COUNCIL: Young Mayor makes town hall debut as women’s protest continues

Lambeth Town Hall, by Laura Spargo

BY ROB DALE at Lambeth Town Hall

Lambeth Council met yesterday for its first full meeting since the London Mayoral Elections.

Protesters from the Lambeth Women’s Project, who face eviction from their base in Stockwell Road, gathered outside the town hall, Brixton Hill,to distribute leaflets and bang pots and pans before the meeting.

Inside the council chamber, the Lambeth Youth Council delivered their annual report, with the new Young Mayor, fourteen year-old, Simone Lala, being inaugurated in front of all councillors.

The Youth Council is a youth leadership and participation project for 11 to 19 year olds living in the borough. They host their first monthly Youth Council meeting later today.

Representatives from the Corporate Parenting team also delivered their yearly report to the council. Their presentation looked at issues that affect looked after children and had several of the councillors on the verge of tears.

Other issues discussed include prostitution, revoking of car parking fines, the future of libraries, homeslessness and squatting. In total, there were 20 motions on the agenda – a list of which can be found here.

Towards the end of the meeting, Leader of the Council, Cllr Steve Reed (Labour) gave a speech titled ‘I love Lambeth’. Opposite councillors on the Conservative and Liberal Democrat benches dismissed the speech for focusing more on his party’s policies; one quipped that the speech should have been titled ‘I love Labour’.

Nonetheless, councillors from all parties followed Cllr Reed’s lead and shared their views on why they love Lambeth.

The public gallery remained largely empty throughout. The Brixton Blog will post further reports from motions discussed at the meeting in due course.


  1. Councillor Bradley
    As a Stockwell resident (one of yours!) I find its hard to miss you – you put yourself about so much.

  2. Hi Simon – delighted to hear that I’ve got my own personal stalker now ! :o) Though you do try a little too hard x

    P.S. Poland was excellent – such a fantastic country. You should give it a look some time.

  3. Cllr Heywood’s hyperbolic faux outrage at my comments just reinforces the point that meaningful public political discussion in Lambeth has been replaced by overly-petty posturing and trigger happy mud-slinging.

    None of the points raised above relate to how Full Council actually operates. It’s an undeniable outcome of Cabinet-led governance that meetings like Full Council have a greatly diminished role. That has turned FC into largely a talking and presenting shop. And given Lambeth’s particularly nasty political culture, an unecessarily tribal and petty one at that. The empty public gallery says it all.

    Cllr Heywood should perhaps be more concerned with helping to ensure that motions passed by Full Council aren’t ignored by Officers, rather than cocking hand on hip and feigning outrage when anyone wearing the wrong political colours dares to criticise how things are done.

  4. Err Councillor Bradley please get on with your councillor duties serving Vassall Ward.

    After your jaunt to the Euro football championships following Ireland I’m sure you have Vassall affairs to look after now – it must have taken at least two weeks out of the year for you.

    And do you not have other concerns to worry about – your backstabbing of your colleagues within the Lib Dem group?

    And instead of complaining that no one gets involved maybe whilst you are out and about in Vassall you could tell people about the work of the council and encourage them to take an interest? Maybe talk to your drinking buddies in the Crown and Anchor?

  5. Sadly Lambeth Full Council meetings have been reduced to the level of pointless political pantomime in recent years.

    The tribal point-scoring and smug back-slapping involved is embarassing, and the meeting actually does very little real business – as evidenced by the fact that even when a motion/policy is passed its contents often get ignored by council officers anyway.

    You really are left questioning what role it serves nowadays for the people of Lambeth. Who in turn are voting with their feet (only two people in the public gallery on Weds, one of which was Brixton Blog).

    • Cllr Bradley should be ashamed of himself. At last Wednesday’s Full Council I was proud to welcome contributions from our new Youth Mayor Samuel, our representative to the UK Youth Parliament Keanna, and Akira and Melissa – the co-chairs of ‘Visions of Success’ – Lambeth’s Children in Care Council. Samuel and Keanna were elected in a process involving over 8,000 young people and Akira and Melissa are extraordinary advocates for the 500 children who are in our care and to whom we are corporate parents. So yes, we are proud of them; yes, we are proud that we have been judged to be one o fthe 7 best local authorities for adoptions services in the country; and yes, we are proud to be the No. 1 authority in England for our work with children in care and on safeguarding. We are proud of a great deal else besides, and where things are not as good as they need to be we are working hard to improve them. Full Council is not as Cllr Bradley says a pantomime, it is a critical part of the democratic process and one which as a councillor he should take seriously and with due respect.

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