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Lambeth Council Watch - news and updates about the 'co-operative' council

Gramsci

Well-Known Member
Here is Cllr Jack Hopkins,the leader of the Council and Labour group, reflection on the Labour defeat:




"Thursday’s election result is a disaster for the people of Lambeth who have already suffered 10 years of austerity and pain from a cruel and uncaring Conservative Government.

After a decade of Tory cuts to our services, of the bedroom tax, of benefit sanctions and of the hostile environment, it’s hard to believe that things could be worse. But for our residents, who will be forced onto universal credit, who will see no help with the housing crisis or who face fear of another Windrush or of their treatment as EU citizens this result is a disaster.

And our capacity to rise to those challenges locally on behalf of our residents has now been made ten times harder.

It is clear from Tory pledges on funding for local government and schools that inner city boroughs like Lambeth will lose out.

And the economic shock which Brexit in whatever form will impact on Lambeth, the wider London economy of which we are a part, and the country at large, will affect everyone but of course the poorest will be hit hardest.

We must redouble our efforts to put people at the heart of everything we do, and to amass a coalition of businesses, organisations, communities and individuals to tackle the crisis in adult social care; the epidemic of violence affecting our young people and the lack of access to opportunities for local people.

Secondly this has been a disaster for the Labour Party. Much speculation is raging about why the offer from the Labour Party was so roundly rejected by the electorate.

We need to be honest about why people didn’t vote for Labour this time in such numbers. Whether it was their view on the leadership or Jeremy Corbyn himself; an absence of electoral strategy with a complete absence of targeting; a manifesto packed with promises but with no coherent narrative giving trust that it was deliverable or desirable; or Brexit and the Party’s unclear and triangulated position.

Frankly we don’t actually know. We must reflect on what we heard on the doorstep and also go back out to the electorate and ask why they voted for us or why they didn’t in each and every one of the seats up and down the country.

What I do know is that the Labour Party is at its strongest when it is of and for the people, when local Labour Parties play a part in their communities and those communities play a part in their local Labour Parties. Too many times in Lambeth, Labour Party branches have spent their evenings debating the rights and wrongs of the Maduro regime in Venezuela or other issues totally disconnected from our communities; all too rarely are they discussing the challenges of serious violence affecting young people or issues that matter to our residents.

Councillors will continue to be part of and in some cases lead those discussions in the community either organising or tying into the conversations the public are having already. The Party needs to do the same.

Jeremy Corbyn’s assertion that “we won the argument” demonstrates the sort of centralising and patronising “we know best” approach which has characterised his time at the helm. The rhetoric around empowering the membership and being grassroots has failed to be delivered in practice. If control over the party and the political processes is allowed to trump the needs, wishes and aspirations of the electorate then the Labour Party will continue to remain unattractive to those we seek to serve and we will continue to lose elections.

As councillors, our aim and promise is to always be on the side of our residents. Too often in the election, it felt like our movement was instead asking voters “are you on our side?”, and if they said they weren’t then they were told they were in the wrong.

It is clear that Jeremy Corbyn should step down as leader. This is his second loss to the worst Tory Government in living memory. I don’t think anyone doubts Jeremy’s convictions, but this is the party’s worst result since the 1930s. I make no judgement on what comes next, except to say that we must have a leadership which recognises that local government and politics done at the grass roots, reflective of the challenges local communities face, must be prioritised and valued.

It is also clear that we cannot rest on our laurels or engage in a naval gazing exercise for a year on the leadership of the Party. Right across the country Labour still governs in Town Halls and City Halls, with crucial local elections in May 2020 not just here in London for Sadiq Khan but in every region of England and Wales. And those leadership candidates need to speak to the country and not just the Labour Party internally. We must recognise that we need power in order to deliver our agenda and that requires the right principles and values, but also a degree of pragmatism which accepts that a one-size-fits-all approach to the whole country will not work.


Here in Lambeth we won all three seats and I am hugely proud of our candidates Helen Hayes MP, Bell Addy-Ribeiro MP and Florence Eshalomi MP, as well as the hundreds of Lambeth Labour activists who made sure Lambeth would be properly represented by three women who reflect the diversity and progressive politics that Lambeth residents want.

However in each seat there was a reduction in the majorities which shows us that we can never be complacent, and that our mandates to govern and represent must be renewed every day, every week and every month.

The results tells me that despite the national picture, our residents in Lambeth still trust the Lambeth Labour brand and were prepared to come out and vote for us. The fact that we are a campaigning and engaging Lambeth Labour Party with a popular programme of delivery and improvement for the Borough has in no small part meant that people still see Lambeth Labour as being on their side.

So the challenge for us in Lambeth is to ensure we are part of and representative of Lambeth, that we are connected in deep ways to civil society and our communities. We form an administration in Lambeth because our Councillors bring the issues that people really care about into the town hall so we can address what really matters to people.

Our borough faces at least another 5 years of Tory misrule so we must remain united and on the side of residents, focused on the issues that matter to them, not locked in another internal Party debate.



Yours in Solidarity,



Cllr Jack Hopkins

Leader of Lambeth Labour Group"
 

CH1

"Red Guard"(NLYL)
In case people didn't get the Monday copy of the Standard, Cllr Gadsby had a letter in there explaining what Lambeth Council are doing about homelessnes:
EndNightmareofHomelessnes.jpg
 

Gramsci

Well-Known Member
lasted missive from the Leader.

"

I hope you had a lovely Christmas break and a great start to the new decade!

Now, more than ever, is the time for Lambeth Labour to pull together and show unity against Boris Johnson’s Tories. The Conservative government are certain to mount an assault on Labour councils like ours, diverting money to their new support bases in the midlands and the north.
At the same time, we continue to face enormous challenges coming from a decade of austerity: increasing demand in adult and disabled social care; a homeless and housing crisis; more children coming into the system either because they need our protection or because where they are growing up in is not as good as it needs to be; a climate that in some parts of the world has already moved past the brink of catastrophe. We know that to tackle these we need properly funded, well-resourced and truly supported councils as well as a strong community, powerful voluntary, faith and community organisations and a spirit of solidarity that binds us.
Mayor Sadiq Khan and Cllr Jack Hopkins with Tulse Hill Councillors and community leaders from the Tulse Hill Estate
Whilst the Tories won’t prioritise our public services and helping those in need, there are people in our community who are helping and plenty more who want to help. Today at Brixton Hill mosque I met members of the congregation teaching our children, volunteering in youth groups, providing apprenticeships and work experience for young people in their businesses and supporting their flock with ESOL and employment skills. Your Labour councillors and many Labour members will have similar stories, of people going about their daily lives and supporting friends and neighbours on the things that really matter to people.​
Mayor Sadiq Khan and Cllr Nanda Manley-Browne
Our job in the Labour movement is to connect with the people that we wish to serve – our residents. It’s important now that we reconnect with our residents and speak with the thousands that voted Labour to find out why, but also to speak to the thousands that didn’t vote for us, why they voted for another party or didn’t vote at all. Most importantly, we must find out what their expectations of the good life in Lambeth is, and what we can do to help – not just as Lambeth Council, not just as the Labour Party, but as a movement for change truly embedded in our community.
Undoubtedly, many of us will be focused on the Leadership and Deputy Leadership elections over the coming months. But I would urge every member to give equal energy and attention to reconnecting with our residents here in Lambeth – preparing to help make the change we want to see, and readying ourselves to re-elect Sadiq Khan as our Labour Mayor of London and a Labour majority on the London Assembly.

Yours in Solidarity,

Cllr Jack Hopkins
Leader of Lambeth Labour Group​
 

CH1

"Red Guard"(NLYL)
I went to the launch of Clive Lewis's camapaign to be national Labout party leader, which was held at the Black Cultural Archives Friday morning 9th Jan.
Nothing at all has been reported about this - except his off the cuff response to a reporter's question about the Harry, Megan and the royal family.

Notable attendees at the launch included Peter Tatchell, Paul Mason and Ann Pettifor in the audience. The event was in a meeting room upstairs in the BCA, seating for 40, but about 60 there. Clive Lewis was introduced by a woman compere, who also called the questioners in the Q and A after the speech.

I am very out of touch with Lambeth councillors these days, but I did see Mahamad Hashi and Mohammed Jaser - both Stockwell ward, and both asked questions at the end.
I did not recognise any other Lambeth councillors there.

Mr Lewis started by saying he was the son of a Windrush generation immigrant from Grenada, who ended up working in a factory in Northampton and was a strong socialist - which value father had passed on to son.

Lewis thought the BCA was iconic in representing the history of black people who had come to Britain. Brixton was also iconic in that many black people had settled here, and black migrants as well as working class people generally and gays and lesbians were all minorities who were part of the labour heritage of struggle.

Clive Lewis thinks that Labour is over-exercised with factionalism. He wants to change politics so a progressive coalition could change the way democracy works. He admitted there was a constitutional reason in the Labour party which stops this - namely standing down candidates to help people from another party is currently unconstitutional.
He wanted proportional representation and the possibility of alliance/coalition with the Greens and the Lib Dems.

He said that social democratic parties across Europe were in trouble from Pasok in Greece to the SPD in Germany. The only exception seems to be the present socialist government in Portugal, which has managed to end austerity without antagonising the European Central Bank etc.

Clive Lewis still thinks Brexit is a mistake, but agrees it is going to happen. Labour has to oppose the worst effects.
He is not opposed to another referendum in Scotland. He was scornful of Labour ideologues who claim they can retake Scotland for Labour by pointing out the political class errors of the Scottish Nationalists.

In line with this, Lewis believes in greater decentralisation of England - and the Labour Party.
He said it was absurd for the Labour party's central apparatus to think that constituencies in the north and the Midlands would drop into line with the views of Labour HQ once in a while when a General Election occurred.

He also thought the Lib Dems had got right out of line. They performed best from the centre left - Charles Kennedy had been someone Clive Lewis's type of Labour could have done business with. On the other hand Jo Swinson's campaign had had no regard for the fact the Lib Dems had blood on their hands - as he said - due to being in coalition with the Tories.

Difficult to remember al l of the detail - but I thought he read his speech well, and responded to questions very fluently.
The only question reported on TV was this issue with the royal family, which he again said led to a question of reform - which should be put to referendum.

I should declare an interest here. I am currently a Green Party member, and on the Compass mailing list.
I got notification the day before of this Clive Lewis launch meeting, but Momentum members I knew knew nothing about it.
I should also say I was curious to see how such an event was conducted at the Black Cultural Archives.
 

CH1

"Red Guard"(NLYL)
Lambeth sure know how to waste money

Why did they demolish the secret garden? Were they worried about use of public space without surveillance? In which case why did they build it in the first place?
 

Gramsci

Well-Known Member
Lambeth sure know how to waste money

I've emailed the MP Helen Hayes the following:

Can you raise with the Council :

1) Why the cost of security is so high?

2) Why are they spending this large sum instead of getting a new provider to use this community facility? Also the park needs investment. The money spent on security could have funded this.

3) How they are going to consult the local community on the future of the park and upgrading it?

4) How they are going to consult the community on a new organisation to take over and run the community facility?
 
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