On Friday, Councillor Alan Hall submitted his application to the Labour Party to seek the nomination to be the next Mayor of Lewisham he said:
I want to lead a Labour Council that works with residents, businesses, co-ops and trades unions to make far-reaching changes for a more co-operative, cohesive and ambitious community. A community where genuinely affordable housing and good education means that every single person has a better chance of building a good life for themselves and their family…
Irrespective of background…
Irrespective of class or race…
My fellow Labour councillors have placed their trust in me every year over the past decade by voting for me as Lewisham Council’s Chair of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee – the strategic part of the Council that challenges and scrutinises each of the significant decisions the Mayor, Cabinet and Council takes.
This vote of confidence has enabled me to play a key role in the campaigns to Save Lewisham Hospital, to Keep Millwall Football Club in Lewisham and to expose the embarrassing lack of vital affordable and social housing in major developments in the borough such as New Bermondsey/Surrey Canal and Convoy’s Wharf.
As a board member of the Phoenix Community Housing Co-op, I was active in securing major community schemes including the restoration of the £4m lottery-funded Fellowship Inn project. I helped to save this historic building which was set to be sold off for flats. Next year it will re-open to serve its original purpose, when built in the 1920s, as a pub, theatre, cinema and community centre.
Phoenix is also currently building a 60-apartment ‘extra care’ complex to help older people stay in their local area. This also frees up much needed social housing. Phoenix was recently named London’s Best Landlord for Tenant Involvement in the Housing 24 Annual Awards (2017).
As the Executive Chair of Lewisham Labour Group, I forced the London Living Wage onto the Mayor and Cabinet’s agenda back in 2008 and, as a result, Lewisham became the first London Living Wage accredited council alongside Islington.
But, we cannot stop there. The campaign for a better Lewisham continues and as Mayor I will work with all businesses to ensure they pay staff the London Living Wage.
In my role as Chair of Scrutiny I persuaded my colleagues to change the Council’s constitution and make the Public Transport Liaison Committee a proper body of the council with all the relevant benefits and powers. As a result there has already been greater scrutiny and pressure on bus and train operators to address key issues such as poor services, working conditions and lack of investment.
Lewisham needs real change.
I am very proud of some of the things that we have achieved as a Labour borough which I have campaigned for shoulder-to-shoulder with my colleagues on the Council.
However, by the next election Lewisham will have had the same Mayor for 16 years and our citizens need and want fresh thinking. As Steve Bullock himself said when announcing that he was standing down: “After 16 years leading an organisation, it becomes hard to be the agent of change. Lewisham needs someone with a fresh approach, fresh ideas.”
For the past 10 years, the New Bermondsey/Surrey Canal Triangle site has been awaiting redevelopment but so far nothing has been built. The old Ladywell Swimming Baths site could have had hundreds – possibly a thousand – new homes, new shops and/or a new school but all we have is 20 temporary homes on a huge derelict site. In July I successfully moved a motion, backed by my colleagues, to reject a tower block planning application in Lewisham that had no social housing whatsoever. Requirements for social and affordable housing are being reduced and lost and must be restored.
Together, let’s get things changed. #HallTogetherNow
Councillor Alan Hall
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