Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Fake Libraries

As regular readers her (if I have any!) will by now know, I live almost on the boundary between Lambeth and Lewisham council areas, so I keep an eye on what both of them are up to.

They're both quite bad in particular (but often different) respects, but today I was reminded of just how bad Lambeth has been for years by mention of this now two-year-old story regarding the infamous "fake libraries" that Lambeth Council created in order to fool inspectors, and then closed them again a few weeks later (probably just after the inspectors' report was published).

Today Harry Phibbs links to that story as background to the operations of that council who are now using the local taxpayers-funded council newspaper Lambeth Life to push political propaganda. Now, this is a difficult subject, as there are degrees of this kind of thing that might or might not be acceptable; but I have downloaded of copy of today's issue and it is definitely pushing it!

It might have been more acceptable if it were really a case of deprivation; but Lambeth is well known for its wasteful spending in the millions of pounds bracket, and has been that way for many years. It is notable that Lambeth's elected representation comprises 44 Labour councillors, 15 Lib Dem councillors, and just four Conservatives.

In common with most other Labour, Lib Dem or both combined dominated councils, Lambeth has become an easy place to indulge oneself and one's own or party agenda at local taxpayers' (often huge) expense. The Harry Phibbs piece mentions several examples and links to sources, so do pursue those if you want more detail.

Labour hold all the Cabinet positions at Lambeth (including Deputies, whatever they're needed for!), leader and deputy leader, and mayoralty. That can sometimes work, but not when Labour are involved.

When an administration has to falsify its actual activities, such as by creating fake libraries, even to score reasonably well with its own party's Labour-friendly (as has been shown on numerous occasions) inspection regime, then you just know that something is drastically wrong. Lambeth needs a clear-out and a fresh start!

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