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A leaked letter has revealed that Transport Secretary Chris Grayling wanted to "keep suburban rail services out of the clutches of any future Labour Mayor". The letter emerged shortly after commuters worst fears were confirmed when the Transport Secretary announced that he was renaging on his pledge to hand over the running of suburban rail services to TfL. 

Cllr Lib Peck, Leader of Lambeth Council has written to express her anger at the decision and to demand an urgent meeting:  

 

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Terrible news for commuters as Grayling blocks TfL suburban rail takeover

A leaked letter has revealed that Transport Secretary Chris Grayling wanted to "keep suburban rail services out of the clutches of any future Labour Mayor". The letter emerged shortly after...

Any developer not meeting Lambeth’s 40% affordable housing target will soon be forced to publish their viability assessments under proposals to be voted on by Lambeth’s Labour Cabinet next Monday.

The move is designed to make it more difficult for developers to dodge their affordable housing obligations. Public confidence has been damaged by well documented abuses of the current system, with some developers undervaluing sales values and inflating construction costs to keep projected surpluses artificially low.

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These flaws in the planning system were identified in the Labour Party commissioned Lyons report which found that the lack of standardised methodology was allowing “different parties to pick the methodology most to their advantage” and “working in favour of the partner with the most skilled consultants acting for it.”

With 22,000 people on the housing waiting list in Lambeth and figures released last week showing that the number of affordable homes built in England has dipped to the lowest level for two decades, major developments are a vital source of homes for people in need. In Lambeth, there are some great examples of how the system should work. Housing developments completed on Black Prince Road in Kennington, Valley Road in Streatham and Macaulay Road in Clapham over the last year have all delivered at least 40% affordable housing – a total of 60 new homes for people on the waiting list.  

The new planning requirements, to be included in a supplementary planning document (SPD), will  mean that developers who fail to meet the affordable homes target will be expected to publish a viability assessment explaining why, that will be publicly available and not redacted. The SPD is also intended to improve consistency in approach, and ensure that viability appraisals are formed of inputs that are supported by robust evidence.

This will help end the damaging perception that deals with developers are done behind closed doors and are not transparent, clear or fair

The draft development viability SPD  will be available for comment on the council’s website as part of a 12 week consultation ending in February.

Lambeth to force publication of viability assessments

Any developer not meeting Lambeth’s 40% affordable housing target will soon be forced to publish their viability assessments under proposals to be voted on by Lambeth’s Labour Cabinet next Monday....

The Tory government have announced that they are pushing ahead with huge cuts to community pharmacy budgets, meaning that pharmacies will face a 12% cut on current funding levels for the rest of this financial year, and a 7.4% cut on current levels the year after.

The pharmacy sector expects the effect of these cuts to be devastating and the government minister previously responsible for pharmacy funding estimated earlier this year that up to 3,000 pharmacies could close, which represents a quarter of all pharmacies across the country.

Research produced by the House of Commons Library shows that up to 20 pharmacies across Lambeth are under threat as a result of these funding cuts and we are very concerned about the damaging impact there could be on our local communities as a result.

The government have announced a ‘Pharmacy Access Scheme’ with the aim to “protect access in areas where there are fewer pharmacies with higher health needs”. Yet the reality is that the scheme is based entirely on distance from other pharmacies and takes no notice of local health needs at all, meaning that areas like Lambeth have been overlooked and will receive none of this funding.

Our pharmacies in Lambeth are vital local assets which provide very important face to face health services, particularly for the elderly, disabled, our BAME communities and those with long term illnesses. Any pharmacy closures or service cutbacks will only cause extra pressure to be piled on already overstretched GP and A&E services.

It is unbelievable that the government is pushing ahead with these cuts despite admitting they have no idea of the final total of pharmacies that could close as a result.

In Lambeth we are clear that these funding cuts pose a severe threat to our local community health services. Please support our campaign opposing these cuts to the community pharmacies that residents across Lambeth rely on by signing our petition calling on the government to reconsider

http://www.lambeth-labour.org.uk/save_our_pharmacies

Cllr Jim Dickson

Cabinet Member for Healthier and Stronger Communities

Tory cuts threaten local pharmacies across Lambeth

The Tory government have announced that they are pushing ahead with huge cuts to community pharmacy budgets, meaning that pharmacies will face a 12% cut on current funding levels for...

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