Heart Streatham Issue 12 Roundup

Over the past few weeks the Financial Times, Londonist.com, Time Out  and other have written glowing reviews of Streatham restaurants, cafes, pubs and other watering holes. David Harewood wrote in the Telegraph that Streatham should be on the map; now it's being put there! Speaking with a couple of surveyors recently confirmed what others have said, that Streatham has all the offers people looking for their first flat, or an affordable house to move to after selling up somewhere else. Streatham is now one of the places to be.

On the other hand public services seem not to be keeping up their side of things in the area. After several fatal accidents involving pedestrians and cyclists, the pedestrian crossing lights at Streatham Station went out early on a Wednesday this past month and weren't fully restored until late in the week. At time of writing, the TfL contractor's cones are still strewn along the High Road. Whichever government wins the election needs to learn that we need a lot more than this, and better, for all that taxation.

As part of our commitment to protecting the environment we went straight out to the common when we heard travellers had set up camp there early on a Saturday. The police gave them until sundown and advised Lee to film the area to create an evidence base in case tonnes of rubbish were dumped there again. He was able to document the entire sweep of the wooded area on the upper side and behind the Rookery. We heaved a sigh of relief when they left but only until we found they had only gone to Woodmansterne Primary School playing fields. At time of going to press they had moved on Monday morning to adjacent fields next to the school and were still there today.

We put out a call from Spires for a local salon to help a homeless person off to a job interview with a haircut and style. We’re pleased to say Cutting Room (ad page 13) came back to us on Twitter in no time flat. Big kudos to them!

Streatham Theatre Company has announced it will hold auditions for “Breaking the Code, the story of Alan Turing and the Enigma machines at Bletchley. We look forward to seeing this performed on stage by our local theatre company.

The Lambeth Forum Network held its away day on a recent Saturday where we learned much interesting about how Lambeth's house building policies work and why we won't be seeing a Tube or other major infrastructure if we leave this to Lambeth to sort out.  Look for the extended version on the website, but essentially the Community Infrastructure Levy Investment Programme (known as CLIPs apparently) is structured in such a way as to pull lots of planning gain out of big developments in Nine Elms, the south bank and Vauxhall, whilst pulling relatively little in the south of the borough. This means 1) we won't be able to demonstrate the funding case for transport infrastructure through this alone, and 2) therefore Lambeth will use the south of the borough to cram as much housing as possible to meet it's housebuilding targets. The lower CLIPs amount in the south is an incentive for developers to build and encourages the kind of inappropriate development we've reported on in the past.

We were chuffed to hear of a possible 100 billion barrels of oil under Gatwick as this might be a source of funding to pay for a Tube extension or a tram. Lee, however, is still holding out for a hyperloop connection to a major train terminus.

Streatham Youth and Community Trust (SYCT) held its open day in Streatham Vale Park as a fundraiser, but also a part of its consultation process with local people. SYCT

Many will have seen that Megabowl and Caesars demolition has begun. As we stated previously the project has been ongoing for some time now and was never at risk, but a theatre watch group has been formed to monitor the final development plan for the Megabowl theatre. Watch for updates here and on our website and social media feeds.

We have heard from at least three parts of Streatham about recent scooter thefts in the area. At least one that was taken was not chained to anything at all. Please keep an eye out for people acting suspiciously in your area. The group committed the other thefts were reported to be young teenagers.

Look on our website for a link to upcoming tours of the disused Tube station and tunnels at Clapham South. Currently used for filming and some interesting urban agriculture, you will be able to see for yourself this coming autumn. https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/subterranean-shelter-clapham-south-public...

We filled out the questionnaire for the Tooting Common Heritage Project. The Tooting Commons Management Advisory Committee has been selected to receive significant grant funding from English Heritage and the National Lottery, so, if you're a user of the Tooting Commons, do go to their website and fill out the questionnaire to say how you think the money should be spent. Links to this are on our website.

We want to congratulate St Leonards Wards councillor Saleha Jaffer for her selection as Deputy Mayor of Lambeth. She's the first woman to be deputy mayor and the first Muslim person to hold the office as well.

We thought Lambeth had taken to heart he public feedback at the transport public meeting last year and looked with hopefulness a the Streatham Transport Survey. There is a good idea (trams) but way too much “urging” and “encouraging.” We want action and a properly consulted study but it looks like Streatham Action will have to deliver that. There's a marked absence of a privacy policy and an uncertain relationship with a third party carrying out the survey. We believe Lambeth needs to do better all round in this case.

Finally we want to wish  the Streatham's own South London Press a happy 150th birthday this past month. They have had a tough time of it since Lambeth disappointingly took their business away and gave it to a Southwark newspaper. We wish them all the best and many happy returns!