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Living Wage Week: Lewisham Labour's Contribution

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A group of local Labour Councillors and poverty experts have been considering how poverty can be tackled in the borough. The group is called the Lewisham Poverty Commission.

Members

The Commission combines expertise about poverty with expertise about the local area. Its members are:

  • Councillor Joe Dromey, Cabinet Member for Policy and Performance, Lewisham Council, and Chair of the Lewisham Poverty Commission
  • Alice Woudhuysen, London Campaign Manager, Child Poverty Action Group
  • Bharat Mehta, Chief Executive, Trust for London
  • Bill Davies, Head of Policy, Central London Forward
  • Councillor Brenda Dacres, Lewisham Council
  • Claire Mansfield, Head of Research, New Local Government Network
  • Councillor Colin Elliott, Lewisham Council
  • Debbie Weekes-Bernard, Policy and Research Manager, Joseph Rowntree Foundation
  • Gloria Wyse, Co-Chair, Lewisham Citizens
  • Councillor James-J Walsh, Lewisham Council
  • Councillor Joyce Jacca, Lewisham Council
  • Councillor Joan Millbank, Cabinet Member for the Third Sector and Community, Lewisham Council
  • Simon Griffiths, Senior Lecturer in Politics, Goldsmiths, University of London.

What the Lewisham Poverty Commission does

The Commission’s objectives were to:

  • bring together local stakeholders and national experts
  • critically examine the challenge of poverty in Lewisham
  • look for innovative ways to make a real difference to the lives of people affected by poverty
  • seek the views and experience of local residents
  • examine what we (the Council and our partners) are currently doing to tackle poverty
  • identify best practice from other councils.

Aims of the Lewisham Poverty Commission

The Commission’s aims are to:

  • recommend ways to alleviate poverty
  • reduce the negative effects of poverty
  • help communities be more resilient against poverty.

What Lewisham Council has done so far

In 2012 we became the joint-first Living Wage accredited council in the country and the Commission’s new report shows that we continue to lead the way on tackling poverty. We recently introduced a business rate incentive to promote the London Living Wage, with the number of accredited employers rising by 560% in the last 18 months.

Councillor Joe Dromey, Cabinet Member for Policy and Performance, and Chair of the Lewisham Poverty Commission said,

“Lewisham is a great place to live. But despite being situated in the heart of London, one of the wealthiest cities in the world, tens of thousands of our residents live in poverty.

Lewisham has a proud record of tackling poverty, but there is much more we can do. Despite the Government's decision to cut two thirds of our funding, we are determined to make a big difference locally.”

The Commission’s new report includes 52 recommendations to:

  • enable local people to access decent work
  • reduce child poverty
  • tackle the housing crisis.

Tackling poverty in Lewisham

The proposals include the creation of a 'Lewisham Deal', which would:

  • provide more apprenticeships
  • promote the real Living Wage
  • create more opportunities for local businesses to trade.

The Lewisham Deal would be delivered by a partnership of public sector employers including housing, health and education.

Lewisham Poverty Commission

​ A group of local Labour Councillors and poverty experts have been considering how poverty can be tackled in the borough. The group is called the Lewisham Poverty Commission. Members... Read more

October is Black History Month in the United Kingdom - a time to look back and celebrate the huge contributions people of African and African Caribbean heritage have made to our rich and diverse Borough and beyond.

We cannot celebrate Black History Month without acknowledging the contribution of some key individuals and the hundreds of unsung heroes in our communities. The abolitionist Olaudah Equiano (c.1745-1797) lived in Blackheath. Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Freeman of the Borough, was one of our more notable residents in Grove Park in the 1970’s. Former Civic Mayor and Freeman of the Borough Mrs Sybil Phoenix OBE, The late former Civic Mayor, Chair of Council and Freeman of the Borough Les Eytle and present Chair of Council Obajimi Adefiranye have contributed much to Civic life in Lewisham. Likewise, the late Asquith Gibbes MBE, the first Principal Race Equality Officer in the Borough who chaired Lewisham Community Police Consultative Group for 18 years. Asquith worked closely with the late Andy Hawkins former Civic Mayor, Council Leader and Freeman of the Borough, to progress good race relations in Lewisham.

​The Labour Party has a proud history of promoting representation of our diverse communities in both local government and in Parliament. In 1987 Diane Abbott, the late Bernie Grant, Keith Vaz and Lord Paul Boateng were elected as MPs for the Labour Party, representing an historic leap forward. Lord Boateng later became the first black Cabinet Minister in history when he was appointed as the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department of Health in 2001, Labour’s Baroness Amos became the first black woman to be a Cabinet Minister when she was appointed as International Development Secretary, in 2007 she became the first ethnic minority person to lead the House of Lords.

Labour has a proud history locally too. In 1957 the Labour MP for Deptford Sir Leslie Plummer introduced the Racial Discrimination bill to Parliament, the bill aimed to make discrimination on racial ground illegal. Leslie Plummer said in a debate in the House of Common on May 10th 1957 “Surely our responsibility… is to take the necessary steps to see that that injustice ceases, and ceases immediately.” And this belief is still as strong in the Lewisham Labour Party as it was in 1957. More recently, Dame Joan Ruddock, the ex-Deptford MP worked tirelessly with the New Cross Fire parents and families in their quest for justice.

There has been much progress towards equality in recent decades. Cllr Joyce Jacca (pictured above) states however, “There is much more to do. Labour has in the past been at the forefront of pushing for equality and diversity, for representation across all communities, and in tackling discrimination. But there is much more that we can do - to celebrate not just the historic achievements of the Black community - but the current achievements as well as embracing the future ones”.

Lewisham Labour will continue to champion fairness and equalities. If you care about this too, get involved and join us.

Lewisham has a great series of events on for Black History Month including children’s craft days, special film showings, quizzes, book readings and talks. 

Click HERE to see Lewisham's full list of events

 

Lewisham Labour Celebrates Black History Month

October is Black History Month in the United Kingdom - a time to look back and celebrate the huge contributions people of African and African Caribbean heritage have made to...

 

At the Full Council meeting last night Councillor Chris Best made a brief announcement declaring Lewisham Council's bid to be award the new Mayor's accolade of "Borough of Culture 2018".

For more information please click here

 

 

 

Lewisham Labour Group announces "Borough of Culture" bid

  At the Full Council meeting last night Councillor Chris Best made a brief announcement declaring Lewisham Council's bid to be award the new Mayor's accolade of "Borough of Culture...

 

 

Lewisham Labour Councillors have passed a Lewisham Council motion that calls for an immediate end to the public sector pay cap. The motion highlights the fact that in terms of inflation and other economic factors real terms wages have fallen over 21% since 2010 and things will only get worse. This is without even taking into account the drastic austerity based ideological cuts which are already having significant impact on these already stretched public services.

Lewisham Labour backs the claims from the NJC and supported by a multitude of Public Sector Unions including: Unison, GMB and Unite.

Councillor Paul Bell who spoke in favour of the motion said:

“Our staff are our greatest asset. Paying a fair wage for their tremendous hard work and dedication is not simply a good thing to do, it is the morally right thing to do.”

 

The full text of the motion can be found here

Lewisham Labour Group calls on Government to Scrap the Cap

    Lewisham Labour Councillors have passed a Lewisham Council motion that calls for an immediate end to the public sector pay cap. The motion highlights the fact that in terms of inflation and...

Councillor Stella Jeffrey

 Councillor Stella Jeffrey

Lewisham Labour Councillors have passed a Lewisham Council motion that gives the Council’s full support to the London Fire Brigade’s “Total Recall” Campaign. The full text of the motion can be found in the link below.

Writing in support of the Motion, the Mover Cllr. Jeffrey explains:

"Most fires involving white goods are not down to the owner but due to faults beyond their control.  Any of us could find ourselves in that situation.

The tragic events outlined in the first three paragraphs of the motion are just a sample of the fires caused by faulty equipment.  We do not yet know the official cause of the Grenfell fire but it is suspected that a fire in a fridge-freezer began the conflagration.

Not all accidents can be avoided but we know that an effective product recall system can prevent any more households being devastated.

Many of us are reliant on machines which may be manufactured in countries around the globe and marketed as part of a variety of brands.  So as well as a product recall system, we need to have  more stringent manufacturing standards for white goods such as washing machines, fridges, dryers and cookers.

When things go wrong with faulty appliances, it is usually the Fire Brigade that comes to the rescue.  Since 2010 London Fire Brigade have attended 2,170 fires involving faulty white goods, that's almost one a day.

In July 2016 it launched its Total Recalls campaign.  It wants a single, government-supported register for all product recalls, more publicity for the recall of products, critically products to be marked so that they can be identified after a fire and manufacturers to publish their risk assessments.

The Fire Brigade and others are also calling for a change in the way that fridges are manufactured so that they are safer and is also encouraging householders to register their appliances with the manufacturer when they buy them so that they will be notified if there are any problems identified.

This motion calls on the Council to show its support for the campaign and to write to the Prime Minister, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the Mayor of London, the Chair of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority and the London Fire Commissioner expressing that support and urging action. 

This is not a political football, people's lives are at stake.  The government should act without delay."

The full text of the motion can be found here

Lewisham Council backs London Fire Brigade's "Total Recall" Campaign

 Councillor Stella Jeffrey Lewisham Labour Councillors have passed a Lewisham Council motion that gives the Council’s full support to the London Fire Brigade’s “Total Recall” Campaign. The full text of the motion can be...

Damien infographic

Councillor Damien Egan selected as Lewisham Labour's Mayoral Candidate

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Lewisham Labour Councillors unite with local residents to mark the 40 year anniversary of the Battle of Lewisham

This Sunday the Lewisham community came together with Labour Councillors and members to mark 40 years since the Battle of Lewisham. The Battle of Lewisham took place on 13th August, 1977 when the National Front attempted to march through Lewisham. 

Their effort to divide and intimidate the local community was thwarted by local people who came together to block their path in Deptford. 8,000 people from the local community, from trade unions, faith groups and many other organisations came together and united against racism and fascism. 

Many people who were there in the day joined to mark the anniversary. Cllr Joan Millbank, Cabinet Member for the Third Sector and Community unveiled a Lewisham Maroon Plaque to mark the event. 

Cllr Joan Millbank, Cabinet Member for the Third Sector and Community said;

"To mark the 40th anniversary we have funded a Maroon plaque to commemorate Lewisham's response to the racism of the National Front. I am proud that Lewisham continues to celebrate diversity and promote equality."

Lewisham commemorates 40 years since the Battle of Lewisham

Lewisham Labour Councillors unite with local residents to mark the 40 year anniversary of the Battle of Lewisham This Sunday the Lewisham community came together with Labour Councillors and members to...

poverty_comission.jpg

Tackling Poverty in Lewisham - Lewisham Poverty Commission gets underway

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Post_office.jpg

Lewisham Labour says Save New Cross Post Office!

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