Kaye Wiggins reports on the extraordinary events of last night’s Lambeth Council budget vote
Around 150 protesters occupied Lambeth town hall last night, forcing councillors to leave the main chamber and hold a private meeting at which budget cuts of nearly £79m over three years were agreed.
Councillors had been due to approve a budget settlement for 2011/12 at a public meeting in the town hall in Brixton. But after ten minutes of noisy chanting from the protesters in the room they left the room [listen to the Audioboo here], which the demonstrators occupied for more than an hour to protest about the proposed cuts.
“We want to establish a people’s democracy to discuss why these cuts are terrible and they’re attacking ordinary people in Lambeth,” said one of the protesters after the councillors had left.
Local residents and union members used the meeting to voice their concerns about job cuts and cuts in funding for libraries, language classes and playgrounds. They also discussed setting up more demonstrations in Lambeth and in central London to protest about the cuts.
Councillors passed the proposed budget cuts within an hour at the private meeting.
Photos and videos from the night:
Protestors occupying the chamber vote on whether they should oppose spending cuts. Unsurprisingly, it was a unanimous ‘yes’.