Southwark’s Resident Involvement Panel descends into farce. News from Southwark

“…First as tragedy, then as farce… “. The tragedy was that Southwark’s Labour administration have stooped so low as to introduce a process which is so transparently aimed at stifling the tenants’ voice, stripping our assets and grabbing our money. The farce is that they are relying on personnel and structures which are laughably incompetent. So the Panel now contains five people on the Council’s payroll- four Council Officers and a Chair. The Chair is to be paid £12,600 (plus travel and hotel expenses) for 28 days work!

Furthermore, the Council has selected five residents with little or no previous experience of formally participating in the involvement structure. Therefore 10 of the 14 panel members are either selected by the Council or are on the Council’s payroll. These people are INCOMPETENT (in the literal sense) to do this job, which involves reviewing and making recommendations on structures to which they are not elected and in the case of the “residents” have little or no knowledge of. To top it all, at the first meeting of the panel the officers outnumbered the residents 4 to 3. Farce.

Object to the panel! Pass this motion!
If you feel that this panel should be scrapped and the Council should instead start listening to the representatives who have been directly elected by tenants and residents please do pass this motion (word doc.) in your TRA, Area Forum, Union Branch or party branch.

Council holds “secret” OKR Forum but loads of people turn up!

The Council gave just three days notice of this important Forum on future developments on the Old Kent Road, and many of us who had previously participated, and formally objected, were not invited! Still, we turned up in large numbers and the angry crowd clapped and cheered when people made points about not putting the needs of developers before the people in our community. My own contribution included the extraction of a promise from Cabinet Member for Planning Johnson Situ to remove one of the buildings on my estate from the OKR Area Action Plan. This follows a petition by the residents, and objections from my TRA and Area Forum. It’s this kind of organising the Council wants to prevent.

Southwark tops the London poll for destroying council homes

No surprise to most of you, Sian Berry has discovered that Southwark Council has destroyed more council housing in the last 15 years than any the Borough in London, and is set to destroy many more in the next few years. So the London Development Database shows the net loss of social housing from regeneration schemes since 2003 was 624 in Southwark. And the Council has 2,196 in the pipeline to be lost and not replaced in the next few years. Contrast this with Islington which has gained 99 social homes in the last 15 years and is planning to gain 223 homes in the future. As Sian says:
These figures show that there are choices boroughs have made in the past, and for the future, that lead to very different outcomes for the loss or gain of social housing in their areas when estate plans are made.”

The BBC’s film used this data and created a bit of a stir last week. It featured the Aylesbury Estate- Inside Out London: Dozens of council estates earmarked for demolition. See article here. However, Potent Whisper and the  Rainbow Collective had done a lot of work for the BBC documentary but felt they had to pull out. See why, and their own documentary on demolitions on YouTube here.

Homes 4 All Organising meeting– let us know if you’re coming
Saturday 15th September, 11am – 1pm, Tybalds Close estate community
hall, in the basement of Blemundsbury House, Dombey St off Orde Hall St
Holborn WC1N 3JP – all welcome; please send reports or things to be
Map here
Among the issues we need to discuss are –
– Update on pre-demolition ballots and fake council housing
– Responses to Government and Labour Party housing green papers.
– Lobbying and fringe meeting at Labour conference, Liverpool
– Justice for Grenfell and safety works
– Campaign summit in December

Finally, our very own Della is quoted at length in this interesting article:
BTW the answer is no, only the fake left, which never loved council housing anyway!

Tanya, Chair Southwark Defend Council Housing


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