Manifesto

2022 Local Elections Manifesto

 

Local Democracy & Accountability:

 

We believe that a vibrant opposition is vital to ensuring a responsive local council that engages with residents in a way that ensures optimum results for everyone living, working and studying in the borough. Top of agenda will be:

 

 

Tackle the Housing Crisis:

 

We will get tough with property developers, ensuring they deliver the 50% target for affordable homes and build more family homes, suitable for those on the waiting list.

 

We need more good quality social housing, fewer developments which receive comments like this about the Lewisham town centre, Conington Road development, by London’s deputy mayor for planning, skills and regeneration Jules Pipe, who said the level of affordable housing in the development on the Tesco car park was “wholly unacceptable.”

 

We want better control of Houses in Multiple Occupancy (HMOs), giving residents a voice, to ensure appropriate dwellings in appropriate locations.

 

 

Better Education for All:

 

Labour has failed the borough. Every child deserves the best possible start in order to reach their full potential. We will support schools to deliver an effective plan to improve GCSE results.

 

We believe that continuing free school meals in holidays is vital for many families.

 

 

A Greener Lewisham:

 

This needs to be a thread impacting every aspect of council planning and activities.

 

We will double our tree planting, treble the number of electric vehicle charging points, build more dedicated cycle routes where they don’t impact on bus routes and install air quality monitoring points with action plans to tackle unacceptable levels of pollution.

 

We want to encourage walking, cycling and use of public transport by making these a pleasure and more responsive to people’s needs. We will deliver the extension of Santander cycles to Lewisham. We are 100% behind the stated objectives of Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs). Unfortunately the Lee Green LTN was instituted without proper consultation and without obtaining base data so we have no idea if it has improved or worsened air quality. The experience of people living on the boundary roads is that their health is suffering from displaced pollution. Labour run Islington council has had to apologise after claiming a reduction in pollution when figures showed increases in parts of the borough. We need a borough wide plan that works for all.

 

We will also work to improve Lewisham Council’s abysmal record on recycling, currently not much more than half the recycling rate of the top performing London borough.

 

 

Safer Streets:

 

We will campaign to end the use of suspicion-less stop and search, as it disproportionately targets black men and we see it as counterproductive increasing alienation when we should be building community.

A full spectrum approach to women’s safety is required. The answer is not simply more street lighting. Every aspect needs to be considered with schools, local business, police and community groups on board. Everything from personal, social and health education (PHSE) in school to appropriate enforcement needs to be part of a coherent policy.

 

 

Taking Mental Health Seriously:

 

We will fund and build more resilient mental health services – particularly for children and young adults – and work with our local NHS to ensure the number of GP surgeries increases to meet the demand from new housing. We believe that more NCIL funding should be put to this use.

 

There is a mental health crisis in schools, we will ensure the money for kaleidoscope services is ring fenced and that there is money for counselling services.

 

 

A Post-COVID Strategy:

 

We will work with local people to develop a “Post-COVID strategy” that acknowledges the changes in work patterns, supports more home working, provides co-working hubs and supports local shopping areas and small businesses.

 

We will push the council to step up to deal effectively with those issues that corrode our quality of life, to ensure it is tackling fly tipping with improved bulk item collection and introduce regular noise patrols.

 

We are for community centres in the regeneration projects, such as in Lewisham centre, Leegate and Catford.