Posts Tagged ‘Labour Party’

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.

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Public service trade union, UNISON, has today condemned the chaotic management of Lambeth’s troubled “Arms Length Management Organisation” (ALMO) Lambeth Living.

On the evening of Wednesday 26 January it was announced to the board of the ALMO that the Chief Executive had left. This happened on the same day that staff had been told, in response to rumours, that the Chief Executive had not left and came just weeks after the sudden departure of another Director.

“Housing staff are trying to get on with their jobs, but are being badly let down by senior management and the ALMO Board led by Keith Hill,” commented UNISON Branch Secretary Jon Rogers. “There is no question now but that Lambeth Living has failed and that Lambeth Councillors should bite the bullet and take direct responsibility for the management of council housing in Lambeth.”

UNISON is calling upon Lambeth to stop the ALMO proceeding with damaging cuts to front line services which were championed by the senior managers who have now left.

“Estate Services Officers threatened with redundancy have been out there day in, day out, helping tenants,” said Mr Rogers, “in the mean time some of the senior managers who decided to sack these hard working staff have been leaving. Lambeth Living as an organisation is now a bad joke.”

Loads has been going on at Lambeth SOS and it’s about time to publicise it!

On Monday 17th January 2011 the Labour Party councilors met in the town hall and voted on the provisional council budget (ironically the consultation meetings start the next day – local democracy eh?). 39 of the councillors agreed the budget (more details on this for follow). Lambeth SOS, Lambeth Unison, Right to Work, Lambeth Trades council and others were on the steps letting our councillors know they should not pass on ConDem cuts to the people of Lambeth.

On Tuesday 18 January 2011 people from SOS went to the first of 2 Council budget consultation meetings took place (the next is today). There is a good discussion of what happened on urban 75 but basically £37 m in cuts, 600 jobs to go. Having a consultation meeting after the budget has been decided looks really bad for the council and its hard to see how much influence these meeting will have. Come to our demonstration on the 7th feb when the council cabinet votes to make our voice heard!

We had a planning meeting on Thursday 20th Jan. Really good turn out of about 25 people from loads of organisations and lots of new faces. we are getting bigger every week and  The main topic was our demonstration on the 7th Feb at the town hall. We are going to build for this really hard and we want hundreds of people to come along to show the council how we feel about their budget. Full minutes to follow but provisional key info about the budget:

  • 1-200 jobs gone/going this financial year at the council and 600 next year (from april) to be cut, that’s  35 million or about 15% of staff. This will devastate many services.
  • All school crossing wardens to go.
  • All park rangers to go.
  • Lots of money cut in libraries including likely job cuts.
  • Deep cuts in back office staff – call centres and customer centres included.
  • Several services to be prepped for hand over to voluntary sector.
  • Entire workforce offered voluntary redundancy.

So pretty grim stuff. To fight this we need everyone to come on the 7th Feb and be heard!

Council Budget docs available here http://www.lambeth.gov.uk/Services/CouncilDemocracy/Consultations/BudgetConsultation.htm

Overview:  Scrutiny of the draft revenue and capital budgets 2011/12 – 2013/14

Full info (called appendix 1 – are they trying to hide it?): http://www.lambeth.gov.uk/moderngov/mgConvert2PDF.aspx?ID=26412 9

Capital spending info – big project money (appendix 2): http://www.lambeth.gov.uk/moderngov/mgConvert2PDF.aspx?ID=26419

ALSO – We will be promoting SOS today in Brixton and Streatham with stall so please come and say hello and help out. We will also and attending the consultation meeting today and leafletting tube stations all week. to help out email lambethsaveourservices@gmail.com.