CENTRAL HILL SURVEY SHOWS RESIDENTS OPPOSE DEMOLITION – BUT LAMBETH COUNCIL’S CABINET JUST VOTE FOR IT ANYWAY
A survey made by residents of the Central Hill estate just days ago shows the majority want it to stay and be refurbished – but Lambeth council’s cabinet voted last night (Thursday) to knock the whole estate down anyway.
The meeting of the Labour cabinet gave the go-ahead to the hugely controversial demolition plans – despite less than five per cent of residents on the estate supporting demolition.
The sad, appalling truth is that whatever the residents survey says, Labour-controlled Lambeth council will take no notice of it whatsoever.
The cabinet decision also appears to ignore the views of the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan who in his election manifesto promised estate regeneration would only take place where there is resident support and where it does not result in a loss of social housing.
Central Hill tenants and residents association chairman Karen Bennett told last night’s cabinet meeting: “Years of neglect by the landlord – Lambeth council – have caused them to fall into disrepair. “The structure of the homes is sound. “Leaking rooves and mould can be remedied.
“The residents don’t want this scheme. “They want decent homes – in return for the service charges and rents they have been paying for years.
“Homes for Lambeth will be a private company. “The homes will all be private. “There’s no guarantee to stop HfL (Homes for Lambeth) being sold in the future. “That would be the end of social housing.
“It’s time for the council to stop this madness and work with residents openly and honestly (if you can).”
Cllr Matthew Bennett, cabinet member for housing, came up with figures which said 49 per cent of people living on Central Hill supported rebuilding.
Karen Bennett said: “We have the full breakdown of our figures which can be completely verified. “Our figures don’t come near to those supplied by Lambeth council.”
Central Hill tenants and residents association secretary Nicola Curtis slammed another survey saying it was carried out by an outside person who worked for Lambeth at the time. Challenging claims that repairs would cost £18.5 million – or £40 million – she asked: “Where’s the evidence for this. “We’ve never seen it. “You haven’t put the £18.5 million in the background papers.”
Lambeth Conservative opposition leader Cllr Tim Briggs said the residents survey was a “gamechanger.”
He said it was not a consultation for a Labour councillor to make a decision and then tell people what to accept. “A private sector landlord doing something similar would be called a rogue landlord.”
Further reading: Sadiq Khan pledges to put residents at the heart of estate regenerations /The London mayor’s draft guidance discourages demolitions and any loss of social housing and seeks to maximise resident involvement . Dave Hill @DaveHill The Guardian Tuesday 13 December 2016 11.45 GMT (includes links to Sadiq Khan proposals document – Ed.)
Sadiq Khan drops promise on estate regeneration – www.ourcity.london 22 Dec 2016 – New Mayor Sadiq Khan drops yet another commitment from his manifesto. This time on the controversial issue of estate regeneration.