Posts Tagged ‘Labour Council’

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…)

On the 23rd February Lambeth Council meets in full to vote on its proposed budget and we, Lambeth Save Our Services, will be protesting against it, just as we did on the 7th February when hundreds protested at the last cabinet meeting.

What is getting cut?

Almost every council service, anything up to 1000 council workers, 25% of all staff, this includes:

  • The entire park ranger service
  • The entire school crossing patrol service which serves 24 schools
  • More cuts in Children’s Services
  • Libraries budget slashed – staff cut, Nettlefold hall closed, four of nine libraries under cuts consultation
  • Discretionary freedom passes for adults with mental health problems
  • Regeneration schemes on housing estates
  • Cuts and privatisation in adult social care
  • Lambeth and Lewisham Colleges to merge – massive cuts to local education
  • Reduction in highway maintenance levels and potholes
  • Rent rises whilst there are less staff to keep estates safe, clean and in decent state of repair
  • Maintenance of the borough’s parks, cemeteries and crematoria is to be scaled back.
  • Street cleaning levels reduced
  • Many cultural events scrapped
  • Three out of four Public toilets to close
  • Noise nuisance service
  • Reduction in the Faith Engagement Programme, which helps to support events such as Holocaust Memorial Day and Peace on the Streets and other community events and projects.
  • Any much more. For more info see the council website (400+ pages!) or check this websites for Cutswatch updates

What is the alternative?

Most importantly Lambeth SOS believes that our local democratic representatives – councillors –  should not implement government cuts they openly disagree with. Lambeth Labour, who run Lambeth Council, admit that the government cuts to the budget are ideological. We agree – these are cuts made by a Conservative (and Liberal) government made up of millionaires who believe huge public service cuts and big business are the way forward.

(more…)

 

Contact – Jon Rogers 07957505571

Anti-cuts campaigners call for mass lobby of Lambeth Council as it considers £37 Million cuts package

A packed planning meeting of local anti-cuts campaigners on Wednesday 2nd Feb called upon the people of Lambeth to rally at the Town Hall on Monday evening, 7 February, as the Council considers a £37 Million package of cuts which will cost 600 jobs, including all School Crossing Patrol staff and all Parks Rangers.

“Local people must demand that this Labour Council does not make these cuts,”said local resident Andy Tullis, “we need to be there on Monday night to make sure our views are heard.”

Representatives of local trade unions, pensioners and tenants were joined at the meeting by students and anti-cuts protesters from UK Uncut. Organisers are predicting a large turnout at the lobby of the Council on Monday night.

ENDS

Notes

  1. Lambeth Save Our Services is a local umbrella organisation opposing cuts in public services, supported by the local branches of the UNISON, GMB and NUT unions, by Lambeth Tenants Council and Lambeth Pensioners Action Group. For more information see http://lambethsaveourservices.org/.
  2. The lobby on Monday 5 February will commence from 6pm outside Lambeth Town Hall. Protesters will be dressed as School Crossing Patrol staff (“lollipop ladies”) as one of the Council proposals is to sack all their School Crossing Patrol workers.
  3. Details of Lambeth’s Cuts proposals are included in papers going to the Cabinet meeting available online at http://www.lambeth.gov.uk/Services/CouncilDemocracy/Consultations/BudgetConsultation.htm