Snakes, swords and the Yakuza!

Anyone recognise these locations from the recent BBC gangland thriller Giri/Haji?

Step forward Aveline Street and Waylett House!

Cllr jon Davies

Bus stops

I get regular complaints about bus stops where you can’t see the bus coming for obstructions. A recent post from a Lambeth officer that you might find interesting:

I have been to the bus stop and seen the sign that blocks views from the bus stop down Kennington Road. The sign is located between the two ladies and the cyclist in the image below. Although it is some distance from the bus stop, it is perfectly aligned to block long distance views from the bus stop shelter down Kennington Road. It does mean you can only really see buses from the bus stop shelter once they reach near to where the cyclist is in the image below.


Advertisement consent was granted for the sign in 1998 under application ref. 98/00955/ADV. Google streetview shows that the sign has been in place since at least 2008 (although it was probably installed long before then). From a planning perspective the sign is lawful, and on this basis the planning team could not insist that the sign is moved. I understand from highways colleagues that they do not have powers to insist the sign is moved either. 

This leaves the option of asking JCDecaux if they would kindly agree to move the sign, but this would need to be to a location that doesn’t interfere with highways safety. I imagine JCDecaux would want to resist because the current location is highly visible by passing pedestrians and traffic, and moving the sign would require them to obtain a new advertisement consent for the new location.

If anyone fancies approaching JCDexaux I’ll be there for you

Cllr Jon Davies

Keeping politics in the sewers

I made my second visit today to the Thames Tideway project.

Unless you work on the embankment by Vauxhall Bridge you may not be aware of the huge semi-submerged building site that has emerged. Two underground rivers from Brixton and Clapham are going to be diverted into a vast new sewer being tunnelled under the Thames by a giant machine called Urusla whi started at Battersea and is now on her way past Lambeth Bridge.

The scale of the project is huge with the intention of making the Thames as clean as possible by diverting all the overflows into the new giant sewer that follows the line if the Thames. At the moment every time it rains heavily raw sewage is pumped into the Thames owing to the lack of capacity in our Victorian system.

Last week it poured and take a look at what emerged by Charing Cross – – the area had to be sealed off. This was on its way to being a fatburg.

If you want to know more visit their website:  School visits to their HQ are welcomed.

Cllr. Jon Davies

Re-surfacing in a day…

Pleased to report that despite the frequent thunderstorms we found time to resurface Cleaver Street this week. Roads get assessed by our engineers and part of that is based on local reports from residents. Cleaver Street was well overdue for repairs and had suffered from a lot of digging up and poor re-instatements during the years.

Cllr Jon Davies.

PS I did have one report that car owners in Bowden Street and Cleaver Square were trapped for the day, able to leave but, legally at least, not come back.  Apologies for any inconvenience.

The Fire Station/8 Albert Embankment

To be clear as local councillors we strongly believe the old workshops behind the fire station on The Embankment need to be re-developed and we welcome the renovation of the fire station and the retention of a working fire station  (once threatened with closure). We also believe the creation of a new Fire Station Museum will be a positive addition to the area.

What we object to is the scale of the development, the effect it will have on local residents and the lack of ‘affordable’ housing in the scheme. Cllr. Amos and I have been working with local people to get the plans changed and here is the leaflet they are putting out if you’d like to know more.


Cllr. Jon Davies.

Very disappointing news

Graphite Square development given go-ahead by planning inspector.

Screen Shot 2018-02-09 at 09.10.14

Jon, David and I were deeply disappointed to hear yesterday that the Government’s Planning Inspector has allowed the 14-storey 3-towers development at Graphite Square to proceed, despite its effect on local homes and businesses. This decision follows Lambeth Planning Committee twice turning down the plans last year, after hearing from local residents joined by their local ward Councillors.

The community united again to oppose the Appeal, and I joined brave residents and local businesses at the Inquiry last month to give evidence and again speak out about the negative impact loss of light to people’s homes would have on the wellbeing of many of our Vauxhall Gardens Estate neighbours, especially those living in Arne House. We are so sad the end result was not what we wanted, though whilst this will be small comfort for some, we can at least be proud of the community spirit we have displayed. A huge thank you to everyone who worked so hard on this campaign, and special thanks to Chrys at Arne House who has been excellent galvanising local residents.

Cllr Joanne Simpson

Some local news

A very special café

First well done to the Love Café in Waterloo on York Road, not far from the Waterloo Roundabout end. This is based on an idea that has worked well in Scotland. At first sight an everyday coffee bar but all proceeds go to helping the homeless. Customers can leave a tip for the project and those without cash can get a free coffee or ice cream. They also train people who were homeless getting them back into the mainstream and finding them housing.


This was the work of Bishop’s Councillor Ibrahim Dogus who used his considerable persuasiveness to get a peppercorn rent (the building is due for demolition in the next couple of years) and sponsorship from Carte D’Or/Ben and Jerry’s, Coca Cola and others.

I was there to present them with their plaque for also being a Living Wage Employer.


Echoes of Grenfell

Lambeth Council is carrying out an extensive programme of works to replace cladding that, since the Grenfell tragedy, has been identified as a fire risk.

And so have other local housing providers.

Here is a newish block in Sancroft Street that has already identified the need to replace its cladding


Kennington Cross

I am really interested to know how you think Kennington Cross is working after the signals have been tweaked. The next meeting with TFL is at 5pm on Friday October 4th -meet at the cross and then adjourn to my living room for discussions.


And thanks to the local residents of Heart of Kennington

What a beautiful display on Ravensdon Street!

IMG_9823 2

Cllr. Jon Davies

Rumours will start…

Princesa out card

This is our new ‘Out’ card – watch out for it in a letterbox near you.

I’d like to report one charming exchange yesterday while I was talking to a mum and dad watched on by their five year old daughter staring at the card:

5 Year Old :”Is that you in the picture mister?”

Me ‘Yes’.

She thought about this for a while working out why on earth I’d merit a picture and,  trying to put it into a context relevant to her view of the world…

5 Year old pointing at Cllr. Amos ‘Is that your husband?’

Sadly I had to shatter her view of this happy family (with Cllr Simpson as our lovely daughter maybe…)

It did make us all smile! A world a bit more tolerant and accepting. 🙂

Cllr Jon Davies

The future’s looking a bit dimmer for the residents of Whitgift House

On Saturday Cllr Amos and I, accompanied by local resident Visakha Chandrasekera, visited residents of Whitgift House, one of the properties affected by the proposals to develop the 8 Albert Embankment/Fire station site (see previous posts).

Thanks to everyone who was so hospitable despite being a bit sleepy or on their way to the shops etc.

I am not a technical genius but here are some photos that I changed to give some idea of how these homes will be affected if big tower blocks are built close-by. Cllr Amos and I support calls for the size of the scheme to be reduced.


More worrying is the effect this will  have on the indoor daylight available. These flats all have their living rooms and main bedrooms facing the proposed site of the new blocks. Figures obtained by the local resident’s group indicate that the loss of light will be significant.

This is how bright one room is at the height of summer on a sunny day – imagine if it was to lose another 30%+ of its daylight? These pictures are not scientific, unlike the surveys that are bing carried out, but we are very concerned that this new scheme is taking little account of existing residents.

To learn more about the scheme go to our previous blog.

Cllr. Jon Davies


Visit with GLA members to the Albert Embankment Fire station

OK not such great photos but this afternoon I visited the fire station at 8 Albert Embankment. This was once the proud headquarters of the London Fire Brigade but now a site about to be developed.

I visited with, amongst many others, Florence Eshalomi, the London Assembly Member for Lambeth and Southwark and Deputy Mayor Fiona Twycross, who leads on the Fire Brigade.

The site, which contains extensive workshops at the back, is up for planning permission as I speak. On the plus side there will still be a fire station with four bays and a minimum of two appliances plus a new home for the Fire Brigade Museum.

On the more contentious side (see mock-up from the developers below) are:

  • Building a two story glass box (the yellow blob) on the roof of the fire station for a restaurant.
  • Blocking of the rear aspect of the fire station building with a hotel (the pink blob)
  • Two very tall blocks for flats that local residents fear will block a significant part of their natural daylight (the blue towers)
  • Compromises on developing a site that is intended solely for jobs in Lambeth’s plans.
  • Only 35% of the new homes to be ‘affordable’ as opposed to the Mayor’s target of 50% for land that has come from public ownership.

If you want to know more (and there are 519 documents to read) go HERE.

If you would like to make a comment please do so on the Lambeth Council planning portal HERE

There is a local petition objecting to aspects of the scheme which you can find HERE


Cllr. Jon Davies