10 February 2020
Lambeth Labour have approved a decision for an unnecessary increase in fees and charges for vulnerable adults in receipt of adult social care services.
The increases will see the charge for Meals on Wheels go up to £4.00 a meal, meaning an increase of almost £400 a year for some. Meanwhile, the level of standard Disability Related Expenditure will be decreased seeing a reduction of £780 a year in income for some of Lambeth’s most vulnerable residents.
Green councillors have previously criticised the proposals, labelling them “damaging” and “distressing”, and have proposed alternative savings that would not hurt some of Lambeth’s most vulnerable residents. 
Last year, the Green Party came up with a plan to protect children’s centres, which was subsequently followed by the council and led to a postponement of the planned cuts.
Greens say that Lambeth Labour should listen to the proposals contained in the Green Party’s alternative budget this year too and change its plans to hit older and disable residents with unnecessary charges,
Lambeth Council have previously stated that the charges to adult social care will bring in £600,000 a year which Greens say could instead be found from improving the council’s wasteful contract management.
Greens are also suggesting savings can be made from the Special Responsibility Allowances (SRAs) claimed by councillors as well as the Communications budget, which has previously been criticised for being used as party political propaganda by the Labour-run council.
Green Councillor Jonathan Bartley (St Leonard’s) said councillors could not justify imposing cuts on vulnerable disabled residents whilst still collecting a huge amount in additional “special responsibility” allowances themselves.
“The financial burden that these cuts will place on disabled and older residents simply cannot be justified. Lambeth councillors collect almost £500,000 a year in extra allowances and a huge amount is spent on corporate communications and marketing which many residents feel is little more than Labour propaganda yet they are telling vulnerable residents that they don’t have £600,000 to spend on vital services such as Meals on Wheels.
“Last year we showed how the closure of children’s centres could be avoided. This year our Green Alternative budget puts forward proposals which would make charges unnecessary by reducing special allowances and the Communications budget and investing instead in proper contract management which can result in millions of pounds of savings going forward. The Council should not be forcing disabled residents to carry the burden of Government cuts.”
 Lambeth Green Alternative Budget https://moderngov.lambeth.gov.uk/documents/s115128/Green%20Revenue%20and%20Capital%20budget%202020%20FINAL.pdf