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:

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Clean bus corridor comes into force on Brixton Hill to address air pollution

cleanairAs you may have spotted on Brixton Hill’s bus stops, Sadiq Khan’s Low Emission Bus zone between Brixton and Streatham has come into force. It means only the cleanest types of buses will be used by Transport for London down Brixton Hill.

The zone is only the second in London and was brought in by Mayor Khan after Brixton Hill’s councillors campaigned about the quality of the air in the local area, which has seen rising pollution and unsafe amounts recorded at local schools. Almost 10,000 premature deaths in London each year are estimated to arise from air pollution.

Now that the clean bus corridor is in place, we will continue to campaign for other measures to reduce air pollution, including more tree planting, smarter logistics for delivery companies and the extension of London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone to the South Circular.

Upper Tulse Hill to be closed on several occasions for next 18 months

A road closure notice has been published seeking the closure of Upper Tulse Hill at the Brixton Hill end on several days over the next eighteen months to allow investigatory water works.

It is currently anticipated that the works would be carried out in phases on 5th August 2017, 3rd February 2018, 4th August 2018 and 2nd February 2019 but if the works cannot be carried out or completed on these dates, then the Order may have effect at other times within the maximum period of 18 months.

Update on Brixton Hill burst water pipe

img_8282A burst water pipe this morning at 04.50am has caused major disruption and could potentially mean that Brixton Hill is closed until after the weekend. This has now been found to be a 12-inch pipe rather than an 18-inch water main, but the volume of water this morning saw Brixton Hill become a torrent and streams of people walking from Streatham to Brixton as buses were caught up in the jam.

Below is an update on the event and the action that Thames Water is taking:

  • Thames Water have excavated the damaged pipe and are preparing to cut out the broken section.  They have said that they will be working on replacing this as quickly as they can.
  • No buildings appear to have been flooded and damage beyond the immediate road surface is currently minimal.
  • They do not expect water supplies in the area to be affected by the burst but are keeping bottled water supplies and tankers on standby in the area as a contingency.
  • Brixton Hill is currently closed and diversions are in place, but Thames Water will discuss plans to re-open the road with Transport for London (TfL).

Councillors have stressed that permanent traffic diversions cannot lead to further burden to existing rat runs such as Dumbarton and Lyham Road. We have also made clear that Thames Water need to do more to reduce the number and impact of burst pipes in Streatham and Brixton Hill. Today there have also burst pipes in Leigham Vale and St Julian’s Farm Road. This level of disruption is unacceptable and Thames Water need to address this urgently.

If residents have any queries please call Thames Water on 0800 3169800, quoting your address.  Lines are open 24 hours a day.  They are also available via Facebook or Twitter.

10 homes planned for former Toyota garage at 237 Brixton Hill

A planning application has been made for the former Toyota garage at 237 Brixton Hill by the bus depot.

The plans consist of the demolition of the existing building on site and erection of a four-storey building comprising commercial floorspace on part of ground floor and basement level and provision of 10 self-contained residential units.

As your local councillors, our initial thought is that this development could be too large for this site and out of keeping, and we are concerned by the lack of affordable housing in the development. But we want to know what residents think and to remind neighbours of the opportunity to tell the Council direct. Continue reading

Brixton Hill off licence Kwik Stop forced to end 24-7 alcohol sales

kwik stopFollowing a review instigated by Lambeth Council Trading Standards, the Licensing Sub-Committee has agreed to put new conditions on the Kwik-Stop Food & Wine at 72 Brixton Hill that mean it will no longer be able to sell alcohol overnight.

The latest review was instigated following the discovery of an alleged illegal worker in the shop. The apparent employment of the same man at nearby Costcutters (which has the same owners) led to that shop having its hours reduced earlier this year. A previous review of Kwik Stop in 2015 imposed new conditions that did not appear to have been stuck to since then. Both the Police and the Council in their submissions linked the low sales associated with opening overnight with the move to employ illegal workers. Local residents also made submissions, some in support of the shop but more stating that the off licence contributed to nuisance, noise and street drinking.

After hearing the submissions and making its deliberations, the Licensing Sub-Committe decided:

  • To remove Zaffar Khan as the Designated Premises Supervisor; and
  • To modify the operating schedule for the premises so as to reduce its opening hours to 08:00 and 23:00.

The premises have until late July to appeal this decision.

24/7 off licences on Brixton Hill forced to reduce hours

The Licensing Sub-Committee last night imposed strict new conditions on two 24-hour off-licences on Brixton Hill. Council officials and the Police applied for the shops to be reviewed following allegations of serious breaches of their conditions, including the employment of illegal workers in both cases and the lack of proper security and management in one case in an area of high public nuisance.

Both cases were settled following negotiations between the shopowners, the Police and the Council. While no side got entirely what they were after, consensus was reached on a set of new conditions to ensure proper employment methods, measures to deter street drinkers and a reduction of hours so neither shop is open overnight. The allegations were particularly serious and the Police and Council had initially asked for the licences to be revoked altogether, so this compromise allows the businesses to continue trading on the condition that the issues are resolved.

Premier Food & Wine at 112 Brixton Hill will now be open until 11pm Sunday to Thursday and until 2am on Fridays and Saturdays.

Costcutter at 98 Brixton Hill will open until midnight Sunday to Thursday and until 2am on Fridays and Saturdays, and they will also ensure that they install a door and shutter so the premises can be secured overnight.

Cllr Martin Tiedemann was able to address the committee and a number of local residents made representations in writing that the committee took into account before signing off the conditions.

Next Your New Town Hall construction forum takes place on 4th April

YNTH-sketchAs construction works continue on the Town Hall and new Civic Centre, the developers and Council have issued details of the next construction forum for for the local community, residents and businesses to raise issues and hear about next steps.

Following on from the 3rd Neighbourhood Construction Forum, which was held on Thursday 1st December 2016, the 4th Neighbourhood Construction Forum will be held on Tuesday 4th April 6pm-8.30pm at Morgan Sindall’s Site Office, Ivor House, 1-9 Acre Lane.

The purpose of this Forum is to have regular, productive communications between the contractor and the local community throughout the construction period. This will be a meeting where issues or concerns can be raised, and dealt with, ensuring that everyone is kept up to date with what is happening on site.

Those interested should confirm attendance to Dalia.Islam@morgansindall.com or 07976 587 990 by Friday 31st March 2017 the latest.

Letter sent to Mayor re dangerous junctions following another serious accident

Cllr Martin Tiedemann has written to Sadiq Khan regarding dangerous junctions on the A23 Brixton Hill following another accident last month that has left a cyclist with serious injuries.

Three years ago, Cllr Tiedemann wrote to the previous Mayor, highlighting the junctions of Brixton Hill with Brixton Water Lane/Trent Road/Lambert Road/Josephine Avenue. These junctions, which comprise part of London Cycle Network Route 25, were originally prioritised for action but were subsequently dropped from Boris Johnson’s plans. Now, with a new Mayor and further accidents, Brixton Hill’s councillors are calling for urgent action. Continue reading

Brixton Hill featured in the New York Times “proving that cool doesn’t have to come with a high price tag”

ny-timesBrixton Hill has been featured in the New York Times Travel section as an up-and-coming destination, the pitch being that our locally-owned businesses “are successfully eschewing the onslaught of gentrification and proving that cool doesn’t have to come with a high price tag.”

The article highlights the stretch of Brixton Hill around the White Horse, including Alkaline juice bar, the Fish Lounge, Negril, F.Mondays and Kata Kata.

One local resident told the NYT, “It’s the music and cultural history that made all the developers want to come to Brixton in the first place. On Brixton Hill that creative community spirit is still alive; this area is for real people.”

Francklin of Kata Kata said he appreciates the authenticy of Brixton Hill. “My customers are local and happy to be in a place that is relaxed and fair with basic prices and honesty. That’s what this area is really good at, it’s honest… we want to keep Brixton Hill as it is. It should be the place where a 60-year-old resident can spend an afternoon across the table from a local politician.”