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