Lambeth Labour – are you listening?

Posted: November 20, 2010 by lambethsaveourservices in Demonstrate, Rally & Occupy!, Labour Party

Steve Reed, Leader of Lambeth Council, has invited all labour party members in Lambeth to “attend a special meeting” in Lambeth Town Hall today (Saturday 20th Nov) to “discuss our approach to setting the councils budget with you”.  He goes on to say they “need local people to understand these cuts”. [Full letter available here]

Lambeth Save Our Services (SOS) will be at the meeting, alongside the Save Libraries campaign and others affected by the cuts, giving all labour party members the letter below. This is the alternative to the Lambeth Labour cuts package they don’t want you to hear:
Download the PDF: Letter to Lambeth Labour Party members

 

Dear Labour Party Member,

In the invite to this meeting Steve Reed described the devastation to our borough
which will occur if cuts go ahead.

“The Government have announced their spending plans for the next four years.
The news for our communities in Lambeth is devastating. We stand to lose
almost a third of the council budget that pays for key public services like
caring for the old, sick, vulnerable and disabled people, street cleaning,
libraries, parks, school support, play, youth services, child safeguarding,
HIV services, homelessness, skills training and careers advice to name just
a few. Other cuts hammer the poor and the vulnerable, including a cap on
housing benefit that could drive the poor out of inner London , rent rises of
over 300% for new tenants, the end of secure tenancies, and a cut of 64% in
funding to improve sub-standard council homes. Schools also take a big hit
with our rebuilding and refurbishment programme slashed by 60% despite a
growing shortage of school places across London . There have not been cuts
on anything like this scale since before the Second World War.”

We know that the ConDem government made a choice to impose these cuts on our
communities. This is an ideological attack, an attempt to dismantle our welfare state.
In a crisis causes by profit greed and unregulated banking, the poor are being made
to pay.

The numbers speak for themselves:

  • Benefit cuts over the next 4 years: £18 billion
  • Cuts in education and local services: £16 billion
  • Bank profits for this year alone: £28 billion

But just as the ConDem government have a choice so does this Labour Council. Our
council, elected by the people of Lambeth to protect them from a Tory government,
should use their position and their platforms to build an anti-cuts movement.

You have been invited today to discuss the council’s budget. Tell your
councillors:

Don’t make social cuts now!

Councils are large organisations with complex finances which give them leeway.

  • Bring the ALMO back in house! Saving money on a separate board and creating duplicating teams.
  • Cut top management pay
  • Cut councillors’ expenses
  • Sack the consultants
  • Use reserves, juggle accounts to move spending items from one financial year to the next, borrow (although there are legal limits on councils borrowing, there may still be loopholes)
  • Pass a No Cuts budget and mobilise the unions, community organisations and residents to fight for more money from the government
  • Build the anti cuts movement! Mobilise council workers, council tenants, trade unions and local communities to fight the cuts. Cutting management pay and financial juggling aren’t an answer to the central government cuts but they can buy us time to build a movement to fight back.

United action against the cuts!

Aim to build united local action against the cuts in Lambeth – councilors refusing to
budget within central government limits, council workers striking, council tenants
rent-striking, residents withholding council tax, demonstrations – with the demand
that central government restores the money for local services.

Support Lambeth Living Unison workers’ strike ballot and reverse the Lambeth Living
cuts.

If all Labour councils took this stand, then the ConDem government would have to
retreat very quickly. If even a sizeable few did, then the government would be in big
trouble. This government has no democratic mandate for what they plan to do.

Labour Councillors should join Save Our Services the local anti-cuts campaign. Don’t
tell the people of Lambeth there is no alternative, join us to discuss what we can do
to stop the cuts.

Join us at our next planning meeting:

Vida Walsh Centre, 2nd December 6.30PM

In Solidarity,

Lambeth Save Our Services

Update
Over 50 people turned up to lobby Lambeth Labour! Check out some photos coming soon..

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Comments
  1. Eleanor says:

    Hi

    Lewisham Anti Cuts Alliance have sent a similar letter to our Labour Party Councillors who are debating the first round of cuts on Monday.

    http://lewishamanticutsalliance.wordpress.com/2010/11/25/labour-party-councillors-stand-with-us-in-the-fight-against-the-cuts-dont-vote-for-the-budget-on-the-29th-november/