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Lambeth Council has awarded £360,000 to Brixton Windmill for the construction of a new education centre.

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This year the mill celebrates Brixton Windmill's 200th birthday* so both the Friends of Windmill Gardens (FoWG) and the Council want to make it a memorable year.

And we’ve managed to do in a big way! 

In addition to the many events the FoWG are arranging, the £360,000 the Council is providing will enable the construction of an education centre in Windmill Gardens for the use of the FoWG.

Currently the FoWG provide a very successful education programme for children at several local primary schools. This is carried out at the moment in the old One o’Clock Club building, where Holmewood Nurseries run Stay and Play and other community activities. As the Education Programme plans to expand into secondary schools and as Holmewood nurseries need to expand their activities to remain viable, the current building is totally inadequate. (It’s pretty inconvenient swapping furniture round all the time).

The money the Council will provide will enable a custom designed Education Centre to be built, with a flexible layout allowing for community activities as well as education. In addition it will leave Holmewood Nurseries in full possession of the one o’clock club building.

FoWG’s exciting plans include grinding locally grown wheat to make flour and baking bread. (The bread and beer festival in April attracted vast crowds who bought locally baked bread, locally made cakes and locally brewed beer). They are also considering selling the flour and bread, as well as souvenirs of the Windmill, and will of course continue their very popular guided tours of the mill, and the other events that are carried out throughout the year.

FoWG have their own web site, and details on all their activities appear there at brixtonwindmill.org

Cllr Adrian Garden , Labour Councillor for Brixton Hill ward

* The Windmill (aka John Ashby’s Mill) is the nearest surviving mill to the centre of London. It was built in 1816 in farmland on top of a hill. When in the mid 1850s the surrounding cornfields were replaced by houses, the strength of the wind reduced catastrophically, so the family decamped to their watermill on the Wandle at Mitcham. When that lease ran out in 1902, the family came back and installed a steam powered mill on the first floor, which is still there, though now powered by electricity. The business finally ceased in 1934.

Eventually  - in 1957 - The mill and its surrounding buildings were bought by London County Council. Three years later the mill came under the control of Lambeth Council who demolished the outbuildings and laid the site out as an open space.

Over the next 40 odd years there were repeated cycles of refurbishment and vandalism until the Friends of Windmill Gardens (FoWG) were set up in 2003 to restore and reopen the Brixton Windmill. They also began a programme of annual free festivals and other  community events. In 2010 the FoWG, in partnership with the Council succeeded in obtaining a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to pay for the restoration and fund a 5 year schools programme and for opening the building in the summer months.

Brilliant news for Brixton Windmill

Lambeth Council has awarded £360,000 to Brixton Windmill for the construction of a new education centre.

Councillor Jennifer Brathwaite, Lambeth Cabinet Member for Environment, blogs on success for Lambeth's campaign for clean buses in Brixton and Streatham...

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I am delighted with the decision of the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan to make the southern stretch of  A23 one of London’s  first Clean Bus Corridors. From October 2017, this route will see exclusive use of hybrid or diesel buses with top-of-the-range anti-pollutant systems that meet or exceed Euro VI emissions standards. These are expected to reduce NOx emissions from buses along these routes by around 84 per cent.

This follows the petition by Lambeth council and Lambeth for a Cool Planet calling on the Mayor to make that stretch of the A23, linking Streatham and Brixton, one of London’s first Clean Bus Corridors. We emphasised the unfortunate fact that that stretch of the A23 corridor had repeatedly recorded high levels of air pollution and emissions from TfL buses significantly contributed to that air pollution!

We are delighted that the Mayor has lived lived up to his manifesto pledge to improve London air quality by focusing on London’s worst air quality hotspots outside central London.  I would like to thank Lambeth for a Cool Planet for being our partners in this campaign and of course those who supported our aims by signing the petition.

This is the second petition to a London Mayor Lambeth has launched calling for cleaner buses, and it has taken a Labour Mayor with a true commitment to cleaning up London’s Air to make a difference.

Success for clean bus campaign in Brixton and Streatham

Councillor Jennifer Brathwaite, Lambeth Cabinet Member for Environment, blogs on success for Lambeth's campaign for clean buses in Brixton and Streatham...

Lambeth has just launched its new strategy to tackle health inequalities in the borough writes Jim Dickson, Labour’s Cabinet Member for Healthier and Stronger Communities….

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On the face of it this may seem a strange time to launch a fresh strategy to tackle health inequality in Lambeth. Local health services are under a sustained attack from the government including large and arbitrary cuts in the public health grants which help to keep us all well. And these come on top of the continued underfunding of our excellent local hospitals which help to get us better when we do get sick or require help.

So it is vital we continue to campaign to make the case for a properly funded NHS and to hold the government to account for their self-defeating cuts to health investment and services including £3m raided from public health and leaving Kings College Hospital with a financial deficit running into millions. But we also owe it to Lambeth residents to do more than that. The continuing stark divide between the life expectancy of the best off in our community and the worst who, shockingly, might expect to live for 5 fewer years, and the persistence of a range of conditions from asthma, obesity and diabetes to killers such as cardio vascular disease and cancer mean that we must continue to transform the way local health services operate in our borough.

There is already a great track record of successful work between the council, health commissioners, GPs and service providers to build on. The Living Well Network designed in partnership with mental health service users is investing more in prevention and as a result has seen an 80% reduction in people requiring acute psychiatric care in only 2 years. Greater collaboration between GPs, hospitals, community and care services, enabling more and better treatment at home, means we have been seeing the numbers of emergency admissions of older people come down, freeing up space in wards.  Innovative approaches to testing for STIs - including SH24 the UK’s first online sexual health service developed by Lambeth and Southwark public health - are ensuring more people at risk can be treated quickly and at lower cost. Our Lambeth Early Action Partnership is a £40m investment in giving young children a better start in the borough’s four most deprived wards.

But there is much more to do. BME residents are hugely over represented in the mental health system so we’re pressing ahead with creating a new Black Wellbeing Partnership to change attitudes, improve prevention and to ensure better outcomes for black residents. Our work with London’s newly elected Labour Mayor Sadiq Khan to improve Lambeth’s poor Air Quality can make a major difference to our residents’ health. Lambeth also tops a league in which we don’t want to feature, that of the proportion of residents with HIV and with STIs.  But our leadership of the London wide HIV prevention programme and local recommissioning with Southwark and Lewisham of sexual health promotion services are starting to raise awareness and positively change behaviours. 

The refreshed health and wellbeing strategy makes clear that we’ve got to focus all our public services across the borough more closely on preventing ill health and heading off the need for more costly interventions up the line, with our highly active and engaged Lambeth communities playing a full part. By bringing together health, social care, GPs and community services in new joined up ‘care networks’ in partnership with patients, we can start to put the requirements of residents centre stage. Crucially that also means investing in residents’ wellbeing across the board including the sport, culture and leisure activities which keep people well, combatting loneliness and isolation particularly for older people and providing better support for Lambeth’s heroic army of unpaid carers. There’s also a major opportunity for us to use our responsibility to manage and invest in the borough’s housing stock to improve neighbourhoods, help keep people warm and healthy and to maintain their social networks.

Nothing can be a bigger priority than the health of all Lambeth’s residents. No agenda is more urgent than acting now to improve the lives of the poorest in the borough. Despite obstacles placed in our path by the government, Labour in Lambeth is finding innovative ways to deliver the transformation in health outcomes that we all need. 

A healthier Lambeth for all residents

Lambeth has just launched its new strategy to tackle health inequalities in the borough writes Jim Dickson, Labour’s Cabinet Member for Healthier and Stronger Communities….

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