Do you have an idea for a “parklet” in Myatt’s Fields?

Roaside parking spaces in Myatt’s Fields are set to be handed over to residents to be converted into an outdoor community area.

Local neighbourhoods are being asked for their ideas to make streets greener and cleaner as part of Lambeth council’s new ‘parklet’ programme, supported by the Big Shift development fund.

Parklets are car parking bays that are repurposed to become public spaces that can be enjoyed by everyone. Each Ward in the Borough will get one, including Myatt’s Fields.

Residents can submit their designs for their own local community parklet, which they would help to maintain. They could include creating new social spaces with tables and seating, extra cycle storage or new green space. Residents are also being asked to nominate areas where they would like to see a parklet.

Cllr Rezina Chowdhury, cabinet member for Sustainable Lambeth and Clean Air, said:

“Parklets are a great way to create spaces where people can meet, socialise, and make neighbourhoods more pleasant by increasing greenery.

“Parklets can play a huge role in bringing people together whether it’s to sit down and have a chat or work together to tend new community gardens.

“We want as many local people as possible to tell us why their areas could benefit from new public space.”

Local councillors Paul Gadsby and Annie Gallop said:

“Myatt’s Fields has a rich history of the community driving forward gardening, bio-diversity projects and green space improvements. Across our neighbourhood we have many parks, allotments, planters and gardens that are there because local people care and invest in them – with Myatt’s Fields Park being a particularly shining example.

With residents’ support we have helped to secure funding and support for a number of projects, including for a rewilding project on the Knatchbull Road roundabout, a new sustainable drainage scheme on Myatt’s Fields South and a tree planting programme that is particularly focused on our estates.

“We encourage residents to come forward with ideas and suggestions for the parklet project: in 2021 we successfully lobbied the Council to refurbish the Cowley Road and Vassall Road junction with new cycle paths, green planters and level accessways. This is the kind of seemingly small scale transformation that can make a real difference to the local area. So, please get your ideas in to the Council!”

Find out more about the Community Parklet Scheme and submit your designs before the deadline on May 28.

Private, for-profit company still “unable to provide key information” on plans for takeover of local council homes

A private, for-profit company which is trying to take over some local council homes in Myatt’s Fields has still to provide vital information on how it would run vital services including repairs, according to Lambeth Council.

After almost six months, Vision Homes (Lambeth) LTD and PACCA TMO LTD, are still yet to produce key details of their plans that would allow a consultation and then ballot to take place on their proposals to grab the ownership of more than 200 council tenant properties on the Lothian estate.

The claim was made in a letter from the Interim Cabinet Member for Better Homes and Reducing Homelessness, Cllr Tim Windle, to residents last week.

The message, supported by local Myatt’s Fields Councillors Paul Gadsby and Annie Gallop, re-iterated Lambeth’s opposition to the proposals – – which the Council believes could end up costing council tenants more money. A copy of the letter is below:

A date for the proposed ballot has still not yet been set. Council tenant and leaseholder properties affected by these proposals are on the following streets — unfortunately, owing to national legislation, leaseholders are barred from voting despite facing their leases being transferred to Vision Homes should there be a Yes vote:

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

Bees Road planting event on the Myatt’s South estate!

Lambeth Council and the Friends of Myatt’s South will be hosting a seed planting event on Saturday, 22 April (11am-1pm) as part of the borough’s Bee’s Road initiative.

Supported by the Mayor of London, Lambeth was awarded £440,000 as part of Sadiq Khan’s rewilding initiative last year, with this investment aimed at providing additional funding for the Council’s Bee Roads initiative. This ambitious programme is aimed at converting ten miles of roadside land, including roundabouts and verges of roads, into wildflower mini-meadows which will provide habitats for wildlife including butterflies, bumble-bees and other pollinators.

Full details of the event are below – all residents welcome!

New bike storage hanger for Silverburn House

Lambeth Council has confirmed that another new cycle storage hanger will be installed in Myatt’s Fields at Silverburn House on the Lothian estate.

The installation is a direct response to lobbying from local councillors who made a formal request to the Council for the hanger following feedback from Silverburn House residents during recent roving surgeries on the estate. Many households were having to store their bikes in their flats owing to a lack of cycle storage in the area.

Spaces in the new hanger will cost just £3.50 a month. The Council will be consulting residents in Silverburn House about a possible location for the new hanger before it is installed.

The latest announcement follows the installation of a number of new hangers in Myatt’s Fields, including on Cromwell Road (see picture below), the Paulet Road estate, Knatchbull Road, Lilford Road and other estates in the neighbourhood.

Bike hanger in Myatt’s Fields

Local Councillors Paul Gadsby and Annie Gallop, said:

“We are really pleased that another cycle storage hanger is being installed in Myatt’s Fields – and would like to thank the Council for listening to resident feedback. Of course, we will be pushing for more hangers as clearly there is a big public demand for cheap, affordable cycle storage space.”

More information about the bike hanger programme, and details of how to nominate your street to be considered for more cycle storage, can be found here.

New action by Lambeth Council to address traffic chaos on Cranmer Road

Mounting traffic chaos in and around Cranmer Road is being tackled following action by Myatt’s Fields Labour councillors.

Local residents have complained that the area is often jammed with commercial vehicles, making life difficult for residents and harming the environment.

Lambeth Council has begun implementing a raft of new actions on the road.

Cllr Paul Gadsby outlined the local community’s frustrations at January’s public Lambeth Council meeting, explaining that residents were suffering from unacceptable levels of noise, congestion and pollution on the road.

He claimed this was caused by delivery drivers on motorbikes from takeaway and grocery firms Just Eat and Gorillas who were clogging the narrow street, operating early in the morning and late at night, and parking their motorbikes on pavements.

The lobbying by councillors led to a walkabout on the road with Cllr Gadsby, residents who live on the nearby Holland Town estate (including the estate’s resident association chairwoman) and Cllr Rezina Choudhary, the cabinet member with responsibility for transport. The visit demonstrated first hand the negative impact of these problems on the daily lives of residents throughout the area.

Following the visit, Lambeth Council confirmed:

  • Enforcement officers from Lambeth are now regularly patrolling the area and issuing fines to drivers.
  • The Council has formerly written to Just Eat and Gorillas raising resident concerns, as well as threatening further enforcement action.
  • The Council’s officers will be visiting the local delivery hubs of both companies to ensure drivers are being provided with proper respite and rest spaces.

Local councillors have also delivered a leaflet to Cranmer Road – and during a recent roving surgery to nearby Foxley Road – advising residents on how they can report traffic idling and other offences in the area. You can read the newsletter here.

Local Councillors Paul Gadsby and Annie Gallop said:

“It is positive that the Council has taken action which does appear to have reduced some of the problems which have been making the lives of residents on Cranmer Road and surrounding local streets. It is however early days and we want to see a long term reduction in the problems that have been making everyone’s lives a misery on these streets.”

“We are disappointed that both delivery companies allowed the situation to get to this stage and for repeatedly ignoring residents when these issues were raised with them. We will continue to monitor the situation and would urge residents to report any instances of traffic idling to the Council. Thank you to everyone in the area who brought this to our attention.”

Myatt’s Fields communities to benefit from Lambeth’s tree-planting promise

Local estates in Myatt’s Fields will be among the first to benefit from Lambeth’s promise to plant thousands of trees across the Borough

Lambeth Labour have committed to plant more than 5,000 trees to enhance our communities and help address the climate emergency.

The ward’s Labour councillors have welcomed the initiative and pledged to lobby for more planting in the area.

New trees will appear on the Cowley estate, at locations including near Lauderdale and Garlinge Houses. Other sites include:

  • Myatt’s Fields South estate
  • Vassall Road
  • Penford Road
  • Templar Street
  • Tindall Street
  • Halsmere Road

Two new trees will also be planted in Myatt’s Fields Park.

Local Councillors Paul Gadsby and Annie Gallop said:

“We are delighted that twenty one new trees will be planted in Myatt’s Fields: new landscaping and green planting really helps enhance our local community, and, of course, plays its part in addressing the climate change emergency.”

“We are particularly pleased these tree planting plans come hot on the heels of other positive environmental announcements, including the Bees Road plan for the Knatchbull roundabout and the sustainable drainage scheme for Myatt’s South estate.”

“We will keep lobbying for further tree planting across our area in the years to come.”

Councillors Paul Gadsby and Annie Gallop

Myatt’s Fields Park features in a proposed crackdown on irresponsible dog owners in Lambeth

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.”

Councillors back local NHS workers as health service faces new crisis

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?

In response, the Council responded:

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.

At the same meeting, Cllr Gadsby asked a further question about traffic issues on Cranmer Road.

Local councillors call on Lambeth to take action on traffic congestion around Cranmer Road

Myatt’s Fields councillors have called on Lambeth Council to take a tougher line on delivery companies causing traffic congestion, pollution and noise along Cranmer Road near the Holland Town estate.

Cllr Paul Gadsby submitted the below question to January’s full meeting of Lambeth councillors:

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.

Event this week – Myatt’s South Estate Composting Community event

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.