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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...

As a Brixton resident and small business owner I am proud to stand as a Labour and Co-op candidate to represent Ferndale ward, which covers parts of central Brixton and Clapham.

My business is a family business based in Electric Avenue known as Kashmir Halal butchers which has been established since 1980, representing and providing services to the local community. I have been bought up and lived here all my life and am proud to have been accepted by the community. The reason for me joining the Labour Party was because I saw the acceptance and values of the Labour Party. My family came to this country in late 1970 - they were migrants and they often felt like they would not be accepted in society as they were not born here. Sadly at times the abuse and hatred which was received was not acceptable, but they saw the Labour values where migrants were made to feel safe and welcome and not to be felt like they were outsiders but part of this country.


I decided to join the Labour Party because of those Labour values which related to me: tolerance, acceptance and giving ordinary people a voice and, if in power, giving them the opportunity to improve their lives.

I've also seen that Lambeth Labour  has a track record of working with businesses across the borough. Labour has established seven Business Improvement Districts (BIDs).  As a Brixton BID board member myself, I’ve lobbied for many improvements in the area and support for businesses such as lighting, police officers, reducing business costs and also brighter cleaner and safer streets which attract more people to the market and support us as it feels welcoming and looks much more attractive.

I have seen first-hand the support Lambeth Labour has offered businesses through innovative council initiatives. I was proud to join my Labour colleagues to campaign against the Tory government’s business rate hikes last year which threatened the future of many local employers. As well as lobbying the government, Lambeth Labour used its own powers to support businesses through a discretionary business rate discount scheme which I know has allowed many traders to remain in the borough.  

Under Labour, Lambeth council has protected the small, independent businesses that make our area special. Following lobbying by the local Labour Team, new planning rules were introduced banning developers from converting workspace into flats which has helped protect jobs and preserve the identity of Brixton’s high street. Over in the refurbished Town Hall, Lambeth Labour is creating a new co-working space, while catering businesses will soon be able to use a new space in Loughborough Junction.  

In our manifesto, Lambeth Labour has pledged to create at least 140,000 square foot of affordable workspace across Lambeth over the next four years, helping to create hundreds of new jobs. Labour will prioritise local businesses and start-ups, offer discounted space on council land and require it in new commercial developments so that local businesses aren’t priced out of the borough.


Labour's Ferndale Action team: Irfan Mohamed, Jess Leigh and Josh Lindsey

I’m also delighted to see that Lambeth Labour has pledged to work with business to be better employers. The manifesto pledges to make it a requirement for organisations that receive council grants or that rent commercial property from the council to pay the London Living Wage. Lambeth Labour will partner with the BIDS to promote Living Wage Zones, supporting local businesses to become Living Wage Employers and encourage businesses to adopt the Mayor’s new ‘Good Work Standard’. Labour also pledges to work with the business community and other local organisations to ensure that over 1,500 apprenticeship opportunities are created in Lambeth.

As well as my passion for business, I am also involved in many other organizations which work very closely and tirelessly for the community and am particularly passionate about mental health. In our manifesto, Lambeth Labour has a strong commitment to improving mental health services including working with schools and training Mental Health Champions. I hope that if elected, I can help make a change and to help increase support in the health and wellbeing of individuals within our community.

Irfan Mohamed, Labour candidate for Ferndale Ward

Why I’m Standing: Labour Means Business

As a Brixton resident and small business owner I am proud to stand as a Labour and Co-op candidate to represent Ferndale ward, which covers parts of central Brixton and...

A speech given by Councillor Jim Dickson at the Herne Hill Forum local elections hustings on 17th April. 

I want to thank the Herne Hill Forum – one of both Lambeth and Southwark’s great community organisations - for arranging these hustings tonight and so many people for coming.

I think whatever divides the parties tonight - and there are many things - we are all united by the conviction that Herne Hill is the best place in London to live with an amazing and inclusive community.

I’ve been a resident of Herne Hill for 30 years and there have been some really big changes in the time I’ve served on the council since the 1990s; very many of them for the better. 

  • I think of the way the community have taken Brockwell Lido from being a decaying hole in the ground – closed by the council in 1990s - to a great community asset.
  • I remember how the people of Herne Hill in partnership with Lambeth Council and TfL have transformed the Herne Hill’s station square from a polluted through road to a place we can call our own with a thriving local market and performance space.
  • There’s the amazing work done by residents around Ruskin Park with the council to keep the padding pool open for the last 2 summers.
  • I see the brilliant example of  ‘Herne Hill Welcomes Refugees’ matching Lambeth’s trailblazing work housing 23 Syrian refugee families by housing a family as a community sponsor


What that all has in common is the power of a community, showing real co-operative values working closely with a Labour council and a Labour Mayor to transform our area for the better.

And that’s very much our ambition for the Carnegie library which has now re-opened permanently, for the stable block project and plans for Ruskin Park to be a health park and the 198 Gallery  - which the council cannot subsidise any more -  but has received a grant to expand and redevelop so that it can grow its digital and cultural offer to young people.

But we can’t pretend that everything’s fine – we’ve got some huge challenges which are mainly the result of the Tory austerity programme which has seen Lambeth lose 56% of its government grant or £238m in the last 8 years. 

  • Our NHS and our schools which we’ve all worked so hard to improve are being stripped of funding by the Conservative government and it’s up to us to fight that. Because great early years provision and excellent schools are the genuine route out of poverty not Theresa May’s bogus grammars.  Lambeth’s excellent 23 children centres (more than any other London borough) including Effra Nursery and Jessop Early years Centre are crucial to that.
  • In the face of a housing crisis we need to find sites for new social housing at genuinely affordable rents. The council is delivering 1,000 new homes at council rents and has ensured many thousand more homes from other providers.  And there are sites in Herne Hill where this can be done.
  • Finally we want our local streets and parks  to be safer and healthier for us all; and Labour’s record investment in roads and pavements, new street trees, the 20 MPH limit, opportunities to cycle and action on flytipping is beginning to do this

So our message for May 3rd is use your 3 votes for Labour for Jack, Pauline and I for a better, fairer, greener Herne Hill.

How Labour has delivered for Herne Hill

A speech given by Councillor Jim Dickson at the Herne Hill Forum local elections hustings on 17th April.  I want to thank the Herne Hill Forum – one of both...

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