Herne Hill Green Party hernehillgreenparty@gmail.com

Rashid Nix is the Green candidate for Dulwich and West Norwood

Rashid has been selected for the Green Party to contest Dulwich and West Norwood in the June 8th General Election.

Rashid has campaigned on housing, community and libraries issues across Dulwich and West Norwood. He has campaigned against the eviction of small businesses from Brixton Arches, against Lambeth's library closures and against Central Hill and Cressingham Gardens estate demolitions. Green campaigns have forced Lambeth council to backtrack on library closures, and delayed the demolition of Central Hill estate. Labour's MP has failed to influence the council on any of these issues. For an active campaigning MP that really works with the community, VOTE GREEN.

Carnegie Library News

A planning application to convert the library into a gym has been published by the council, the deadline for responses is 29th November. The proposal is:
Retention of the existing library together with the erection of two storey extension to the south west elevation and part excavation of the basement and an external plant compound provided at basement level. Existing columns supporting the ground floor will be underpinned and sections of the masonry walls removed and certain openings enlarged. Existing basement cloakroom fittings including sanitary ware, finishes and partitions will be stripped out to permit reconfiguration and expansion of these facilities with alterations at ground floor level comprising forming a new door to the existing stairwell, removal of existing and provision of new partitions. (Town Planning and Listed Building Consent 16/06270/FUL) Ref. No: 16/06271/LB and 16/06270/FUL | Received: Thu 03 Nov 2016 | Validated: Mon 07 Nov 2016 | Status: Awaiting decision There are 26 documents associated with this application, at: https://www.lambeth.gov.uk/planning-and-building-control

NO NOTICES HAVE BEEN SENT TO NEIGHBOURS (as of 21st November).

What is the plan?

Briefly: Lambeth and GLL want to spend millions wrecking a listed building AND its unique garden. The resulting botch would be far less use as a community resource of any kind. And far less attractive to those who would have hired space to boost income. The damage would be irreversible.

The plans will wreck the garden that is an integral part of the listed building's appeal. Three of the four mature trees would be felled. Most of the shrubs and bushes would be destroyed. The garden's size would be more than halved, to fit in two big structures for gym ventilation etc.

So much for the years of work by local people - with extensive grants from public funds - to create a peaceful haven with a children's garden, wildlife garden, disabled access path and lots of opportunities for healthy gardening activities.

The layout of the ground floor aims to make it useful for the gym, with no regard to other uses. For example, how can weddings use the central space if there are exercise classes in the next space? Likewise for hotdesking facilities.

The gym could lead to substantial increases in traffic in the area, affecting parking and quietways. Transport plan. Approximately 50 extra car visits to the area per day are estimated.

There is still no sign of any Lambeth/GLL business plan, market research or financial projections to justify this expensive experiment.

All planning applications have to be in conformity with the development plan, which in this case is the Lambeth Plan and the London Plan.

The key policy in the Lambeth Plan is ED11 Visitor attractions, leisure, arts and culture uses (pg 71) which states:
"The council wishes to promote, safeguard and improve leisure, recreation, arts and cultural facilities in the borough where they meet local and wider needs... (b) Change of use or loss of existing visitor attractions, leisure, arts and culture uses will not be supported. Redevelopment for mixed use will only be supported where the existing use is re-provided on site, or a replacement facility is provided elsewhere in the locality. In exceptional circumstances, commuted payments may be accepted for replacement leisure, arts or culture uses elsewhere in the borough."

The Carnegie is identified as a key infrastructure project costing £3m (see pg 246)

To respond

Please add your objections to the planning comments, or send your objections to the planning case officer Lauren Shallcross by emailing lshallcross@lambeth.gov.uk

Objections can be on many grounds, for example:

  • Loss of amenities without replacement: library facilities and green space
  • Loss of heritage value in the interior due to planned work, and harm to the external setting of the listed building because of the construction of modern buildings within its garden
  • Increased traffic and noise for neighbours from the works and from the gym, which is intended to operate 7 days/week from early morning to late evening
  • Lack of consideration for other uses of the library, all changes are being driven for the benefit of the gym
  • Inappropriate large-scale commercial development for a residential area

News and Events

Greens were successful in the 2016 Mayoral election, coming 3rd in the election and 3rd overall in London. Two Greens were elected to the London Assembly.

In the 2015 general election we substantially increased our vote to 9.4%, only 200 votes behind the LibDems. Thanks to everyone who supported our campaign, and who voted for our candidate, Rashid Nix.

Carnegie Library under threat (again)

Herne Hill Greens support the campaign by residents and friends of the library to re-open the library, closed by Lambeth council on 1st April 2016.

Drastic cuts in library services were announced by Lambeth Labour council in proposals made public on the 30th January 2015: closure and sale of Minet and Waterloo libraries, and ending funding and staff for the Carnegie, Durning and Upper Norwood libraries (now called 'community libraries'). Only Clapham, Brixton, Streatham and West Norwood are to be retained as publicly-funded. Despite increasing usage and the 4th-highest number of book issues in Lambeth, the Carnegie is regarded as peripheral and no longer part of the statutory library provision duty of the council.

Alongside these cuts in library provision are severe cuts in parks budgets (from a total of 4.4m per year to 2.26m). It is clear that Lambeth's 'Co-operative Council' programme is merely a euphemism for a ruthless drive to reduce its responsibilities for as many public services as possible: both parks and libraries are being transfered from public management to management by private trusts and companies. Inevitably this means a loss of accountability and the risk that what should be a public asset for all the local community becomes instead the property of a private cabal and special interest groups. Service levels will become inconsistent from area to area, and unreliable. High-quality professional staff will be replaced by volunteers. An ad-hoc 'shadow trust' led by former Labour councillors has been set up by the council to take control of the Carnegie, this group was awarded £65,000 of public money to define options for redevelopment of the building, but these options were prepared without significant public involvement and would cost £millions whilst restricting the library service to a small part of the building. The financial viability of the options has been questioned, yet the transfer is being pushed through at a fast pace.

The Carnegie is one of the most important community assets in Herne Hill, and it already serves as a 'Community Hub', providing adult literacy classes, computer access, IT classes, yoga classes, and many other facilities for all the community to improve skills, wellbeing, employability and to reduce isolation. Currently space is also rented out for hotdesking for local business development. The building itself is an historic heritage asset, donated to Lambeth by Andrew Carnegie in 1906 for the express purpose of a public library. A previous attempt to close the library was made by Labour in 1999, and was defeated by a strong community campaign. It is time again to unite and to tell the council to think again. To support the continuation of the library as a public service, please email your local councillors (Councillor addresses) and join the Friends of the library at: FoCL.

The Green Party believes that essential public services such as libraries should be publicly-funded: the social and health benefits that these services provide justify the service costs. More information on the party and a membership form is available at: www.greenparty.org.uk.

2014 Council Elections

In the local council elections in Herne Hill our candidates came 4th, 5th and 6th with overall 29% of the vote and a clear 2nd to Labour. Conservatives were on 9% and Lib Dems on 6%. This was the largest Green vote in Lambeth and an increase on the 2010 results. Local membership has more than trebled since the elections.

Thanks to everyone that voted for us, we will continue to be an active "Green team" for the ward, working to improve the local environment, and also keeping a watch on what Labour are doing (or not doing).

@HerneHillGreens

History

The Greens are the main opposition party in the Herne Hill ward: in 2006 we gained one Councillor, and we have been the 2nd party to Labour in council and GLA elections since then (in 2006 and 2014 we polled more votes than the Conservatives and LibDems combined).

The Green councillor in Herne Hill (Becca Thackray, 2006-2010):

  • Committed the council to pay the London Living Wage to all its staff
  • Opposed the sale and privatisation of social housing stock
  • Committed the council to work with local community groups before spending regeneration funds in the local area
  • Opposed cuts in social care.
The Green Party is the 2nd party in terms of votes in Lambeth, and our pressure on the council on issues such as the 20mph speed limit and street greening has resulted in inclusion of green issues in the draft local plan, and (belated) moves to take action on these issues (eg., Council to adopt 20mph limit?).

View  of Shard from Ruskin Park


We are local residents involved in many of the community groups in Herne Hill: the Herne Hill forum, the SE5 forum, park and library friends groups, residents associations, etc. We hold regular meetings and welcome new members (you do not need to be Green Party members to attend local meetings). Send an message to

@HerneHillGreens

for more information.

We work closely with other Greens in Lambeth: Lambeth Greens

There is also a Facebook page

For information on national Green Party policies and campaigns: National Green Party

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