Cllr Paul Gadsby is the Cabinet Member for Housing and a councillor in Vassall ward.
Sadly there is little sign that the recent election will result in a new bonza of investment in local government. Shortly before his row with Prime Minister Cummings, I mean Johnson, soon to be Ex-chancellor of the exchequer Sajid Jarvid issued a demand for another wave of cuts that will as Lambeth Council heard recently, put yet more pressure on public services.
So councils need to ensure that while the public fight against austerity is going on, we are being innovative and forward looking when it comes to delivering improvements to our estates.
One area that showcases this is the approach we have taken in Lambeth towards making our estates cleaner and greener. Currently, we are rolling out projects in Stockwell and Larkhall with an overall budget of £200,000. This will pay for a variety of improvements: green planters on current empty spaces, green planting on the top of garage roofs and as this before and after shot shows, new planters circling round bin areas. These projects are being carried out by specialist social enterprises like Father Nature with the involvement of residents. These are important projects, as local councillor Lucy Caldicott has said; “Flowers and plants make everyone happier so it’s great to see Lambeth Council making the effort to cheer up these formerly unloved corners of Stockwell.”
Where does all the funding come from this? Well in Lambeth we are ensuring that any developer that wants to build in the borough is putting something back into the neighbouring community. So these projects are being directly funded by these taxes and as we announced recently, we’ll be squeezing even more out of this area going forward. I think it’s particularly important that housing estates, which are packed full of people who have a passion for the environment, get a fair share of this funding.
So while the government appears to want to keep up the squeeze on the public purse, Lambeth Labour will keep on innovating to ensure our community gets the improvements it deserves.