Guerilla tactics give Brixton street a boost

Written by on May 21, 2012 in Community, News - 10 Comments

COMMUNITY: More than 40 residents of Leander Road helped give the street a facelift

By James Cornish

A Brixton street came together at the weekend to try to reverse decades of decline.

Forty residents spent two days painting, planting and pruning to restore some of Leander Road’s former glory.

Front gardens that were devoid of greenery were equipped with plants and planters and six privet hedges were put in. More than 40 walls were given a lick of paint with guerrilla tactics the order of the day.

The event went a long way to restoring the sense of community lost over the years; it was the first event in the street since 1953.

‘It was fantastic to see everyone working together and getting to know one another,’ said Mo Khwiss, one of the street’s volunteers.

‘After we had finished I went back out into the road again to see all that we had done and it was incredible. Everyone got involved, young and old. We are definitely going to do it again.’

The neighbours’ initiative was backed by a £300 grant from the L&Q Housing Association and helped by the Freshview team from Lambeth council.

The council’s Jason Prentis said: ‘This may be the best Freshview event yet. I was really surprised at the numbers that came out to help.’

The works are a curtain-raiser to the street’s big event – a party on Tuesday 5 June, to coincide with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

About the Author

Tim Dickens is co-founder of Brixton Blog

10 Comments on "Guerilla tactics give Brixton street a boost"

  1. Bruce emery September 16, 2014 at 7:07 am ·

    I don’t want to put a downer on this. I think it’s great bringing the community together but two years ago when my neighbour’s wall was painted I had to get the council to come out and power wash the pavement to remove all the spilt paint. Painting over a peeling , blown wall with moss is not a great look ! It’s not something that can be done in a few hours. These walls need cleaning , filling and plastering before painting ! On a positive note, I continue to pick up lots of rubbish on the street and put up signs about dog fouling and challenge anyone who let’s their dogs foul ( we have two ) !

  2. mike May 24, 2012 at 12:48 am ·

    forgive me for being a bit stupid, but does ‘guerilla tactics’ mean you paint any wall that’s looking shabby?

    not that I would have a problem with this on my street, but it’s good to be clear what’s involved

    • Matilde May 26, 2012 at 12:13 am ·

      Hi Mike,

      We canvassed opinion, posted flyers sent out letters, used Twitter and Facebook to inspire interest and participation well in advance of the weekend. So every wall painted, hedge trimmed and privet planted received full consent from the neighbours. We all chipped in with helping each other out. I suppose the ‘guerilla’ aspect of it was how our activity on the day inspired neighbours who hadn’t responded to our flyers to join in at the very last minute. It was a great experience and I think we will have a much bigger response when we repeat the exercise in Sept. Posting flyers is one thing, but seeing it happen before your eyes is a big motivator to take part! Hope that answers your question.

  3. Cllr Steve Reed May 21, 2012 at 1:03 pm ·

    Well done everyone in Leander Road – what a great example of community action! The Community Freshview scheme (of which this is an excellent example) has been running for several years now, and is part of Lambeth’s’cooperative council’ approach that aims to give more decision-making power to residents. You can find out more about Community Freshview by following this link, including how to submit requests for your street or block to be involved: http://www.lambeth.gov.uk/Services/TransportStreets/StreetCareCleaning/CommunityFreshview.htm

    Or you can find out more about our cooperative council plans on my blog here: http://cllrstevereed.wordpress.com/2011/05/07/trust-our-communities-and-deliver-real-change/

  4. James May 21, 2012 at 9:50 am ·

    If in Lambeth, contact Jason Prentis at the council. He is fantastic. James

  5. Tim Dickens May 21, 2012 at 9:33 am ·

    Ed,
    More information and council support for community freshview scheme here: http://www.lambeth.gov.uk/Services/TransportStreets/StreetCareCleaning/CommunityFreshview.htm

    • Ed May 21, 2012 at 12:49 pm ·

      James/Tim,

      Many thanks – looks like there’s a bunch already organised nearby in the next few months. Brilliant.

      My innate cynicism of Lambeth is in danger of abating!!!

  6. James May 21, 2012 at 9:33 am ·

    Lots more on pix on the Leander Road street party Facebook site

  7. Ed May 21, 2012 at 9:28 am ·

    This is awesome!

    How can I get something like this round my neck of the woods?

  8. DV May 21, 2012 at 9:10 am ·

    nice! any more pictures?
    i’ll try and pop through some time this week for a look

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