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When I heard about yet more cuts to our police force from this chaotic and failing Tory government, I was appalled, though sadly not particularly surprised. The Liberal Democrats with their Coalition partners (or should that be bosses?) started this campaign of rolling cutbacks when they were in power between 2010-2015. This of course sat alongside a policy of deep austerity to other public services, including to Lambeth council - which has seen a whopping 56% removed from its budget since the start of the decade.  Thanks to this approach, seemingly backed by Lambeth’s toothless Liberal Democrats and Tories, the Met has already endured £600 million in cuts. And now the Tory government has announced a further £400 million of planned reductions which incredibly means that over ten years one billion pounds will be removed from the policing budget in London.

Your Oval candidates 

When Theresa May can find the same amount down the back of the sofa to give to their new partners the DUP, we can see this is a political choice; this is about the Tory party and their survival, not about the safety of our capital city. Why not invest in keeping our exciting, metropolitan city secure and well policed, rather than risk making it less safe by using the money in a political deal?

 

London has already lost 1000 police officers. Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, has warned that these new cuts could mean we see a further 12,800 officers removed from our streets. In Lambeth, as well police officers, we are set to lose eight police stations, including Kennington which is my neighbourhood station in the north of the borough. Removing this station from public use will make it harder for residents to have a face to face officer to interact with, whether it’s to report a crime, make a complaint or get advice. Moreover, it surely doesn’t fill any of us with confidence that the government has a grip on tackling the big issues in our city more widely. Like helping us to tackle the growing threat of terrorism or protecting minority groups, such as the LGBT community or our diverse communities from different ethnic backgrounds, who have seen a rise in hate crime towards them in the past few years.

 

As the Safer Neighbourhood Panel chair for my ward of Oval, I have seen first hand how hard the police work. I'm proud that we have one of the few forces who do not carry guns and that has in recent years showed a willingness to learn from past mistakes and work hard on the ground to improve their relations with all sections of our community.

 

Like all organsiations, there is room for improvement, but we should maintain, or better still grow, our neighbourhood policing, not cutting it back to the bone. I am in no doubt: these closures will make it more difficult to carry out community-focussed neighbourhood policing that is vital to keep our streets safe.

 

Lambeth Labour councilors, local MPs and community activists are campaigning to save our stations. Lambeth leader Cllr Lib Peck has co-ordinated an open letter from council leaders of 20 Labour-run boroughs, to the government, calling on them to scrap this devastating approach and to work with the Mayor of London to keep stations open.  

 

I would urge every resident to sign our petition here and respond to the Mayor’s consultation paper here.

 

We must campaign to keep London safe – and Londoners deserve better that this Tory attempt at policing on the cheap.

 

Philip Normal

Labour candidate Oval Ward

We cannot protect the public on the cheap

When I heard about yet more cuts to our police force from this chaotic and failing Tory government, I was appalled, though sadly not particularly surprised. The Liberal Democrats with...

Lambeth's Labour Council is delivering the most ambitious council-led building programme in a generation.

New figures show that over the past year Lambeth has exceeded its planning policy of 40% affordable housing. 43% of new homes completed in Lambeth in 2016-17 were new affordable homes, including new social housing and affordable home ownership. Out of a total of 1,010 net additional new build units, 431 units were affordable. Taking into account replacement social housing on estate regeneration schemes the percentage of affordable housing built in Lambeth last year rises to 47%.


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Despite a lack of support for affordable housing from the Tory government Lambeth Labour is fighting for more and better homes for local people. We’re negotiating hard with developers, sticking to our policy position of 40% affordable housing, rejecting Lambeth Tories’ proposal to cut our policy position to a lower level. But we also know that securing a percentage of affordable housing from private developments will never be enough.

23,000 people are on Lambeth’s waiting list for social housing and nearly 2000 homeless families are in temporary accommodation that the council provides. To fight the housing crisis we can’t just rely on a slice of the private sector’s pie. With Labour Lambeth has launched the most ambitious council-led building programme in a generation. We were elected in 2014 on a pledge to build 1000 extra homes at council rent, alongside a £500m investment in improving our existing council housing.

We’re delivering on that promise: thousands of council homes have been refurbished with new windows, roofs, kitchens and bathrooms and our first new council homes in a generation are complete with local families already moved in. On our estate regeneration schemes we're not just rebuilding homes for all existing residents, we're increasing them. Over the next few months planning applications are being submitted for hundreds more new homes, and next spring 70 new council rent homes will be completed in Kennington. We’re also building new homes for private renters, with long tenancies, rent security and freedom from letting agent fees so we can drive up standards for everyone in the borough.

Earlier this month Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, awarded Lambeth funding for over 900 new affordable homes, more than any other London borough. We know that fighting London’s housing crisis will be hard, and will take a long time, but in Lambeth, with Labour, we’re delivering on our promise to build the homes we need to house the people of Lambeth.

Cllr Matthew Bennett, Cabinet Member for Planning, Regeneration & Jobs 

Lambeth exceeds affordable homes target

Lambeth's Labour Council is delivering the most ambitious council-led building programme in a generation. New figures show that over the past year Lambeth has exceeded its planning policy of 40%...

Tory cuts to local policing are putting the safety of our community at risk. Sign our petition against them!

Eight police stations in Lambeth could close as part of the Government's plans to slash £400m from the Met's budget.

 

 

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The force has already had to save £600m since 2010 and Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has warned that there could be 12,800 fewer police officers on London's streets.

The proposals, set out in MOPAC's Public Access and Engagement Strategy would mean the following stations would close:

  • Kennington
  • Streatham
  • Loughborough Junction
  • Cobalt Square
  • Clement Avenue
  • Coldharbour Lane
  • Norwood Road
  • Cavendish Road

The government is trying to protect the public on the cheap -  mass station closures will make it much more difficult for officers to carry out the community-focused, neighbourhood policing that is vital to keeping our streets safe.

That is why Lambeth's Labour councillors have joined with local MPs and respected community activists  to launch a campaign to end these cuts.

Together we have launched a new petition; help us send a clear message that the Government should scrap these cuts and work with the Mayor to keep our police stations open: https://www.change.org/p/sos-saveourstations

 

SOS #SaveOurStations

Tory cuts to local policing are putting the safety of our community at risk. Sign our petition against them! Eight police stations in Lambeth could close as part of the...

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