LAMBETHWATCH: ONE OF THE PROBLEMS OF NOT HAVING A PROPER COMMITTEE SYSTEM AT LAMBETH COUNCIL….

ON BAILIFFS…..

Jonathan Bartley‏Verified account @jon_bartley (Green party opposition leader on Lambeth council – Ed.)

Greens got Lambeth council to stop sending in the bailiffs against the most vulnerable residents who were in receipt of Council Tax Support. It appears they have now started again. This is appalling.

LambethLabour‏ @LambethLabour (responding):

Agents only call people as a last attempt when they are in debt. They absolutely don’t knock on people’s doors and it is completely false to say that Lambeth council is “sending in the bailiffs”. Green scaremongering to mislead people once again

(FURTHER READING: Lambeth Council sends in bailiffs to over 1,500 homes receiving Council Tax Support – despite Lambeth Labour pledge not to. Story by Jason Cobb Brixton Buzz November 5th 2018 – Ed.)

The Log Lady Retweeted Jason_Cobb‏ @Jason_Cobb Nov 6

Update on @brixtonbuzz story re @lambeth_council’s treatment of residents receiving Council Tax Support: 4,319 served with court summons for late-payment during 17/18. All 4,319 of those charged costs. £526,918 in costs charged to those households. 872 had deduction from benefits

Jonathan Bartley @jon_bartley Retweeted Brixton Buzz

Either Lambeth Council’s cabinet has deliberately changed its policy or it is unaware of what is going on in its own council. Either way this is a huge failure of leadership with terrible consequences for Lambeth’s most vulnerable residents.

...ON LIBRARIES

Dawn Finch  ‏ @dawnafinch Nov 10

Something I will never understand is how local authorities can be smug about “giving libraries over to the community”. IT WAS ALREADY OURS, AND WE HAVE ALREADY PAID FOR IT. What you mean is you’re ditching responsibility. Don’t make out like you’re doing us a favour. #libraries

Laura Swaffield Retweeted Macintosh Court Residents Association. SW16

What is it with Lambeth never clearing leaves from gutters? Same thing at Carnegie library when they closed it & librarians no longer able to get this simple thing done – constant water damage, estimated repair costs £82,000

Defend The Ten Retweeted Aran Lewis‏ @aranmlewis .

Ridiculous list of tasks Lambeth librarians are expected to do in two hours at Carnegie before rushing off to another wrecked library. Lambeth Labour obviously don’t care what sort of service is provided as long as they can say the library is open. 

Friends of Carnegie‏ @FrndsofCarnegie Oct 13

Small note @CarnegieLib gates, ‘library closed today due to maintenance issue’. No date/details. Many disappointed, incl elderly, teens, families (child’s face fell in sadness & frustration) & man who’d travelled four miles to collect book. Any apology/explanation, @lambeth_council?

Defend The Ten Retweeted Peoples Audit‏ @PeoplesAudit Nov 6

The power of joined up government – Matt Hancock: GPs should prescribe concerts, mixtapes and trips to libraries and cultural events. Only problem is that cut-backs have forced many of these to close. @defendtheten

Indar Picton-Howell‏ @NadirIndar Nov 4 Retweeted HOPE not hate

Governments aren’t elected to tell the truth. Education is free, until they close the libraries. @defendtheten
_____________________________________________________________________________

 …ON WEST NORWOOD LIBRARY AND CINEMA

Cabinet Member delegated decision Decision Due: 11 March 2016 Report title: Nettlefold and West Norwood Library Redevelopment

Report summary During 2012, the Council conducted a public consultation on its cooperative libraries programme and evaluated models for use from the community and expressions of interests from the private sector. Three options for the future of the Nettlefold and West Norwood Library site were considered at the time: 1. Sale of the site to a commercial interest with no public library re-provision. 2. Sale of the site to a major retail outlet with proposals to demolish the site and re-provide the public library on a lease back arrangement. 3. Partner with a major cinema provider who would seek to maintain the integrity of the existing structure and provide cinema, café and house a Lambeth council managed library.

Defend The Ten‏ @defendtheten Nov 7 Replying to @EdDavie (Lambeth Labour Cllr – Ed.)

It isn’t a new library Ed – Princess Margaret opened the building in 1969 – and until @LambethLabour ran the site down the whole building was a dedicated public library. By the way, why did profitable cinema company need to be given £3.4m to, er, build a cinema?

Jonathan Bartley Retweeted Lambeth Council

Not ‘brand new’ but a library Lambeth council previously closed. And in partnership with Picturehouse Cinemas who do not pay the Living Wage. #LivingWageWeekhttps://twitter.com/lambeth_council/status/1059154831095578625 

PCS Southbank Centre‏ @PCS_Southbank .

Replying to @LambethLabour @pete556 and 2 others

Unlike Labour run @LewishamCouncil who refused to award a site to @picturehouses in Ladywell because they wouldn’t pay the living wage? Come on, you can do so much better.

LambethLabour‏ @LambethLabour Replying to @pete556 @benkind @RitzyLivingWage

We’ve invested £3.4m in a new town centre library and cinema, with Picturehouse investing £3m. We consulted with residents and they wanted a cinema. Since 2015 they’ve reneged on promises to Ritzy workers. We’ve pressed PH to pay the Living Wage but can’t force them do so.

Peoples Audit‏ @PeoplesAudit Oct 29

From 2014 “The Cabinet Member … stated the Council’s commitment to the London Living Wage, in relation to which a dialogue had been opened up with the Picture House representative” https://moderngov.lambeth.gov.uk/ieIssueDetails.aspx?IId=36192&Opt=3 … Then #Lambeth just rolled over

Defend The Ten‏ @defendtheten Oct 24 Replying to @LambethLabour @OvalLabour @cllrpeck

Would’ve been good to urge them to pay the LLW *before* you paid them £3.4m for the @westnorwoodph redevelopment. But hey, live and learn.

2.       Defend The Ten‏ @defendtheten Oct 27

Skyrocketing scrap metal prices in the mid-2000’s made West Norwood’s copper roof a thieves favourite. The Lambeth Metal Theft Commission noted thefts “appear to date back to at least at 2008”. https://moderngov.lambeth.gov.uk/documents/s54378/05a%20Metal%20Theft%20Commission%20rept.pdf

Despite years of criminal damage @wnorwoodlibrary, Lambeth apparently took no action to prevent the theft. Later, (years later, they were quick to spend thousands on security @carnegielib, but that is another story)…

6.       Defend The Ten‏ @defendtheten Oct 27

West Norwood’s roof became infamous, being raised by Val Shawcross in a MPA question and even being cited by the Local Government Association: http://policeauthority.org/metropolitan/downloads/committees/mpa/110728-metaltheft.pdf

And while Council officers sought approval to refurbish the site, @dawnlabour Cllr’s seperately approached Picturehouse in “the Spring of 2012 to put forward [their] idea for a combined library and cinema for West Norwood” https://moderngov.lambeth.gov.uk/mgIssueHistoryHome.aspx?IId=25735&PlanId=239

The @dawnlabour Cllr’s determination to entice Picturehouse to the neighborhood is shown by the fact that retaining a full library @wnorwoodlibrary was not even included as an option in the consultation. https://moderngov.lambeth.gov.uk/documents/s79925/Nettlefold%20and%20West%20Norwood%20Library%20Redevelopment%20REPORT.pdf … [p8]

Defend The Ten Retweeted

Worth noting too that despite recent announcement trumpets the creation of 25 new jobs at the site, the consultation predicted that 65 jobs would be created: 30 FT & 35 PT. https://moderngov.lambeth.gov.uk/documents/s79925/Nettlefold%20and%20West%20Norwood%20Library%20Redevelopment%20REPORT.pdf … [p4]

Costs spiralled. An original budget of £1.125m ballooned to £3.4m, almost as much as the whole library budget for the Borough. It remains unclear why a cinema company required such inducement to…build a cinema.

Worse, the Council confirmed they had offered @picturehouses five years rent-free at the site, as well as paying service charges and cleaning bills at the site, despite its having been originally built for the public.

And while Lambeth continue to lobby Picturehouse to pay the living wage, they appear to have little leverage, having already paid over the promised £3.4m.

The cinema may be worthwhile. But the history of the site, and the loss of one of Lambeths busiest dedicated public libraries, deserves to be remembered.

Aran Lewis‏ @aranmlewis Oct 28 Replying to @defendtheten

Also remains unclear why costs trebled before any work started. Hardly a common pattern.

♻Michael J Keane  ♻‏ @KeaneMJ Oct 28

Doing non standard deals with private companies appears not to be Lambeth’s strong point. I would like to see all the major deals reviewed and see what went wrong and what can be learned.

_______________________________________________________________________________

CONTRACTS AND CONSULTANTS

Laura Swaffield‏ @lswaffield1 Retweeted Peoples Audit HAVE WE USED THIS?

Lambeth council is out of control. Budgets expand wildly for pet projects while they starve proper services – & blame it all on govt cuts, their excuse for absolutely everything.

…ON CONTRACTS

Defend The Ten‏ @defendtheten Retweeted Peoples Audit

Would cuts to Lambeths libraries have been so severe had council projects & contracts been managed properly? On this evidence, the answer is ‘almost certainly not’.

Peoples Audit‏ @PeoplesAudit

#Lambeth Town Hall Watch. No wonder they won’t show us the original budget. Budget for purchase of Fridge Bar-£107K. Actual cost-£1.6M. Budget comes from HRA (sale of properties).

….AND ALSO:

Jonathan Bartley‏ @jon_bartley Oct 31 Retweeted BBC News (UK)

The police need the resources to carry out their responsibilities. But a lack of resources is not an excuse to abdicate those responsibilities.

DEMOLITION WATCH LONDON 

  Retweeted

We just renamed the street outside the Saudi embassy in London

(To see the answer please follow the link to kristyan benedict’s copyright photo…… – Ed.)

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