Southwark Liberal Democrats have given their official backing to a series of 'family-friendly' policies going into next month’s local elections in the borough.
The opposition council group has committed to 10 policy pledges to support families in Southwark to be financially stable and steer clear of poverty, which have been put forward by the London Child Poverty Alliance (LCPA), a group of leading charities campaigning for the abolition of child poverty in the capital.
The pledges include maintaining children centre services; making sure more jobs in the borough pay the London Living Wage and offer flexible working hours; protecting poorest residents from paying council tax; and providing suitable, affordable homes in the borough.
Southwark Liberal Democrats have already said they will offer all local two, three and four-year olds an extra day a month of childcare if they win control of the council on 22 May, as well as maintaining free school meals for all local primary school pupils.
LCPA’s 10 pledges are outlined in more detail on the Family Friendly London campaign website.
A recent poll commissioned by LCPA showed that residents in Southwark want councils to take action on:
- Improving the quality, stability and affordability of housing (88%)
- Increasing wages in the borough (86%)
- Protecting poorest residents from increases to council tax payments (86%)
- Protecting the services provided by children’s centres (85%)
- Increasing flexible working in the borough (85%)
Commenting, Cllr Anood Al-Samerai, leader of Southwark Liberal Democrats, said:
"Here in Southwark, we have identified homes, kids, and jobs as the priorities for our manifesto – three issues which we believe matter most to people living in our borough and struggling to find affordable housing, quality education and childcare, and sustainable employment."
"Promoting a family-friendly borough is certainly an issue which matters for Liberal Democrat councillors, and so we are pleased to support for these ten commitments."
Mubin Haq, Director of Policy and Grants at Trust for London and member of the LCPA said:
"Families tell us that changes are needed in Southwark to support them to be financially stable. The pledges that the Liberal Democrats in Southwark have made will strengthen the local economy and help to reduce poverty. We are pleased to see them recognise the key issues that need to be tackled: suitable jobs, affordable childcare and access to information."
"We look forward to working with councillors in Southwark to continue working to reduce poverty. We hope other candidates in the local area will also commit to action."