GMB Congress Opposes Housing Estates Demolition

GMB Congress In Dublin Opposes Demolition Of Council Housing Estates That Are To Be Turned Into Expensive Homes

 

40 Council Estates in London are facing demolition so this regeneration will always mean building expensive private dwellings which local people would never be able to afford GMB Congress told.

 

GMB Congress in Dublin today (8 June) agreed to oppose the demolition of council housing estates to make way for property developers to develop expensive housing for sale that are unaffordable to the residents in the estates being knocked down who are forced to move. See notes to editors for copy of the motion.

 

GMB Congress called on the CEC to secure TUC and Labour Party support for tenants and leaseholders who are trying to protect their homes and trying to stop this land grab. Congress agreed that we should work to stop cash starved Labour controlled councils using council homes as a cash machine to bridge funding gaps.

 

Sonya Davies, GMB Branch Secretary and Wandsworth resident, speaking at congress said ‘The previous Tory Local Government Community Secretary, Eric Pickles said that Council Estates should be looked at as ‘Brownfield Sites.’ That allows property developers to come in and in their words ‘Regenerate’ the estates.

 

This is affecting 40 Council Estates in London where the value of property is very high. In reality this regeneration will always mean building expensive private dwellings which local people would never be able to afford.

 

Currently in Wandsworth there are 3 Council Estates with working class people being faced with being forced out of their homes. This is because of compulsory purchases so that property developers and the council can profit from the redevelopment.’

 

Joyce Okoturo, member of GMB Wandsworth branch said ‘It is the buildings themselves that need investment, not demolition and if we can’t stop this in Wandsworth, other communities will be next.’

 

See notes to editors for a copy of the motion and the speeches by the mover and seconder.

 

Contact: Sonya Davis, GMB Branch Secretary on 07410 696538, Kieron Merrett, GMB Regional Officer on 07866 441656.

 

Notes to editors:

 

1. The Motion

 

347.     HOUSING ESTATE REGENERATION

 

This Congress notes that in council owned estates in London and in the South East council tenants and leaseholders face having their homes subject to being compulsory purchased so that the estates can be demolished and “regenerated” into expensive homes that neither tenants nor leaseholders can afford to rent or buy.

 

GMB Congress calls on the CEC to secure TUC and Labour Party support for tenants and leaseholders who are trying to protect their homes and trying to stop this land grab. A specific aim should be to stop cash starved Labour controlled councils using council homes as a cash machine to bridge funding gaps.

 

GMB Congress supports estate regeneration where the primary aim is to improve conditions for existing tenants and leaseholders and opposes it where the primary aim is for private developers to cash in and make loads of money while existing tenants and leaseholders face being kicked out of their homes.

 

GMB Congress calls for regions and branches to take an active hand to warn tenants and leaseholders in London and the South East estates what the Tories plans are for their homes.

 

 

 

2. Sonya Davies, Southern Region, First time delegate, first time speaker, moving motion 347.

 

President, Congress

 

I am moving this motion as it is very personal to me having lived in the Alton Estate and also a resident in Wandsworth.

 

The previous Tory Community Secretary, Eric Pickles said that Council Estates should be looked at as “Brownfield Sites.” That allows property developers to come in and in their words “Regenerate” the estates. This is affecting 40 Council Estates in London where the value of property is very high.

 

In reality this regeneration will always mean building expensive private dwellings which local people would never be able to afford.

 

The new homes are likely to be cramped, because unlike the existing council estates they do not have to be built according to Parker Morris Standards.

 

Presently in Wandsworth there are 3 Council Estates with working class people being faced with being forced out of their homes. This is because of compulsory purchases so that property developers and the council can profit from the redevelopment.

 

In the Alton Estate alone 330 households are faced with being kicked out.

 

I am asking why are these dwellings being knocked down? The council has over the years allowed these housing stock on the estate to fall into disrepair through lack of maintenance and now using that as an excuse to the demolition.

 

I believe it is to change the dynamics of the Borough to actually shift the balance of people towards the Middle Class. I believe this is to gain more votes to keep the Borough Tory.

 

The Council are admitting to this and call it “Rebalancing the Community.”

 

The residents of the Winstanley and York Road Estate are also facing the same fate as the Alton Estate.

 

These residents have been promised the world from the council, however, nothing enforceable to the residents to confirm these promises. TYPICAL TORIES!

 

We cannot have such an imbalance in Wandsworth.

 

Therefore I move this motion.

 

 

 

3. Joyce Okoturo, Southern Region, Seconding Motion 347

 

The London Borough of Wandsworth AKA ‘The Flagship Tory Borough’, a favourite of she who must not be named, is attempting to push forward this agenda which will ultimately become detrimental to the working class people within this very affluent borough.

 

Wandsworth Council are pushing this through because the Tory government have classified these estates and 40 others across London as ‘Brownfield’ sites.

 

Brownfield sites….as if they are contaminated or unsalvageable.

 

When in fact the reality is they house dynamic communities of tens of thousands.

 

It is the buildings themselves that need investment, not demolition and if we can’t stop this in Wandsworth, other communities will be next.

 

Please support this motion, thankyou.

Posted in Branch News
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