29 January 2019

Lambeth Update

By Freddie Palmer

As a slight departure from today's parliamentary Brexit shenanigans, Cllr Jack Hopkins (member for Oval ward) was last night selected as the new Leader of Lambeth Council. 

As Cascade suggested when Cllr Lib Peck announced her decision to stand down for a job at City Hall, he was a favourite to replace Cllr Peck.

A councillor since 2010, Cllr Hopkins has served in Lambeth's Cabinet with responsibility for a number of different portfolios; including regeneration. Most recently he was serving as Deputy Leader of the Council with responsibility for Jobs, Skills and Performance.

As such he is knowledgeable of planning and development. He has a reputation for being pragmatic and has been happy to work with developers to ensure schemes are delivered.

Prior to last year's local elections Cllr Hopkins had decided to stand down as a councillor. His last minute change of heart came as a surprise to many but perhaps now makes more sense as he takes over the reigns of this Central London borough. 

It is not the easiest time to take charge of a local authority. The pressures faced by local government in the midst of years of cuts are well known and Lambeth is no exception - £238m has been cut from their budget since 2010 and a further £37m is being cut over the next four years. 

Lambeth published their budget for next year yesterday. The budget includes a 2.99% increase in council tax (the maximum increase allowed without triggering a local referendum) and makes clear that the main sources of capital funding in future years will be from developer contributions - a sign of an increased reliance on development in the borough. 

Cascade will continue to keep you updated as the new leadership squares up to these challenges. We are not anticipating any major changes to the established senior leadership team but Cllr Hopkins will no doubt seek to make his mark in the coming months.

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