Lambeth Democracy – a campaign, not a political party – will work for democratic reform of the way Lambeth Council works and relates to the people it claims to serve.
The key issues – a council dominated by one party, refusal to listen to residents, heavy use of spin – are relevant London-wide and nationwide.
PRESS CONFERENCE IN BRIXTON
Monday 23 April 2018
21 Effra Parade
London SW2 1PX
IT’S NOT JUST FOR THE ELECTION
We are calling this press conference during the election period.
But the campaign will continue long-term, whatever the result of the election.
This is just the beginning…
Our invited witnesses will illustrate the real-life consequences of Lambeth’s democratic deficit, and the dangers of unaccountable power concentrated at the top of the Council:
Andy Plant – SAVE CRESSINGHAM GARDENS (1)
Simon Morrow – LAMBETH PEOPLE’S AUDIT (2)
Laura Swaffield – DEFEND THE 10 LIBRARIES (3)
Rachel Heywood – FORMER LABOUR COUNCILLOR, independent candidate (4)
Fred Taggart and Carol Boucher – FORMER LABOUR COUNCILLORS (5)
CAPTIONS: Save Cressingham march; Carnegie Library demonstration;
election countdown poster; demonstration to support Rachel Heywood
(1) Housing is key election issue. This now-famous estate, featured in films such as Dispossession, is one of six (so far) threatened with demolition, under plans that don’t stack up financially and have never been approved by the residents.
(2) The first-ever group to use new government-granted rights for residents to inspect councils’ finances. They began by inviting Lambeth to work with them to identify savings. The council refused. They then produced a report that shows poor financial controls and millions wasted. The council insists it is a party political plot.
(3) Pushed through with no consultation or publicity, the plan to replace libraries with fee-charging gyms has had massive opposition – including the Carnegie Library occupation and a march of 2,000 people in 2016. The council persisted – and is now revealed to have wasted an estimated £7-8 million.
(4) 12 years a loyal Labour councillor, Rachel became increasingly worried about the council’s policies. In 2016 she finally voiced residents’ concerns about estate demolitions, library closures, disastrous planning decisions and a council that had become out of touch. She was immediately suspended from the party and is now standing as an independent
(5) These former Labour councillors became involved in a project to take over the Carnegie Library building as a community asset transfer. They now denounce the council’s handling of the process as “a travesty of local democracy”, showing “an astonishing degree of managerial incompetence” – and much more…