Dr Eleanor Margolies, a South Londoner who has lived in Camberwell since 2002, is a writer, researcher, and well-known local campaigner. She was chair of her estate’s Regeneration Project Team for five years, fundraising for a community garden and the estate's first cycle lockers, helping to organise two Big Lunch street parties, and successfully advocating for residents over recycling bins and road safety.
In 2014, Eleanor led a citizen science project to study air pollution with pupils at Dog Kennel Hill School and scientists from King’s College London. ‘Children and the elderly are most at risk but we’re all affected. Southwark Council should be lobbying Transport for London to clean up local buses and get diesel fumes out of our playgrounds.’
Eleanor loves discovering local history, quiet streets and new cafes by walking. She created a guide to Camberwell art and parks and has led walks for the public. She is a member of the Cycle Joint Steering Group on Southwark Council and campaigns for safe cycle routes and secure bike parking. In her spare time she volunteers with Wheels for Wellbeing at the Herne Hill Velodrome.
Eleanor was the Green parliamentary candidate for Camberwell & Peckham in 2017. Eleanor says: ‘A Green voice on Southwark Council would mean a voice for a fairer, healthier and more efficient Southwark. I will work for affordable housing and transport, safe streets and clean air.’
Latest news featuring Eleanor Margolies
The playground of Goose Green Primary School in East Dulwich is full of activity: there’s a water area where children can create rushing rivers or meandering streams and a music station with percussion and wind instruments, as well as plenty of joyful running about for no apparent reason. But the playground is adjacent to a very busy road carrying 5 bus routes, a main route between Camberwell and the South Circular. It’s one of 1,148 schools in London within 150 metres of roads carrying 10,000 or more vehicles per day.
In 2017, David Jennings and Eleanor Margolies, members of Southwark Green Party, measured nitrogen dioxide levels outside the school as part of an area-wide study.
Southwark Council has received funds from Transport for London to create Quietway 7 from Elephant and Castle to Dulwich. The Quietways are designed to be safe and pleasant for people aged 8-80, of all abilities, for trips to school, work and shops. No lycra required! The changes will also improve the streets for people on foot, including new crossings along the route, and wider pavements outside Brunswick Park on Benhill Road.
But contractors working for Notting Hill Housing on Edmund Street put in two new humps along the Quietway route – and made them the wrong shape!
Camberwell & Peckham Green News previously reported on the campaign by local residents for a crossing of Denmark Hill at Love Walk – first consulted on by Southwark Council way back in 2011.
Eleanor Margolies says: "I’ve been asking council officers to update residents about their plans for Camberwell. In October, I spotted an official Traffic Order for the new crossing. When it’s built, this will make it much safer to get around – especially to King’s. But there’s still nothing about the start date on the council website. Communication could be so much better!"
Eleanor has been working with the ‘Green Growers’ group, volunteers who help Southwark groups that need help with their community gardens. The group has planted vegetables on the East Dulwich Estate and revived a herb garden on the Rockingham Estate near Elephant and Castle.
In Camberwell, they weeded Benhill Road Nature Garden, trimmed back shrubs ready for the winter, picked up litter and cleared the pond of weed.
Eleanor calls for cleaner buses and a zero emission delivery scheme
Local people have been telling us they are worried about air pollution and want fewer cars and trucks passing through their streets. Southwark Green Party measured nitrogen dioxide pollution. It was more than twice the legal limit in Camberwell, and way above the legal limit outside many local schools.
Eleanor Margolies says: "This is an urgent health issue. Over 500 people signed our petition to ask the Mayor of London to clean up dirty diesel buses. And Southwark Council needs to take action too. The council should:
- Keep long-distance traffic to main roads, not residential streets
- Support zero emission delivery schemes
- Tell drivers how they can help by turning engines off when they stop for a minute or more."