Monday 23 January 2012 9.54pm
Southwark Liberal Democrats are proud to have introduced Community Councils in Southwark 10 years ago - a way of giving local people a say over how money is spent and council decisions are made in their area.
Liberal Democrats believe in local democracy and local residents making their own decisions. In difficult economic times the council should be giving more powers to communities to make choices, not less.
Sadly, Labour-run Southwark are determined to give local people less say about the future of their communities. By merging Southwark's 8 Community Council areas into 5, and taking away funding as well as planning decisions from the local community, Southwark Labour will destroy completely the principle of Community Councils and the local decision-making that comes with it.
As 4 out of the 6 Community Councils being merged are in the north of Southwark, these changes will especially affect SE1 residents. Residents on Bermondsey Street
will have to attend the same meetings as people on Rotherhithe Street, and residents from the Aylesbury Estate with those from Southwark Street
And planning decisions which are so important in SE1 will no longer be taken by local ward councillors elected to represent residents in those areas.
Labour will say that it isn't possible to keep things the same because of the finances – this is the same group of councillors who have been able to find millions to put away for a rainy day, to spend on school meals for richer families and to pay for a VIP roof terrace in the council offices.
There are alternatives, and there is still time to do something about these plans. Please do sign our petition at www.southwark-libdems.org.uk.