Cllr Scarlett O’Hara is a councillor in Coldharbour ward.
This is a young borough and a thriving borough. From Brixton’s buzzing markets to the cultural highlights of the South Bank, Streatham’s ever-changing high road and West Norwood’s friendly neighbourhood, Lambeth has a lot to offer. We are home to cutting-edge medical research at Kings College Hospital and world-class creative enterprises across the borough. Lambeth is a place that doesn’t sit still and despite the terrible blow of COVID-19 to our residents’ lives and our businesses, Lambeth will recover.
This plan is a 360-degree look at what we have, what we need to do now and what we want for the future. People come first here with a focus on the inequalities that exist and how to reduce these. We have a young population with a high number of people on furlough, we have high numbers of unemployed – with Black residents 4 times more likely to be unemployed than white and with 53% of our disabled community out of work. These are people who could thrive with some assistance and this is an opportunity to tackle inequalities and put them at the heart of the recovery.
Because we are a Labour-led council, tackling inequalities underpins everything we do. Expanding the training and support available will help unlock the potential of all our residents. Lambeth made a rapid and effective response to the lockdown, providing a business hardship fund with grants to keep our businesses going and advice for those who were struggling. This response will be matched by a fast and flexible plan for recovery: getting newly unemployed people back into work promptly with online training to upskill and reskill; clear pathways for young people to guide them into training, university or direct into work with local employers, and Apprenticeships are a priority with an impetus to expand and encourage their take up across the borough.
These outcomes are measurable so we can see the number of unemployed 18–24 year olds who find work; the total apprenticeships that are taken up; and the numbers of minority ethnic groups and disabled people who find employment.
We know this is ambitious and we can’t do it alone. Fortunately, Lambeth has strong partners to work alongside to deliver training, advice, and wellbeing support for residents along the way. Becoming unemployed can be a bruising experience but we want people to know that there is help for them and they are not alone.
Just as neighbourhoods pulled together during lockdown to support each other, now we are forming neighbourhood economies, encouraging major employers in Lambeth to utilise local supply chains and spend in their surrounding neighbourhoods.
Building on our strong sectors in the borough: health and life sciences, low carbon solutions and creative and digital industries, Lambeth is looking ahead and building a resilient economy that benefits all our residents.
Cllr Scarlett O’Hara