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The Chair of Streatham St. Leonard's Safer Neighbourhoods panel has backed Stephen, Robert and Saleha, Labour's candidates for St Leonard's ward in the the local elections on Thursday 3 May.

Local resident Mahdi Hassan chairs the group which is responsible for working with police officers and the wider community to keep our neighbourhoods safe.


Mahdi said: ''Stephen Donnelly, Cllr Robert Hill and Cllr Saleha Jaffer campaigned tirelessly to save Streatham's police base from Conservative cuts. I'm backing them at the local elections on 3 May because as a strong team they'll stand up for safer neighbourhoods, by fighting the cuts to local police services, and by cracking down on anti-social behaviour on our streets.

Stephen, Robert and Saleha have been vocal campaigners against the Conservatives' austerity agenda, which has pummelled frontline police numbers in London, with over two thousand officers lost from our streets.”

The local elections are taking place on Thursday 3 May. 

Local 'Safer Neighbourhoods' Chair backs Stephen, Robert and Saleha

The Chair of Streatham St. Leonard's Safer Neighbourhoods panel has backed Stephen, Robert and Saleha, Labour's candidates for St Leonard's ward in the the local elections on Thursday 3 May....

Cllr Christopher Wellbelove blogs about his experiences with the benefit system and Lambeth Labour's commitment to help those who need it most... 


The changes by the Conservative Government to the benefits system over the last eight years have had a massive impact on people across Lambeth. The Conservatives have cut benefits, introduced the bedroom tax and rolled out a flawed Universal Credit system.

Most of us would agree that the benefits system has needed to change. The complex systems, bureaucracy, let alone the endless forms and pitfalls can result in people going hungry, losing their homes and many being driven to the brink of suicide.

I remember my own experience of the benefits system: the many different offices you are forced to visit, the faceless decisions that have a massive impact on your life, together with stress and helplessness when you receive a letter saying you are being you are being denied what you need simply to live and go on to find you were actually entitled to.

But the Conservatives’ changes are making things worse, not better for those entitled to support.

Labour has responded with actions to attempt to mitigate the impact of the introduction of Universal Credit. We have invested to protect residents from the impact of those cruel policies, by establishing a relief fund to help struggling families pay their bills and providing debt and benefits advice services that support over 12,000 people a year.

We’ve also introduced an employment service to help over 170 residents affected by the benefit cap to get into work. Through programmes like Every Pound Counts we’ve put £13.5 million into the hands of Lambeth residents by helping them access benefits that they were owed and supporting residents facing indebtedness.

In our manifesto, we commit to expanding our work to help those affects by the Conservatives’ cruel policies.

We will extend our partnership with the local voluntary sector to provide advice and support to Lambeth residents and ensure that all the advice is consolidated in one clear location on our website.

We will continue fight against a cruel and unfair Universal Credit system being forced on Lambeth by the Government and we will continue to ensure that nobody is evicted because of errors or delays in the benefit system.

And to support parents on Universal Credit, we pledge an innovative policy to partner with a local credit union to introduce an affordable childcare loan for local parents so that they can return to work without ending up out of pocket.

Only Labour has the strong track record and pledges to stand up against a bureaucratic Conservative government doing whatever we can to help those in need.

If ever there was evidence needed why Lambeth needs Labour councillors to provide whatever we can in response to the cruel and uncaring actions of a Conservative government, this is it.

Labour is standing up against the Conservatives’ cruel benefit system

Cllr Christopher Wellbelove blogs about his experiences with the benefit system and Lambeth Labour's commitment to help those who need it most... 

As we celebrate Shakespeare day and UK’s proud creative history, representatives from cultural organisations have praised Lambeth Labour’s approach to working with them and its wider cultural work in the borough. 

Lambeth is home to many vibrant cultural organisations, from large well known destinations to smaller community groups.


Cllr Peck with Martin, Jon and Katherine from The Cinema Museum 


In this spirit, Lambeth submitted a comprehensive bid to be London’s Borough of Culture which was created in partnership with over 200 grassroots and internationally renowned cultural organisations.

Despite not being named one of the official London Boroughs of Culture, Lambeth Labour is committed to working to make many of the ideas in the bid possible.

In recognition of the borough’s leadership in the arts, as part of the London Borough of Culture awards, Lambeth was awarded funding for its ‘Next Generation’ project which will see Lambeth Council work alongside key cultural institutions in the borough to provide skills, jobs and opportunities for young people and those underrepresented in the cultural workforce.

Lambeth was also recently awarded funding from City Hall to develop a new Creative Enterprise Zone project for Brixton. The project will aim to support the area’s growing and diverse range of creative industry jobs, create more in workspace, help businesses network, make sure local creative talent is involved in improvements to the area and develop new ways of helping targets groups get access to jobs in the creative sector.

In our manifesto, Labour commits to continuing to offer cheap, discounted access to leisure and sports facilities for young people and work with Lambeth’s world-famous cultural partners to improve access to culture and the arts for children and young people in Lambeth.

Labour has received support from representatives from small organisations like the 198 in Herne Hill to large organisations including the Old Vic and the Southbank Centre.

Cllr Sonia Winifred, said: “Labour is the party of culture. I am proud of our work with the community to deliver a comprehensive bid to the London Borough of Culture which we are committed to working on going forward. It is through our partnership with organisations across the borough that keeps Lambeth a thriving place to make and enjoy the arts.”

Jude Kelly, Artistic Director of the Southbank Centre, said: “Lambeth has a thriving and interconnected cultural scene that recognises the importance of the entire eco-system, from small neighbourhood programmes through to the International Arts Institute. The Council champions the belief in culture being a right for all its citizens and Lib Peck in particular has given time, thought, leadership and vision to both the creative economy and the quality of life issues that culture contributes to.”

Kate Varah, Executive Director of The Old Vic, said:  “Lambeth has for more than 350 years been the home of entertainment and particularly of the theatre in all its various forms. The Old Vic, celebrating its 200th birthday this year and proud to be a cultural icon in the borough, continues that theatre tradition coupled with a strong social mission. 

“Lambeth and The Old Vic are partners, working together to provide skills, jobs and opportunities through the theatre's programmes focused on improving employability. The Old Vic's doors are wide open to the young people of Lambeth, through tickets to performances, workshops, careers  events and safe spaces.  This year,  Front Line , the theatre's much applauded front of house scheme of paid placements  is being rolled out across the borough  to create another 30 new opportunities. Congratulations, Lambeth, on brilliantly winning one of 6 Cultural Impact awards for from the Mayor London to make this possible.  

"And thank you and  for being  such an imaginative, creative, forward looking partner with The Old Vic and for supporting our Capital project of investment and renewal of the Theatre so that we can achieve more together in  the future. Together we are more than the sum of our parts.”

Deborah Bestwick, Director of the Oval House, said: “The partnership between Ovalhouse and Lambeth has been a really bold move – and enabled Ovalhouse to bring in money from the Arts Council, Trusts and Foundations and private donors, all towards a new theatre, arts facility and creative employment hub in the centre of Brixton.

“I think it was quite visionary, in times like these, to put a new theatre at the heart of a new council-led housing scheme. It’s given us a base from which we can work with Lambeth and other agencies to lever in more resources for jobs , training and cultural activities. A whole range of arts organisations are coming with us, and there will be workspaces for many more  – all bringing their unique offer of performances, training, jobs  and young people’s activities.

“We are looking forward to working even more closely with Lambeth – we can support the CEZ bid, for example. The creative and arts sector of Brixton has long been one of its strengths and it has been exhilarating to work with the council on making the best of this.”

Lucy Davies, Director of the 198 Contemporary Arts and Learning, said: “Thank you for the support that has been given by Lambeth to 198 as we try to develop the gallery’s premises in Railton Road to create a fully sustainable arts organisation including enhanced gallery spaces, workspace and youth arts and enterprise facilities  for Herne Hill and the borough.

“There is a real opportunity to create wider impact by linking up different initiatives and positioning Lambeth as a Borough which recognises and is taking action to support the creative and cultural industries which are a growth industry.”

The Trustees and volunteers of The Cinema Museum, said: “Lib Peck and our Ward Councillor David Amos listen to us, but they also asks the right questions - that’s why they understand the value of our building, our collections and our work. They help us strategically and practically and we are confident that with this level of support we can secure the long term future of The Cinema Museum at The Masters House. That matters a lot to us and our neighbours.

“The Cinema Museum is a museum of cinema memories and our aim is to use our assets to increase the wellbeing of people; our councillors really understand and value that work. They spend time with us, they listen to our needs and they work alongside local residents to protect our future and fight our corner. We seem to care about the same things - and when resources are tight that’s invaluable.

“We have been fighting for the future of The Cinema Museum for the past 11 years - and over that time we have noticed a real ‘step-up’ in attitudes and action at both local councillor and Leadership level. Lib Peck, Florence Eshalomi, David Amos and other local councillors have invested a lot of time in understanding the complexity of our position and are fiercely committed to the sustainable future of our collections and our work.”

Cultural organisations praise Labour for embracing the arts

As we celebrate Shakespeare day and UK’s proud creative history, representatives from cultural organisations have praised Lambeth Labour’s approach to working with them and its wider cultural work in the...

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