ALMOST 1,500 PEOPLE SIGN PETITION BACKING CLLR RACHEL HEYWOOD
Almost 1,500 people* have now signed the online petition calling on Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn MP to lift the six-month suspension imposed on Cllr Rachel Heywood at a Labour meeting held on Wednesday June 1st.
Comments on social media say Cllr Heywood has been told she will only have the suspension lifted if she retracts ALL statements made in public, apologises to the group AND expresses “contrition”.
The petition – started by Defend the Ten – states:
“We the undersigned, call on Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party to lift the suspension of Lambeth Labour Councillor Rachel Heywood.
“Rachel Heywood, who represents one of the most deprived wards in the country (Coldharbour ward) has been suspended for doing exactly what is expected of an elected representative: standing in solidarity with her community.
“Rachel Heywood’s ‘crime’ has been to fight the devastating impact of Tory central government attacks upon her constituents and Lambeth residents.
“Rachel Heywood proudly fought the ill conceived and dangerous Loughborough Junction road closures. “She rejects the closure of Lambeth Libraries and the proposed demolition of Cressingham Gardens, Central Hill estate and the Housing Act. “She rejects the displacement of long term resident businesses of the Brixton arches and the waste of public funds on the Garden Bridge.
“We are appalled that a special meeting of the Lambeth Labour Group and Lambeth Campaigns Forum has decided to suspend Rachel Heywood.
“We express our full support for Rachel Heywood and demand her suspension be lifted with immediate effect.”
The petition can be found on the 38 degrees website:
ANOTHER DISSENTING VOICE:
The Brixton Buzz website reports that Cllr Kevin Craig (Bishop’s ward) wrote a letter to Labour chief whip Cllr Paul Gadsby questioning the decision to suspend Cllr Heywood.
Vauxhall Labour MP Kate Hoey on Twitter: “She was right on Loughborough Roads,on libraries and on
@SaveCressingham. “Why does Lambeth Labour crush all dissent?”
AND THE NATIONAL PRESS ARE STARTING TO TAKE AN EVEN CLOSER LOOK:
Rosamund Urwin London Evening Standard June 2:
Lambeth’s bid to alienate local residents drags on. It emerged last month that the council — which has closed Minet and Carnegie libraries with the plan to turn them into what local site Brixton Buzz dubs “book-ish gyms” — was spending up to three times what it cost to run them on guards to secure the buildings.
Then last night, councillor Rachel Heywood, who spoke up against the closures, was suspended from the local Labour group for six months. About 130 residents came out to support her. But why, when she’s the one representing her constituents, is she being asked to be “contrite”?
REASONS FOR SIGNING
Among those who have given their reasons for signing the petition in support of Cllr Heywood are:
As a former trustee of Upper Norwood Library Trust, and regular library user and former Labour Party member, I’m disgusted at how Lambeth has behaved. It has reversed its position on libraries and many councillors have treated the electorate with open contempt. Rachel Heywood has been truer to the spirit of the Labour party and closer to its promises.
Rachel Heywood was elected by the people of Coldharbour ward, not by Lambeth Labour. How dare they deprive the Coldharbour electorate of democratic representation and render their councillor unable to provide it? Clearly the other councillors have a different view on Carnegie and Minet than their own electors: http://www.coldharbourlabour.com/
Democracy benefits from back-bench dissent which gives voice to important sections of the electorate. This need not be confused with the doctrine of cabinet collective responsibility, as it so often is by borough councillors with delusions of grandeur.
Libaries are so so important for our children and also they are a wonderful resource for everyone to enjoy.
Rachel Heywood is doing the right thing in representing and supporting the views and rights of the people by whom she was elected. LAMBETH LABOUR ARE NOT!!! Defend the Ten!
Rachel Heywood CARES about her community, cares about society and what the young and old need. Lambeth Labour should be ashamed of their actions and apologise to Rachel immediately for their disgraceful behaviour. Rachel Heywood is here to stay.
This Labour run Lambeth are for themselves not for the residents who voted for them. Rachel Heywood seems to be supporting the constituents and the wider borough. DEFEND THE TEN
As a Coldharbour resident I’ve been continually impressed by Cllr Heywood’s work on behalf of the community. She is always cited in meetings as being the one who is really serving and listening to the community. This action from Lambeth Labour Group is a disgrace.
An absolute disgrace, but unsurprising from the ‘Progress’ (right) wing of Labour in Lambeth to do this to someone of such integrity in Cllr Heywood, who actually stands for local working class people and who defends public services. Labour need to reinstate now.
*1,483 just after 5pm today (Tuesday June 7th)
*446 at 3.21pm (Friday June 3rd) – Ed.