Meet Lambeth Council’s new Leader – Lib Peck
The following article was taken from the February 2013 edition of Lambeth Talk, circulated in print form to Lambeth households. While Lib Peck was elected back in late 2012, I thought the article in the newsletter was quite illuminating, and thought others would benefit from having access to it too, in case you don’t get the newsletter in the post.
As Lib Peck gets to grips with her role as Lambeth’s new leader, she is determined and committed to get the borough through some of its greatest challenges in a generation.
With the ongoing impact of Government cuts to public services, rising unemployment and benefit changes threatening the incomes of hard working families, 2013 will be a pivotal year.
But Councillor Peck, who has lived in Lambeth for 16 years and been a Councillor for 11 years, believes she is up to the task.
“l feel immensely proud, privileged and excited to be the leader of such a great borough and the first woman leader for 20 years,” she said. “We have a difficult job ahead of us given the tough economic climate, but we have got good values driving the decisions we make and strong communities and business to work with.”
Born and brought up in South London, strong values based on fairness are important to the mum-of-two daughters. “My parents were both committed teachers who went out of their way to nurture their pupils and to encourage children to fulfil their potential. I was brought up believe that you embraced
life’s challenges, that you got involved in your local neighbourhood, and that you looked after people, particularly the most vulnerable. Those are the values that drive what I do,” she said.
As the CounCiVs lead member for housing, she has had to deal with one of the most important and challenging areas of council work and delivered significant improvements, including cutting the number of empty homes,
tackling an historic £12 million debt and overseeing a £450 million housing investment programme.
Providing better housing, more jobs for local people and delivering our cooperative council ambitions are high on Councillor Peck’s to do list, as is supporting and developing strong and sustainable communities.
She said: “I am deeply concerned about growing unemployment and the effect that benefit cuts will have on people already struggling. As a council, we are in a good position to use our clout to assist local business and to generate sustainable growth to create more local jobs.
“The government’s welfare cuts have put many of our residents in a really perilous position; and we will face a real challenge to help people affected. But we are committed to doing as much as we can.”
Cllr Peck believes working with people in an open way and being honest with them about what the council can do in challenging times is vital.
“This will be an important year for us with the challenges we face, but I am optimistic. Lambeth is a brilliant place, fantastically located with amazing people who are prepared to get stuck in and make a difference. Working together, we will succeed.”
You can follow Councillor Lib Peck on Twitter at @cllrpeck.