Lambeth Cuts

Discussion in 'Brixton' started by netbob, Jan 18, 2011.

  1. netbob

    netbob Well-Known Member

    There was a consultation meeting at the town hall tonight which I popped along to.

    In short the council have to make £37 million in cuts this year with more to come over the next 3 years (totalling about £80 million, about 1/3rd of the total budget).

    They are publishing a draft report tomorrow which they say is based on rolling consultations which have been happening since the summer (the audience seemed very dubious about this). Apparently this will include a full breakdown of the services to be hit, not just headline figures.

    That report will then go before various scrutiny committees (which I assume are public) before a cabinet decision at the end of February.

    Various people said that the council should publish an illegal budget and take the fight to the government. Councillors said that if they did that then council officers would be legally obliged to come up with the budget so cutting elected representatives out of the process. [Personally I think they should do two and present both to government?]

    There was a call for direct action, "marches don't work"

    Councillors said they would be on the march later in the year.

    The man from Save Our Services urged people to join up with their campaign.


    Other notes from earlier on in the session before it broke up into groups

    Paul McGlone:

    Funding cut by 1/3. He's met with coalition minister
    Priorities:
    - protect vulnerable
    - protect safety
    - protect child services

    More efficient by:
    - share services
    - Backoffice

    ---------
    Moderator explains session:

    Session runs along Open Spaces principals

    ---------

    Jeremy Drinkall (Save Our Services) asking about meeting of 40 Labour Councillors - says decisions of £37 m cuts made. meeting can't proceed without.

    ---------
    Moderator - decisions not been made, just proposals
    ---------
    Drinkall - 39 councillors agreed to outcome of meeting

    ---------
    Paul McGlone - worst time of my political life; report will come out on web tomorrow. Still has to go to scrutiny & cabinet.
    ---------
    Member of public asks if this discussion will make any difference? What is purpose of meeting tonight?
    ---------
    Moderator: output of tonight will go to the scrutiny stage.
    --------
    Drinkall - can we have a presentation from councillors?
    --------
    Green party member (chair?) - I'm here to tell the council which services I want to protect. Want to work within parameters the council are setting.
    --------
    Andy from Lambeth Unison - Can't have a discussion with the breakdown? It's a sham. Have the meeting tomorrow.
    --------
    Lots of people asking for breakdown
    --------
    McGlone - we want your experience. We cant go through all 600 services. We want your body of knowledge so we can reflect on it. They will lead into the decision making process between now and feb 23rd. Political commitment to reflect on peoples opinions. 400 pages, published tomorrow.
    --------
    [broke up into groups to discuss various bits and bobs. Council officers took notes for feeding into the consultation process]
     
  2. Minnie_the_Minx

    Minnie_the_Minx someinenhhanding menbag and me ah bollox

    So absolutely no hint as to what's to be cut?
     
  3. netbob

    netbob Well-Known Member

    The draft report comes out tomorrow apparently (which did make the consultation seem a bit silly). The councillors present maintained that they are still taking peoples views into account, this was one of a number of events that have been happening since the summer, and things will change as they progress through the next few stages.

    In reality I think the main areas will have been picked by now. Two of the councillors emphasised that their priorities are:

    - protect the vulnerable
    - safety
    - protect child services / education

    So I guess the bulk of the cuts will be in areas other than those.
     
  4. Minnie_the_Minx

    Minnie_the_Minx someinenhhanding menbag and me ah bollox

    Wouldn't count on it. Apparently they've already made cutbacks to the Taxi Card scheme for the disabled
     
  5. Streatham_Mao

    Streatham_Mao Well-Known Member

    According to the CPCG meeting, a bunch of hostels are going, too - including the South Asian women's hostel off Streatham High Street.

    The Councillor there talked about moving to a different model of longer-term care, but even if that works, the short term may be a mess.
     
  6. gaijingirl

    gaijingirl Well-Known Member

    In terms of child services.... Our local midwives have lost hours and are no longer running children's groups in the Children's Centres..... this affects the Friday group at the Brockwell Park 1 o'clock club and several things at Rosendale and others in the areas.
     
  7. nagapie

    nagapie Well-Known Member

    They were signing a petition at the group at the Brock 1 o'clock club today.

    Not sure if it's common knowledge yet, but heard yesterday that a lot of the specialist schools in Lambeth are going to be shut and joined up with the largest one, which has also recently shed half it's staff. I can't give names yet but there is already a lack of school spaces for the type of students who access these schools and some of the new plans will be really damaging to children.
     
  8. gaijingirl

    gaijingirl Well-Known Member

    omg Nagapie.. that's horrendous! WTF!!

    There is also a petition going about for the Rosendale midwife (who I'm sure you've met also).

    It's all so fucking shit.
     
  9. gaijingirl

    gaijingirl Well-Known Member

    btw.. did anyone notice this story earlier this week?

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-12211069

    The government is to complain to a financial watchdog over council adverts it calls a "blatant misuse of public funds", BBC London has learned.

    Labour-controlled Lambeth in south London has erected posters saying: "The government has cut our money so we are forced to cut services."

    The government says they are politically motivated and should not be taxpayer funded.

    The council insisted the posters "state fact".

    The flyers show a pair of scissors cutting into a blue-coloured pound sign.

    They then urge the public: "Tell us what matters to you."
     
  10. Minnie_the_Minx

    Minnie_the_Minx someinenhhanding menbag and me ah bollox


    Yeah, saw it a couple of days ago on Ceefax :D
     
  11. Brixton Hatter

    Brixton Hatter Home is south London mate

    Can I just say - what an excellent post. This is what Urban75 is all about IMO.

    Thanks Memespring - you give a fuck, and I like that. If only more would. :)
     
  12. Brixton Hatter

    Brixton Hatter Home is south London mate

    Yeah I've seen these posters and I admit, I did a double take when I saw them. Never in my most radical leftwing dreams did I think ('new' Labour) Lambeth would come up with that - fair fucks to them. Very amusing. Especially if it fucks off the tory-led Government.

    The cost is probably minimal, given it's only on the side of bus stops etc. Far less than Gideon's tax dodging anyway.
     
  13. colacubes

    colacubes Well-Known Member

    £600 apparently. Worth it for the lulz :D
     
  14. Brixton Hatter

    Brixton Hatter Home is south London mate

    genius
     
  15. Laughing Toad

    Laughing Toad Turn the volume down please.

    No. £600 was the production costs. They haven't even calculated how much income they have lost by not letting out the billboards to paying advertisers.
     
  16. netbob

    netbob Well-Known Member

    I think the posters were great. The council has been well and truly stuffed (especially when compared to wealthier tory boroughs). It's right that they should be able to set that out so they can counter-balance the message coming out of central government ('Local cuts won't hit services / It's because of fat-cal council pay / can all be done via efficiency savings').
     
  17. London_Calling

    London_Calling Pleasant and unpatronising

    Yep, it's pretty much an extension of the Etonians using the LibDems as a 'human shield' for the cuts, except now it's councils.

    Nationally, the human shield thing has worked, at least according to the polls where the Etonian rating has not changed noticably from the General Election, while Clegg and Co are in the minus range.
     
  18. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    I have not heard about these consultations before.

    Id be wary about them. Seems to me that the Council are going to cut a lot of services which are necessary. However to say they want to protect services that protect the vulnerable and children is disingenous. Councils have a statutary obligation to protect certain groups like children. So they cannot cut these services.

    Consultation is often done in such a way that you cannot disagree with it basis. The info from these consultations is likely to be used by Cllrs to argue that people support there cuts and its about fairness.

    IMO the Cllrs are elected to take decisions. If they want to make cuts its there decision. At the next election they can then justify there actions.

    Consultation is something Cllrs should do anyway as elected representatives. Its talking to people and getting to know your ward.
     
  19. Laughing Toad

    Laughing Toad Turn the volume down please.

    Full draft here by the way.
     
  20. Crispy

    Crispy The following psytrance is baṉned: All

    I started trying to summarise some of that, then realised the damn thing is 282 pages long >_<
     
  21. Minnie_the_Minx

    Minnie_the_Minx someinenhhanding menbag and me ah bollox


    I've just had a quick look as well. 282 pages!

    Looks like they want to remove discretionary freedom passes for people with mental health problems
     
  22. gaijingirl

    gaijingirl Well-Known Member

    There was a rumour going round at the library today at the children's group I go to that some of the children's classes etc were being put out to tender with Tesco bidding!! I can't quite believe that could be true - has to be bullshit right? nothing about it in that draft.

    The coordinator (who is lovely) said they'd find out on Wednesday which of them were going to keep their jobs and what was going to be cut. She was pretty upset and I reeeeeally hope it's not too bad. This is a woman who knows my daughter, know my mother.... remembers me, where I work - sees me in the street and makes a big difference to our lives.
     
  23. netbob

    netbob Well-Known Member

    I've asked for a spreadsheet, but no joy so far. I could FOI I guess, but that will take longer than the draft period.
     
  24. netbob

    netbob Well-Known Member

  25. Crispy

    Crispy The following psytrance is baṉned: All

    There are summary tables at the end of each department, showing budget cuts, but you have to read through every damn page to find out planned job cuts.
     
  26. Winot

    Winot I wholeheartedley agree with your viewpoint

    If you're interested, Polly Toynbee is asking on Twitter for anyone with first hand info on cuts and closures to local children's centres to e-mail her polly.toynbee@guardian.co.uk.
     
  27. gaijingirl

    gaijingirl Well-Known Member

    I might well do - once I know what exactly it going on.... Tescos?... really? I would much rather take my child to the bloody library thank you!
     
  28. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    I saw this Cllr speaking at an Save Our Services demo opposing cuts-Cllr Kingsley Abrams. I had heard that he had the Labour whip taken off him. He was a good speaker and doing what Labour Cllrs should do.

    I was curious about him and found Onion Blag had interviewed him. Seems he was targetted because he was considered not "New" Labour enough.

    http://onionbagblog.com/2010/07/15/email-hacks-and-political-elites/#content
     
  29. citydreams

    citydreams on the road again

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