27 April 2018

Vassall Labour calls on government to halt damaging school cuts

Vassall Labour's candidates for the 2018 council elections have called on the government to halt damaging planned cuts to the area's education budget that could see schools in Vassall lose tens of thousands of pounds in funding.

Planned changes to the formula that allocates funding to each school in England, were announced last year by the Conservative government, and were projected to cut Lambeth's education resources by £400 per pupil, around £14 million overall by 2019/20. A strong campaign by parents, teachers and Lambeth Labour councillors - as well as the campaign group Fair Funding Lambeth - led to the government suspending some of the planned cuts, but they remain a real threat to local schools.  A petition launched by local Labour councillors has already gathered more than a 1,000 signatures calling for these cuts to be halted.

Cllr Claire Holland, Lambeth's lead on schools, said:
After that extensive campaign, replicated across the country and following significant opposition to the Conservatives during the 2017 General Election as a result of these plans, the Conservative government backed down slightly.  However, the extra funding announced in July was money taken from elsewhere in the education budget and it has soon become clear that it won’t allow schools to even standstill when ongoing cost pressures and inflation are taken into account.

Indeed, just this week the schools minister was rebuked by the National Statistics Authority for claiming to Parliament that school funding was rising when they have effectively frozen it at a time when schools’ costs continue to rise. It’s a trick we’ve seen Lambeth Conservatives try to pull as well, as they desperately hope that local people won’t realise that a vote for them is a vote for cuts to their local school.

Parents are right to be concerned – independent research on the School Cuts website estimates that Lambeth schools will lose approximately £14 million by 2019/20 – a cut in funding per pupil on average of over £400. Paxton Primary school in Gipsy Hill is estimated to lose £248,000, Bishop Thomas Grant Secondary school is expected to lose £431,000 and Sunny Hill Primary School (where the campaign meeting against these cuts was held last year) is estimated to lose £258,000.
Vassall Labour candidates for the 2018 council elections, taking place on the 3 May - Paul Gadsby, Annie Gallop and Jacqui Dyer - said:

"We would urge every resident to sign our petition calling for these cuts to be reserved. They could leave our local schools in Vassall, like Christ Church and Reay school, without the funding they need to keep class sizes down, employ enough teachers and make sure children have the right materials to provide a decent start to their education."

18 April 2018

Labour selects its candidates for the 2018 local elections

Labour's three Labour councillors have decided to restand for the council elections on the 3 May.

Cllrs Jacqui Dyer and Annie Gallop were elected in May 2014, with Cllr Paul Gadsby elected in a by-election in November 2013 and then re-elected the following May. All three were automatically reselected by local Labour members to contest the three councillor positions in Vassall on the 3 May.

Speaking about the election, Jacqui, Annie and Paul said:

"We have been very proud to represent Vassall in the past four years: it is a wonderful place with a thriving, diverse community.

"As a councillor team we've successfully lobbied for new council homes to be built in Lambeth, with the first in a generation completed last year in Vassall on Akerman Road.

"We have also ensured that millions of pounds in funding from the lottery's LEAP project has been spent improving early age services in Vassall, such as at the Mulberry Centre in Myatts Field Park, and that Santander bike docking stations have been extended into our area.

"And we have made sure that the Mayor of London installed cleaner engines on local buses running down Brixton Road which has already led to a cut in dangerous levels of pollution.

"This is what a hard working team of three Labour councillors can achieve by working with and for the community.

"There is still a lot more to be done. We will continue to fight Conservative cuts to our police, schools and council budget, many of which were started with the blessing of Liberal Democrats, including those in Lambeth. And we will oppose a Hard Conservative Brexit which will damage our jobs, economy and leave many EU citizens living in Vassall with their basic rights under threat.

"You can read Lambeth Labour's manifesto here - we support its aim to build a better, fairer Lambeth for all residents. We hope that residents will use all three of their votes for Labour on the 3 May."

02 April 2018

Your chance to decide your local voice in Lambeth Town Hall

Important elections are taking place on Thursday 3 May in Lambeth with residents having the opportunity to elect councillors to represent them in the Town Hall - and there is still time for residents to register to vote in this crucial poll.

Lambeth's website has full details of how to register, along with other important information on postal and proxy votes. Key details include:
  1. Applications to register to vote must reach the Electoral Registration Officer at Electoral Services, Lambeth Town Hall, 2 Brixton Hill, London, SW2 1RW by Tuesday 17 April 2018. A registration vote form can be downloaded here.
  2. Applications to vote by post and amendments to or cancellations of existing postal and proxy votes must reach the Electoral Registration Officer at Electoral Services, Lambeth Town Hall, 2 Brixton Hill, London, SW2 1RW, by 5pm on Wednesday 18 April 2018. A postal vote application form can be downloaded here.
  3. Applications to vote by proxy at this election must reach the Electoral Registration Officer at Electoral Services, Lambeth Town Hall, 2 Brixton Hill, London, SW2 1RW, by 5pm on Wednesday 25 April 2018. Information on obtaining a proxy vote can be found here.

29 March 2018

Labour guarantees weekly bin collections in Lambeth

Lambeth Labour has committed to maintaining weekly bin collections as part of its manifesto for May's local elections.

Despite government funding cuts of over £250 million forced on Lambeth council by the Conservative government, Labour locally has pledged to protect weekly collections of residual waste and recycling. Across the country, over three-quarters of councils have abandoned weekly collections due to government cuts in funding, but Lambeth has always maintained the service.  Since 2014, Lambeth Labour has saved £450,000 a year by introducing new green bins and at the same time increased the rate of recycling.

Councillor Jennifer Brathwaite, Cabinet Member for Environment and Housing said:
"Collecting people's bins is the most basic service that the council delivers - and residents rightly expect that it should happen regularly and efficiently.

We guarantee to collect people's bins every week - it's one of the key services that residents pay their council tax for. We're able to do that because Labour has managed Lambeth council well, improving services and cutting down on waste despite huge government cuts.

And after the Green Party leader, who is standing for election in Lambeth, went on national TV to argue for an end to weekly collections, residents rightly are concerned that Lambeth could end up looking like Brighton when it was run by the Greens, with huge mounds of rubbish piled up in the streets."
Local councillors - Jacqui Dyer, Paul Gadsby and Annie Gallop - said
"Maintaining weekly bin collections is the right move by Labour and we are sure this will be welcomed by Vassall residents.
Labour's full manifesto for a better, fairer Lambeth is available at lambeth-labour-manifesto.org

The impact of the manifesto for residents in Vassall can be read here.

25 March 2018

Labour launches vision for a better, fairer Lambeth

Labour has launched its manifesto for the 2018 local elections on 3 May by calling for a better, fairer future for the borough.

Despite huge cuts to the council's budget - which has been reduced by over £250 million by the Conservative government - Labour is promising a raft of policies aimed at reducing inequality, boosting jobs and affordable housing, and helping to create a cleaner, greener environment.

The full manifesto can be read here -  key pledges include:
  • Plans to create  1,500 more apprenticeships and encourage all Lambeth businesses to follow Lambeth council’s example and pay the London Living Wage.
  • A pledge to increase enforcement on private landlords to deliver a better deal for private renters.
  • Labour will invest £1.3 million more in tackling homelessness (which is increasing across London under the Conservative government) - and introduce a council tax levy on empty properties.
  • Complete plans to build 1,000 council homes in the borough - the first have already been completed in Vassall
  • A promise to maintain weekly bin collections and boost recycling.  
  • Ambitious plans to tackle poor mental health outcomes for black residents.
  • Commitment to invest more money in youth services by increasing taxes on developers.
  • Pledges to expand cycling infrastructure still further - Santander bikes were recently brought to Vassall - by increasing public bike storage hanger spaces, resurface more roads and support the construction of more cycle highways. These are moves are part of further measures to help cut air pollution in the area after Vassall councillors successfully lobbied for a new clean air bus corridor through Brixton Road.
  • Exempt care leavers from council tax until they are 25.  
  • Lambeth Labour will campaign against a "Hard Brexit" from the EU, which would damage our jobs and economy, and for the rights of EU citizens to be fully protected in any Brexit deal.

Cllr Lib Peck, Leader of Lambeth Labour, said:
“Over the last four years, we’ve delivered major improvements across Lambeth – building the first new council homes in a generation, making a record investment in our roads and pavements, clamping down on crime and anti-social behaviour and delivering new investment in our borough by being ambitious for Lambeth. We have fantastic schools with record results, the best parks in London, more affordable housing and thousands more jobs for local people.  We’ve achieved this despite huge funding cuts by the Conservative government.

But we know there is more to do, and it’s only Labour that has an ambitious and comprehensive plan to deliver a better, fairer Lambeth. Our manifesto demonstrates our commitment to tackling inequality and that only Labour will stand up for Lambeth - fighting for the rights of EU citizens affected by Brexit, opposing Conservative cuts and spending your money wisely.”

Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan said:
"Despite unprecedented Conservative cuts to local government, Lambeth Labour have shown that it has the vision for a better, fairer future for the borough's residents. It has ambitious plans to build more council and affordable homes, create 1,500 apprenticeships for local people, improve air quality and build on its success as one of London's first Living Wage councils by encouraging all Lambeth businesses to follow suit. And it will be a campaigning party that will fight against Conservative cuts to the police, our schools, our NHS and our public services. Lambeth needs a bold, reforming Labour council after 3 May to ensure this fantastic borough continues to have a bright future."
Vassall councillors - Paul Gadsby, Jacqui Dyer and Annie Gallop - said:
"The Conservative cuts have had a devastating impact on the council's budget, our NHS, our schools and our police.
"We have campaigned hard against this short sighted austerity, but just as importantly we are proud that Lambeth Labour is still offering a positive vision for our borough that will create a better, fairer Lambeth for our community."
Picture opposite: Lambeth Assembly Member Flo Eshalomi with Cllr Paul Gadsby


17 March 2018

Santander bike stations open up in Vassall

Two new Satander bike docking stations have opened up for use this month as part of an extension of the scheme towards Brixton that was successfully lobbied for by local councillors.

The two stations have been installed on Cranmere Road and Normandy Road, offering the bike lending scheme to residents in the area. Another half a dozen stations have been built in Stockwell and Brixton.

The extension has been a key campaign for local Vassall councillors in the past four years as part of the team's commitment to bring more cycling infrastructure to the area. Resident demand for more cycling opportunities has increased, as has been calls for more cleaner, greener transport options for residents given the ongoing concerns about pollution in the area. Recently, councillors secured the introduction of a new clean bus corridor which has significantly cut pollution on Brixton Road.

Vassall councillors - Jacqui Dyer, Paul Gadsby and Annie Gallop - said:

"We are very pleased that after years of campaigning the Mayor of London has listened to residents and extended the Santander scheme into Vassall and Brixton. This is what local people have consistently told us they want and its why we have also been part of Lambeth Labour's ongoing efforts to resurface more roads in the borough - 130 miles has been completed since 2014 - and extend the bike hanger storage scheme. Besides giving residents another transport option, it will also hopefully help to further cut pollution in our area as more residents will be given the chance to take up this cleaner, greener form of transport."

12 March 2018

Longfield Hall 2018 AGM