Labour's London Borough Lambwark!

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Tuesday 30 March 2010 6.10pm
Great news from Southwark Labour today, that council services will be run by Labour Lambeth from Brixton town hall if they win the next election, Rent rises, no repairs,swimming pool closures, cuts to Parks and staff redudencies - all the more reason to vote for local Lib dems in this election.
Tuesday 30 March 2010 7.05pm
Check the date - it must be an April fool !
Tuesday 30 March 2010 9.36pm
Thats what I thought, but the news are running it as well and have asked for quotes!!
Wednesday 31 March 2010 8.00am
Why is this even seen as a sensible idea...why?
Wednesday 31 March 2010 9.24am
At a guess because in these financially difficult times it might make sense to share some back-office services rather than cut front-line ones?

I have no idea what the plans entail (besides what is in the article) and there must be a fair chance it is all pre-election guff that comes to nothing in the end but I have no idea why anyone would think it would, of itself, result in rent rises or swimming pool closures etc..
Wednesday 31 March 2010 10.17am
it is a very stupid idea but I have no doubt that it is true. It has been going on (quietly for years). Local authorities often undertake certain work on behalf of other councils and in other parts of the country councils share call centres/council tax processing/street cleaning/etc and have done for some considerable time. It is happening where I work in Camden.

The real difficulty here is that Lambeth has trouble keeping its own house in order and its services are amongst the worst in the country. We certainly do not want Lambeth having anything to do with our part of London. They should stick to their own patch and leave us to ours.

I guess this leaves us, the voters, with an easier choice come polling day.
Wednesday 31 March 2010 10.33am
Can you explain why pooling shared services is such a bad idea?

Gavin Smith wrote:
The real difficulty here is that Lambeth has trouble keeping its own house in order and its services are amongst the worst in the country.

If this is true can you explain why Lambeth has a better performance rating than Southwark? (Lambeth is rated as "performing well" and Southwark as "adequate".)

Lambeth: http://tinyurl.com/ybdxkfb

Southwark: http://tinyurl.com/yb8p6kx
Wednesday 31 March 2010 10.40am
Lambeth did an unannounced total stock transfer of all council housing days after the 2006 election, then failed to get an expected 11m grant from central govt.
Leader of Lambeth wrote in a letter to tenants earlier this month
"If rents don't go up, the council will have to make a 9 million of cuts to your services. Without the rent rise, the cuts could mean:

* All CCTV switched off and safety patrols removed
* Repairs cancelled
* Estates getting dirtier with less cleaning
* Homes left damp and unheated
* Much longer waiting times when you phone the call centre

We know you don't want cuts like that. So, from April, your rent will increase by more than usual.
"

More in Inside Housing (Feb 2009)
Wednesday 31 March 2010 10.43am
graham wrote:
Lambeth did an unannounced total stock transfer of all council housing days after the 2006 election, then failed to get an expected 11m grant from central govt.
Leader of Lambeth wrote in a letter to tenants earlier this month
"If rents don't go up, the council will have to make a 9 million of cuts to your services. Without the rent rise, the cuts could mean:

* All CCTV switched off and safety patrols removed
* Repairs cancelled
* Estates getting dirtier with less cleaning
* Homes left damp and unheated
* Much longer waiting times when you phone the call centre

We know you don't want cuts like that. So, from April, your rent will increase by more than usual.
"

More in Inside Housing (Feb 2009)

Can you explain what this has got to do with the plan being discussed here though? We are talking about a plan to combine back-office operations (presumably to save money for front-line services) not how Lambeth manages its housing stock.
Wednesday 31 March 2010 11.30am
Neil, are you a councillor in Lambeth or in some way connected?

With respect, Graham's point is a good one - that is how Lambeth works and the housing stock issue is demonstrable. In addition, Graham makes the point about the call centre being poor - tell me how that is not relevant to back office services being pooled when, presumably, the end customer (resident) is going to need to contact whoever is dealing with back office functions?

Its workforce is mostly agency staff on which Lambeth consistently overspends (has done for at least ten years AND I WORKED THERE so I know that). In addition, the performance rating to which you refer is, on my understanding, 'weighted', which means that the progress made is considered in tandem with where the local authority was at the time of last inspection/assessment.

In conclusion, Neil, you say how Lambeth '...manages its housing stock'. Well, the answer is Lambeth doesn't (manage its housing stock). It unilaterally transferred its housing stock, promising its residents that the ALMO would produce better conditions for residents. I think that speaks volumes. Do we really want involvement with a council like this when we don't even live in their jurisdiction? The answer is a big fat no.
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