Tag Archives: lambeth liberal democrats

The video Lambeth Lib Dems did not want you to see

Lambeth Liberal Democrats do not want to hear the truth about their time in office running Lambeth Council. After hundreds watched this video on YouTube the site was forced to take it down following a complaint from their leader, Councillor Ashley Lumsden, claiming copyright over an image of him looking smug and self satisfied.

Well the truth cannot be stopped and it is now back with a local artists impression of Mr 40%, the man who put your Council Tax up by 40% – Councillor Ashley Lumsden.

Lambeth Liberal Democrats To Promote Brothels

Who would have thought that Ashley Lumsden, the disaster area that Lambeth Liberal Democrats call leader, would last night seek to deny his support for kerb-crawlers and instead call for licensed brothels in Lambeth in the same breath.

Lumsden apparently called for laws on kerb-crawling to be relaxed in 2004. 

Councillor Mark Bennett, one of Labour’s councillors, asked on 28 February 2007:

“The minutes of the November 2004 Leaders’ meeting of the Association of Local Government record the following “Councillor Ashley Lumsden (Liberal Democrat, Lambeth) pointed out that there was a long history of prostitutes operating in Lambeth and argued that criminalising users should be removed from the recommendations.” Given that kerb crawling provides the demand which keeps vulnerable women on the streets, and feeds prostitution that blights so many communities, will Councillor Lumsden accept that he is wrong to back the de-criminalisation of kerbcrawling?

To which Lumsden gave a long rambling ‘not-me-guv’ response which included this telling line:


“I put forward the view that genuine help for working women and men would be hindered by blanket criminalisation.”


Oops. But Lumsden’s mention of men does not make clear whether he meant the kerb crawlers, rent boys or pimps. 


I was sitting in the public gallery at last night’s full council when Cllr Donatus Anyanwu, another Labour councillor, asked Lumsden whether his party’s position in relation to kerb-crawling was to legalise it or to license brothels and whether his own position was in line with his party’s policy.


A quivering Lumsden gave a long, self-righteous sermon to the effect that he did not support legalising kerb crawling. (Remember, the Liberal Democrats turn round their policy positions like a weather vane.) 


He then shot himself in the foot by saying, and I quote: “I am in support of the Lib Dem policy of licensing small brothels.”


So a cloud of mystery remains over Lumsden’s real views on kerb-crawling, though we now know he is keen to see brothels flourishing on every street corner. 
 

Great idea, Clegg. Shame Lambeth had it first!

The Liberal Democrats’ lacklustre national leader,  Nick ‘Invisible Man’ Clegg, has accidentally dumped Lambeth’s Liberal Democrats in the mud.  He’s just announced the Liberal Democrats are in favour of cutting taxes.  Oops, let’s not mention how his fellow Liberal Democrats in Lambeth whacked council tax up 40% last time they got the chance – the biggest council tax hike in Lambeth’s history! 

One thing they do agree on, though, is cutting services.  Clegg’s just announced his party wants to slash £20 billion off public services – inevitably cutting services used by people right across Lambeth.  That, at least, is in line with his local councillors.  The Liberal Democrats slashed services in Lambeth while they were making us all pay more in council tax.  Good to see they agree on something.

Clegg also announced a great new idea: he’s setting up a Credit Crunch Task Force!  What a good idea.  And what a shame he didn’t think of it first.  Lambeth Council announced it was setting up a Credit Crunch Task Force at a public meeting of the Council’s Cabinet last week.  Those Liberal Democrats sitting in the audience must have been straight onto their blackberries afterwards telling their leader to steal Lambeth’s idea and pretend it was his own.  After all, it wouldn’t be the first time the Liberal Democrats had tried to take the credit for other people’s ideas, would it?  

“Tax and spend” becomes “tax and pretend” for the Fib Dems

The thing Lambeth Liberal Democrats hate most of all is the fact they have a record.  Having been in power from 2002 to 2006 they have no one else to blame for all those nasty things they voted for.  And chief among the decisions they’d like to erase from history is their staggering 40% increase in council tax.

Their current leader, Councillor Ashley Lumsden, was responsible for the council’s finances at the time.  That makes him the biggest council-tax hiker in Lambeth’s history.  The average household was stung for an extra £1000 over the four-years that Lambeth’s Liberal Democrats were running the council.  And despite all the extra money they raked in with their tax hikes AND a £27 million windfall from the Government that landed in their laps – they STILL left the council with zero money in the bank when voters kicked them out. 

So what did the Liberal Democrats do with all the money they took off us?  Quite simply, they threw it down the drain.  They wasted £28 million on plush new council offices overlooking the Thames.  They lost £3 million in the biggest council housing fraud in British history.  They used £600,000 to pay off their own Chief Executive when they made her take the blame for their own political blunders.  The shameful truth is the Liberal Democrats threw residents’ hard-earned money around like confetti. 

Now Lumsden is trying to pretend he’s AGAINST high tax increases.  He has been caught out in the local press primly insisting that council tax rises below 5% are ‘too high’.  This, remember, from the man who thought a gob-smacking 23% in one go was a good idea when he presented his first council budget in 2003.  Yet again we find a Liberal Democrats saying one thing but doing the opposite.  Someone should tell Lumsden that the voters couldn’t stomach his tax-and-spend ways back then, and they won’t be fooled by his tax-and-pretend antics now.  However desperately he hopes we’ve forgotten what he did to us the last time he got his hands on our wallets, we haven’t!   

It’s all in the stars for spaced-out Liberal democrats

Like wizened palm-readers sitting in gaudy tents by the seaside, Lambeth’s Liberal democrats like to claim they can predict the future.  The problem is, they’re about as good at it as the fakers who ask you to cross their palms with silver to find out what the future holds. 

Here’s a small selection of the predictions made by “Mystic” Ashley Lumsden and his Liberal democrat fortune-tellers that haven’t quite come to pass.

In the run-up to the council elections in 2006, the Liberal democrats predicted they would be re-elected.  In fact, the Lambeth’s Liberal democrats went down to their party’s biggest defeat in the country as Labour won by a landslide.

Embittered Liberal democrat leader Councillor Ashley Lumsden forecast that the newly elected Labour Council Leader, Steve Reed, would be out of office by the time Tony Blair quit as Prime Minister.  Blair went last year – Steve Reed’s still going strong. 

They predicted there was no way Labour could rip up the profiteering Liberal democrat parking-fines contract because it still had two years to run.  Six months later Labour had replaced the contract and removed the financial incentives that lay behind overzealous ticketing.

Liberal democrat Roger Geiss foretold that there was no way Labour could build a new school in Brixton’s Shakespeare Road if they dropped Liberal democrat plans to sell off a popular community sports centre at the Old Lilian Baylis School site in Kennington.  The Brixton school’s now being built and the sports hub was removed from the auction list. 

Liberal democrats predicted that tenants would vote ‘no’ in a ballot on putting the council’s underperforming housing service under resident control.   Tenants voted ‘yes’.

They forecast there was no way the council would improve on the one-star performance rating Labour inherited from the Liberal democrats.  The council’s just gone up from one star to three stars in one go.

Oh dear, it looks like the Liberal democrats are as good at predicting the future as they were at making the council’s finances add up.  It’s back to the tea-leaves for Lambeth’s Liberal democrat fortune fakers!   

Lambeth Liberal Democrats do deal with Conservatives to hike up their allowances

Lambeth’s shameless Liberal Democrats have done a deal with Conservative councillors that sees their leader’s allowances double.  The 100% hike comes as Liberal Democrats criticise other councillors for rises way BELOW the increase they’ve fixed up for themselves.

The Lib Dems were put on the spot by being offered the chance to vote on their own allowances – limiting their chance to play their usual hypocritical games.  They had the choice to vote to keep allowances frozen – or they could vote to hike them up despite public announcements they wouldn’t.

True to form, the Liberal Democrats came up with a two-faced wheeze that would allow them to pocket the money while claiming they hadn’t voted for it!  The Liberal Democrats persuaded the Tories to vote for rises that included the Lib Dem leader’s 100% increase.  Then, the Liberal Democrats returned the favour by voting through extra allowances for the Conservatives. 

There’s nothing quite so repulsive to the public as seeing politicians twist and turn so they can make up stories while claiming they’re not quite lying.  So, no one can claim the Liberal Democrats were in favour of their own massive pay rises because they didn’t vote for them!  Clever isn’t it?  Until the voters find out how you connived to deceive them of course!

Community comes together to fight poverty – but Lambeth Liberal Democrats say ‘don’t bother’

Lambeth is one of the poorest boroughs in Britain.  One in five adults of working age doesn’t have a job, and one in three children lives in a household on benefits.  Although there are plenty of wealthier areas, many people living on poorer estates are locked into poverty which locks them out of opportunity.

Most people understand that has a direct impact on high levels of crime, drug addiction and teenage pregnancy.  So when representatives from across the borough came together to decide what they wanted to achieve together over the coming years, they decided to try and reduce poverty by getting people back to work.  The action plan is built into a document called the Sustainable Community Strategy that is supported by the police, Lambeth NHS, the local college and universities, and representatives of voluntary and community groups.  

Liberal Democrat councillors had been involved in the consultation that led to the strategy being put in place and never uttered a word against it.  So there was astonishment when the Liberal Democrat leader stood up at the meeting and announced that Liberal Democrats would be voting NOT to tackle poverty and unemployment.  He claimed that was not an issue that mattered to Liberal Democrats and didn’t want to see action taken against it.  That outburst shouldn’t have surprised anyone because while he was in charge of the Council’s finances before their election defeat, he’d taken action to STOP resources going to areas suffering the highest levels of deprivation – no doubt because those areas don’t tend to vote Liberal Democrat. 

Working to reduce the opportunity gap matters to most people in Lambeth who care about fairness.  But for the Libercal Democrats fairness doesn’t come into it – it’s who you vote for that matters. 

Hey, big spender! Boastful Lumsden’s not quite up to date

Looks like Liberal Democrat opposition leader on Lambeth Council, Ashley Lumsden, hasn’t updated his ‘Friends Reunited’ profile for a while.  The councillor – who is not known for his modesty – is still claiming to be running Lambeth Council two years after voters booted him and his party out of office in a landslide defeat.

Lumsden, who updated his profile just hours after winning election in 2002, tells the world that he’s “a councillor on Lambeth Council representing Streatham Hill ward”.  So far, so good.  He continues: “following election wins in 2002 I’m now Executive Member for Finance in charge of a turnover of about one billion pounds.”  Well, there’s one in the eye for all those other schoolboys who gave Ashley such a rough time of it at school in Surrey! 

Quick though he was to boast about his newfound importance in 2002, Lumsden neglects to tell his old school chums how after putting council tax up 40% and losing £3 million in the biggest housing fraud case in British local government history, his cunning election strategy led the Liberal Democrats to their biggest defeat in the country in 2006.  Still, no point giving those rough boys from school any more ammunition, is there?   

Lambeth Liberal Democrats demands HIGHER fuel bills for council tenants!

As energy costs skyrocket across the world, Lambeth’s Liberal Democrats have come up with one of their craziest outbursts yet.  As Labour councillors debated ways to reduce fuel increases for hard-pressed tenants, Liberal Democrats ATTACKED fixed-price fuel contracts that have helped to keep residents’ bills low. 

People living on estates with shared heating systems pay for their heating at costs negotiated by the council from suppliers.  For the past three years, residents in Lambeth have benefited from prices fixed three years ago when prices were much lower than today.  The fixed-price contract expired this year, meaning big cost increases for tenants who were suddenly hit by the price hikes imposed by energy companies as a result of soaring prices in the global markets for oil and gas.  Other energy users have already been hit by the price hikes, but for tenants on affected estates are only just seeing the price rises come through. 

Residents at the town hall meeting were astonished to see the confused Liberal Democrat housing spokesman, Councillor Jeremy Clyne, denounce fixed-price deals and demand that tenants should not be allowed to benefit from them.  Observers were left asking if he was simply jealous that his own bills to heat his million-pound mansion overlooking leafy Tooting Common were so much higher.

Liberal Democrats threaten massive council tax hikes

Liberal Democrats in Lambeth are threatening hard-pressed local families with yet more massive council tax hikes just like the last time they were in charge at the town hall.  The news has been met with outrage from people already struggling with rising prices for heating, lighting and food as the worldwide credit crunch bites.  

Earlier this year, energy companies in Britain announced massive increases in the cost of gas and electricity as world fuel prices soared.  Now, those costs are about to hit tenants in Lambeth as the Labour Council’s fixed-price deal with the energy suppliers comes to an end.  Labour is demanding more help from the energy companies to aid poorer households who will be worst affected by price increases that could be as high as 160% for estates with communal heating.   

But the Lib Dems continue to attack those who can least afford it. At a time when families are cash-strapped the Lib Dems want to force their council tax up even higher to support town-hall spending when what is really needed is new ways to help people pay for higher bills.  

In a cynical and ridiculous ploy, Lib Dems are claiming that the global fuel price increase is the fault of Lambeth Council!  They are demanding that fuel bills for SOME residents should be subsidised by the council – meaning huge council tax rises for EVERY OTHER FAMILY already struggling to pay their own higher fuel bills.  They know their proposals are completely undeliverable but are hoping no one will notice the cynical political game they’re playing.  The proposals are not even targeted at the most needy – they are designed to appeal to voters living in marginal wards that the Lib Dems hope are gullible enough to believe them. 

Last time they were in charge the Lib Dems put council tax up 40%.  Their latest plans would send many of the borough’s poorest residents into more and more debt.