The Southwark Liberal Democrat Council Group has written to the Leader and Chief Executive of the Council with a list of 30 suggestions to help Southwark residents and businesses during the lockdown.
The letter thanks council staff for all they have done and offers a set of practical and constructive recommendations for what more can be done.
An immediate action within the Council’s control is to automatically extend the council tax reduction scheme to 100% of council tax for all low income households during the financial year 2020/21. The council could also formally offer all Southwark council tenants who request it a ‘holiday’ from paying rent with a long term repayment plan once things return to normal.
Other suggestions include a dedicated campaign on mental health support, catch up schooling for young people and help with social distancing and making the most of the reduction in car use to look at pedestrianising streets.
Commenting, Leader of the Opposition, Cllr Anood Al-Samerai, said:
“Our heartfelt thanks go to Southwark Council staff and residents for the way we have looked after one another as a community in the last month or so. All Liberal Democrat councillors have come together to share their experience of the past few weeks and the amazing work that is going on in their wards to support vulnerable residents and businesses.
Our councillors have been supporting and speaking to our residents in our wards especially the most vulnerable to connect with the Council through this time. From this work, it is clear that if we set party politics aside, more can be done if we form a non-party political working group across the Council to hope those most in need. This is a time for coming together, helping, learning and making what is already a great service from our Council even better for everyone.
We have sent 30 ideas as a basis for a discussion with the Labour leadership group to help all of Southwark. From financial support to environmental changes, I look forward to working with the Leader and the Chief Executive to consider and put as many of them in place as possible.”