Residents angered by council for misuse of Southwark Park

petition on Alice in Winterland
Alice in Winterland entrance, photo by Juliana Onetti.

Southwark residents asked the Council to cancel the ‘Alice in Winterland’ event as this would mean a 2.5-month closure of Southwark Park to the public.

An unsuccessful petition was created on the 19th of September 2018 and at the time of writing, over 600 people have signed.

Rosie Beattie who started the petition said she did it because, “the council failed to consult or inform resident groups about the closure of half the publicly funded park.”.

She expressed her concerns saying that: “It is disgraceful that the council signed the contract before carrying out an environmental study.” She added “the profits aren’t even being channelled back into the park”.

In response to the petition, Southwark Council has said “We have doubled security measures, added CCTV cameras and have implemented strict restricts on sound level from Sunday to Thursday, ending at 9 pm.”

As the council explained, changes have been made. A local resident and mother, Bia Mungalsingh, has noticed these changes. Living next to the park, she would be directly affected.

She has said, “they leave most of the park open” for resident usage. She also added: “I hear no music at all so we are virtually unaffected.”

McLaren House: Students getting waxy over candle issue

McLaren House Entrance, photo by Georgina Blackwell

There’s no enjoying the delicious scent of a candle in McLaren house due to the fire safety hazard but inspector promises to tackle everyones candles next time. 

On the of 31st of October Block A of McLaren House, one of London South Bank University’s student accommodations, had room inspections.

The rooms are inspected to ensure that students are treating them properly. Also to make sure all the safety regulations are in check.

Every resident should have to follow the same rules but this doesn’t appear to be the case.

Inspection letter, photo by Georgina Blackwell

“A letter from the inspections came saying that I will have another inspection because of a candle I had in my room” said Katie Isherwood. “It had never been lit, its simply for decoration” she added.

“I have two candles in my room and I didn’t get a letter about it” said Angharad Akideinde, Katie’s flatmate. “My candles are just for decoration, but that’s not the point. I feel bad for my flatmate.”

When talking to the inspector who wished to remain anonymous, they said “Angharad was there at the time and I asked them to put the candle away however Katie wasn’t there so I was unable to let them know, hence why they got the letter and the other didn’t”. 

The inspector had a reasonable explanation to as why this happened. However trouble like this causes student to get rowed up and cause problems. The inspector said he would “treat them as fair as possible” next time. 


Southwark Council offering free parking to help support local businesses!

Southwark council spreading the word about #SmallBizSatUK in order to support local businesses and get people to shop at them!

This weekend coming up, on the 1st of December is the 6th year of ‘Small Biz Sat UK’. The aim is “to support, promote and inspire small business all year round” and is done all around the United Kingdom.

They have a website to help people get involved either as a ‘small business’, ‘a customer’, ‘a local authority’ or ‘a small biz network’.

A small business has the opportunity to be added to the small business finder. To create logos for their website/social media to help attract people. To get access to a free marketing pack and Small Biz Sat UK offers to give shout outs to any events the business has going on.

A customer has the chance to search for specific shops that are in their local area. They also have access to a Cook Book and are able to pledge support to their local businesses.

Southwark Council has been using its twitter handle to spread the word about Small Biz Sat UK. They are offering free parking in Southwark town centre, every Saturday of the month of December. They are “encouraging residents to support local businesses by shopping local.”


Residents want Southwark Council to reinvest park hire fees back into the Park!

A petition has started for the reinvestment of Southwark park hire fees back into Southwark park and so far 28 people have signed the petition, with 100 being the goal.

The petition explains how Southwark Council hires out the park. Using it for events, film-making and other commercial activity. This “restricts access to, and can interfere with the enjoyment of Southwark Park”. Therefore, the hire fees should be reinvested into repairing and improving Southwark Park.

The Friends of Southwark Park started this petition to the London Borough of Southwark and are using their Twitter handle to convince people to sign the petition.

People such as Andrew Ormerod signed as he believes “This is a wonderful park”. Continuing that “it deserves all the support it can get as its widely loved and widely used!”.

Barry Duckett signed as he wants to “bring back the adventure playground and the netball and the hard-standing football pitch”.

The petition shows that people are not happy with the way that southwark Council are using the park.

Lauri Locstelli said “I actually object to the park being hired out for private enterprise. And then as a resident have to pay for the privilege of using it.” Continuing on that “The very least Southwark can do is give the money back to maintain the park”.

Others agree such as Gary Glover who said “The park is used as a cash cow for Southwark Council”.  


London’s pollution problems taking us back in time by causing expected earlier deaths!

London Pollution
Outside Friars Primary School, taken by Georgina Blackwell

London Boroughs with high diesel pollution causing children to suffer with ‘stunted lung capacity’. These children are expected to die at an earlier age.

 Area’s in London are failing to meet the EU requirements for nitrogen dioxide, and researchers found that this is causing children to have an increased risk of getting lung cancer, as reported by BBC.

BBC continued on that the research covered 28 primary schools. In London Boroughs of Greenwich, Hackney, Tower Hamlets and the City of London. They all fail to meet the EU regulations.

A worried mother outside Friars Primary School said “my son constantly has a cough and sore throat” adding that “the moment it goes away, its back within the next few weeks” and that she feels like “London  needs to sort out it’s pollution problems to keep our children healthy”. 

A current University student in London, Mike Blair had just came back to London after visiting his home in Devon. He said “Going home is so refreshing”.  Continuing that “you don’t realise how much the air pollution in London affects your breathing and throat until you leave.”.

According to BBC, Dr Samantha Walker, Director of Research and Policy at Asthma UK, said “The Government needs to tackle toxic air by putting in place a new Clean Air Act to keep everyone – especially children – safe.”


Transport troubles making Londoners aggressive!

Main entrance to Wateterloo Station, taken by Angharad Akideinde, @angharadsphotography

It’s a disastrous day for Londoners wishing to take the Central and Waterloo & City lines today on Wednesday the 7th of November because of the strike of the drivers for Aslef and Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) Unions.

The bosses of the Unions are saying that the 24-hour strike is happening because of a “comprehensive breakdown” regarding industrial relations, as stated by the Evening Standard.

The London Underground has said that Aself and RMT have demanded the reinstatement of two drivers. One who purposely opened train doors while in a tunnel. The other who failed a drug test. The union leaders were furious that the appeal was rejected by the Tube Chiefs.

When talking to a train conductor at Waterloo station about this affecting him. “We have had some real aggressive people” he said, adding “they shout and swear at us, when there is nothing we have done or can do”.

Luckily in order to save these irrational Londoners, 150 extra busses will be available during this time. Transport for London (TFL) staff will be at stations, offering any advice to those struggling to get around.


Exhibition in Hayward Gallery has a secret behind it that wasn’t quite understood

Hayward gallery
Hayward Gallery entrance, taken by Georgina Blackwell

A free exhibition made by Emmanuelle Lainé and supported by Fluxus Art Projects opened in the “HENI Project Space” in Hayward Gallery however the message wasn’t quite understood.


The exhibition opened on the 25th of October and will close on the 24th of December. It is open from 11am until 7pm every day except; Tuesdays when it is closed and Thursdays when it is open later, until 9pm.


The exhibition is specific to the site and is called “Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist!”. Lainé has covered spaces with familiar objects, organic materials and life-sized imagery. Making an unsettling and disorienting environment to explore industry, display and contemporary workspace.

Walking into the exhibition you see familiar objects spread all around a room. Objects such as suitcases, shoes, jackets, desks, notepads, mugs, nuts, pens, apples, water, toothpaste, headphones etc. It all seems a bit random, until you go to the back of the room. You see it all come together with blown up photographs.

This affect does not seem to be successful. Many people walked into the room, had a quick look and left. Thus not really exploring the exhibition and finding the big picture.

Hayward gallery
The hidden meaning of the exhibition, taken by Isabella Ehrlicher.

When talking to those who really looked around the exhibition, the comments were very positive. A student, Isabella Ehrlicher, said “I think there is so much hidden in this exhibition that you don’t see in the beginning”. Another interesting comment was from a middle-aged woman, Launa Cunningham, who said “Clever, disorientating”. Matching up with what the artist was trying to achieve.


Lainé definitely seemed to get her message across to those that took the time and effort into understanding the exhibition. Did she possibly take a risk by hiding the part that brings the exhibition together at the back? For people to have to find rather than not immediately see?


Lambeth Council helping to find homes for struggling children

Lambeth council has it’s own Adoption council which was set up to support the rising number of children in need of parents however the number of adoptees doesn’t correspond with the amount of children in need. 

National Adoption week of 2018 started on the 15th of October and Ends on the 21st. The campaign aims to find homes for children who really need it. This year the focus is also on the adopter.

Lambeth council has their own adoption company. Thus to celebrate, are hosting two events at Lambeth Town Hall. One on Tuesday the 16th of October from 6:00 to 8:00pm. The other on the 18th from 12:00 to 2:00pm.

Both events start with a presentation and a Q&A (question and answer). In order to follow this year’s focus, they then have parents who have been through the adoption process. People can talk to them and hear directly from them.

Lambeth Adoption has a 10-step adoption process and was described as “Absolutely fantastic” by Paul and Nicky, parents who adopted a sibling group through Lambeth Adoption. They said the process was long and in depth, Paul saying they “Research our lives” and continued on joking that he felt they knew more about him than he knows about himself.

Only 5 people showed up to the event and compared to all of the children in the UK that need adopting, this is nothing. Showing that more adoptees are needed, so if you are thinking of adopting, go for it. Save a child and give them the beautiful life they deserve.


BFI Festival uniting the world through film!

The British Film Industry (BFI) London Film Festival 2018 started on the 10th of October and finishes on the 21st. The Festival takes place in 75 countries in 14 cinemas with 225 features, making it a globally diverse event.

BFI is a non-governmental public body which aims to support the film industry. They use organisations such as the National Lottery to fund the Film Festival.

BFI Southbank is one of the places where this event takes place. Having three main screens and one smaller screen with only 20 seats, known as the ‘Studio’ room. There is a ‘Blue Room’ which is an advanced reception. In addition there is a Mediatheque which screens varieties of British TV archives.

The Festivals aim is to bring together filmmakers’ from around the world to present their work to an audience. Increasing the filmmakers’ chances for the award season, with BAFTA coming up. “Opening the doors for everyone, audiences or filmmakers, is at the heart of the BFI’s purpose” says Amanda Nevill, the chief executive of BFI.

The Festival screens International films to help them get a release in the UK. The focus is also on films that have never been seen before and could never be distributed or come out much later.

A local man named Sean Burton was going to see “Evelyn” at the Southbank venue. He felt that the film festival “creates a buzz” and “generates opportunities for movies that usually wouldn’t get publicity”.


Visit BFI Southbank at Belvedere Rd, Lambeth, London SE18XT or call 020 7928 3232 if you have any questions.


Migration hidden beneath Tate Modern’s latest Exhibition

Heat-sensitive material accompanied with a ‘crying’ room are apart of the latest exhibition at The Tate Modern with the intention to make visitors ‘uncomfortable’ and highlight the journey migrants take.  

Tate Modern’s Turbine hall flooring is covered in heat-sensitive material commissioned by Hyundai and created by Tania Brugera. Hiding beneath it is a portrait of Yousef, a young Syrian man who fled to the UK in 2011. Is now a biomedical science student working for the NHS.

A low-frequency sound is constantly being played in the Turbine hall as well as a ‘crying’ room with an organic compound that physically makes the visitor cry. Both designed to make the visitors feel uncomfortable. Tania calls it ‘forced empathy’ and is intended to break down people’s usual social barriers as well as saying ‘Life is not comfortable. I want people to get out of their comfort zone’.

With this exhibition, Tania aims to create awareness about the positive aspects of migration by bringing people together to reveal the portrait of Yousef.

The purpose of the crying room is to make people think about the loss migration involves. Entering the room visitors are stamped with a 12 digit number. Representing the number of migration plus the number of migrant deaths both in 2018. Based on these numbers an ever-changing title is created as the migration and deaths change (currently 10,143,225).

Speaking to local visitors Nicholas Morgan and Jeni Godwin they said it was powerful to look down on the portrait from the viewing platform. However said they felt “no sense of anything” not understanding the link between the three parts of the exhibition. Feeling “disappointed”.   

Is Tania Bugeras message truly conveyed in this abstract new piece of art? Or has her message been lost in Tanias key beliefs being misconstrued? Find out for yourself by visiting the Tate before the closing date on February 24th 2019.

Georgie & Saffron (+the rest of Red Patch)