Conference on Labour Party election policies explores ideas from community groups
Momentum members in Lambeth hosted a conference on Saturday, January 20 to discuss their proposals for a Labour Party local election manifesto with community groups.
The event, which saw up to 80 people assemble at St Matthew’s Tenants Meeting Hall in Brixton, brought activists and residents under one roof to share their views on which kinds of policies should be included in the manifesto for Lambeth for Jeremy Corbyn’s party.
Local elections are set to take place on May 3, with manifestos usually launched up to three months ahead.
Organisers were keen to emphasise that the event was not part of the official Labour manifesto drawing process, but that it “followed on from several months of policy development and consultation between working groups, community campaigns and local unions.” The final documents are to be sent to the Lambeth Campaign Forum which compiles the local Labour manifesto.
Participants focused on six policy areas, including education, social housing, and the environment. Many local residents have expressed their disapproval of the preparedness of some Labour councillors to outsource and downgrade six of the borough’s 10 libraries. A discussion took place about a strategy for Lambeth’s public transport and air pollution, in relation to London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s plans to lower emissions in high traffic areas such as Brixton.
The day was closed by former Lambeth Council leader Ted Knight, who delivered a speech on defending the rights of the most vulnerable in the borough.
He added that the event was not “just to meet to exchange our stories of life under the Tories, not just to complain, but to work out what is needed to change this economic and social system that is destroying the lives of working class citizens.”
Afterwards, a large group of conference attendees walked down to the Ritzy picket in Brixton, in solidarity with striking cinema workers. Over £100 collected on the day was gifted to the strike fund, as Ritzy workers continue their campaign for a living wage at the cinema.