Town Hall Briefings
Since the local elections in May 2018 we have collated a monthly briefing for all local Labour members. This highlights the work we have been doing in the Council, in the Community, and the achievements we have made with help of local activists. We will be updating this page with the newest addition each month.
TOWN HALL BRIEFING
Welcome to the 14th Lewisham Labour Town Hall Briefing – our monthly newsletter giving local members an update on the work we are undertaking in the Council and in the Community to deliver on Lewisham Labour’s Manifesto. We hope you’ve been keeping hydrated in this heatwave! We had a first Full Council meeting since May at the end of July – and passed over half a dozen crucial motions, a snapshot of which are below.
LGBT+ inclusive education
Following recent media reports of protests at schools in Birmingham from a small number of parents, we’re grateful to Cllr James J Walsh (pictured left) for bringing this motion to Lewisham Council, reiterating our support for compulsory relationship education for all schools, which is LGBT+ inclusive and promotes respect, acceptance and diversity.
We are proud to support Trans people in our party and our community, we oppose transphobia and want a Lewisham open to all LGBT+ residents. As such it was our pleasure to pass a motion expressing this support. Huge thanks to Cllr Aisling Gallagher (pictured right) for bringing this crucial motion and speaking so passionately in favour of it. Trans rights are human rights.
Ban on high-stakes testing in primary schools
Research has shown that statutory testing in primary schools has increased since 2010 and is only increasing further. These tests more often than not are focussed on the requirements of school accountability (and how they will be graded by Ofsted) rather than on support for children’s learning and actual education, and studies have shown that the pressures of testing in primary schools have a detrimental effect on children’s mental health. We are therefore pleased that – working in tandem with the National Education Union – Cllr Luke Sorba brought their model motion to Lewisham Council calling on the Government to abolish SATs and other forms of high-stakes testing in primary schools, which are clearly failing our children.
We are incredibly pleased that Lewisham Council is formally adopting the model LGA Labour Parental Leave policy, meaning all Councillors will have an entitlement to parental leave – huge thanks to Cllrs Sophie Davis & Octavia Holland for their determined work on this!
Consultation begins on new ward boundaries for Lewisham Council
The independent Local Government Boundary Commission for England is asking local people for their help to draw up a new pattern of council wards for Lewisham Council. Lewisham residents are invited to a public meeting where representatives of the LGBC will make a presentation on the review and how to submit a representation. The Council will of course submit proposals but it would be incredibly useful for the LGBC to receive submissions from other local parties and interested groups. Note that it is the LGBC that are holding this review and who will be ultimately responsible for the new ward boundaries, names, and councillor numbers. If you are interested and would like to know more, please come to this meeting on Friday 16th August, 6-7pm held in the Council Chambers, Lewisham Civic Suite, Catford. Lewisham residents have until 2nd September 2019 to submit their views at https://consultation.lgbce.org.uk/node/17020
Beckenham Place Park Launch
Thanks to everyone who came down to celebrate the launch! As I’m sure you can all attest to the weather couldn’t have been better, and it was a great turnout. Over £5 million of funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund and Sadiq Khan (pictured next to Mayor Damien Egan) has gone in to restore the western side of the park, including the brand new lake. The park, which is South East London’s biggest green space, has completely changed from when it was an under-used golf course and since the restoration we have already seen visitor numbers surge especially amongst young people and BAME groups. Additionally, enhancing the environment has been a key priority and we have developed brand new ecosystems and boosted bio-diversity. Special thanks are due to Lewisham Council staff and Cllr Sophie McGeevor, Cabinet Member for the Environment, all of whom worked tirelessly to get us here.
Lewisham Borough Conference
As previously advertised, our Lewisham Labour Borough Conference is going to be on Saturday 7th September 2019, at the Calabash Day Centre in Catford.
The purpose of the event is to:
- Provide updates on delivering the manifesto that we developed in tandem with local members
- Explain to members how austerity impacts the council and the services we provide to our residents
- Unite as a Labour movement to fight the Tories
Our wonderful local MPs Ellie Reeves, Vicky Foxcroft and Janet Daby as well as London Assembly member Len Duvall will be joining us and leading breakout sessions. The event is entirely free, however we have set up a ticket system to monitor numbers and Lewisham Labour members can now sign up at the below link to register their interest and get tickets! https://www.tickettailor.com/events/lewishamlabour/256178/