Councillors and residents fight to save Stockwell and Kennington park community centre - Sat 21 Jan

Discussion in 'Brixton' started by editor, Jan 20, 2017.

  1. editor

    editor Taffus Maximus

  2. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    When the Council transferred the estate to Hyde ,the housing association, they should have written into the transfer agreement cast iron guarentees that the centre should have been kept.
    Plumdaff, quimcunx and editor like this.
  3. boohoo

    boohoo Part-time Cat

    I don't think anyone had the foresight to predict this aspect of transfer.

    (and these transfers would have had a negative value and so were propped up by grants).
  4. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    That's the problem. They should have looked at all the risks and a worst case scenario.

    The idea of transfers started under New Labour. The tenants told if you don't vote to transfer your estate will not be refurbished. New Labour at that time didn't like Council housing.
    editor likes this.
  5. editor

    editor Taffus Maximus

  6. brixtonblade

    brixtonblade Well-Known Member

    I love the quote from cllr bigham

    There is a real problem when housing associations go rogue and become more interested in feathering their own nests than helping people on council estates

    How about when a council goes rogue?
    ViolentPanda, Gramsci and editor like this.
  7. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    Joanna lives in Stockwell. Good to see here supporting this.

    Cllr Alex Brigham. He is a Progress supporter. Anti Corbyn a Blairite. Under Blair there were moves to get rid of Council housing by getting transfers to Housing Associations. ALMOs were another stepping stone to moving Council Housing out of Council. All part of the neo liberal Blairite agenda of changing Councils / State from a provider to an enabler. The problem being that at the same time HAs were expected to be able to stand on there own two feet and be more businesslike and entrepreneurial. Hyde being put in a position of realising the value of its assets is predictable long term end result.

    So no Alex it's not Hyde going rogue. This is end result of New Labour policies for affordable housing.
    oryx, cuppa tee and brixtonblade like this.
  8. ViolentPanda

    ViolentPanda Hardly getting over it.

    Bighead is a Progress member, not just a fellow-traveller. He's a gobshite and a political opportunist. His involvement in this campaign is all to do with making sure that Alex Bighead gets re-elected for his ward next year.
    Gramsci likes this.
  9. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    Corporate Watch have done a piece on Hyde.

    Hyde Housing: strapped for cash or hungry for profit? | Corporate Watch

    The ever thorough Corporate Watch show in this article show how Housing Associations have lost their way and are behaving in ways that are not in the spirit of why the Housing Association movement was set up.

    Excerpt from the article:

    Hyde Southbank Homes would be in a healthy financial position without that interest. Its overall surplus for 2016 was £2.1m, and its accounts show it has reserves of £45m.

    And the overall Hyde group's finances may be boosted by its move to sell flats privately but, given the “great shape” figures quoted above, they are not dependent on it. Hyde cites the “challenging environment” caused by the government’s one per cent reduction in social housing rent levels over four years as justification for closing the community centres. This will have an impact on Hyde’s finances but it is not as significant as suggested. The Hyde group accounts show revenue from socially rented letting was £151m in 2016, with an operating surplus of £87m, giving them plenty of wiggle room even after the reductions.**

    So it is not a question of whether the community centres are affordable but whether they are the kind of 'assets' that those at the top of Hyde want to spend money on. Many of the things residents like about their community centres can't be valued financially, so you're not going to appreciate them by just looking at a balance sheet.

    With friends like these...

    Unfortunately, a look at the backgrounds of those at the top of Hyde suggests it’s the bottom line that will concern them most. CEO Elaine Bailey's 12-year tenure at Serco before she joined Hyde saw plenty of scandal. In 2013 she had to defend the company as it faced accusations that it overcharged the government through its criminal tagging contract. A full audit and a £68.5m bill followed. The company also took flak for its involvement in the controversial Work Programme while immigration detention centres it ran were accused of a variety of abuses. In September 2012 for example, women detained in the Yarl's Wood centre, run by Serco, organised a “Movement for Justice” to challenge degrading treatment that included being paid just £1 to do essential jobs inside the centre.

    Her Linkedin profile boasts that under her Serco’s Home Affairs division won their 2012 bid to continue to run Doncaster prison and also “oversaw [a] successful transition”. Two years later, after she had left Serco, that transition didn't look quite as successful, as inmates were found to be locked up without electricity or running water for over two days. Bailey also says she “opened up three new markets” in her time at Serco, one of which was “supported housing for asylum seekers”. By 2016 the company was saying it was “happy” to lose the contract after facing yet more criticism over the neglected, badly-managed service it was providing.

    The Hyde job may seem prosaic in comparison but the £242,000 salary Bailey enjoyed in 2016 (up from £189,000 the year before) presumably makes it bearable.

    The board is just as corporate. Before becoming Hyde Chairman Mark Sebba ran online retailer Net a Porter. Before that he was an investment banker, as were two of his colleagues. They are joined by a corporate lawyer, former higher-ups at BT and weapons manufacturer BAE Systems, and a chartered surveyor who has “worked extensively in private sector housing development”. Rounding out this motley crew is the boss of G4S' prisons and justice division, which has a similar record to Serco's.

    Charitable status and a lack of shareholders aren't guarantees that an organisation will be run for more than money. Hyde is not just a passive victim of outside pressures – it is actively pursuing a strategy that puts corporate success over the concerns of its residents.
    Plumdaff, oryx and CH1 like this.
  10. CH1

    CH1 "Red Guard"(NLYL)

    Whilst not contesting who did the transfers, I think the idea of transfers was a Tory one originally - and in fact Loughborough Estate was an attempted test-bed. I recall these things called HATS (Housing Action Trusts). They were vigorously opposed in Lambeth by Labour councillors and tenants alike.

    Our favourite local preacher at the tube station had a "Say No to HATS" poster in his kitchen window for years - long after HATS had passed into history.

    Ironic indeed that having seen off HATS Labour locally seized on stock transfer as the optimal solution for local housing needs.

    That is before they hit on the cunning plan of knocking down whole estates and having them rebuilt by PFI contractors who would sell their quota of private flats in Kuala Lumpar.
    Gramsci likes this.
  11. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

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    editor likes this.

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