Labour & Co-operative team for May election confirmed for Brixton Hill

new team infographicWith local elections coming up in just a few weeks on 3rd May, the Labour Party has confirmed its candidates for Brixton Hill. Existing councillors, Adrian Garden and Martin Tiedemann, will be joined by Maria Kay.

Brixton Hill residents Adrian and Martin have been active Brixton Hill councillors since 2014 and 2013 respectively. They led the fight to bring in the Controlled Parking many local residents wanted and have campaigned extensively to tackle dangerous roads and rat runs. Adrian has worked hard with the Friends of Windmill Gardens since originally helping to secure the major lottery grant that led to the windmill’s reopening. Martin has been active on local licensing and planning decisions, working to ensure late night off licences act responsibly and small businesses are supported.

With the news that Florence Eshalomi is stepping down after twelve years, Brixton Hill Labour have selected Maria Kay as a candidate. Maria grew up just off Lyham Road and lives in Brixton. Her work for a charity tackling domestic violence is based in the ward.

In this election, alongside those commitments made in Lambeth Labour’s manifesto for a Better, Fairer Lambeth, Brixton Hill’s Labour team are pledging:
  • Better pavements and safer roads, with better and safer facilities for cyclists and pedestrians
  • To fight Tory cuts to our police and tackle crime and anti-social behaviour on Brixton Hill
  • To tackle litter, flytipping and public nuisance with better enforcement and more litter bins
  • To fight for the rights of our European residents
  • To tackle hate crime and violence against women

Maria, Adrian and Martin will be standing as Labour & Co-operative candidates, underlining their support for a co-operative economy and active participation in the Co-operative Party.

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Cllr Florence Eshalomi stepping down at May’s council elections – but still representing Brixton Hill at City Hall


P1020764After twelve years, Cllr Florence Eshalomi (formerly Nosegbe) will be retiring from Lambeth Council in May at the local elections.

In her time on the Council, Florence served as a cabinet member and as the Brixton area lead. One of her proudest achievements was setting up the Youth Mayor scheme and ensuring that Lambeth Young People have access to the decision makers. Flo has always championed our youth services and the involvement of young people in our democratic structures.

In 2016, Florence was elected as the Labour London Assembly Member for Lambeth & Southwark, representing local residents at City Hall and serving as Labour’s Transport Spokesperson. In that capacity, Florence will continue to serve Brixton and will continue to take up issues of real importance to the area, like air quality, road safety and bringing the Overground to Brixton.

Flo said: “Representing Brixton Hill ward for me on a personal level will always be an honour – the girl from Somerleyton Estate, which was often regarded as a no-go area in the heart of Brixton, would now be able to help the wonderful people of Brixton get answers from Lambeth Council.

“I’m excited that another fabulous Black Woman in Maria Kay will be filling my shoes and hopefully be elected as one of the Brixton Hill Councillors come 3rd May 2018.”

Next month: public event for plans for major development on Acre Lane for National Grid’s London Power Tunnels

On April 17 and 18, Brixton Hill residents will be able to attend public information events organised by National Grid about plans for an important development at the corner of Acre Lane and King’s Avenue.

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National Grid are planning to build a new network of tunnels deep below the surface in South London, between sites at Wimbledon and New Cross. The tunnels will carry high voltage electricity cables. They say the works are essential in order to replace existing electricity circuits which are coming towards the end of their useful life. By placing the cables in deep underground tunnels, they aim to reduce disruption to the local area.

As part of this work, National Grid need to build a tunnel shaft and headhouse in the Brixton area. Their chosen site is on the corner of Kings Avenue and Acre Lane. The shaft is needed to help build the tunnel, and the headhouse will cover the shaft and will be used as an access point once the tunnel is built.

They will need planning permission for the headhouse and, ahead of making the application, will be sharing details of the works so that members of the public can feedback on the headhouse design and find out more about the wider project.

Two public information events will be held on Tuesday 17 April and Wednesday 18 April from 2pm to 8pm in Clapham Library, Mary Seacole Centre, 91 Clapham High Street, SW4 7DB. The details of this event will be advertised in the local press and social media, and local residents have been invited by letter.

Lambeth Labour puts rights of EU nationals at the heart of its manifesto

EU resident manifesto

This past weekend, Lambeth Labour’s manifesto for the council elections was launched by Mayor Sadiq Khan, Chuka Umunna MP, Florence Eshalomi AM and Cllr Lib Peck. The manifesto puts the rights of Lambeth’s EU Citizens at its heart:

Fighting for the rights of EU citizens: We’re proud that 79% of Lambeth residents voted to remain in the European Union. We’ve lobbied the government to protect the rights of over 30,000 European citizens in Lambeth. Our friends and neighbours shouldn’t be treated as a bargaining chip – but sadly the Conservatives both nationally and locally refuse to support a guarantee of their rights.

A re-elected Labour council will continue fighting against the Conservative government’s disastrous Hard Brexit.

We’ll fight for the rights of EU citizens, and membership of the single market and customs union.

As this notes, Lambeth is home to over 30,000 EU citizens, other than UK and Irish citizens, and 1 in 8 of residents in Brixton Hill are EU citizens, including many of Lambeth’s important Portuguese community and Latin Americans who hold Spanish passports.

At a recent Lambeth Council meeting, Brixton Hill councillor Martin Tiedemann was one of the Labour councillors proposing a motion to protect EU Nationals. In his speech he spoke of the uncertainty still faced by many residents as Brexit is unveiled, including his own father, a German National who has lived in the UK for almost fifty years yet faces an uncertain and expensive future.

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Supporting Kildoran, Glenelg, Strathleven residents to make their roads safer

Brixton Hill councillors are continuing to work with residents of Kildoran, Glenelg and Strathleven roads to address rat running and dangerous driving. Since the issue was first raised by councillors, there have been two serious crashes in these roads, one into a front garden, and residents are understandably concerned by the threat, noise and pollution.

Prior to the accidents, a petition had already been started by Cllr Martin Tiedemann and this was handed in to the Council by Cllr Adrian Garden earlier this year. This has ensured that the cabinet member responsible takes the issue seriously. Residents have continued to write in their concerns and attended our surgery to lobby over the issue this week.

The Council has now confirmed that it will be improving signage to remind drivers this is a 20mph area and to deter rat running. There will also be a proposal to deter through traffic cutting through from Kings Avenue to Brixton by banning right turns into Acre Lane from Strathleven Road.

Brixton Hill Labour councillors have also written to the Council to ask that the new road markings on Strathleven Road be reviewed. Cycle markings are, we believe, currently too close to parked cars, encouraging cyclists to cycle in an unsafe position and cars to overtake when not safe to do so.

We will continue to push the Council to move the issue along and will ask them to consider other solutions with the permission of residents if these do not have the desired effect, such as changing access to roads or chicanes.

Local residents have formed a Facebook Group to keep each other informed and engaged – get in contact for more details.

Have your say on the Mayor’s plans for lower air pollution – extend the ULEZ up Brixton Hill

The Mayor of London is consulting on his plans to improve air quality in London – with proposals that directly affect Brixton Hill.

From next year the Mayor is already introducing an Ultra-Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) for central London, forcing drivers of the dirtiest vehicles to pay a surcharge that will hopefully deter them from driving in central London or, better still, incentivise them to replace their vehicles with cleaner ones. This is a year earlier than originally pledged.

Now the Mayor is proposing tougher standards for the whole of London to come in by 2020 – while not as tough as the ULEZ, it will mean all of London will see benefits by reducing the number of polluting vehicles coming into the city. The proposals are projected to lead to a 30% reduction in NOx levels in inner London including our area by 2021.

Sadiq Khan is also proposing to extend the ULEZ to the South Circular, meaning that it would cover the whole of Brixton Hill. Light vehicles which do not meet these standards would need to pay a daily charge of £12.50 in order to drive in the ULEZ. This is very welcome news and we urge residents to respond to the survey to signal support for these plans so that Brixton Hill air can improve.

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The current proposal is for the extension to cover Brixton Hill to start in October 2021. In our response to the consultation, Brixton Hill’s Labour councillors have said that we want the extension to come in earlier and not wait over three years for these crucial measures that could be improving health and quality of life and reducing pollution around our schools and homes.

You can read the whole plans here. To have your say, you must do so by 28 February 2018 using the online survey.

Next Safer Neighbourhood Panel to be held on 22 February

The next Brixton Hill Safer Neighbourhood Ward Panel meeting takes place on Thursday 22 February at 7pm. The venue is the Clapham Park Project at 1-4 Brixton Hill Place off Brixton Hill, SW2 1HJ.

The panel is an opportunity to discuss local concerns and to and set priorities for the local police team.

You can find out more about local crime statistics and police priorities for Brixton Hill at www.met.police.uk/your-area/lambeth/brixton-hill.

Have your say on action to end harassment at sexual and reproductive health clinics

Lambeth Council has opened a consultation to hear what residents think about proposals to introduce a ‘PSPO’ for sexual health and reproductive health clinics in Lambeth to protect women and girls accessing services, including at the clinic on Brixton Hill. This follows a Labour motion at the recent Council meeting calling for a public spaces protection order (PSPO).

Evidence collected by the Back Off campaign, the British Pregnancy Advisory Services (BPAS) campaign to end harassment and intimidation outside clinics, paints a troubling picture of the experience of staff and service users at Marie Stopes in Brixton and BPAS in Streatham.

One woman said she suffered from an existing mental health condition and the comments from protestors “significantly increased my anxiety and anger”. Another user said they made her feel “uncomfortable and afraid of what would happen”. One said the activities “upset people already going through a traumatic situation”.

While everyone has the right to protest peacefully, Lambeth Labour believe it is completely unacceptable for women to be subject to intimidation and harassment simply for exercising their legal right to access abortion services. Read more on the background to this issue here.

Lambeth Council is now consulting on a draft PSPO that would seek to reduce harassment and intimidation and the relaying of false information at the Marie Stopes clinic on Brixton Hill and the BPAS clinic in Streatham.

The Council need to balance the rights of the community to enjoy public spaces without being affected by ASB, with the civil liberties of individuals and groups who may be affected by any restrictions imposed. Whether you are affected by the ASB or would be restricted by the terms of the draft PSPO, you can have your say before 26 February:

New trees on their way for Brixton Hill

Following lobbying by Brixton Hill councillors, a number of new street trees are to be located around the area a part of a Lambeth-wide programme. Whilst contributing to create a more attractive environment for all, the planting will also improve the overall environmental quality, (including air quality and noise reduction), of our neighbourhood.

Subject to final ground scan surveys the locations chosen are:

  1. Baytree Road (several including Ginkgo and Juneberry trees, sadly no Baytrees)
  2. Lyham Road (a number of ornamental pear trees)
  3. Sudbourne Road (nine new trees including oak, Prunus and field maple)
  4. Trent Road (four to include a crabapple)

Treeplanting is starting this month and will continue through to April. Residents in roads affected are currently being written to to let them know about the project.

The borough-wide planting programme will be funded by the Transport for London LIP and GLA grants.

Lambeth Town Hall set to reopen – with new community rooms for hire

Lambeth’s newly refurbished Town Hall on Brixton Hill is set to reopen with neighbouring residents of Arlington Lodge and Porden Road joining Brixton Hill councillors as the very first guests of the Mayor in the Mayor’s Parlour later today. Staff will begin to move back in and internal works will be completed over coming weeks and Lambeth residents will soon be able to see the transformation of the 1908 Grade II listed building.

While several rooms in the Town Hall will be available at commercial rates to bring in income to the Council to support services to the public, two rooms will be set aside specifically for community use. The two rooms, at the front of the Town Hall, can accommodate 8 or 16 people boardroom-style, or more for meetings.

They will be available for £25 or £40 per hour, with no peak rates and a minimum hire period of just one hour, unlike the rest of the building. Bookings of two hours or less in the community rooms will not require a damage deposit. In the rest of the building, a discount of 50% on the core hire fee will be applied to community/charity use for larger events.