LAMBETHWATCH – 101 QUESTIONS NOT ANSWERED

Lambeth council’s deputy leader responsible for finance Cllr Imogen Walker has responded angrily to a report from the People’s Audit Lambeth which says Lambeth are employing loads more senior managers.
 
They never even asked us, says Imogen.

Back in July last year News From Crystal Palace sent 101 questions to EVERY member of Lambeth council’s cabinet based on the first People’s Audit Lambeth report, including Cllr Walker.

(The idea of 101 questions was 101 Dalmatians – and see if you can ‘spot’ how many questions Lambeth answer. Geddit?)

Not one acknowledgment, not one answer. From ANY cabinet member. Including Cllr Walker.
 
(Please see news story: LAMBETH PEOPLES AUDIT -101 QUESTIONS FOR LAMBETH COUNCIL’S CABINET – Part One July 13, 2017: LAMBETH PEOPLES AUDIT – 101 QUESTIONS FOR LAMBETH COUNCIL’S CABINET – Part One QUESTION 6 : WHAT IS YOUR REACTION TO THIS QUITE FRANKLY DAMNING INDICTMENT? On Friday Lambeth Peoples Audit issued a damning report on Lambeth council which found evidence of extensive financial mismanagement and a systemic lack of financial governance costing millions of pounds … Continue reading)

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LAMBETH LABOUR OPPOSE HUMAN RIGHTS AND PEACEFUL TRADE UNION DEMOS
 
Lambeth Labour councillors voted en masse to oppose human rights and peaceful trade union demos at their first full meeting in their new Lambeth town hall last week.

As we reported on January 18th in Lambethwatch:

TRADE UNION PROTESTS OK SAY LAMBETH COUNCIL’S (BLUE) TORIES  
 
ITALS Trade Union protests are OK – that’s the message from Lambeth Conservatives in an amendment to a Labour motion at next Wednesday’s Lambeth council meeting.
 
OK – News From Crystal Palace is being a bit tongue in cheek here because the motion deals with the serious issue of abortion and protests which the Labour motion brands as intimidation outside three BPAS clinics in the borough.
 
One Conservative amendment read: “No peaceful protest or free expression or free assembly taking place within the requirements of law should be prevented by this council, including peaceful trade union protests”.
 
Conservative opposition leader Cllr Tim Briggs told News From Crystal Palace: “We didn’t see it as a question on abortion, but the one-party state trying to give itself new powers to control protests.
 
“Conservatives don’t like the Left trying to control Freedom of Expression and Freedom of Assembly, whether it is anti-abortionists, trade unions or anyone else.
 
“Everyone has the right to protest, whether we agree with them or not, and that right is circumscribed by law.
 
“Fundamental human rights should not be ignored on a whim, as has happened with the demolition of people’s homes in Lambeth, and taking away their secure tenancies.”

Another part of the Conservative amendment read: “To respect the European Convention of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, including Freedom of Expression (Article 10) and Freedom of Assembly and Association (Article 11), and to reassert our commitment to human rights enshrined in law.”

Clearly Labour didn’t agree. So if you read items in News From Crystal Palace in future stating that Lambeth council are opposed to peaceful trade union demos and the European Convention of Human Rights, you’ll know why. And that it has nothing to do with Tory Government funding. Talking of which:

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“…….LACK OF GOVERNMENT FUNDING….”
 
As News From Crystal Palace has previously highlighted, Lambeth are very good at blaming the wicked evil Tory Government hiss boo rather than address their own shortcomings (and the fact they have salted away tens of millions into banks and building societies since at least 2011).

There were 10 questions by Labour councillors at last Wednesday’s council meeting of which two included the ‘lack of government funding’ line.

Cllr Rezina Chowdhury To: Cabinet member for adult social care, Cllr Jackie Meldrum: “With adult and social care in crisis because of a lack of government funding….”

Cllr Liz Atkins in a question on Tulse Hill Gyratory:  “…because of government cuts Transport for London’s plans to change the gyratory are now being delayed….”

And Labour Cllr Jennifer Brathwaite in a written reply to Cllr Bernard Gentry on drinking fountains: “Despite funding cuts we have retained all 25 drinking fountains in our parks and open spaces. “A few of these do require repairs, which will be arranged at the start of the 2018 season.”

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DEPUTATION

During the introduction of a deputation to the council on demonstrations outside abortion clinics Cllr Jim Dickson accused the Tories of “opposing this move.” They didn’t. Could this be the next Lambeth Labour catchphrase?.  (See ‘Lack of Government funding’ above).

Cllr Dickson told the council meeting: “Women suffered intimidation and harassment outside abortion clinics simply for exercising their legal right to access abortion services. “It can’t be right that women walk past graphic images.”

Earlier one lady from the deputation addressed councillors: “No woman would be delighted at using the services these clinics provide. “They pass leaflets addressed to mum and bring children to the protest.”

It had been announced in advance that a motion at the council meeting on the issue was not to be debated.

Further reading: TRADE UNION PROTESTS OK SAY LAMBETH COUNCIL’S (BLUE) TORIES  January 18th 2018

COUNCIL MOTION OPPOSES INTIMIDATION OF WOMEN AT ABORTION CLINICS – “Protests causing distress to residents and staff” January 18th 2018 (includes two comments – Ed.)

APPLAUSE…

If you read anywhere that there was applause for speeches given by Labour councillors at last week’s council meeting, there was. It came from fellow Labour councillors. And not from the public gallery of their new town hall…..

…BUT THE CRACKS ARE ALREADY APPEARING…..

Mayor of Lambeth Cllr Marcia Cameron welcomed councillors to their first meeting in their newly revamped town hall. The bill now stands at £130 million, says Conservative opposition leader Cllr Tim Briggs who has told News From Crystal Palace this figure was given to him by officers.

Up in the public gallery it was evident there was a crack in the ceiling of the dome. But councillors may not have noticed this from two floors down….

ALSO FROM LAST WEEK’S COUNCIL MEETING:

There was lengthy discussion on the comparative merits of neighbouring Tory-controlled Wandsworth and Labour-controlled Lambeth; Cllr Tim Briggs, the Conservative opposition leader, apologised to Cllr Christopher Wellbelove after the latter vehemently denied he had ever let his flat on the Notre Dame estate out;

Cllr Tim Briggs and his fellow Conservative Cllr Louise Nathanson actually begged to differ when they voted on one item. This is called De-mo-cracy. (Lambeth’s other Conservative Cllr Bernard Gentry was absent).

CLEAN AIR AND HOT AIR…

Cllr Saleha Jaffer asked a question about the implementation of a clean air bus corridor on the A23 through Streatham and Brixton.

Responding,  Cllr Jennifer Brathwaite, cabinet member for housing and environment, said: “TfL has advised that the monitoring regime for LEBZs (low emission bus zones) is still under development.

“There are however fixed air quality monitoring station on Brixton Road and diffusion tubes along Brixton Hill and Streatham High Road which will show if there has been an improvement in air quality from the LEBZ.”

In a supplementary ‘question’ Cllr Jaffer said: “What this means is with Lambeth you get clean air, with the Green party you get hot air.” Everyone laughed including Green party Cllr Scott Ainslie.

UPDATE: This week London Assembly Green party member Caroline Russell announced she was visiting Brixton – Heavily congested Brixton Road is due to take the dubious honour of being the first road in London to breach annual air pollution limits in 2018 – for the second year running, said a London Assembly Green party group press release…..

Further reading: NO MONEY TO REPAIR ESTATES, NO MONEY FOR LIBRARIES – BUT £19 MILLION (OR MORE) SPENT ON EMPLOYING ALMOST 400 NEW MANAGERS – AND £26 MILLION FOR TEMPORARY AGENCY STAFF IN JUST EIGHT MONTHS….January 10, 2018: Lambeth council has employed almost 400 new senior managers with salaries of £50,000 or more over the past 10 years, says the latest shock report from People’s Audit Lambeth. A total of 110 of those have been employed since the 2010-11 financial year – during which time Lambeth made almost 2,200 employees redundant at a … Continue reading

LAMBETHWATCH: THAT WAS THE (LAMBETH) YEAR THAT WAS……..  January 3, 2018: A chronological rundown of just SOME of the stories, sketches and opinion pieces News From Crystal Palace brought you about Lambeth council during 2017…… LAMBETH HOUSING WAITING LIST LAST UPDATED IN JANUARY 2013 – Tory opposition leader slams “porky pies” January 6, 2017 LAMBETH CAUSING PEOPLE “UNBEARABLE STRESS” – Decision to demolish Central Hill estate … Continue reading

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