Great news on Brockwell Hall!

Brockwell Hall has been a fixture of Brockwell Park since 1813 although in recent decades has remained underused. We are very pleased to announce that a proposal launched in partnership between Lambeth Council and the Brockwell Park Community Partners to renovate the hall has been initially approved by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF). 

This means that the a programme of work can commence to design both how the hall could be improved and made fully open to the public, as well as looking at how the hall can be used as a venue to host weddings and other events to raise money for the park. The Brockwell Park Partnership Board has reviewed the management structure for this project and it will replicate the management structure for the successful HLF funded projected currently renovating Norwood Cemetery and the programme that repaired the landscape in the park a decade ago. 

The first stage of the work is now up and running and it’s aim is to produce a fully working proposal for the hall along with plans for renovation and rebuilding by the end of 2020. After that stage two of the HLF process will being and if all goes well the hall will reopen refurbished and in it’s new role in 2022. 

As your Councillors in our 2018 manifesto we committed to moving the park away from reliance on large music festivals as a income generation tool. Due to nearly a decade of austerity – in which the parks budget in Lambeth has been forced by successive Tory led governments Westminster to shrink by millions of pounds  – our parks have been struggling for money. Last year a large music festival was held in the park and this year a far smaller version is provisionally set to go ahead. Whilst this will raise money that goes directly into the park this is not sustainable in the long term, even though we have sought to manage music festivals in the park far better than has been done in the past. 

To this end we secured a review of the events policy, which is set to to recommend dropping overly disruptive targets for “event days” in the park as well providing further safeguards on events. We also have been looking at other long term measures to regenerate the park such as the regeneration of the football pitches so they can be used by the community and commercially by five-a-side leagues. 

We have been working closely with Brockwell Park Community Partners on all of these proposals and they have played a major role in realising these projects. The organisations that make the partnership play a vital role in keeping the park open for the 1000s of people from our community that use it every day.  It costs over £8000 a week to keep Brockwell Park running and we are determined to make it immune from the impact of any further budgetary pressure. Community driven projects like these can integrate with the park to provide long term financial stability for Brockwell park.

Lambeth Labour secures investment to help residents into employment

Lambeth Council has secured a share of £6m funding to help unemployed residents into work – especially those who are homeless or overcoming substance abuse. Lambeth is one of six initiatives commissioned by the London Councils, with funding also coming from the European Social Fund, part of the EU.

The programme will offer enhanced support for homeless residents and residents who have recently recovered from substance abuse, plus disabled residents, over-50s, BAME residents and women. It will be delivered by voluntary and community organisations across the borough from September 2016 to December 2018. Across the six projects, 4,500 people will be helped back into work in this needs-led approach.

Our deputy leader Paul McGlone, who is chair of the London Councils’ grants committee, said: “The money will be focused on those who are a long way from employment and will offer tailored support.”

PM council cuts hypocrisy

You may have seen in the news that David Cameron criticised his own local council in Oxfordshire for making cuts to frontnline services. The Conservative Leader of Oxfordshire rejected Cameron’s assertions on funding and points out that his council has already cut its back office functions, 40% senior staff and 2800 jobs, as well as selling all available property – all while taking on new responsibilities and managing increased demand for services.

In Lambeth we have lost over 56% of our funding since 2010 – much more than Conservative councils like Oxfordshire – which means unavoidable decisions about what services we can deliver, and how. David Cameron seems to think that there are easy decisions that councils can take, and offered Oxfordshire a meeting with his policy advisers. This kind of special treatment is a breach of the ministerial code so Cllr Lib Peck, Leader of Lambeth, has written to the Prime Minister requesting the same meeting so that she can make very clear to his advisers the reality of local government cuts in Lambeth.


Community Hubs Challenge Fund

The Community Hubs Challenge Fund is being proposed by the council to make investment funds available for local community groups and community-led social enterprises. The fund will be used for the refurbishment and redevelopment of community facilities across the borough.

This funding will enable the next phase in the growth of the community hubs network in the borough, to provide safe places for residents, community groups, and small and medium sized enterprises from which they can operate and deliver services. Community hubs will provide a home where community growth, community action, volunteering and enterprise will flourish.

The fund proposes to fund project’s in two ways; 1) the Match Challenge Fund, and 2) the Challenge Fund Purse. A total of £1,000,000 funding will be available for the financial year 2014/2015. The fund will be open for a maximum of 12 months, using two proposed funding rounds: (1) June 2014 to September 2014 (2) November 2014 to January 2015.

Community Hubs Challenge Fund