Rethinking Lambeth - for all

For me, being a Liberal Democrat is about empowering individuals, giving everyone the chance to realise their potential, working collectively to protect the most vulnerable in our communities, and being open and tolerant.

This is the first time I’ve been a candidate, having joined the Liberal Democrats after the 2015 General Election, to become part of a movement to keep alive those core values of liberalism and social democracy in our community.

The most exhilarating thing about campaigning in this election has been working with a group of candidates who share those values so passionately; be it on special education needs, mental health, environmental issues, libraries, women’s rights, affordable housing for all, and so many other issues.

Early on we hit upon the idea of ‘Rethinking Lambeth’ as a theme for our campaign, looking at innovative solutions as a way to bring about change for Lambeth. In difficult times we need bold ideas to make our borough work for everyone.

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Lambeth Labour on air pollution? Just hot air.

Local people have told us they think air pollution is one of the biggest environmental issues affecting our area.

One of the long-term solutions to cleaning up our air is to have greener vehicles on our roads. This will only happen if there are enough charging points for electric vehicles.

Shockingly Labour-dominated Lambeth Council failed to apply for Government funding for local authorities to install electric car charge points. As a result of Labour’s inaction, there is only a single charging point here in Streatham Wells.

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South London 'Watergate' must lead to urgent reform

The word “Watergate” recently took on a new meaning when Streatham residents were left for days without any running water. Residents had no flushing toilets, showers or drinking water when pipes burst following freezing temperatures. A minimum of 12,000 households were affected and were asked to visit water distribution points – sometimes as far as half an hour from their homes – to pick up bottled water instead. In the days following, neighbouring areas like Tooting Broadway and Herne Hill also suffered severe, hard to manage pipe bursts.

Thames Water’s handling of the situation left residents disgusted, and has highlighted the need for an urgent investigation into the company’s operating model and ability to deliver a proper service. The company, which paid a hundred million pounds in dividends last year, moved slowly to make repairs and failed to meet a series of self-imposed deadlines. Communication was patchy and sometimes contradictory. The company failed to set up enough water distribution points, or to deliver water to members of the community who were unable to travel.

 

Ofwat, the regulator, recently fined Thames Water the maximum penalty for failing to meet leakage commitments. And the company has clearly ignored recommendations made at a public meeting in Lambeth in early 2017, demanding that it improve maintenance programmes and mitigate against the potential for more burst pipes.

While Thames’ woes are a current hot topic in the media, local Liberal Democrats have been pointing out the failures of the current system for many years.

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