Communities Protesting Lambeth Council

9 Oct 2016

Yesterday a few hundred people gathered in central Brixton to protest Lambeth Council for many ongoing local concerns, including the Garden Bridge. It was organised by a wide group of local activist groups who have concerns with how the dominant Labour council, and the few people who have prime control of it, have treated local communities over such issues as library closures, selling off of social housing, social cleansing of Brixton and more.

 

 

The crowd marched on to Clapham Common, but before departing Brixton there were some speeches in Windrush Square. This included a statement from Vauxhall MP Kate Hoey in support of community activists and criticising the local council for their management of so many social projects.

A few weeks ago Kate Hoey brought up the Garden Bridge in the Houses of Parliament and in her Brixton statement she again brought it up as a key problem in her constituency:

 

Hoey’s statement was read out in her absence, and you can hear it all here:

 

While Lambeth Council claim to be totally impartial on the Garden Bridge, they have previously declared to have “always backed the bridge“, which brings into question their impartiality when it comes to critical planning decisions as well as their responsibility to fairly listen to their communities who oppose it.

It’s also worth checking what they mean by “always”, because it seems that they supported it even before it existed publicly, and before the sham procurement which Boris Johnson and TfL set up to enable it to go ahead.

The unelected Strategic Director of Commissioning, Sue Foster has taken a key role on the Garden Bridge debacle, had this meeting in January 2013:

 

While Councillor Lib Peck, leader of Lambeth Council, also attended that 15th January meeting and followed it up with another about the Garden Bridge with Boris Johnson:

 

The 15th and 26th January 2013. These dates are important because the sham procurement, which was set up for Thomas Heatherwick to win, was only announced on 13th Febuary 2013. So Lambeth Council were having top-level meetings with the key players behind the Garden Bridge BEFORE a supposed fair competition had even been announced which, unsurprisingly, Heatherwick was awarded two months later.

 

Local new websites the Brixton Blog and SE1 covered the protest, both with some great photographs documenting the issues people were raising. More photographs can be found on the Our.City website.

 

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The Evening Standard also reported it, but obviously they completely forgot to mention the Garden Bridge opposition. Quelle surprise.

 

Groups protesting include:

Thames Central Open Spaces

Defend the Ten

Save Lambeth Libraries

Save Central Hill Community

Lambeth Housing Activists

Reclaim Brixton

Save Cressingham Gardens

Save Westbury Estate

Long Live Southbank

Black Activists Rising Against Cuts

Our Brixton

Save Brixton Arches

 


 

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