Wednesday, 27 May 2020

Stay at home as much as possible to stop coronavirus spreading

 For more information here is the latest government guidance

  • stay at home as much as possible
  • work from home if you can
  • limit contact with other people
  • keep your distance if you go out (2 metres apart where possible)
  • wash your hands regularly

Do not leave home if you or anyone in your household has symptoms
If you think you have the virus, don't go to the GP or hospital, stay indoors and get advice online. 

Only call NHS 111 if you cannot cope with your symptoms at home; your condition gets worse; or your symptoms do not get better after seven days. 

Saturday, 16 May 2020

The proposed commercialisation of Tooting Common Triangle by Wandsworth council

Today, St.Leonard's Councillors sent a formal objection to the Wandsworth planning department and members of the Planning Application Committee on behalf of the many residents who have contacted us expressing their concerns about the proposals for the hardcore pitch on Tooting Common.

The proposal can be found at: 
This is what we said:

The St. Leonard's ward boundary runs along the eastern edges of the common and many of our residents - families and individuals, use it for leisure, exercise, play, team sports and dog walking. Many of whom have signed the petition (more than 5000 signatures on 16th May) to end the proposed commercialisation of this wonderful green and open space. The petition can be found at:

Whilst supporting the plans to upgrade the Boxing Club and its facilities we object vehemently to the rest of the proposal on the following grounds:

The use and gradual disintegration of artificial pitch materials - which as they disintegrate will result in microplastics seeping into the soil and water course

Use of floodlights on a regular basis which will disrupt bats and other evening/nightime wildlife

This area is prone to heavy flooding and there is a lack of detail in the plans as to how this will be managed.

Loss of trees, shrubs, grassland and resulting impact on birds, insects, other wildlife, impact on air quality, wellbeing and health of common users.


We fully support the upgrading of the Boxing Club and its facilities and the proposed provision of a home ground for the children's football club, The Balham Blazers BUT these gains are totally outweighed by the losses. We support sport provision and outside activities for all, especially children and young people who are so often overlooked by council provision, but overall, these plans will result in loss of provision for young and old.

The Triangle One O'Clock Club - a free provision, much used, loved and essential Children's Centre will be closed and replaced with a cafe (there is already a cafe within 100m of the site on Cavendish Road) and a stay and play area charging £2.50/hour. Turning a fully inclusive space into an area only accessible to those who can afford it, losing all the essential services a Children's Centre provides.

The very well used hard core pitch will be turned into multiple pitches with the erection of chain mail fencing and the replacing and addition of floodlighting. The pitches will remain locked shut, available only to those who have booked and paid to use them, no longer available to residents and common users as it is now. An unacceptable proposal at a time when green/open spaces are an essential amenity due to the ongoing pandemic

The site is tucked away in the corner of the common where it is inaccessible to vehicles. There is limited parking in Cavendish Road (4 spaces); insufficient bicycle storage and lack of parking spaces in neighbouring roads.

Footfall - if, as has been suggested, up to one hundred people an hour use the site, insufficient thought has been put into how users will travel to and from the site. No survey has been provided on potential parking stress or thought given to the provision of cycle/scooter parking. Of major concern is the lack of parking spaces for disabled and Blue Badge drivers.

The site accommodates a children's playground - what provision has been put in place for children whilst the major works take place and what thought has been put into the safeguarding of children if the site becomes heavily populated by adult users.

We object to the chain mail fence - creating a caged effect and its design and visual impact on Metropolitan Open land and a Local Heritage asset.

Common land is held in trust by the council for all local people to have free access to.

In a previous case, Muir/Wandsworth Borough Council, concerning the commercial use of a building on Wandsworth Common, the Hon Mrs Justice Lang ruled that:

- the residents are the owners of the open space

- the Local Authority are the trustees of the open space

Sunday, 3 May 2020

Domestic Violence – Advice and Support

If you or anyone you know lives in fear from the threat of domestic violence please don’t hesitate to seek help. There has been an increase in the level of domestic violence during the lock down and often those suffering abuse feel they cannot leave or get to place of safety, perhaps because there are children in the home needing care or because they are unaware of the support that's available.

Refuge runs the National Domestic Abuse Helpline, which you can be called for free, and in confidence, 24 hours a day on 0808 2000 247. Its website provides guidance and support for potential victims, as well as those who are worried about friends and loved ones. It also has a form through which people can book a safe time for a return call.

The Men’s Advice Line is a confidential helpline for male victims of domestic abuse and those supporting them. They can be reached via 'phone at 0808 801 0327.

Galop runs the national LGBT+ domestic abuse helpline. They can be reached via freephone at 0800 999 5428 and can be emailed confidentially

More locally, the Gaia Centre, offers wrap-around services to assist anyone who is experiencing violence and abuse at home

If you are in a sitution of danger do not hesitate to call 999 - if you are unable to speak, stay silent and key 55 in to your 'phone.

How to make a silent 999 call
The Home Office has a system in place called Silent Solutions, which helps callers, such as domestic abuse victims, who cannot speak to an operator.
If you have not been able to signal that your call is an emergency by coughing after dialling 999, you will be put through to the operator.
If you are in danger, you will be asked to dial "55".

Help from Lambeth Council during the pandemic

If you need help, advice or support from the council please call the helpline number
020 7926 2999 – open 8am to 8pm every day.

There is more information available on this page of the council website helpline for vulnerable people

The council’s youth service has produced a young people’s guide to coronavirus specifically aimed at 14-18 year olds and a guide for residents which can be found here guide for residents during the COVID-19 crisis.

Information about support available to individuals, businesses and other organisation and how you can help your community is now available through this link in an easier location on our website.

Service updates can be found here -  on a new, separate page.

The Covid - 19 main section of the website is:

To get support for businesses or advice on commercial activities, such as waste or insurance:

To find out how you can help, by volunteering or making donations to local food banks and other charities:

To access the live and easy-read dashboard which sets out the current status of council services, please visit:

Ramadan Guidance

As Muslims begin to prepare for the month of Ramadan, the NHS has issued a reminder to those who observe the Islamic holy month to avoid social gatherings because of the risk of coronavirus.
Ramadan will be marked all over the world from Thursday 23 April with month-long fasting and observations of spiritual reflection set to end on Saturday 23 May. This is followed by Eid the festival of fast breaking where traditionally family and friends get together to attend special prayers and celebrate the end of the holy month.

Additional guidance and key advice has been issued to NHS managers and staff working in hospitals and healthcare settings to cover adjustments over working hours and fasting arrangements for Muslim colleagues who are not eating or drinking during daylight hours until evening sunset.

Read the full advice here.