Tuesday, 25 August 2009

An incentive for China Walk and Vauxhall Gardens to recycle waste

Philip O'Keeffe, the waste development officer at Lambeth has asked me to blog about a current Lambeth Council Recycling Team initiative named "Recycling Champions project" on the China Walk and Vauxhall Gardens Estate.

"But why would I do this?", I hear you ask. Well, possibly "to ensure that waste on the estates does get recycled" might be a good answer. As I was strolling around at the back of Vauxhall Gardens yesterday, I noticed that some of the recycling bins are piled up with rubbish that is clearly not just waste for recycling... However, Lambeth Council have decided to offer a cash incentive of £500 towards the best individual/group ideas to encourage more effective recycling on those estates:

Front cover of Lambeth recycling leaflet
Back cover of Lambeth recycling leaflet

The blurb says: "If you are an individual or resident group, from one of the selected estates, and you are interested in getting actively involved in recycling and reducing waste in your local community, then we want to hear from you.

To take part in the scheme you must be over 18 years old and live on one of the selected Lambeth Living estates. All you need is lots of enthusiasm about recycling and the environment and be able to spare a few hours each week. We will give you all the information, materials and support you will need.

For each estate that improves their recycling there is £500 available for a project to help improve their local environment!

For more information on the scheme contact Philip O’Keeffe, Recycling Champions Co-ordinator on 020 7926 8948 or email pokeeffe@lambeth.gov.uk."

I'm quite impressed by Lambeth Council's attempt to reach the local public of those two estates through my blog! However, I suspect that I do not have huge readership on those estates due, in part to a) digital illiteracy, b) language barriers and c) older population without internet access. It's probably due to some of these barriers that the population are sending large loads of "spoiled" recycling bags, so this one might be tough to crack.

I'd be happy to see coments from readers who live on or are based on the estates (or maybe know people who do). Please feel free to copy the URL to interested parties.

Monday, 24 August 2009

Cyclist death in Oval in June - appeal for witnesses

Please go across to the Stockwell News blog and read Bathsheba's post with plea from the husband of Catriona Patel for witnesses to his wife's cycle accident (and subsequent death) on June 29th.

I know that some readers commented on the cycle accident on this blog, and all witnesses are being asked to contact Crimestoppers.

Saturday, 22 August 2009

L.I.V.E rally in Kennington Park

I didn't stay long, but wanted to take a few pictures of the 7th Day Adventist organised protest / march from Whitehall to Kennington Park. It was named LIVE (Live Intentionally Versus Existing) in case you wondered what all the banners were this morning.

Here are some pics. of the marchers arriving to the park:









Oval Farmers Market and SE11 and SW9 wander

A late start to the day meant that by the time I arrived at Oval Farmers Market, much of the cake from Cakehole London had been magicked away. I'm quite excited by the fact that we have an SE11 cake business and shall therefore return at an earlier time to take a photo of the stall with its cakey goodies (they do take orders if you need cakes locally). I can recommend the blueberry apple crumble cake. Yumm.

After that, we had a wander around the top of Brixton Road. The delicatessen on the corner (number 2, I think), near the market is closing, but is being replaced by another one. See pics below:





I didn't realise there were so many good restaurants at the top of the road at the edge of SW9. Adulis (an Eritrean one) looks particularly good, and so does the Oval Tandoori (Indian).

One of my favourite adverts is at the top of Brixton Road... if you look carefully, it encourages you to smoke (for the sake of your throat), a legacy of times past:



After that, we went for a quick coffee at the Kennington Park cafe (it's worth a visit as the coffee is excellent, and the staff are very friendly). I took a picture of the underside of the helium balloon, currently advertising to everybody watching cricket at the Ashes:

Friday, 21 August 2009

March against knife crime and Ashes in Kennington might cause traffic

There is another potentially large event (other than the Ashes) to occur in the vicinity of Kennington / Oval this weekend.

It appears that a march and rally will lead to the closure of Newington Butts and Kennington Park Road (and possibly part of Elephant) at some point between 13:00 and 17:30 (according to the Met police). Further digging (and a couple of Tweets spotted earlier this week) appears to reveal that the march and rally are being held to raise awareness and campaign against knife crime.

The event is known as the "LIVE" rally (Living Intentionally Versus Existing), and appears to be linked to youth leaders in the 7th Day Adventist church (I say "good on them"). They'll be marching with a group named F.A.M.E (Families against Murder Escalating).

It's great to be able to report on positive action re. knife crime, and since the event ends at Kennington Park (rather than beginning there), I should be able to take some photos and report further tomorrow.

I hope that both the cricket fans at the Ashes and the anti-knife crime marchers are aware that due to the road closures (as a result of the march) and the closure of the Vauxhall tube station, leaving Kennington or Oval after both events might prove difficult.

That news brought courtesy of an eagle eyed commenter who spotted a sign about road closures at Elephant...

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Ashes cricket reminder to SE11

Due to the this weekend's (22nd - 23rd August) closure of Vauxhall tube and the cricket Ashes to be held at the Oval, it's likely that Kennington and Oval tubes will be deluged with people trying to get to the Oval.

Oh, I also saw a sign at Kennington tube today to say that Kings Cross St Pancras is not open to trains on the Northern line this weekend either.

So, SE11 people, it might be time for a weekend away (obviously, after you've visited the Oval Farmers market on Saturday morning)... I'm hoping to go and visit the cake stand this week where there are rumours that extra cakes are being baked!

Friday, 14 August 2009

Battersea and Kennington linked by the Northern line

I've not commented much recently on the ongoing plans by the developers of Battersea Power Station to extend the tube from Kennington to a new stop named Nine Elms and through to Battersea itself although I remarked on the initial consultation.

There was a post back in July highlighting the fact that there would be tunnelling under South Lambeth from over at the Albert Square and St Stephen's Association blog. They've also pasted a very helpful tube map of what the extension would look like if it were built.

However, various blogs have been picking up the matter, and things have hotted up because the developers of the power station have submitted informal plans for the Battersea site itself. It's worth noting that that means nothing as yet since transport has not been mentioned in their plans. There have also been plenty of plans submitted by various developers that have had to be abandoned. Yet, some of the people over at London Connections became excited in July when it appeared that feasability studies had been completed and various parties were happy with the route. They even mention the fact that London Underground are looking into funding the line to continue on to Clapham Junction, so the northern line would head off West eg. Kennington > Nine Elms > Battersea > Clapham Junction. Boris Johnson is also understood to be supportive, and methods for raising funds by selling government bonds have been suggested.

So, what makes me raise the issue? I received a query by email about a week ago from somebody who said:

"I've just been talking to my local councillor and he says that there are plans to extend the Waterloo and City line through the Black Prince Road area to Vauxhall and Battersea as part of redeveloping Battersea Power Station... But he says that the developer wants to use the Northern line instead so that they don't have to go through working class areas, cos they only want rich guys turning up at their buildings. Is this true?"

I've no idea which councillor the article refers to, but this tale sounds like the conflation of several ideas. As far as I can tell, there has never been a plan to extend the Waterloo and City line (although this would be preferable as it would mean that the northern line and the Bakerloo line could be taken into the areas of South East London that are much more in need of the transport eg. Peckham, Lewisham). It strikes me as highly unlikely that the Black Prince Road area would be included, simply due to the money that it takes to build the stops. The Nine Elms stop, one presumes, is being built entirely for the US Embassy at Nine Elms and (hopefully) they'll be asked to fork out the cash. The Battersea stop would be included in the costs for the new development at Batterse. However, if you take a look at the London Connections comment section on the above article, you'll see that there's a fair amount of discussion about alternative routes, and there are various suggestions that it would be better to use the Waterloo and City line... Unfortunately, I've not heard any official discourse on the matter at all so we'll presume that if it goes ahead, it will fork from the Northern line and some of us are rather sceptical that the plan will go anywhere...

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Oval / Kennington door knocking scam

I think it's worth linking to an item from the Kennington Association who have been contacted by the Vassall Safer Neighbourhood team, to warn people of a scam being attempted around the Oval area.

If youths come knocking at your door, requesting money to support a sports club, ask them for ID and do not give them any money. If you can contact the local police, they will come and check to see whether the group is authorised (it looks unlikely).

See the Kennington News blog for further info.

216 Kennington Road, planning permission refused

I've just heard that despite the fact that the officers approved the application to extend the range of uses for the building underneath 216 Kennington Road, the council actually refused permission.

I made a post last week in which I mistakenly noted that permission had been granted, so I ought to state very clearly that 216 Kennington Road does not have planning permission for retail usage.

Watch this space. I wonder if the decision will be challenged.

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Lib Dem Manifesto Planning session

I am very loathe to publish overtly political material on this blog and I've refused a certain amount of material recently in accordance with the fact that it's too partisan, so it's with some trepidation that I publish the following (and would add that I will publish similar invitational offerings from other parties if necessary). As an aside, I've been impressed by Labour Cllr Mark Harrison's attendance at various SE11 social events and public participation in local meetings (he has even added some comments to this blog!).

The Lib Dems are planning a manifesto named Lambeth Liberal Democrat Manifesto for 2010 and want input and ideas. They have organised some working groups for the different topics the manifesto will cover. Details of the first session here:

A resident-led council - devolution, value for money, diversity
Led by Gavin Dosworth on Wed 12th August 7pm

Gavin wants to send out a couple of items for people to look through before the session to give a starting point, so people are asked to inform Rosie Loveland, if they are able to be present on rloveland@lambeth.gov.uk and the venue will be announced once numbers are known.

Future sessions will be on the topics:
Environmental sustainability – greening the council, leading by example, helping residents go green
Children in the borough – safe at all ages, active and healthy, effective education (led by Roger Giess)
Quality of life – improved local environment, leisure and culture, ‘no’ to overdevelopment, lower crime & fear of crime, better health especially for older people (led by Andrew Sawdon)
Housing – a tenant-led service (led by Jeremy Clyne)

It's an interesting opportunity for SE11 residents to contribute to potential future local policy.

Thursday, 6 August 2009

Carl Beatson Asiedu - Goding Street murder

I didn't update the entry on the Goding Street murder in Vauxhall on 1st August since London-SE1 covered the story far more comprehensively than I would due to the fact that the car transporting the victim to hospital was stopped in Baylis Road by police on the way.

However, the murdered man was named as rapper Carl Beatson Asiedu and whilst several arrests have been made, the police are still appealing for more information. A special email address has been set up for enquiries. It is: carlsappeal@met.police.uk and metropolitan police would like anybody that isn't comfortable calling them to consider emailing them information about the stabbing. If you do have more details about what happened, you can always set up a free anonymous Hotmail or Gmail account and email police without them knowing your details.

Somebody must know something, and it's incredibly frustrating that so many cases don't appear to be satisfactorily resolved. There are a fair few people up and around in Vauxhall at 5am, given the vibrant scene in the area. Somebody must have been near or outside Life and noticed something at that time in the morning.

I still wonder whether justice might be done for Ashley Kemete's relatives, (he was shot in Kennington late last year). I remember a few people were arrested and bailed, but have heard nothing since.

New Gym in Vauxhall

No, it's not quite SE11, but local residents finally have access to a new gym in the vicinity, just over the border in SW8. I complained bitterly back in April last year that the only gym within walking distance of most of SE11 was Paris Gym (the gayest gym in town, which just happens to have a male only policy). Well it appears that some good has finally come of St George Wharf down by the river (either that, or MI6 decided that their spies were getting fat).

It looks as though the St George Wharf management have signed a new gym contract with The Gym Group. And the really good news? (Keep this one quiet, or it might become popular... it's open to those of us who have tightened belts for the credit crunch.) Sign up now and they're offering membership for £15 per month - I'm not linked or subsidised with them in any way, but I don't need to be to say that that's a great price. Also, there is no contract (it appears to be monthtly payments) and no sign up fees (at least for now). It's likely to be basic eg. no swimming pool, but for brand new equipment 24 hours a day, it's a great addition to the area (by comparison, Paris Gym will set you back £460 per year). The place opens on August 10th.

If you see somebody who hasn't exercised properly for years panting away in the corner, you can even come and say "hi" :)

216 Kennington Road and 38-46 Albert Embankment planning

I've edited the post below slightly in light of Cllr Mark Harrison's comment that the council haven't granted planning permission re. 216. Instead, their officers have indicated that they are in favour of approval. It remains to be seen whether approval is granted.

You might recall from this post back in May that planning permission had been sought for 216 Kennington Road. I was against the request since I was hoping the site might be put to use for some kind of community facility.

It seems that the council have granted permission the council officers have recommended that permission will be granted to allow a retail unit to be put in place (the rumour is Tesco, but nobody knows for sure). The new shop will presumably service everybody who has purchased a flat in the oddly named Kennington Park Square (it's not very near the park!) just behind the site and those in 216 Kennington Road itself (a large residential development) and a number of residents on Kennington Park Road. Even I have to concede that it's better to have something in there than for it to remain empty.

Also, if you read the post I wrote back in June when I was trying to keep up with the number of nasty high rises on our horizon, it is worth noting that we've had an appeal (against the refusal of planning permission) withdrawn on item number 3 (38-46 Albert Embankment) which is on the site of the Texaco garage. That leaves one less ball in the air in terms of pending sites.

In addition, I nearly forgot... I raised the matter some time ago that TFL (despite local objections) had applied for planning permission for one of its excellent cycle scheme pods in Windmill Row (a very bad location due to overcrowding of pedestrians and traffic). The council sensibly overturned the request so that's good news.

I'm sorry it has all gone so quiet... It's silly season in Kennington and what with swine flu and holidays etc. there's not so much to report.

Saturday, 1 August 2009

Goding Street SE11 incident maybe related to Baylis Road SE1 incident

Somebody sent me a message on Twitter to make me aware that an incident has taken place on Goding Street, SE11, just behind Vauxhall tube station. A white tent has been erected and there is a heavy police presence in the area.

This is alarming enough, but London-SE1 has already reported that a man was stabbed to death in the early hours on Baylis Road, just up the road in SE1. See here for more info. Early reports from police are suggesting that the two incidents might be linked...

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Edit (2/8/2009) - see London-SE1 again here for a further update. It appears that the Baylis Road victim (a 19 year old male) was stabbed at in Goding Street, but only actually discovered by police when they pulled over a car that jumped lights in Baylis Road.

In addition, a second male was stabbed in Goding Street, but he recovered and has been discharged from hospital.

The BBC report on the incident is here.

Please contact the police or leave a comment if you've any further information.

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