Today, 22 June is Windrush Day, the 74th anniversary of the arrival of the Empire Windrush, one ship of many that brought Caribbean people to Britain to live and work. It is a mixed day however, as whilst it is a celebration of the arrival of the Caribbean community in Lambeth and Britain, it also reminds us that there is much left unresolved regarding the treatment of the community by the Home Office.
In that spirit, the unveiling of sculptor Basil Watson’s monument statue inside Waterloo Station today by Lib Dem Peer, Baroness Floella Benjamin and their Royal Highnesses should be both celebrated and serve as a wake up call to all who have power or authority that the job is not complete yet.
Two of our Lambeth councillors, Matthew Bryant and Ben Curtis attended the unveiling this morning along with representation from the national party.
Council Group Leader, Donna Harris said “We were pleased that the Boundary Commission supported the Lambeth Lib Dem proposal to name the new central Brixton Ward ‘Brixton Windrush’ in time for this year’s elections. Brixton became the heart of Lambeth’s Caribbean community in the years following the Windrush’s arrival and this goes some way to recognising that ongoing contribution”.
To see the video of the unveiling, click here to open in Youtube. The event lasts an hour or so.
Lambeth Council has a program of events running across the borough. See here for more details.
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Here in Lambeth, the Lib Dems are back.
We have returned three Liberal Democrat councillors to the Town Hall and are now the official opposition group on Lambeth Council.
Matthew Bryant and Donna Harris were elected to represent Streatham Hill West & Thornton ward. Ben Curtis was elected to represent Clapham Common & Abbeville ward.
Up and down the borough we’ve heard that people have had enough of the way the Tories are governing our country. That's why they voted to remove Lambeth's only Tory councillor from post in Clapham Common & Abbeville.
We’ve also heard that people across Lambeth have had enough of being taken for granted by Labour. Of being represented by Councillors who don’t listen.
Our Liberal Democrat councillors will work hard for you and for our community. They will challenge vested interests. And they will hold Labour to account.
We will stand up for the issues that matter to you:
We’ll fight for housing that local people can truly afford, not big developments for big profits. Clean air. Electric charging points. Community policing that works hand in hand with our communities for the safety of all residents, both at home and on our streets. And we’ll call for further support for our young people, who have faced so many set-backs during the pandemic.
Most of all, we will be your voice in the Town Hall, whether or not you voted for us.
Thank you to all across our borough who put your trust in us at these elections.
With so many people worrying about how they will afford life as prices rise, we are calling for an emergency cut to VAT to protect households from soaring bills. Our proposal to reduce VAT from 20% to 17.5% for one year would save local households an average of £600.
An emergency cut to VAT would ease the squeeze on households and boost spending on the high street. It could be introduced quickly and easily by the Government for one year and yet the Conservatives are moving ahead with tax rises and cuts to the support currently provided to those in the lowest-paid jobs; Liberal Democrats oppose the rise in National Insurance and the cut to Universal Credit for those on low incomes.
The Conservatives’ NI rise puts more pressure on household budgets. And it breaks a promise they made at the last General Election.
Committed to green innovation, the Liberal Democrats also plan a £9billion home insulation fund to cut carbon emissions and heating bills too. And a new windfall tax of mega-profits of oil and gas companies would raise cash to directly reduce utility bills for millions.
Locally, we want Lambeth Council to use its powers to enforce standards in private-rented homes to push up energy efficiency. This would have the dual benefit of reducing household bills and protecting the planet.
Bishop’s ward (now Waterloo & South Bank) is officially the most dangerous neighbourhood in Lambeth. According to the latest figures (Feb ‘21 - ‘22) published by The Metropolitan Police, it has the highest crime statistics in the Borough, with over 20 per cent more crime than the second most dangerous neighbourhood in Lambeth, Brixton.
What’s more, the vast majority of crimes were cases of theft and violence against individuals. Many of you have told us that you afraid to walk in our area after dark; and that you worry about your kids.
“With these sorts of stats, it’s unforgivable that Labour Lambeth has not taken urgent action,”
said Chris French, former special constable and Liberal Democrat candidate for Waterloo & South Bank, “When something happens, very often there is nobody to call for help.”
Lambeth Liberal Democrats calls on the Met to open a police space on Chicheley Street and to guarantee that the number of Safer Neighbourhood Team officers for the area will be increased and maintained.
Have you noticed crime is at an all time high? Share your concerns and views with local campaigners by contacting h[email protected]
Please do continue to call 999 in the event of an emergency.