Lambeth Council has budgeted the final tranche of the £100 million it approved as part of its Redress Scheme to go to survivors of abuse under its care.  

Cabinet approved a five-year capital investment programme (CIP) of £715 million on Monday (July 20), including £15 million in 2020/21 to compensate historical child abuse victims in Lambeth children’s homes, the inquiry of which is ongoing.   

From the 1930s to 1990s, children suffered “prolonged sexual, racial, and physical abuse” at the hands of paedophiles.  

“The most recent data shows there have been 1,602 applications submitted into the Redress Scheme, and a total of £46.4 million has been paid in redress.  

“The council is borrowing up to £100 million to fund the scheme.  

“Updates and improvements have been made to the Redress Scheme since it opened, and we will continue to listen to survivors,” a council spokesperson said.  

The next update report on the scheme is due in September.  

The CIP includes £10 million investment for parks and more than £34 million to tackle the climate emergency.   

Addressing cabinet, the member for finance and performance, Cllr Maria Kay, said “it will come as no surprise” that since lockdown began “there’s been significant financial impact” on the council.  

“Essential as this work has been there’s no getting away from the fact that extra spending combined with a huge fall in income from parking, business rates, and council tax means we face a huge budget shortfall,” she said.   

She said so far Government funding covers less than half of the financial impact, while the extra £500 million announced for councils amounts to £3.5 million for Lambeth.   

“Even our most cautious estimates are that Lambeth could face a funding crisis of £27 million, raising as high as £50 million as the country faces recession and huge uncertainty.  

“That’s more than we spend on rubbish collection, parks, libraries, leisure centres, roads, children’s centres, and public health altogether.  

“It would be a betrayal for the Government to renege on their promise of financial support, forcing councils such as Lambeth to face the prospect of cuts to services after already suffering from a generation of Tory austerity,” Cllr Kay said.   

The council has sufficient reserves to cover the £27 million, but she said it is “not out of the woods yet”.  

More than £370 million will be invested in schools, hospitals, libraries, parks, transport, and community facilities, the rest relates to the council’s housing revenue account (£226.7 million), the Redress Scheme, and buying back Right to Buys.  

Over the next five years the council plans to invest more than £34 million into a programme “to ensure there is adequate provision of school places in Lambeth”, nearly £2.5 million into libraries, more than £2.5 million into the restoration of Brockwell Hall, and £5.7 million into infrastructure and restoration work for cemeteries.  

Parks across the borough will see an investment of £10.3 million.  

The council plans to invest £3 million into digital services, aiming to ensure services are inclusive to all. 

£10.2 million will be put into Coburg Crescent, a new day centre for adults, while £2.1 million has been set aside for housing adaptations for vulnerable residents.  

Nearly £8 million will be invested in a temporary accommodation procurement strategy, purchasing homes in order to provide a cheaper source of long-term accommodation for homeless households.   

More than £34 million will go into estate regeneration, and nearly £36 million into affordable housing and workspace in the borough.  

More than £20 million will go into a climate programme which will “prioritise projects/interventions that contribute to our climate change outcomes of reducing carbon emmisions and increasing the resilience of the borough”, while more than £14 million will go into increasing recycling rates and investing in a waste fleet that has less of a negative environmental impact.   

The highways improvement programme will see an investment of £24.3 million, including maintenace to roads, pavements, and bridges.   

The council also intends to put £1.5 million into CCTV upgrades across Lambeth.  

More than £7 million will go into the Brixton Rec refurbishment, while the council is planning to put £10.3 million into the South Bank Waterloo area “to support key vehicular, pedestrian and cycle routes”.   

Cllr Kay said: “Our capital investment programme sets out an ambition agenda of investment in jobs, homes, public infrastructure, and tackling climate change.   

“It will support ambitious economic plans for affordable workspace, good jobs, and culture and leisure facilities in every part of the borough, and will see record investment making our area greener, and in digital infrastructure to address the gap in digital connectivity that we’ve seen over the last few months.”