Oval Partnership Blog

Issues affecting the Kennington/Oval/Vauxhall area

On 21st July we will be doing a makeover of the Clapham Road end of St Marks Churchyard – where the playground is. Yesterday was the first time we have tried recruiting volunteers at the Oval Farmer’s Market. Having recruited more than 30, we have to say it was a resounding success We are now looking forward to having another recruitment stand next Saturday – 14th July – and then the real thing the following week.

It’s official.  On Saturday 21st July we are trying to get one hundred volunteers to sort out the grounds of St Marks Church (see pictures below). It’s being run as a partnership between ourselves in the Oval Partnership with St Marks Church, Lambeth Freshview Team and City and Country Farmers’ Markets.  We’re running a recruitment stall at the Oval Farmers’ Market on Saturday 7th and 14th of July so come along and say hello. As of today we’ve already got 20 volunteers but we need more.

Starting to get requests to promote Queen’s Diamond Jubilee parties around the neighbourhood.  Lambeth’s website for official stuff is here http://www.lambeth.gov.uk/Services/AboutLambeth/WhatsOn/Queens+Diamond+Jubilee.htm

On Sunday 3rd June we will probably all be down by the river in the afternoon – watching the flotilla of boats. Apart from that, here are some ‘public’ local parties that I’m aware of.  These are primarily for local people, family and friends so it is probably best to attend the one you have the strongest connection with.  I’ll try and update this article as new information emerges.

Claylands ‘Village’ Green (Claylands Rd off Clapham Rd)
Saturday 2nd June 12pm-2pm
‘Big Jubilee Lunch’ organised by Impact – local residents group covering the Ashmole St, Claylands Road, Claylands Place, Meadow Road, Palfrey Place.  area. Some food and drink provided but do bring contributions.

Offley Road (Off Prima Rd next to St Marks Church)
Monday 4 June 2012 12pm-10pm
DJs, bands, all sorts of entertainment. Free, all welcome!
[They will probably have some commercial stalls there so remember to bring some money!]

Carmelita Centre (Corner of Vauxhall Walk & Jonathan Street)
Monday 4 June 2012 12noon until 6pm
Music, food (BBQ! …and more!), bouncy castle, face painting, cake competition (judged by Harry from the Tea House Theatre), loads of games and of course loads of prizes!!! The event is being organised by Vauxhall Gardens Estate Residents & Tenants Association (http://www.vgerta.org.uk) and sponsored by Kennington Oval Vauxhall Forum

 Albert Square central garden
Monday 4th June 2012 7pm to 10pm
‘The Jubilee Big Band and  Barbecue’ – Optional dress code: Royalty / Coronation style
Event is being organised bt TARA and ASSA.  Please e-mail if attending (see http://www.tradescant.net/ for more details)




The Kennington Oval Vauxhall Forum, with the support of Lambeth, have purchased a gazebo for community use at the Oval Farmers’ Market and elsewhere.  It arrived during the week so I had a trial run with it yesterday.  The following sequence shows how you to set up a gazebo of this type for the first time. (Click on each picture to see a more detailed description.  It can be done with one person but it’s a lot easier with two.

Some 150 local children attended the easter egg hunt today at Vauxhall Park.  This has now become a regular annual event organised by the Friends of Vauxhall Park

As you can see from the above picture, the event is well supported by the local community.  It was taken just before the green flag was raised at 11:00 to indicate the start of the event.  The green flag is actually a hard won award-only the best parks get it.   It takes a lot of effort to win this award and to organise community events like the easter egg hunt.  The management committee and volunteers are to be commended for their efforts on behalf of the community.

If you want to help out do visit the  Friends of Vauxhall Park website and become a member.  Local parks need the continued support of the community and whether you have some money or time to spare remember that every little helps.











At £4 to £4.80 per hour North Lambeth residents have the highest parking fees but are the least well served

Like many people who used the Kennington Parking shop once or twice per year (see this google street view ) I was caught out by its’ unexpected closure.   Judging by the number of people turning up at the door when I was there today -some 3 months after it closed -it would seem fair to conclude that its’ closure has not been very well communicated.  Perhaps the high local parking and congestion charges contributed to its demise.

According to Lambeth’s website it closed 16 December 2011 as a result of ‘improvements to parking services’.  Interesting claim so I thought I’d check that out.

For those living in the Kennington Oval Vauxhall Southbank Waterloo areas who wish to pick up visitor parking permits etc.  will now have to travel to  Brixton (see this google street view).  I estimate that this will add an additional 30 minutes to the return journey for anyone attempting the trek from North Lambeth.

When I got to the Brixton Customer Service centre , it  took me 50 minutes to be served -approximately 30 minutes longer than it ever took at the Kennington Parking Shop.  While I was waiting, I conducted an informal survey:

* Approximately 13 staff were on duty
* At any one time, approximately 3 did not have members of the public with them
* Approximately 50 ‘customers’ were present in the hall at any one time with 10 actively being served (People apparently together were counted once)

The screens indicated the average waiting time for those without appointments was just over 30 minutes.  For those with appointments it was close to zero.  Given the apparent number of customers waiting and those being served the average waiting time was more likely to be nearer my own experience of 50 minute.  The use of mutiple queues with apparently random numbers being called out of sequence did not instil confidence.

Let’s consider the economic impact of all that waiting. The mean weekly wage for a full time employee is about  £501.  Assuming there is an average 40 or so members of the public waiting/being served 8 hours per day for, say, 50 weeks a year then the potential cost to the economy is about £1m.  Ok some are unemployed but then we have to add in the additional time taken to travel to the more distant customer service centre.  What should have been a half hour return trip for this local resident turned into two hours.

Parking services may well have improved but unfortunately it does seems to be at the expense of the  public’s time – particularly North Lambeth residents.   

Anyone want to challenge that view?


rather confusingly the screen appeared to






The Kennington Oval Vauxhall Forum and Lambeth held a volunteering event today at St Anselms Church by Kennington Cross. The following organisations were in attendance and hopefully all made some useful contacts.

  • Age UK Lambeth
  • Beafouy Institute renovation project
  • Cinema Museum
  • Feminist Library
  • Friends of Archbishop Park
  • Garden Museum
  • Girlguiding UK
  • Greening SW8
  • Indoamerican Refugee & Migrant Organisation
  • Royal London Socety for Blind People
  • Vauxhall City Farm
  • Vauxhall Society
  • Wheels for Wellbeing

The caterers , ‘I due Amici’ from Kennington are to be commended for their excellent food and service particularly the canapes which were amongst the best I have ever tasted at a community event.

It was raining most of the day but attendance seemed steady. Here are some pictures of the event.

Some 200 people attended the Vision for Vauxhall event today at St George Wharf. I went in the evening and it was certainly busy then.

It was a pleasure to see Lambeth starting to engage with the public in this way. Given the scale of developments in the area, it is essential that Lambeth continues to be proactive rather than re-active. The information displays were good but it would have been helpful to have some architectural models of the area even if they had to be borrowed from local developers.

The Oval Partnership  held its management meeting this evening.

  • Still waiting to hear from English Hertitage about proposal on St Marks Churchyard and Farmers Market.  Their approval is required before funds can be raised for the main works. Hope to carry out some minor improvements this year.
  • Details of OP directors recorded at Companies House to be updated
  • Have received invite from Offley Works developers to visit the site.
  • The possibility of some plaques to commemorate local history was discussed e.g.Sharwoods time at Offley Works
  • Consideration being given to migrating website to a CMS type system duch as Drupal.  This would reduce time taken to update site

The Oval Partnership would like to offer its congratulations to the VauxhallOne team on their successful B.I.D. (Business Improvement District proposal).

Anyone familiar with the neighbourhood will know that the Vauxhall area will be radically transformed over the coming years. Vauxhall-based businesses have recently voted to support a new organisation, VauxhallOne, to help tackle some of the area’s longstanding problems. The organisation will intially exist for 5 years and will be funded by local businesses.

The area covered by Vauxhall One Business Improvement District broadly follows the commercial areas along the river from Lambeth Bridge but takes some unexpected detours to include the Oval Cricket Criket Ground and a section of Kennington Lane. It is unclear exactly what the new organisation will do but that should become clear over the coming months.

One local priority identified at the recent Oval Safer Neighbourhood Panel meeting was to have more local part time jobs for young people.  At the moment we have a generation of young people growing up without ever having the opportunity to work.  Remember all those paper rounds and Saturday jobs that seemed to abound years ago?  Hopefully businesses in VauxhalllOne may be able to help.