Why lobby the cop out council?

Lobby of Lambeth Council – 29 February 6pm at Lambeth Town Hall

When we lobbied the council last year we shut their meeting down

Lambeth’s Labour led council has been spending thousands of pounds of taxpayers money selling us their vision of the Co-Operative council. But, what exactly does this mean?

You will have heard a lot of phrases like:

“shared responsibility for delivering services”.

This just means our communities will have the responsibility to deliver the services for free or they will close.

“Involving the people who use services in their planning and delivery”.

This just means that the Council will tell you what they are going to do after the decisions have already been made and then ignore what you think anyway.

Here are two examples from last year that we can look at to see what we can expect in the future.

A year ago, The Lambeth Resource Centre, a Day Centre for Adults with Physical Disabilities was announced as one of the 12 National Pathfinder pilot projects for becoming a Staff and Service user lead Co-Operative/Mutual.

There was no consultation with staff or service users whatsoever in making this decision and one year on staff and service user involvement is still next to non existent.

No Business Case or Business plan has been produced.

In our Children’s services, the council has closed One-O’Clock Clubs and Adventure Playgrounds. Again, decisions were made without proper consultation with staff or parents or residents. When qualified staff were told they were losing their jobs Council managers said they could come back and work for nothing instead!

Now the council is set to start on Older persons Day Centres, Children’s services, Youth Clubs, Libraries and pretty much everything else.

These morally disgraceful examples show the absolute contempt that this council has for its working class residents.

Steve Reed’s Cop Out Council is implementing untried and untested social experiments and is using the most vulnerable, the most disempowered and disadvantaged people in our communities to test them on.

This is not about improving democratic accountability, increasing people’s involvement in services.

This is not about services being more responsive.

It is about the council walking away from any responsibility for supporting the most needy and vulnerable in our communities – Elderly and Disabled people, people with Mental Health Difficulties and children and young people.

You will hear again and again that “we simply can’t afford it”. “There are tough choices to be made “and “we now live in a world of austerity”.

And, meanwhile of course, the super rich Bankers in the city of London are once more helping themselves to monster bonuses and sitting on the money we gave them to bail them out when they gambled recklessly on the money markets and lost.

Nationally there is money to bomb Afghanistan and Libya and bail out the bankers. The money is there. This is not about just money. It is about using the crisis to dismantle the Welfare State.

This is the reality behind Steve Reed’s Co-Operative Council.

Any public service that is outsourced will be a public service gone forever. Any Co Op or Mutual, even if they were to exist, would have to compete in the open market and making a financial surplus would have to be the overarching priority for each service and service quality would come a poor second every time. This is a fight about the very principals of how our society is organised. It is a battle for the principal of a Welfare State.

We need to unite the entire community to fight back against these vicious and vindictive cuts.

Fight for services, delivered free at the point of need, fight for services that support the most needy and vulnerable in our society.

Join us and help us deliver this message to Steve Reed on February 29th.

Bring your friends and bring a banner from YOUR local organisation, school, workplace, college, user group or threatened service.

Lambeth Save our Services