Cllr Jack Hopkins is the Leader of Lambeth Council and a councillor in Oval ward.
On the 12th December we have the opportunity to kick Boris Johnson’s Tories out of power, and return a radical and transformative Labour government that will deliver the change we so desperately need to see in our society.
Last week, Labour launched our manifesto for the general election. It’s fantastic to see the party putting forward game-changing policies affecting local government: £1 billion extra funding for council homelessness services; a fully-funded National Care Service and National Education Service; long-term sustainable funding for our schools, colleges and youth services; £1 billion fire safety fund to make our high-rises safe to live in. When Labour get into government, our manifesto will change the lives of those living in Lambeth from day one.
The section that I am most pleased to see in the manifesto is our commitments on housing. The Tories have done nothing to tackle the housing crisis in this country, and despite innovation from councils like ours, it has been near on impossible to meet the demand for housing due to restrictions from government. Under a Labour government there will be: 100,000 council homes a year; ending right to buy, allowing us to maintain and increase our housing stock; powers and funding for councils to buy back houses from landlords; a review of business rates, potentially replacing them with a land value tax on commercial landlords; rent capping and much more. Labour in government will bring a revolution in housing provision in the UK, and finally bring an end to the housing crisis this Tory government have facilitated.
After nearly a decade of crippling Lib Dem and Tory austerity, I am incredibly excited by the prospect of a Labour government that will rebuild our public services. Since 2010, the Tories have cut 60p out of every £1 from council budgets – in government we will restore funding for local government to pre-2010 levels in real terms. Labour will give councils the powers and funding to deliver the change in our communities we want to see, unhindered by central government cuts. Together we can elect a Labour government and go about making real change, for the many.
Cllr Jack Hopkins