Hondo Towers – decision paused again
The Mayor has had to defer his decision on the 20-storey development in Popes Road, because some objections may have gone astray during the move of the Greater London Authority from City Hall to The Crystal in East London. The deadline for objections has therefore been extended to 4th February – send to firstname.lastname@example.org
To see recent documents, go to: www.london.gov.uk/what-we-do/planning/planning-applications-and-decisions/public-hearings/popes-road-public-hearing and use GLA ref. 2021/0265. Documents should also be on Lambeth’s planning applications database.
Hondo made a “smoke and mirrors” enhancement to their promise of training and employment benefits, but have also updated their energy reports in an attempt to “greenwash” this old-style office tower.
More big developments in the pipeline
If that was not enough to contend with, Lambeth Planners are currently consulting on Site Allocations to be added to the Lambeth Local Plan. They are not briefing a select few local stakeholders until 3rd February, so we don’t know the full story yet, though it sounds bad. Three new Brixton sites are proposed for large-scale development:
– Tesco site on Acre Lane, to allow flats to be built over the car park.
– 51-65 Effra Road, that is from Halfords to the Mosaic Clubhouse, including the sheltered housing at Fitch Court.
– 330-336 Brixton Road, which would impact on several VCS groups using 336 Brixton Road.
Two sites at Loughborough Junction are also included, and the planning framework for Somerleyton Road and Brixton Central is intended to continue unchanged. Deadline for objections is 21 February – more details via the Consultation pages on the Council website, www.lambeth.gov.uk
That reminds us that Lambeth’s Cabinet is about to select a developer for the Pop Brixton and International House sites. The choice seems to be between a straightforward rebuild package from London Square, and a bid from Hollybrook and Ministry of Sound which is more amenable to retaining International House as a hub for local employment. The chosen developers are due to launch their own round of local consultations in May.
Questions were raised when two separate commemoration events were held on Windrush Square on Sunday 14 November. In recent years, the Nubian Jak Foundation have co-ordinated an event at the Afro-Caribbean War Memorial on the Square, but for 2021 Lambeth Council decided at short notice to have their own event in the morning. Even Councillor Anyanwu, who was due to preside, got confused about the timing and it fell to Councillor Sonia Winifred to open proceedings.
Roz Griffiths recently convened an on-line meeting of stakeholders. A number of concerns were raised, not only programming of events, but also inadequate maintenance, creeping changes and the ongoing issue of the closed toilets. Contacts are continuing, and may bring an opportunity to re-launch the Friends of Windrush Square.
Summer Events in Brockwell Park
Major commercial events in the park are often controversial, partly from the disruption during the events themselves, but also because a large chunk of the park is out of public use during the setting-up and then the taking-down afterwards.
This year it will occupy up to 23% of the park for several weeks. The events themselves will link two weekends, starting on Friday 27 May and including Wide Awake, City Splash, Mad-stock, Mighty Hoopla and finally Cross the Tracks on Sunday 5th June.
Lambeth has announced the return of the Lambeth Country Show for the 16/17 July weekend, and bookings are already open for traders and charity pitches. Enquiries to: email@example.com
Lambeth Council – Elections coming
The next election for Lambeth Councillors takes place on Thursday 5 May. It will be based on the new Ward boundaries, and some of these wards will only have 2 Councillors, rather than three. If you want us to host a local hustings meeting for candidates in April, you need to tell us now, so that we can get funding for it.
We have mentioned before that, although we will elect 63 Councillors, scarcely a dozen of them will control how the Council is run, as Cabinet members. There is currently a petition to return to a more inclusive way of running the Council which gives them all a voice – for full background see: https://lambethref.co.uk or to sign the petition, go to: https://www.gopetition.com/petitions/make-lambeth-council-work-for-all-voters.html
To staff polling stations on the day, and to count the votes after the polls close, the Council is recruiting temporary workers – e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org for a recruitment form.
Pantry opens at Myatts Fields North Community Centre
The Healthy Living Platform is opening the Pantry on Tuesday 1st February. It will provide a mix of fresh fruit and vegetables and donated food items for £5 per basket. It will operate on Tuesdays between 11 am and 2 pm at the Myatt’s Fields North Community Centre, 24 Crawshay Road, SW9 6FZ. Enquiries to Helen at 07 701 365 551 or we can e-mail you their poster with more details.
Overnight Rail Works
Warning of noisy operations on the lines between Brixton and Herne Hill Stations, overnight between midnight and 4-50 am on Tuesday 1st February. This involves grinding down the rails to an even surface to ensure a smoother ride with less noise in normal use. Enquiries to the 24 hour National Helpline on 0345 711 4141 or see www.networkrail.co.uk
Longfield Hall Events
Regular classes are back, with something happening every day except Sundays, including Tai Chi, Yoga, Capoeira, various dance and drama classes, and the Longfield Voices choir. For further details of the programme of activities, see their website www.longfieldhall.org.uk
Several of these groups are taking part in the next Longfield Hall Celebration, a Cabaret evening at 7 pm on Friday 11 March, tickets from £8.
Black Culture Market, 5 & 6 March
This indoor market will return to the basement of the Department Store, 248 Ferndale Road SW9, on both Saturday and Sunday, open 11 am to 5 pm each day.
We are flagging this up now, in case anyone wants to run a stall themselves – in which case, find more details at https://www.blackculturemarket.co.uk
This is a free event for customers, but to manage numbers, please book in advance via the website or Eventbrite.
Funding, Training and support
Funding deadlines approaching!
The Integrate Agency has already circulated details of these funding schemes, which close for applications soon. If you missed the links, please contact Eoin Heffernan at email@example.com
Community Empowerment Grant Programme (Rosa’s Rise Fund) – closing date Monday 31 January at 5 pm.
Lambeth Holiday Activity and Food Programme (HAF) – closing date Friday 4 February at 5 pm.
Your Best Friend (peer support for young women and girls, age 13-24) – closing date Friday 18 February.
Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Activity Fund (Sport England) – closing date to be confirmed.
Grants from Paul Mellon Foundation
We have mentioned before that they offer several funds and awards to support study of art, architecture and related history – for an overview, see their website: https://paul-mellon-centre.ac.uk/grants-and-fellowships or to apply, use the on-line portal at grants.paul-mellon-centre.ac.uk
The deadline for most of their Spring grants is 31 January (27th for Art in Motion) but their New Narratives scheme does not close until 28 February.
Their Write on Art competition for students aged 15-18 was launched on 10 January and closes on 30 June.
Support with Fund-raising
The Directory of Social Change publish several directories of funding sources, as well as handbooks on running voluntary and community organisations. New editions of their Directories of Grants to Individuals in Need and of Grant-making Trusts have appeared recently. See more on their website at: https://www.dsc.org.uk
Training Courses & Events
Integrate are hosting a few on-line briefing sessions soon – to join in, contact Eoin Heffernan, as above:
– Lambeth’s Holiday Activity and Food programme: Monday 31 January at 10 am.
– Trans Awareness Training: Wednesday 9 February at 1-30 pm.
– Millennium Community Solutions CIC with Rev. Gail Thompson: Monday 21 February at 10 am.
– Theory of Change: Principles: Monday 7 March at 10 am.
Help with Computers and IT
West London Mission has a few upcoming courses, mostly on-line:
– Family Safety On-line, to help parents and carers keep children safe when using the Internet: 3 sessions on Wednesdays in February, 2 pm to 4-30 pm (9th, 16th, 23rd).
– Get Connected, to help you gain the skills to use the Internet and e-mails confidently. In person at WATMOS Community Homes, 163-165 Lambeth Walk, on Mondays from 28 February to 14 March, 2 pm to 4-30 pm.
– Scam Busters, to help you guard against identity theft, card fraud and other scams: 3 sessions on Wednesdays in March, 2 pm to 4-30 pm (9th, 16th, 23rd).
Enquiries to Abel on 07 903 629 544 or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or see www.wlm.org.uk
Clear Community Web are still providing community tech support sessions at the Platform Cafe in Wyck Gardens, on Thursday mornings between 10 am and 12 noon. A laptop loan scheme is also being set up. Enquiries to 07 523 646 277 or e-mail to email@example.com
For small businesses, it might be worth exploring Digital Growth Funding for grants towards digital marketing and boosting your on-line presence. Enquiries to Stephen Beard at 01829 707 860 or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or see www.cprogress.co.uk
For charities, schools and churches, Tekgia continues to offer most Microsoft programs at discounted prices – see www.tekgia.com
Age UK Lambeth report positive experiences with their first two 6-month placements under the Government’s Kickstarter scheme. They are now recruiting for the next batch, for jobs including Admin Assistants, an Event Planner, Community Programmes Assistants and a Digital Events Assistant. All posts are for 25 hours a week at the London Living Wage of £10.85 per hour. All enquiries to Dave at email@example.com
Market Stall Opportunities
Lambeth Council are currently inviting applications for market traders pitches in Brixton Market and a few isolated spots around the borough.For an application form, e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org but applications must be sent in by 5 pm on Friday 28 January.
Health and Social Care
The Government is hastily relaxing recent restrictions in the face of heavy lobbying from business – particularly in the entertainment and catering sectors. Some of us prefer to live a little longer, so there’s been more caution among the wider population. Health authorities, railway companies and major supermarkets are still encouraging mask wearing on public transport, in shops and in other crowded indoor locations. After all, mask-wearing has been shown to reduce the incidence of Covid by 53%.
Officially, mandatory vaccine status certification ends on 27 January, and face coverings are no longer legally required inside schools. The obligation to self-isolate if you have Covid may not expire until 24 March, though the isolation period has been reduced.
Vaccinations: If you have missed out, or are still in need of a booster, check the website of the SE London /clinical Commissioning Group for location and timing of vaccination sessions: www.selondonccg.nhs.uk/popupclinics or www.nhs.uk/wintervaccinations
Lambeth Schools Patrol
This has the worthy aim of providing some adult oversight and support for pupils travelling to and from their schools. For the time being, there is a pop-up office in Unit 2a, Market Row for interested adults to find out more and maybe enrol in the scheme. It will run for 4 weeks from 27 January. The project is run by the Code 7 Music Charity, 110 Union Road, SW8 2SH. More details also at www.code7.live/lambeth-schools-patrol or e-mail to email@example.com
Air Quality issues
Not a very visible problem, but the build-up of pollution from road traffic and fossil fuels on cold calm days is bad for our health. It tends to be worse along main roads, so one of our groups postponed delivering their newsletters by bike because of a pollution peak on 14 January. And my envy of a friend’s recent Facebook post from Tenerife disappeared when I saw their local weather report warning of very poor air quality!
The Mayor is consulting on better guidance on air quality to enhance the London Plan which was adopted last year. Draft proposals are open for comments until 27 February and can be found at https://consult.london.gov.uk/air-quality-neutral
In the meantime, Lambeth Council is hosting 3 on-line consultation events on its own Air Quality Vision:
– Thursday 3rd February at 4-30 pm;
– Tuesday 8th February at 10 am;
– Friday 11 February at 12 noon.
Greenspaces and Green Issues
Sustainable City Awards
If you are trying to do something about making your corner of Brixton greener or more sustainable, why not get some recognition for it? Nominations are now open for the Sustainable City Awards, supported by the Mayor of London and organised by Global Action Plan. Please make your nominations before 22 February. More details at https://www.globalactionplan.org.uk
Lambeth Biodiversity Forum
This is being set up as an off-shoot of the Lambeth Parks Forum, to share views across groups with an interest in wildlife and ecology. The first meeting is expected during February, and is being convened by Kevin Crook, in practice head of Parks and Events. Several groups active in the wider Brixton area are already lined up, so we have not sought direct involvement. Incredible Edible Lambeth, Open Orchard, Father Nature, Slade Gardens, and Susy Hogarth of Brockwell Park Community Partners are among participants, in addition to specialist London-wide organisations.
A Growing Year at Loughborough Farm
A workshop session on growing food crops in small spaces, whether a balcony or garden, Saturday 5 February, 10-30 to 12-30 at the Farm on Loughborough Road. Free but donations invited, limited places – e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
Winter Wassail in Wyck Gardens
Join supporters of Loughborough Farm to bless the trees in the Wyck Gardens Orchard, Saturday 20 February. Assemble at the Farm gates by 12-45 pm to process through Wyck Gardens to the Orchard. Warming soup and home-made cakes available at the Platform Cafe afterwards. Enquiries to Loughborough Farm, as above.
Where did all this come from?
We gather information from many sources, both locally and nationally, from the Friends of Tate Library to the Morning Advertiser. We welcome news from local organisations and campaign groups, and we give priority to information that will help you all in your efforts for the community. If something is being overlooked, please remind us!
Use it or lose it!
You could simply use the Forum bulletins to share news of what you are doing, or you could be more ambitious and use the Forum as a channel to organise meetings or events which bring local people and groups together to resolve our problems. In any case we would love to hear from you – contact the Secretary, Alan Piper at email@example.com
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