That’s Life

With just over a month remaining until the local elections, what delights lay await for us in the latest edition of Lambeth Life?

This is a tricky time for our friends at Labour led @lambeth_council. With the elections looming, certain reporting restrictions are in place. Lambeth Life may have been muzzled, but it still spreads the good news stories about the borough that you are unlikely to read about elsewhere.

Speaking of which, the front page headline leads with Redskins Rejoice! This is of course in relation to cabinet agreeing the new agreement with Tesco to finally do the deal over the stalled Streatham Hub.

Streatham Redskins

First things first – good work Lambeth Life in actually recognising that South London’s proud and historic ice hockey team is called the Redskins. During my period as the club’s official match reporter, as I was ‘advised’ to drop the Redskins reference.

Apparently the corridors of power within Lambeth Town Hall were unhappy about the covert (extremely covert) references that the name may conjure up in a multi-cultural borough.

Complete twaddle, and so Redskins Rejoice it is.

Ah, but do the ‘Skins have any reason to be rejoicing? The story tells of how:

The decision [on the Hub] has been welcomed by people living and working in Streatham.

Some maybe, but not others. As @LambethLibDems leader, Councillor Lumsden rightfully observed during the special cabinet meeting, the agreement to place a temporary ice rink on Streatham Common has “divided the community.”

This was evident on the night, with the Streatham Ice Skating Action Group welcoming the deal, whereas the Friends of Streatham Common confirmed that it would formally object to the planning permission.

Two hundred jobs have been lost in Streatham in the space of less than a week. Not literally, but the six hundred new jobs figure as mentioned on Monday evening by @jkazantzis, the Cabinet Member for Employment and Enterprise, is now published as four hundred by Lambeth Life.

The simple “bus terminus,” as mentioned by Andrew Boyle from Tesco during cabinet, has grown into a “bus depot,” via the pages of Lambeth Life.

And as for the rejoicing Redskins – well the big boys with their big sticks should perhaps put their party on hold. Lambeth Life concludes with:

A consultation about the location of the temporary facilities will be held in the coming months, with Streatham Common likely to be one option.

Cabinet confirmed on Monday that Streatham Common is the *only* option right now. Twelve other sites were considered. Opposition requests to publish the reasons why the other sites were deemed not suitable were dismissed by cabinet. No consultation was mentioned during the meeting either.

Moving on…

Potholes: it’s an election winner, I tell you.

p3 of Lambeth Life has the sexy story of how: Council is Potty about Potholes

Aren’t we all. Aren’t we all.

Contractors have been working around the clock to fill potholes following the damage caused by the harsh winter weather.

Potholes, and pictures of Councillors staring deep and meaningful into potholes, are a way of the world. Especially so after a cold snap; or even just ahead of a local election.

The winter weather was poor – potholes are the outcome. I have personally seen little evidence whilst cycling around Lambeth to suggest that the borough is any better, or any worse, than our other London neighbours in repairing the potholes.

It’s a bit naughty though for Lambeth Life to slip into the same story an extra para all about the existing road improvements scheme taking place with my very good neighbours at Albert Square, SW8:

The works recently saw contractors restoring the pavements and kerbs for pedestrians in Albert Square, a conservation area in Stockwell, using a high quality clear tarmac and restoring the original kerbstones that have been in place for 160 years.

This is not a ‘we’re fixing potholes’ story. This is the result of the wonderful campaigning by ASSA in trying to get @lambeth_council to restore some of the original scenic beauty to this little corner of South London.

p5 of Lambeth Life looks at the genuinely empowering work undertaken by the Safer Neighbourhood Teams. These are rolled out ward wide, with the aim of allowing residents to prioritise the specific policing needs within each local area.

On the same day that I received my latest copy of Lambeth Life, I also received a crime survey from @LambethLibDems. It’s opportunistic timing from the Love Me I’m a Liberal Lot. I wonder why they want to take on the mantle of South London crime busters right now?

I certainly feel safer in SW8 as a direct consequence of the Safer Neighbourhood Team. The support of these groups should be encouraged at every level.

A Guest Column replaces the Leader’s Column, as we move ever forward towards May 6th. Much as I like looking deep into the mind of Lambeth Council leader @cllrstevereed, the contribution from Ellen Lebethe, the council’s Older People’s Champion and Chair of Lambeth Pensioners Action Group, is a far more worthy read. More of the same please.

The centre page pull out is a two-page spread all about the works of Lambeth Parks. I’m surprised that our friends from @Lambeth_Labour haven’t made more of the success story of the green and pleasant lands within Lambeth, as part of their election campaign.

Brockwell Park

Brockwell Park, Larkhall Park, Vauxhall Park, Kennington Park,Clap’ham Common – all outstanding areas of beauty in their own right, and all maintained to a considerable high standard.

Herne Hill

Lambeth Life fails to mention the bit of a mess that the council has made of the Herne Hill junction at Brockwell Park, but it is spot on in identifying:

One of the big success stories in recent years is the transformation of Brockwell Lido.

May 3rd can’t come soon enough for me…

A couple of pages of statutory local authority notices follow. They aren’t the most riveting of reads, but they are certainly more welcome than two pages of seedy sex ads that are pimped out in other local newspapers.

Speaking of adverts, Lambeth Life ends this fortnight with a back page sports story, which is more or less free advertorial for the privately run Clap’ham Pilates Studio.

I have absolutely no issue with the very fine facilities down in SW4, and I wish the business all the best. It’s just a bit weird that having shut down the studio space at the local authority owned Clap’ham Leisure Centre, the council newspaper is now putting the case forward for the private sector facility.

That’s Lambeth Life…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *