New measures to counter complaints about dog behaviour across Lambeth are being tabled by the borough council.
The council claims that increased pet ownership due to the pandemic has brought with it a jump in the number of reports of anti-social incidents across the area. A range of responses is being proposed, among them imposing “leads-only” policies in some public spaces, including the seating area outside the Little Cat Cafe in the park.
The cafe already asks customers to keep their dogs on leads but, if Lambeth’s proposals are enforced, owners who fail to obey new borough-wide rules may be issued with a £100 fixed-penalty notice. The regulations would also cover other areas of the park including the football pitch, the picnic area, the quiet garden and tennis courts.
On the Cowley estate dogs would be formally excluded from play areas outside Durlock, Hamway, Seasalter and Knowlton houses, as well as other playgrounds elsewhere in the Ward.
Lambeth wants to hear the public’s views before pressing ahead and has launched a consultation, which closes on March 26th.
Also included in a wide range of proposals are measures to curb dog fouling and limit the number of animals controlled by commercial dog handlers.
In a report to councillors, officers noted incidents including an attack on a child in Brockwell Park, several dog-on-dog attacks elsewhere and animals left to roam freely.
Cllr Rezina Chowdhury, Lambeth’s Cabinet Member for Sustainable Lambeth and Clean Air claimed that the proposals amounted to a “fair and reasonable” response given the increase in incidents.
Myatt’s Fields Labour councillors Paul Gadsby and Annie Gallop said:
“Most dog owners in the Ward act responsibly and it is important to encourage a pet friendly borough. We are keen to see what residents think of these proposals, especially those related to Myatt’s Fields.”
Local Myatt’s Fields councillors Paul Gadsby and Annie Gallop have raised concerns about plans from a developer to potentially open new “dark kitchens” on the site of the Lilford Road business centre.
The company, AG Bloom, has submitted a planning application to create a new industrial complex on the site, currently occupied by run-down buildings.
While welcoming the idea of bringing new jobs to the area and bringing new life to the business centre, local councillors are concerned that the re-built blocks could be used for so-called “dark kitchens” – set up to provide only takeaway food – resulting in an increase in noise, pollution and traffic congestion in the area. After objections by local residents and councillors, the developer has submitted a revised application which will be consulted on until Monday 20 February: this continues to ask for traffic movement to and from the business centre for up to 16 hours a day.
Local councillors Paul Gadsby and Annie Gallop said:
“We recognise that the Lilford Road business centre needs investment and a boost to the local economy would be welcome given these tough economic times.
“We understand that the developer has submitted a revised application following feedback from the community, but unfortunately it still fails to address the core problems with the original plans. According to the revised proposals, traffic movement will still be allowed at a constant pace for 16 hours a day during the week, as well as significant hours at the weekend.”
Cllr Gadsby and Gallop intend to submit a revised objection to the application. You can read the plans for the site and give your comments here.
Local Myatt’s Fields councillors have voiced their support for local nurses during their current dispute with the government over pay, as well as calling for the government to invest properly in the NHS.
Cllr Annie Gallop raised the issue at a recent Lambeth Council meeting in January. Cllr Gallop asked:
Nurses at Lambeth hospitals have been forced by this Conservative government to go on strike because of years of underfunding of the NHS and poor pay which is being felt now more than ever in the cost of living crisis. How is the council supporting our local NHS trusts to ensure patients still get the support they need whilst nurses have to strike in order to secure the safety of themselves and their patients, and get the fair pay rise they deserve?
Thirteen years of Conservative mismanagement and their botched reorganisation of our NHS has created one of the worst crises we’ve seen in its 75-year history. Patients are often waiting hours for an ambulance; A&E departments are overflowing; and our dedicated nurses, doctors and hospital staff have been driven to take industrial action.
This represents an historic failure of this Government. Never in its history have nurses resorted to this action, and many junior doctors are likely to follow. The Government has failed to listen and failed to support NHS staff who are underpaid for the work they do, and patients who are in desperate need of an improved service. We’ve seen the longest waiting times in history, cancelled cancer screenings and operations, and we all know the feeling of the gruelling 8am call just to get a GP appointment. The Government used to clap for our NHS staff, now they plan – via their anti-strike legislation – to sack them. Their response is doing nothing for morale, and nothing for patients.
In Lambeth, our local NHS trust have worked hard to plan for this winter and we’re proud of the work they do in caring for our most vulnerable. Winter planning is a routine and longstanding exercise that takes place at a national, regional and at local level. The Lambeth and Southwark Urgent and Emergency Care Board have been coordinating our response to winter pressures given the interdependencies of local urgent care system. The board meets monthly and is jointly chaired by Andrew Eyres, Lambeth Strategic Director for Integrated Health and Care and Jo Furley, Director of Operations, Guy’s and St Thomas‘ NHS Foundation Trust.
The Board has responsibility for ensuring that all local partners work together to plan and sustain a safe and effective urgent care system that meets the needs of local patients and addresses key risks to the ongoing delivery of care. Preparation for 2022-23 winter began with a review of winter 2021-22, alongside key learning from partners that experienced the covid-19 pandemic. NHS England set out expected directions on specified services in August and followed up with further letter in October, particularly focusing on building greater resilience on protection including against increasing prevalence of seasonal flu. Partners have developed their winter plans based on this learning and the changing environment, including the potential impact the rising Cost of Living Crisis is having on residents’ ability to keep themselves healthy and well through the winter months.
Cllr Gallop will of course be aware that the Council is doing everything it can to support residents facing rising prices. In summer last year, we launched a comprehensive package of support including direct payments and practical resources to help shield residents gripped by the rising cost-of-living. Across South East London (SEL), the Integrated Care Board held a workshop planning session in September 2022 and a key focus for our whole service is managing and optimising flow of patients. Lambeth adult social care (ASC) contribute effectively to continuous flow models including to enable the timely discharge of patients (with both physical and mental health needs) to ensure they do not stay in hospital longer than is necessary. We are also working to increase urgent access opportunities across community based care, including increased primary care capacity.
We received additional funding targeted toward local council in December 2022 to help us increase our out-of-hospital discharge capacity. However, we understand that this can create additional pressure on local adult social care services and we are lobbying government for the support we need to manage discharges carefully. In Lambeth we have also resourced additional GP capacity at St Thomas’ to help with ED attenders. We have been linking our planning for strikes with our overall system management to enable us to maintain access to treatment for patients needing urgent and emergency during periods of industrial action.
A comprehensive report was taken to the Adult Social Care and Health Scrutiny SubCommittee on 29 November (paper can be found here Agenda for Adult Social Care and Health Scrutiny Sub-Committee on Tuesday 29 November 2022, 7.00 pm | Lambeth Council) and an update note will be taken to the next Sub-Committee meeting on 28 February 2023. Even with this planning, we are acutely aware that with rising waiting times and without the resources we need from Government, our NHS will continue to experience unprecedented strain. After 13 years, the longer the Tories are in power, the longer patients will wait. It’s time for a Labour government and a fresh start for our country.
Myatt’s Fields councillors have been receiving complaints from residents on the Holland Town Estate and around Cranmer Road about delivery lorries and refrigerated trucks delivering to Gorillas who regularly block the road, causing congestion, heavy pollution, and noise at all hours of the day, and can be seen idling, despite Lambeth’s discouragement of this practise. Can the cabinet member outline what action can be taken in Lambeth to address the issues caused by delivery trucks outlined about, especially in relation to Cranmer Road?
In response, Lambeth said it would increase action in the area:
Our Parking, Highways Enforcement and Public Protection teams will work together to address the parking, obstruction, idling, and any licensing issues with regards to their operation and ensure all avenues are explored to resolve the issues that residents are experiencing. We will patrol this location and enforce where possible. Idling is nearly always unnecessary and it’s a source of pollution. Idling is now a fineable offence across the whole of the borough. Lambeth have a team of officers that will ask drivers to switch off their engines if they notice them idling across the borough. A penalty notice may be issued if this request is not complied with.
However, councillors have followed up this exchange by asking the Cabinet Member for Sustainable Travel and Clean Air to visit the area and to write to the company demanding they take action.
Incredible Edible Lambeth and Lambeth Council (with the support of the Community Fund and MakeSoil) are hosting a composting community event on Wednesday 18 January 6.15pm to 7.30pm at the Myatt’s Field South Community Hall (Evandale Rd, SW9 6QG).
The event is designed to discuss future food recycling events or projects on the estate. It is part of Incredible Edible Lambeth’s programme to work with housing estate residents in the borough on community composting schemes.
Full details of the project and the event on Wednesday night can be found here.
Local councillors have expressed their concern that a private, for-profit company attempting to take control of local council homes on the Lothian estate has failed to provide basic information about its plan, including how they plan to fund housing repairs and who is behind its takeover bid.
Cllr Maria Kay, Lambeth’s Cabinet Member for Housing and Reducing Homelessness, expressed her disappointment in a letter to council tenants last week. Cllr Kay laid out six key and “basic” areas where the private company have failed to provide sufficient information for a ballot to be held on whether council homes should be transferred to their control.
A full copy of Cllr Kay’s letter to residents can be read below.
The Future of Your Home – Proposed Right to Transfer Application by PACCA TMO and Vision Homes (Lambeth) Limited
I am writing to provide you with an update on PACCA TMO Ltd (PACCA TMO) and their current partner Vision Homes (Lambeth) Ltd’s proposals to take over the ownership and management of your homes in the Lothian Estate and others in and around Patmos Road.
This proposal is a result of national legislation which means PACCA TMO are able to submit a Right to Transfer application on 284 council and leasehold properties in the area, and conduct a ballot of residents on their proposals.
Lambeth Council does not support this proposal, but under the Right to Transfer rules it has no option other than to comply with holding a ballot. We cannot stop the proposal simply because we believe you would be worse off if the transfer proceeds.
Before a ballot can take place, PACCA TMO and Vision Homes must develop an offer document. The document should clearly set out what Vision Homes aims to do to the estate and comparing this with what would happen if the properties’ ownership remained with Lambeth Council. This document was due to be sent out to you before Christmas for consideration.
Following several months of chasing PACCA TMO and Vision Homes on the specifics of their plans and asking straight-forward questions on their proposals, Vision Homes have not provided sufficient information or explanations to meet the requirements set out by the Government. These outstanding issues include:
Insufficient information has been provided about whom the company would borrow capital from to fund its promises to you, the length of their loan repayments, and what safeguards are in place if they cannot repay the money borrowed.
It is unclear what household repairs and home improvements will be offered to residents. Each tenant should be able identify the works that will be carried out to their home if the transfer goes ahead.
The identity and status of your potential new landlord remains unclear.
A lack of information as to how tenants, community stakeholders and elected councillors will be selected on to a board that oversees the management of the estate and street properties – and how these members will be chosen in the future.
Who is sitting on the shadow board pushing forward this proposal, including information about their relevant experience.
A lack of information on other properties and estates managed by Vision Homes, so that tenants have an idea of their track record.
We are disappointed that PACCA TMO and Vision Homes have not been forthcoming with some of these really important questions. We will continue to ask these questions and more information has been requested to finalise the offer document for you to consider. Until then, this means that any ballot on the proposal is now delayed.
We will write to you in the New Year with an update on this proposal and any agreed next steps. We apologise for the delay, but it is important that residents have all the information so that you can make an informed decision.
I wish you and your families all have a happy Christmas break, and a happy New Year. If you have any queries on this proposed transfer, you can contact the Council on a dedicated line: 07565 219058.
Cllr Maria Kay
Cabinet Member for Better Homes and Reducing Homelessness
Myatt’s Fields councillors have organised two drop-in events this week for residents on the Lothian estate who want to discuss the threatened “stock transfer” of local council homes to a for profit, private company.