Sue Foster, former strategic director of neighbourhoods and growth, got a £91,107 payoff when she left Lambeth council in December.

The figure is revealed in the council’s draft accounts which have just been released for inspection, say People’s Audit Lambeth where they “will once again be attempting to carry out a citizen’s audit” of Lambeth council’s accounts during the public inspection period which runs from June 3rd to 15th July 15th 2019.

People’s Audit Lambeth say the draft accounts, which have just been released for inspection, reveal the following:

  • Sue Foster and Rachel Sharpe, who People’s Audit Lambeth describe as “two of the prime movers behind Lambeth’s controversial regeneration programmes” received redundancy or severance payments of £91,107 and £84,741 respectively. Rachel Sharpe joined Lambeth in 2009 as divisional director for strategy and partnerships.
  • Lilian Umekwe, former head teacher of Stockwell junior school, who quit under what People’s Audit Lambeth say were controversial circumstances, was given a £30,000 severance payment.
  • The number of senior staff (those earning £50,000 or more) has substantially increased in the year from 241 to 279.
  • The council has paid out £14.7 million in the year as part of the redress scheme for historic child abuse. It is anticipated that the final cost of the redress scheme will be £100 million.
  • The council’s borrowing from central government has increased by more than £33 million to £448.2M. Interest payable in the year on the borrowing is £22.4 million, which is a decrease of £400K on the previous year. The council is borrowing from central government in order to fund Homes for Lambeth and the redress scheme.
  • The council raised a record £17.8 million in parking and enforcement fines, an increase of £1.7 million over the previous year. The money raised is used to fund transport related costs, which includes an increase in payment of concessionary fares, which have increased by £3.6M in the year.

“Key focuses for this year’s audit will include further analysis of the spiralling costs of Lambeth’s new town hall, and an evaluation of the funding of Lambeth’s controversial housing company, Homes for Lambeth. “Our network will also scrutinise some of the council’s major contracts” they add.

The People’s Audit team will be running two drop-in events at the Brixton Pound cafe to help people learn about their rights to question council spending and to talk about their work so far. The events will run from 2pm-6pm on Saturday June 1 and Saturday July 6.

Event Details

  • Brixton Pound cafe, 77 Atlantic Rd, Brixton, London SW9 8PU.
  • Saturday 1st June and Saturday 6th July
  • 2-6 PM
  • Entry is free. All are welcome. 

Link to website is here:

[i] Page 43

[ii] Page 44

[iii] Page 44 & 45

[iv] Page 41

[v] Page 47

[vi] Page 41 & 42


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