Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Major changes to Streatham's train services from this Saturday

We have just received this notice from Network Rail about changes to train services through Streatham:

Starting this Saturday, 20 December, there are major changes to train services as Network Rail continues to rebuild London Bridge station.

We have been working closely with train operators and Transport for London to communicate these changes to passengers. We would appreciate it if you could encourage your residents to check before they travel by making this information available on your website, in emails and on social media.

From January, longer-term changes mean that some passengers may have to have their train tickets reissued in order to use alternative routes. More details can be found on our Travel Advice webpage.

As a reminder here is a summary of the service changes. 

We have been working closely with train operators and Transport for London to communicate these changes to passengers. We would appreciate it if you could encourage your residents to check before they travel by making this information available on your website, in emails and on social media.
From January, longer-term changes mean that some passengers may have to have their train tickets reissued in order to use alternative routes. More details can be found on our Travel Advice webpage.
As a reminder here is a summary of the service changes. 
Changes from 20 December to 4 January 2015
  • From 20 December to 4 January there will be no Southern or Thameslink services to or from London Bridge.
  • Between Monday 22 and Wednesday 24 December, trains to Charing Cross will not stop at London Bridge from 07:54 to 09:01.
  • Some London Overground services will not run during this time.
  • There will be changes to services across the rail network throughout the festive period, please checkNational Rail Enquiries to plan your journey.
Changes from 5 January 2015
  • From 5 January 2015 to January 2018 there will be no Bedford to Brighton cross-London Thameslink trains to or from London Bridge. A reduced off-peak service will run between Brighton and London Bridge and a very limited service will run in the peak.
  • From 12 January 2015 to August 2016 Southeastern services to and from Charing Cross will not stop at London Bridge.
  • Some services that currently operate to Charing Cross or Cannon Street may be diverted to an alternative London terminal, such as Blackfriars and may leave at different times. Please check the new timetable.
  • The way you move around the station will change. View our updated station map to see how the station will look from 12 January 2015
Valid National Rail tickets will be accepted on certain routes during these changes for more information visit our December and January webpage
More informationWe will regularly update the information available, please keep checking for updates atThameslinkProgramme.co.uk or follow us @TLProgramme.

Friday, 12 December 2014

The truth about Streatham's Neighbourhood Enhancement Programme

Once again, it seems that Streatham's newly elected Labour councillors aren't being completely straight with local people.

This time they are saying they have "lobbied hard" for the Neighbourhood Enhancement Programme to come for Streatham (see this tweet from  Cabinet Member Jennifer Braithwaite).  See also this tweet from Cllr Amelie Trespass.

The Neighbourhood Enhancement Programme has long been promised to Streatham.  It relies on funds from external sources to the Council such as TfL (see here for more about it).  The budget for an area is usually in the region of £230,000 as the link makes clear, and is spent on environmental improvements like greenery, cycle parking, new signage etc...

But the funds for Streatham's 'new' Neighbourhood Enhancement Programme were actually already given to Streatham via the Section 106 Agreement for the Streatham Hub development. This was agreed several years ago. This was long before May's elections when Streatham's Labour councillors were elected, and had a lot to do with lobbying by local residents.

Cllr Scott Ainslie put in a Members Enquiry back in October, to make sure the Section 106 funds were in place and had been transferred as planned to the Council (as some of them had appeared to have gone missing!).  He asked in detail about all the Section 106 money from the Streatham Hub development.

This was the response on 4th November:

£250,000 toward environmental improvements on Streatham High Road

To contribute £250,000 towards Streatham NEP (Neighbourhood Enhancement Programme).
The scheme development is planned to commence in 2015/16 for implementation in 2016/17.

We circulated this Council response in its entirety to residents about a month ago - along with a breakdown of all the other funds from the Section 106 development - so local people should be under no illusions that this quarter of a million pounds is the result of "lobbying by Streatham's newly elected councillors"!

It is in fact a result of a lot of lobbying by local people prior to the Streatham Hub Development.

We'll also be keeping a close eye on the other pots of money which have already been allocated to Streatham, but which may also be claimed as a result of "lobbying for the Neighbourhood Enhancement Programme".

Here are a few pots already allocated a couple of years ago, but not yet spent:

1. £50,000 for Improvement to Streatham Station (see here for more on how this will be spent)
2. £124,000 for improved street lighting
3. £50,000 towards the provision of real time bus information
4. £220,000 toward the conducting of an area-wide traffic study
5. £135,000 toward the conducting of a study into the benefits of controlled parking zones

Expect that the allocated money from the Megabowl development and the council's roads programme may also be repackaged as the "Neighbourhood Enhancement Programme" in other areas of Streatham.

Why is this important? It means that Streatham is not getting the "new money" that other areas of Lambeth have received for their Neighbourhood Enhancement Programmes. It is simply getting old money, already allocated to Streatham, but now repackaged and presented as new money, so Lambeth Council can say "you've had your Neighbourhood Enhancement Programme". Once again, it seems, Streatham is being sold short.

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Stay safe this Christmas!

We have received the following community safety notice with tips to stay safe this Christmas!

Keep presents out of sight and away from windows.
Don’t advertise what you received for Christmas! Be aware of leaving packaging out with the recycling on show.
Register your mobile phone, sat nav, mp3 player or other electrical items for free at www.immobilise.com
If you are going away for the festive period: consider leaving lights and a radio on timer switches and if possible ask a friend or relative to collect your mail.
Car Crime
Always lock doors and windows and use a steering lock.
Never leave keys in the ignition and the car unattended.
Keep presents out of sight, if they can be seen they can be stolen.
Leave your vehicle in a well lit location or you could make a thief’s Christmas.
Never leave keys or valuables where they can be seen from outside (like the hall table).
Shed Alert
Lock bikes away and mark them with your post code and house number.
Secure your shed with a bolt and padlock and consider fitting an alarm.

Personal Safety
It takes seconds for a drink to be spiked and the consequences can be devastating. Never leave your drink unattended.
It’s important that people enjoy the festive season safely: When you’re out and about, ensure that you have sensible plans in place for your journey home in advance, be aware of your valuables, drink responsibly and above all, stay safe. 

In an emergency always dial 999

To report crime in a non emergency situation or for advice dial 101

If you have information about a crime but don’t want to give your name, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111

For information about Policing and Safer Neighbourhoods logon at www.met.police.uk

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

More trees for Streatham

We have conducted another "tree audit" of St Leonard's ward and have been working with council officers to get some more trees, including some replacements around the area towards Streatham Hill.  

This is what officers have agreed to put them (before Christmas we hope!)...
  • A replacement opposite number 10 (approx) Kingscourt Road where a tree was vandalised and removed.  We are also asking for more trees down this road.
  • A tree in Mortimer Close on Drewstead Road. 
  • Three trees in Norfolk House Road that have died and need replacing
  • Mount Ephraim Lane where residents have asked for more trees (there are a few at the bottom of the lane, but none at all at the top).

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Stall at Streatham Green Market

Thank you to the (over!) twenty people who helped out on the Green Party stall over the course of Saturday at Streatham Green Market. It was a great success despite the cold, crisp weather. Many hands made light work!

We collected around 500 more signatures over the 7 hours we were there for our paper petition to make the junction of Ambleside Avenue and Mitcham Lane safe. (More info on the petition here and you can sign online too here) A number of new people visiting the stall joined the Green Party too!

We also gave out vouchers to get 10% off at the Village Caffe (next to Streatham Green) as part of our support for 'Small Business Saturday'.

Special thanks to Gulnar and Becca for organising, and also to Lucy and Toby for helping with set up and decorating (as well as putting in stints on the stall!). Thanks too, to Barbara, Roger, Scott, Joe, Nicole, Robyn, Gemma, Haleem, Sarah, Leon, Adrian. Pete, Nick, Scott, Chris, David and Lisa (apologies if I have missed anyone out - let me know if so!).

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Lambeth Council proposes "collecting fly-tipping less frequently"

Lambeth Council has now produced its long-awaited report to try and tackle the environmental crime in Streatham, and more widely in Lambeth.  You can read it here

Section 5 on fly-tipping will be the interesting one to many people.  It contains the surprising statement:
"Fly tipping has been a problem nationally for many years, however, from the table at 1.15 we can see that the problem is reducing in Lambeth"
There is in fact no table at 1.15. There is however a table at 1.19 which shows flytipping waste in Lambeth as follows:

Far from reducing, as residents know all too well, it seems that after a slow move downwards it has suddenly spiked and the estimate for this year will reach epidemic proportions!

The report suggests that this is because of the new bin policy.  This is interesting because Lambeth Council have previously denied that the increase in fly-tipping has been down to the new bin policy.

But the really interesting part is in the report's recommendations.  In particular:
"Trucks will no longer travel around the borough on a daily basis looking for fly tipped waste" 
"Collecting fly tips less frequently"
The background to all this, as the report makes clear, is budget cuts.

It's going to be an interesting meeting on 11th December in Streatham, when the report is discussed.  Do go along and have your say!

(Hat-tip to @jason_cobb for flagging this up here )

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Petition to resurface Kingscourt, Norfolk House, Brancaster, Blakemore and Moorcroft Roads

After a request from local residents, we have launched a petition to resurface a collection of local roads which need some serious attention!

  • Kingscourt Road
  • Norfolk House Road
  • Brancaster Road
  • Blakemore Road
  • Moorcroft Road
Two of these are on the council's resurfacing list, but are well overdue for some TLC!  And with a another winter coming, and the surface breaking up, they will become another hazard for cyclists and motorbikes, as well as damaging cars. 

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Another fatality on Streatham High Road

There was another fatality on Streatham High Road last night, near the bus garage at Streatham Hill.   This picture was taken by a local Green Party member who lives nearby.

Once again, it is too early to say what happened, and we will have to wait for the police report, but eye witnesses suggested that a car spun and hit a bus.

It follows the tragic death of a 60 year old woman pedestrian at the junction of Mitcham Lane and Ambleside Avenue on Friday and the death of another pedestrian at the end of May at the St Leonard's junction on Streatham High Road, at the junction with Mitcham Lane.

To put this in context, the average number of fatalities on the roads in a year per inner London borough due to traffic collisions is four.  We have had three in a six month period, in just one section of Lambeth (Streatham).

The situation in Lambeth as a borough has been getting progressively worse.  The latest figures show that Lambeth had the highest number of fatalities (7) of any London borough, and the second highest number of serious injuries.  You can see the figures here.

With regard to the High Road, we have previously looked at the very high number of collisions and deaths, and the main factor in it which appears to be the speed of traffic.

One way of tackling the issue is a 20mph limit down the High Road (which would also help tackle air quality).  But the block at the moment on this happening is Lambeth Council. Even though Transport for London have responsibility for Streatham High Road, they say they won't act until Lambeth introduces its 20mph borough-wide limit on other roads in the area.

Lambeth Council have been dragging its heels on a 20mph borough wide-limit for years.  After a lot of campaigning, they finally committed to doing it almost two years ago.  But they still refuse to set a timetable.  And while they continue to dither, more people will be seriously injured and some will die.  

Monday, 1 December 2014

MP's office told Streatham wasn't being considered for Bakerloo Line extension in 2011

A quick update on the tube...

It's now emerged that Transport for London told Chuka Umunna's office that Streatham wasn't being considered for a Bakerloo Line extension in 2011.  You can read the correspondence here.

It does seem to contradict the sudden "surprise" and "alarm" Chuka Umunna expressed in the Evening Standard a couple of months ago that Streatham wasn't being considered.  (read the article here)

It also begs the questions why:

(i) According to TfL the Streatham MP didn't meet with TfL for three years after this, and

(ii) Why there appears to be no other record at TfL of any other correspondence on the Bakerloo  Line for three years after this...

...if he was really trying to get a Bakerloo line extension for Streatham?

The only Parliamentary questions tabled on the subject are from 2010, and after we challenged him over it in 2014.

It does seem very much that there has been no lobbying at all to get the tube here, despite the Streatham MP being elected on a promise to "build up a head of steam" on it.

We already know that he didn't respond to the Crossrail 2 consultation.   We also know that, according to TfL:
Crossrail Ltd have not met Chuka Umunna in his capacity as the local MP for Streatham, nor to discuss route and station proposals for Crossrail 2.
( See here for more details)

All very disappointing.  Streatham deserves better,