Lambeth Council is not allowing sparklers, fireworks for personal use or Chinese lanterns at the event. They are also asking people to travel by foot or public transport as there will be no parking around the Common.

There is more information here on the Lambeth Website

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Getting the pavement fixed on De Montfort Road

We have been contacted by a resident on de Montfort Road about a section of paving which the council is refusing to fix, towards the southern end on the other side of the road to number 21.

We have been told that at least one older person has tripped at this point and it is easy to see why. Many of the stones are very uneaven and some are sticking up. The Council guidelines state that a paving stone has to be at least 25mm (2.5cm) to constitute a 'trip hazard' and warrant repair. We are pushing the council to sort them out.

Monday, 22 October 2012

Streatham and Clapham High School Christmas Market - 12th December

Friends of Streatham and Clapham High School are hosting a Christmas Market, 12th December, 6.30 pm - 9 pm at the Senior School in Abbotswood Road, SW16 1AW.

Entry is £2.50 and includes a mulled wine and mince pie to get you in the spirit of Christmas.

There will be a range of stalls there to soothe everyone's Christmas shopping woes.

You can find out more on their Facebook Page here.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Update on Asbestos dumped in Gleneldon Mews

The Streatham Guardian has now run a story on the asbestos which has been dumped in Gleneldon Mews, following our blog last week.

As a quick recap, Ali at Ali’s cars who works opposite the dumped pile of asbestos in Gleneldon Mews, got in touch with us about it last week. He told us that he reported it to the council 4 months ago. He also told St Leonard’s Ward councillors, one of whom came down to see it. I spoke to several other people in the mews who said they had also been trying to get it moved. Four months later however, the pile is still there.

We contacted the council immediately. The council says it has no record of the report, but said they would remove it by yesterday. It is still there this morning, so we are chasing again and will continue to do so.

According to the health and Safety Executive, when dumped asbestos is found, the area around it should be cordoned off, and people cleared away, before it is removed.

[Update: Friday 19th October - Ali has been in touch to say that the asbestos was moved this afternoon]

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Progress on rubbish and fly-tipping outside Keen's Close, Mitcham Lane

We have been working away for six months or so to get the rubbish and fly-tipping cleared outside Keen's Close on Mitcham Lane (opposite St Leonard's Primary School) and prevent its continued accumulation.

We talked to local residents in the Close, and it turns out this has been a problem for years.

Lambeth have said that they won't clear it as it is not their responsibility.

Our investigations revealed that
L&Q Group actually have responsibility for the land, as they manage the Close. We therefore contacted them and discussed various options. In the meantime they have come down to clear the area several times, although the rubbish has quickly built up again afterwards.

They have now been in touch to say they have a budget to landscape the area and plant shrubs. This hopefully will prevent fly-tipping in the future and further rubbish and waste accumulating there. We'll post an update when it is done, and see whether it does the trick.

[Update 17/6/2013 The area has now been planted with shrubs see here ]

Monday, 15 October 2012

Meeting about changes in management of Streatham Common - 24th October

There will be an open meeting next Wednesday 24th October for local people to put their questions about who should manage Streatham Common, which is being facilitated by the Friends of Streatham Common.

The issue has arisen as a result of Lambeth's 'co-op' policy, in which it is transferring its services and assets away from council control in varying degrees. Lambeth's co-op approach has come under significant fire recently, for being a front for budget cuts, a form of privatisation and not providing enough resourcing for the groups who might be involved.

There are already concerns about the state of the Streatham Common Rookery and the years of under-investment, with a petition for further investment in it being recently launched.

The meeting will take place at 8.00pm in the Sainsbury's cafe opposite Streatham Common.

The options for managing Streatham Common that are being discussed include:

- Giving Friends' groups more say over spending priorities,

- Transferring management of the whole Common to an independent trust

- Something in-between involving schools and other local groups.

The meeting is being advertised as a chance to put views and ask questions to councillors and council officers. This say Friends of Streatham Common, will help the group understand local opinion and make sure they support the right options and don’t end up with a solution that nobody wants, or see opportunities missed that are taken up by other parks and open spaces.

The meeting is open to anyone and refreshments will be provided

For further information you can email: friendsofstreathamcommon (at)

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Ramp access at the end of Riggindale Road

There were two vehicle crossovers at the end of Riggindale Road, on either side, which were inaccessible.

The steps on each side meant it was very difficult for anyone using a wheelchair to use that route to get to Tooting Common. It was also causing problems for those with mobility impairments or using mobility scooters, as well as an inconvenience to parents pushing buggies and prams.

One was outside Pinkerton Place.

The other was outside number 2 Riggindale Road.

We asked the Council to ramp the vehicle crossovers, which they did a couple of days ago outside Pinkerton Place:

...and outside 2 Riggindale Road

This part of our ongoing project to make the environment around Streatham more accessible.

For other examples see:

Thirlmere Road ramp access

Outside Wellfield Road Community Centre

Ramps on Tooting Bec Gardens

Pavement widening at the bottom of Tooting Bec Gardens/ Garrad's Road

Or a list here.

Friday, 12 October 2012

Kids demo at junction of Ambleside Avenue and Mitcham Lane

The Streatham Guardian has covered the demonstration we organised on Monday at the junction of Ambleside Avenue and Mitcham Lane. I think we had about 60 parents and children there, which shows the strength of local feeling on the issue.

The junction has been a concern for many years, as we discovered as we talked to local people, parents and teachers at St Leonard's School which is just 100 yards away. Local people tell us that two people have died there at the junction in recent years.

There are two big problems. The first is that there isn't enough time for southbound traffic to turn right from Mitcham Lane into Ambleside Avenue. The second problem is that the crossing times are too short. Transport for London have responsibility for the junction as the two roads are red routes.

Assembly Member Val Shawcross is quoted in the article as saying she would be happy to take the issue up with Transport for London. But we have had correspondence with her about this since 2009, so that doesn't seem very promising.

I have been working instead with London Assembly member Darren Johnson. The bus companies have been made aware of the problem, and we have been reporting buses that have been jumping the lights. We have also asked if TfL will install a camera there, but TfL say that there has to be another serious incident before they will consider that. The reason the crossing times is so short is that London Mayor Boris Johnson has shortened crossing times across London, in order to increase traffic speeds. Several parents have asked TfL to look at the crossing time, and they have said that it is within their agreed timings. That is no comfort for an older person, someone who walks with an impairment, uses a wheelchair, or is a small child.

The battle continues. Let's hope there isn't another casualty before it is won.

You can find out more about our campaign, and watch the video of the junction here.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Asbestos left for months on Gleneldon Mews

Ali, from Ali's Cars got in touch with us today about a pile of asbestos dumped near his workplace in Gleneldon Mews.

I went down to talk to Ali and see for myself. He says it was reported to Lambeth Council and local councillors (St Leonard's Ward) back in June. Both Ali and others who work and live there also made several calls subsequently about it, but nothing seems to have been done four months later.

They are extremely worried as asbestos is a health hazard. It is the single greatest cause of work-related deaths in the UK (over 4,000 deaths each year in the UK). If it is left undisturbed the risks are small. It is when it is moved or broken that fibres are released which are the big danger.

This pile appears to have been knocked about a bit over the last few months possibly due to the cars parked all around it which are services and repaired in the garages there. The asbestos itself appears to be breaking up in some places and there is dust and gravel surrounding, although it isn't clear is this is asbestos dust and fragments as more rubbish has also gathered at the site.

I have contacted council officers again, and will keeping chasing until it is removed. As it is asbestos, it is a hazardous waste and can only be disposed of at a licensed waste disposal site. Lambeth use the City of London to do this although it is Lambeth Council's responsibility to make sure it happens. I will post an update when it is removed.

More information on asbestos can be found here.

Friday, 5 October 2012

Report on public meeting regarding Greyhound Lane Bridge closure at Streatham Common Station

[Updated 8/10/12 as we have been following up action which was promised at the meeting]

There was an emotionally charged public meeting last Thursday night (4th October) at Granton Primary School, organised by Network Rail, regarding the closure of the bridge on Greyhound Lane by Streatham Common Station.

There is a lot of local anger around the effect that it will have on local people and businesses, but also the lack of notice and consultation.

Local Green Scott Ainslie was among those asking questions and sent a report from the meeting, containing the information which was given in response to questions from local people.

The work itself

The work involves extending Platforms 1 and 2 under the bridge, to accommodate longer trains, and this is what is causing the need to replace the bridge. The bridge is also 100 years old and needs updating to meet new safety standards.

When asked why platforms couldn't be extended North instead, it was said the railway junction, being on a corner, was too busy and would raise issues of safety. Network Rail said all options had been considered, and this was the only feasible one.

The anticipated closure, impact and arrangements

They are forecasting the bridge will be closed completely for 6 months, then around May-June, 2013, the bridge will be open on one side until the work is completed at the end of June.

A single lane is closed at the moment in order to set up a temporary footbridge and foundation points. Current ongoing ground investigative works may mean that time can be saved later on.

Normal weekly commuters should not be affected too much, as most of the work will be carried out at the weekends, when a replacement bus service will operate. (Please allow for longer journeys as the effect on the roads will be substantial!) However, the station will be closed altogether on Saturday 3rd and Sunday 4th November, but will open again on the 5th November.

Diversions will be in place for drivers. Please see Lambeth website for details of this (they are not there at the moment!)

Impact on local businesses

The question was asked what Network Rail would do to mitigate the effect on local businesses? Streatham's Town Centre manager, Angelina Purcell has asked Maureen Smith to look at business rates-block reductions. Angelina has promised to keep everyone up to date. The question was also put whether Network Rail could have a slush fund for this. There was a promise from Network Rail to look into this.

The lack of consultation

Many people only found out last week by word of month about these works. There have been no posters at the station telling people. It was claimed that 2000 letters went out, however only 2 out of 150 people at the meeting said that they had received a letter, and this was in August. (So, obviously no room for ‘consultation’ anyway!)

There was a feeling at the meeting from local people that there had been no consultation at all, and people said they felt 'appallingly treated' and called this 'unprofessional'.

There was a repeated apology during the meeting from Network Rail for this.

There were also questions about when Lambeth council and local councillors knew, and why they did not inform/consult people sooner. Lambeth council were told about the works, but Lambeth officers said they felt there was no point 'alarming' the public over potential works. When the likely duration of the work started to increase and the work looked as if it would go ahead, councillors were allegedly told about it.

There was an apology on behalf of Lambeth council who apparently knew six months before about the proposed bridge works would go ahead around July/ August time. Cllr Mark Bennett promised to look into this and report back. We will ask Cllr Bennett for this information and ensure it is passed onto everyone.

There was also specific concern that local community groups and businesses had not been consulted. We made the point that in view of a claims that Lambeth is a cooperative Council, this fell well short of their intentions.

Questions were also raised about why the work was taking place in Winter when the days are shorter, with suggestions it should have been done in Spring/Summer.

Other issues

Local residents suggested that whilst these alterations are being made the opportunity should be taken for the station and local area to be made more accessible for all.

It was suggested that council officers should visit the site to see impact on traffic. They would also need to address the traffic light and pedestrian crossing, as there is no green man and the public’s safety is at risk.

There was great concern about the impact of traffic now going into side roads where the diverted traffic will run.

Further information

With regard to getting more information there is a 24 hr helpline for any questions: 08457 114141 or you can email Information should also be posted on and found if you search for "Streatham". (This is not up currently, but Scott Ainslie has emailed them to ask when their site will be updated, as he was promised by James Azur-Kean of Network rail, that this would be done immediately).

Community relations adviser is John Eccles. You can ring the national helpline & ask for him.

There is also the possibility of Facebook page to be set up by Network Rail.

The Lambeth council website should also contain the latest information. Currently it does not, but we will pursue this.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Streatham exhibition documenting refugee women

The South London Liberal Synagogue (1 Prentis Road) is hosting a photography exhibition, Home Sweet Home.

The exhibition showcases photos taken by women asylum seekers documenting their lives in the UK. It's previously been shown in Parliament and Riverside Studios, and has been described as 'incredibly moving' by Marie Claire magazine.

The Home Sweet Home exhibition is a project of Women for Refugee Women, a charity which supports women refugees and asylum seekers, and challenges the injustices of the UK asylum system.

The exhibition will be open as part of the Open Sukkot Service, at 11am, Sat 29th October. The service will include explanation for anyone, Jewish or not, who wants to know how a Jewish service works. Sukkot is a time when Jews build and dwell in temporary sukkot (huts) and the synagogue will have its own beautifully decorated sukkah to visit. Refreshments will be provided.

LocationL 1 Prentis Road, Streatham, SW16 1ZW. More information here.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

133 bus route extended and moved from Tooting Bec Gardens

There's a bit or relief for residents on Tooting Bec Gardens, with the announcement that the 133 route is being extended as far as Streatham Station, ending and beginning at the new hub development bus stand.

This means the 133 will no longer begin and end its route at St Leonard's church/ Tooting Bec Gardens, but travel instead further south on Streatham High Road up to Streatham Common.

Many residents on Tooting Bec Gardens have been trying to get the bus stand outside St Leonard's church moved from the road, and the news will be interpreted as a step in the right direction.

The road, which is a red route, is frequently clogged up with traffic at peak times, which parked buses contribute to, with regular incidents of road rage. Local residents have also raised concerns about the increased noise and narrow pavement by the bus stand, which seems too small to cope with both waiting passengers and pedestrians.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Public meeting on Greyhound Lane bridge closure

There will be a public meeting on Thursday night about the platform extension works at Streatham Common station, which look as if they will cause traffic chaos. Local businesses are also expressing concern about the impact with Streatham Vale Farmer's market already a casualty. A number of local residents have also contacted me expressing their own concerns.

The work started in late September to allow the station to take trains with up to ten carriages. The works require replacement of the railway bridge and local people have been told that this will mean a partial closure of Greyhound Lane from 24 September to 28 October.

This will be followed by a full closure of Greyhound Lane in the area around the bridge from 3 November to 29 April 2013 with more closures thereafter for utilities to reinstate services over the bridge, duration depending on progress.

Network Rail have arranged the public meeting for residents affected by the platform extension works and the closure of the bridge at 7.00pm on Thursday 4th October at Granton Primary School, Granton Road, SW16 5AN. Officers from Lambeth council will also be in attendance, and it is hoped, a representative from Transport for London.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Moves toward better access at Streatham Station

It seems that there are now some potential plans to try and improve Streatham Station's accessibility a little in the short-term.

In recent years, both Streatham Hill and Streatham Common station have been made more accessible for those with mobility impairments and difficulties, most notably with the introduction of lifts. However Streatham Station has yet to have the necessary investment or even a shorter-term solution solution which might enable everyone in Streatham to use it.

This is particularly disappointing as visitors to the station will have noticed that there is what looks like the potential for level access on both sides of the station, from the Hideaway and Streatham Business Centre car park on one side, and from a walkway on the other.

The history is as follows: In 2005 the Government allocated additional investment of £370 million to be spent specifically on improving access to many UK stations. This investment is known as the Access for All funding and is in addition to expenditure determined through new franchises. This funding was phased over 10 years to 2015.

To establish how the Access for All funding should best be spent, the Strategic Rail Authority (SRA) consulted in 2005 and under the Railways Act 2005 responsibility for taking this forward was transferred to the DfT. The results of this were used to inform the development of the Railways for All Strategy as published on the DfT’s website. In the Streatham area both Streatham Common and Streatham Hill benefitted from step free access with lifts under this scheme, but not Streatham Station.

I made some enquiries through Green Assembly member Darren Johnson, to the Department for Transport and also to Southern who operate the rail network, to see what the future plans were. It it turns out that whilst the necessary investment still seems a long way off, they are exploring some shorter-term solutions.

This is the response I received from Southern:

"We do have some possible options to look at with regard to Streatham but they are subject to working with adjacent land owners and the local council to provide a step free route. We are in liaison with Lambeth Council about the stations access and have a meeting with them in the near future to discuss the options."

There is potentially some small funding available to help this to happen:

"Southern currently invests in access improvements via the Minor Works Programme, an annual ring fenced Southern budget solely used to improve access at stations for schemes like ramps, automatic doors, adjustable height ticket office windows, side gates, improved contrasting stair nosings and handrails etc. We also work with local stakeholders (for example councils) to find ways of working together to get maximum investment in the schemes. We have also been awarded an annual budget this year for Access for All Small Scheme improvements by the Department of Transport (DfT) which includes similar schemes. Lift schemes are outside the scope of these budgets and are covered by the DfTs Access for All Major schemes traditionally delivered by Network Rail.

"Streatham was not one of the stations selected nationally for investment under the Access for All funding on the current programme. Therefore there are no plans within the current financial rail period to provide lifts under the Access for All scheme at Streatham and the Department for Transport are yet to announce their ongoing plans for station accessibility to include lift schemes from 2015 onwards. The options we will look at in the near future will therefore not include installing lifts at the station."

So whilst there are, as yet, no plans for lift access, it may be that access can be improved through negotiations between the council, and those owning land around the station, using the Minor Works Programme budget. These negotiations are ongoing. We'll keep you updated when we hear of any progress or developments.

Monday, 17 September 2012

A 100m scarf and the Day after Peace

Streatham's Little Big Peace week is underway, and everyone is invited for a photocall at 6.00pm tonight outside the Streatham Odeon.

In typical eclectic Streatham style, this will involve a 100m long Peace Scarf, knitted by volunteers from the local community.

But the main event is a screening at 7.00pm in the Odeon cinema itself, of Peace One Day's film "The Day After Peace". This award winning film featuring Jude Law and Angelina Jolie, encompasses the adoption of the United Nations global day of Peace and the impact it had around the world up until 2007. It charts the remarkable 10-year journey of award-winning filmmaker Jeremy Gilley to establish the annual Peace Day on 21 September.

The camera follows Gilley as he galvanises the countries of the world to recognise an official day of ceasefire and non-violence. But even after the member states of the UN unanimously adopt Peace Day, the struggle isn’t over. As the years pass, there’s not a single ceasefire. The voices of the cynics are growing louder – and now Gilley’s non-profit organisation, Peace One Day, is in dire financial straits. But he can’t let it fail.

The film’s breathtaking conclusion finds Gilley joined by Jude Law in Afghanistan, attempting to spearhead a massive vaccination against polio on Peace Day. The Day After Peace is a moving testament to the power of an individual and the perseverance of the human spirit.

There will also be a video introduction by South London local and actor, Art Malik (well known for his roles in A Passage to India, The Bond Film The Living Daylights, Upstairs Downstairs, and Holby City!) and then a live Skype chat with its founder, Jeremy Gilley.

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Collection for food bank at Sainsbury's Streatham Common - Saturday 22nd September

Norwood food bank is doing a food collection this Saturday 22nd September between 9am until 6pm at Sainsbury's Streatham common.

For those unfamiliar with foodbanks the Trussell Trust's UK foodbank network works in partnership with local churches and communities to open foodbanks nationwide. There are over 100 foodbanks in the UK. Last year UK foodbanks fed over 60,000 people.

You might have seen the Norwood Foodbank at the Lambeth Country Show this weekend. It is currently feeding over 100 people a week giving out 500kg of food, but urgently needs more stock.

The foodbank gets its food in a number of ways. It hosts coffee mornings, runs 'bring-a-can-to-work' events, and asks local schools to have collections..

But one of the main ways it gets food is by encouraging shoppers on a certain day, at a local supermarket, to buy an extra item and donate it. It is doing this next Saturday at Sainsbury's in Streatham, but needs more volunteers to help collect the food.

If you might be able to help do email norwoodfoodbank (at)

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Don't forget - the deadline to respond to the Thameslink consultation is 5.00pm this Friday 14th September

The deadline to respond to the consultation on the proposed cut to the Thameslink service from Streatham Station is this Friday (14th September) so if you haven't done so, do make your feelings known in the next few days. The deadline was originally in August, but was subsequently extended after campaigning by local people.

The Department for Transport is consulting on the new seven year Thameslink franchise, with recommendations trains on the Wimbledon loop should terminate early. This would mean Streatham Station would have no direct link to the City, St Pancras International and Luton Airport.

Hundreds of people have backed a number of petitions against the plans to terminate South London's Thameslink trains at Blackfriars Station.

You can sign the petition on the Government's website here.

You can sign the petition on the Lambeth council website here.

What has marked the campaign so far, has been the cross-party support, which hopefully will last as the consultation ends and the campaign moves into the next phase.

You can read the consultation documents here.

You can respond to the consultation (before 5.00pm this Friday) by email or by post to:

The Combined Franchise Replacement Sponsor
Department for Transport
Zone 3/15
Great Minster House
33 Horseferry Road

Monday, 10 September 2012

Streatham Common Community Garden is one year old!

Streatham Community Garden is one year old, and all volunteers and helpers are being invited to a community BBQ this Sunday 16 September (12-4pm).

As might be expected, plans are afoot about how some of the harvest can be turned into tasty cooked food, but attenders are also being encouraged to bring along a contribution - especially if its home-grown - and something to drink.

Streatham Community Garden can be found through the door in the wall at the bottom of the Rookery. People will be gathering from around 10.30am for those who want to turn up early to help with odd jobs and preparations for the celebration.

In the meantime Streatham Common Community Garden continues to be open for community gardening every Sunday 12-4pm, and will continue to be until the weather turns bad!

There are a few more events and activities planned for the coming weeks:

12pm, Sunday 30 Sept - soil workshop by Groundwork London: covering soil testing, contamination, and growing on contaminated soil using raised beds

1pm, Sunday 21 Oct - building bee and bug boxes: a great one for families, and to help give pollinating insects somewhere to keep cosy over the winter months!

If you have expertise you can share with others at the garden, or ideas for activities, you can email streathamcommunitygarden (at), visit the Facebook page or Tweet.

Monday, 3 September 2012

Streatham Peace Week

It's great to see that Streatham now has its own Peace Week. The Little Big Peace Festival will run from 17th- 22nd September and feature a whole series of events. You can book tickets for them here.

I'll be chairing one of them, looking at how we can support and inspire young people in the local Community.

There is more here in this promo video:

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Water buts and self-watering demo at Streatham Community Garden

Streatham Community Garden (located next to the Rookery at the top of Streatham Common) is holding a demo of self watering containers and water buts this Sunday, 29th July.

The demonstration starts at 1pm - a useful guide for hot and dry periods, and if you're going on holiday. Plus they'll be setting up our water butts (and showing you how) with help from Iain Boulton from Lambeth Council. You can also get tips on what you can plant now. If you can, those coming are also asked to bring: plastic bottles; a shallow, watertight tray; an old towel/tea-towel; small bag of sand.

Streatham Community Garden is open for community gardening every Sunday 12-4pm until the end of August.

With the new hot weather, they are also in real need of more helpers to assist with weeding, watering, planting out, and harvesting so do go along. You can turn up anytime between 12-4pm, and do as much or as little as you fancy.

You'll find them through the door in the wall at the bottom of the Rookery. You can drop by any time 12-4pm any Sunday. They have tools and gardening gloves, but if you can bring your own (especially gloves), please do in case they run short. Wear sturdy footwear and clothes that are suitable for gardening and weather-appropriate. Kids are welcome.

Monday, 23 July 2012

Save the Thameslink Service from Streatham Station

You may have have received one of several thousand personal letters that we have sent to Streatham Residents, about the new proposals for Streatham Station's Thameslink service.

We are urging people to act now to Save Streatham Station’s Thameslink Service.

If you want to see Thameslink services from Streatham Station continue to run beyond Blackfriars to the City, St Pancras and Luton Airport then please take action.

Network Rail is proposing that the service is cut, so that all trains from Streatham will terminate at Blackfriars. As well as causing longer journey times and inconvenience, it will also make travelling much harder for many including older people, and those with buggies and prams who may have to change and negotiate additional stairways between platforms.

The Government has launched a consultation. The deadline for responses is Thursday 23rd August 2012.

Whilst transport is usually considered a Green issue, we feel that this should be above party politics and a cross-party campaign.

You can email your views to: or you can write to:
Combined Franchise Replacement, Department for Transport, Zone 3/15, Great Minster House, 33 Horseferry Road, London, SW1P 4DR

You can find out more information at:

The local service is called the ‘Wimbledon Loop’. All you need to say is that you want Thameslink services to be retained between Streatham and the City of London, King’s Cross and Luton Airport.

Friday, 20 July 2012

How long are you likely to live in Streatham?

The Guardian website today has an interesting tube map showing life expectancy across the capital, illustrating well the link between areas of deprivation and life expectancy.

As Streatham isn't on the tube (which in itself speaks volumes) I thought it would be fun to dig up the stats on life expectancy in each of Streatham's four wards.

This is what I found courtesy of the latest data here.

Life expectancy by ward:

Streatham Hill

Male: 76.5
Female: 80.3
Average: 78.4

St Leonards

Male: 75.6
Female: 81.4
Average: 78.5

Streatham Wells

Male 75.2
Female 77.8
Average: 76.5

Streatham South

Male: 80.1
Female: 83.3
Average: 81.7

This gives an overall average for Streatham of 78.8

According to the Guardian life expectancy tube map the average life expectancy around the nearest stations are Brixton at 78, Tooting Bec at 79 and Balham at 80.

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Progress on accessibility of Streatham High Road

The Streatham Guardian have today covered our report on accessibility on Streatham High Road. We found that around two thirds of shops on the High Road are inaccessible. But we are urging the council that the new money from the mayor's Outer London Fund which has been earmarked for improving Streatham's shop-fronts be used to address this issue.

The response from councillor Lib Peck, the Council's Cabinet member for regeneration was disappointing at one level but also encouraging at another:

“Unfortunately we can’t make businesses comply with disability access laws, but we do have some power around the Outer London Fund we will use it to make sure that those properties given money are already compliant.”

It is true that the council can't force local businesses to be accessible. But there is a lot councils can do. Indeed, it has a duty to do them under the Equality Act 2010 which places a responsibility on councils to eliminate discrimination and advance equality of opportunity for disabled people.

The council can, for example, take into consideration access issues when planning applications are submitted. It could run a campaign to raise awareness among local businesses. It could have included these issues in the Streatham Masterplan, but it did not. The fact is that the council has sadly not been proactive in addressing these issues.

One small element of progress however which is encouraging is that we are now getting these issues on the agenda. We now have the promise that money will only go to DDA compliant (accessible) premises, which means if businesses want the money they will need to shape up.

But this is of course different from giving money to shops so that they can become accessible, as part of the programmes of shop-front improvements.

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Safer Neighbourhoods Street briefing tonight - Mount Ephraim Lane/ Woodfield Grove

There will be an outdoor street briefing tonight (Wednesday) for Streatham residents, by St Leonard's safer neighbourhoods team at the junction of Mount Ephraim Lane and Woodfield Grove.

This is a meeting that any member of the public can attend. It begins at 7.00pm and will last around half an hour.

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Streatham Vale Farmer's Market continues

Streatham Vale's farmer's market continues to be open for the next two Saturdays, 10am-2pm, at Granton Primary School, SW16 5AN.

This Saturday looks as if it will be a treat, and will include a star turn from the White Lion's Oz Bayldon.

The market expects to have: Brambletye Fruit Farm, Crumbs Bakery, The Giggly Pig, Fish Tale fresh fish, Natural Origin natural fruit juices, Backyard Bakery, The Mersham Shoot, Alex Dos Santos, Wild Country Organics, HotShot hot and cold drinks and St Mungo's Veg.

Gary Mercer runs a home bakery in Addiscombe, Surrey, where he bakes Real Bread - no commercial yeast, no additives, nothing artificial. His loaves are all naturally fermented with wild yeast, they take time to make, which gives them more flavour and makes them better for you.

Fish Tale stock a wide variety of fresh fish, as well as freshly prepared vegetable dishes.

Brambletye Fruit Farm have their usual biodynamic apples & juices and also now their first summer lettuces & salads.

Dos Santos Foods are producers of a wide range of high quality authentic Goan soul food & specialist caterers. Besides shipping of their renowned sausages across the UK & Europe, their Goan Chorizo was recently featured on the BBC "Indian food made easy and Market Kitchen"

Wild Country Organics is run by Dr Adrian Izzard, who has pioneered growing organic vegetables and oriental leaves from Green in snow to Komastsuna, in glasshouses without using artificial heating.

The Giggly pig co was formed in 2007 by Tracy Mackness from Romford. Made from their hand reared, outdoor rare breed British saddleback pigs, their sausages are available in 75 different varieties.

The free Dr Bike maintenance engineer will also be there to look over your bike as well as the Metropolitan Police Lambeth Safer Transport team to security register bikes and give out safety advice.

Also this week the market will have a special visit from Pandemic Steel band orchestra and Oz Bayldon of the White Lion, Streatham High Road, who will be performing on behalf of the music4Children charity.

Monday, 16 July 2012

Meeting on future of Streatham Library

The Streatham Society are holding a meeting tonight on the future of Streatham library service.

It comes as fears grow among many Streatham Residents that Streatham Library will be moved from the historic building given to the community in 1890 by Henry Tate.

The meeting will be held tonight (Monday 16th July) at "Woodlawns", 16 Leigham Court Road, Streatham, London, SW16, beginning at 8.00pm. All are welcome.

You can join a new Friends of Streatham Library Group on Facebook here.

Friday, 13 July 2012

Streatham's Got Talent at The White Lion

We attended a couple of meetings at the White Lion on Streatham High Road two weeks ago, to see how it can be better used as a community space. One of the outcomes is the 'Streatham's got talent' competition.

The idea is to encourage skills and confidence in young people around the streatham area. They will then be mentored by experienced and qualified workshop practitioners.

You can like the facebook page here.

And spread the word out to anyone who maybe interested

Open to all ages up to 21

Auditions will be held at

The White Lion, Streatham, 233 Streatham High Road, SW16 1BB

and will take place on

Saturday 21st July from 12pm-4pm

Saturday 28th July from 12pm-4pm
Sunday 29th July 12pm-4pm

there will then be a week of mentoring workshops taking place at The Stables Workshop Space, at the back of The White Lion, Streatham

Workshops will be held from

Monday 30th July - Friday 3rd August

Heats will then take place, the following weekend

Saturday 4th August from 12am-4pm
Sunday 5th August from 12am-4pm


Saturday 11th August from 12-4pm
Sunday 12th August from 12-4pm (Quarter Final)

with the semi-final and final on

Saturday 18th August from 12pm-4pm (Semi-Final)
Sunday 19th August from 12pm-4pm (Final)

Olympic-themed Fun Day on Streatham Common this Saturday (14th July)

There is an Olympic-themed Fun Day on Streatham Common this Saturday (14th July) from 1pm - 5pm.

It's being organised by Love Streatham (see facebook page)

There will be loads of activities including bouncy castles, giant slide, bungee-run, face painting, mini-Olympics, toddler zone, youth zone, refreshments and more. And the best news of all is that all activities are FREE!

Don't worry too much about the weather (although it would be great if the sun in shining) because there is a marquee too.

Love Streatham are a group from local churches working together in the community.

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Report: Shop accessibility on Streatham High Road

We have just completed a survey of shop/ business accessibility on a the section of Streatham High Road which is the focus of change in the next two years. Our report is below, but among the findings are that two thirds of shops are inaccessible. Not only is this an issue of social justice, it also has significant implications for Streatham's local economy.

Survey of Accessibility on Streatham High Road

Monday, 9 July 2012

Thirlmere Road/ Tooting Bec Gardens crossing made accessible

We have had another accessibility success in getting the intersection of Thirlmere Road and Tooting Bec Gardens made accessible.

This follows the pavement widening at the bottom of Tooting Bec Gardens, the ramping of the vehicle crossovers on the same road, and the access improvement outside the Wellfield Community Centre.

Previously there was no ramp access here, so we approached the council, and it has now been ramped on both sides of the crossing.

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Streatham Common Community Garden

Food growing projects are something that we are trying to promote in Streatham, as the local area has fallen behind other parts of the borough. You can can see how Lambeth is doing in this food growing map here.

However Streatham Common Community Garden is now open every from Sunday 12-4. All are welcome to come along and lend a hand.

The garden is based in the historic walled garden next to the Rookery, Streatham Common.

Local residents are invited to join and help in whatever way they can. This could be by volunteering to help clear the site and plant and harvest crops, coming along to community meetings about the project, representing the group at local events, or benefiting from training and education projects which are being set up.

You can register your interest on the website. You'll get email updates to tell you what's happening and how you can get involved. You can also join the Facebook group.

Find our more at: