LAMBETHWATCH DIARY ON SOCIAL MEDIA – Three: LIB PECK TO QUIT – REACTIONS / CHILDREN’S CENTRES / LETTER TO THE GUARDIAN FROM LAMBETH’S LEADER-ELECT

LIB PECK TO QUIT – REACTIONS

Save Cressingham Gardens

Breaking news: council leader Lib Peck, the person who put Cressingham Gardens up for regen whilst cabinet member for housing has resigned and is leaving Lambeth council. We hope that the next council leader has the guts to review and stop the incomprehensible demolition proposal.

….AND FROM THE LABOUR PARTY SIDE:

LambethLabour Retweeted Jim Dickson‏ @JimDicksLambeth Jan 14 (Cllr Jim Dickson is Labour Cllr for Herne Hill ward – Ed.)

Huge thanks to @cllrpeck for outstanding @LambethLabour leadership during a tough time for #locgov in which she helped drive major @lambeth_council improvements in health&care integration, social mobility, VAWG & housing investment whilst fighting huge govt cuts. Loads of luck!

LambethLabour‏ @LambethLabour Jan 14

After six years as Lambeth council leader and 18 years as a @LambethLabour councillor, @cllrpeck has been appointed to lead @SadiqKhan’s Violence Reduction Unit. Lambeth’s loss is London’s gain!

LambethLabour Retweeted Mayor of London‏Verified account @MayorofLondon Jan 14

I’m delighted @cllrpeck has been appointed Director of our Violence Reduction Unit. We’ve set up this evidence-led specialist team to clamp down on violent crime by tackling its root causes. https://www.london.gov.uk/press-releases/mayoral/lib-peck-appointed-to-lead-londons-vru …

LambethLabour Retweeted Paul Gadsby‏ @Paul_Gadsby Jan 14 (Cllr Paul Gadsby is Labour Cllr for Vassall ward – Ed.)

Well, while this is great news for @MayorofLondon really gutted that Lib is leaving. She has ensured @lambeth_council has survived the nightmare of austerity and more than that, delivered real achievements and two landslides for @LambethLabour Will be massively missed.

Lib Peck‏ @cllrpeck Jan 14

Delighted to be appointed to lead the London Violence Reduction Unit and looking forward to working with @MayorofLondon, Deputy Mayor @SophieKLinden and our communities on tackling violent crime across London

At the same time, I am very sad to be standing down as leader of @lambeth_council after 6 years, and as a councillor in Thornton ward for 18. Lambeth is a fantastic borough with hugely committed, inspirational and engaged communities and it is a privilege to have served here. (Italics by News From Crystal Palace – Ed.)

CHILDREN’S CENTRES

Lambeth Council‏Verified account @lambeth_council Jan 24

We’re having to make changes to our children’s centres due to government cuts. Attend one of our parent/carer drop-in sessions, where you will get the chance to discuss the proposals and have your say. Check out our events calendar for more info https://goo.gl/ioM3nG

Peoples Audit‏ @PeoplesAudit Jan 24 Retweeted Lambeth Council

Is this the government cuts which forced you to spend millions of council reserves on building a new town hall which went more than £50 million over budget?

LETTER TO THE GUARDIAN FROM LAMBETH’S LEADER-ELECT 

Labour councils, Tory cuts and a century of fighting austerity Thu 31 Jan 2019 

Zoe Williams’ article (Red-on-red warfare won’t stop austerity, 29 January) contains some welcome recognition of the challenges that councils face under prolonged Tory austerity. But as she says, austerity has not gone away and for councils that have been dealing with it for nine years now things are more difficult than ever. Lambeth council has lost over £230m of government funding since 2010, with a further £38m to find over the next few years.

Despite keeping 23 children’s centres open since 2010, at a time when Tory cuts have closed hundreds across the country, in 2018 the government cut the dedicated schools grant, which helps to fund our children’s centres, by £1.4m. As a council, we have protected children’s centres from that cut this year – but now we have no choice, with further cuts in all services imposed by the Tories, except to consult on plans that will keep 18 children’s centres in the borough. While that will see five centres shut, we’re working with them so they can still provide nursery places and other activities for children so the buildings aren’t lost to the community and are still open if we get a Labour government that will fund local services properly as Zoe Williams suggests.

These aren’t easy choices – and they aren’t what I or any Labour councillor got into politics for. But, while we will keep shouting loudly that the responsibility for these cuts sits in Downing Street, in Lambeth we do have to deal with their reality while making sure we place our Labour values at the heart of protecting our most vulnerable residents.
Cllr Jack Hopkins
Leader-elect, London borough of Lambeth

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