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A licensing application that I would imagine might cause more concern has been submitted by Zac Newsagents of 3, Lavender Sweep (although many may think of it as being on Lavender Hill or even Eccles Road).

They are seeking to extend there licence for off-sales on three nights a week. Until midnight on Sundays and until 02:00 on the mornings following Friday and Saturday.

Although just off the main road I can imagine most people consider this to be a residential area and, therefore, may have concerns about their corner shop being a late night destination for alcohol. If I recall correctly Asda stopped all night alcohol sales (when they were a 24 hours store) because it was causing problems.

Representations on this application can be made until 2 September. As ever, they must relate to the four licensing objectives:

  • The prevention of crime and disorder
  • The prevention of public nuisance
  • Public safety
  • The protection of children from harm

The council’s licensing pages provide more information.

If you wish to make an observation you can do so by writing to:
Head of Licensing
Licensing Section
London Borough of Wandsworth
PO Box 47095
SW18 9AQ

or by emailing

As usual, my end of week post detailing a few bits and pieces I want to highlight or didn’t post about during the week.

Council surgery
I’ve been fascinated by the response to my post on council surgeries not least because I’ve still to have any feedback suggesting the current surgery system works. Given the medium I used to tackle the issue (a blog) it’s not surprising most people would agree surgeries are an anachronism – but I still didn’t expect total agreement.

Eccles Road meeting
The issues around Eccles Road rumble on (see here, here, here and here). I had a small meeting with some of the residents there on Tuesday. I didn’t give it a substantial post, since it was a fairly low key meeting and a lot of the issues remain unresolved.

The meeting covered a number of issues that had already been raised, but also the prospect of permanent road closure. This is an incredibly complex issue, since no road can be considered in isolation – any road closure will impact on other roads and in the case of Eccles Road we would have to consult with Transport for London.

However, the biggest factor will be the results of a traffic survey the council conducted in the road. We are still awaiting the analysis from our contractors which, when done, will give an indication whether traffic volumes and speed are at a level which will justify closure or other traffic measures.

Junior Citizen
I visited the council’s Junior Citizen scheme this week. The scheme exposes children to a series of safety scenarios, hopefully meaning that if they face those scenarios in real life they will be able to deal with the successfully. I’d love to be able to have taken some photos to show how good the scheme is – but it is difficult to do it any justice when you can’t get any children in the photo!

The scheme received accreditation from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents last year (in it’s 20th anniversary year) and was visited by officials from the Department of Children, Schools and Families while I was there who seemed impressed at what we are doing.

Lavender Hill
Because I’m a sucker for a photo I popped along to Lavender Hill to see some of their new planters. The idea came from traders, supported by the council’s Town Centre Improvement Scheme, to use planters to add colour and advertise their shops (rather than using standard A-boards). The effect when they are all out really is quite something.

Over the past few months I’ve blogged about the disruption suffered by residents of Eccles Road because of the sewer work being undertaken by Thames Water. The previous posts were: Eccles Road’s Jack and Jill waterworks, Eccles Road waterworks and Eccles Road and traffic.

The report, which is on the council’s website, is a bit slow in coming, largely due to the need to suspend much of the council’s routine activity during the European election purdah.

And, to be fair, the report probably doesn’t satisfy many of the residents. The council is heavily restricted when it comes to works by utility companies, and this comes across quite clearly in the paper. Utility companies have the right to access their infrastructure to carry out work. There is little the council can do about it and, once done, any legal action is a matter for residents and their legal advisors.

One issue that is within the council’s control are parking permits, but here the council will not offer a refund, since a permit is not a guarantee of a parking space and the works only obstructed a small portion of the zone. I know this will disappoint residents.

On a more positive note the council has undertaken a traffic survey since the works were completed to assess the traffic levels and speeds on the road now the road has been re-opened. The data from those surveys is still being analysed. I am currently arranging a meeting with residents and council officers to discuss the potential for road closure.

One benefit of the incredibly disruptive waterworks on Eccles Road has been the closure of the road to traffic and some residents are keen that the closure becomes permanent.  As I mentioned in my previous post on this doing something as seemingly simple as closing a road to through traffic is actually incredibly difficult.

First, we would not be able to consider Eccles Road in isolation.  While we can stop people using Eccles Road we can’t stop them wanted to get from A to B, and that means they will need to use another road.  In all likelihood the closure of Eccles Road would have a major impact on Altenburg Gardens and Lavender Gardens.  But we’d also need to consider roads further afield.

And this raises the second point.  There are a number of Transport for London (TfL) red routes nearby.  The closest is Battersea Rise, which has a junction with Eccles Road.  But there is also Elspeth Road which would be affected and depending on how access to Lavender Sweep changed TfL may also need be involved because some traffic would be diverted onto St John’s Road.  Either way we would therefore have to engage in a lengthy consultation TfL before we could make any changes.

Third, and finally, at the last survey Eccles Road did not meet the criteria to be a priority for traffic management.  The survey is a few years old (it took place in 2005) but showed in the morning peak 100-150 vehicles per hour were using Eccles Road and in the evening this rose 250-300 vehicles per hour.  The average speed was 16.2mph.  This might seem high, but the council looks for more than 300 vehicles per hour and a speed of over 31mph to make a road a priority for consideration.  It doesn’t mean Eccles Road won’t be considered, but does mean it isn’t one of the worst roads that the council has to manage.

In short, this means a disappointing ‘no’ to residents who were hoping that once Thames Water left the street, cars would not return.  However, the council have agreed to undertake another survey (which would be needed in any case) to see if there has been any change once Thames Water have left.  Once the results of this have been compiled the road can be reassessed.

Eccles Road Thames Water worksI went along to the Thames Water “drop-in” for Eccles Road residents affected by the extensive sewer works last night.  It was certainly a useful session to find out more about the project, if not useful in getting any commitment to compensation for residents affected by the disturbance. However, it was good to see Thames Water taking the initiative as I think they would agree their communication with residents hasn’t been great throughout the process.

The works are needed to provide extra sewer capacity for the area and Thames Water hope to have them finished by the end of next month.  So the good news for residents is that the disturbance will soon be over, however, I know many feel that might just be the start of their problems.

Repairs to damage

Thames have undertaken to independently survey any house where the resident feels damage has been caused by the Thames works, and, where damage is found Thames will cover the cost of repairs.  Thames Water had surveyed several houses in the street before the work started so have some benchmarks to give an idea of what will have happened as a result of the vibration associated with the digging and tunnelling.

They also have to repair the road and pavements they have damaged to the satisfaction of the council.  Clearly Wandsworth is not going to want to pick up the tab for damage caused by a utility company, so will be checking to make sure the road is left in a good state.


On the issue of compensation, however, they were resolute that none would be offered.  Their argument was that it was difficult to put a value on the disruption, to scale it appropriately and totally unaffordable when it would have to be paid to anyone affected by their works across the region – essentially it raised so many problems it was better not to bother.  While I can understand their stance, it is very disappointing for residents with young children who have had to tolerate generators outside their home for months on end.

I’ve asked for more details on their repair scheme, and will post them when it comes, and will continue to pressure for some compensation for badly affected residents, though I fear Thames Water will not shift their position.

Thames Water are holding their drop-in sessions every Tuesday until the project is completed.  You can pop along anytime between 6pm and 9pm at 91 Eccles Road.  Alternatively they have information on their website at or by calling 08459 200 800 (of course, nothing could be that straightforward, you have to choose option 1, then option 5 then give your address and reference BB 78393).

Can Eccles Road remain closed?

The next question for many residents will be whether the road can remain closed to traffic.  I have already raised this issue with the council department responsible.  In the very short term, the answer is almost certainly no.  Battersea Rise is a TfL Red Route, so we would not be able to make any changes to the road without a lengthy consultation with TfL.

Even then, we would have to consider the effect any change would have on traffic flows; changing the status of Eccles Road will not change the general patterns of driving, people will still head from A to B and we will need to study the alternative routes they might take and the effect it would have on nearby (and not so nearby) roads – especially as the most obvious alternative routes are also residential streets.  Again, I’ll post more details when they are available along with the council’s formal response to the petition I presented at the last council meeting.

Eccles Road Thames Water worksThames Water, like Jack and Jill, have headed up the hill for their flood alleviation works. I confess I dont understand the logic (doesn’t water run downhill?) since I’m not an engineer, however I do know it’s caused huge disruption for the residents.

On Tuesday I presented a petition to the full council on behalf of over 100 of them, a significant proportion of the road’s residents.   The petitioners raise some of the problems they’ve faced during the works and ask for the council’s support and commitment in getting the problems addressed and residents suitably compensated by Thames Water.

The problems have been fairly horrendous, you can get a feeling for the noise and size of the works from YouTube videos residents have posted here, here and here.  But aside from the noise disruption the works have impacted on parking, restricted the pavements (creating refuse collection problems) and potentially caused damage to the neighbouring properties.

Thames Water haven’t handled this at all well.  While no-one would dispute the need for essential works to take place, the residents who have to suffer during them deserve to be consulted and the impact on them taken into account.  Thames Water have only just started undertaking consultation meetings with residents, even right at the beginning the council was only told the precise location and scale of the works shortly before they commenced.

The petition will be presented, along with the council’s response,  to the Planning and Transportation Overview and Scrutiny Committee.