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Over 1,000 residents have signed a petition to oppose plans to close eight Lambeth police stations.  

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As a result of the Government's £1bn cut to the Metropolitan Police's budget, MOPAC have been consulting on plans to close the following buildings in Lambeth:

  • Kennington 
  • Streatham 
  • Cavendish Road
  • Norwood Road
  • Coldharbour Lane
  • Cobalt Square
  • Loughborough Junction
  • Clement Avenue

Lambeth's Cabinet Member for Healthier & Stronger Communities, Mohammed Seedat, believes that the proposals will seriously weaken the community-focused, neighbourhood policing that is vital to keeping our streets safe. 

Along with Council Leader, Cllr Lib Peck, he has written to the MOPAC urging them to re-consider the proposals and called on the Government to work with the Mayor to keep the police stations open. 

The consultation closed on Friday (6/10) and all representations will now be considered. You can read the Lambeth response to Sophie Linden, Deputy Mayor for Policing & Crime, below:

 

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Dear Sophie,

We are writing on behalf of the London Borough of Lambeth in response to the proposals to close multiple police stations across Lambeth and change how the police engages with the communities in London. It is worth noting that the proposals in their present form will close every front counter in Lambeth except for Brixton, resulting in the loss of service at:

  • Kennington
  • Streatham
  • Loughborough Junction
  • Cobalt Square
  • Clement Avenue
  • Coldharbour Lane
  • Norwood Road
  • Cavendish Road

 We recognise the impossible situation for the police caused by the Government’s cuts to the Metropolitan Police’s budget. By demanding a further £400m on top of the £600m already taken out since 2010, the Government is putting public safety at risk and undermining the visible, community-based policing that is vital to tackling crime and providing reassurance to residents.

While we agree with the principle of the MOPAC proposals – officers are more important than buildings - we do feel the current strategy is not suitable for Lambeth. It risks alienating our communities, removing the neighbourhood presence that works so well, and jeopardising the excellent local work done by the police to engage communities across our borough.

In summary:

  • A one size fits all approach, where every London borough has just one public counter, is not workable or reasonable. Serious youth violence has increased by nearly 20% and knife crime by over 50% in Lambeth. Giving identical resources to one of London’s highest crime areas and outer London boroughs with far lower crime rates doesn’t make sense. Resources and access should be based on community need.
  • These proposals would see the newly opened Streatham Police station be closed to the public. This would mean that residents in the south of Lambeth, many whom are elderly or who have complex needs, would have to travel a minimum of 45 minutes to Brixton to report a crime face to face. Brixton station is already London’s busiest front counter, with waits of up to 2 hours to report a crime. At a time when the focus should be on making police more visible and more accessible, the closure of Streatham would be a serious backwards step.
  • The closure of Kennington station would mean the north of the borough, in both Lambeth and Southwark, would lack any front counter police presence, despite the large tourist crowds on the Southbank and the need for visitors to London to report crimes in person to the police. We feel there must be some publicly accessible front counter in the north of Lambeth to serve the Southbank the local area.
  • The proposals to replace Community Contact Points with Community Contact Sessions are welcome, as Community Contact Points have failed to serve the communities they were set up to serve. However, shutting police stations before making sure the new contact points actually work creates the risk that large parts of London will have no police access at all, and no fall-back position. Before closing police stations MOPAC should ensure that their alternatives work and are embedded in the community. We think that better local engagement would help here, particularly with local ward members.
  • Finally, whilst we welcome MOPACs commitment to better engagement, there is still a long way to go. There is no such thing as a “hard to reach” community – only communities we find hard to hear. Lambeth’s local police have worked extensively to improve community relations and engagement, through transparency and local accountability from the Borough Commander, and we urge MOPAC to learn from that work and engage with local authorities and communities earlier and more openly.

We would welcome an opportunity to discuss these plans with you, and strongly hope that you reconsider some of the key issues especially the closure of Streatham Police Station.

Yours sincerely,

Councillor Lib Peck, Leader of Lambeth Council          

Councillor Mohammed Seedat, Cabinet Member Healthier & stronger Communities

 

 

Huge support for Save Our Stations campaign

Over 1,000 residents have signed a petition to oppose plans to close eight Lambeth police stations.  

Tough new rules to prevent developers from dodging their affordable housing obligations are set to be agreed by Lambeth’s Labour Cabinet next week.

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Lambeth will become one of the first councils in London to force any developer of a major site not meeting the 40% affordable homes target to publish their viability assessment. The information will be publicly available and not redacted.

The new rules are included as part of a Supplementary Planning Document (SPD), that makes clear that the council’s starting position is that appraisals should be treated transparently and be available for wider scrutiny, helping to end the damaging perception that deals with developers are done behind closed doors and are not transparent, clear or fair. Developers have been accused of playing the system by underestimating sales values and inflating construction costs to keep projected surpluses low.

The new policy is excellent news for the many thousands of residents on Lambeth’s waiting list. Major developments are a key source of new affordable housing in the borough; in the last year Akerman Road in Brixton, Bedford Road in Clapham and St Agnes Place in Kennington have all delivered at least 40% affordable housing – a total of 158 new homes below market rent. In total, out of 1,010 new additional homes last year, 431 units were affordable – comfortably exceeding Lambeth’s 40% target.

Lambeth’s Labour councillors were elected in 2014 on a pledge to build 1000 extra homes at council rent, alongside a £500m investment in improving our existing council housing. That promise is being delivered : thousands of council homes have been refurbished with new windows, roofs, kitchens and bathrooms and our first new council homes in a generation are complete with local families already moved in.

Boost to affordable housing as council forces developers to publish viability assessments

Tough new rules to prevent developers from dodging their affordable housing obligations are set to be agreed by Lambeth’s Labour Cabinet next week.  

Lambeth councillor Jennifer Brathwaite has voiced her concern that Brexit could result in vital air quality legislation being torn up. 

In a letter to Michael Gove, Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, she has urged the Government to offer commitments in four key areas to ensure that air quality standards are not watered down and Lambeth residents are protected from the impact of Brexit:

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Brexit will damage efforts to tackle air pollution

Lambeth councillor Jennifer Brathwaite has voiced her concern that Brexit could result in vital air quality legislation being torn up.  In a letter to Michael Gove, Secretary of State for...

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