August 2019

Current Consultations

More Walking and Cycling, Less Cars?

A couple of years back, there was a lot of discussion about making Atlantic Road safer by reducing through traffic, while ensuring that deliveries could still take place to the arcades and shops, including Electric Avenue and Popes Road.  Transport for London asked for proposals for a wider area around the Town Centre, to include safer and healthier routes for walking and cycling, as well as reducing motor traffic.

Lambeth is currently seeking ideas for what is now called Brixton Livable Neighbourhoods.  Sadly, this got off to a bad start because nothing appeared on the Consultation pages of Lambeth Council’s website, no closing date was stated and only cycling interests were informed at the outset.  People even questioned if it was genuine, because a non-UK website was quoted for responses.

The team have now begun meeting with local groups, and a more concentrated effort is to be made during September, including some public events and calling on most traders in the Town Centre.  Plans will then be developed between October and April, with an overall timescale of 3 years to carry out the work.  There is an interactive map on the website for you to input comments – great for identifying “hotspots” and hazards, though less suited to broader concepts.  So far, comments from cyclists dominate, so let’s hear more from pedestrians and businesses too, before the end of September – seehttps://brixtonlnmap.commonplace.is/

Rush Common improvements

One consultation that really is on the Council’s website invites ideas for improving public open space on Rush Common, alongside Brixton Hill.

Lambeth Parks Department is focussing on the section between the Brixton Orchard and Brixton Water Lane, which last received attention nearly 25 years ago.  However, if you think other sections need more urgent attention, it’s worth saying so – and do share your comments with us too. 

 Closing date is 30 September – e-mail to parks@lambeth.gov.uk

A new memorial in Windrush Square?

The Government recently announced an intention to set up a memorial to the Windrush Generation, to recognise the contribution that Afro-Caribbean people have made to the UK.  Present intentions are for this to be at Waterloo Station.

Councillor Sonia Winifred, Lambeth’s Cabinet Member for Equalities and Culture, recently launched a petition to persuade the Government to site the memorial instead in Windrush Square, in the heart of Brixton.  Brixton certainly seems more relevant than Waterloo.

The difficulty is that Windrush Square already contains several features, scattered around. It was not easy to find a suitable spot for the African & Caribbean War Memorial, finally unveiled a couple of years ago.  We don’t know what form of memorial the Government had in mind, though the supposed £1 million budget suggests more than a wall plaque.  Are there other sites around Brixton with more elbow room? Let us know your views.

To sign the petition, go to www.lambeth.gov.uk and follow the links. 

News, Events and activities around Brixton

More delay in re-opening Atlantic Road railway arches

Just as it looked as if all the shops would soon be open again, Network Rail has propped up half the London-bound platform of Brixton Station with a forest of scaffolding. Repair work looks likely to continue to the end of August, with limited access along Atlantic Road.  Some of us pointed out the need for repairs to the viaduct when Network Rail first proposed refurbishing all the railway arch shops 3 years ago, but these comments were brushed aside.

Ups and downs of Brixton Cafe trade

Two recent closures in Atlantic Road – the Brixton Pound Café at No.77 had to close due to rising rents, which meant this community-based effort was no longer sustainable.  The Brixton Pound team would like re-open if an affordable location can be found.

Across the road, the Dip and Flip burger bar closed its doors in late July, though the chain still runs 4 other sites in South London.  There have been several short-lived restaurant/bar venues at this location on the fringe of the Town Centre.  The next tenant is expected to be Tequila Mockingbird, which already has 3 other bars in south-west London, though this will be the first to serve food.  Refurbishment is now underway for a September opening.

Franco Manca started in Brixton’s Market Row arcade in 2008, and now has 47 sites around the country for its pizza offer, with up to 10 more likely to open in the year ahead.

The Platform Café, Ridgway Road

Back at grass-roots level, the former public toilet block in Wyck Gardens continues to host a series of guest cooks to run the café,  though openings are reduced during August. Brian of Soulfuel Vegan will be keeping the space open every Wednesday, selling home-made vegan lunches, snacks, puds and cakes.

LEAP Lambeth’s Food Ambassadors take over the Lunch service on Friday 16 and Monday 19 August, 12 noon to 2-30 pm, with eat-in and take-away options.  Then on Sunday 1st September there’s a chance to learn how to make the Korean staple, Kimchi, from 2 to 5-30 pm with Heather – to sign up e-mail her at xoidclothing@yahoo.co.uk

Enquiries about future openings and training sessions to ljcommunitycafe@gmail.com

Mosaic workshops at Stockwell

Free summer workshops are being offered on 12, 14 and 16 August, 10-12 and 2-4 pm. Mosaic classes also run every Tuesday evening, at 31 Jeffreys Road, SW4 6QU. All enquiries/ bookings to jewels@art4space.co.uk

…and Art workshops at Mosaic!

The Perspective Project are currently running a series of artist-led creative workshops for individuals affected by mental health issues, hosted at Mosaic Clubhouse, 65 Effra Road, SW2 1BZ.  These are on Tuesday evenings, 5 – 7 pm, until 3rd September.  These will be followed by an exhibition at Pop Brixton on 15 September.  Sessions are free, but to join e-mail Maz at m.duble@mosaic-clubhouse.org or phone (020) 7924 9657. 

Lambeth Heritage Festival runs through September

A series of events linked to local heritage, culture and history will run through the whole month of September.  Too many to list here, but there is a fat little booklet, listing all 60 events, which you can pick up at a local library.

A Brixton highlight is the Local History Fair at Brixton Tate Library on Saturday 7 September, 10-15 am to 4-15 pm. The Black Cultural Archives, Brixton Windmill, Photofusion and the Van Gogh House are among those hosting events.  See also www.lambethlocalhistoryforum.org.uk

Black Culture Pop-up Market at Impact Brixton, 28 & 29 September

Join Impact Brixton for an inspiring showcase of black businesses. This is an indoor event presenting entrepreneurs from across the African and Caribbean diaspora, displaying high-quality products including food, clothing, stationery, books, jewellery, hair and beauty products. Come down and support them between 11 am and 5 pm each day.

If you want to trade at the market, please e-mail team@impactbrixton.com and include a link to your website/products info. Due to limited space, not all applications can be accepted.

Gearing up for Oxjam Brixton, 13 October

Oxjam is a grass-roots music festival that raises money for Oxfam projects.  Their team are currently planning a one-day festival across 3 Brixton venues – the Prince of Wales, the Market House, and Blues Kitchen on Acre Lane.  The present team is all volunteers, and they are keen to recruit more, to manage fund-raising, donations, promotion, tickets, and the stages. Volunteers must be over 18 – enquiries to Lowri Ellcock, production manager, atproduction.oxjambrixton18@gmail.com

Refill your water bottle

Transport for London recommends carrying water with you during hot weather, but there is a growing concern about single-use plastic bottles for spring water, and how to dispose of them.  A more sustainable approach is to use a refillable container, and suitable water points are beginning to appear in our public open spaces so you can refill them.  There’s one in Windrush Square (between BCA and the War Memorial) and another was recently installed inMyatt’s Fields Park outside the cafe.

Funding, Training and Support

We had a useful discussion with Richard Davis of the Integrate Agency at our 22 July meeting. We look forward to more news from them over the next few months about training and funding opportunities, Meanwhile, here are a few more leads:

Small Grants from Team London and Thrive LDN

To encourage young people into volunteering or social action, such as sports, arts, media, environment, inter-generation activities or music, the Mayor is offering grants of £5,000 to £10,000 for projects working with the 10-20 age range.  Priority will be given to projects supporting young people at risk of mental health issues or being drawn into crime.  Applications open in September, in partnership with Thrive LDN – see the website for more details:www.london.gov.uk/what-we-do/volunteering

Grants to Boost Walking and Cycling

If you cannot wait for Lambeth’s Livable Neighbourhoods bid, or you are just outside the target area, maybe there is still something you can do locally.  The Mayor has a small grants scheme offering £5,000 to £10, to support diverse communities to walk and cycle more often and more safely. The scheme is administered by Groundwork, and projects can run for up to 3 years.  See their website for case studies and application forms:https://walkingandcyclinggrants.london

If Air Quality is a major concern on your patch, the London Sustainability Exchange is organising a sharing and networking event at City Hall on Tuesday 10 September from 6 – 9 pm – enquiries to Alice Vodden at LSX, A.Vodden@lsx.org.uk

Crowdfunding Accelerator

Word just in via Lambeth Forum Network: A new Crowdfunder Accelerator programme is being launched, to run from 11 September to 2nd October. Hosted on Facebook, the Accelerator is an on-line experience to help you turn your ideas into a successfully-funded project. The 3-week programme will include live discussions, peer-to-peer feedback and advice from the Crowdfunder team.  For more information, or to sign up, see the website:https://welcome.crowdfunder.co.uk/accelerator/

Places to Meet

One difficulty that groups face is finding places to meet that are local, affordable and accessible. It can be a challenge when you want to start up a new activity that needs more space or particular facilities.  If you have specific needs, tell us and we will share what we know.  Of course, if you run a venue or community hub, we will be keen to publicise your availability too – respond to apiperbrix@aol.com

WinTrade – for women in business

Potentially a useful network for women in business or striking out on their own, with a database of 25,000 contacts and occasional eventsand webinars. For more information, contact Yvonne Thompson of 7 Traits Leadership Learning Ltd. at yvonne.thompson@wintradeweek.com

Keep in Touch

Next Forum Meeting

Our next general meeting is set for Thursday 24 October at 6-45 for 7 pm at the Vida Walsh Centre, 2b Saltoun Road, SW2 1EP (facing onto Windrush Square).  If you want something included on the agenda, please contact the Forum Secretary, Alan Piper, at apiperbrix@aol.com

A Home of our own?

We are in discussions about an office base for the Forum within Brixton Town Centre.  In recent times we have struggled when forum officers have been out of action through illness or injury, so the aim is to provide some continuity and a central contact point for leaving mail. More news once arrangements have been tied up.

Spreading the Word

We welcome news from our member organisations to include in these bulletins – and if there is something else you want to see in future issues, please tell us!  Items for the September issue should be sent by 6th September, though a week earlier would be helpful, to apiperbrix@aol.com

Mailing List updates

Please report all changes to admin@brixtonneighbourhoodforum.org

– If you want to add a colleague or another group to the mailing list;

– If you have moved away or are no longer interested;

– if you want to change your e-mail address so you receive news more quickly or reliably, instead of through a half-forgotten mailbox.

The forum for community groups and individuals around Brixton