By Heenal Rajani, Lambeth Unison housing convenor and Lambeth Defend Council Housing
The last few weeks have seen a stepping up of the campaign against Lambeth Council’s plans to hand over 30,000 council homes to a semi-private “Arms Length Management Organisation”. In the run-up to the council’s elections for an ALMO shadow board, we leafleted every estate in the borough, calling on residents to write “No to ALMO” across their ballot papers.
On 26 April, an open public meeting called by Larkhall Labour Party to debate the proposals drew an audience of about 90, with every speaker from the floor strongly against.
On 27 April, we leafleted and spoke to Lambeth housing workers called to a council propaganda session to promote the ALMO.
On 28 April, International Workers’ Memorial Day, and 1 May, International Workers’ Day, activists from Lambeth Defend Council housing held successful leafleting and petitioning sessions in Brixton.
On 30 April, when the votes for the shadow board were counted, we protested outside the town hall (see picture), followed by a well-attended public meeting to plan the way forward for campaigning. As well as the ALMO campaign, we discussed the fight against stock-transfers currently taking place on a number of Lambeth estates, as well as the situation in Lewisham housing and solidarity with civil service workers for the PCS’s Mayday strike.