OPINION – FANCY STANDING FOR ELECTION TO LAMBETH COUNCIL?
Some people may consider this question to be in poor taste.
But it’s a question which needs to be asked NOW.
Do you fancy putting yourself forward as a candidate standing on a joint ‘Save Our Libraries / Save Our Estates’ ticket in the forthcoming by-election.?
Job Description: There’s no salary. Lambeth council allow half their 63 elected councillors what’s called an SRA – Special ‘Responsibility’ Allowance and these have already been snapped up. (But you do get certain expenses.)
There’s lots of unsocial hours sitting on a few committees where you’ll be required to read officers reports beforehand; ward surgeries once or twice a month dealing with constituents problems, letters to respond to.
The reason the question has to be asked NOW is that by-elections are always called by the party which won that seat in the last election. And Labour only have to give between 26 and 35 days notice of it.
So if a ‘Save Our Libraries / Save Our Estates’ candidate is put forward they will need to be ready to move into action IMMEDIATELY.
As a candidate you must be a Lambeth resident and ratepayer, ideally living in Upper Norwood or West Norwood.
(At this point imagine you’re the Labour candidate in this by-election. Questions you won’t need to be fielding are: Why won’t you save all the libraries? Why won’t you save all the estates? Why can’t you keep Upper Norwood joint library as a proper library? Why do you want to demolish my Central Hill home? Will you follow Cllr Rachel Heywood and vote against your cabinet?)
As regular readers of News From Crystal Palace will know, the natives of Lambeth are revolting.
They are revolting against the hugely dominated Labour-controlled council’s plans for their libraries.
They are revolting against the hugely dominated Labour-controlled council’s planned Chelseafication of several of their estates – and not just Central Hill.
The immediate reaction of the main parties will be that anyone voting for you as the ‘Save’ candidate will be wasting their vote. Or that it could let the Tories in.
NOT IF THE SILENT MAJORITY HAVE THEIR SAY
Labour-controlled Lambeth have totally ignored the wishes of the people they are supposed to represent – and protect. They have just carried on steamrollering their proposals through.
Don’t want to be the candidate? How about joining the campaign team? If not, then how about being a foot soldier? Leaflet and poster deliveries? – Doorstep questions?.
Out there is a potential maelstrom of support. From the library users – and library campaigners. From the people living in fear and worry because of what Lambeth want to do with their homes.
As an independent councilor elected on just two issues you would have the freedom to decide on any other issue; listen to both sides of any argument (Home Rule for Crystal Palace anyone?) and not have to decide on party lines.
It would give you the chance to look closely at the finances – AND WORKING PRACTICES – of the department/s which come under the aegis of the council committees on which you would serve. (Something which all councillors in every borough should be doing instead of relying on officers’ reports).
Someone. somewhere has to give the main political parties, both locally and nationally, a major boot up the backside which says to them:
STOP wasting OUR money. STOP using us as pawns in your political games. START listening.
Don’t let it be them.
IT COULD BE YOU.