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Welcome to the website of Lambeth Liberal Democrats

Welcome to our website. Here you can find news, views, and contact information for Liberal Democrat campaigners in Lambeth

Latest News

  • Article: Jul 27, 2015
    Not just the sound of endless financial bungs to keep the Brixton Recreation Centre afloat but the constant leaks of chatter with little real news about the Brixton Rec's future.
    Lambeth Labour's Leader has staked her political future on the Brixton Rec remaining open - but how far into the future does that actually safeguard the crumbling structure?
  • Article: Jul 27, 2015

    How much does it cost local taxpayers for a bridge that hasn't even been built yet?

    The answer appears to be £10 Million, or thereabouts.

    A newly-signed agreement between Transport for London and the Garden Bridge Trust signs-off £30 Million for the project with the Department of Transport pledging a similar amount. Revealingly, though, TfL will hold back £9.7 Million on money it has already spent on the vanity project so far.

  • Article: Jul 13, 2015

    Senior Labour councillors will meet this evening (Monday) to vote on demolition of more than 300 existing homes on the Cressingham Gardens Estate.

    The proposals are vigorously opposed by estate residents, who want to see investment in the existing properties to bring them up to modern standards. Like much Lambeth-owned property, the Cressingham Gardens has long been neglected.

  • Article: Jun 22, 2015

    Brixton Rec Users' Group (BRUG), the community group originally set-up as an interface between users of Brixton Recreation Centre and Lambeth Council in the wake of reports that Lambeth wanted to close the iconic building, has issued a highly critical response to the Council's Feasibility Study on the future of the building.

  • Comment Logo
    Article: Apr 7, 2015


    Why is it that Lambeth Labour (rightly) bang on about the lack of affordable homes yet so conspicuously fail to do anything about it?

    In development after development that the Labour dominated planning committee vote to approve they cite every reason and excuse as to why each development completely fails to meet the Borough's quite reasonable minimum standards. Among the excuses is that they have little control over developers in areas such as Vauxhall which have been designated as growth areas.

  • Brixton
    Article: Mar 10, 2015

    Lambeth's recent Cultural Consultation documents - are clear about one thing. About half of its current libraries will be closing or provided in other forms, and not necessarily in standalone library buildings.

    But what about the Council's leisure centres - and the totemic Brixton Leisure Centre in particular? Labour has promised to keep it open you say? But didn't Labour promise free swimming for every resident in its 2010 Election Manifesto? No sign of that five years on.

  • Article: Feb 12, 2015

    So Labour-run Lambeth Council has just announced that it is now preparing to sell-off the Minet and Waterloo libraries?

    What's new?

    And it is also proposing to stop funding the Durning, Carnegie and Upper Norwood libraries - which will probably have the same result.

    Already there is outrage that such a calamity could be inflicted on local people and already
    Lambeth Labour has its stock defensive response in place - it's all the fault of Government budget cuts.

    Funny that. Because some of us remember that these self-same Labour Lambeth library closure plans have been kicking around since at least the late 1990s. Same libraries, same Labour-run council, same Labour cuts, same Labour closures.

    One big difference back then, though, and right up to 2010 - we had a Labour Government in power. Odd that.

    So before everyone starts manning the streets to protest in response to Labour's carefully orchestrated dog-whistles, perhaps it is worth reflecting that however important libraries are to community cohesion - and Liberal Democrats have always been powerful advocates of local libraries - the plain facts are that out of the 32 London Boroughs the Labour-run Lambeth libraries are among the worst.

    That's not just our view but that of the Institute for Public Finance Association (CIPFA) whose latest statistics show Lambeth libraries as having the lowest number of active borrowers and visits, the lowest number of book issues and the lowest number of books in stock. In stark contrast, the CIPFA also found that Lambeth has the highest cost per library visitor.

    Hardly surprising when Labour councillors pushed to have a new library in Clapham built by a private developer on Council land but hadn't factored-in any running costs - which eventually turned out to be the highest in the borough. Chaos just heaped on muddle.

    In fact the only period in recent years when this dismal downward spiral was checked and book stocks and book loans actually increased was when the Liberal Democrat-led coalition was running things for just four years down in Lambeth Town Hall.

    Reel back to those pre-Millenium days, though, and what do we find? Exactly the same situation. So why is it that Labour seems so utterly inept at running libraries in Lambeth that they now want to hand this decades-long political hot potato over to the community to run and solve for them?

    And why is yet another expensive 'consultation' being launched rather than just knuckling down and getting on with the job as so many local authorities do successfully up and down the country?

    You might even wonder, then, what is the point of having the best part of sixty smiley-faced Labour councillors all happily drawing a basic salary of £10,597 and goodness knows how many others on a cabinet salary of £28,518 on top of that?

    Try asking one of them in Gipsy Hill, Vassall, Waterloo, Herne Hill and Princes wards next time they call at your door?

  • Article: Jan 14, 2015

    Research by the Waterloo Community Development Group suggests that the steady erosion of office and other employment generating space through conversion to residential use has resulted in the dramatic loss of up to 12,000 jobs over the past decade.

    Despite being given a dispensation by central government from new national rules which make conversion from commercial to residential easier, it appears the Council hasn't been using the exemption for which they lobbied. It has meanwhile ignored its own planning policies in this connection.

  • Comment Logo
    Article: Dec 5, 2014

    It really beggar's belief just how badly Labour politicians have treated Streatham residents by failing to argue a case for a tube extension.

    With 29,000 people travelling by bus to Brixton every morning from the south of the Borough, the improvements to journey times, congestion and air quality which could be achieved by a tube extension to Streatham are obvious.

    Yet Lambeth's Labour Council remains horizontal in complacency. In recent Council papers, they called their Lambeth Transport Plan, formed in 2011, "a comprehensive piece of work". Yet its words on a Streatham tube, "Lambeth will continue to lobby for improved underground links for the South of the borough as there would be a huge benefit to the Streatham/Norwood areas if this could be achieved" have proved hollow. It is difficult to know how they could "continue" to do something they never even started.

    Instead of backing a Streatham tube, Labour councillors voted specifically to endorse a Northern Line extension - mainly supported by Tory-controlled Wandsworth - to the new millionaire's quarter being built in Battersea. They did so despite express warnings from officials that "the extension…would preclude any alternative extension of the Northern Line to areas such as Brixton and/or Streatham."

    By contrast neighbouring Southwark and Lewisham have successfully lobbied for an extension to the Bakerloo Line to benefit their Boroughs. Not so the 59 Labour councillors on Lambeth Council. Has any one of them made a concerted effort for Streatham? Has the local Labour MP for Streatham lifted a finger?

    To add insult to injury, there's now there's chaos at Brixton Tube. 27.2 million entries and exits each year (based on 2013 figures) cause crowding and queues at the best of times and the situation is worse still while the station's creaking escalators are replaced between now and next summer. Travellers are being told to go elsewhere to relieve the crush. Clearly, a choice of stations going south of Brixton would relieve much of the pressure.

    Having led the successful campaign to save the much-needed cross-London Thameslink overground service through Streatham station, Lib Dems are determined to see Streatham on the tube map. But Lambeth's Labour Council still refuses to commit to any work on the project. They even voted down a Lib Dem motion calling on Lambeth to investigate the case for Crossrail 2 to serve the Borough. With friends like that, who needs enemies?

  • Comment Logo
    Article: Oct 16, 2014

    Lambeth Labour has finally conceded defeat by announcing it is to scrap Lambeth Living, its costly ALMO (Arms Length Management Organisation)

    Born into this world in secret after the 2006 local elections this white elephant is finally to be put out of its misery following the June 2014 local elections, despite nery a word spoken in public about it by Labour during the campaign. New Cabinet Member Matthew Bennett strenuously denied that such a prospect was even remotely on the cards even as he took office.

    Liberal Democrats vehemently opposed the creation of the ALMO in the first place. Labour politicians then set up a dodgy poll of tenants and leaseholders promising a whole raft of improvements and cost savings. They also told tenants that voting for the ALMO would guarantee heaps of money from a friendly Labour Government that would transform their dire living conditions. Even this was not persuasive to perceptive residents, more of whom voted "No" and "Don't Know" to setting the organisation up than voted "Yes". Yet Labour ignored that verdict and ploughed on. In the event, not one penny of the promised funds arrived until the Labour Government was ejected from office.

    The best news for Labour was that the ALMO they'd created meant none of their raft of elected councillors nor their run of expensive cabinet members had any direct responsibility to their tenants - still less to leaseholders - for the catalogue of housing disasters that ensued.

    The management of leasehold properties has been a disaster, with millions being lost through mismanagement and homeowners forced to pay through the nose through overpriced contracts, while tenants have suffered misery from a failing repair service. Lambeth LIving's first chair was even forced to resign after being arrested on fraud allegations and later convicted.

    After the 2010 general election, the new Coalition Government announced that Lambeth was to be awarded £100 million, the highest amount of Decent Homes cash in the UK. And the Government has made hundreds of millions more available to Lambeth by reforming housing finance. Labour then cynically claimed credit for these funds - refused to Lambeth over a decade from their Labour colleagues in Westminster - at the same time as attacking the very government which made them available.

    Meanwhile, local Lib Dems rejoiced with tenants when decades of neglect came to an end with the funds from central government, and a programme of estate improvements began in earnest. Yet even this has proved too much for Lambeth Living with councillors finding their inbox full of cases where works have been botched by the organisation's expensive contractors.

Caroline Pidgeon