Increase in working hours at the Coburg Crescent building site

From today, 20th October, the council has given contractors working on the Coburg Crescent building site permission to extend their working hours to 08:00 to 21:00 on weekdays and 08:00 Hours to 18:00 on Saturdays. This will be for a period of eight weeks, after which the allowed working hours will revert to 08:00 to 18:00 on weekdays and 08:00 to 13:00 on Saturdays.

Farrans requested extended working hours to allow staggered starting and ending times for workers, in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Farrans actually requested to be allowed to work much longer hours than those agreed by the council: from 06:00 to 21:00 on weekdays, 08:00 to 18:00 on Saturdays and 08:00 to 15:00 on Sundays. See here for further details.

The Urban Hedgerow

The Palace Road Estate gardening group bring you:

The Palace Road Estate is very green, with lots of grass and trees, but there is limited habitat for wildlife, with little food and shelter for birds and invertebrates. We also have one of the busiest roads in south London running along one boundary of our estate – the south circular – with its noise and pollution. To help address these problems, the gardening group is planning to plant a hedge between the estate and the south circular, running along part of the existing fence.

The trees for our hedge will be supplied by the Woodland Trust, free of charge. In November, we expect to receive 420 saplings of a variety of species: hawthorn, dogwood, wild cherry, silver birch, rowan, hazel. These are native trees that will provide food and shelter for local wildlife. The leaves and berries will provide a colourful display all year.

The gardening group had planned to hold a mass planting day, to which the whole community would be invited. However, given the current pandemic-related restrictions, this will not be possible. Planting will take place gradually, with no more than six people involved at any time. If you would like to join in, get in touch with the gardening group at gardening@prera.org.uk.

Food vouchers for the West Norwood Community Shop

Hidden away in West Norwood, behind the Vale Street recycling centre is our local Community Shop. This provides quality food at low prices to those who need it most. They do this by taking surplus food from manufacturers and retailers that would otherwise go to waste. The food is sold to members at up to 50% off the usual retail price. To join

If you care for a child or children and they receive free school meals, or you are on any means tested benefit, then the Community Shop is currently offering free £15 food vouchers per child, per week, for six weeks! To get your vouchers, just head down to the shop with proof of free school meal eligibility or your benefits.

The shop’s address is Vale Street, Gipsy Hill, London, SE27 9PA. If you have any questions please email communications@companyshopgroup.org.uk.

The West Norwood Community Shop

The Brixton Chamber Orchestra perform

The Brixton Chamber Orchestra put on a storming performance on the estate yesterday, playing music in a wide variety of styles: musical theatre, Argentinian tango, Irish dance, hip hop, classical, punk rock and more! The weather looked threatening, but the rain held off and the event was enjoyed by both residents and visitors from the wider area.

Thank you to Hugh Johnson for taking these photos.

If you missed yesterday’s event, you can still catch them later today at Cressingham Gardens Estate (2pm) and Lambeth Towers (5pm).

Summer children’s football coaching at Hillside Gardens Park

The Friends of Hillside Gardens Park will be holding their popular summer football coaching sessions again this year. There will be three weekly sessions with the first on Saturday 22 August at 2pm. There will be more sport, including football, at the annual Hillside Gardens Park sports day on Saturday 12 September. The sessions are free and open to all children aged 7 to 12 years. You can sign up for each session here.

Note that there was initially a session planned for 15 August, but that has been cancelled. Go to the Brixton Chamber Orchestra concert instead!

AGM – 8th September 2020

After a delay caused by the current epidemic, PRERA will be holding our AGM on Tuesday 8th September at 7.30pm. To comply with government guidelines to minimise the risk of infection, we will hold the AGM online using the Zoom conferencing platform. It should be possible to attend the AGM using most computers and smartphones that are connected to the internet.

To join the meeting click this link: https://bit.ly/2DZqAqU

Alternatively, you can join by telephone, by dialing 020 3481 5240. The meeting ID is 834 5775 4497 and the passcode is 550358.

We realise that not everyone will be able to attend, just as with the usual face to face meetings, so we apologise if this is the case for you. We invite everyone to submit questions for the current committee in advance of the meeting. Questions can be sent to contact@prera.org.uk. Please also contact us if you would like to get involved in the work of the association, whether as a committee member or not.

Antimicrobial treatment on play equipment

You may have noticed that some signs have appeared at the play area saying that antimicrobial cleaning agents have been applied. PRERA have made enquiries and have been told that a product made by Zoono was used. This is probably Z-71 – the product that Transport for London uses.

Please note that Z-71 is an antimicrobial agent and coronavirus isn’t a microbe. So please continue with good hygiene practices, including washing hands before and after using the play equipment.

Interestingly, according to the Daily Telegraph, Zoono was told to stop claiming that Z-71 was “more than 99.9pc effective against COVOID-19 [sic]”. This claim was removed from their website after the intervention of the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

The safety data sheet for Z-71 can be downloaded here.

Damage to community planting

Last spring residents brightened up Palace Road Estate by planting flowers, with support from Urban Growth.

Community planting event – 31 March 2019

The geraniums which we planted in the long bed at the entrance to Coburg Crescent, near Despard House, had been doing particularly well. There has been a fine display of green foliage and pink flowers this spring and summer.

Geranium sanguineum ‘Vision Pink’ – May 2020

In early August the geraniums in this bed lost their leaves and flowers and their stems were damaged.

Damaged geranium – 5 August 2020

The geraniums along the length of the bed were damaged in this way. The photos below from early July and early August are “before” and “after” images. In the “before” photo, geranium foliage can be seen along the length of the front of the bed; this was still present at the beginning of August. In the “after” photo, the geranium foliage along the front of the bed has disappeared.

The damage occurred on Monday 3 or Tuesday 4 August. A member of the Estate’s gardening group spotted the damage on the Tuesday afternoon. Pinnacle – the council’s grounds maintenance contractors – had been on the estate on the Monday to mow and strim.

Pieces of geranium foliage had been left lying in the bed. These demonstrate that the plants had still been in leaf when they were damaged.

Geranium foliage left lying in the bed – 4 August 2020

The gardening group co-ordinator has sent a complaint to Lambeth Council asking for an apology for the damage and replacement of the damaged plants. She has also asked for assurance that the council and their contractors will not damage other planting performed by residents. An update will be provided on this blog once a full response has been received.