Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Another obstructive pole removed from Tooting Bec Gardens

Last year we got an old rusty pole removed from outside number 25 Tooting Bec Gardens, following a request by local residents. This was causing problems to pedestrians as well as difficulties for accessing off-road parking for the property.

We have also now got another one removed on the opposite side of the road outside number 30, which was also causing a hazard to predestrians and unnecessary street clutter.



Monday, 25 March 2013

Getting the railings repaired at the bottom of Garrad's Road/ Tooting Bec Gardens

We are pleased to report that TfL have agreed to repair the railings at the bottom of Tooting Bec Gardens, at the junction with Garrad's Road, by Tooting Common.

These have been bent for several years following a collision there. We made several requests to TfL who have now responded and said they are "programmed in" for repair. They expect the repair to be completed by the end of April.

(TfL Ref: 1012030371/MOS )

Friday, 22 March 2013

Update on major changes to Streatham High Road

As you may know, works are scheduled to begin later this year via Transport for London, to take out sections of the central reservation on Streatham High Road. You may have already seen that the black railings have disappeared.

The original area was to remove the section of the central reservation between Woodbourne Avenue and Leigham Court Road (the Kwik Fit Garage and Streatham Hill Station) and replace it with Trees, similar to what has already happened between the Odeon Cinema and the Kwik Fit Garage.

However, we heard rumours that things have changed, and that the trees may not be forthcoming. At lot of local people have also expressed concern at the loss of what little greenery there was in the planters. (A survey a couple of years ago found that greenery on the High Road was one of the top concerns of local people).

The plans have yet, apparently, to be finalised. However we sought clarification from Transport for London and a commitment that there would be no net loss of greenery. We have today received a response from TfL which states:

"We intend to retain the same level of greenery, including options to see where additional greenery can be provided. The plans are not however finalised, but we are happy to share them with you when they are."

It is reassuring that the intention is to maintain the same level of greenery, and look for opportunities to increase it. But a lot clearly depends on TfL's assessment and measurement of the existing greenery. More worrying is that there doesn't seem to be much opportunity for local people to input into the plans before they are 'finalised'. We will keep pursuing this with TfL and keep you updated.

If you would like to see some images of what Streatham High Road could look like with more greenery see these images here, which were created by one local resident.

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Road audit and repairs to Moorcroft Road

At the beginning of the year, following a request by local residents, we conducted a street audit of Moorcroft Road.

At both the junctions at the bottom and top of Moorcroft Road we asked the council to fix the potholes. Our follow up inspection last week revealed that this has not yet been done. We will continue to push the council until the potholes have been sorted out. (We have also informed the council of another pothole outside number 10 which needs fixing).

We have also asked for proper ramp access to be put in where Moorcroft Road meets Norfolk House Road, as the area is inaccessible to those using wheelchairs. We have contacted Thames Water about the blocked drain on this corner as well.

There are also a number of broken paving stones, most notably outside number 19, as well as some paving stones which are sticking up causing a trip hazard. We have asked for these to be fixed. Finally, we have asked if the lines and lettering of the disabled bay can be repainted and have drawn the council’s attention to the insecure lamp post near the bottom of the road.

Repair to water main at Mitcham Lane/ Ambleside Avenue and possible temporary loss of water

There has been leak from a water main at the corner of Ambleside Avenue and Mitcham Lane with gallons of water running down the road for over two weeks now.

We contacted Thames Water on the 26th February and asked them to fix it. Since then it has got progressively worse and we have continued to push for its repair. A number of local people have experienced a drop in water pressure.

We are pleased to report that we spoke to Thames Water today and they have finally commissioned a contractor to repair the leak over the next few days. This may mean a period when people's water supply in the area is turned off.

We also discovered that Thames Water is about to launch a new service whereby people can be notified by text message about potential interruptions to the water supply. If you have a Thames Water online account you can register your mobile number there. Alternatively you can call them on 0800 714 614 and ask to be added to the service.

There have been a number of leaks at the corner of Ambleside Avenue and Mitcham Lane and we have asked Thames Water to find a more permanent solution to prevent this happening again.

[Update 20/3/13 This has now been fixed. We spoke to the contractors and while they were fixing one leak, another leak began, so they replaced a large section of the water main ]

Monday, 11 March 2013

Dumped bed and potholes

We have asked Lambeth Council to fix some potholes on Blakemore Road between number 13 and the bottom where it meets Norfolk House Road.

We have also asked the Council to remove an old bed/ mattress, which had been dumped at the corner of Blakemore Road and Mount Ephraim Road.

Road audit of Kingscourt Road

We have just delivered letters to Kingscourt Road, letting local residents know about the road audit we recently carried out.

The audit, requested by local residents, was carried out earlier in the year. We asked for several potholes to be repaired. Whilst a couple were filled in, our follow-up inspection last week showed that several had still to be done. There are particular areas outside number 10 and number 53. We will keep pushing the council to repair them.

We have also asked the council to repair several sections of paving which are cracked, broken and raised up, and are causing a hazard to pedestrians. These include areas up near Streatham High Road, as well as outside numbers 37, 42, 71, 76, 87 and 94 Kingscourt Road. This is proving more problematic, and the council appears reluctant to fix them.

We also asked for the graffiti outside number 88 to be removed.

[Update 17th April 2013: Lambeth have confirmed that the graffiti has now been removed]

Friday, 8 March 2013

Community fund for Streatham

The community forum, Streatham Action, has a small "community chest" fund for local projects.

Funding is available for projects in Streatham that will help to:

• improve the quality of life for local people

• encourage growth of new community groups or revitalize existing groups

• contribute in a meaningful way towards the regeneration of Streatham.

Projects must be Streatham based and Streatham focused.

Projects may be in the areas of youth, community events, arts, community safety or improving the local environment, however applications are not limited to only these topics. Applications would generally be for amounts of £500 to £750 but could be for smaller amounts.

See the funding application form for more details.

The deadline for the next round of applications is Friday 22 March 2013.

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Come to Streatham's Community Forum - Streatham Action

Streatham Action, Streatham's Community Forum, has set its meeting dates for the next few months. They are:

21st March,
2nd May,
13th June,
18th July,
12th September

Meetings are at 7pm at Streatham Business Centre, next to The Hideaway on Streatham High Road (opposite Streatham Train Station).

Streatham Action is part of the Lambeths Forum Network. It's an important place for individual residents as well as local groups like neighbourhood watches, residents associations, action groups, forums and individual campaigners - to share ideas, news and get their voices heard.

If you haven't been along to a meeting, do consider coming.  All local people are welcome.  It's an important space for local people, and does some very important work.  It has a small Community Chest fund to support local projects and will be running, supporting and taking part in some important local events and initiatives over the next few months.  

In particular:

A Streatham Youth Convention event – 13th April, 12-4 at the Valley Rd Playing Fields.

‘Made in Streatham’ (a showcase event for Streatham based designer makers and artists) – 21st April, 11-4 at the Serendipity Arts & Crafts CafĂ© (formerly Native Hop) opposite Streatham Station.

Central Streatham Welfare Reform event – venue and date to be confirmed in April/May, to let local people know about the Government's cuts to welfare and how they will effect local people.

It is also inputting into the impending changes to Streatham High Road.

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Streatham Common Community Garden Spring activities

Streatham Common Community Garden has a number of spring workshops and activities coming up.

Edible hedge workshop - noon this Sunday 10th March

The community garden is all set to put in a new 'edible' hedge in the woodland garden area at the bottom of the site featuring hazel, blackthorn, elder and more. As part of this, there will be a free workshop this Sunday 10 March, 12-4pm on hedge planting, including going through different species that make a good hedge, encourage wildlife and yield crops, plus the tools and techniques for effective planting.

Fruit growing workshops, Sun 17 & 24 March

The top section of the site is being turned into a heritage fruit garden with apples, pears, figs and more (thanks to funding from Streatham Action's Active Streatham OLF Project). The area has now been cleared and fruit trees delivered, so planting is set to begin on Sun 17 March in the first of two workshops led by fruit expert Paul Richens:

- 10am-3pm, 17 March - introduction to fruit growing, setting up posts and wire frameworks for cordons, fans and espaliers

- 10am-3pm, 24 March - introduction to fruit growing, successful planting and siting of fruit trees and bushes, attaching to supports

There are a few places left for each workshop, available on a first-come, first-served. To register, email streathamcommunitygarden (at) gmail.com with your name, number and email, saying which workshop you want to attend. Refreshments and lunch are being provided. Workshops are free but donations are appreciated.

Big seed sowing session - Sun 7 Apr
Streatham Common Kite Day has been postponed until the summer due to the Common being so wet.  Instead of getting involved in Kite Day on 7 April, there will be a big seed sowing session. All are welcome, and participants are invited to bring along budding young gardeners and any spare seeds, especially unusual and heritage varieties.

Community gardening - every Sun, 12-4pm (except Easter)

From now until winter there will be community gardening every Sunday 12-4pm (except Easter Sunday). There is always a range of jobs to suit all - from digging to sowing to making tea. 

You can find the Community Garden through the door in the wall at the bottom of the Rookery. There are tools and gloves, but if you can bring your own (especially gloves), please do. Wear sturdy footwear and clothes suitable for gardening and weather-appropriate. Kids are welcome, as long as they're closely supervised. Sign in on arrival. All abilities welcome!

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Stabbing on Streatham High Road - Would expanded 'Safe Havens' scheme have helped?

On Saturday afternoon there was another stabbing in Streatham - this time thankfully it does not appear to have been fatal.  The one in August last year in Gleneldon Mews sadly was.

The details seem to have been that before 5.00pm a 17 year old was stabbed, on the other side to The High on Streatham High Road .  Witnesses describe seeing the boy being chased and "running for his life".  At one point he reportedly ran into a clothing shop near 'I Love Coffee'.

Officers, London Ambulance Service and London's Air Ambulance attended  and he was taken to a south London hospital where he remains in a stable condition.  Three people have been arrested.

This is clearly the wrong time to cut the local Safer Neighbourhood Team down from six to just two people as the Mayor of London is proposing, with 20% cuts to the police service.  However, it also begs questions about what can be done in such circumstances by the community.  Whilst local intelligence from community policing is very important, the police cannot be everywhere, all of the time.

The details of the incident are yet to fully emerge, but it does seem that this is the kind of incident which the CitySafe scheme can help to tackle.  The scheme, which we have been supporting and promoting, has been developed by London Citizens.  It enables shopkeepers to make their shops "Safe Havens" for young people who find themselves in trouble.  Hundreds of shops across London already take part.

Shops that become 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.

The initiative is growing in Streatham, the shops taking part on Streatham High Road are the All Aboard charity shop, Unikob The Stationer and Shoppers Delight newsagent.  However more shops need to be encouraged to take part, and young people also need to be made more aware of their existence.   These are both things we are working to do.