THE PROBLEM LAMBETH COUNCIL HAVE? LAMBETH COUNCIL THEMSELVES
The Concise Oxford dictionary definitions of the word ‘listen’ include: To make an effort to hear something; Take notice of and act on what someone says; respond to advice or a request:(e.g: “I told her over and over again, but she wouldn’t listen.”). Its origin: Old English hlysnan ‘pay attention to’, of Germanic origin.
The problem is that Lambeth council don’t listen, and don’t pay attention. They just do what they want. Like certain other councils both Labour-controlled and Conservative controlled which this writer has covered there has been an element of “We’ve been elected – we’ve got the divine right to do what we want.”
You haven’t. You make much of your manifesto promise that you wanted to do something about improving housing.. What you neglected to mention in that manifesto was that under that promise you would be demolishing six council estates.
You also make much of the silent majority. So does Donald Trump. It’s a good line to use. Doesn’t work though does it?
Any dissent within the ruling Labour group is not allowed – as Cllr Rachel Heywood found to her cost. One wonders what fate awaits the one Labour councillor who voted against planning permission for the Brixton Arches development earlier this week.
You could understand it if Labour had a majority of four but they don’t. They have an opposition of four (Three Conservative, One Green).
Now, it appears, you are planning to stifle dissent at council and committee meetings.
In your press release Lambeth council leader Cllr Lib Peck says: “It is a very sad state of affairs when public servants are abused simply for doing their job.”
That’s the problem. THEY ARE NOT DOING THEIR JOB.
Councillors have refused to listen to any suggestions on the issues of libraries and council estates. Nothing for libraries, no monies to repair council estates.
But you gave building societies £98 million last year – with interest rates at their lowest ever. And yesterday – the date of your press release – the interest rate fell from 0.5 per cent to 0.25 pc. It’s lowest ever. Meaning if that money was invested you’ve lost a lot of potential revenue overnight. (Of course you could always blame Conservative Government cutbacks for that as well.)
From a housekeeping point of view that’s bonkers. (And you’ve spent – and continue to spend – loadsamoney on consultants.)
You don’t reply to anything you don’t like – whether it’s a ratepayer’s or a journalist’s enquiry. (War memorials in the Carnegie basement? No answer).
You cosy up to the so-called Carnegie Community Trust (out of five, two are ex-Labour councillors and a third is the life partner of a former Labour leader of Lambeth council). You berate the People’s Plan which the people of Cressingham Gardens produced as the ‘so-called People’s Plan’ – which you dismissed in a day.
You hold an overview and scrutiny committee meeting where the one item on the agenda is Cressingham Gardens (Brockwell Park / Tulse Hill). So where do you hold it? In a health centre between five and ten minutes walk from Stockwell tube station. 62 seats. Just enough….
If there’s only one item on an agenda which relates to a particular place then why don’t you hold such committee meetings nearer to that place? It isn’t rocket science.
As for the claims in your press release: News From Crystal Palace witnessed one moment of abuse when a cabinet member was approached after a committee meeting. But Lambeth council would not sit down with the organisation this man works with or listen to their ideas.
It hasn’t seen glitter (except on TV) or plastic eyes.
We’ve only got your word for that.