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Councillor Lib Peck, Leader of Lambeth council, blogs on the triggering of Article 50 and the impact on Lambeth, where 79% of voters backed the Remain side 

It’s clear that the vast majority of Lambeth residents did not vote for Brexit.  The borough had the highest percentage of Remain voters in the British mainland - we wanted to stay in a united European Union. However, now the decision has been taken and Article 50 has been triggered this week, we know we have to get on with it.

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Cllr Lib Peck speaks to BBC London in Brixton on the morning the Government triggered Article 50

 Lambeth is an incredible place, very ethnically and culturally diverse.  310,000 people live here in a small place and over 120 languages are spoken; people feel very comfortable with that diversity.  Rather than simply tolerate it, we celebrate it and as a result of that we’re very outward looking and obviously a lot of people here have connections across the world.

That will not change.

Moving forward, there are things that we need to press the government to deliver in any agreement reached as part of leaving the EU. 

We’ve got to keep making the case about how important it is that local communities are given certainty, that the many EU nationals that are living here feel that they are wanted and valued and we want them to remain living here – that’s a message we give here at a local level but I’d like to see the national government give that much more certainty. We will call on the Prime minister to give those cast-iron guarantees to EU nationals that I know has been causing concern amongst our community.

 

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Lambeth In campaigners with Eddie Izzard during the EU referendum campaign

Along with our business community, as a council we also need economic certainty.  Lambeth has a great track record of attracting small businesses and start-ups, we must work to keep that success going and continue to support our local economy to provide jobs.  Again we need certainty from government and the protection of London as a global economic centre, not just for the benefit of us as Londoners, but for the country as a whole.

I am confident that Lambeth will continue to be an open, outward looking and progressive place to live, that grows and develops with the changing times as we always have.

Lib Peck

Leader of Lambeth Council 

 

 

 

Our economy and the rights of EU nationals must be central in Brexit talks

Councillor Lib Peck, Leader of Lambeth council, blogs on the triggering of Article 50 and the impact on Lambeth, where 79% of voters backed the Remain side 

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Cllr Matthew Bennett, Cabinet Member for Housing, with the first family to move into a new council house built by Lambeth council in over a decade.

 

Last week Lambeth approved a set of key guarantees for residents whose homes will be rebuilt as part of the borough’s plans to improve some of the poorest quality housing in our community.

Labour is already delivering on the pledge to provide 1,000 new homes for council level rents in Lambeth. On Friday, I visited some of the first residents moving into these new properties in Vassall near Brixton. On top of the 17 already built this year, another 70 will be completed via similar projects.

But just as important as building new homes is improving existing housing in our borough. We are currently completing the most ambitious refurbishment of council homes in a generation, an investment of almost £500 million, with many residents getting new bathrooms and kitchens. But on some estates the council’s properties, partly due to structural problems dating back to when they were built, are in such a poor state that repair works cannot solve the problem. This is an issue I know only too well from an estate in my ward, Central Hill. I’ve been inside homes with leaking roofs, backflowing sewage and walls turned black with mould. Many of these properties would require levels of repairs that the council simply cannot afford, especially as the Tory government has cut the amount Lambeth can spend on upgrading homes by £100 million.

But it would be unacceptable for us to leave residents in these appalling conditions. This is why by June we’ll have submitted planning applications for three estate rebuilding schemes at Knight’s Walk, South Lambeth, Fenwick and Westbury, which will see all homes rebuilt for existing residents and nearly 300 extra homes for council rent. Cressingham Gardens and Central Hill will also be part of this programme.

In each of these cases, we are both creating more housing, and addressing the poor conditions that many residents on those estates live in.  We’re being ambitious in tackling the housing crisis. Not just talking about the need for more social housing, but actually getting it built, and families moved in. At the same time we have been working with residents on a set of Key Guarantees, which the council has now adopted. After extensive consultation with residents throughout the borough these guarantees represent the best offer in London: balancing the needs and aspirations of our existing tenants, leaseholders and future tenants.

For tenants who want to stay on their rebuilt estate, we’ll work with them to design their new home, large enough to meet their family’s needs, and their new estate. New homes will still have a lifetime tenancy, with identical succession rights as at present and with council (social) rents set in exactly the same way as for all current council homes in Lambeth. Alternatively, if they wish to move, they will be offered an existing council home or housing association home in Lambeth of their choosing through the council’s transfer scheme. We will provide a home with enough bedrooms to address any overcrowding and provide compensation to help with the cost of moving.

For resident homeowners, who elsewhere in London have just been given a cheque and told to go, we’ve put together a wide range of options to make sure that communities who want to stay together can stay together. Lambeth will provide an independent external market valuation of the home, with the ability to appoint a second value of the leaseholder’s choosing and at the council’s expense. Then we will pay 10% above market value and cover all moving costs: legal fees, stamp duty, mortgage fees to make sure that nobody ends up out of pocket. This can then be used to purchase a new home on the estate.

We’ll also work with them to design and build their new home. To ensure it is affordable, we’ve come up, through consultation, with four options – including rent-free shared ownership which will allow homeowners to move into a new home without paying anything extra; as well as support and options for anyone who can’t get a new mortgage or who faces problems with debt.

This means that nobody will have to leave their estate if they want to stay living there, and with our commitment to phasing rebuilding we’ll try to make sure residents only have to move once: from their current home to their new one.

Lambeth is, despite the complete indifference of the Tory government, building a new generation of council homes to help keep Lambeth families in Lambeth – and we’re doing this together with our residents. Rebuilding homes is a real challenge, but we are showing that it can be done in partnership and can keep existing communities together as well as supplying more homes for our residents.

Cllr Matthew Bennett

Cabinet Member for Housing

Lambeth Labour's commitment to building better homes for our residents

Cllr Matthew Bennett, Cabinet Member for Housing, with the first family to move into a new council house built by Lambeth council in over a decade.  

The new Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, is consulting on a new policing plan for London. The document - A Safer City For All Londoners - sets out his priorities. These include:

  • Keeping children and young people safe
  • Tackling violence against women and girls
  • Standing together against hatred and intolerance
  • A better criminal justice service
  • A better police service

Unlike the one size fits all, London-wide targets imposed by Boris, the new plan allows for priorities to be set at a local level. By working closely with local people and community organisations we can achieve more for our residents at a time when all our services face significant budget cuts. 

The focus on youth violence is welcome. We are working hard with a range of local community groups to tackle the rise in knife crime in our borough and we welcome the intention to develop a Knife Crime Strategy. We also support the approach to tackling violence against women and girls which reflects the high priority we have given the issue in Lambeth. 

We think that this is the right plan for London and will help make our city safer and our policing fairer.

Lambeth's response to the consultation was co-signed by the borough's 3 MPs, Assembly Member and key local stakeholders. You can read it below. 

Mohammed Seedat, Cabinet Member for Healthier and Stronger Communities

 

 

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London's policing priorities

The new Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, is consulting on a new policing plan for London. The document - A Safer City For All Londoners - sets out his priorities. These...

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