Councillor Ward Report – Nov 2022
OVAL WARD NEWS
BRAND NEW HOMES ON SOUTH LAMBETH ESTATE
We were delighted to meet with residents who are moving into the brand new council-built homes on South Lambeth estate, mainly moving from Broadstone and Sturminster. All the 30 new homes are spacious and have access to the extensive rooftop garden, and boast high levels of thermal insulation and each property has been designed in accordance with Lambeth Council’s commitment to achieve net zero carbon by 2030.
The design aims to build on the long-term success and community sustainability of South Lambeth by recognising that each and every new apartment is someone’s home.
Phase 2 of the renewal of the South Lambeth estate will deliver 186 new homes, with planning to commence in 2023.
All of us have been to various meetings on the estate, and the council has commenced a new series of drop-in meetings with residents to ensure that residents can access the information they need at every stage of the process.
LAMBETH JOINS CALLS FOR THE RIGHT TO FOOD TO BE ENSHRINED IN LAW
Labour councillors have joined the campaign for the right to food to be enshrined in law. Twelve years of Tory austerity has led to a staggering rise in food poverty across the UK. And now that the Tories have crashed the economy and are plunging the UK further and further into a cost-of-living crisis, food poverty is spiralling further and further out of control.
Labour is walking the walk on tackling food poverty in Lambeth. Whether through our Fridge and Freezer Fund, our work with local food banks and community kitchens, our support for families with children on Free School Meals, or our commitment to ending poverty wages by making our borough a living wage place – Labour is making a difference here. That’s why Lambeth has been rated the number one borough in London for tackling food poverty by London Food Link.
We are proud of our record of tackling food poverty in Lambeth, but we need national support if we are to truly bring an end to food poverty in our communities. We need the government to enshrine the Right to Food in law and introduce measures to tackle food poverty, including: Universal Free School Meals, create a national network of community kitchens, including community use of school kitchens, promoting access to public land suitable for community food growing.
CREATING A BIG SHIFT IN LAMBETH TRAVEL
The climate crisis and the rising cost of living pose very real threats to the livelihoods of people who live and work in Lambeth today. If we are to meet those challenges head-on and create a more equal borough for all of us, we all need to make changes in our lives – including how we travel around Lambeth. That’s why we have launched The Big Shift – a £17.7 million investment which brings life to Lambeth Labour’s ambitious plan to cut air pollution, reduce road danger, support access and mobility, and help people choose public transport, walking, cycling, and scooting more often.
Over the coming months, we will announce new school streets, more protected cycle lanes, a huge increase in bike storage for residents, more electric vehicle charging points, community grants for local greening projects, investment into micromobility hubs, parklets and new walking routes, and seven new Low Traffic Neighbourhood schemes. We are also supporting local businesses to make the transition to making deliveries by e-cargo bike in partnership with Peddle My Wheels.
Over the past eight years, our borough has taken great strides in improving transport in Lambeth and making our neighbourhoods safer, cleaner, healthier, and more sustainable – but there’s much more to do.
RESIDENTS ASSOCIATION MEETINGS
We have been attending local resident's and tenant's meetings, including AGMS, for example, Ashmole, South Lambeth Estate and IMPACT. All are very well attended, not just by residents but by local businesses and Lambeth officers, and a range of topics are discussed. Thank you to all who volunteer and organise. We have other TA and TRA meetings coming up. If you would like us to attend and support your organisation in any way, please do get in touch. It is a great way for us to hear what is going on and how we can improve services around and pick up casework.
LAMBETH TO PLANT HUNDREDS OF NEW TREES BY SPRING
More than 600 new trees have been secured for a planting programme in Lambeth that will run until March 2023 as part of our commitment to plant 5000 new trees across the borough over the next four years.
The planting is part of plans to address the climate and nature crises whilst also providing a range of health and well-being benefits to residents. The new trees will improve air quality, increase resilience to heat waves and flooding, and help nature to thrive.
New trees have been reserved at nurseries for the planting season this winter, and on-street planting locations have been scoped out, plus other locations across our borough’s award-winning network of parks and open spaces.
We have joined the residents in various Freshviews, and litter picks, including Claylands Road and Meadow Road, when we spent an afternoon of street sweeping and cleaning, followed by a cake bake sale for the people of Ukraine. If you wish to hold a community Freshview which can include litter picking, weeding and constructing planters with recycled scaffolding wood provided by the council, do get in touch, and we can help you organise it.
BALLOTING RESIDENTS FOR ESTATE RENEWAL
The Tories in Westminster have caused a major housing crisis in Lambeth, but Lambeth Labour is determined to make a change here, and that is why we built the first new council homes in a generation.
We have reconfirmed our commitment to delivering community-led regeneration across some of our estates and embarking on a major council house-building programme. We have further clarified that any plans to rebuild estates will be done with residents through thorough engagements and an extensive co-design process.
We have made it clear that any plan to regenerate estates will be led by the residents who live there and will be voted on by those residents in a ballot. Any regeneration on our estates will only happen if residents support it.
FREE SCHOOL MEALS SUPPORT DURING THE OCTOBER HALF TERM & A SUMMER OF FOOD AND FUN IN LAMBETH
Over August, we once again ran our Summer of Food and Fun programme – which provides a wide range of activities for children and young people, as well as healthy meals and snacks for all. We are incredibly grateful to local groups and volunteers who ran holiday schemes, including The Triangle Adventure Playground and Kennington Park Estate community centre.
Throughout the October Half Term, Lambeth has once again been filling gaps left by the Tories in Westminster by supporting the families of almost 15,000 children on Free School Meals with the costs of food and bills. And we have already committed to providing this support until at least the Spring.
The vouchers help to make sure that families are able to meet the extra financial pressure of having to buy more food and put the heating on for longer whilst children are at home for the half-term break.
Whilst we are proud that Lambeth Labour is providing this support locally, we want to make sure that everyone everywhere in the UK is protected from food poverty. That’s why we have written to the government to call on them to enshrine the right to food in law and to introduce a policy of Universal Free School Meals.
TRIANGLE ADVENTURE PLAYGROUND
We were delighted to attend the 65-year anniversary of The Triangle, the oldest adventure playground in London. It is a fantastic resource for local children, and we will continue to support it and the amazing youth workers who do so much for our local young people.
LAMBETH PARKS AWARDED 22 GREEN FLAGS
Lambeth’s parks and green spaces have been awarded 22 Green Flags – making 2022 our best year ever for the prestigious awards, and amazingly, topping last year’s record of 19 Green Flags. Larkhall Park, Ufford Street Gardens and Wyck Gardens are the latest parks to have been awarded Green Flag status, joining the 19 Lambeth winners last year.
LAMBETH’S £6 MILLION PROGRAMME TO REDUCE FLOOD RISK
Lambeth Council, in partnership with Thames Water Utilities, announced a new £6 million programme to help reduce flood risk across the borough.
As Lambeth is highly urbanised it is not possible to install conventional flood mitigation measures and upgrading our ageing sewage systems is unsustainable. Instead, our strategy relies on lots of smaller and sustainable changes across the borough which will reduce the risk and impact of flooding and alleviate the pressure on our ageing sewage systems.
These changes will come in the form of Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDs), which range from trees to wetlands and rain gardens, which mimic natural drainage cycles. This programme will provide new green infrastructure on our streets and open spaces that not only support the continued efforts to reduce flood risk, but also offer wider benefits such as cooling areas during heat waves, storing carbon and supporting mental health and wildlife.
We are committed to ensuring our climate response is at the heart of everything we do, as reflected in our Climate Action Plan. This programme will sustainably manage over four hectares of Lambeth’s surfaces and will go towards our Climate Action Plan target of achieving 10% of impermeable surfaces to be sustainably managed by 2030.
FREE-TO-USE SPORTS FACILITIES IN EVERY NEIGHBOURHOOD
We have been making progress on our ambition for there to be free-to-use, turn-up-and-play sports facilities for children and young people in every neighbourhood in the borough.
The council have joined forces with Sky Sports and England and Wales Cricket Board to renovate a local playground on the Mawbey Brough Estate here in Oval and install a permanent Dynamos Cricket Wicket. It was great to join with young people, local schools and residents in the summer for the opening of it.
It was also fantastic to attend the first-ever schools cricket competition which involved several Lambeth primary schools and took place at the cricket ground. The kids loved it and it was so exciting to see them play cricket for the first time ever in their lives on a world renowned pitch!
We have also reopened Stockwell Skatepark after a council-led £500,000 makeover, delivered with key partners such as Friends of Stockwell Skatepark and close collaboration with the community.
Stockwell Skatepark is an incredibly special place in the borough that draws people from across Lambeth and beyond. These new facilities should help to nurture local talent as well as supporting all wheeled users.
LAMBETH AWARDED STONEWALL HOUSING INCLUSION STANDARD
Lambeth is the first local authority to have been awarded the Stonewall Housing Inclusion Standard. This comes a year after we took the HouseProud Pledge to make our service more LGBT+ inclusive. This award recognises all the good work the Housing Department has done to ensure its services are LGBT+ inclusive.
We achieved this by: Reviewing our policies, procedures and service offers to ensure LGBT+ friendly practises are implemented; ensured all of our frontline officers have undergone specific training to be aware of LGBT+ history, current challenges and how to be an ally; and allowed Stonewall Housing to complete a widespread assessment of the Housing Department to ensure our practices are inclusive.
As the first local authority to receive the award, we are proud of our achievement and hope other housing providers will follow our example and make their own practices more inclusive.
We attended a community group meeting regarding the Oval Village development. We heard the concerns of the residents (mainly around the noise of the works and have been doing ongoing casework) and got an update on the project. It was confirmed that apprentices were being hired and work experience was being provided. Additionally, History and Geography lesson material was being provided to the local schools.