All on tonight at a Lewisham council meeting where councillors gathered to vote on a nasty and very controversial programme of cuts in this most deprived of boroughs.
Locals have long been furious at Lewisham mayor Steve Bullock’s perceived willingness to offer local services to Osborne’s scythe.
“It would be easy to declare our opposition to the cuts the coalition is proposing,’ Sir Steve told us at the council’s AGM way back in June.
It’s even easier, it seems, to put up no opposition at all. Locals have gone mad at Bullock’s proposals to cut libraries, refuse services and staff (especially in a borough that depends on council for employment to the extent this one does). As early as June, Lewisham had bullocked ahead and forecast a budget gap of up to £60m for 2011 to 2014 (although though it was still in the dark about government plans for key grants). People expect (for reasons that will forever escape me) a little more from Labour. It has been clear for a while that Sir Steve ought to keep an eye on the tide.
This evening, he tried to ignore it. Several hundred people turned up to protest at the early-evening council meeting. All went well, until they heard the public gallery would be restricted to 40. Then, someone said 28. Then, people decided they’d head in regardless. Why didn’t Bullock hold this meeting in a large hall somewhere and have it out?
Here are a few videos I shot during the rush.