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Lambeth unveils radical shake up

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Lambeth LBC is set to undertake a radical shake-up after unveiling plans to slash 400 jobs, while offering residents the chance to get a discount on their council tax if they take a more active role in running services.

Managers, directors, support staff and agency positions will bare the brunt of the job cuts, which the council said would make the council more efficient so that it “can continue improving services while keeping council tax down”.

The council, which kicked off a consultation with trade unions and staff on the restructuring this week, said the move was designed to protect frontline services.

Deputy leader, Jackie Meldrum (Lab), said: “We are very clear that our absolute priority is to protect front line services.

“We are now beginning a process that will see sensible adjustments made to the number of posts, particularly where there are overlaps in responsibilities among managers and directors.”

As well as cutting jobs, a raft of other efficiency measures such as examining if it can join together with other councils to commission joint services are being looked at.

Meanwhile, the council has also kicked off a public consultation on its closely watched plans to turn itself into a “co-operative council”, which it hopes will see residents getting more involved in running services.   

The council has set up a “Citizens’ Commission” to consult local people on the proposals.

The Commission will identify new services where the co-operative model can be piloted and explore how the approach can be rolled out across further service areas later this year

The Commission will also explore how an “active citizens dividend” could be paid to reward people who get involved in running local services, possibly in the form of a council tax discount.

Lambeth leader Steve Reed (Lab), said: “Lambeth has spent the past four years exploring how the community can get more involved in running local services.

“In widely different service areas like schools, housing and tackling crime we’ve learnt it can deliver better services that cost less.

“Now we will take the model further and become the first council in the country to apply co-operative values right across the board. Our model empowers people to get on and make the changes they want to see in their local area, building better services and a stronger civic society at the same time.”

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Readers' comments (1)

  • One small but important point... there has been some confusion as to the proposed adoption of the John Lewis partnership model as a form that can be tranferred to local government.

    Such an attempt to establish a 'John Lewis' Council in Lambeth should imply that all council staff become partners and thereby receive annual payments predicated on collective council performance.

    The model has everything to do with delivering excellent customer service through studying demand and responding to it. Correct me if I'm wrong but John Lewis do not actively involve citizens in the formal workings of its organisation.

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