Southwark's new Liberal Democrat administration will use its first Executive meeting on Tuesday to launch "Six to Fix", a list of key pledges which it promises to deliver during its first term in office.
The council's six key targets are a crackdown on street crime and neighbourhood nuisance by employing community safety wardens across the borough, halving council tax and rent arrears, cleaning up streets and tripling recycling rates, introducing a common schools admissions procedure, providing a fast track freephone housing repairs service and handing back power to residents through new Community Councils.
Cllr Nick Stanton, Southwark's new Liberal Democrat leader, said: "Our Six to Fix is just for starters – watch this space." He added: "We are determined to make a positive difference to the lives of the people of Southwark and to make that difference quickly. Our first year will be spent making sure that Southwark gets the basics right."
One of the most significant proposals for SE1 will be the creation of new area Community Councils which will replace the pilot Area Forums established last year. The new Southwark administration claims that these new councils would have real power and give local people more involvement and influence on decisions affecting their quality of life. The councils would play an important role in building a community sense of identity and assist in creating a climate of tolerance and mutual respect.
Members want the new councils set up by 2003 but must first decide how many there will be. They must also look at where to draw council boundaries, how often the councils should meet and what their specific powers will be. Cllr Stanton said: "These councils will not be mere talking shops – they will have teeth. They will hand back power to local people allowing them input into decisions that affect them, their families and their businesses."