Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Residents win campaign to save their sheltered housing from demolition

Campaigning resident: Deidre Shaw
Elderly residents of Macintosh Court sheltered housing in Leigham Court Road, Streatham, have won the campaign to save their homes from demolition.

Lambeth Council had planned to demolish 45 flats and sell the land for development - along with another sheltered housing estate, Queenswood Court, in Gipsy Hill. Residents of both estates have been told this month their homes will be saved - and refurbished instead.

The announcement came three days after the Green Party came within 36 votes of winning Gipsy Hill ward from Labour in a council by-election.

"Three and a half years of stress and worry are now over," said 66-year-old Deidre Shaw, who helped lead the campaign against demolition. "It's a great relief, but we've kept going and refused to take No for an answer."

The campaign to save Macintosh Court - previously called 269 Leigham Court Road - was supported by Streatham's Green Party councillor Scott Ainslie and its original architect Kate Macintosh, together with organisations including Architects for Social Housing, the 20th Century Society, Open-City, and Docomo Inernational.

"Scott's support has been a morale-booster. And to have qualified, informed, like-minded people supporting us has been amazing," said Deidre.

The campaign received widespread press coverage and earlier this month was part of London-wide Open Garden Estates weekend.

A key factor in the residents' success was securing Grade II listed building status for Macintosh Court, which is a rare example of 1970s "Brutalist" arrchitecture in a domestic setting.

Ironically, neglect by Lambeth Council over several decades, may have contributed too the listing by English Heritage in 2015; none of the estates' original features, such as wooden window frames, had been replaced.

In its letter to residents, Lambeth says its change of heart was due to revised estimates of the number of older people living in the south of the borough, inability to find a suitable site in Streatham to develop an "extra care" scheme, and the listed building status of Macintosh Court.

The recommendation to refurbish instead of demolish is due for approval by Lambeth Council's Cabinet on 11th July.

"It's not over yet," says Deidre, hugging her beloved cat Poppy. "If Lambeth ratify the decision on 11th July, then we'll allow ourselves to breathe a sigh of relief."

In 2013 The Green Party's Scott Ainslie and Jonathan Bartley helped save The Glebe sheltered housing from demolition.


Monday, 27 June 2016


Streatham Action brings together a panel of experts and influencers on Wednesday to share what they believe are next steps needed to bring Crossrail 2 to Streatham.

All are welcome to attend and ask questions at the public meeting at The Hideaway, 7pm June 29th. The panel, which will be chaired by journalist and transport expert Christian Wolmar, comprises:
  • Sian Berry, Green Party London Assembly member, former mayoral candidate and transport campaigner
  • Caroline Pidgeon, Lib-Dem London Assembly member and Chair of Transport Committee;
  • Cllr Jennifer Brathwaite, Labour Lambeth Cabinet Member for Transport;
  • The Community Engagement Team representative for Gatwick Airport, representing "Only Gatwick Can";
  • David Joyce, Director of Planning, Development and Transport, Lambeth Council;
  • Neil Salt, Chair, Streatham Action Transport.
This is a good opportunity to highlight the desperate transport infrastructure needs for Streatham. There will be a chance to explore how a CR2 station at Streatham could help reduce traffic and pollution on the dangerous A23, and alleviate overcrowding on the Northern line and Victoria Line.

We'll also hear how Crossrail 2 can facilitate transport links to Gatwick via what will then be a new transport hub for south London at Streatham.

The bulk of the meeting will be taken up by answering questions from the floor and receiving responses from the panel members to comments received in advance from local residents on the Streatham Action website.

The Hideaway is at 2 Empire Mews, Streatham, London, SW16 2BF.

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Streatham's message to Sadiq on A23 road deaths

Streatham mums and other members of the Safer A23 in Streatham campaign have sent a message to new mayor Sadiq Khan, asking him: "What will you do to end road deaths on the A23?"

With 41 deaths and life-changing injuries on Streatham Hill and Streatham High Road in the last five years, campaigners want lower, enforced speed limits and the road re-designed to prioritise the safety and environment for local people.

Green Councillor Scott Ainslie joined families on Streatham Hill on Tuesday, holding aloft banners and placards for passing motorists and pedestrians to see.

Streatham Hill Green Party member, Chris Holt, who organised the event, said:  "With a new mayor now in charge of Transport for London, responsible for the A23, we hope we'll see a change and transport planners will at last take action on the tragic death toll on the road divides our community.

"Sadiq lives nearby in Tooting, so we hope he'll make it a priority to turn the A23 from a dirty, dangerous blight on Streatham into a people-friendly road that serves the community it passes through."

A letter was sent to all the mayoral candidates in last week's London Elections asking them to support the Safer A23 Campaign.

In response the Green Party's Sian Berry wrote:  "I am very happy indeed to support all your calls. I know that Streatham Green Party has been at the forefront of campaigning to sort out what is one of the most dangerous and polluted roads in London, and has also been working with Green London Assembly members to do so, including the St Leonard's junction on the A23. I am also aware of the huge concern that the road causes both local people and local businesses.

"I know that Green Streatham councillor Scott Ainslie and Jonathan Bartley met with Lambeth Council before Christmas to encourage them to lobby TfL to get the High Road reclassified as a High Street, and as Mayor I would support that.

"I am also aware that they have carried out an air pollution monitoring project along the high road after the Labour Party on Lambeth Council voted against air pollution monitoring outside local schools. They found that air pollution levels were breaching EU limits along the A23 - something that I know is of huge concern to local parents in particular.

"Now that Greens have successfully got Lambeth Council to adopt a 20mph borough wide limit, I would want the A23 to also have a 20mph limit along it to smooth traffic flow and make it safer, and in the longer term would want a redesign, particularly of the St Leonard's junction, where traffic flow has been prioritised over people's lives. This is simply unacceptable.

"Streatham has also had to wait far too long for the third section of the High Road to have its central reservation sorted out, and would support the replacement by 2017, as well as more pedestrian crossings, greater time to cross, segregated cycle lanes (which I believe should have been introduced when the second stage of the central reservation work was carried out) and improvements to calm traffic. I would also support greater accessibility for shops along the High Road."

Thursday, 31 March 2016

Temporary one way on Drewstead Road from 25th April

We have just been informed that in order to enable Thames Water to carry out mains connection works safely, Lambeth Council intend to temporarily impose a one-way traffic system along Drewstead Road from 25th April.

The one way will go from No 33/35 Drewstead Road to De Monfort Road, in a north-westerly direction (towards De Monfort Road).

The alternative route for affected vehicles will be via De Monfort Road, Broadlands Avenue and Streatham High Road.

The one way is not expected to last more than two weeks, and end sooner if works are completed quickly.

Thursday, 3 March 2016

Oppose ticket office closures at Streatham Stations

Hot on the heels of their proposals to remove guards/conductors from Southern services, Govia Thameslink Railways Ltd (GTR) are now proposing even more passenger misery through Station ticket office closures and reduced opening hours and services at others with the resultant loss of more jobs (see here for more on the consultation proposals)

Streatham Hill, Streatham, and Streatham Common stations (also Tulse Hill and West Norwood) will lose their ticket offices in the summer, under the current plans.

These damaging cuts on the Southern and Great Northern Thameslink services fly in the face of the fact that there is still a clear need for staffed ticket offices at stations. Indeed, research shows that many passengers prefer to buy from the ticket office rather than from a ticket machine. Replacing staffed ticket offices with ticket machines, or mobile staff expected to sell tickets on platforms, will undoubtedly limit the quality and range of services available to passengers.

Consultation on these changes is being rushed through and there is only limited time until midnight on the 13th March to register your objection with London Travel Watch.

We are joining RMT in urging everyone to let the watchdog know you oppose these changes and are concerned that passengers:

· would not be able to access all the tickets and services needed from a ticket machine;

· would find it harder to obtain advice on tickets and fares without a staffed office;

· would be concerned that there were insufficient numbers of ticket machines (due to them being in high demand or faulty);

· would experience more delays and concourse congestion;

· believe that vulnerable or less technically minded passengers, perhaps including the disabled, elderly or visitors may be less confident using a ticket machine and could end up overspending or being deterred from travel; and

· believe that a ticket office closure will adversely impact on security at the station and believe that a staffed ticket office is a valuable deterrent against crime.

These proposals are unacceptable at a time of rising fares and rail passenger numbers. There is no genuine economic case for reducing the services at many of these high growth stations and this is really about cutting costs and sweating the assets to make even bigger profits for shareholders.

Email: enquiries@londontravelwatch.org.uk with 'GTR ticket office changes' in the subject line to make your voice heard.

Campaign postcards can be provided on request to RMT head office,

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Our Streets (Neighbourhood Enhancement Programme) consultation tonight at Streatham Library!

Come and have your say tonight at Streatham Library on how you think £200,000 should be spent locally.

The Council has repackaged Section 106 money that was already coming to Streatham from the Streatham Hub development along with money from Transport for London into a Neighbourhood Enhancement Programme.  This has now been rebranded as an ‘Our Streets’ programme, and residents views are being sought as to how this money is spent.  (For more details on where the money has come from click here )

It’s really important you say how you would like to see this money spent, whether it be to address traffic issues such as safety, making the area greener, or tackling local grot spots.

What the money is spent on will depend on what residents prioritise. This is particularly important as local residents are also losing out while the programme is in operation. Not only has some of the money that was due to Streatham from the hub development been diverted elsewhere, but the council has also suspended its local road and pavement resurfacing programme while the project goes ahead, so local roads and pavements are not getting the attention they deserve.

The 'Our Streets' programme is expected to take 2 years. The first year will involve consultation and agreeing projects to take forward. Year 2 will be planning and implementation. Selected improvements should be completed by Summer 2017.

The drop in at Streatham Library takes place tonight (Wednesday 2nd December) from 6.00pm to 7.30pm.  Do come and have your say!   There is more information from the council about the programme here.

Thursday, 12 November 2015

St Leonard's Junction - have your say

Aftermath of tragedy at St Leonard's Junction
TfL's proposals for a new pedestrian crossing at St Leonard's junction will be open to public scrutiny at a one-day workshop to be held at Streatham Library on November 21.

The junction - where Streatham High Road meets Tooting Bec Gardens and Mitcham Lane outside St Leonard's Church - is notoriously dangerous for pedestrians, with currently no safe crossing place as it enters "the dip" down towards Streatham station.

After concerted campaigning by the Green Party and others, Transport for London's proposal is to put a new pedestrian crossing a little way down "the dip" near Streatham Green. At the workshop, which will be open from 11am to 4pm on Saturday November 21, various options for this crossing will be presented - and local people's views sought.

When senior TfL managers toured Streatham in September they ruled out an option of phasing crossing times to allow simultaneous Green Man crossing periods across the whole junction - something pedestrians say creates the greatest feeling of safety.

See BBC news report on St Leonard's Junction.

See also for the history at this junction: