Save Lambeth Women’s Project!

Larne from Lambeth Women's Project calls for support as the group faces eviction after 30 years

June 15, 2012
4 min read

LWP is an umbrella community organisation that has been providing a range of advisory services and activities for women for nearly thirty five years. Over 150 women pass through the LWP each month, accessing services such as counselling, support for women who have experienced domestic violence, art and music workshops, health services, BAME groups and mentoring. LWP work in a targeted way with young women, delivering council commissioned services, enabling them to learn new skills, build their confidence and learn about women’s health and staying safe.

The threat of eviction represents an attack on some of the most vulnerable and unheard voices in our society.

LWP formed in 1977 and moved into 166a Stockwell Road in 1979. For the vast majority of this time they have had sole use of the building. In 2010, Lambeth Council transferred the management of the lease for 166a to Stockwell Primary School whose main site is 166 Stockwell Road, directly next door to LWP. Under this change, a five year lease was granted to LWP and the two organisations began sharing the building.

Although the cohabitation of 166a Stockwell Road was agreed mutually, since 2010, LWP have been made to feel increasingly unwanted by Stockwell Primary School. This has taken shape in a number of ways. Through removing the 166a number sign, alongside the LWP sign, Stockwell Primary School have made it difficult for visitors to find the LWP building. Though the lease agreement states that LWP would have access to the building from the front door, the school have added a new lock to the front and despite repeated requests, LWP have not been given a key. The code to the keypad on the back entrance of 166a was also changed without informing LWP. Effectively, this means LWP are locked out of their home of over thirty years unless they request access via the school. This behaviour has finally culminated in a letter threatening eviction on 15 June.

Clearly the school, with the support of Lambeth Council, want sole access to 166a. There is a shortage of primary schools in Lambeth and it was announced last year that by 2015, the borough would need 800 extra places. However, evicting a vital service that positively impacts on the lives of girls and women in the borough is not the answer to this crisis. Women’s services have been particularly vulnerable to the Coalition’s austerity measures with a 2011 Women’s Aid report finding that over half of the women’s refuges in the UK could face closure in the coming years.

This attack on frontline services for women further clarifies the coalition government’s austerity measures as disproportionately affecting women on top of the fact that almost two-thirds of public-sector workers are women. On the measure of the International Labour Organisation measure, women’s unemployment in the UK stands at 1.13 million, the highest level for 25 years.

As the voices of women in the video that forms part of the Save LWP campaign announce, the eviction threat is ‘another way of crushing the spirit of women, young women especially’. Though the goal is for LWP to remain in the building, there is also surely a larger goal here to defend women’s services. Respect must be demanded for the vital, often unacknowledged work organisations such as LWP do in our communities.

For more information on how you can help save the Lambeth Women’s Project from eviction, please visit: http://savelambethwomensproject.wordpress.com/what-you-can-do-to-help


✹ Try our new pay-as-you-feel subscription — you choose how much to pay.

Utopia: Work less play more
A shorter working week would benefit everyone, writes Madeleine Ellis-Petersen

Short story: Syrenka
A short story by Kirsten Irving

Mum’s Colombian mine protest comes to London
Anne Harris reports on one woman’s fight against a multinational coal giant

Bike courier Maggie Dewhurst takes on the gig economy… and wins
We spoke to Mags about why she’s ‘biting the hand that feeds her’

Utopia: Daring to dream
Imagining a better world is the first step towards creating one. Ruth Potts introduces our special utopian issue

Utopia: Room for all
Nadhira Halim and Andy Edwards report on the range of creative responses to the housing crisis that are providing secure, affordable housing across the UK

A better Brexit
The left should not tail-end the establishment Bremoaners, argues Michael Calderbank

News from movements around the world
Compiled by James O’Nions

Podemos: In the Name of the People
'The emergence as a potential party of government is testament both to the richness of Spanish radical culture and the inventiveness of activists such as Errejón' - Jacob Mukherjee reviews Errejón and Mouffe's latest release

Survival Shake! – creative ways to resist the system
Social justice campaigner Sakina Sheikh describes a project to embolden young people through the arts

‘We don’t want to be an afterthought’: inside Momentum Kids
If Momentum is going to meet the challenge of being fully inclusive, a space must be provided for parents, mothers, carers, grandparents and children, write Jessie Hoskin and Natasha Josette

The Kurdish revolution – a report from Rojava
Peter Loo is supporting revolutionary social change in Northern Syria.

How to make your own media
Lorna Stephenson and Adam Cantwell-Corn on running a local media co-op

Book Review: The EU: an Obituary
Tim Holmes takes a look at John Gillingham's polemical history of the EU

Book Review: The End of Jewish Modernity
Author Daniel Lazar reviews Enzo Traverso's The End of Jewish Modernity

Lesbians and Gays Support the Migrants
Ida-Sofie Picard introduces Lesbians and Gays Support the Migrants – as told to Jenny Nelson

Book review: Angry White People: Coming Face to Face With the British Far-Right
Hilary Aked gets close up with the British far right in Hsiao-Hung Pai's latest release

University should not be a debt factory
Sheldon Ridley spoke to students taking part in their first national demonstration.

Book Review: The Day the Music Died – a Memoir
Sheila Rowbotham reviews the memoirs of BBC director and producer, Tony Garnett.

Power Games: A Political History
Malcolm Maclean reviews Jules Boykoff's Power Games: A Political History

Book Review: Sex, Needs and Queer Culture: from liberation to the post-gay
Aiming to re-evaluate the radicalism and efficacy of queer counterculture and rebellion - April Park takes us through David Alderson's new work.

A book review every day until Christmas at Red Pepper
Red Pepper will be publishing a new book review each day until Christmas

Book Review: Corbyn: The Strange Rebirth of Radical Politics
'In spite of the odds Corbyn is still standing' - Alex Doherty reviews Seymour's analysis of the rise of Corbyn

From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation
'A small manifesto for black liberation through socialist revolution' - Graham Campbell reviews Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor's 'From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation'

The abolition of Art History A-Level will exacerbate social inequality
This is a massive blow to the rights of ordinary kids to have the same opportunities as their more privileged peers. Danielle Child reports.

Mass civil disobedience in Sudan
A three-day general strike has brought Sudan to a stand still as people mobilise against the government and inequality. Jenny Nelson writes.

Mustang film review: Three fingers to Erdogan
Laura Nicholson reviews Mustang, Deniz Gamze Erguven’s unashamedly feminist film critique of Turkey’s creeping conservatism

What if the workers were in control?
Hilary Wainwright reflects on an attempt by British workers to produce a democratically determined alternative plan for their industry

Airport expansion is a racist policy
Climate change is a colonial crisis, writes Jo Ram

Momentum Kids: the parental is political
Momentum Kids is not about indoctrinating children, but rather the more radical idea that children have an important role to play in shaping the future, writes Kristen Hope


10