Wednesday, 27 February 2013

We need more from the Mayor for our dangerous junctions

It has emerged that an average of just £266,000 will be spent on each of the top fifty dangerous junctions in London due to be completed by the end of this year. 

This is not great news for those trying to improve junction safety at places like the Streatham High Road/Mitcham Lane Junction.  (TfL agreed to undertake a safety review of this junction and we are awaiting the results).

We have already covered the kind of thing that can be done to transform dangerous junctions like this if there is the creativity, financing and the political will.  In the long run it saves lives and hugely improves the quality of life, as well as contributing to footfall in local shops and boosting local economies.

But of the £19m allocated for the reviews, innovations and improvements at dangerous junctions in London over a two year period, the government have provided £15m, whilst Transport for London have contributed just £4m.

TfL estimates that the major safety improvements to the top 100 junctions will cost between £66m and £93m.

As Darren Johnson, Green London Assembly Member says: “Saving money rather than saving lives seems to be the decisive factor behind the initial round of 50 junction improvements. 

There will be very few of the big transformations that are needed to create safer spaces for cyclists and pedestrians. We deserve the well designed junctions which the Mayor promised when he signed up to the Go Dutch standards, but that will only happen if the Mayor makes these schemes a budget priority.

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Line up for Streatham Green Artisans market this Sunday (3rd March)

The stall list for Streatham Artisans market this Sunday 3rd March is: 

Astons Bakery (Celtic bread & pastries), 
Bath Soft Cheese Company (west country cheese), 
The BellevueBicycle Workshop (bicycle repairs)
Brambletye Fruit Farm (fruit, veg, eggs, juice all biodynamic), 
Emilia Ltd (charcuterie, parmesan, oils, balsamic vinegar)
Fish Tale (fish & olives & preserves), 
The Flour Station (sourdough bread & pastries), 
Galeta (Pastel de Nata, cookies, macarons), 
The Giggly Pig (hot sausage baps & pork), 
The Handpicked Shellfish Company (shellfish) 
The Herbal Stall, (herbal remedies) 
The Honest Carrot(vegetarian pre-made organic cooked goods) 
Marsh Produce Ltd (free-range meat & poultry), 
Nutknowle Farm (goats cheese), 
Peeps Treats(preserves, pastes) 
Perry Court Farm (seasonal fruit & veg including British apples, pears, winter veg, greens, etc) 
Trina's Delicacies (gourmet cakes) 
The World of Aloe Vera (aloe vera products).

You can follow the market on Twitter @londonarti

Monday, 25 February 2013

Friends of Streatham Green meeting tonight - 25th Feb

All are welcome to the Friends of Streatham Green meeting tonight at 7.00pm at the Manor Arms (by the green).

On the agenda is the latest news regarding the creation of two plazas outside the Manor Arms, the plans for the High Road, the latest news on the Artisans Market and a proposed programme of events on the Green over the next year - as well as all the usual issues around safety, maintenance a looking after this crucial green space.

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Pole update

Time for a quick update on our programme to declutter our streets.

We mentioned a few months ago that we had asked TfL to remove some old, redundant metal poles from the junction of Mitcham Lane and Ambleside Avenue.

We are pleased to say that has now been done.  You can see the difference that it makes to the space on the pavement in these pictures:



Thursday, 21 February 2013

Streatham Common Kite Day rescheduled for 16th June

The 15th Streatham Common Kite Day which was due to be held on 7th April 2013 from 11.00am to 5.00pm has been postponed.  It will now take place on 16th June.

Due to circumstances completely beyond the organisers control – namely the terrible wet winter weather – the Common has become heavily waterlogged and it was not believed that the ground will be sufficiently dry for Kite day to take place.
The Kite Day Committee however says that it will still feature:
The Highwaymen will have their stall and will be selling kites and anything kite related.
The Lambeth Sustainable Travel team are providing a free Dr Bike service – so you can bring your bike for a free bike fix and have a chat about sustainable travel options and support. 
Food and other non-kite things will include:
  • Ishmael’s Mother - original Asian cooking
  • FoodBums - vegetarian chilli
  • hog roast
  • real coffee stall
  • pancakes
  • burgers, hot dogs, ice cream
  • bouncy castle
  • face painting

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Streatham's community-owned power company looking for people to be involved

Streatham Power is a community-owned social enterprise that exists to enable the local community to lead Streatham’s transition to a resilient and zero carbon energy future. It is looking for new people to be involved in its work.

The organisation evolved from initial discussions within Transition Streatham, a local group looking at ways of making Streatham a more sustainable place to live. Streatham Power became a separate not-for-profit company in September 2011.

Its vision is the supply of 100% carbon-neutral energy for the district of Streatham by 2050. It envisages that in the long-term all inhabitants of Streatham will be affected by this project and benefit through lower energy costs and secure energy supplies.

The objectives are:

- To generate local low and zero carbon energy to increase Streatham’s resilience to future energy challenges;

- To set up a community investment scheme focused on sustainable energy available to all individuals, communities and businesses, within and around Streatham, that share our objectives;

- To reduce Streatham’s energy consumption, cost and environmental impact and Streatham's reliance on unsustainable sources of energy.

Specifically, Streatham Power is planning the installation of PV solar panels on a mixture of roofs – public, commercial and residential. It is currently working on some projects in the Streatham area in liaison with our Cooperative and Corporate partners (including Carbon Leapfrog).

If you have skills in the areas of web development, marketing, technical expertise, community outreach or finances it is particularly keen to here from you.

But if you would like to be involved in any capacity, get in touch with Patrick Mansfield (Secretary) patrick.mansfield1 (at)

Monday, 18 February 2013

Lambeth Council has fined no one for dog fouling in over a year

One of the issues that a lot of people raise with us is dog fouling. So we popped in a Freedom of Information request to find out how enforcement has been going in recent years across the whole of Lambeth (not just Streatham)

It turns out that Lambeth Council has issued no fixed penalty notices anywhere in the borough, in over a year...

1. How many fixed penalty notices Lambeth council has issued for dog fouling, by year, in each of the last five years.

2008/09: 2 Fixed Penalty Notices issued.
2009/10: 6 Fixed Penalty Notices issued.
2010/11: 2 Fixed Penalty Notices issued.
2011/12: 4 Fixed Penalty Notices issued.
2012 to date: 0 Fixed Penalty Notices issued.

2. How many court prosecutions for dog fouling that Lambeth has pursued each year, in each of the last five years?

2008/09 0 Prosecutions have been made
2009/10 0 Prosecutions have been made
2010/11 2 Prosecutions have been made
2011/12 0 Prosecutions have been made
2012 to date 0 Prosecutions have been made

Friday, 15 February 2013

Cleaning of Broadlands Close (Broadlands Avenue)

Broadlands Close it seems is being neglected by Lambeth Council when it comes to cleaning.

There is a lot of debris from the tree in the middle of the Close including small branches/ twigs and leaves. It looks as if they have been there for quite a while, are wet and very slippery. We have asked for the close to be cleaned and regular cleaning to be ongoing in the Close. This seems to be a problem in other Close's such as Tarrington Close off Garrad's Road, which also seems to have been neglected, although they should all be cleaned regularly.

[Update 25 Feb: The Close has now been cleaned]

What could be done about the junction of Streatham High Road, Mitcham Lane and Tooting Bec Gardens?

The junction of Streatham High Road, Mitcham Lane and Tooting Bec Gardens is a nightmare. There is continual traffic congestion, incidents of road rage, air and noise pollution, the crossings are considered unsafe by many pedestrians, and the junction is inhospitable to cyclists.

Is there anything that can be done?

We are waiting on the results of a safety and traffic review. In the meantime, @pheripheral tweeted this morning a very interesting video about how a similar junction has been transformed in Poynton, Cheshire. The solution there resulted in:

- Improved traffic flow
- Slower speeds
- Fewer collisions
- Less congestion
- Increased footfall of 88% in local shops
- More cyclists using the junction
- Shorter crossing times
- Greater accessibility for those who are old and disabled
- Less street clutter

Sounds impossible? Have a look at this video...

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Environmental aims of new Babington Road market

Joel Northcott, who runs Streatham's new Babington Road artisans market next to Streatham Green, has produced a list of environmental aims for the market:

-To encourage trips to the market by bike/foot/public transport and change the habits of local movement.

-To cut down on the carbon footprint of Streathamites.

-To have at least 75% of stalls selling produce grown, raised and produced within 100 Miles of the M25.

-To provide regular bike repairs.

-To leave the area (The Green & upper pavement) tidier than when we found it.

-To encourage local groups, food support & local charity groups to have a presence at the market.

-To support local, ethical businesses in the area.

-To allow local food banks to collect any leftover produce from the market.

-To champion local food 'heroes' and encourage and work with other like-minded food events in the area.

If you have suggestions about other aims or comments, do post them below, and we can pass them on to Joel.

The next market is this Sunday 17th Feb.

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Extension to resurfacing work on Streatham High Road

We wrote last week that we had some good news, and TfL had agreed to resurface the junction of Mitcham Lane, Streatham High Road and Tooting Bec Gardens. This was long overdue, and many local residents had said that the surface was so bad, their houses were shaking when the buses went over the potholes.

However, the resurfacing wasn't going to extend down towards the dip, most notably to cover the area at the bus stops which are in a terrible state.

We therefore contacted TfL to ask if they could extend the works to cover the bus stops, and we are pleased to say that they have agreed.

This was the original map produced by TfL (Via Green Party London Assembly Member Darren Johnson's office) which shows the area which was originally to be resurfaced:

The area will now extend further down Streatham High Road (to the bottom left on the map).

We are still waiting to hear the results of the safety review at this junction as well as plans to sort out the congestion.

Friday, 8 February 2013

Loading bay on Fernwood Avenue 'no longer on the agenda'

We have had it confirmed by George Wright at Lambeth Council that the proposed loading bay on Fernwood Avenue is no longer being considered.

Residents in Fernwood Avenue were unhappy with the idea to place a new loading bay at the top of the road where it meets Mitcham Lane. It was originally part of the proposals for changes to the area at the top of Babington Road where it meets Mitcham Lane by Streatham Green and the Manor Arms.

The area is the location for Streatham's new fortnightly street market and the intention is to create a better public space for it, less dominated by traffic, more suited to host the market and other community events, and better connected to Streatham Green.

We have also heard that the deadline for consultation has been extended for a week at the request of local residents in Dr Johnson House and William Dyce Mews who apparently did not receive information about the consultation.

The aim is to undertake construction on site is late June-September to minimise disruption to the market.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

SW16 postcode is top 20 UK hotspot for burglary

At the St Leonard's Ward Safer Neighbourhood panel last night I asked local police what they felt about the news that the SW16 postcode was one of the top 20 areas in the UK for burglary.

There was some surprise as the official burglary figures aren't that high when it comes to crime that is actually reported.

The data came from who analysed 3.49 million applications for home insurance quotes made between December 2011 and the end of November 2012.

They looked at the number of users who said they had made a claim for burglary at their current address in the past two years.

As the police pointed out, you generally need a crime reference number to make a claim, and so that crime should have been reported and so show up in the official statistics.

One explanation is perhaps that the definition of burglary was quite wide, and so incorporated all thefts from people's homes.

Monday, 4 February 2013

Parking tickets 'out of the blue' on Babington Road

We were contacted today by local residents on Babington Road who said they had suddenly received parking tickets yesterday morning (Sunday) imposing £110 fines.

It seems that Lambeth Council have decided to impose a parking restriction on the day of the Babington Road market in the section between Mitcham Lane and Ambleside Avenue, without adequately informing residents.

Closer inspection did reveal a small notice on one lamp post. The notice has apparently been there since September, but could be easily missed. (Even Richard who runs the Manor Arms hadn't seen it). Apparently it had not been enforced until yesterday.

But no other signs had been put up. No cones were put out. No notes had been put through residents doors.

This is completely unacceptable. Having chatted to local people, and now heard from Angelina The Town Centre Manager, it also seems that the parking restriction is completely unnecessary as traders have plenty of room to park.

The timing also couldn't be worse for the plans to develop the market area, which needs the support of local residents.

We are pushing for the parking tickets to be cancelled and/or refunded. We are also asking for the parking restriction to be permanently lifted and for assurances that residents won't need to move their cars twice a month for the market to take place. We will post an update as soon as we get one.

[Update 5/2/13: We have just been told by Lambeth Council that the penalty charge notices that were issued on Sunday have been cancelled]

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Junction of Mitcham Lane/ Streatham High Road to be resurfaced

Some good news. You may have seen the notices appear around the junction of Streatham High Road/ Mitcham Lane and Tooting Bec Gardens about works that are about to start. The junction is finally to be resurfaced.

We have been contacted by local residents on both Gleneldon Road and Streatham High Road, saying that their houses and flats shake when buses go past because of all the potholes. The crossing from St Leonard's Church to the other side of Streatham High Road is cracking up to the point it has become a hazard to walk on.

The resurfacing of the whole area should start soon.

We have been sent the following map by TfL (Via Green Party London Assembly Member Darren Johnson's office) which shows the area which will be resurfaced:

As you can see it will cover the two pedestrian crossings on Tooting Bec Gardens and the entrance to the Church of the English Martyr's on Mitcham Lane, and along Streatham High Road in both directions to cover both crossings.

However, as things stand, it won't extend down as far as the "dip" on Streatham High Road. There is a particularly bad area around the bus stop as you go down the hill, so we are asking if TfL will extend the resurfacing a little.

We are still waiting to hear the results of the safety review at this junction as well as plans to sort out the congestion.

[Update: 12/02/2013 We have now had a response from our request to TfL to resurface the area towards the "dip" on Streatham High Road, covering the bus stop. TfL have agreed to do this ]

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Changes to Gleneldon Mews

When we got the asbestos removed last year from Gleneldon Mews, local businesses along the Mews drew our attention to the state of the road surface and asked whether anything could be done to sort it out.

They had asked for repairs to made a few times. But this area has been neglected by local politicians for a while - possibly because so few people live along the Mews and so they don't consider there are many votes there.

The road is cobbled and riddled with potholes. So we did a street audit, and highlighted the problems that we found, and asked the council whether they could be fixed.

We are pleased to say that work has now begun on the Mews to fix the road surface.

Patches of cobbles are being replaced, which should also deal with the large amounts of surface water that collects there. We have also asked for the area at the top of the road where it meets Gleneldon Road to be leveled off, to provide full access to wheelchair users and those using mobility scooters. This will also help those travelling up the South side of Gleneldon Road.

Friday, 1 February 2013

Streatham Artisans Market grows with biggest selection of stalls so far

Streatham Green Artisan's Market, located at the junction of Mitcham Lane and Babington Road, will have its largest selection of stalls so far when it takes place this Sunday (3rd Feb).

Once again there will be bike repairs from The Bellevue Bicycle Workshop.

The stall list is as follows:

Astons Bakery (Celtic bread & pastries),
Brambletye Fruit Farm (fruit, veg, eggs, juice all biodynamic),
Emilia Ltd (charcuterie, parmesan cheese, oils, balsamic vinegar),
Fish Tale (fish & olives & preserves),
The Flour Station (sourdough bread & pastries),
Galeta (Pastel de Nata, cookies, macarons),
The Giggly Pig (hot sausage baps & pork),
The Herbal Stall, (herbal remedies)
The Honest Carrot (vegetarian pre-made organic cooked goods)
Marsh Produce Ltd (free-range meat & poultry),
Nutknowle Farm (goats cheese),
Peeps Treats (preserves, pastes)
Perry Court Farm (seasonal fruit & veg including British apples, pears, winter veg, greens, etc)
Trina's Delicacies (gourmet cakes).

Perry Court Farm, based in Canterbury, were one of Kent's first organic farms, and the stall of the week this market is The Honest Carrot. They produce fantastic ready-made veggie & vegetarian friendly produce, much of it gluten-free.

Next markets are on 17 February, 3 March & then 17 March.