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.