LOVE LAMBETH – LOVE LAMBETH BUSINESSES………
The following item, headed “Lambeth businesses join the council in fighting the rates rise” appears on Lambeth council’s Love Lambeth website:
“Lambeth council are working with the borough’s businesses to challenge the government over the impending huge hike in business rates.”
Included in the item – under the heading ‘Word from the Cabinet’ are the following comments from Cllr Jack Hopkins, Lambeth cabinet member for regeneration, business and culture, who says: “This huge rise in rates is incredibly unfair on businesses in London, and Lambeth in particular.
“We are a borough that looks to harness and encourage small businesses to grow, provide jobs and strengthen the local economy.
“We have a great track record in that, Lambeth has had the biggest rate of new business growth of any London borough, yet this huge increase in costs, on top of the uncertain economic climate, increasing rents and staffing costs, puts all that progress at risk.
“Businesses of all sizes are rightfully worried about these rising costs and we are standing up to government alongside them to try and protect their livelihoods and those of the staff they employ.”
Further reading: Lambeth Council hoofs out twenty local businesses from Carnegie Library in Herne Hill. Report by Mike Urban Brixton Buzz website – April 20, 2016 (Source: Press release: Love Lambeth 22 November, 2016)
The attention of News From Crystal Palace has been drawn to a circular sent out by Herne Hill ward’s three Labour councilors prior to last April’s occupation of the library.
Among the claims the circular makes are: “Carnegie library will be staying open”. (It closed last April and has remained closed ever since. The Home Library service which was run out of Carnegie appears to have been scrapped.)
“There won’t be librarians permanently based there, but there will be staff in the building to assist the public” it adds. (It’s not clear if these are employees of Lambeth council or Greenwich Leisure, which Lambeth Labour are hell-bent on handing the library over to.)
“It will be possible to supplement all this with volunteers so what we have going forward is in nearly all ways as good as what we have now.”
(No permanent library staff on premises, basement to become a gym which could easily be turned into a swimming pool at a later date / reduced library service etc. But first: Find your volunteers. Lambeth Labour councilors please queue here. )
The circular then goes on to extoll the virtues of the Carnegie Herne Hill Community Trust. “The council is currently considering a proposal by (the Trust) which they have been working on for some time to take over the building. (Some time? Four to five years, it would appear.)
“They have recently published their latest plans … which are based on consultation with residents. “You’ll see the large amount of work they have done in identifying viable uses such as a café, local business use and performance space.” (In secret).
The Carnegie Community Trust, for the benefit of new readers, is a secret group apparently set up sometime in 2012. Its current membership includes two former Labour councilors and the life partner of a former Lambeth Labour council leader. Previous members included Herne Hill ward Cllr Jack Holborn.
Its existence only became known to the Friends of Carnegie Library – who don’t even get a mention in this circular – and the general public because of a faux pas by Cllr Jane Edbrooke, the then cabinet member for culture, who mentioned it in an email in December 2014. In this email she referred to it both as a ‘steering group’ and a ‘project group’.
The Friends of Carnegie Library, along with eight other groups, have formed the Carnegie Library Association CIO and are also looking to take over the running of the library. No mention in the circular that the council are also considering their proposal.
As mentioned above, in the wake of the Carnegie occupation all the businesses using the library were kicked out.
FENWICK ESTATE PLANS
And there’s more:
The Winter 2016 edition of Lambeth Talk, one of several ways in which the Lambeth Politburo keep their citizens “informed” had the following headline which screamed:
“Mayor fast-tracks Fenwick for affordable homes” .
“Work on building new homes in Lambeth’s Fenwick South wasn’t expected before 2025. Now, it’s scheduled to start in 2017.” the story said.
But anyone reading the article further would eventually discover these are 55 new homes for social housing – and not some rushed-through demolition of Fenwick, one of six estates Lambeth Labour are hellbent on demolishing – even though their housing waiting lists figures have recently been called into question.*
The item in Lambeth Talk concludes:
“Mayor of London Sadiq Khan chose it (Fenwick as one the Transport for London (TfL) sites fast-tracked to help meet the housing crisis: ‘It is unacceptable for sites to sit unused when our
city is crying out for more housing’ he said.
The site is associated with redevelopment of the Northern line.
After development, it will be owned and managed by Lambeth. TfL has 75 sites (300 acres) across London with the potential for 10,000 new homes. Half those homes are to be affordable. All 55 new homes in Fenwick will be social housing.
A TfL spokesman said: ‘We’re working closely with the Mayor to deliver the types of development London needs. This includes affordable housing, while also generating revenue to reinvest in London’s transport.’,”
Cllr Matthew Bennett has put the following on his Twitter account:
I’m sorry I incorrectly said that Councillor Briggs was not a qualified solicitor. I understand he is.