Cllr Dr Mahamed Hashi is the Deputy Cabinet Member for Youth and a councillor in Stockwell ward.
Over the last two weeks I have had the pleasure of visiting some of Lambeth Council’s 26 Easter of Food and Fun Hubs.
Hundreds of children, mostly those eligible for Free School Meals (FSM), have been enjoying free activities and healthy food as part of Lambeth’s biggest ever holiday programme.
We know that many children, particularly those in low-income families, in smaller homes, without gardens, have suffered over the last year during various lock-downs and economic shocks to household budgets.
Lambeth Council has done its best to step-up by distributing over 5,000 laptops and wi-fi connections, providing supermarket and utility bill vouchers to the nearly 11,000 FSM children the government refused to support during the holidays, and now providing more holiday activities and free healthy food than ever before.
As well as trying to take the edge off the worst of the impacts of child poverty and Covid with measures like these we’re also determined to use whatever powers and influence we have, to tackle underlying causes.
In our new council budget Lambeth Labour is lifting all council foster carers in the borough and 7,000 more households out of paying any council tax at all. That puts nearly £2 million in the pockets of Lambeth’s poorest families so that they can give their children a better life and more opportunities.
We are also supporting more of the borough’s biggest employers to get London Living Wage accredited. Last year alone we helped Guy’s and St Thomas’s and South London and the Maudsley NHS trusts, between them employing over 30,000, to get accredited giving hundreds of cleaners, caterers and other key workers pay rises worth over £100 a week.
We also successfully campaigned to keep free public transport for under-18s and we have more than delivered on our manifesto pledge to build over 1,000 social rent homes.
Life is tough for too many of Lambeth’s children and young people but Lambeth Labour, supported by our excellent Mayor Sadiq Khan, are determined to make this the best place in London to grow up in.
You can find more information about Lambeth children’s services here: Children, young people and families | Lambeth Council
Cllr Dr Mahamed Hashi