I am standing for election in Vassall Ward because I want to ensure our community has strong representation on the council. To ensure that our council works harder for you and addresses the real needs of people in Vassall Ward. And to make sure that the council gets the basics right, rather than wasting money on large vanity projects that will benefit only a few people.
My three priorities for our area are in Housing, children and young people, and parks and open spaces.
I have lived in Vassall ward for 17 years with my now teenage son. I am the only candidate in the byelection who actually lives in Vassall Ward. I am a housing association tenant and understand the need for more good quality affordable housing in the borough. This is particularly important so that families and communities can stay close and grow stronger together. High rents, poor or overcrowded housing and evictions threaten our community. In particular, I believe the council must force developers to stick to the council’s affordable housing targets, which are currently routinely ignored. And I believe that the council’s eviction of short-life tenants is immoral and must stop.
CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE
Vassall is one of the most underprivileged wards in London, with a growing population of under 18s. The area has had problems in the past with youth gangs, petty crime and anti-social behaviour. This should be no surprise, as the provision of services for young people in the area is extremely poor. It needs to be addressed by the council.
For the last 10 years I have worked as a self-employed registered childminder looking after local children. I achieved an Ofsted ‘Outstanding’ grade on my last inspection, and I also used to be Chair of the Lambeth Childminding Association. Young people and children are important to me, and I will prioritise their needs as your representative on the council.
PARKS AND OPEN SPACES
I am the current chair of the local ‘Friends of Slade Gardens’ - a group of volunteers with a shared vision to make their local park a safe and welcoming space for all the community. With the first phase of redevelopment complete (a new under-5s playground), I am now working hard on driving forward the second phase with the council, which is due to begin shortly.
Children and young people will also benefit if the Adventure Playground in the park becomes a bigger ‘community hub’. That’s why I’m supporting the local community play association as they strive to secure their future through investigating the option of a community hub.
In addition, I volunteer as the chair of Lambeth Parks and Green Spaces forum - supporting over 30 Friends of Parks Groups and Management Committees as they work along with Lambeth staff and local councillors to play a significant role in making parks and open spaces available and accessible to Lambeth residents.
Unfortunately not everyone lives near a park – but the excellent local Van Gogh Walk project has shown what can be done to create community space out of little-used areas. If elected, I will push for more of these projects elsewhere within Vassall Ward.
I am first and foremost a community campaigner rather than a politician. What attracted me to stand as the Liberal Democrat candidate is the fact that they are the ones I see at every meeting, involved in every activity and working the hardest for my local community. Without the support of existing Lib Dem Councillor Steve Bradley, Slade Gardens would not have secured the funding it has to-date, and other local projects like Van Gogh Walk or The Remakery would not have happened at all. I have seen the difference that Liberal Democrat councillors make in my area. I want to be part of the only team that is really delivering for local residents.
If you elect me as your Vassall ward Liberal Democrat councillor you will be electing a real representative of the community - living in the community and working hard for that community. Working hard on the issues that really matter to local people – such as housing, children and young people, and parks and open spaces. I will continue to roll my sleeves up and get to work on local issues, as I do now. But as a councillor I would be a in a position to achieve so much more whilst doing so.
The Vauxhall Lib Dems are delighted to announce Colette Thomas as our candidate for Vassall Ward in the upcoming by-election.
Colette has lived in Vassall ward for 17 years. She is a professional childminder rated Outstanding by Ofsted. She is a well known community activist and local campaigner. She is the Chair of the Friends of Slade Gardens and the Lambeth Parks and Green Spaces forum.
Colette is deeply rooted in the local community, understands local needs and has a strong record of delivering positive change for local residents in Vassall Ward.
Colette Thomas with Liberal Democrat Vassall Ward Councillor Steve Bradley
Lib Dems have secured £10 million in funding for Vauxhall's schools, new figures reveal.
The funding comes from the Pupil Premium, a major Lib Dem policy that has been delivered by the Coalition Government, providing schools with extra money to help support those students who are most in need of assistance. Vauxhall schools have received £10 million in funding since 2011, with £5 million in 2013 alone.
Schools are free to choose how they use this additional money - for example, Lilian Baylis Technology School has used some of its funds for small group tuition for English and Mathematics and a literacy intervention team, giving students in need an additional step up in these vital areas.
Last night the planning committee in Lambeth met to consider a report from officers on the removal of yet more affordable housing from the site at Vauxhall Sky Gardens. This was the second time the developers have come to the committee to seek a reduction in their agreed amount of affordable housing. Each time affordable housing has been replaced with more luxury homes each with winter gardens.
Labour members on the council joined with the Tories to approve the report. Most notably, Cllr Jane Edbrooke Labour councillor for Oval Ward abstained, yet again failing to take a stand, despite having campaigned against the drop in affordable housing.
In response to the consultation on a Transport and Works Act Order for the Northern Line extension to Battersea Power Station the Vauxhall Liberal Democrats have called on the Secretary of State for Transport to hold a public inquiry on the proposals. This will allow the real and unresolved issues on the NLE to be considered in full by a government inspector.
The full text of the letter sent to the Secretary of State is set out below
Want to know what is really going on with Vauxhall Sky Gardens?
We analyse the financial viability of the development and show why there is no reason for the council to accept a reduction in affordable housing (again)
Liberal Democrats in Vauxhall have called on the council to use their power of compulsory purchase to take the site of Vauxhall Sky Gardens off the developers. This comes after the developers applied to remove all affordable housing from the site.
Lib Dem Councillor Peter Truesdale joined with Vauxhall's Labour MP Kate Hoey in calling for a review of safety regulations and tall buildings in the wake of the tragic helicopter crash on January 16th that resulted in the death of the pilot and a pedestrian walking to work. Their concerns were raised in the South London Press on 1st February 2013.
The incident in foggy conditions resulted in the helicopter hitting the jib of the crane attached to the unfinished 40-storey St George Tower and crashing to the ground in Wandsworth Road narrowly missing commuter traffic and the main line railway tracks to Vauxhall and Waterloo.
It has been said that pollution in the air that we breathe accounts for more deaths among Londoners than obesity - around 9% in fact.
Unlike obesity, air quality in the Capital is not given much - well - air-time in the media, yet people cannot easily ration the amount of air they breathe and when exercising for a healthy body outdoors they are likely to ingest higher levels of harmful air-borne pollution than usual. London suffers some of the worst air quality in Europe.
So it is important to know how air quality varies around London and indeed around Lambeth. To that end, Kings College University in Waterloo in Lambeth is conducting studies all over London and elsewhere in the UK.