30 March 2010

Cross border and Tom

Campaigning has stepped up a gear as we fast approach both general and local elections on May 6th.  But, in a break from campaigning on Thursday night I did attend the fun packed election fundraiser for Camberwell and Peckham Constituency Labour Party.  We raised a tidy sum to top up the campaign coffers! 
The highlight of the evening was meeting, for the first time offline, Labour blogger Tom Scholes-Fogg (Here is the link to his take on the evening:(www.tomscholesfogg.com).   Significantly, the event took place in Cambwerwell just on the border between Labour run Lambeth and Lib-Dem / Tory run Southwark at the Sun and Doves  Last year at a Camberwell Community Council meeting Lambeth offered to work cross-border with Southwark to cuts costs and protect frontline services.  The Southwark Lib-Dem leader simply dismissed the offer.  So it was very good to see announced this week, as Labour victories fast approach on May 6th in both Lambeth and in Southwark, that Cllr Steve Reed, Leader of Lambeth Council, and Cllr Peter John, Leader of Southwark’s Labour Councillors, have agreed to offer residents better value for money by sharing management costs and merging some services across both councils. Residents in other cross-border areas like Waterloo and Herne Hill will also benefit from more consistent services whichever side of the border they live on. 
When we win the elections on 6 May, Steve and Peter will bring senior managers from both councils together in a summit to identify where closer working will benefit residents and save money.  Savings could run into millions of pounds at a time when the government is expected to cut funding to local councils.  Lambeth and Southwark councils both provide many services that are identical, but do we really need to pay twice for separate sets of senior management and back-office support?  By merging some services we can save money to reinvest in the frontline, protecting services and helping keep council tax down. Labour is all about quality services.  In Southwark, we’ve seen the Lib Dems and Tories drive service standards down.  By working more closely with neighbouring councils like Lambeth we can guarantee better services that cost less, and that means a better deal for local local people.

No comments:

Post a Comment