After 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.”
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.
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.
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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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.