Southwark Labour Fails to Declare Cost-of-Living Emergency

Southwark Labour has failed to declare a cost-of-living emergency, having voted down the Liberal Democrats’ proposal at a council assembly on Wednesday evening.

The Southwark Liberal Democrats amended a Labour cost-of-living motion to ask for the declaration and also proposed more radical interventions to support residents.  

These new policies included: committing to freeze council tax in the 2022/23 financial year, stopping the use of bailiffs for council debt, and universal free school meals for secondary schools in the summer.

This amendment included or augmented all of Labour’s cost-of-living policies from its original motion in an attempt to form a cross-party approach to tackling this crisis.

However, all Labour councillors voted the Liberal Democrat amendment down, choosing to blame central government rather than taking further steps to support vulnerable residents.

Commenting, Cllr Emily Tester, Southwark Liberal Democrat Deputy Leader who proposed the amendment said:

“Declaring a cost-of-living emergency would mean we could officially direct all our resources to helping residents who are picking between eating and heating. Although this is a Conservative-created crisis, we need to be doing everything we can as a council to help with this unacceptable situation. Southwark Labour had a chance to adopt even more progressive policies from our amendment, but I am disappointed to see them playing politics with vulnerable peoples’ lives.”




  1. To see Amendment A, click here.
  2. To see the original motion, click here.