Since the 2010 local elections, Lambeth council has cut, privatised or outsourced the following services:
Privatised the Lambeth Council call centre and moving it to Southampton with the loss of all the call centre jobs for local people.
Cut and privatised the adventure playgrounds. This in turn led to the Adventure Playgrounds being shut down over the summer when it turned out that the organization they had been outsourced to hadn’t done the relevant CRB checks and children had been put at risk.
Cut the park ranger service, in this case closing it down completely
Attempted to privatize the Youth Centres. During this process they have lied about the organization that they want to take over the service, claiming it was a charity, when in fact it is a private company which is an employment agency!
Proposed cuts to the housing service which the Council’s own ‘equality impact assessment’ admits will impact on black staff in a way which is ‘extremely statistically significant’. Not content with discriminating against BME staff, the restructure is only cutting a handful of posts yet is putting more than 100 staff under the threat of redundancy.
Privatised the concierge service, emergency repairs service and estate cleaning service in Lambeth Living leading to a far more disjointed service for residents. They have also given private companies 10 year contracts to run the repair service which is a total shambles.
Privatised the short-life tenancy properties which have been housing co-operatives for the last 30-40 years. The irony of the “Co-operative Council” destroying housing co-operatives seems to have been lost on those who are implementing it.
Cut around a quarter of the entire Council workforce (over 1000 jobs) in the last two years. If it wasn’t for the action of Lambeth UNISON and Lambeth SOS this would have been even worse. Yet one of the aims of the Co-operative Council is that they want to create more jobs!
These are just some examples among many other cuts and privatizations, there are many more.
But Lambeth often fail in their cuts agenda:
In 2011 Lambeth attempted to fire all qualified librarians. They were stopped from doing this by a campaign by library staff, supported by Lambeth SOS
In 2012 Lambeth planned to have all One O’Clock clubs outsourced by April 2012. They were stopped. In November 2012 they are all in council hands following a campaign by the staff and users, supported by Lambeth SOS
In 2013 Lambeth wanted to evict tenants from short life housing cooperatives. We’ve stopped several evictions
Protest works, we just need more of it to stop the council’s cuts agenda.