Cllr Matthew Bennett switched from Housing to Business as Labour group reshuffles Lambeth Council Cabinet

The Labour group at Lambeth Council is set to reshuffle the Cabinet leading to changes in responsibilities. Cllr Matthew Bennett will no longer look after the Housing portfolio. In his place comes Cllr Jennifer Brathwaite.

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The controversial estate regeneration portfolio will not fall under Cllr Brathwaite’s watch. This will be picked up by Cllr Paul McGlone of Ferndale ward. His Investments and Partnership brief now includes:

“Housing strategy and delivery; including affordable housing and housing growth, establishing Homes for Lambeth and exploring new models for financing and delivering more homes.

Strategic oversight of the borough’s home building programme; including estate regeneration schemes, building 1,000 new council homes, and delivery of new housing schemes including the small sites programme.”

This switch to a business approach shows the direction that housing under the Labour group is taking. Cllr McGlone will be in for a busy twelve months. His portfolio also covers Your Nu Town Hall.

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The changes are proposed in the Full Council papers [pdf] for the 19th April meeting at Elm Green School. This is an administrative meeting. Roles and responsibilities for the next civic year are dished out.

Trying to make sense of the Brixton Supplementary Planning Document and Future Brixton

Having had his Homes for Lambeth pet project taken away, Cllr Bennett will be let loose on Future Brixton. This refers to the publicly owned land in the town centre. His new Planning, Regeneration and Jobs title also covers projects at Vauxhall Cross and Nine Elms.

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There is no role in the new Cabinet for Cllr Jack Hopkins. He is standing down as an Oval Cllr in 2018. He has also now lost his Regeneration, Business and Culture job.

Sonia Winifred

With Regeneration and Business covered elsewhere, the Culture brief will be picked up by Knight’s Hill Cllr Sonia Winifred. Her first task will be to resolve the backlash over the bonkers book-ish gyms plans.

Cllr Winifred was first elected to Lambeth Council in July 2014. She resigned 49 days later after realising that she was not eligible to stand as Cllr. This was due to her employment situation at the time.

A by-election was called in Knight’s Hill. Cllr Winifred stood once again. She was elected for a second time. Council Tax payers picked up the £10,000 by-election bill.

Cllr Lib Peck

The agenda for Full Council also publishes the ‘allowances’ that Cabinet members are paid. Cllr Lib Peck is awarded an annual allowance of £40,617. The going rate for the nine Cabinet members is £28,518.

The Labour group has also appointed various Deputy Cabinet roles – each able to pick up an allowance of £10,905. Five ‘Neighbourhood Leads’ will each receive £2,500 on top of their existing Cllr allowance.

The meeting agenda covers the allocation of seats for the Committees at Lambeth Council. Green Cllr Scott Ainslie and ‘Independent Labour’ Cllr Rachel Heywood have zero representation.

The report states:

“As there is only one elected member from the Green Party and one member from Independent Labour, those parties cannot be constituted as political groups on the Council.”