Labour retain Ladywell in by-election

Carl Handley (Labour) has won this evening's count in the Ladywell by-election.


A councillor from 2002-06, he succeeds outgoing Councillor Tim Shand (also Labour) and ensures that Ladywell remains exclusively Labour.

Sue Luxton reports the final count as follows:

Lab 1231
Green 1041
Lib Dem 314
PB4P 233
Conservative 153

101 comments:

Anonymous said...

Good show from the ConDem coalition candidates. Obviously nobody bought their patter.

Name said...

The Greens ran Lab. really close, phew!

Anonymous said...

If PB4P hadn't stood we would probably now have a Green councillor.

Anonymous said...

The ConDem coalition vote was wasted. A tiny vote for them.

max said...

They have every right to stand though.
A different result would have been better but congrats to Carl Handley anyway, he's a nice chap after all.

Anonymous said...

Greens have now came 2nd in Ladywell in both Ladywell elections in 2010 and first in 2006.

The Lib Dems and PB4P are by campaigning strongly here really handing the ward over to Labour.

Anonymous said...

Nice chap - Despite voting for the closure of the Ladywell swimming baths eh?

max said...

Yes, that's what party politics does to people, even nice chaps like Handley.

Ken Brown said...

Good for Carl! And the Tories came fifth, as is usual round here.

A pity Helen got fewer votes than the parachuted-in Liberal. Some people are still taken in by them.

Bring on AV so we can vote honestly. In practice, on the few issues our shackled local councils have any real influence over, Carl, Helen, and Ute have pretty much the same opinions. A fair voting system would allow us tp say we'd prefer any of them to the Tories and their carpet-bagging weasels.

Anonymous said...

Max
why did you fight so strongly here?
surely you would have preferred a Green councillor to a Labour one?

As your Lib-Dem leaflet said Labour have had control of Lewisham for the last 40 years.

It's extremely unhealthy local politics to have one party controlling a council for this long.

Anonymous said...

Ken - Karl has never proven himself to be green minded has he?

Labour have little incentive to help the community when they have so much control of the council chamber.

It could lead to corruption.

Anonymous said...

Bring on PR for council elections...

max said...

@ anonimous 00:20
I only really think that Ingrid has got all one would want from a Councillor, that's all that's behind my support for her.

I could have supported the Greens tactically, but is it right to think tactically even if you really think that another candidate would be better?

If the Greens would have won I would have been equally happy because having two Councillors would have allowed them to submit Motions at Council.

It's really the worst possible result for debate and scrutiny at LC.

Anonymous said...

From a purely personal view and an anonymous one I reckon the 3 smaller parties should do a deal to not stand in certain areas.
Greens have a chance here. Lib-Dems and PB4P don't.

Anonymous said...

Carl was an excellent candidate: he has lived in the ward for over 30 years, and spent 16 years as its Councillor until 2006.

In May and in this by-election, more people voted Labour than for anyone else - that's the way it works, I'm afraid. And turnout was (obviously) high in May, and (for a November local by-election) high in November as well, so I think that it's undeniable that Labour has a mandate here.

Sorry Greens - you need more votes than the other candidate to win!

Anonymous said...

But he still voted to demolish the Ladywell swimming pool.

Anonymous said...

Ken Livingstone got involved in this very local campaign which was important to the Green Party.

Maybe the Greens should not give Ken 2nd preference for London Mayor.

max said...

@ anonymous 1:30
yes, like the rest of Lewisham Labour he supported all of Bullock's decisions without a murmur.
But I don't think he's particularly wicked, just a normal human being under peer pressure, although Labour is probably more "disciplined" than the other parties.
And that's why we need an effective opposition, but with an executive Mayor and this majority there's really a major democratic deficit here now.

Anonymous said...

@ max

How is there a deficit of democracy if voters have got the candidate they wanted?

Everyone has had the chance to put their cases to the electorate for more parties to be represented, and you didn't win. Perhaps you need a more compelling message about some issues which matter to them, rather than about whether the arrangement of the chairs in the council chamber is to your liking?

Rob Blackie said...

A great pity that Ingrid Chetram didn't get elected. She would be a phenomenal councillor.

The Cat Man said...

How did lib dem get on compared to the previous vote before the coalition? Did the reduce or keep the same the proportion of the vote?

I've been a member of the lib dems since the age of 16!

Anonymous said...

Just a note, but you may argue (correctly) that the Greens got their six candidates in (all those years ago) on the back of the protests over the closure of Ladywell Pools.

Now the Greens are saying that they are happy to back the (inevitable) closure of the pools and the demolition of the building (of course, labour have been neglecting this building for years to allow it to run down, as is their common policy). The truth is that the Greens aren't prepared to stick their necks out on any issue.

And the Pools issue is just further proof that the Greens can change their minds when it suits them politically.

I also suspect that Sue Luxton may have won if she had been willing to stand - Ute was probably the weakest of their candidates.

Anonymous said...

Interestng reply in council, before the Spending Review...

Earlier public planning documents, such as the Financial Survey in Autumn 2009, demonstrate that the Council was already actively planning for a more austere financial climate, including estimates then of savings requirements of up to £55m.

24 February 2010, when the budget 2010/11 was being finalised, the Executive Director for Resources advised Members that “the Council will face a need to reduce its budget by £50m-£60m...

Officers’ estimates of savings requirements have tended to become more towards the pessimistic end...

Now put the above and the suggestion of 5 library closures into the context of 28% cuts rather than 40%...mmmm.

Brockley Nick said...

@Anon - yes, the planned savings of approx £60m were covered here at the time and each of the Mayoral candidates was asked about them in the BC virtual hustings at election time. The reality is that Council funding cuts are in line with some of the most pessimistic projections.

Miss L said...

@Anon
I agree that Ute Michel wasn't a very good candidate compared with what other parties had on offer. I voted her because I wanted to vote Greens but actually preferred Ingrid and even PBP's Helen Mercer as a candidate. The Green party's flyers didn't give an impression of Ute as a particularly "local" candidate compared to the other two parties' leaflets introducing their candidates as local people who lived in Ladywell, had been involved in local campaigns and e.g. both talked about their use of Hilly Fields park.

Anonymous said...

Bankrupt a country yet win a seat? hmmmm.... wonder what the turnout was like.

Brockley Nick said...

The country's not bankrupt, it survived the global recession with less of a downturn than Germany and is currently recovering more quickly than the US. Not bad, eh!

max said...

@ anonymous 07:45

I'm talking of a democratic deficit for a satisfactory functioning of the Council.
You need a certain amount of opposition to have effective scrutiny, that's designed in ours as well as every other constitution in the democratic world.
Without it people can become lazy, arrogant, complacent, or worse.

I entirely agree with you that compelling messages are what works to motivate people to go and vote, and a call for a pluralistic Council doesn't resonate as strongly as some of the emotional messages you'll find in all parties' literature. It doesn't make it less true though.

drakefell debaser said...

More importantly, what can we do to repair the credibility of the BC Poll? ;)

monkeyboy said...

1) we're not bankrupt
2) would we be in a similar situation if the torries/lib dems had been in power for the last ten years? Jury is out on that one. They were all in thrall with the brilliance of the financial sector
3) Was there an alternative to the bailout? The tory's, I think?, supported the firefighting.

Brockley Nick said...

@DD - I'd staked money on a PBP landslide based on the normally infallible BC polling.

Brockley Economist said...

@ Brockley Nick - that is an misleading statistic to quote. The downturn in UK GDP was 6.5% peak to trough in real terms. The downturn in German GDP was 6.6% peak to trough in real terms. Statistics from the ONS & Statistisches Amt Deutschlands.
Initially it was thought the Germans would be hit much harder than they were (which is probably where you get your idea that they were hit worse than us from).

Moreover, in large part we've just delayed the pain. The Budget deficit here is 11% of GDP - in German less than 4%. The Germans have also recovered much faster.

I agree with Anonymous. The country is broke.

Monkeyboy said...

...but not bankrupt.

Brockley Nick said...

@brockley economist - which is worse? 6.5% downturn or 6.6% downturn? Germany is being lauded as an economic model that the UK should have emulated on the basis that they started their recovery sooner so it's quite right to point out that their recession was actually (slightly) more severe. It's also worth pointing out that their recession followed a decade of sluggish growth relative to the UK's.

On what basis is the country "broke"? We're not defaulting. We're growing quickly.

We can beat ourselves up for being over-reliant on financial services compared with the Germans, but a decade ago everyone was having a panic attack that London would lose its status as Europe's leading financial status to... Frankfurt! Instead, London left it for dust.

We also have world class pharma, life sciences, universities, precision engineering, aerospace, creative industries, semiconductor development, retail, sport, professional services and yes, even manufacturing companies.

There is a lot wrong with the economy, but the glass is half full.

Anonymous said...

@ Ken Brown. The LibDem candidate was hardly parachuted in! Do you not read anything? Actually, I think some people don't read anything, they just vote with their chosen political 'tribe'. Ingrid is/was a great candidate.

jaffa cake said...

Ken Brown is just very pro Labour and still smarting at the Liberal Democrats decision to not join them in government. So, any opportunity to put a snide remark in is par for the course these days.

Best ignored really.

Anonymous said...

Many of our councillors don't understand Lewisham has an a directly elected Mayor and act in council in the old fashioned tribal ways.

The organisation that both the Chief Exec, Barry Quirk and the Mayor were members of said the purpose of a directly elected Mayor is to reduce decisions being taken on party lines.

Discredited councillors of the 'old guard' have found their way back onto the council.

Having witnessed some of them in action between 2002-2006 I'm concerned Lewisham will not be best served by nodding poodles.

Brockley Economist said...

@Brockley Nick.

A 6.5% downturn is much worse than a 6.6.% downturn if you have to run an 11% of GDP budget deficit to get it. You won't find an economist to tell you otherwise. Hence I stated that the statistic you had quoted was "misleading" not "wrong." You gave the impression that we were better of than the Germans/Americans. Neither of these are true on a closer, informed examination of the facts. Although, as I've explained, I understand how you could be left with that impression by economically illiterate media.

The Germans are miles better off than we are no just because they are not running up such massive debts but also because they are growing much faster (latest estimates 2.2%).

I am not beating up financial services - I think our dependence is an inevitable result of specialisation due to comparative advantage in a globalised economy.

The main risk to UK growth going forward is not such dependence, but a political bias in favour of the elderly over the young. Hence the most economically sensible route to cutting the deficit (raising the retirement age) has not been taken, but instead we are discouraging higher education by imposing what are going to be enormous costs (9k per year) on school leavers wanting to better their chances in the job market. Where will our top class "pharma, life sciences, universities, precision engineering, aerospace, creative industries, semiconductor development, retail, sport, professional services" be then?

Brockley Nick said...

@Brockley Economist - if you want to look at structural challenges belieing growth figures than Germany has massive problems of its own. However, no interest in bashing Germany, I think it's a great country that does a lot of stuff very well. Just pointing out that we're no worse off than most in the West.

As for a political system that favours the elderly over the young - you could say the same thing about just about everywhere. At least we don't have the immediate demographic pressures that countries like Japan, France and even China are going to have to face up to.

Monkeyboy said...

Free roller skates for the over 70's. Job done, next....

quite funny said...

Very interesting debate on economics, followed by

"Free roller skates for the over 70's. Job done, next...."

Monkey boy - you're a genius.

Monkeyboy said...

Polytechnics always favoured the practical over the esoteric.

Anonymous said...

Previously at council meetings 50-60 from councillors was the norm.

At the last Council meeting a total of 39 questions were asked.

Of the 21 asked by the majority party 9 were from one councillor.

Anonymous said...

Previously at council meetings 50-60 questions from councillors was the norm.

At the last Council meeting a total of 39 questions were asked.

Of the 21 asked by the majority party 9 were from one councillor.

max said...

Settle this one now Monkeyboy.

Anonymous said...

Voting Green or Labour, you will still see cuts, sadly the Best candidate Helen Mercer People before profit, lost but had the largest percentage in party vote increase in a ward with Greens only 80 votes behind Labour her vote was going to be tough. Ladywell had the vote, bad sadly backed a party that has wasted millions of pounds, and is run badly, how long will it take for readers to realise these cuts are not a must, they are just a ruling class lie.Labour will shamelessly make savage cuts and blaime the torys, weven though they failed for 13 years to regulate the finacial markets, Build new Council Homes or deal with the massive shortage in School places. Lewisham desperately Needs Councillors of the conviction and Community experence that Lewisham People Before Profit Offer.. it is only a matter of time before they win seats, and people see Labour for what it is all smoke screens and lies.

Brockley Economist said...

@BrockleyNick

Agreed - In the longer term, we are going to take less of a battering from demographic pressures.

I still think you are far too bullish. The short/medium term outlook in the UK is pretty much as dire as it gets anywhere outside Iceland/Ireland/Greece. You say we "are no worse off" than other places in the west. Unless you are looking over a (very uncertain) very long term time horizon, that just isn't my understanding, or for that matter, the view held by most forecasting agencies.

Brockley Nick said...

Agreed that things are going to be rough, but I'd still fancy our medium term prospects over France, Italy, Spain, Japan and the US, as well as the countries you mention.

Over the last 5-10 years, the pessimists have been wrong about the UK's prospects - growth was always forecast to be lower, the recession was forecast to be far more severe and the recovery was forecast to be far more anaemic (even allowing for the size of the public deficit).

Forecasters have models and data coming out of their ears, but they are still people. And British people are filled with self-loathing and pessimism.

but then, I am also bullish about brockley's prospects ;)

Deptford Pudding said...

The people have spoken. Face it folks this is a Labour area, no more excuses about 'well if they hadn't had the local election at the same time as the general election Greens would have won'.

Brockley Nick said...

@This is England - fair point, well made. I was surprised that the Greens didn't win. I expected a decent local track record, a low turnout of voters who are relatively well-informed about local issues and a safe Labour majority on the Council would have combined to secure a win over a Labour candidate who lost in 2006.

It would probably have been different had PBP not stood, but tough, that's politics and they had a right to stand and this was a convincing win for Labour.

Anonymous said...

LPBP & the Lib Dems have gifted this election to Labour.

Ladywell has voted for "whatever Steve Bullock says" as a result.

I don't think that the risk of corruption is the problem with our Labour dominated council, it's more that their half-baked initiatives and ill thought through decisions will get waved past without effective challenge, as we have suffered at the national level for the last 13 years.

max said...

It is true that it's quite a Labour area but hey, there was a recent non-Labour period.
I think that they just stepped up their electioneering in a technical way. Collecting more canvass data about core voters, delivering perfectly pitched emotional messages and all that.
They're an electoral machine that's hard to keep up with.

max said...

And they won because they motivated their core vote to go out and vote, Greens did the same but only a bit less, the others just couldn't, so it's not true that those LD and LPBP would have gone to Greens, they most likely would have stayed at home.

Anonymous said...

You have no evidence to say that the PBP and lib dems have taken away the vote from the greens - that's just your opinion

PBP were the only people offering an alternative, all the other parties would have toed the Bullock line sooner or later and offered only token resistance.

Let's be frank, we are having to pay for the 'capitalist experiment' that has now demonstrably failed.

We are being punished now by having services removed or reduced, and when this is also seen to be largely ineffective a new administration, whether local or national, will blame the previous government. It's pretty simple really. Only a radical overhaul of 'vanity government' will address this problem.

Pete said...

How would Lewisham People Before Profit have prevented cuts in spending?

I don't think that council tax is allowed to be increased and the amount that councils are receiving from central government is being massively reduced. Where would the money have come from?

Anonymous said...

@max - so when some parties do work they're to be applauded for engaging, or whatever, but when Labour do so it's "technical"?

It's true that the local Labour Party did a lot of work for this by-election. Partly this is the nature of by-elections: because there are no elections elsewhere in the borough, everyone piles into one ward and so you've got more resources to work with.

But this isn't enough to win. I've worked on election campaigns before where the team worked very hard indeed, and still lost because the electorate simply didn't want what we were offering.

My impression from the Ladywell doorstep was that there was a general increase in enthusiasm for Labour across the board. In short, Labour were pushing at an open door with a lot of voters who were considering voting Labour for the first time in a long time.

Brockley Nick said...

The "capitalist experiment" has been going on since about the 16th Century and has demonstrably succeeded in lifting the living standards of the world's population beyond all imagining. And in doing so, it's outperformed any other model. Least worst system, and all that.

I don't want local councillors to spend their time talking about how to overthrow 'the system', I want people who will work out how to keep the streets clean. Otherwise, it's just fantasy politics.

Brockley Nick said...

@Pete, you're right. Council Tax is capped. Councils have been given no choice but to cut.

Anonymous said...

yeah, with modest horizons it's always best to aim anger at parked white vans and not think about bigger issues . . .

Pete said...

One thing that does surprise me is that councils don't have the power to set council tax at whatever level they like.

Pete said...

Can the people before profit anonymous please answer my question.

How would you have avoided the cuts?

In what way are they avoidable at the council level?

Anonymous said...

Speaking for myself, I had some instinctive sympathy for the PNP critique of the Con-Dem government's scaremongering on the national economy.

However, the implications they suggest are completely irrelevant to a local election. Exactly where will the extra money come from, if central government is cutting £60m from the budget and capping council tax rises?

And the plans the mayor had in place before the election are a red herring. Of course he made them. If you were the mayor of Lewisham before the election, and you saw that whoever won the election cuts would be made to the budget you manage, wouldn't you? I think anyone who wouldn't do that isn't fit for office.

Brockley Nick said...

@Anon - yes, exactly. That's what Councils are for. Getting the basic stuff right.

You want to change the world, create a campaign or get involved in national or international politics, that's not what the Ladywell by-elections are for.

Brockley Nick said...

Anon 1646 - perfectly put.

Anonymous said...

As I understand it, PB4P's policy is that councillors should all vote to set an illegal budget, like Militant Labour did in Liverpool in the 80s, rather than accept any cuts to services. They will all consequently be sacked but will have made a stand against the cuts. A government appointed auditor is then drafted in to set a budget and make whatver cuts they choose. If I've got that wrong, I'm sure an anonymous (or maybe even with a name!) PB4P person will clarify.

Brockley Nick said...

how were they going to persuade a majority Labour Council with a Labour Executive Mayor to go along with that brilliant scheme?

Anonymous said...

And thanks to all those who supported us in Ladywell yesterday. We're disappointed not to have won, obviously, but we knew it was going to be tough up against much bigger party machines in a by-election.

I think the ward is clearly established now as a Lab/Green marginal. The Green vote share was up 5.4% on May, Lab was up 5.0%, Lib Dem down 4.8%, LPB4P down 0.7% and Conservative -3.7%.

@Ms L thanks for your support and feedback on our leaflets. I think Ute's background and experience is every bit as impressive as Ingrid's, but we made the judgement to include a bit more policy stuff in our leaflets, and not just photos of candidate posed next to parking meter, candidate with recycling bin, candidate with dogs, children etc.

@anon 9.09 - thanks for massaging my ego, but even with the advantage of a few more votes for having a Ladywell postcode, I don't think it would have been enough this time round.

@all the anon PB4P commenters (same person?) - for goodness sake give yourself a name!

And congratulations to Carl - I disagree with him politically, but he's always been friendly and polite to us, and ran a clean campaign (as far as I'm aware!).

Cllr Mike Harris said...

There seems to be a prevalent argument that because a Councillor is Labour they are de facto unable to scrutinise the Mayor or Cabinet. It's absolute nonsense. I have disagreements with the Cabinet all the time, as do my colleagues, and we resolve them. What we don't need to do is table a load of public council questions in order to make Steve or the Cabinet look silly (which is the role of the opposition).

It's that old fashioned way of looking at things which says "x disagrees with y" therefore they are holding them to account. Are Tea Party Republicans really holding Barack Obama to account, and was Nancy Pelosi not doing so? Just because politicians are in the same party doesn't mean we all agree, all of the time.

We are human after all... just.

max said...

@ anon 16:35
The difference between that kind of engaging that we all agree must be applauded and the technical electioneering is that in the latter you only engage with your identified voters and potential supporters in your canvass data telling them what you know they like to hear, and that's different from having an open dialogue with the general public on issues that may even be controversial for you.

By the way, in this by-election Labour had the benefit of knowing of it in advance and by the time it was announced you had already targeted your identified voters with repeated letters using the data collected at last elections which was not long ago, that's technical electioneering in its purest form.

Cllr Mike, I'm sure you have disagreements from time to time, the point of the opposition is that they disagree with you on behalf of those that really disagree with you.
I'm sure that as someone invoved with freedom of espression you are familiar with the concept.

Anonymous said...

Keep Lewisham like Romania was under Ceausescu. At least the awful Mayor looks like Stalin!

Anonymous said...

@Cllr Harris

Aren't you being old fashioned referring to others as the 'opposition', when Lewisham has an elected Mayor?

Some are more human than others...

DEPUTY Mayor Gavin Moore was left red-faced after a confidential email was leaked to a packed council chamber.

The email ordered Labour councillors to avoid speaking to a group who opposed a motion supporting its Building Schools for the Future programme.


Why should a question in public to the Mayor make him look silly?

How would your constistuents know if a matter has been resolved in their interest rather the 'party' if the matter is not discussed in public?

Anyway, what decisions or opinions of the Mayor or Cabinet members have you disagreed with?

Anonymous said...

@16:46
And the plans the mayor had in place before the election are a red herring.

Unfortunately people like Cllr Hall who were one day saying the £60m cuts were due to the global situation, overnight blamed the new government when his party lost the general election.

In 2006 before it all went bust, the following was being justified in Lewisham.....

COUNCIL chiefs claim a proposed £5m package of cuts is needed to protect the borough's council tax payers.

The budget savings proposals, which will see cuts in areas such as youth services, libraries and intermediate care, were first discussed by the cabinet last month.

Council papers also reveal Mr Bullock has "received guidance from the Local Government Minister if the council [tax] exceeded 4.9 per cent it would risk being capped".


So the Left & Right hands of government has controlled Lewisham in good and bad times.

Anonymous said...

So what's new?

Banking collapses don't come much bigger than that of the Bank of Credit and Commerce International, closed down by the Bank of England in July 1991 after regulators found it was up to its neck in such worthy activities as fraud, tax evasion, money laundering, arms trafficking, smuggling, unlawful property dealing, bribery and the support of terrorism.

Around a million investors .... got burned as BCCI, which was founded in Pakistan in 1972 and once claimed assets of $25bn, was shown to have mislaid a cool $13bn.

Anonymous said...

this wasn't 'a' bank. It was banks throughout the world, it was almost a systemic crash and would have been horrific.

Anonymous said...

By the late 19th century, the City of London and its banks - huge, hierarchical, top-heavy, complacent - seemed all but unassailable. But they were not. In 1866, for example, the bill broker and discount banker Overend, Gurney & Co collapsed with debts of £11m, a breathtaking sum at the time.

The company's directors were promptly tried for fraud, but not before they had triggered a financial crisis that saw some 200 other companies, including many smaller banks, go out of business.

Anonymous said...

If I was a capitalist I would be secretly funding People Before Profit in order to divide the left.

If they got in and declared an illegal budget the government would take control of the accounts. Job done.

If they didn't get in they would take votes from the other left-wing parties.

All round victory for capitalism.

Anonymous said...

@ Cllr Harris

I quote...

It's that old fashioned way of looking at things which says "x disagrees with y" therefore they are holding them to account.

Yet fair minded and above all this political nonsense Cllr Harris wrote this codswallop in October....

Lewisham Council slashes carbon footprint 10%

This is as a direct result of deliberate policy decisions made by our Mayor Steve Bullock and Labour Councillors.

Data relating to all UK local authorities for the period 2005-08 was released in September 2010.

This was during a period when Labour formed a coalition with the Conservatives in Lewisham and almost half the council was made up of LibDems, Greens and Socialists.

Mr. Harris dissmisses anyone elses input or contribution out of hand.
Cllr. Harris you were born a human being not a member of a political party.

Dreaming of said...

Just for the record, I would class myself more a Labour voter, but unimpressed by their bullish ways, I have voted for PB4P. Maybe many more like minded lefties did? The Lewisham Bridge debacle with children decanted for two whole terms for no reason, was one key reason for not voting green.

max said...

I was at Lewisham Police Station recently and took a look at the data that they have pinned in their noticeboard about the energy efficiency of the building, and shockingly it's in the lowest bracket.
Maybe Labour wants to take credit for that too.

Anonymous said...

@Dreaming of...well done for dividing the left.

Dreaming of said...

Anon, dividing the left? Don't you mean, well done for making Labour's majority smaller? If you disagree with what people do you don't vote for them.

Anonymous said...

@ Dreaming of..."making Labour's majority smaller?"
The Labour majority in the council is exactly the same as prior to the election.

Anonymous said...

I voted for Judean Peoples Front.. They only got 2 votes but at least the bastards in the Popular Front for Judea didn't get in. They lost by 2 votes.

Anonymous said...

HELP: Housing Benefit reductions...

In answer to how many would be affected by the £400 housing benefit cap, the council said 79 households renting in the private sector.

In its reply to a councillor it was further said the total annual reduction in housing benefit is £242,000.

Capped at £400 a week that's £1,800 per month or £20,800 a year?

A quick search on the internet throws up a substainial 5 bedroom house on Drakefell Road for £1,800 a month.

The reduction in housing benefit is equivalent to £70 a week, which meeans 79 households are currently paying over £2000 a month to rent a property?

Which could be a large 6 bedroom detached property on Hilly Fields Crescent overlooking the Fields.

Something doesn't add up?

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:20 interesting but nothing to do with the byelection.

Dreaming of said...

Anon, 17.45, that was in answer to being criticised for splitting the left's vote. Did I need to say, making their majority less large? Somewhere there were folk who thought you shouldn't vote for the people you agreed with but Green to keep Labour out.

Anyway, I'm giving up on all this, it is tedious and given what I've seen of Labour councillors at planning meetings, very depressing.

Don't suppose Easy Jet go to Judea?

Red Sea Pedestrian said...

Not sure, but let me know if they do please.

Anonymous said...

Don't know if anyone will read this but there is a good case for having the Alternative Vote for local elections.

Ladywell had 2 centre-right parties standing: Tory and Lib-Dem
Ok Lib-Dems may disagree with that description a bit.

a centre-left party:Labour

and 2 left of Labour parties standing: Green and PBP

The Alternative Vote would make voting much more about conscience for all of us. We could vote for ouur favourite party as first choice and the others in descending order. Is there any chance the referendum in 2011 could help bring this about?

Anonymous said...

The Greens are only left of labour if it happens to suit them, or, happens to suit the political ambitions of Darren Johnson

Anonymous said...

anon 18:49 if you look at the party website you can see the Green Party manifesto. It is clearly left of Labour. It is extremely unlikely that the local party is any different.

Anonymous said...

Well, I think I'll look back at the Tory manifesto and see what a bright new world they promised in the run up to the last election . . .

Anonymous said...

Sadly I think the Greens have had their day in Lewisham. It will be very hard in the current political climate (the legacy of which is likely to last some time, pushing their vote down and making it harder to get back to where they were) to persuade people to vote them back in. It's a huge shame but that's how it is. I for one am totally gutted that Ladywell and Brockley won't get Green councillors again because they did a much better job than any Labour machines ever bother to do.

Anonymous said...

Thanks anon. You're right to say that some voters are turning back to Labour right now, in the face of the ConDem govt reality and it may be tougher for Greens to take votes off Labour in some areas, but by no means impossible. Labour's vote did go up at this by-election, but the Green vote went up by more (from 29.3% to 35%), and we've closed the gap between us and Labour from May. The real losers here were the Lib Dems and Tories, both of whose vote share dropped.

We can win council seats back in 2014, and hold London Assembly seats in 2012, but we will need one hell of a campaign to pull it off, so if you support us, please consider joining us, as we are still pretty small compared to the big 3 parties, although we punch above our weight locally.

End of PEB!

Anonymous said...

PEB???


Well done Sue!!!

Labour's vote may be up but so was the Green vote. Tory and Lib-Dem votes were down considerably.

Anon 17:47 It's not the end of Greens in Lewisham. Nonsense! They will be back in 2014 to at least 6 councilors. Just watch this space!!!

Anonymous said...

Actually I'm already a member, Sue, but not sure how long that will last. It would be nice to believe the Greens will get six council seats in 2014 but they thought they'd get nine in 2010 so please forgive my cynicism. I think they lost a lot of votes because people saw them on the council and felt disappointed they were compromising their ideologies when in actuality they were just behaving as a small party has to on a council dominated by one party, to which the directly elected mayor also belongs! Also the Ladywell Pool issue got people so riled in 2006, they voted quite strongly based on that. I think the Greens have the right idea, but sadly I don't know if enough people will listen for it all to be worthwhile.

Anonymous said...

Really, what's your name then?!
You talk about 'they', rather than 'we' as though you are somehow outside the party, so maybe you're not an active member?

After 5 or so pretty intensive weeks of campaigning and speaking to people on the doorstep, I don't share your negativity - there's still huge amounts of goodwill towards the Green Party locally. However, we need more members (and more active members!), to get better at getting our vote out, and perhaps more savvy at getting our supporters who don't always remember to vote onto postal votes. We can do it, but we'll need a few more people to share the workload!

Anonymous said...

anon 21:56 is not the anon 22:53 by the way.
am member and don't share latter anon's negativity.

Anonymous said...

I agree with earlier anon that it can be disheartening sometimes though. We gained in 2006 because Labour wanted to demolish the pool and also because of the anti-Labour feeling becuase of the war. But there are now a lot of anti-Tory anti-lib dem, anti-cuts votes that won't all go to Labour.

Anonymous said...

The Greens lost the recent by-election during their years in office, as well as having a lower number of votes.

And when it becomes clear that they now support the demolition of Ladywell Pools they'll loose further support.

Anonymous said...

Psst..a new pool is currently being built at Loampit Vale, so in a couple of years the pool at Ladywell will no longer be required or economically viable.

Let's hope our planners don't take their inspiration for the design of what should replace the pools from the fire station.

max said...

Have you seen the new block just built in front of Riley's, where Len Stiles Music Shop was?
It's now finally visible in its glory and it's absolutely ugly.
That's more worring than the firestation.

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