New Job: Wandsworth Labour Campaign Manager

Wandsworth Labour is looking for an experienced and ambitious Campaign Manager to help us win control of the council in the 2018 elections.

We need you to help shape and implement our campaign plan. You will know how to:

  • Run successful large-scale campaigns
  • Organise events and motivate groups of volunteers
  • Use data to make evidence-based decisions
  • Create content for print and digital

The position is full-time and will require flexible working, including some work at the weekend and in the evening.

The salary is £32,000 – £35,000 per year, dependant on experience. This is a fixed-term contract from the time of appointment to the end of May 2018.

To apply, please send your CV and with a covering letter explaining why you are suitable for the role to wandsworthcm@yahoo.com by January 19, 2017.

Interviews will take place in late January or early February 2017.

 

Why do we need a Campaign manager?

To develop and execute the campaign plan for the 2018 elections. To build our Labour councillors, candidates and volunteers into a highly effective campaigning team. To oversee creation of campaign materials online and in print and to lead the continual improvement of campaigning and communication across the borough.

What will be their responsibilities?

  • Work with the Regional Organiser, Labour group, councillors, MP, Assembly Member, Local Campaigns Forum (LCF) and Constituency Labour Parties (CLPs) to plan and oversee a winning campaign for the 2018 elections
  • Work with key partners to develop key campaign themes and organise major campaigns around these
  • Build the capacity of individual ward teams to undertake effective campaigning, both online and on the doorstep
  • Create and edit content for ward newsletters, websites, emails and direct mails.
  • Source and maintain accurate data to enable evidence-based decision-making
  • Celebrate and spread local best practice in campaigning and communications and to provide training for members
  • Foster a ‘test and learn’ culture of innovation and continual improvement
  • Build up membership and volunteer activity in the borough in line with the Party’s aims and objectives
  • Attend meetings of the CLPs, Labour Group and the LCF as required
  • Be aware of relevant legislation and codes of practice and to ensure all activities are compliant

What sort of person will be successful?

The Campaign Manager must be able to work proactively, demonstrate innovation, communicate effectively, work collaboratively, share their expert knowledge, be results-driven & value and respect others.

2,179 Wandsworth children will be homeless this Christmas

1,492 families will be homeless this Christmas in Wandsworth, including 2,179 children, according to figures released by Wandsworth Council.

Alaina Macdonald, Labour’s Speaker on Housing, said: “It is heart-breaking that these families won’t spend Christmas somewhere they can call home. Some families will be in B&Bs – stuck altogether in one room morning, noon and night – hard at the best of times. Worse at Christmas.”

Councillor Macdonald pointed to the recent case of a single mother to an autistic son and 10-month-old baby who found herself homeless after fleeing domestic violence. Today she was offered her 5th temporary placement in 15 months; a B&B, after complaining of a rat infestation in her temporary accommodation.

In an email, the mother described her living conditions: “All three rats captured have escaped the sticky traps isolating me to one room in the property; my bedroom, with the baby. One has just been caught again which is so much bigger than the four I have seen today”.

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The bedroom of the temporary accommodation

Cllr Macdonald said: “Everyone is paying a high price for the cost of this temporary accommodation. For the families stuck there, it is taking a toll on their mental and physical health. And Wandsworth Council are paying through the roof for temporary accommodation. Only the landlords are winning here.”

According to Cllr Aydin Dikerdem, the newly-elected councillor in Queenstown ward where housing problems are especially acute; “it’s not only that Wandsworth is building too little, it is that the Council is overseeing the building of the wrong kind of housing stock. No matter how many riverside penthouses go up – the fundamental problem of a lack of housing for ordinary families in Wandsworth is still not being addressed”.

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In a debate in Wandsworth Council on Wednesday, the Conservative councillors unanimously voted down a proposal made by the Labour Party that the Council build more affordable homes, replace every home sold under Right to Buy and raise standards in the private rented sector.

In the past 25 years 14,791 council homes in Wandsworth have been sold off and only 5,170 have been built in their place.

The average price of a semi-detached property in Wandsworth last year was £1,567,389 and the average weekly rent for a 2-bed flat was £474.

Cllr Macdonald concluded by saying; “the public does not believe that Wandsworth Council has a grip on our local housing crisis and when you see the statistics, it’s clear why.”

 

 

Housing facts

  • Over the past 6 years Wandsworth Council has paid out almost £11m to house homeless families in temporary private accommodation as their needs could not be met by the Council’s own housing stock.
  • This year alone almost £3m has been spent on providing temporary accommodation for homeless families in Wandsworth.
  • Over the last 3 months 15 families were temporarily housed in bed and breakfast accommodation for more than 6 weeks.
  • According to Wandsworth’s own strategic needs assessment, there are 15,000 ‘non decent’ homes in the private rented sector in the borough.
  • The Council’s current target for making homes in the private sector ‘decent’ is 230. There are 43,000 households in the borough in the private rented sector.

 

‘I hope kids growing up on the Doddington Estate will see a Battersea that includes them in its future’

14808938_10209924510963229_800388667_oCouncillor Aydin Dikerdem’s maiden speech to Wandsworth council, December 2016

Thank you Mayor for allowing me to make my maiden speech during this debate around housing. And I must say it is a fitting debate for someone recently elected in Queenstown.

Nowhere represents the tensions and inequalities of modern London more than Queenstown does. The ward is witnessing the struggle over what regeneration and development mean for everyday Londoners, those who can’t afford the luxury flats rising around them but who are rooted in an area they have grown up in and love.

If there is one issue on the doorstep that came up time and time again it was housing. Be it the lack of low-cost homes, soaring rents, huge housing waiting lists, or problems of damp and overcrowding – having a decent home, what was previously a social democratic given, is now a source of anxiety and uncertainty.

Of course the council will say it’s building more homes than any other, just look to Nine Elms… But let’s say it how it is: no matter how many riverside penthouses go up, the fundamental problem is not being addressed.  Continue reading “‘I hope kids growing up on the Doddington Estate will see a Battersea that includes them in its future’”

Government budget cuts plan would take £6m from Putney schools

jeremy-and-pater-at-school-gatesRoehampton councillors Jeremy Ambache (left) and Peter Carpenter

The Government is proposing a major change to the funding of schools. The changes mean that schools in Putney will lose £5,994,867, or roughly 13% of their current budgets over the next 4 years.

Jeremy Ambache, Labour’s Education spokesperson and councillor for Roehampton has attacked the Tory plans, which would mean cuts equivalent to £740 per Putney pupil.

Councillor Ambache said: “The Government plans to cut almost £6m from schools in Putney by 2020. This is equivalent to losing 162 full time teacher posts and will have serious consequences for the education of local children. I appeal to Justine Greening – the Education Secretary – to stand up for her Putney constituents and to protect schools in her constituency by opposing these cuts”.

The Putney schools likely to be worst hit include:

Ashcroft Technical Academy which stands to lose £984,927 or 14% of its current budget, equivalent to £995 per pupil or 26 full time teachers.

Heathmere Primary School in Roehampton, which stands to lose £231,656, or 15% of its current budget, equivalent to £864 per pupil or 6 full time teachers;

Brandlehow Primary School which stands to lose £205,249, or 15% of its current budget, equivalent to £693 per pupil or 5 full time teachers and;

According to the National Union of Teachers (NUT) who compiled the figures, “We estimate that 92% of schools [in the UK] could face cuts in their funding per pupil in real terms over the next four years, with no local authority – and no MP – set to gain overall, even after the redistributive impact of the Government’s ‘fair funding’ proposals have been taken into account”.

Jeremy Ambache concluded: “Schools budgets have already been cut to the bone and schools in Putney simply cannot afford to lose yet more money. We need to invest in education and our Secretary of State for Education should be showing leadership. Failure to do so will mean seriously letting down a generation of children.”

To see how by much your school’s budget will be cut, visit the schoolcuts.org.uk website

Cornered council finally comes clean about rubbish-strewn streets

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Wandsworth Council recently voted to introduce litter wardens able to issue on the spot fines in an effort to stem the current rubbish crisis in the borough’s town centres.

The initiative follows a long and successful campaign by Wandsworth Labour councillors to push the council to recognise that it must do more to tackle flytipping and litter across the borough.

Labour’s new campaign started 18 months ago when Tooting councillor Candida Jones, together with local residents, launched the Clean Up Furzedown campaign to push the council to do more to deal with flytipping in her ward.

Following the success of this campaign, Graveney’s Labour councillors launched a similar initiative.

Tooting MP, Rosena Khan, has launched a high-profile Tidy up Tooting campaign.

Historically, the council has not done enough to tackle the problem of littering and flytipping. In Putney, residents have complained that a lack of bins at bus stops along Putney Heath means the litter is blowing into the Heath causing problems for wildlife.

Bins have been removed across the borough, prompting residents to use the hashtag #bingate.

Cllr Candida Jones said: “I am glad that litter wardens will now be patrolling. It goes to show that if you bang on about an issue long enough – and I have sent literally hundreds of photos of flytipping to the Council over the past 18 months – you can get the council to listen”.

She added: “As we suggested, the Council has launched an app, making it easier for residents to report flytipping and, now, litter wardens. Finally, the issue is being taken seriously”.

Wandsworth welcomes its first Syrian refugee family

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Almost a year to the day after Labour councillors first called on Wandsworth Council to assist refugee families from Syria, the Council has finally welcomed its first Syrian refugee family to the borough.

The family is being resettled under the government’s Syrian Vulnerable Person Resettlement (VPR) Programme. The scheme, which houses refugees in private rental accommodation, is paid for by the Home Office.

Councillor Fleur Anderson, Wandsworth Labour’s Deputy Leader and a member of Wandsworth Welcomes Refugees, said: “For a year we have been pushing the Council to do more to help people fleeing the war in Syria so I am delighted and proud that the Council is finally stepping up to the plate”.

She added: “The last time this was debated, we extracted a promise that the Council would take in a minimum of 10 families by next Summer and we will hold them to this”.

The VPR Programme targets the refugees “at greatest risk” where “evacuation from the region is the only option”, according to the Government. It says that particular attention is paid to survivors of torture and violence, or women and children who need medical care.

The government has pledged to take in 20,000 Syrian refugees and 3,000 unaccompanied refugee children by 2020.

Vote Aydin on November 10

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My name’s Aydin Dikerdem. I’m standing to be your councillor in the election on Thursday, November 10.

As someone born and bred in Battersea, I’m excited about the chance to serve my community. I’ve been out listening to local people every day. Find out how you can volunteer to join me.

My top priority is to focus on the housing crisis. I know how hard it is to get a place of your own in Battersea so I want more genuinely affordable homes for local people.

I was delighted to be endorsed by Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, whose priority is better housing for Londoners.

I love Battersea and I want to protect its culture and heritage. Battersea Park should not have been used as a motor-racing track and we must make sure the park is fully restored to how it was before Formula E.

Sally-Ann Ephson was elected a Labour councillor here by just 75 votes in 2014. This election is going to be very close and your vote will be crucial.

Action on the local housing crisis

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I grew up in Battersea – me and my friends know just how hard it is to get a place of your own.

So many young people are stuck renting. Anna, a teacher, pays £720 a month to share with 5 others in Battersea. She says: “I pay more than half my salary on rent. I just don’t have a chance to save any money.”

Some flats are in terrible condition. I recently called on a house in Queenstown Road that was divided up into 12 flats. Electrical wires trailed over a children’s buggy in the hallway. We can give renters a fair deal by ending letting fees and getting tough on rogue landlords.

This Tory council can’t solve the crisis. It refuses to build new council flats and it puts the interests of property developers ahead of local people.

Expensive flats are built for foreign investors. I don’t know a single local family who thinks they will get to live in the new Battersea Power Station flats. Labour will do better.

Save our local pub

There are plans to demolish Flanagan’s Pub on Battersea Park Road and replace it with flats.

Flanagan’s is an authentic Battersea pub that serves the surrounding areas superbly. The pub is welcoming, not too expensive and Gerry, the governor, is a great host.

It’s lovely that Chelsea pensioners travel down from Fulham Broadway for their weekly pint. Flanagan’s should be protected for the future, not turned into flats. Sign our petition here.

Sadiq Khan backs Aydin

mp_sadiq_khan“Aydin will be a great councillor. He’s Battersea born and bred and he’ll work his socks off to deliver results for local people.”

“Aydin follows in the footsteps of my friend Councillor Sally-Ann Ephson, who sadly died recently. Sally-Ann was a ray of sunshine, much-loved by all who knew her.

“I will remember Sally-Ann fondly as a dear friend, determined campaigner and, above all, as someone who never stopped smiling.”