Archived on 6/5/2022

Lewisham council services

10 Apr '21

Warning… this is a rant.

I’ve lived in this borough for 2 years now and without a doubt this is the worst borough for services I’ve come across in the 15 years of being a nomadic Londoner. I know there’s been a pandemic but we’ve all adapted no? Yes some services will be affected until we get fully up to speed again, but what I’m talking about is the basics. Access to information and being able to contact someone for help.

The council website is poorly designed and the content unhelpful or outdated. If you need to contact the council you can only do so by email or by leaving a voicemail, both of which will be ignored. They have a score of 1.2 on google which is far too generous in my opinion and reviews that sum up how many of us feel.

I’ve got a long list but I’ll go into the most urgent which selfishly only effects me and my neighbours. My building is currently unsafe due to the inaction of the property management company. I should be able to contact my council and report them for fire safety issues, however lewisham council is unresponsive as it has been for over a year now. I’ve repeatedly left emails and voicemails and had no response about one matter or another. Surely budget cuts haven’t affected the ability to use a phone or the internet?


10 Apr '21

I only get replies or action when I email the Mayor.

11 Apr '21

Hi Chamonix

I am so sorry that your experience with Lewisham Council has been so disappointing.

For context, the majority of our budget goes to protect a very small number of our most vulnerable residents, with over 70% of our budget going to Adult & Children’s Social Care and Public Health.

In real terms, ten years ago our budget was £400 million, instead of the £243 million it is today. Despite careful financial management we will have to make cuts of over £40 million over the next three years, plus an additional £10 million to respond to growth and an increase in demand for our services. This includes £28 million in 2021/22.

Here is a video explainer of what we’re going through Lewisham's Budget Challenge on Vimeo.

This all means that the money left for things that affect all of us, and where most people see their council at work - your refuse collections, your fly-tipping collections & enforcement, your environmental health enforcement and planning enforcement, our public realm - has been stripped to the bone.

In my three years on the council, I have been struck by how broadly understanding residents are to our situation and that they do not blame us for austerity. However, I don’t know how sustainable this entire situation is.

Regarding your concerns with Lewisham Council’s website and the lack of responsiveness, I would recommend that you contact who is the Cabinet Member who covers that area.

Regarding your issues with your property management company and your unsafe home, I would contact your ward councillors and ask for their support in getting your home inspected.

Kind regards,


12 Apr '21

Hi Leo,

Thanks for taking the time to respond it is much appreciated, I do understand the budget cuts but the lack of response from all departments is concerning. I contacted a few other councils out of curiosity (slow morning) and was able to get hold of someone. But i’ll see how i get on contacting the ward councillors to resolve this issue.

Thanks C