Foster for Lambeth?

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A lovely video  from Foster Carers in Lambeth.

The Fostering Team are here to support and answer any queries, please contact us to discuss anything further. The need for foster carers is now more than ever over – as over the forthcoming months more and more children and their families become affected by coronavirus.

We welcome applicants from any walk of life. Your sexuality, marital status, age, religion, disability and whether you own a home don’t determine your ability to become a foster carer.

We also consider applications from people who are working, but you’ll need to have some flexibility to meet all the needs of any child in your care.

To become a Lambeth foster carer, there are a few basic criteria you must meet. You should be:

  • over 21 years old
  • have a spare bedroom
  • be a full-time resident in the UK or have indefinite leave to remain
  • have good spoken and written English.

Find out more

To take your first steps to becoming a foster carer, there are many things you can do:

These are some of the best people in our community. The difference they make, often in the most challenging of circumstances, is immense. I am proud to play a small part in supporting them.

Cllr. Jon Davies, Lambeth Fostering Panel.

 

Behind the scenes at the Black Prince Food hub.

I was really pleased to be invited to visit the six day a week food distribution hub operated by Lambeth Council, The Black Prince Trust, Brixton People’s Kitchen and a lot of volunteers.

It was inspirational to see such a coming together of people and institutions to support our most vulnerable, largely elderly , citizens during this pandemic.

Above, behind the mask, is Joe from Kennington who is one of the volunteers and on the right you’ll get some idea of the scale of the project that is delivering hundreds of food boxes (parcels is way too modest a word) to homes in Lambeth.

Each box contains dry goods, dairy goods (unless you are vegan) fresh fruit  and fresh veg. The supplies come from contracts Lambeth has made with New Covent Garden suppliers and others retailers and from donations.  The contents are carefully chosen and despatched promptly often through volunteer delivery people to endure freshness.

These photos will give you some idea how much careful thought (often inspired by the volunteers) goes into each box.

My thanks to Joe, Ruth, Surjit, Kemi, Tom. Sarah, Natash, Caroline, Cressida, Rebecca, Iain, Maisie, Jenna, Katrina, Rose, Michael, Conor, Joy, Martin, Matthew, Sylvie, Penny. Coco. Frankie, Claire, Amy. Sandra, John and anyone I’ve left out (sorry) particularly those working on security to keep the place safe.

And well done to Black Prince Trust for this initiative making sure period poverty becomes a thing of the past.

Cllr. Jon Davies and don’t forget for help call the Council Covid Line 0207 926 2999

Good news about re-cycling

A note I’ve just received (Monday 11th May) from council officer Kelly Williams:

Just thought I’d inform you that the Household recycling and reuse site at Vale Street will be reopening this week. I know that’s not local but still might be of use to those residents who have recyclable waste they need to get rid of. Also the site at Smugglers Way will also be re-opening this week. Just worth stressing both sites are not operating the same as before so we urge residents to check the rules before their visit. So Vale Street is a booking system where you need to book your slot. Smugglers Way is operating later hours commencing from 2pm, but they have a system in place with slots depending on your vehicle registration number. So odd numbers one day and even numbers another.

https://www.lambeth.gov.uk/places/lambeth-reuse-and-recycling-centre-vale-street

Cllr Jon Davies

Two highways matters

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Sadly another local tree needs removing.

This is what TFL have told me:

TFL will be undertaking works to removal a plane tree outside of 341 on Kennington Road. The works to remove the tree are programmed to be completed within the next 6-8 weeks. We would be grateful if you could inform any others within Lambeth Council you believe should to be aware of this decision. We will be installing a notice on the tree at least 10 days before the removal to inform members of the public of TFL decision and planned works. Any enquiries you receive can be directed to TfL Helpline telephone number:  0343 222 1234 or the TfL contact form:

https://tfl.gov.uk/help-and-contact/contact-us-about-streets-and-other-road-issues

The visual assessment of the physiological condition appears to indicate that the tree is in a fair condition but the notable defect is the cambium wound which progresses vertically from the lower canopy to the base of the tree on the north western side where a cavity has developed at the base.

Following last year’s annual defect survey, it was recommended to undertaken further decay detection in order ascertain the extent and risk the wound posed. The resistograph method was adopted in this instance and undertaken on the 15th of April 2020. For those unfamiliar, this device is used to establish the structural integrity of the internal wood structure i.e. its density and provides an output of resistance i.e. how much force is required for the drill bit to progress through the wood.

The readings were taken at 500mm above the base of the tree. The results of the restograph indicate that the cavity/decay within the tree is at least 53cm in diameter therefore the residual wall has only a thickness of 12cm. Applying Mattheck’s ratio for eccentric decay columns, the tree has a residual wall thickness of 0.18 based upon of t/R ratio of 12/65. A t/R of 0.18 is lower than the published failure threshold (t/R = 0.3). The effective ‘open cavity’ is less than 1/3rd the circumference of the tree and thus, would need exceed 43.3cm in diameter for this to be a sole consideration in the relative safety factor for this tree.

To concluded, there is a greater risk of complete tree failure as a result of this defect. Therefore to ensure the safety of the Highway it is necessary for TFL to undertaken appropriate action.

We appreciate that the current amenity value of this tree is high; however, to mitigate the risk effectively would remove any amenity value the tree holds within the landscape. TFL do not believe there would be any benefit if this tree were to be a monolith. Given that there are numerous other mature trees within Kennington Rd the overall impact to the amenity of the streetscape will be limited were the tree to be removed and replaced. Replacing the tree also ensures there are no net loss in the street tree numbers, and allows any new tree to replace canopy in time, retain continuity within the character of the streetscape and will also improve the age diversity/resilience within the area.

Therefore, TFL believe the appropriate action is to remove the tree and replace during the next planting season.

And big holes in the ground at Kennington Cross…

In case you were wondering what was happening  this was to try and repair the local gas main. We have, apparently, been affected by low pressure in the area and this was an attempt to find out why.

Cadent, the UK’s largest gas distribution network, discovered that the pipes were in need of replacement and had sometimes become mismatched over the years. They also found some disturbingly loose ends from some of the mains electric cables and street lights.

They will be filling in the holes again but will need to come back again.

Cllr Jon Davies.

Thanks Vauxhall One

Vauxhall One, the local business association, quietly gets on with trying to make the environment around Vauxhall safer and more attractive. This is their latest activity around the Vauxhall/Jonathan Street shops.

“50 x 5l large shrubs going in this week for Vauxhall Street.  Carlos is putting the first 25 this week between Chinese and Solomon’s Café. The next 25 are on route from the nursery”

Thanks Aaron and Bernard and all at Vauxhall One

Cllr Jon Davies.

 

Covid distribution hub opens in ward

The Black Prince Trust (BPT) on Black Prince Road is serving as the distribution hub for the north of the borough during the pandemic.  Volunteers to help must please go through the Lambeth volunteer site: lambeth.gov.uk/forms/volunteer-to-help-your-community

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This is a lovely example of the voluntary sector and the council working together with citizen volunteers to support the most vulnerable during this health emergency.

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Please don’t visit the site unless you have business there for obvious self-distancing reasons.

This is what BPT are saying:

The Black Prince Trust has always prided itself on supporting our local communities Health & Wellbeing however during this time, and for the foreseeable future, the Hub will remain closed to the public in line with Government and Public Health England guidelines.

However, in some positive news, to support Lambeth Council’s direct response to COVID-19, the Hub is now hosting the North Lambeth care package storage and distribution centre.

Care packages to vulnerable residents in North Lambeth (estimated 2000 plus households) are key to supporting those members of the community who are the most in-need individuals and families, with essential home products and food during this uncertain time

The distribution centre is a real team effort between BPT, Lambeth Council’s COVID-19 response team, Brixton Peoples Kitchen, Lambeth Borough Council volunteers and Pedal Me (who are delivering the packages mostly by specially adapted bicycles).

Cllr. Jon Davies

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Bells for Covid 19 victims

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A message from Suzette Aaagard at St. Anselm’s:

I just wanted to alert people to the fact that tomorrow, from noon, Angus will be attempting to ring the church bells once for each person who has died in the UK to date from Covid 19. You may have noticed we are ringing the bells daily at 12 but, as tomorrow is Good Friday, we thought it would be a significant marker. This will mean over 2 hours of bell ringing (assuming neither Angus nor the bells cave in). 

I wish him, and the bells luck.

Cllr. Jon Davies

Local heroes

I’d like to nominate some local heroes and would love to hear your choices  – email me them: jdavies4@lambeth.gov.uk

Firstly Hill’s Pharmacy who like all our local chemists is doing a vital job to keep us healthy. But Kar Man has four staff off with the virus and yet is still keeping a vital service going.

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Secondly the Garden Museum who are trying to bring a little happiness to their neighbours…

Cut Flowers from the Garden Musuem for Whitgift Estate Residents who are housebound

And thirdly, in what I hope will be a long list of similar examples our corner shops who have been looking after their ‘regulars’ and often struggling with staff shortages and the risk to their own health in small spaces – this is just one example (my local!)

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Tell us about your local heroes or acts of kindness.

Cllrs Amos, Davies and Simpson

jdavies4@lambeth.gov.uk

 

Life goes on in difficult times

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Thank you Windmill Fish and Chips for staying open though it doesn’t look the same without the taxi drivers chomping through their meals.

What is Lambeth Council doing?

As a local council we have been doing our best to encourage and support local volunteer initiatives and keep as much ‘business as usual’ going.  This website lists everything in detail and is constantly being updated:

https://www.lambeth.gov.uk/elections-and-council/about-lambeth/coronavirus-covid-19-information

My ‘postbag’ this week has shown an extraordinary breadth of human reaction to the pandemic; at one end an elderly constituent offering herself for medical research ‘whatever the consequences’. At the other end people sitting on their balconies smoking  and refusing to move to allow people past despite all the ‘2 metre’ messages. They obviously don’t know that they may be more vulnerable as smokers and it could be in their own best interests.

If you want to volunteer please go to:  www.lambeth.gov.uk/forms/volunteer-to-help-your-community to take part in this enormous community effort or local Mutual Aid groups here via Facebook

A few local thanks (too many to mention all):

  • The shops that are plugging on despite the risk to staff. Hills Pharmacy, for instance, has had to dramatically reduce its service as four of the staff have shown symptoms. All the best Kar Man and colleagues.
  • The Princes Ward Mutual Aid group – offering support to vulnerable neighbours that grew so quickly it has subdivided many times to cover individual estates and streets.
  • The refuse and street cleaning service who are doing a great job and helping keep us all healthy. It seems like a lot of us are Spring Cleaning and that is adding to the pressure.
  • The postmen and women who despite the personal risks are out there delivering what I heard are a record number of items.
  • Local community groups, faith groups, Tenant’s and Resident’s Associations who have turned their attention to supporting our their neighbours.
  • My neighbours who carried some heavy stuff for me (at a two metre distance).
  • Plus of course all  those in the NHS including my colleague David Amos who, given the hours he is doing, is in danger of forgetting where he lives. His newsletter will continue though.

For up-to-date information on all aspects of what the council and government are doing go to:

https://www.lambeth.gov.uk/elections-and-council/about-lambeth/coronavirus-covid-19-information

Cllr Jon Davies  on behalf of Cllrs Simpson and Amos

Stay at Home

  • Only go outside for food, health reasons or work (where this cannot be done from home)
  • Stay 2metres (6ft) away from other people
  • Wash Hands as soon as you get home

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The shape of things to come

I visited the public consultation this afternoon for the commercial and housing development on Montford Place (open again on Saturday from 10-2 in the Foundry Building next door to Lilian Baylis Academy off Kennington Lane).

There have been some changes to the first plans show in November so worth popping along.  What did strike me was this excellent model which shows just how much new building there will be in the immediate area, even without the proposed demolition of the Applegreen petrol station for three blocks of flats. I thought I’d share.

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The Montford Place development has the lights in the foreground.

Cllr. Jon Davies