The leader of Lambeth council has created two new deputy leader roles in a post-election cabinet shake-up.
Labour leader, cllr Lib Peck, has appointed Cllr Paul McGlone as deputy leader for finance, while Imogen Walker has been promoted to deputy leader for policy.
Under the changes, cllr Peck will specifically oversee investment in the borough, focusing on new regeneration projects at Vauxhall and Waterloo.
Bizarrely, the cabinet member roles of “safer and stronger communities” and “culture and leisure” have both been scrapped, while the “children and adult services” brief has been split from a separate “families” member, which will be filled by Cllr Rachel Heywood. Cabinet member for “business and employment” has become “jobs and growth”, and will be filled by Oval ward cllr Jack Hopkins.
The former member for culture and leisure, Sally Prentice, has been sacked from the top table.
Cllr Peck has flip-flopped over her support of the cooperative council agenda in recent months. The term cooperative was dropped from this year’s budget and the borough’s Labour manifesto, but today Peck said: “We have remodelled the cabinet to match our cooperative council way of working, and we are now all really keen to get on with the job.
“We have a very strong, keen and committed new team that are ready to work hard for their local communities, and to fulfil the promise we made going into the election: to be fair to everyone and ambitious for all.”
Peck said the council faces “serious challenges” with huge Government cuts to come.
The cabinet is made up of ten elected Labour councillors who have overall responsibility for running the council, working out the budget and guiding Lambeth’s senior officers. Under the system major decisions are made by the cabinet before being formally ratified by the full council.
Labour secured a resounding victory at the local elections last week (May 22). They took 59 seats, while the Liberal Democrats being forced from all of the 15 seats they held. The Conservative bench was reduced to three councillors. The Green Party secured one seat.
Speaking to the Brixton Blog this week, Liberal Democrat leader Alex Davies said the huge Labour majority raised serious concerns about the accountability of the council.
Davies said: “In the last four years it has been the Liberal Democrats holding the Labour council to account for everything from the budget to planning applications and housing issues.”
The new cabinet, announced last night, is made up as follows:
• Leader of the Council, Cllr Lib Peck
• Deputy Leader (Policy Delivery), Cllr Imogen Walker
• Deputy Leader (Finance & Investment), Cllr Paul McGlone
• Cabinet Member for Children & Adult Services, Cllr Jackie Meldrum
• Cabinet Member for Environment & Sustainability, Cllr Jenny Brathwaite
• Cabinet Member for Families, Cllr Rachel Heywood
• Cabinet Member for Health & Wellbeing, Cllr Jim Dickson
• Cabinet Member for Housing, Cllr Matthew Bennett
• Cabinet Member for Jobs & Growth, Cllr Jack Hopkins
• Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods, Cllr Jane Edbrooke
[…] New Lambeth Council Cabinet […]
At the end of this piece Alex Davies, Liberal Democrat Leader here in Lambeth, states that the huge Labour majority raises concerns about accountability, really? He is not the first Liberal Democrat politician to raise this issue in the media since the elections last month. Perhaps the Liberal Democrats locally should look towards their political masters along with their Tory chums in the coalition. Mr Davies can ask them all about accountability when it comes to tuition fees, NHS re-organisation, Royal Mail (cheap) sell-off, Bedroom Tax, cutting police numbers and an increase in VAT whilst slashing the top rate of tax for the mega wealthy. Where is the accountability when some of these changes were opposed in the last Liberal Democrat manifesto? The electorate decided otherwise and no longer want the Liberal Democrats to hold the Labour Council to account, hence their wipe-out in Lambeth. Mr Davies would do better to ask why have the Liberal Democrats gone from a party in power 8 years ago to not one Councillor today? The Liberal Democrats need to wake up or else they will see what has happened in Lambeth (and Europe) played out on a far greater scale in 11 months time.
Oh, one other point I want to make whilst we are on about the Liberal Democrats. : They always harp on about how they have increased the threshold before ordinary folk start to pay tax and that they are now better off. Well that is not the case. I am an ordinary NHS nurse, not the wealthiest paid job in society but a decent salary all the same. Alot better than in decades past. I did pay less tax and many of my fellow nurses found the same, however what the Liberal Democrats do not say is that the NHS pension contributions also went up and that that wiped out any net gain in salary. I do not mind paying more for my pension since that is only fair, it is the spin the Liberal Democrats and the illusion they give that they have helped workers like us nurses, like myself, with a pay increase, that is what grates.
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