18 May 2010

Council Assembly tomorrow - Labour formally take charge in Southwark

Tomorrow evening is Southwark Council Assembly AGM and will see Labour formally take control of the council. I'm proud that after 8 years of the failed Lib Dem and Tory rule the results of the 6 May elections saw residents decisively put Labour in charge.

The meeting will see Labour's leader Cllr Peter John appointed as Southwark council leader and the AGM will also appoint the new 'Cabinet'. Labour has opted to rename the 'council executive' to make it clear this is the political group running the council rather than a group of bureaucrats. I think this is a good move.

The meeting will go on the agree Southwark's new Mayor, establish scrutiny committees and also establish Community Councils. I'm delighted that Nunhead and Peckham Rye Community Council will continue to be made up of nine Labour councillors but even more delighted that with a Labour council we will get the input and attention needed from the leadership of the council. This is going to be a real opportunity to drive change in our area.

Members of the public are very welcome to attend Council Assembly - simply arrive at Peckham Town Hall by 7.00pm. As many residents will know, the Lib Dems and Tories reduced the number of Council Assembly meetings and also ended the tradition of members of the public being able to bring deputations to meetings. They were determined to keep politicians locked away in the Town Hall and ensure that the public had a limited say in things. I do hope that Labour can begin to reverse this and boost transparency and public engagement in Southwark.

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