Improving waste collection for residents living above parades of shops

Following requests for help from residents living above shopping parades on New Park Road and Brixton Hill, Councillor Martin Tiedemann asked a question at last night’s Council meeting and secured renewed commitment from the Cabinet Member to address those concerns.

We will be following this issue up and ensuring that the new system, including daily collection, is rolled out to New Park Road as soon as possible and a suitable location found for the recycling bins.

13. Councillor Martin Tiedemann

To: Cabinet Member for Environment and Clean Air, Councillor Claire Holland

Residents in Brixton Hill are experiencing problems with waste collection where they live above shopping parades, particularly New Park Road. Can the cabinet member review the provision for refuse and recycling in these instances and see if a more effective approach can be taken?

Party: Labour

Answer: Lambeth has in recent years taken a number of steps forward successfully to increase recycle rates in the borough and this will remain a priority in the years ahead, despite deep government cuts to the council’s budget.

The collection of waste from flats above shops does pose a number of challenges, including the need to keep the footway free of bins means that waste is put out in bags, attracting foxes and creating litter. The change over in tenants in these properties, which tend to be privately rented, also means that establishing a regular pattern of recycling behaviour is more difficult.

However, we have been working with our waste contractor Veolia on a trial aimed at improving recycling in this type of accommodation. This includes introducing small green bins, similar to the yellow grit bins, which residents can use for their recycling bags. As part of this we are providing properties with posters containing all the necessary information which have been put up in interior hallways, ensuring that new residents have access to the information they need whenever they need it. We’re also introducing smaller packs of recycling sacks which will fit through letterboxes so that residents can access the recycling service and use it properly. General refuse is collected daily each morning, and residents are encouraged to put their waste out at the correct time before the collection takes place to reduce the number of bags on the pavement during the busier parts of the day.

The trial has so far produced positive results. Recycling has increased from flats above shops in areas where the green boxes have been situated. We are yet to receive the first batch of smaller packs of bags, but we expect this will further increase recycling. Following the end of the trial, we expect to roll out this new approach across all parades of flats above shops that are not currently in a timed collections area, including Brixton Hill and New Park Road later this year.

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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:

Last call for entries for ‘Blooming Lambeth’

‘Blooming Lambeth’ is a celebration of growing, greening and innovations happening in Lambeth, a partnership between Lambeth Council and Incredible Edible Lambeth. Residents are asked to take a look at the categories and nominate yourself, your neighbours, a community group, or your whole street or estate as an example of what’s best about Lambeth and the people who live here.

Applicants for each category of the competition are asked to send in a photo and a description of ‘your story’ in three sentences by the deadline of 16th June. For an entry form phone 020 7926 3401 or email bloom@lambeth.gov.uk.

The categories are:

  • Home in Bloom – for front or back gardens
  • Community in bloom – if you have an estate or community garden to be proud of
  • Food growing – your individual (or your neighbour’s) vegetable patch, herb garden, window box or container garden
  • Innovation – The best initiative or project. Something you or someone you know has done to change things for the better
  • Windowbox or balcony – Some people can make the most out the smallest of spaces
  • Community food growing – for the group that gardens together and contributes to the community.

The prize for each category is £100 garden centre vouchers. Incredible Edible Lambeth will be judging the entries in each category and holding an awards ceremony at the Garden Museum, Lambeth Palace on 12 October 2017.

Question to Council regarding road safety and 20mph enforcement

File 29-01-2017, 22 07 16.pngAt last week’s full Council, Cllr Martin Tiedemann was able to put down a written question concerning road safety in Brixton Hill. He addressed enforcement of 20mph, rat runs and speeding through the area and unsafe pedestrian crossings, especially the zebra crossing on Kings Avenue. The cabinet member gave a comprehensive response.

At the meeting, Martin was able to follow this up with an oral question, where he raised the New Park Road safety scheme. Cllr Tiedemann thanked the Council for completing the scheme and asked for monitoring to ensure it was doing its job and ensuring safety for residents and the pupils of Richard Atkins Primary School. Cllr Brathwaite was able to assure us that monitoring is indeed taking place and results would be shared soon. Continue reading

Investing in apprenticeships

construction-for-security-services1.jpgJobs and apprenticeships for young people in Brixton Hill was one of our key pledges locally in the 2014 elections. Now, a new levy on developers could help to create hundreds of new apprenticeships for young people in Lambeth.

With millions of pounds of investment going into the borough across dozens of sites, the new ‘Employment and Skills’ planning document will help ensure that local people benefit from the growth that is taking place in the borough.

Addressing the skills gap and providing local people with the training and qualifications they need to secure good, well-paid jobs is a key focus of the SPD. Although the local economy is performing well in many respects, unemployment remains above the national average and 18% of working age residents lack basic skills (NVQ level 2 qualifications or higher). This means that local people often miss the opportunities available as a central London borough – according to the most recent figures a quarter of job vacancies in the borough last year were hard to fill due to skill shortages.  Continue reading

Raised crossing proposed for Kings Avenue to address safety concerns

pedestrian-crossing-160672_640Lambeth Council has launched a statutory consultation on its plans to improve a pedestrian crossing on Kings Avenue and address serious concerns about its safety.

In late 2016, Brixton Hill councillors received complaints about the crossing outside Robins Court and launched an informal consultation, writing to 200 properties on Kings Avenue and neighbouring roads. Many residents told us how cars failed to stop at the zebra crossing and that there had been many near misses and a general sense this is not a safe place to cross. We were able to use these testimonies as evidence that the Council needs to take urgent action and raised the issue as a formal question to the Council meeting. We also arranged for foliage to be trimmed back to help visibility of the crossing. Continue reading

Question to Council regarding Sudbourne and Orchard primary schools

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Orchard Primary School

Ahead of the next meeting of Lambeth Council next week, written questions to the Cabinet have been published. Brixton Hill councillor Adrian Garden asked for an update regarding the long hoped for expansion of Sudbourne Primary School, and the planned rebuild of Orchard Primary School on Christchurch Road.

Here is the cabinet member’s reply. Continue reading

Dumbarton Road incident resolved earlier – thank you to police and Council staff

Following a situation that lasted much of the day involving police at an address at Dumbarton Road, the area was declared safe shortly after 5pm. Residents who had been evacuated from nearby properties were allowed to return home and an arrest has been made. An imitation firearm was recovered at the scene.

Our thanks to the police for resolving the situation and to Lambeth Council staff who supported residents and took care of several at the council’s offices.

Lambeth Leader slams Cameron’s Council Cuts Hypocrisy

The news last week that David Cameron has criticised his own Conservative council in Oxfordshire for making cuts to front line services has rightly caused consternation among all of us in local government who have been working hard to limit the impact of his deep cuts to our funding. In Lambeth, we’ve lost over 56% of our budget since 2010, much more than Tory councils despite our higher levels of need, which means unavoidable decisions about what services we can deliver.

David Cameron however seems to think that there are easy answers to this question and offered a meeting with his policy advisers to the Tory leader of his own council so these can be set out. Of course, such special treatment would be a breach of the ministerial code so the Leader of Lambeth Council, Cllr Lib Peck, has written to the Prime Minister to request the same meeting so she can make his advisers aware of the reality of local government cuts in Lambeth. You can read a copy of her letter below. Continue reading