Monday, 14 March 2011

Latest Tory cut ‘risks increase in violent youth crime’

Lambeth Labour have issued a warning that the latest Tory cuts to Lambeth’s Youth Offending Service risks fuelling a surge in youth crime in the borough.

Lambeth was dealt a blow last week after the Government announced it would be making cuts of over 20% to its Youth Offending Team, despite having one of the highest levels of youth offending in the country. These draconian cuts will reduce the ability to identify and divert potential young offenders, exposing our communities to an increase risk of violent crime. The Youth Offending Team offers young people an alternative to a life of crime and in making this cut the Coalition is likely to blight the lives of Lambeth’s most vulnerable young people.

Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, Cllr Pete Robbins, issued the warning as a Tory Youth Justice Minister, Crispin Blunt MP, visited Lambeth Council to see Lambeth’s Youth Offending Service. Cllr Robbins demanded a meeting with the minister, and set out how these short-sighted cuts will risk higher levels of youth disaffection and negative behaviour, leading to higher levels of offending. Experts confirm that the cost of repairing the damage caused by higher levels of youth crime far outweigh the savings made by short-sighted cuts like these.

Cllr Pete Robbins said: ‘Safety is the number one concern of Lambeth residents, and this latest Tory cut could cause huge damage to our recent progress in reducing crime and helping divert young people away from gangs. I don’t see how the Tories dare to claim they are interested in preventing youth crime at the same time as cutting the service. I am pleased the minister had the opportunity to see the fantastic work that Lambeth does, but unless he realises his Government is putting it all at risk then it will have been a wasted trip.’

He also added, ‘To add insult to injury, these latest cuts have been made with just one month’s notice - that’s no time at all to find ways to mitigate the worst impact.’

Cllr Robbins and Cllr Steve Reed, Leader of Lambeth Council, have today written a joint letter to Justice Secretary Ken Clarke, Education Secretary Michael Gove, and Home Secretary Theresa May demanding that they reverse the cut, and pointing out their decisions are likely to put their stated aim that fewer young people should be sent to prison in serious doubt.

Monday, 7 March 2011

Labour secures millions for Brixton homes

Labour has secured over £100 million to improve sub-standard homes in Brixton and across Lambeth. Local Labour councillors spent months lobbying Government ministers for funding to complete upgrade works on 15,000 homes that need new windows, doors, kitchens, bathrooms and central heating to bring them up to minimum standards.

Brixton Hill Ward councillor Steve Reed wrote to Government ministers to press the case for Lambeth’s tenants. The money will come through over the next four years, although there is disappointment the Government is delaying half the funding until 2014, and the total sum available is less than half the amount needed to complete work on all substandard homes.

Cllr Reed said: "I am pleased our hard work has delivered some good news for Lambeth’s tenants. It’s not right people should be left to live in sub-standard homes. This money is a real boost but it is less than half the amount the Labour Government promised so we still have a significant challenge ahead of us."

He added: "It’s disappointing the Government is delaying this funding while bringing forward their cuts, but we welcome this news. Labour councillors and local tenants made such a strong case together that even this Government found it hard to ignore us completely."

The money means Lambeth Council will be able to carry out more window replacements programmes, like the one planned for Dumbarton Court on Brixton Hill, as well as works to upgrade tenants' kitchens and bathrooms and install central heating.

Friday, 4 March 2011

All change at Lambeth customer centres and call centre

The customer centres and call centre opening hours have changed

The new opening hours are:
Brixton Customer Centre (based in Birxton Hill ward)
Address: 18 Brixton Hill, London SW2 1RL
Monday: 9am to 5pm Tuesday: 9am to 5pm Wednesday: 9am to 5pm Thursday: 9am to 7pm Friday: 9am to 5pm
Closed Saturday and Sunday

Gracefield Gardens Customer Centre
Address: 2- 8 Gracefield Gardens, Streatham, London SW16 2ST
Monday to Friday: 9am to 5pm
Closed Saturday and Sunday

Lambeth Service Centre/call centre
General enquiries: 020 7926 1000 Available Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm.
Closed Saturday and Sunday

Customers can call various out-of-hours emergency services outside of the core opening hours.