Lothian estate residents will be left “worse off” if stock transfer goes ahead

Secure tenants and leaseholders on the Lothian estate will be “left worse off” should control of their homes pass to a for-profit private company, Lambeth’s Housing Cabinet Member has claimed.

The statement came in an answer to questions submitted by Myatt’s Fields councillors Paul Gadsby and Annie Gallop at Lambeth Council’s public meeting on Wednesday 19 October. Residents and local councillors have already voiced their concerns about a ballot that could see PACCA TMO Limited and Vision Homes (Lambeth) Ltd, a for-profit company take over ownership of the council properties on the Lothian Estate area.

Vision Homes (Lambeth) Ltd have no track record of running social housing and have been, according to Lambeth Housing Cabinet Member Cllr Maria Kay, “unclear” about how they will fund a list of expensive promises to residents.

Cllr Kay also expressed concerns that if there was a “yes” vote in the ballot, the ownership of homes could be passed by Vision Homes to another owner, without the consent of residents. She also confirmed that leaseholders are excluded by national legislation from taking part in the ballot.

You can read the full text of Cllr Gadsby and Cllr Gallop’s questions at the meeting here, listed under questions four and nineteen.

If you worried or confused about this proposed takeover and want to know more, you can contact your local councillors Paul and Annie here – and give us your views on the proposals here.

A date for the proposed ballot has yet to be set but is likely to be in the next few months. Council tenant and leaseholder properties affected by these proposals are on the following streets:

  • Lothian Road (Dalkeith House, Silverburn House and Bathgate House)
  • Langton Road
  • Frederick Crescent
  • Myatt Road
  • Halsmere Road
  • Patmos Road
  • Tindall Street
  • Elliott Road
  • Cancell Road

Plaque to local artist Nelly Roberts set to be unveiled on Loughborough Road

A local history group is set to unveil a new blue plaque to local artist Nelly Robert on Sunday, 16 October at 3.30pm.

Nelly Roberts lived above a watchmakers shop at 92 Loughborough Road (at the time 72 Loughborough Road) for over 30 years from her birth in 1872. Nelly became famous for her orchid paintings across a long artistic career. More information about her life and work is outlined below:

The plague ceremony will begin at 3.30pm at the corner of Fiveways Road and Loughborough Road (SW9 7SF). More information about the work of the history group on Loughborough Road can be found here.

Local councillors are urging council tenants to reject plans for a stock transfer attempt on their homes

Local councillors have urged council tenants on the Lothian estate area (formerly the PACCA TMO area) to reject proposals from a for-profit company to take control of their homes.

The Greater London Authority (GLA) has approved an application by PACCA TMO Limited and Vision Homes (Lambeth) Ltd, a for-profit company, to conduct a ballot on the future ownership of the council properties on the Lothian Estate area. If they are successful in the ballot, the homes will be transferred out of the control of the local council and will be run by Vision Homes.

In a letter to council tenants, Lambeth’s Cabinet Member for Housing, Cllr Maria Kay, laid out the reasons why residents should be concerned about these proposals and vote no in the upcoming ballot: you can read her letter in full here.

Myatt’s Fields councillors Annie Gallop and Paul Gadsby have backed Cllr Kay’s comments, saying:

“These proposals have already caused a great deal of alarm in the community: we have received numerous communications from residents who are deeply concerned about how this has happened

“If successful, it will be the first time anywhere in the country where a for-profit company has taken control of council homes in this way. Vision Homes (Lambeth) Limited are a “for profit” company with no track record in owning or managing social housing. They will be able to charge residents more for their services and could pass on control of the housing, and the land on which it sits, to another organisation without a ballot.

“Although only council tenants are able to vote in this ballot, leaseholders in the area will have their lease transferred to the for-profit private company in the event of a “yes” vote”. We do think it is very unfair that leaseholders are unable to vote owing to the rules laid down by very badly drawn-up national legislation.

“We urge residents to make sure they vote No, in this important ballot: its outcome will have an impact on the daily lives of everyone in the Lothian estate area.”

A date for the ballot has yet to be set, but is likely to be in the next few months. Council tenant and leaseholder properties affected by these proposals are on the following streets:

  • Lothian Road (Dalkeith House, Silverburn House and Bathgate House)
  • Langton Road
  • Frederick Crescent
  • Myatt Road
  • Halsmere Road
  • Patmos Road
  • Tindall Street
  • Elliott Road
  • Cancell Road

If you worried or confused about this proposed takeover and want to know more, you can contact your local councillors Paul and Annie here – and give us your views on the proposals here.

Lambeth launches Air Quality Action Plan consultation

Lambeth Council has launched a new consultation asking for residents’ views on how to improve air quality in the borough.

According to results from recent studies, air quality has been improving in Lambeth since 2014, but as with other parts of London, pollution remains high.

Responding to this challenge, the Council states in its introduction to the consultation:

Lambeth Council has put together an Air Quality Action Plan that sets out the steps we will take to reduce air pollution in the borough. Here’s what’s included:

  • A commitment to pursuing, ambitious long term air quality targets.
  • Support for most at-risk groups: the young, the elderly, those with a pre-existing health condition, and residents in the most polluted areas.

There are air quality policy areas that are outside of our influence and so we will continue to work with regional and central government on policies and issues beyond Lambeth’s influence.

As part of our response to air pollution in Lambeth, we will be setting up an Air Quality Forum to allow residents to continue to have their say on the work we are doing to improve air quality in the borough.”

You can find out more about the consultation and give your views here.

Myatt’s South estate to benefit from new Sustainable Drainage Programme

One of Myatt’s Fields largest estates will benefit from a share of a £6 million investment programme aimed at improving drainage systems using sustainable techniques across Lambeth.

Myatt’s Fields South has been included in the new plan announced by Lambeth Council, in partnership with Thames Water, as part of the borough’s climate change action plan.

In particular, the council, acting in consultation with residents, wants to set up nature-based solutions, including “rain gardens”, to help deal with problems in locations targeted following a range of investigations.

The aim is to relieve pressure on the ageing sewage system by mimicking natural drainage features including trees and wetland areas. The Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDs) scheme will provide new green infrastructure on the borough’s streets and open spaces, reducing flood risk and offering wider benefits, such as cooling areas during heatwaves, storing carbon and supporting mental health and wildlife.

You can read more about the project here.

Cllr Paul Gadsby and Cllr Annie Gallop said:

“We are very pleased that after lobbying by local councillors, Myatt’s Fields South has been included in this programme, especially as the estate has long suffered from drainage and flooding issues. This is a great green and innovative way of helping to address the problems of climate change while at the same time enhancing habitats for wildlife. Myatt’s Fields South already has a strong community of residents working on a range of environmental improvements of which this will be a welcome addition.

“Of course it itself these proposals won’t completely solve all the drainage issues on the estate and councillors are continuing to lobby the Council for further action there.”

Example of a SUDs planting option

Consultation launched on plans to redevelop Lilford Road business centre

A public consultation has been launched by a business developer about its initial plans to redevelop the Lilford Road Business Centre.

The site is currently occupied by several industrial buildings which the developer Bloom, which describes itself as a urban warehouse investment and development manager, believes are no longer “fit for purpose”. They are proposing to create a new “industrial estate comprising nine, two-storey warehouse spaces with a single central yard for loading and deliveries”.

Site plan of the proposed new development.

The consultation is designed by the company to test the local’s community’s views about the proposals before a planning application is submitted.

Local councillors, Cllr Paul Gadsby and Cllr Annie Gallop, are urging residents to give their views about the proposals here.

Police hold “street briefing” and feedback session for residents on Paulet Road estate

Local police in Myatt’s Fields are hosting a “street” briefing on Monday, 15 August for residents on the Paulet Road to discuss recent issues with anti-social behaviour (ASB) and crime in the area.

Residents and local councillors have been in touch with the police recently about concerns around drug use, noise and other ASB in the neighbourhood. Police have in the past few months:

  • Stepped up patrols in the area and are working with the Council to increase CCTV coverage on Paulet Road.
  • Issued a number of formal warnings for the misuse of mopeds, and taken action against one moped rider which lead to the cancellation of their rental agreement for the bike.
  • Conducted a number of actions which lead to the confiscation of drugs in the area.

Details for the street briefing are below: please note that the briefing will start at 5.30pm:

More new bike storage hangers set for Myatt’s Fields

Cyclists in Myatt’s Fields are to benefit from two new Lambeth Council bike storage hangers — with one already installed.

The first store has appeared on Cromwell Road, following recent road works in the area.

The second will be installed on Knatchbull Road. Cllr Rezina Chowdhury, the cabinet member for Sustainable Lambeth and Clean Air, confirmed the improvements in answer to a question from Cllr Paul Gadsby at last month’s council meeting.

Cllr Gadsby and Cllr Annie Gallop also handed in two surveys concerning traffic problems in the ward.

The first of two new bike hangers, installed on Cromwell Road

Cllr Annie Gallop and Cllr Paul Gadsby said:

“It is really welcome news to see more bike storage hangers arriving in our area following the two storage spaces installed earlier this year on Paulet Road and the recent commitment from the Council to roll out more electrical charging points in Myatt’s Fields.

“There is a real demand for more sustainable transport options in our community, and we keep lobbying for more of improvements on behalf of residents.”

Residents can nominate streets that they think should have a bike hanger in Lambeth on this webpage.

How can we make Myatt’s Fields more child friendly?

Lambeth Council’s new Child Friendly Lambeth initiative will be holding a consultation event in Myatt’s Fields asking for young people’s views on what improvements and priorities they would like to see from their council.

In its mission statement, Child Friendly Lambeth states:

Lambeth are embarking on an ambitious three to five-year programme to be recognised as a UK Committee for UNICEF (UNICEF UK) Child Friendly Community.

This borough-wide partnership programme will see participation from the local authority, schools, community and faith groups, voluntary and community sector organisations, local businesses, police, health providers and commissioners.

The consultation event will be held 12:00 – 16:00, Wednesday 10th August 2022 at Myatt’s Fields South Basketball Court, London, SW9 6SN.

Further details below:

Lambeth urged to act on traffic problems following two residents’ surveys in Myatt’s Fields

Local Labour councillors are demanding new action on traffic in Myatt’s Fields, based on evidence gathered in two snapshot surveys.

The surveys – organised by Cllrs Paul Gadsby and Cllr Annie Gallop – revealed strong support for action to deal with speeding vehicles and dangerous driving around Myatt’s Fields Park and Akerman Road. The results of the petitions, based on two questionnaires, were handed into Lambeth council by Cllr Gadsby on behalf of the Labour team.  Lambeth Council are now formally required to respond to the surveys.

The councillors said:

“Thank you to all residents who took the time to fill in the surveys. They clearly demonstrate real concerns about speeding vehicles and dangerous driving in these closely connected neighbourhoods.

“As councillors, we have also received similar speeding concerns on Patmos Road which connects into Akerman Road, and a local Residents Association on Loughborough Road has been highlighting for many years problems with congestion there.

“ We are asking Lambeth Council to take a look at all these issues together and put in place a comprehensive plan that makes local roads safer.“

The headlines from the surveys, which were prompted by local concerns, are:

83 responses were received to the Myatt’s Fields Park survey, with 160 residents saying there was a problem with speeding cars in the area. In this survey, the top asks from residents were:

128 – Better enforcement of the 20mph speed limit

113 – Introduction of speed bumps

82 – Better facilities for cyclists

32 – Improvement/resurfacing of local roads

55 responses were received for a survey about speeding on Akerman Road, with 52 respondents stating there was a problem with speeding on the road.

A variety of suggestions were made about how to tackle the problem, including better enforcement of the 20mph speed limit, including the introduction of speed cameras, and  speed humps being put into the area.

Cllr Paul Gadsby at July’s Lambeth Council meeting