About CJAG News
CJAG has been publishing hundreds of pieces of information on its community website for the past 14 years. We go to Council meetings, we read the documents, puts in Freedom of Information requests, and talk to people… the many things that established local press used to do but due to staff shortage and other economical reasons, don’t do anymore.
The bulk of CJAG News concerns Clapham Junction, Battersea and globally Wandsworth borough. However, we may also write about London in general or publish international news when they relate to the local context.
Historically this was a simple blog to publish about the Clapham Junction Action Group campaigns, focusing a lot on planning matters (one of the main impact on local community that could have brutal consequences!). It has now evolved into a local democracy reporting magazine, still looking at planning but also politics, transport, infrastructure and more.
Most stories are written by co-founder and editor Cyril Richert.
We are only founded by our readers. Thanks to the helps of our supporters, we have been able to provide information and analysis on topics that would be often unreported otherwise, debunk some PR exercise and help local communities. If you want to contribute, you can visite our Donate page. We have setup Paypal for one-off contributions, or Patreon for regular contributions.
What is the Clapham Junction Action Group
The Clapham Junction Action Group (CJAG) has been a well-established community group since 2008 with a strong interest in the future of the Clapham Junction area and Wandsworth borough in general.
CJAG formed spontaneously in response to the threat of proposed skyscrapers (two 42-storey towers) for the station in 2008-09. Thanks to the responses of the local community when they were made aware of the need to protest, CJAG succeeded in stopping that development as well as a proposed 16 storey hotel nearby. Our concerns at the time were instrumental in the ultimate demise of the proposal and demonstrate our effectiveness and commitment.
Since then, CJAG has been providing expertise in planning regulation and community involvement. The community group is a regular participant of Council meetings, local plan reviews and related activities of the Council on planning and housing matters. CJAG has been involved in multiple Planning Inspector hearings, local and national consultations.
As coordinator of the group, Cyril Richert has a track record of publication of Planning & Housing news, including occasional publishing in newspapers (such as The Architects’ Journal, local newspaper or web news). This includes proposals to reform planning decision and improve community participation.
How can you get involved with CJAG?
Please use the Contact Form on this page and ask to join our list of supporters. We will send you regular updates of meetings and leaflet drops, and keep you informed of developments in major planning applications, including details of the planning hearing itself (so far 1 or 2 emails every quarter… you won’t be submerged).
We need volunteers to write articles for the website and to help with leafleting. We also need people to lobby Councillors, the Mayor of London and MPs, as well as publicising the development in the London Press.
We want to properly inform local residents of changes in the neighbourhood and to ensure that everyone is aware of what is happening.
CJAG was founded by Cyril Richert and Kate Williams in November 2008.
Cyril Richert is an IT specialist in banking and Internet solutions. He has lived in Mossbury Road for 20 years and chose to settle in Clapham Junction due to the mix of great transport facilities and “village” atmosphere, with the proximity of the Common and the presence of some great local shops and activities in the vicinity. He is convinced that addressing the need of the community with skyscrapers, and transforming Wandsworth into Canary Wharf, shouldn’t be the chosen way to fund necessary developments.
Nowadays, Cyril Richert is the main editor for CJAG News, dedicating a lot of his time to cover local news, participate to consultations and analyse Council procedures and official papers.
Kate Williams is a dual qualified as a solicitor and barrister, and has 20 years’ experience negotiating contracts and specialising in construction law and disputes. She lived in Clapham Junction area for 10 years and is now based in the UAE. As a single mum with a daughter at school in Battersea, she was seen struggling through the Junction each morning, four year old in tow. Kate was horrified by the prospect of the twin towers looming over her flat and thought that the area needed more affordable housing for families, not more starter flats for execs. “The proposed transport improvements are a con”, she says. “What most people don’t realise is that the majority of the improvements, including lifts and platform straightening, will be carried out by Network Rail. All the developers will be doing is booting the entrance back up St John’s Hill and creating a shopping centre around it.”