(A tweet from the Peckham Rye Lib Dems)
Peckham Rye Lib Dems are now claiming that Labour 'run' Peckham Rye (take a look above). When asked by a local resident "Am I right in thinking Lib Dems run Southwark but Labour run Peckham Rye?", a Peckham Rye Lib Dem candiate replied, "Yes you're right. For the next three months Lab run Peckham Rye. Then we take over..."
Given that, just like every other area in Southwark, Peckham Rye is run by the Lib Dem-Tory Executive it seems this is just the latest in a string of attempts to mislead people into thinking they've got nothing to do with Southwark's failures.
Of course, Peckham Rye does have three Labour councillors, who do a great job of representing our area and our concerns at the Town Hall. However this is very different from 'running' Peckham Rye. If only we could just opt out of the Lib Dem chaos!
In truth, the policy levers and almost all the money spent by the council are under the control of the Lib Dems and Tories. For the sake of accuracy and honesty, two small pots of money, the 'Cleaner, Greener and Safer Fund' and the local 'Community Fund' are devolved to local councillors. In reality this means that Peckham Rye councillors have control over about 0.01% of the council budget, but even this can only be spent on a narrow range of local projects.
No doubt Peckham Rye Lib Dems will claim that a pesky Labour Government in Westminster has failed to provide them with the resources to do their job. They'll tell you it really isn't their fault that Southwark was recently rated the worst council in inner London, that Southwark is the 6th worst council in the country for recycling, the 3rd worst for council tax collection and that it has a £700k hole in the housing budget... I could go on...
However, since coming to power in 2002, the Lib Dems have received year-on-year increases in their grant from the Labour Government. In fact, for all areas excluding education, government funding has increased by a massive 37% (which equates to an extra £50million each year). For education, the money from the Labour Government to Southwark has doubled in the same period.
Such sums of money could and should have been transformative for our borough. That the Lib Dems have squandered so much cash is no doubt the reason behind their tactic of denying they are in charge.
At a time when trust in national politicians is at an all time low, Peckham Rye political campaigners owe it to local residents to run an honest campaign in our ward. We'll continue to do that in our campaigning over the coming weeks.