Save Vauxhall Bus Station: Charity appeal (or appeal to charities)

bus-station-posterCharity Appeal: Care International UK, Comic Relief, Elderly Accommodation Counsel, Joseph Rowntree Foundation, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Macmillan Cancer Support, Marie Curie Cancer Care, Reach Volunteering, Rethink Mental Illness, Waterwise etc etc etc

The Vauxhall Society is asking local charities to back the community campaign to retain Vauxhall Bus Station, which in an agreement between Transport for London and Lambeth Councillors to ‘improve’ the Vauxhall Gyratory is marked for demolition.

A short step away from Vauxhall Bus Station (unless of course you’re elderly, ill or piloting children) lies ‘Charity Towers’, 89 Albert Embankment. This building is home to many charities, especially for the relief of the elderly, the ill and the very young. Above are just a few of dozens. It is to the Chief Executives and the employees of such charities The Vauxhall Society and fellow campaigning community groups now turn for their support. Not for money, but to allow our posters and leaflets to circulate in the offices at 889 Albert Embankment. You can order them at vauxhallcs@gmail.com, and they’ll be delivered.

‘Charity Towers’ employees are also asked to sign the online community petition, http://chn.ge/1gdL7Rd fast nearing its 1000th signature. Why bother? Well, one idea TfL and Lambeth have for replacing Vauxhall Bus Station is to have people queue under the railway arch giving out onto Kennington Lane, Harleyford and South Lambeth Roads. In the traffic, exhaust fumes and noise? With train racket overhead? Where’s the charity in that?

Save Vauxhall Bus Station: We need your help!

vauxhallWe are looking for volunteers to help us spread the word about Lambeth Councillors and Transport for London’s plans to do away with Vauxhall bus station without even asking you, the people who use it!

Our fellow campaigners at KOV (Kennington Oval and Vauxhall) Forum have a stall this Saturday at Oval Farmers Market where we will be spreading the word and need support and help. If you can spare an hour or so to help please contact us at vauxhallcs@gmail.com.

This is an important campaign to save this valuable community facility. A surprising proportion of people in the area do not know this will happen unless we take action.

Oval Farmers Market

Kennington Church

Saturday 1 March, 10am-3pm

The story is already Lambeth and London-wide, via the South London Press, the Evening Standard and London Live TV and the online petition is heading for 1000 signatures, but we need more. That is why your help is so important.

Vauxhall MP Kate Hoey has given her support. ‘Vauxhall Bus station works!’ she says.

The Save Vauxhall Bus Station campaign to change Lambeth’s mind is a co-operation between The Vauxhall Society, the Vauxhall Gardens Estate Residents and Tenants’ Association (VERGTA) and the Kennington, Oval and Vauxhall Forum.

Petition: http://chn.ge/1gdL7Rd

Questions: vauxhallcs@gmail.com

Revealed: your Council Leader won’t even consider keeping Vauxhall Bus Station

bus-station-poster

bus-station-posterJust how important it is for you to get out there and tell friends, neighbours and local groups about Lambeth’s determination to do away with Vauxhall Bus Station is shown by a document published on a local website (link below). This Council document, a list of motions for debate, shows Council Leader Lib Peck meddling with a motion by Vauxhall councillor Ishbel Brown to the 29 January Council Meeting.

Cllr Peck killed a motion on the Vauxhall Gyratory and Bus Station that asked for an option to keep the Bus Station in a forthcoming ‘consultation’ of Vauxhall people and commuters expected shortly. The Council Leader then stuck in a lot of guff about ‘high-quality public spaces’ and Vauxhall’s tame ruling-party councillors were duly ordered to vote for the motion, now completely different from that tabled by Cllr Brown. There is of course another consultation shortly, the Lambeth Council elections. It now looks as if Lambeth’s majority party is now locked into defying local opinion in Vauxhall, either because there isn’t time to write a Keep-Vauxhall-Bus-Station option back into the consultation document, and even if Cllr Peck and her tame Vauxhall councillors wanted to, Transport for London wouldn’t let them. You can’t vote out TfL.

Meanwhile, it’s call-to-arms time. The Save-Vauxhall-Bus-Station campaign has the support of Vauxhall MP Kate Hoey. There’s TV interest in the coming clash, if clash there has to be, and that’s just the start of it. The Vauxhall Society has just taken delivery of the first 100 ‘Save Vauxhall Bus Station’ posters, bearing the TVS, Vauxhall Gardens Estate Residents & Tenants’ Association (VGERTA) and KOV logos. These posters urge people to sign the online petition, http://chn.ge/1gdL7Rd . Such is VGERTA’s determination to keep the Vauxhall Bus Station that this community group has already snapped up a third of the first poster batch, which will be seen by 1500 households. If you or your group want posters or the leaflets showing you who at Lambeth or TfL to ring, email or write to, then please contact vauxhallcs@gmail.com, with name, postal and email address and phone number. Meanwhile, if you want see an example of a Lambeth-created ‘high-quality public space/ ‘High Street’, take a wander along Lambeth Walk.

The Council motion, No 10, of 29 January 2014, complete with crossings-out and additions, is on a Lib Dem website. TVS is apolitical, and would have reported this carry-on in the Council Chamber had another political party furnished the information, but none did:
http://www.vauxhall-libdems.org.uk/vbs

The media campaign gathers pace:

Save Vauxhall Bus Station: now Kennington, Oval & Vauxhall Forum joins the campaign

bus station leaflet 2 sides

vauxhallKennington, Oval & Vauxhall Forum, your area’s umbrella civic group, has thrown its weight behind The Vauxhall Society’s campaign to deter Lambeth Council Leader Lib Peck and Mayor of London Boris Johnson from demolishing Vauxhall Bus Station.

KOVForum is adding its logo to the TVS petition and urging people to sign it. In a statement, KOVForum says ‘Public concerns about plans that could threaten the bus station have increased.

KOVForum joins the Vauxhall Gardens Estate Residents and Tenants Association, which has already put its logo on the petition. VGERTA covers an area immediately adjoining Vauxhall Bus Station, and will be postering 27 residential blocks on the Vauxhall Gardens Estate, home to some 1,500 households.

The support of VGERTA and KOVForum for the Vauxhall Society campaign blows out of the water any claim that Lambeth and TfL are proceeding with public support. There are council elections in May.

Vauxhall MP Kate Hoey appears as a supporter of the bus station campaign on the VGERTA/KOVFORUM/TVS petition and the TVS campaign leaflet urging people to ‘call, write, email or Tweet’ three key supporters of demolishing Vauxhall Bus Station, Cllr Lib Peck, Lambeth Planning’s David Joyce and London Deputy Mayor Isabel Dedring.

Any other community group that would like to join the Save Vauxhall Bus Station campaign should email vauxhallcs@gmail.com

KOVForum says:

KOVF has hosted a discussion on the Vauxhall Gyratory and attended a joint Lambeth Council and TfL workshop to look in more detail at the two options for changing Vauxhall Cross that they are proposing. It was clear at both events that there is near unanimous public rejection of any scheme that removes the very strong advantages that a covered bus station with integrated bus stops, close together, brings. KOVF supports the idea of assessing how to change the gyratory into two way working but fully supports the public mood that a covered bus station should be retained and bus stops kept together. Lambeth Council leader, Lib Peck, made a public announcement at Leaders Questions on 5 February that she is aware of the strong public feeling to keep the bus station and guaranteed that the two options proposed by TfL that do away with it were not the end of the story: these studies are only to assess two way traffic and the bus station is not part of the current study is what she said. She has also written to KOVF to say that ‘No changes can go forward at the expense of the transport interchange’. In the meantime, public concerns about plans that could threaten the bus station have increased and there is now a petition to keep the bus station. Local civic groups, including KOVF, have lent their support to this petition and you may also wish to sign it: http://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/kate-hoey-mp-boris-johnson-mayor-of-london-lib-peck-lambeth-council-leader-save-vauxhall-bus-station

www.kovforum.org.uk


For posters and leaflets for distribution, please email vauxhallcs@gmail.com

Sharon’s truth in The King Must Lie

king-must-lie

king-must-lieOne interested party who for obvious reasons isn’t being consulted as Leicester and York argue over where Richard III’s bones should be interred is Richard himself. That was enough to set Vauxhall playwright Sharon Jennings writing, and the result is The King Must Lie, in which ‘King Richard III returns to tell us what he thinks’. Sharon’s Fentiman company is performing The King Must Lie, appropriately enough in a crypt, the Westminster Cathedral Crypt, Ambrosden Avenue SW1P 1QW at 7.30pm on Wednesday 26 and Friday 28 February.

Sharon gives herself a lot of elbow-room as a playwright, saying ‘I am very interested in historical subjects, and in the way in which the past is viewed and treated by the present. But I actually simply love theatre, and would dramatize anything if I could! Great loves include the Anglo-Saxon world, Shakespeare and awkward situations.’

The King Must Lie

CAST:
LEN BROWN: TIM MAJOR
RICHARD III: JOHN GREGOR
BARBARA GOODALL: RACHEL VOLDMAN
AMBROSE PENNINGTON: CHRISTOPHER PAYNE

Westminster Cathedral Crypt, Ambrosden Avenue SW1P 1QW

7.30 pm on Wednesday 26 and Friday 28 February
Tickets £8 at the door

Save Vauxhall Bus Station campaign: Vauxhall Gardens Residents & Tenants’ Association backs petition

vauxhall

vauxhallVGERTA, the Vauxhall Gardens Residents & Tenants’ Association, is backing The Vauxhall Society’s Save Vauxhall Bus Station petition, which you can find at: www.change.org

Other community groups are also expected to join VGERTA in planting their logo on this online protest at Transport for London and Lambeth Council’s proposed destruction of this iconic, amenity, popular throughout Lambeth, Wandsworth and beyond.

VGERTA said:

“The VGERTA Committee has decided to join The Vauxhall Society’s campaign to save Vauxhall Bus Station.

Change is needed i.e. the transformation of the gyratory, but that doesn’t mean we need lose the bus station. More consultation is needed with us, the people who live in the area, to develop proposals that suit everybody – pedestrians, disabled, cyclists, children, visitors, drivers, shop owners and many more.

A number of VGERTA-led projects such as the Tyers Street linear park and Vauxhall Street need to be taken into account when developing proposals for Vauxhall. The two proposals TfL and Lambeth have presented to the community for transforming the gyratory do not take into account what is already happening locally.

VGERTA has a pool of very knowledgeable individuals with experience in a variety of areas, among them community engagement & involvement, engineering, planning, environment, transport planning and much more. We offer a valuable pragmatic input in any possible future workshops on making the Vauxhall Gyratory fit for all.”

Community groups who would like to back the Save Vauxhall Bus Station campaign, please email vauxhallcs@gmail.com attaching logo or letter-heading.

New Bondway public consultation, Vauxhall’s best-kept secret?

lambeth

lambethThere’s something very odd happening in Lambeth Council planning if a note from the Friends of Vauxhall Park’s Polly Freeman is anything to go by.

Are Lambeth councillors and/or planning officials trying to push through the New Bondway planning application by stealth?

Are they delaying or concealing the fact that consultation on the controversial New Bondway project is under way, so fewer people have the chance to object?

Or is Lambeth just not up to the job?

As of 12 February, eight days or one-third of the way into the 21-day Lambeth consultation period, The Vauxhall Society has yet to see the notice of consultation that Lambeth is required to send.

New Bondway is in Lambeth’s Oval Ward, and the three councillors are Ishbel Brown, Jane Edbrooke and Jack Hopkins. What do they think is going on?

Polly Freeman, Membership Secretary and Newsletter Coordinator of the Friends of Vauxhall Park, writes:

‘You would have thought that by now Lambeth would be quite good at consultations on Vauxhall Nine Elms & Battersea Opportunity Area Developments and that the bad old days of our not learning about the original plans for the Bondway site until it got the Planning Inquiry stage were over. You may, or rather more likely, may not know that the planning application for the New Bondway scheme has now gone live. The consultation period lasts for three weeks, starting on 4 February. A letter notifying interested groups was indeed dated 4 February but posted on 7 February, sent Second Class and received on 10 February, nearly a week into the three-week consultation period. There are no site notices on the streets around the proposed development as there should be, and no documents are available at the Tate South Lambeth library for you to look at. If all this letter-sending thing seems terribly 20th-century, you might be tempted to go on to Lambeth’s sparkling new website to lodge your comments. However, you cannot make comments online for this application. And would it be just too cynical to wonder why the consultation includes the half-term week? I’m sure that’s no more of a coincidence than the second consultation period for the Keybridge House plans took place over Christmas. You wouldn’t have been able to comment on Keybridge House through the website, however, as comments were not accepted online; you had to take your chance with the Christmas post delivering a letter on time, or your having the time, in between Christmas shopping, to deliver a letter to the Planning Department at Phoenix House.’

New Bondway: The Lambeth Council website is still not fully functioning, but we did find this:

http://planning.lambeth.gov.uk/online-applications/simpleSearchResults.do?action=firstPage


If you have yet to receive from Lambeth notification of the New Bondway planning application and consultation period (ends 25 February), contact the Lambeth case officer, David Smith, on 020 7926 1256.

‘Consultation’

Thursday 20 February, 4.30-7.00 pm and Saturday 22 February 10am-12.30pm
Ground Floor, Market Towers, 1 Nine Elms Lane SW8 5NQ.

New Bondway, new ‘slyscraper’?

Don’t get taken for a mug if you attend the ‘public exhibition’ of developers’ proposals for the ‘New Bondway’ skyscraper in Vauxhall on 20 and 22 February. The idea is for the developer to represent you to Lambeth’s planning committee as a walking, talking endorsement of the scheme – just because you turned up.

If you don’t like that idea, don’t stay away – turn up anyway and ask awkward questions like ‘Where do I write down what I think?’ and then copy in your local community group. You might also ask: ‘How much will the developer pay Lambeth in development levy if New Bondway goes through?’

The exhibition, at Market Towers, 1 Nine Elms Lane, is part of the ritual public relations hype that precedes the developer’s lodging of a planning application with Lambeth Council. Applications are now made after months of cosy dealmaking behind closed doors between council officials and the developer’s serried ranks of lawyers, consultants and other hirelings. Lambeth Planning will then give you or your community group three, yes, three whole weeks, in which to respond and then, whatever you say it’s a toss-up whether or not Lambeth’s tame councillors OK the deal. That’s how desperate is Lambeth to get its hands on development levy monies.

The scene is set by the oily leaflet the New Bondway’s PR company, Cascade, is shoving through Vauxhall letterboxes. This ranks as ‘consultation’ too. If you see ‘Cascade’ on bumf like this, the odds are you about to be to be steeped in soft soap.

First off, ‘consultation’. The leaflet claims that the design proposals are approved by ‘62.5% of the residents who completed our questionnaire’. Er, 62.5% of how many residents of what? Did you even see a questionnaire, let alone fill one in? We’d love to see what’ll be made of that claim by, for example, the Wyvil Residents Association, the Friends of Vauxhall Park, the Fentiman Road & Richborne Terrace Residents Association or the Planning Working Group of the Kennington, Oval & Vauxhall Forum. No doubt they’ll be telling us on vauxhallcs@gmail.com. During the ‘consultation’ on the Keybridge House skyscraper 23 out of the 40 addresses used were wrong.

Next, New Bondway’s PR people say, this shadowy ‘62.5 %’ thought what was most important about Vauxhall’s umpteenth skyscraper was ‘building design and architecture’. Really? Not wind turbulence, pollution, overcrowding, congestion? The shading of Vauxhall Park? Not the fact that only a fifth of the 450 flats (90) will be ‘affordable’, when Lambeth’s requirement is two-fifths (180)?

The ‘New Bondway’ leaflet does not name the developer (McLaren Property/Citygrove). It speaks of a ‘slender, tall building’, but it doesn’t say how tall (168 metres?), or explain that at least half of its 50 storeys is anything but ‘slender’, being joined at the hip by a 23-storey block and linking four-storey glass bridge.

In other words, ‘New Bondway’ is even worse than a previous application by another developer in 2011. That one, ‘Octave Tower’ failed because it was too tall, blocked the sunlight from nearby Vauxhall Park from sunlight, didn’t offer any green space of its own, and involved the demolition of the Vauxhall Bondway Self-Storage warehouse, under consideration for an English Heritage listing. Yet all those considerations still apply to the ‘New Bondway’, whose 50 storeys would be eight more than the Octave, and 168 metres would be 19 metres higher.

Use two chances to ask what Lambeth Council and the New Bondway developers, McGrove Properties and Vauxhall Bondway, are playing at. Thursday 20 February , 4.30-7.00 pm and Saturday 22 February 10 am-1230pm, are the dates of the New Bondway developers’ exhibition, on the Ground Floor, Market Towers, 1 Nine Elms Lane SW8 5NQ. In attendance it’ll be mostly the PR people, ‘Public Consultation Cascade’, so why not ask ‘Has consultation on New Bondway been so shambolic by accident or design?’

Planning payoffs:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/6313/1897278.pdf

Dwarfing St George Wharf:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2514547/Vauxhalls-new-skyline-Five-towers-set-dwarf-St-George-Wharf-change-views-London-forever.html

Keep looking for full planning application on:

http://planning.lambeth.gov.uk/online-applications/

Much more soft soap for free shortly on:

www.newbondway.co.uk

Get busy before 28 February or your Post Office becomes a Past Office

postoffice

postofficeIf you live or work in Vauxhall, Kennington or Stockwell then come this May you could be without a Post Office for miles around.

Royal Mail want to close the Vauxhall/Kennington PO at Oval and the Stockwell one opposite Stockwell Tube.

The old, the sick and the encumbered mother of young children will have to troop to Walworth Road or Brixton instead. The Post Office call it ‘merging’.

The most effective way to stop the closures is to argue with the PO on their online ‘consultation’(below). ‘Consultation’ ends on 28 February. ‘Merging’ could start in May.

If you have a friend or neighbour who isn’t online, do tell them what’s going on and do help them get a word in edgeways.

Even if it doesn’t bother you if the POs close – think of the effect on other less fortunate

If you don’t like the sound of what the POs up to around here, but can’t be fussed to tell the PO so, then relax – the news isn’t all bad.

The money ‘saved’ by closing Vauxhall/Kenningtion and Stockwell will help pay the millions of pounds in lawyers’ and banker’s fees charged for the recent privatisation of the Post Office.

Royal Mail say there’s also an urgent need to find the cash to fund a pay rise for PO chief executive Moya Greene, who post-privatisation can no longer be expected to bump along on £250,000 a year.

Post Office ‘consultation’ website (until 28 February)

Thousands more Post Offices to go? No, there aren’t (BBC story)

Thousands more Post Offices to go? Yes, there are (Guardian story)

Moya’s moolah (Telegraph story)