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Changes by the Conservative Government to the benefits system is having a massive impact on people in Clapham and across Lambeth. Below is a speech that was given in response to a Labour motion on the subject by Councillor Christopher Wellbelove at the full council meeting on 24 January 2018.

 

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Councillor Wellbelove speaking to full council, calling on Clapham Conservatives to call their government to account

“I think most of us agree that the benefits system has needed to change, anyone who has had to try to navigate their way through the complex systems, bureaucracy, let alone the endless forms and pitfalls that can result in people going hungry, losing their homes and many being driven to the brink of suicide.

 

I remember my own experience of the benefits system as a teenager, the many different offices you are forced to visit. Faceless decisions that have a massive impact on your life together with stress and helplessness when you receive a letter saying you are being denied what you need simply to live and go on to find you were actually entitled to.

Rather than being Champagne socialists [As the Conservative leader had earlier referred to Labour members], some of us have real-life experiences of what it is like to be within the benefits system and going hungry when it does not work.

It was bad then, who would have thought it could get worse.

I can see that once again Conservative group will fail to call their government to account, as they did last year over the business rates. This is despite the fact many in their own party have recognised the terrible impact that Universal Credit is having on people lives. As I did with the business rates I once again ask the conservative councillors to put aside their deluded party loyalties for the benefit of some of the most vulnerable in our community.

Labour has responded with actions to attempt to mitigate the impact of the introduction of universal credit and if ever there was evidence needed why Lambeth needs Labour councillors to provide whatever we can in response to the cruel and uncaring actions of a conservative government, this is it. The choice is clear, out of touch conservatives or Labour councillors standing up against a bureaucratic conservative government doing whatever we can to help those, many of which, cannot help themselves.”

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Please find below details we have received from the council in regards to the Clapham Old Town regeneration project.
 
 
CHANGES TO A ONE-WAY TRAFFIC SYSTEM, PARKING PLACES
AND WAITING AND LOADING RESTRICTIONS
 
[NOTE:  This notice is about removing the one-way traffic system in the western arm of Old Town and part of Clapham Common North Side, banning the right turn from Orlando Road into Clapham Common North Side, changing the layout of certain parking places in Old Town, Grafton Square, Macaulay Road and Orlando Road and imposing “at any time” waiting and loading restrictions in parts of Old Town and Clapham Common North Side.]
 
1. NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the Council of the London Borough of Lambeth on 20th August 2013 made the Lambeth (Prescribed Routes) (No. 7) Traffic Order 2013, the Lambeth (Clapham “C”) (Parking Places) (No. 4) Order 2013, the Lambeth (Free Parking Places) (Disabled Persons) (No. 6) Order 2013, the Lambeth (Free Parking Places) (Limited Time) (No. 2) Order 2013, the Lambeth (Loading Places) (No. 2) Order 2013 and the Lambeth (Waiting and Loading Restriction) (Amendment No. 217) Order 2013, under sections 6, 45, 46, 49 and 124 of and Part IV of Schedule 9 to the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984.  The Orders will come into operation on 27th August 2013.
 
[NOTE: In this notice “the western arm of Old Town” means that length of Old Town which lies on the west side of the bus stand and The Polygon and fronts Nos. 26 to 42 (even numbers) Old Town and “the eastern arm of Old Town” means that length of Old Town which lies on the east side of the bus stand and The Polygon and fronts Nos. 39 to 63 (odd numbers) Old Town.]
 
2. The general effect of the Orders would be, as part of the Clapham Old Town Regeneration Project, to:
 
(1)​remove the one-way traffic system for vehicles in (a) the western arm of Old Town; and (b) Clapham Common North Side, between the western arm of Old Town and The Pavement;
(2)​ban the right turn by vehicles from Orlando Road into Clapham Common North Side;
(3) ban waiting and loading “at any time” (double yellow lines and kerb markings) by vehicles in the following lengths of roads, except in the parking places and loading places provided there:-
(a) the western arm of Old Town;
(b) Old Town, between North Street/Rectory Grove and the western arm of Old Town;
(c) Clapham Common North Side, between the western arm of Old Town and a point 27 metres north-east of the north-eastern wall of No. 4 Clapham Common North Side;
(4)​revise the layout of parking places as follows:-
(a)​in Old Town: to remove the residents’ parking places on the east side outside Maritime House and on the north-west side outside Nos. 40/42 Old Town and the shared-use residents’/business/pay and display parking place on the north-west side outside Nos. 18 and 20 Old Town; to provide new residents’ parking places on the west side outside Nos. 4 and 6 Old Town and Nos. 10 to 20 The Gables and new shared-use residents’/business parking places on the west side outside No. 8 Old Town and outside Nos. 10 and 12 Old Town; to convert the residents’ parking place on the west side outside No. 16 Old Town into a shared-use residents’/business parking place and extend its length; to convert part of the limited time parking place on the north-west side outside Nos. 30 to 36a Old Town into a loading place (available for up to 1 hour) and allow the remaining limited time parking space to be available for use for up to 45 minutes (currently 30 minutes) no return within 2 hours; to convert the shared-use residents’/business/pay and display parking place outside Nos. 22 to 26 Old Town into a limited stay parking place (available free of charge for up to 45 minutes, no return in 2 hours);
(b)​in Grafton Square:  to convert the two residents’ parking places in Grafton Square on the garden sides into shared-use residents’/business/pay and display parking places; to convert the pay and display parking place on the south side of the northern arm into a shared-use residents’/business/pay and display parking place and extend its length; relocate the motor cycle parking area on the north side of the southern arm to a new position on the south side near its junction with Old Town and shorten it; and extend the length of the residents’ parking place on the north side of the southern arm near its junction with Old Town;
(c)​in Orlando Road:  to provide a new shared-use residents’/business parking place outside Nos. 55/57 Orlando Road and relocate the motor cycle parking area there to a new position nearer its junction with Old Town and shorten its length;
(d)​in Macaulay Road: to convert the existing pay and display parking places outside Nos. 33 and 35 Macaulay Road to shared-use residents’/business/pay and display parking places.
 
(Note: Where a vehicle may be left in a parking place using the pay and display method there is also the option to pay by phone.)
 
3. The Orders, as originally proposed, included the reversal of the one-way traffic system in The Polygon and the closure of parts of that road, exemptions for pedal cycles from the one-way traffic systems in parts of Old Town and The Pavement, changes to the layout of parking places in the eastern arm of Old Town, The Pavement, The Polygon, and Rectory Grove and a ban on waiting and loading “at any time” in the eastern arm of Old Town, The Polygon and The Pavement.  These parts of the proposed Orders are not being proceeded with at this time.
 
4.​All the parking places and loading places described above would operate between 8.30 am and 6.30 pm on Mondays to Fridays except for the residents’ (only) parking places in Old Town which would operate between 8.30 am and 8.30 pm on Mondays to Fridays (none of the parking places would operate on Christmas Day, Good Friday or a bank holiday).  The types of vehicles that may use the residents’ and business parking places and the parking charges for permits and pay and display/pay by phone would be the same as those that currently apply in the Clapham “C” Controlled Parking Zone.
 
5.​The Orders are required to compliment a traffic scheme that will reduce traffic speeds, improve road safety in the area, provide improved pedestrian facilities and meet changes in demand for parking and loading space whilst also enabling the safe and free flow of traffic.
 
6.​If you have any enquiries, please telephone the Council’s Transportation Group on 0207 926 0728.
 
7.​Copies of the Orders and documents giving more detailed particulars of them (including a map) are available for inspection from 9.30 am until 4.30 pm on Mondays to Fridays inclusive (except bank/public holidays) until the last day of a period of six weeks beginning with the date on which the Orders are made, at the offices of the Transportation Group, 2nd Floor, Blue Star House, 234-244 Stockwell Road, London, SW9 9SP.  To arrange inspection please telephone 0207 926 0209.
 
8.​If any person wishes to question the validity of the Orders or of any of their provisions on the grounds that it or they are not within the powers conferred by the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984, or that any requirement of that Act or of any instrument made under that Act has not been complied with, that person may, within 6 weeks from the date on which the Orders are made, apply for the purpose to the High Court.

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Linda Bray is the new member of Clapham Action Team.

Linda has lived in Clapham for 37 years.  She is a trade mark attorney and has been a partner in a small firm from which she is now retiring which will give her more time to serve local residents.

Linda has been a governor of several local schools, including chair of the governing body for the old Henry Thornton secondary school.

Linda Bray, Christopher Wellbelove, Nigel Haselden

Linda with Clapham Town Councillors Nigel Haselden and Christopher Wellbelove

She has two grown-up children, a cat and a dog.  Walking the dog regularly on Clapham Common gives Linda a particular interest in maintaining the excellent facilities in our area.

Linda has already been extremely busy visiting residents and listening to their thoughts on local issues.

You can reach Linda via email at lindabrayclapham@gmail.com.

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Crime data for the Clapham area has shown that there has been a disturbing increase in burglaries.

This is at a time when local resources for our police are extremely stretched, as a result of the Conservative Mayor’s cuts both in frontline policing and back office support.  According to the Conservative Mayor of London’s own figures, the number of police officers in Lambeth has fallen by 20 per cent since 2010 meaning we have lost 214 police officers in just three years.

Labour campaign against Tory Mayor cutting Police in Lambeth

Labour councillors and GLA member Val Shawcross campaigning against Tory cuts to Police

This is the biggest reduction of any London borough, which is why Lambeth Council and your local Labour councillors supported a campaign for 100 more police in Lambeth. This would mean Lambeth being treated like other London boroughs and will bring us in line with the London average. We think that’s a fair deal.

Lambeth Conservatives have opposed our campaign for more police, unsurprising given it is their Mayor that is making these unacceptable cuts.

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The changes to Lambeth leisure centre have been in the news a lot locally following the council’s decision to redevelop the site. It closed on the 15th January for major work that will include the building of a new swimming pool.

Local Clapham Town counsellor Nigel Halesden gives an interview with local Clapham blogger Jason Cobb, which was uploaded on the 19th January (for those searching through his back catalogue). It is a tough interview in which Nigel talks about the scope of the project and when it will be finished, as well as answers some of the questions about how the redevelopment has been conducted.

Have a listen to the interview and give us your feedback on what you have heard.

Information about where classes at the leisure centre have been moved to are available at this page.

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As we mentioned at the tail end of last year, Lambeth council is running an e-petition as part of a lobbying process aimed at getting more money for extra primary school places in the borough.

The petition close on Wednesday, so if you havent already signed the petition please put your name on the site and forward a link onto your friends and family. Its vital we get this funding to meet the unexpected surge in demand for primary school places in Lambeth – it sounds like a cliche, but your voice really will count!

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A lot of you have been logging on to our snow updates, so here is a further update on how everything is looking out there in Lambeth and Clapham.

The council’s website has once again been updated with news on services across the borough – this link outlines the state of play yesterday, but is still fairly accurate. Keep monitoring the main page for further updates as well as TFL’s main site for news about the transport network across the captial – it also has a handy five day weather forecast. The BBC, as ever, is also running a pretty effective weather and news page on the big freeze, which alas is predicting some sharp icy winds and snow over the next 48 hours.

If you have any comment or views on how services are working – or any urgent issues – please contact your local Clapham Town Labour councillors:

Helen O’Malley – homalley@lambeth.gov.uk

Nigel Halesden – NHaselden@lambeth.gov.uk

Christopher Wellbelove – CWellbelove@lambeth.gov.uk

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