Two former Lewisham Councillors have published copies of their letters to the Speaker of Lewisham Council ahead of the council’s AGM tonight, Wednesday, 25th May 2022.

Caroline Kalu who represented Evelyn Ward – named after John Evelyn the famous diarist – for the Labour Party until this May’s election has claimed that she was effectively and unfairly deselected by the Labour Party’s Local Campaign Forum in collusion with the previous Chief whip.

The Labour Party Chief Whip at the time was Cllr Hilary Moore who represents Grove Park on Lewisham Council.

Caroline Kalu had been asking probing questions about the whereabouts of money gained from lucrative property development in Deptford. Her letter asks that Lewisham Council release details of the Section 106 and Community Infrastructure Levy, CIL payments that are unallocated and unspent.

These planning ‘gains’ are often in legally binding agreements known as Section 106 agreements. The purpose of these agreements is to reduce the impact of building developments on a local community. They may specify how the money is spent rather than being absorbed into a council’s general fund or capital programme.

In his letter, Alan Hall said that he had requested that the Chief Executive of the Council, Kim Wright provide him with details of all outstanding cases on the Council’s Corporate Complaints’ system in order to write to all his constituents with outstanding casework.

Despite receiving an initial assurance that this would be done, he was informed that he could not have these details due to “data protection” concerns.

A Freedom of Information request has been submitted.

Caroline Kalu’s letter in full:

Dear Speaker,

Thank you very much for your kind invitation to attend the AGM of Lewisham Council on Wednesday, 25th May at 7.30pm.

Unfortunately, due to my commitments as UN Peace Ambassador/UN women UK Delegate CSW66 I will not be able to listen to the Mayoral oration in the Council Chamber. However, I look forward to following proceedings virtually.

In your letter, you state that the Council would like to mark the contribution of Councillors who have “stood down”.

I would like to clarify that I did not “Stand down” but was effectively and unfairly deselected by LCF , in Collusion with the previous Chief whip not to put myself forward for May 2022 local Election in Evelyn. I am not sure how these actions are best characterised but l did not step down voluntarily. I have raised these concerns with the national Labour Party and I await a conclusion.

I would be very grateful if you could convey my best wishes to the new Council, especially those newly elected, as they will have some very difficult decisions to take shortly. The cost of living crisis hits Lewisham residents hard and the Council will be expected to step up and help them.
I would be grateful if you could update me on any casework that remains outstanding in my name.

Furthermore, I was promised that a reply on the matters relating to Section 106 and CIL in Evelyn Ward would receive attention and a response from the Council. To date I have received no response and I would like to let residents know how much money has been raised for local projects by the multi million pound new developments that have been agreed, built and completed across Evelyn Ward over the last few decades and remains unspent.
Kind regards,

Caroline Onwuzurike Kalu

Former Vice -Chair Children and Young People Lewisham Labour/Cooperative Party.

Alan Hall’s letter to the Speaker of Lewisham Council in full:

Dear Speaker,

Thank you very much for your kind invitation to attend the AGM of Lewisham Council on Wednesday, 25th May at 7.30pm.

Unfortunately, due to commitments overseas I will not be able to listen to the Mayoral oration in the Council Chamber. However, I look forward to following proceedings virtually.

In your letter, you state that the Council would like to mark the contribution of Councillors who have “stood down”.

I would like to clarify that I did not leave the Council by choice. The Leadership of the Council decided that I could not put myself forward to local Labour Party members in Bellingham. Bellingham Branch Labour Party protested and they were ignored. I am not sure how these actions are best characterised but they are not stepping down voluntarily. I have raised these concerns with the national Labour Party and I await a conclusion.

I had requested that the Chief Executive of the Council, Kim Wright provide me with details of all outstanding cases on the Council’s Corporate Complaints’ system so that I may write to all those with outstanding casework. Despite an initial assurance that this would be done, I have been informed that I cannot have these details due to “data protection” concerns. May I ask that you use your good offices to ensure that these cases are completed? The service of the people is my priority.

I would be very grateful if you could convey my best wishes to the new Council, especially those newly elected, as they will have some very difficult decisions to take shortly. The cost of living crisis hits Lewisham residents’ hard and the Council will be expected to step up and help them.

Kind regards,

Alan

Alan Hall

Former Leader, Lewisham Labour Group &
Labour and Co-operative Councillor for Bellingham.

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