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)