Labour-run Lambeth Council is spending taxpayers' money attacking the Government through its town hall newspaper funded by local residents. In the latest edition of Lambeth Life, the council blames 'Government
cuts' for the need to reduce services, despite being guilty of extravagant levels of waste itself.
On top of the £270,000 pay packet of its chief executive – almost double that of the Prime Minister – other examples of misuse of taxpayer funds include: paying money to drug addicts and dealers in Question-and-Answer sessions, buying a £30,000 sculpture whilst cutting council services and spending several thousand pounds every week on consultants at its housing firm, Lambeth Living.
Lambeth Life, which costs over £500,000 per year to produce – £160,000 provided annually by Lambeth taxpayers – is published fortnightly and its politically-charged content reaches an audience of almost 120,000 people.
This latest propaganda follows the controversial 'Government cuts' posters recently erected by the council across the borough. In choosing to spend £600 on political posters, rather than on frontline services, Lambeth Council was condemned by Stephen Hammond MP for a 'blatant misuse of public funds'.
Mr Hammond – who is still waiting for a response to his letter of complaint about the poster campaign from the Council's District Auditor – said:
"Lambeth Council continues to prioritise partisan politics over concern for its residents. It is inexcusable – not to mention a breach of its editorial responsibilities – to slate the Government's fiscal measures using the front page of their taxpayer-funded newspaper, as well as through an advertising campaign on the high street, also at taxpayer expense. Given their excessive senior pay packets, various 'vanity projects' and a generally inefficient use of taxpayers' money, Labour councils must do more themselves to save money before resorting to cuts that affect local services."
This is the same council that spent £62,000 on 'phantom libraries'. They opened three of them to try to convince inspectors it was meeting Government targets on increasing residents' access to books. The council set up makeshift libraries in two youth centres costing £62,000. They were then closed just six weeks later – and only 25 books were loaned.