Archive for the ‘Labour Party’ Category

The protest outside the council meeting on 20th November was covered by the Brixton Blog and Brixton Buzz

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20th November poster
Lots of people will be protesting outside the full council meeting this Wednesday:

We’re having a united protest outside the Town Hall from 6pm on Wednesday 20th November

Many people will be meeting outside Lambeth College on Brixton Hill from 5pm to march to Lambeth Town Hall

Please come, and please bring all your friends.

We’re in the Streatham Guardian

Posted: May 20, 2012 by rabidleftwinger in Labour Party, Libraries, Media attention

We’ve got a letter in this week’s Streatham Guardian

We’re in the Streatham Guardian

Posted: April 10, 2012 by rabidleftwinger in Cutswatch, Labour Party, Media attention

We got this letter in last week’s Streatham Guardian

There’s a good picture of our protest outside the council meeting in this yesterday’s South London Press

Lambeth council met to consider it’s budget on Wednesday. Lambeth Council’s budget proposed £24 million worth of cuts, including £6 million worth of cuts to youth services. And about 130 people were outside the town hall to suggest that cuts to youth services are the last thing Lambeth needs.

Looking round the demonstrators I was amazed at their diversity. So many people are affected by the cuts. There was a teaching assistant who said “I’ve seen the effect of the cuts on the young people I work with, but this is nothing like what is going to happen. Already they have closed down youth services and the ethnic minority achievement team. This year the budget for dealing with people with special educational needs will be halved”. There was the person with a disabled child who said “Many parents of disabled children are worried the services they rely on will be cut, leaving them without the help they need”. And there were the amazing One O’Clock club workers who have done so well resisting council plans to cooperatise (read privatise) their service.

And Ted Knight was present. He ran Lambeth council from from 1978 to 1986 when the council actually stood up to Tory cuts. “I don’t think Labour councillors should accept Tory orders” he said, “They should be required as elected representatives to set a budget that reflects the needs of the people who voted for them. They should be joining with trade unions and the community to hold the government to account”. Precisely, why isn’t Steve Reed doing this?

Roger Lewis, from Disabled People Against the Cuts, addressed the demonstration. He said “Disabled people are facing cuts which amount to 10% of the entire deficit. Shamefully the Labour council in Lambeth is putting disabled people in the front line of implementing these cuts. They have cut services such as the Effra Road day centre and are considering cutting freedom passess for people with mental health difficulties and much more. These cuts mean disabled people will find themselves driven into poverty. I really don’t want this to happen”

Members of the public were allowed inside the meeting providing they were respectful to councillors, quiet and behaved themselves. Very few people on the demonstration felt like being quiet and behaving themselves, so we just sent a delegation in. “We told the council the cuts they are implementing are part of a Tory assault on the welfare state” said Sara Tomlinson who was on the delegation. “We talked about a map which proved the councils that have had most central government funding cuts are those in deprived, Labour voting, inner city areas. We also showed the cuts fall on the most vulnerable within Lambeth. The hardest hit are ethnic minorities, single parents and the disabled”

But despite all that the council still passed the cuts budget.

Of course, passing the budget doesn’t mean they can successfully implement it. Last year the council had big plans to fire all librarians and failed spectacularly thanks to Lambeth UNISON and Lambeth SOS. This year when they come for the youth clubs and One O’Clock clubs we hope the council will fail just as badly. Come to the next planning meeting on Thursday 15th March, 6:30pm at the Vida Walsh centre to help us plan how.

The key points from the last planning meeting were:

  • The 30th November almost general strike was amazing, but you’ve probably read about that elsewhere on this site. If you’ve got a good story to tell please email Ali so we can add it to the website
  • Croydon Council is threatening to withdraw funding from Upper Norwood Library, funded jointly with Lambeth. There is an active campaign to stop this happening, and to stop the library from closing if it does. To help with this campaign please email Stuart
  • We’re producing a leaflet giving details of what we’ve done this year that we can use for outreach. If you have want to get involved, or have a good story to tell, please email Chris
  • We hope to have a public meeting on what the cooperative council is and why it is bad sometime early in the new year. Watch this space for details

    Our next meeting is on Thursday 15th November, 6:30pm at the Vida Walsh Centre on Saltoun Road (just off Windrush Square). Everyone is very welcome

  • There will be a demo outside the Children and Young People Services scrutiny committee on Tuesday 6th September 6pm to 7.30pm over the cuts to youth services (that’s one o’clock clubs, adventure playgrounds and youth clubs among others). This is at Lambeth Town Hall

    Unfortunately these cuts are already well under way so this demo will be followed by a meeting on the 13th of September in the Karibu Centre on Gresham Road at 6:30pm. The idea is to bring together people from all the groups affected and try to plan how to take the campaign forward.

    Some of these groups have active union members but many don’t. Some are already affected directly but others, such as Children’s Centres, will be targetted more in the next round of cuts. We need to get leaflets for both the demo and the meeting into them all!

    We really need people to distribute leaflets round their local youth clubs and community centres to advertise this meeting. If you can help please email Grace

    Last night the Lambeth scrutiny committee met in the town hall, along with a rowdy crowd of protestors, to discuss the decision to privatise the call centre in Lambeth to Capita. The 10 year, 10 million deal includes up to a hundred redundancies for the existing well trained staff, unless of course they want to continue the work in the “pretty waterfront” town of Southampton where the deal is being outsourced to.

    The deal was “called-in” for scrutiny by Labour’s Vassel ward councillor Kingsley Abrams, the only councillor to raise any opposition to the February budget. The big issues are:

    • Staff have never had a genuine chance to even prepare a bid from inside the council to compete with “the market”. The opaque “consultation” has never given staff the opportunity to match Capita’s 16% saving proposal. Gung-ho privatisation at its worst from a Labour council. Local knowledge is vital to the quality of the service – hard to do from Southampton.
    • The Equality Impact Assessment has some glaringly obvious mistakes and bad references in it and is shoddy at best. The impact on black and minority ethnic workers will be obviously dis-proportionate and the “mitigating factors” in the proposal lack anywhere near enough concrete details.
    • The decision clearly goes against the council’s priority of reducing worklessness in the borough.

    Even though the discussion in the meeting showed promise, and big issues with the proposal were identified, cowardly councillors refused to refer the issue back to the Cabinet. An awful decision in our opinion.

    We best thing to take from the meeting is the lesson from the Libraries dispute– when the council let you down (and they will) you have to join a union, build a campaign and stand together to defend vital local jobs and services. (more…)

    The highlights from last Thursday’s planning meeting were:

  • 30th June was great. About 80% of schools were shut, there were some big picket lines, there were about 200 people on the 10 o’clock rally and 30,000 on the central London demo
  • There will be a street party to resist the evictions at Clifton Mansions on Tuesday 12th July, 429 Coldharbour Lane, from 8am. Everyone is very welcome. For more information please email Tony
  • There’s a lobby of the governors of London South Bank University regarding lecturers pay at 3pm on Thursday 14th July. It’s at the campus on London Road, near Elephant and Castle tube. Anyone who belives in higher education is very welcome.
  • Lambeth TUC has called a meeting of the borough’s union reps on Thursday 14th July to discuss coordinating campaigns. It’s at 7:30pm in the Stockwell Community Resource Centre on Studley Road (round the back of Stockwell tube station). For more information please email Anton
  • We’re having a stall at the Lambeth Country Show on Saturday 16th July and Sunday 17th July. We need to staff it from 11 to 5 on both days. If you can help out please email Chris
  • At the Lambeth Country Show we’ll be distributing our new newsletter. If you have ideas for articles please email Stuart
  • There will be a lobby of the council on Thursday 21st July, 6pm, Lambeth Town Hall to stop them privatising jobs at the council call centre and moving the jobs to Southampton. For publicity please email Andy. If you can help distribute posters round Brixton please email Paul. If you can help distribute posters round Streatham please email Chris

    Also:

  • Lambeth Libraries staff are likely to be on strike soon. Lambeth SOS sends its solidarity
  • One O’Clock club staff are trying to get motions supporting their service through local labour parties. If you know of anyone in the Lambeth Labour party who might be sympathetic please email Andy