Friday, 6 December 2013

Increased crossing times for Streatham High Road

Three-quarters of British people over 65 struggle to cross the road at the very places that are meant to be safe for pedestrians – our signalised crossings. It’s a problem for tens of thousands of others as well, including people with mobility issues and parents with young children.

Local residents, including members of the Streatham Mum's Network, asked if we could help to make the crossings on Streatham High Road safer for pedestrians.

We asked Transport for London to improve four crossings near Kingscourt Road, Mount Ephraim Lane, Broadlands Avenue and Drewstead Road as part of the current High Road project. We are pleased to say that they have agreed to do this as part of the works to improve the central reservation.

The crossings will be upgraded including making them more accessible for users with disabilities and making crossing times longer.

We are supporting the current campaign by Living Streets to make crossing times longer throughout the local area.

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Sew it Forward - 5th December at The Railway

(photo: Susanne Hakuba)

Local business The Good Wardrobe (run by the energetic and talented Zoe Robinson) is celebrating its first birthday with an inspiring event at The Railway.

Called Sew It Forward this is their frock-friendly, style-hungry initiative which encourages people to share sewing, knitting and mending skills. Guests bring a garment in need of some TLC and learn how to keep it looking good for longer.

They are teaming up with John-Paul Flintoff who will be talking about his Who Made Your Clothes project and his involvement with Fashion Revolution Day. Among other things, John-Paul is a journalist, workshop leader, writer of books and mending enthusiast. His most recent book, How To Change The World, was created with The School of Life for whom John-Paul is a faculty member.

If you have a garment with a tale to tell, you are invited to bring it along and John-Paul might ask you to share the story of who made your clothes (and why it's important to you to know).

Everyone is welcome to the event, whether they are a novice, expert or somewhere in between.

They will also be handing out Sew It Forward gift vouchers so you’ll get the chance to pass on your newfound skills by pledging to Sew It Forward this Christmas.

As The Good Wardrobe website states: "Knowing how to mend and care for you clothes, or even make simple alterations equips you with the tools you need to keep your wardrobe looking as good as it can. Bringing a cherished garment back to life is an amazing feeling and very satisfying, so what better Christmas present to give someone than the gift of mending - it costs nothing but a little bit of your time."

You can find out more about the event, which runs from 6.00pm to 9.00pm on 5th December here and get your free ticket via eventbrite here.

Monday, 25 November 2013

Consultation event at South London Islamic Centre on Mitcham Lane

Quite a few local residents have been in touch to discuss the proposals to develop the South London Islamic Centre at 8 Mitcham Lane.

The application is likely to be refused, according to the planning officer responsible.

The consultation period has now been extended until Friday the 6th December, but a number of residents suggested that it would help to have some dialogue with the mosque about the planning application, which is likely to be resubmitted at a later date.

I have had some correspondence with Mr Mohammed A Ijaz who is Chair-of the Council of Trustees. They will be hosting an event at the mosque this Thursday 28th November at 7.00pm, about their proposals and the planning issues. I asked if I might let local residents know so that they can attend, and he has agreed. However he would like to know the number who want to come so they can provide refreshments.

If you would like to attend, drop me an email: jonathan.bartley (at) and I can give Mr Ijaz an idea of the number who will be coming.

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Work scheduled to begin tomorrow to remove central reservation on Streatham High Road

Transport for London (TfL) say work will begin tomorrow to remove the central reservation on Streatham High Road between Leigham Court Road and Woodbourne Avenue.

TfL has appointed CVU Highway Services to undertake the works. This will include the removal of the existing central island planters and the introduction of street trees, a widened bus lane, some repaving work and resurfacing. The plans were set out in the 'Streatham Masterplan' in 2009.

There will be no segregated cycle lane, despite requests from local cyclists. Instead, they will be encouraged to use the enlarged bus lane. A 20 mph limit to improve safety and traffic flow by smoothing the "stop-start" nature of the road, has also been rejected (for details of collisions in previous years on the High Road, including fatalities, see here)

Traffic management measures will be put in place during the works.

The works are scheduled to start on Monday 25 November 2013 and continue for approximately fifteen weeks, depending on weather conditions.

These will be carried out in phases taking place between 7:30 and 15:00, Monday to Friday for works on the southbound carriageway between 10:00 to 17:00 for work on the northbound carriageway.

TfL say they will:
"balance possible disruption to residents with disruption to traffic. Working at off-peak times provides us with the best chance to complete these works safely and as quickly as possible with as little disruption as possible."

"To carry out the work safely, temporary lane closures will be required."

Saturday, 23 November 2013

South London Islamic Centre planning application 'likely to be refused'

Correspondence from the planning officer responsible for making the decision on the development of the mosque, the South London Islamic Centre at 8 Mitcham Lane, suggests that the application will be refused.

In an email to local residents he states:

"At this time there are numerous issues identified with the application which mean that the application is currently minded for refusal. A previous scheme was withdrawn on the advice of officers due to serious concerns mainly relating to the scale and design of the building and the potential for the development to result in significant harm to the current levels of parking stress in the surrounding streets. The current application is largely the same as this previous scheme and the fundamental concerns previously identified still exist. I have briefly outlined these issues below.

"The applicant has failed to provide sufficient justification for the principle of the demolition of the existing building which has been identified to be a positive contributor to the character and appearance of the conservation area. The applicant has also failed to provide an up to date parking survey/modal split/trip generation analysis to allow for a full and comprehensive assessment of the likely transport and parking impacts of the development. The scale and design of the proposed building still also provides serious concern however Conservation officers have not been able to carry out a full assessment of the proposals due to the poor quality of the drawings currently submitted.

"As well as the fundamental concerns outlined above there are also potential issues surrounding the residential element of the development in terms of noise transmission and quality of the accommodation along with the narrow width of the footway adjacent to the main entrance creating hazardous highway conditions at times when the congregation is exiting the building through potential overspill.

"For the reasons outlined above, the application is minded for refusal and I do not envisage any scenario where minor tweaking or amendments to the development could address these concerns."

Friday, 22 November 2013

Want to get involved in the Streatham Festival 2014?

Streatham Festival is an accessible arts festival celebrating local talent, presenting a mix of emerging and well-established artists and encouraging the imaginative use of the different venues across Streatham that characterise the area.

The 2014 festival will consist of four days of events from Thursday 10 to Sunday 13 July with a festival theme of ‘Street of My Imagination’. The flagship event ‘Streatham UnCommon’ will feature fantastical streets of entertainments, activities and food on Streatham Common. A festival pop-up shop will operate as both an information point and as a venue for exhibitions, workshops and performances, and there will be an umbrella music event the ‘Streatham Strut'. The Lane and Vale Carnival will also be returning for second year

If you are interested in getting involved, there will be an event partners meeting on Wednesday 4 December from 7-9pm at the Hideaway, 2 Empire Mews, Stanthorpe Road, Streatham SW16 2ED.

The event is being hosted by Streatham festival for artists, arts organisations, community groups, schools and colleges and local venues to present the wide range of opportunities to get involved in Streatham Festival 2014.

There will be refreshments, and there will be staff on hand to discuss ideas and answer questions.

RSVP to bec.britain (at) to confirm your attendance.

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Graffiti at Becmead Avenue (Garrad's Road) bus stop

We have asked TfL to clean the graffiti at the bus stop on Garrad's Road, known as the Becmead Avenue stop (but actually closer to Tarrington Close!). TfL say they aim to clean it in 48 hours.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Graffiti on Conyer's Road

We have asked the Council if they can clean the graffiti from Conyer's Road, including outside number 46A, at the corner with Fairmile Avenue and the hoardings opposite the Water Works:

[Update 22/11/13: Local residents have been in touch to say that the graffiti has been cleaned]

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Potholes on Ockley Road (Woodbourne Avenue and Becmead Avenue)

We have reported potholes on Ockley Road (near the junction with Becmead Avenue) and at the junction with Woodbourne Avenue, hoping to get them fixed ahead of the winter freeze!

Monday, 18 November 2013

The truth about resurfacing

If you have ever wondered about claims made by councillors to have got this or that road resurfaced, then you may be interested to see the following, which are the carriageway scores for roads in St Leonard's Ward.

The 2 roads highlighted in green (Tooting Bec Gardens, Rydal Road) were just resurfaced.

To determine which roads should be resurfaced the Council carries out an assessment of every road to determine its condition. The carriageways not highlighted above currently sit on the authority resurfacing list and are prioritised primarily on their condition score.

Other factors are also considered in prioritising roads for resurfacing, these factors are listed below:

- Link/Traffic sensitivity i.e. TFL Network linkages, A road and B Road linkages etc

- Profile i.e. Schools, place of Worship, Community/leisure Centre, Library’s, cycle route etc

Once the Council has made the above considerations of condition, sensitivity and profile the final score for each road is produced (highlighted above in yellow) and the Council prioritises road resurfacing accordingly.

It's on old political trick for councillors to get hold of resurfacing data in advance, and then claim that they have got a road resurfaced through their lobbying. The truth is that it has a lot more to do with other factors including the number of potholes reported. If you report a lot of potholes, you can make a case and secure the resurfacing the road.

We have reported over 100 potholes in St Leonard's Ward in the last year either using the website or direct to Lambeth council. If anyone would like to see the potholes we have reported in their street, we would be happy to send a copy of the emails we have sent to the council, pictures we have taken, or records from

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

There's bin trouble

If you are one of the many local residents who has experienced problems as a result of Lambeth Council's scheme to replace refuse bins and introduce food waste collection, we’d like to help.

While we support the principle of reducing waste and improving Lambeth’s poor recycling rate (Lambeth has one of the worst recycling rates of any London borough) the new plans have been implemented very badly.

Residents have not been consulted or asked what their needs are. Many have not been given crucial information. Some smaller bins aren’t realistic for larger households. Some residents have even had their bins taken away completely, with nothing to replace them.

If you are having difficulties you can call Lambeth Council on
020 7926 9000, or email However, the Council’s call centre has been overloaded with complaints, and so you may have also had problems getting through.

If we can help in any way - for example by helping to get the right sized bin - please do get in touch. We will do all we can to help. We would also like to hear about any difficulties you have experienced so we can compile a full report.

You can email us: streathamgreenparty (at)

Monday, 28 October 2013

Tree hits two houses on Fernwood Avenue

A tree was blown over at about 6.00am this morning, falling against two houses on Fernwood Avenue.

No one was hurt, but there appears to be some damage to the chimneys and roofs on both houses. The tree has pulled right out of the pavement. Fernwood Avenue is closed at the junction with Mitcham Lane.

This tree was reported to Lambeth Council 18 months ago, as the roots were coming through the pavement making it hard to pass by. All the trees in the road were supposed to have been pruned by Lambeth Council a few weeks ago, after a local resident raised concerns. We passed on the request onto the Council.

A request was made by one of the residents for this specific tree to be pruned back as it is particularly tall, and had a lot of leaves which residents feared would catch the wind. The Council appears to have failed to do it properly.

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Sheltered Housing saved in Streatham

There was some great news yesterday, when residents at The Glebe on Prentis Road received letters from Lambeth Council telling them that plans had been scrapped to knock down the sheltered housing where they live.

I took over a bottle of champagne, and we celebrated together (picture to the left). Some were quite tearful with joy. All were hugely relieved.

The decision followed a nine-month campaign. The residents came to us after they received our literature through their doors asking if there was anything we could help them with, and local councillors had failed to do anything to help.

We made posters for them which went into local shops, we helped them collect over 1,600 signatures on a petition, raised the issue with the Mayor of London (thanks to London Assembly member Darren Johnson), spoke at public meetings and took residents to meet Lambeth Council leader Lib Peck. There was also some good, constant press and media coverage of the campaign. (You can see some of the details here)

Lambeth announced plans at the beginning of the year to 'reorganise' its sheltered housing right across the borough, after what it admits has been years of under investment. Several schemes are to be sold off to make money. Other schemes are to be demolished and rebuilt as "extra care" housing, which many older people (such as those in The Glebe who have made trips to visit it at other locations) feel will increase their dependency and institutionalise them. It will certainly destroy the community that they have created.

The Glebe is actually in very good condition, being only 35 years old. The decision seemed to have been made on the basis that Lambeth Council decided that it wanted "extra care" housing in Streatham, and the Glebe was considered the right size. Despite the condition of the building, the unanimous opposition from residents wishes it would be flattened and rebuilt.

The situation was made worse for the residents when there was an explosion and fire next door in July. This broke windows along one side of The Glebe, and destroyed the guttering at the top. Lambeth Council promised to fix this quickly. But in the end residents were left by the Council for weeks with boarded up windows in the stifling heat, and water pouring down the side of the building when it rained. It looked as if Lambeth really didn't care about the existing buildings or the residents.

However, yesterday we learned that Lambeth Council has agreed instead to consult about finding a different site in Streatham to build their extra care scheme (one location could for example be the derelict site near Streatham Common opposite the new hub development). Glebe residents will instead be given new kitchens, windows and bathrooms. Some of the flats may also be made more accessible, as we suggested during the consultation.

Things like this should be possible right across the borough, as we have shown that Lambeth has received over £100m available to improve its sheltered housing. But the Council intends instead to push ahead with its plans elsewhere in the borough. Sites will still be sold off are Leigham Court Road, Queenswood Court, Westcott House and McCall House. Denby Court, Elderberry Grove and Fitch Court will still be demolished and rebuilt as extra care schemes. This is because, as the Council's new report states, it wants to spend this money elsewhere and instead raise an additional £10m, with older people paying the price.

There will be a demonstration by Glebe residents and others outside the Town Hall on Monday 4th November from 6,00pm, when the Cabinet meets to formally approve the new plans. All are very welcome to join in.

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Do you want trees on your street?

Many local residents have been frustrated that they haven't been able to get street trees in their roads, because Lambeth Council has cut its tree budget. But if you are in Streatham and want trees on your road, now is your opportunity! (But you will need to move fast).

Thanks to some enterprising work by local people, £67,500 has been provisionally offered to plant 300 trees in Streatham by Groundworks on behalf of the Mayors Street Tree Initiative.

Things are moving very rapidly, and before Friday this week information is required on any empty tree bays, dead trees, or any locations where residents want trees, in the Streatham area.

Also required is any documentation on consultations that have been conducted in Streatham with regard to trees and an estimate of the hours spent doing these, as this can be counted as match funding in kind.

Drop me a line before Friday if you know of any locations which could do with some trees and I'll pass the information on to Anthony Ellis who is co-ordinating the initiative. My email: (Jonathan.Bartley (at) )

Staff at new Streatham Leisure Centre won't be paid Living Wage

Despite a promise that all its staff and contractors will be paid a Living Wage, when Lambeth Council's new Leisure Centre opens in Streatham on 18th November it seems some staff may be earning as little as £5.61 an hour.

The advert here from contractor Greenwich Leisure Limited (GLL) shows, Assistant Customer Service Advisors at the new Leisure Centre being recruited for £5.61 to £7.66 an hour. The bottom rate is just two thirds of the Living Wage rate, currently set in London at £8.55 an hour.

It has already been established that Lambeth Council didn't even try to negotiate a Living Wage for employees at the new Tesco megastore, which is also part of the new hub development. But it seems that even staff contracted to run the leisure services won't be paid a Living Wage.

Streatham has been without a leisure centre for four years, after years of under investment led to the roof falling in and its closure in November 2009. Lambeth then negotiated a £26 million deal with Tesco to build a new leisure centre on the site of the Ice Rink, with a colossal Tesco superstore being built on the site of the old leisure centre. The store now towers above the new leisure centre along with 250 apartments which are being marketed at overseas buy-to-let investors, under the slogan "come to live, come to invest".

After pressure from Greens, Lambeth finally agreed to extend the Living Wage to contractors at the end of 2012. (This covers contractors like Greenwich Leisure Limited, who will run the new Leisure Centre in Streatham).

When Lambeth Council became a Living Wage employer, Lambeth Labour Party were quick to claim that it would mean:

"Labour in Labour can make sure that staff who are employed by contractors on the Council’s behalf will now also benefit from the wage rise".

But Labour has form for making false claims on the Living Wage. In the same press release Labour stated:

"Lambeth Council has been paying the London Living Wage to all staff that it directly employs since 2006"

But as its own council report stated clearly, even six years later - in October 2012 - it wasn't paying it to some trainee social workers, cleaners, staff it directly employed in schools, not to mention apprentices.

In 2012 Lambeth decided to apply for formal Living Wage accreditation. As part of this it promised to negotiate a Living Wage with contractors. I raised the issue, at a public meeting to discuss the new leisure centre with Lambeth councillors, Lambeth officers, representatives of Greenwich Leisure. who said they were fully aware of this commitment. But it appears that they have not stuck to it.

The role of Assistant Customer Service Advisor, which is being advertised at a rate which is just two thirds of the Living Wage, is an outward facing one. The successful applicant will be:

"Responsible for delivering an excellent service to all customers by answering telephones, providing customer information, handling transactions, managing customer access, responding to sales enquiries and converting them into sales, and dealing with customer complaints, mainly within the reception and sales areas."

This is precisely the kind of job that the Living Wage should benefit, boosting morale, making staff feel valued and enhancing the quality of their work, and so benefiting everyone who comes into contact with them. It won't just be the employees who will the be poorer for the absence of the Living Wage from the new leisure centre, but everyone who visits.

The new leisure centre will open on 18th November just after National Living Wage Week.

Monday, 14 October 2013

A family friendly leisure centre and hub

We have been campaigning over the last 2 years for a family friendly hub at the new Leisure centre when it opens (expected November) - including family-friendly changing, affordable use of the leisure centre for families (including free swimming sessions for children). There have also been concerns at the lack of family housing in the 250 apartments being built as part of the Tesco development.

As we have retweeted, Streatham Mums have identified that there won't be any creche facilities at the new leisure centre and launched a petition which we will draw to the attention of local media. This is something which we have also been pushing the council on since it was identified at the public meeting in February 2012 (as we reported here in point 9) so Lambeth Council really have no excuse.

Collapsing drain outside 17 Tooting Bec Gardens

We have asked Transport for London to look at a drain outside 17 Tooting Bec Gardens, which appears to be collapsing on the road by the vehicle crossover, and take appropriate action to get it fixed. This should be treated as urgent by TfL.

[Update: 15/10/13 TfL came last night and fixed it very speedily]

Friday, 11 October 2013

Graffiti on Mitcham Lane by Streatham Green

A lot of graffiti has appeared on the utility boxes by Streatham Green on Mitcham Lane.

We have taken some pictures and sent them to the council, asking the Council for the graffiti to be cleaned.

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Water leak on Tooting Bec Gardens

There is a water leak coming from under the kerb outside 35 Tooting Bec Gardens. The water is running right down the road as far as the junction with Garrad's Road and Ambleside Avenue.

We have reported it to Thames Water, and asked for it to be fixed as soon as possible.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Hole finally filled in outside 125 Babington Road

It has taken about a year to get it sorted out, with endless calls and emails, but the large hole outside number 125 Babington Road has finally been fixed.

The large hole was first reported to the Council in September 2012. A flimsy cover was then placed over the hole. This was then dislodged, and barriers were put around it. This meant the pavement was partially blocked for months.

Lambeth Council have finally filled the hole a few weeks ago...

Our next job is to get them to remove all the barriers and clutter which still haven't been collected....

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Auditions tomorrow (Thurs) for Streatham Theatre Company's next show

Free open auditions will continue tomorrow (Thursday 26th September) for the Streatham Theatre Company's next show.

They take place at 6.45pm for 7pm, at Vinters Studios, 1b Sunnyhill Road, Streatham, SW16 2UG

They are open to all and there is no need to prepare.

The next show will be performed in early November (subject to venue arrangements). It's based on a Sherlock Holmes radio play and has been adapted and enhanced by Frances Bruce who has recently become the company's Artistic Director.

Set in the radio studio during the special live anniversary performance of a Sherlock Holmes story, the tensions and conficts between the members of the cast and production team which have built up during the long running series come to a head. The off-mic drama threatens to interfere with the live braodcast, but whatever happens the show must go on...

There are a range of parts in both the radio cast and the production team with flexibility in age and sex.

People are invited to come along whether interested in auditioning for a part, or are interested in helping behind the scenes.

Audition pieces will be provided so you don't need to prepare, but do bring details of any dates when you won't be available from now until mid-November.

The auditions are free and open to members and non-members, but if cast you will need to join Streatham Theatre Company.

You can like Streatham Theatre company on Facebook here. Visit their website here.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

'Safe and Secure Streatham' event - 7.00pm tonight

I'll be speaking tonight at the Safe and Secure Streatham event at St Leonard's Church about the progress of the CitySafe scheme run by London Citizens, to provide Safe Havens for young people in the local area. You can find out more about the scheme here.

The meeting tonight is being organised by community forum Streatham Action, and begins at 7.00pm. All are very welcome to attend. There will also be updates on the new Wardens on the High Road, and plans for some of Streatham's Green spaces including Streatham Green and Streatham Common.

Friday, 20 September 2013

Getting the fencing fixed on Streatham Green

We have asked Lambeth Council to urgently sort out the fencing around the William Dyce fountain on Streatham Green, which has been vandalised and is now lying all over the place.

The fountain itself has been fenced off for months, awaiting repair, as it is in danger of falling over.

For those who don't know the history of this green space, it continues to be a particular example of neglect by Lambeth Council, despite a very active local Friends of Streatham Green group who do their best to look after this important area.

The green was plunged into darkness at night for several weeks last winter, making it very dangerous for people crossing the green at night. The lights were then fixed, only to be kept on all day for several months, wasting energy and money.

This is all in addition to lack of general maintenance of the Green and the area around it along Mitcham Lane and Streatham High Road which remains strewn with rubbish, despite numerous requests to the council to clean it up and make more regular collections.

The relevant person at the council responsible for the green is currently on leave, so we have contacted the parks department.We will post an update here as soon as we have one.

Monday, 16 September 2013

London Contemporary Voices at St Leonard's church this Friday

There's a great selection of events going on at the moment as part of Streatham's Little Big Peace festival.

One not to miss is the London Contemporary Voices (LCV) at St Leonard's Church this Friday 20th September at 7.30pm.

LCV are a modern forward-thinking mixed voice choir. From singing with Mercury winners Alt-J to playing massive concerts at the Royal Albert Hall with Imogen Heap to small intimate settings this bold and unusual choir are 100% worth catching wherever they play.

PLUS you will also have the pleasure of hearing the wonderful local St Leonard's Church Choir...

Don't miss this evening of fabulous voices - all for just £2! More information and booking here.

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Sorting out the rubbish around Streatham Green on Mitcham Lane and Streatham High Road

We have asked Lambeth council again to make more regular inspections and clean the area around Streatham Green on Mitcham Lane.

In some places there are so many rubbish bags that they are blocking the pavement and the areas around the bus stops. They are quite often there for days before they are collected.

Here are some of the pictures we took recently in this area:

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Leak on Fernwood Avenue

There has been a significant water leak from the pavement on Fernwood Avenue for at least six weeks, which Thames Water have failed to repair. We reported it via the #tweetaleak hashtag on twitter on 24th July and again on 2nd August when the leak had become much worse.

We have subsequently been contacted by local residents who have also asked Thames Water to fix it several times. Thames Water say they aim to repair leaks within 15 working days. They have clearly failed in this, but also failed even to update local people and let them know what is going on.

Local residents have been particularly poorly served by Thames Water recently, having been left without water on several occasions over the last year. The water main around the corner from Fernwood Avenue, on Mitcham Lane, has also had to be repaired on several occasions.

We are now pursuing it directly with Thames Water as a priority, and will be raising it with Consumer Council for Water, the body to which Thames Water is accountable. It appears that the job was closed down by Thames Water in error. The job has now been reopened, and they have promised us that an inspection will be made this morning. We have asked for an update following this morning's inspection.

[Update: 16/9/13 We have been told that Thames Water will begin the repair today]

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Glebe fire damage and mess still not sorted

We have been chasing Lambeth Living and Lambeth Council, which has ultimate responsibility, to make the necessary repairs to The Glebe, sheltered housing, on Prentis Road following the fire next door two weeks ago.

A number of windows were cracked and broken and have been boarded up. The guttering was also completely melted, and the fence next door was badly burned and charred.

The residents were able to stay in their homes. But two weeks later their windows are still boarded up and the large pile of melted and twisted guttering is still there outside their doors. A foul burning smell remains in the air as a result.

This is simply not good enough for residents in their Eighties and Nineties. Lambeth Council leader Lib Peck was very quick to issue a statement of following the fire, saying:

“We are doing all we can to help and support people in Streatham who’ve been affected by the fire."

The rhetoric has not been matched by action.

Local people will be aware that The Glebe, although in an excellent state of repair apart from the recent fire damage to one section, has been earmarked for demolition by the Council, as they want to redevelop the site.

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Streatham Community Garden BBQ and harvesting workshop - 4th and 18th August

There has been lots going on at the Streatham Common Community Garden. Over 250 visitors came on the Rookery Centenary weekend including many families and lots of people who had never been to the garden before, and the official opening of the Heritage Fruit Garden last Tuesday was also well-attended

There are two more events coming up:

Annual Summer BBQ, Sunday 4 August, 12-4pm

The community will be taking it easy in the garden this Sunday and cooking up a feast. Local people are invited to come along, bring your friends and food to share.

Harvesting Workshop for Families, Sunday 18 August, 10.30am-12pm

The community garden will be hosting a Summer Harvesting Workshop as part of Streatham Food Festival. This will be a chance for families to discover what's ready in the garden at the peak of Summer and how long it's taken to grow, learn how to recognise when a crop is ready, and have a go at harvesting.

A local chef will be creating a seasonal dish using the produce in the Demonstration Tent on Streatham Green on Sunday from 3-4pm so if you can't make the workshop you can go along to taste the harvest and get some ideas to try at home. (Workshop places are limited so email Charlotte at streathamcommunitygarden (at) to reserve your place).

Monday, 29 July 2013

Lambeth Council has received £100.5m to improve sheltered housing

We asked if Green London Assembly member Darren Johnson would table a question to the London Mayor about the Glebe (Sheltered Housing on Prentis Road), and Lambeth's proposals (following the consultation) to knock the Glebe down and redevelop it.

The Glebe of course, is in excellent condition, and Lambeth only want to knock it down because they want to use the site. But
this was the response, which shows that Lambeth have many options having received £100.5m from the London Mayor to being sheltered housing across the borough up to standard.

Sheltered housing in Lambeth
Question No: 2392 / 2013
Darren Johnson
Will you write to the London Borough of Lambeth urging them not to evict 60 residents - some of whom are terminally ill - from The Glebe sheltered housing in Streatham, splitting the residents up and moving them away from the local area? Will you also explore how your housing budget can be used to support Lambeth in bringing its sheltered housing up to the Decent Homes standard, and to provide new extra care facilities without affecting residents of existing sheltered housing?
Written response from the Mayor
The Glebe is one of 24 schemes in a proposed programme of redevelopment to improve older persons provision in Lambeth. The full consultation has only recently been completed and no decisions have been made.

The Decent Homes budget for London is £821 million and Lambeth received the highest allocation: £100.5 million to bring homes up to the Decent Homes standard. The Borough has also been able to bid for funds under my Housing Covenant programmes.

Sunday, 28 July 2013

How long were the lights left on, on Streatham Green?

We have received a response to our Freedom of Information request, asking how long Lambeth Council left the lights on continually during the day on Streatham Green. (You can see the background to the issue here) The answer is just iver 15 weeks. But they don't know how much electricity was wasted or how much it cost.

The FOI response in full...

Can you please tell me when council officers were first made aware that the lights on Streatham Green are turned on throughout the daytime?

Lambeth Parks manage Streatham Green and were made aware that the lights are on during the day on 5th April 2013. A job was raised to rectify this with our repairs contractors on 8th April 2013.

Does Lambeth council have a date when it expects the lights on Streatham Green to be turned off during the day?

Balfour Beatty, the corporate contractor, advised that the repair would be carried out by the 21st July 2013.

Does Lambeth council know how much energy each of the main lights on Streatham Green uses to stay on for an hour?

Lambeth Parks do not hold this information.

Does Lambeth council have an estimate of the additional cost being incurred each week of keeping the lights on Streatham Green on during the day?

Lambeth Parks do not have an estimate of the cost.

What is the annual cost of the electricity used by the lights on Streatham Green in each of the previous three years, by year?

Lambeth Parks do not hold the annual cost of electricity for these lights. It is understood that these lights are powered from the main street supply which is not metered. As these lights are not metered there is no way of accurately identifying costs.

Monday, 22 July 2013

New ramps agreed for Stanthorpe Road, Ashlake Road and Bournevale Road

Following a request from local residents we contacted Lambeth Council and asked if ramp access could be put in on Stanthorpe Road at the junctions with Ashlake Road and Bournevale Road.

At present the crossing points there are inaccessible to wheelchair users and those with mobility impairments. Ramps will also help those pushing buggies or prams.

The council has now been and inspected the site, and agreed to put ramps in at both these locations. It has given its contractors a deadline of 21st August for the ramps to be put in.

This is part of our drive to make the area more accessible after issues of accessibility have been neglected by both the council and local councillors for years.

For some 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.

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Post repair on Fernwood Avenue/ Mitcham Lane

We have asked for a post to be repaired at the junction of Fernwood Avenue and Mitcham Lane. It appears to have been knocked over by a traffic collision. It isn't clear is this falls under the jurisdiction of Lambeth Council or Transport for London as it is on the corner of a Red Route, so we have contacted them both.

[Update: 19/7/13 Lambeth Council have responsibility and this has been passed onto their Highway Engineers]

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Update on state of The Glebe following today's fire

The fire following the explosion today next door to The Glebe was fierce, and the smoke could be seen for miles.

In the aftermath, the severity of the heat is also now clear.

This picture shows the remnants of the shed in which the explosion took place. The roof has gone completely.

The fire melted the gutter completely at the top of one side of The Glebe, and quite a few of the windows on that side have been cracked. Door frames have blistered around the fire front doors that each property has, as well.

The police kicked the doors in and evacuated the 25 residents on that side of the Glebe, but the other residents were able to stay safely in their apartments. The only casualty appears to have been a policeman who was burned by a piece of falling melted guttering.

The residents who were moved out hope to be back later this evening in their apartments, after the necessary repairs have been made to windows and doors which are still going on now (7.15pm). And despite everything, everyone is in very good spirits!

Explosion and fire next to the Glebe on Prentis Road

At around 12.20pm today there was an explosion next to The Glebe on Prentis Road, at the back of the shops on Streatham High Road.

Flames were seen going up the back of apartments in The Glebe - which is sheltered housing for 60 residents in their eighties and nineties - with large clouds of black smoke rising around fifty feet.

The fire could be seen raging from the St Leonard's Churchyard (picture shows the view from St Leonard's churchyard across the Andrews car park with Glebe apartments on the left).

It seems that the explosion did not take place in The Glebe itself, but at the back of the sheltered housing, just beyond the wall of the car park behind Andrews Estate agents where there are some sheds. Smoke was also coming out the Polish shop Bartek.

Fire and police services were quickly in attendance, and cordoned off Streatham High Road at the St Leonard's Junction, as well as surrounding roads as far away as Tooting Bec Gardens.

Susan Dench, who is the warden of The Glebe, sent a communication to say that all The Glebe residents seemed to be alright, although one was being treated for shock. They were not initially evacuated, but remained in the communal area while the emergency services attended the incident.

(update 2.07pm) The cause has been suggested to be an explosion of gas canisters. (There was initital speculation that water turned off in the area yesterday afternoon and evening might have contributed to a boiler exploding).

Fire engines accessed the fire from Prentis Road while police cleared the surrounding streets.

[2.55 Update from the Fire Service:

"Some storage sheds behind the shop (which is on Central Parade) caught fire and the blaze spread to the ground floor of the shop. Twenty five residents were evacuated from a care home (sic) on Prentis Road which backs onto the row of shops.

"A man was treated by paramedics from London Ambulance Service for minor burns to his hands, and two others were treated for shock and smoke inhalation respectively.

"Station Manager Martin Corbett, from Clapham fire station, was at the scene. He said:

"Firefighters worked hard in very hot conditions to bring the fire under control. The blaze started in some storage sheds and then spread to part of the ground floor of the shop. The blaze caused a lot of smoke, but fortunately it is now under control."

"Six fire engines from West Norwood, Norbury, Tooting, and Clapham fire stations went to the scene with 35 firefighters and officers. The Brigade was called at 1220 and the fire was under control at 1408."

"The cause of the fire is under investigation."

Police began to cordon off Prentis Road after the arrival of the first fire engine, seen here at the entrance to The Glebe on Prentis Road.

Fire and police services attend Bartek as smoke begins to emerge.

The smoke could be seen from Prentis Road, although The Glebe is set back around 20 metres from the road and the fire was on the far side of The Glebe apartments.

Police gradually extend the cordons out to incorporate Streatham High Road and the surrounding area.

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Volunteers needed for Streatham Food Festival

The fantastic Streatham Food Festival is almost here and they are looking for enthusiastic volunteers to help run it.

There is a mouth-watering feast of events on offer including tours, markets, workshops, demonstrations - and of course lots of food. Sustainable eating is a strong theme this year with a Good Food Day, waste food pop-up restaurant and food growing sessions.

This is an exciting opportunity to get involved in a local festival, gain event experience, have fun and discover more about the incredible food on your doorstep.


Sometime between 12 July and 11 August AND / OR one, two or all three of...

Friday 16 August, shifts between 5.30pm - 10pm
Saturday 17 August, shifts between 8am - 11pm
Sunday 18 August, shifts between 8am - 6pm


You would be the friendly face of the festival, talking to and helping event goers. Roles would include:

- FOOD TOUR GUIDE, encouraging people to join in, distributing info, directing to restaurants. Need to be outgoing and a good communicator.

- EVENT ASSISTANT, setting up, clearing up and dressing venues, helping with H&S aspects, welcoming visitors. Need to be organised and practical.

- COMMUNICATOR writing content for the website, supporting PR activities, spreading the word online, photographing events. Need to have lots of initiative and strong communication skills.

- STEWARD, directing event goers, answering questions from public, overseeing event space. Need to enjoy working in a team, be approachable and responsible.

- DISTRIBUTOR of flyers during run-up to festival - to local businesses, community groups, Streatham Festival and Lambeth Country Show.


You would be a valued member of the team delivering the festival and you would gain:

- Valuable event and communications experience
- The chance to give something positive to your local community and to support your local high street
- The opportunity to meet other committed people
- A free meal if you’re working 4+ hours
- Free Divine chocolate!


If you are interested in getting involved or would like to find out more please contact Ben Spencer on:

noneother (at)
07870 570 561

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Film at Tooting Lido 26th - 28th July

There's a weekend of film fun coming up at the Lido at the end of July.

Here's the line-up...

Friday 26th

Withnail & I (15) 9.00 pm

This is Spinal Tap (15) 11.00 pm

Saturday 27th

Ghostbusters (PG) 9.00 pm

An American Werewolf in London (18) 11.00 pm

Sunday 28th

Duck Soup (U) 9.00 pm

Annie Hall (15) 10.15 pm

Kids: £5 / Adults: £8 / Double Bill £14 / Weekender!: £40

You can buy online or call 08456801926 (9am-5pm Mon-Fri; Sat 10am-1pm)

Booking is strongly advised spaces are limited.

Doors open 20 min before each film, tickets will be available on the door on the night subject to availability. This is a cash-only event.

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Streatham's Neighbourhood Enhancement Programme doesn't need to be cut

There have been two wins for local campaigners recently.

The first is that Lambeth have agreed to establish a 20 mph borough-wide limit on its roads (this does not cover Red Routes as they come under Transport for London). The second is a progressive cycling strategy due to be approved by the Council's cabinet on 8th July.

These are things that campaigners have been pushing for, for several years. As recently as 2011, Lambeth rejected our calls for a borough-wide 20mph limit (see here). Similarly, the latest cycling figures revealed last week show another increase in cycling casualties in Lambeth (this time up by 6%). Something needs to be done urgently and so the cycling strategy is welcome.

The bad news however, is that it seems that Lambeth Council is axing plans to extend the Neighbourhood Enhancement Programme to Streatham in order to fund these things. (Hat Tip to Shout Streatham for highlighting this). Once again, other parts of Lambeth have already received additional funding and resourcing, and Streatham looks like it will be short-changed.

But it doesn't have to be this way. As campaign group '20's Plenty' have shown well, all sorts of people benefit from increased cycling and 20mph limits. A multi-agency approach involving the NHS, police and others, can spread the cost and means that it doesn't have to be borne by a local council. Partners can be brought around a table and resources can be shared.

For example in Liverpool, Liverpool NHS PCT, Alder Hey NHS Foundation Trust, Merseyside Police and Fire and Rescue Services have all got involved. Five logos are on publicity, reinforcing that all public services support slower speeds. Liverpool PCT contributed 40% (£665k) of £1.7m. This is the kind of approach that Lambeth could take, and would fit in well with its new "co-operative" mantra. It would also mean that Streatham would not need to lose its promised Neighbourhood Enhancement Programme.

Read the briefing from 20's plenty here.

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

'The Dip' on Streatham High Road due to be resurfaced in the Autumn

Transport for London have said that the area on Streatham High Road known as "The Dip" (where it meets Stanthorpe Road and Gleneagle Road) will be resurfaced this Autumn.

It follows the resurfacing of the St Leonard's Junction earlier in the year which we managed to get TfL to extend to cover the bus stops to the South.

Residents in 'The Dip', like residents around the St Leonard's junction, have been experiencing vibrations from the road which have been making their properties shake for over two years, and this is long overdue. The poor road surface has also been a hazard for cyclists. It seems however, that TfL wanted to wait until after the majority of the work at the new Streatham 'Hub' to the south was completed.

[Update: This has now been delayed again, and is due in the first week of December]

Monday, 1 July 2013

Streatham's air pollution monitor back in business

Lambeth Council has bowed to pressure from green campaigners, and reversed its decision to leave the London Air Quality Network. This means that data from the air pollution monitor at Streatham Green will be available again.

Local residents have had no access to information about their polluted air since the Council withdrew its participation in the scheme. The scheme makes data from its air quality monitoring stations public and enables progress, or deterioration, in air quality to be measured.

The Green Party exposed the move by the Council to withdraw from the network in April 2012. Lambeth Council made the move without any public announcement, and in the middle of some of the highest pollution levels in the borough in recent times.

The Green Party has since been campaigning for the Council to make its data publicly available again. This included raising the issue at the London Assembly level and with the London Mayor (see for example here, here, here and here). The Green Party also measured pollution levels in the surrounding streets, highlighting that air pollution was at dangerous levels.

The London Mayor estimates that there are 4,600 premature deaths each year due to air pollution. Clean Air London estimates that there have been over 50 deaths already this year in Lambeth alone.

The London Air Quality Network has announced that Lambeth has now returned to the London Air Quality Network.

"Lambeth's three monitoring sites at Brixton High Street, Vauxhall and Stretham Green provide important coverage in the south-east of the network and help to define the spatial distribution of concentrations across London. All three sites were reviewed in the recent 'Strategic review of air quality monitoring in London' report" The Network said in a statement.

It also pointed out that in 2010 the kerbside site on Brixton High Street recorded the highest NO2 average emissions..

In addition, the particulate monitor at Vauxhall was one of only two stations on the network to exceed the PM10 annual mean of 40 ug/m3 in 2010 and also recorded 80 breaches of the daily threshold of 50 ug/m3.

Saturday, 29 June 2013

Rubbish on Mitcham Lane

There has been a build-up of rubbish on Mitcham Lane recently by Streatham Green and the bus stop opposite the Green.

We have asked for Lambeth Council to make regular checks and keep the area clean, as well as investigate where the rubbish is coming from and take appropriate action.

Friday, 28 June 2013

Cleaning up Stanthorpe Road and adding a few planters!

I've been meaning to post some pictures of what some residents did recently on Stanthorpe Road.

A few weeks ago, on a rather wet Saturday, residents from the Stanthorpe Triangle got together with a little help from the Council to build some planters and paint the area where Gleneldon Mews meet Stanthorpe Road.

This is the area to the side of The Hideaway and Streatham Business Centre.

There was a very good turnout from local residents with around a dozen people taking part.

The planters were made out of old decking and other bits of wood. Fortunately one of the residents was a joiner, which proved particularly useful.

The planters were then painted and soil was then put in...

Flowers were planted...

And the end result was pretty good!

We also used old paint which had been donated to paint a couple of the walls in the area.

It was great to see so many local people coming together to make the area better.

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Getting ramp access on Stanthorpe Road at junctions of Ashlake Road and Bournevale Road

We have Lambeth Council for ramp access to be put in on Stanthorpe Road at the junctions with Ashlake Road and Bournevale Road.

It is currently impossible for a wheelchair user to travel along the north pavement of Stanthorpe Road because of the raised curbs at these junctions. They also present a hazard for older people and those with mobility impairments, as well as difficulties for those with buggies, prams of mobility scooters.

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.

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Another collision at junction of Mitcham Lane and Ambleside Avenue

There was another collision at the junction of Mitcham Lane and Ambleside Avenue in the early hours of Monday morning (thanks to a resident on Mitcham Lane who sent this picture).

This is the junction that Transport for London have agreed to review and make changes to, following a local campaign.

We will pass these pictures onto TfL, and urge them to push ahead with the review as a priority.

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Dumped sofa bed at top of Bournevale Road

There is a dumped sofa bed at the top of Bournevale Road. We have asked the Council to remove it.

Monday, 24 June 2013

Question to the London Mayor regarding The Glebe

Following the presentation of the petition to Lambeth Council about proposed demolition of The Glebe Sheltered Housing, Green London Assembly Member Darren Johnson has tabled the following question to the London Mayor, Boris Johnson. It will help raise awareness of the issue, but also try to begin to move the debate towards finding alternatives to Lambeth Council's proposals.

Darren Johnson

Will you write to the London Borough of Lambeth urging them not to evict 60 residents - some of whom are terminally ill – from The Glebe sheltered housing in Streatham, splitting the residents up and moving them away from the local area? Will you also explore how your housing budget can be used to support Lambeth in bringing its sheltered housing up to the Decent Homes standard, and to provide new extra care facilities without affecting residents of existing sheltered housing?

I also met with Glebe residents again this morning to discuss the next steps in the campaign.

Monday, 17 June 2013

Progress at 'grot spot' on Mitcham Lane outside Keen's Close

We are pleased to report that we have now got some shrubs planted outside Keen's Close on Mitcham Lane (opposite St Leonard's School).

We have been working for the last year on getting the 'grot spot' sorted out.

You can see the history here, but in a nutshell, it has become an area for regular fly tipping.

Old beds, boards, rubbish bags and household waste was being left there and even spilling out onto the pavement.

Lambeth Council said it was not their responsibility as the land belongs to L Q group, which manages the Close. We spoke to residents there, and they asked if we could help sort the area out.

So we got in touch with L Q Group last year, and they agreed to clear the area regularly, and pay for some shrubs to be planted to deter fly tippers and also improve the look of the area. We are pleased to report that LQ Group planted the shrubs there over the weekend.

This is something they agreed to do last year, but they wanted to wait until after the winter to ensure that the shrubs had the best chance of survival.

We will keep monitoring the area and hope that it does the trick!