In Lambeth’s forthcoming budget we have set out our plans to exempt our care leavers from paying Council Tax until they are 25, to help give them the most stable start possible to their adult lives.
We know that many young people leaving council care are less likely to be in full time employment and more likely to struggle to manage their finances and fall into debt. This small step is at a relatively low cost to the council and will help hundreds of care leavers from April. We have worked closely with the Children’s Society on this issue.
We want to do everything we can to ensure our children leaving care have the best possible start to their adult lives, and we hope to set out plans on how we can do that in the coming months and in the manifesto.
Lambeth is a great place to live, work and invest because of its location, its people, its character and assets. The existing Lambeth Local Plan, adopted in 2015, contains a strong vision for the development of the borough to improve opportunities for local people.
However, Lambeth Council need to partially update it and this updated Lambeth Local Plan, together with the Mayor of London’s London Plan and neighbourhood plans, will set out the vision and robust planning policies needed to direct and guide development in the borough over the next 15 years to meet our future needs.
As a part of updating Lambeth’s Local Plan we are consulting with residents and stakeholders – and want local residents to have your say. You can have your say right now by going to:
Lambeth’s Electoral Services has started the process of updating the electoral register for 2017/18, during which every residential property in the borough will be contacted. Household Enquiry Forms have been sent to around 142,000 residential addresses in the borough.
The quickest and easiest way to respond is online at householdresponse.com/lambeth. Residents will need to enter both parts of their security code to confirm existing details or add/delete names. If current details are correct, a response can also be completed by telephone or SMS by following the instructions on the form. Using the automated response options is the most convenient way of responding for the majority of residents and reduces the cost of the canvass to council. However, residents can also complete and return paper forms using the pre-paid envelope provided if preferred.
Reminder HEFs will be sent to all non-responding properties on 28 September and canvassers will be making personal visits to non-responding properties and individuals from 12 October. Lambeth currently has the second highest electorate in inner London, with almost 240,000 voters. Initial forms should start to arrive this weekend and the beginning of next week.
As a Council we face huge financial challenges. The Government has cut our funding by over 56% since 2010 and this has meant that the parks budget has reduced.
However, our priority has been to manage this challenge in a way that minimises the impact on parks users. We have cut back office costs, brought the maintenance service in-house and introduced a ‘Parks Investment Levy’ so that the proceeds from major events can be reinvested in our parks.
All this while we receive Green Flag park status across twelve of our parks in Lambeth – including Brockwell Park – meaning that they are officially ranked amongst the very best in the country.
We have also looked at opportunities for augmenting the reduced budget by earning more from the parks’ assets, such as introducing licensing for fitness trainers or professional dog walkers.
We are confident that the vast majority of residents won’t have noticed any difference in their local park – and we want to keep it that way. The council works very closely with Friends of Parks groups and together a new Parks Charter is being drawn up. This will set out and define the partnership between Lambeth and the Lambeth Parks Forum (the representative body of park users) and will cover things like oversight of the budget, maintenance, consultation on nearby planning applications and how any available money (Section 106 or CIL) will be spent. It will also create a forum where users can propose initiatives, express concerns and receive regular feedback on the management of parks.
Finally, on a very positive note, in January 2015 Lambeth’s Cabinet approved a “Parks Capital Investment Programme”, paving the way for over £20m of investment up to 2019. Around £11m of this will come from Lambeth and the remainder from external sources such as the Heritage Lottery. We are determined to see our parks protected so future generations can continue to enjoy them.
Lambeth council is working with the borough’s businesses to challenge the government over the impending huge hike in business rates.
The business rate revaluation, which is due to come into force from 1 April next year, will see some businesses in Lambeth face an immediate 45% hike in business rates, with the average rise being around 35%.
To find out more and sign the petition please see the below;
The Labour Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has confirmed his plans for Low Emission Bus Zones across London. These will identify the most polluted routes and prioritise them for the greenest buses in order to clean up our toxic air.
From October 2017, this will see big improvements to the A23 route between Brixton and Streatham. This route will be served exclusively by hybrid or diesel buses with top of the range anti pollutant systems whoch meet or exceed European standards. Lambeth is one of the two first schemes to benefit from the new plans and it is expected to reduce NOx emissions by over 80%.
Cllr Jennifer Brathwaite, Lambeth’s Cabinet Member for Environment & Transport said: “This is great news in the fight to improve London’s air quality. Brixton and Streatham see a huge amount of buses travelling through and it has had a real impact on air quality in the area. In Lambeth, we are determined to see our air quality improve and we welcome the new low emission bus zone – it is something that we have been lobbying the Mayor for and it is encouraging that he seems as determined as we are to make a difference. We will continue to work with the Mayor and TfL to make Lambeth a cleaner and safer place to live.”