Heygate Estate redevelopment: just 79 social rented units out of a total 2,535 new homes

Discussion in 'UK politics, current affairs and news' started by editor, Feb 4, 2013.

  1. pros

    pros Well-Known Member

    i think some people think something could still be salvaged.
    i've no idea how they can still think that, to be honest - i've personally, for a long time now (not strictly linked to the regeneration) thought that the 'democracy' in western countries was much along the lines of an abusive personal relationship, where you are told when/how/why you can do things and are 'trained' into feeling proud/content/happy when you, say, do something and your personal abuser is pleased with you. admittedly a bit simplified/generalised but that's how i'm seeing it a lot of the time. which is why i find the spin and the lies and the 'divide and rule' utterly intolerable.
  2. Paulie

    Paulie Well-Known Member

    I've just had the good fortune to be canvassed by Cllr Claire Hickson (I live in the neighbouring ward to the Heygate). Unfortunately she refused to have the exchange filmed even after she agreed she was an elected official answerable to her constituents. A little frustrated by her mealy mouthed politicking but will report her answers as best I can.

    Me: The 1.5 hectare Oakmayne site was sold for £40m; the 22.5 hectare Heygate site was sold for £50m. How does this represent value for money?
    CH: It was the best deal we could get. Do you think we should have left them empty? Do you think we should have left them empty? (she parroted this quite a few times.)

    Me: They have been empty for some years now. Why decant the residents only to leave the blocks empty?
    CH: There were complaints about the standard of accomodation.

    Me: It cost £44m to decant but could have been refurbed for £30m.
    CH: I'm not aware of the figures. There are many figures flying about - many of them wrong.

    Me: Out of the 2535 residential units only 79 will be social.
    CH: I'm not aware of the figures.

    Me: Southwark's own policy of a minimum of 35% social/'affordable' was ignored with only 25% being allocated.
    CH: Simon Hughes voted for 0%.

    Me: Simon Hughes isn't a councillor.
    CH: I'm not aware of the figures. There will be affordable housing.

    Me: We know that London property values are inflated. 80% of market value makes it affordable to who? Not local people.
    CH: There will be 80% market value and 50%.

    Me: What about the promised right of return for Heygate residents?
    CH: They are happy where they are.

    At this point, her handlers/canvassers had disappeared and she was looking around in a nervous manner. She then made to leave accusing me of aggressive questioning.

    Me: I'm sorry if you feel that. Many people feels the council has sold local people down the river. It's an issue with strong local feeling.
    CH: I've knocked on a hundred doors today and no-one else has mentioned it. Cllr Colley is the cabinet member for Housing. Do you have her e-mail?

    Me: I do thanks.

    She then walked away at an impressive speed barely pausing to confirm her name. She can really motor when she has to.

    I've endeavoured to make this as verbatim as I can recall - I've left out her views on the suitability of Lend Lease as her answer was unclear and unmemorable.

    At the start of the exchange, one of the canvassers told me a I was a Lib-Dem voter in a tone which suggested I was prejudged as hostile. Quite how they drew this conclusion, I've no idea. My voting preferences do not get revealed to canvassers or those lurkers outside polling stations.

    She may still be about the Newington/St Mary's ward. Keep a look out. She is quite a Minnie Driver lookylikey.
  3. editor

    editor hiraethified

    Well, there's politics in action.

  4. crappistmartin

    crappistmartin New Member

    Yes, this is a perfect example of politics in action!

    Cllr. Claire Hickson is former Director at Bellenden Communications, which is owned by fellow Labour Councillor Mark Glover. Bellenden Communications provides advice to companies on tendering for public sector contracts and to developers applying for planning permission. She has since started her own Communications company called 'Trio Policy', which has 'Swan Housing Group' amongst its clients. The Swan Group is owned by Southwark Council's former Director of Housing John Synnuck. It is now the 16th largest developer housing group and has been awarded numerous development contracts in Southwark. In August 2012 it was being investigated for falsifying HCA funding applications.
    Read more here: http://heygate.herokuapp.com/network.html
  5. Paulie

    Paulie Well-Known Member

    Should have added that she's "VERY excited about the jobs..." Whatever that may mean. As good for local employment as the Olympics were perhaps.
  6. eatmorecheese

    eatmorecheese Be who you needed when you were younger

    Jesus. Dripping with corruption. Absolutely shameless.
  7. Paulie

    Paulie Well-Known Member

    Thanks for that crappist. I'll admit that I didn't know who she was as she's not one of my own ward councillors. Wish I'd seen your link before.

    Given her business interests, I'd have hoped she'd be better informed about housing issues than she appeared to be.

    On a puerile note, I can't help but read 'Bellenden' missing off the 'en' at the end.
  8. ViolentPanda

    ViolentPanda Hardly getting over it.

    Because they're either too busy worrying that they'll be next, or they're not council tenants and can't bring themselves to give a fuck in the face of their own high (private) rents.
    The problem is that people see what's happening with The Heygate, and they think it's only The Heygate where this is happening. They don't realise that losses of social housing are occurring all the time not just through Right to Buy, but through fuckwitted "regeneration schemes" like Clapham Park and Myatts Fields (and probably both your estate and mine).
  9. Favelado

    Favelado Half to the Tower, please.

    Not an honest-spirited answer given to any of the questions in Paulie's post. Disingenuous dogshit by the Cllr. there.
    Greebo, pros and Frances Lengel like this.
  10. editor

    editor hiraethified

    Cllr. Claire Hickson responded:

  11. Paulie

    Paulie Well-Known Member

    The purpose of their outing appeared to be a party-political exercise to tell us how shit Simon Hughes is. As well as the disingenuous swerve about him voting for 0% social housing, her canvassers were keen to mention his "poor voting record" without context or expansion. I guess their plan was to ask folk about 'issues' and tell us Labour would make it all lovely.

    The stench of social cleansing around the Heygate makes me wonder about a change in demographic and consequent shift in voting pattern. No-one dare mention 'gerrymandering' after Shirley Porter got caught. At least in Westminster, it was the Labour group who blew the whistle on that scam. No such luck here, I fear.

    As she strolled around my 1959 estate, I wish I'd asked why a 1974 estate had to go.
  12. pros

    pros Well-Known Member

    southwark labour councillors tend to be too busy to be engaging in discussions with people who live in southwark (not on social media, even less in real life)
  13. Paulie

    Paulie Well-Known Member

    As I said, I endeavoured to report as verbatim as I could recall. It is not a full record of the entire conversation and is possibly not precisely in the order it came out. I'm not a stenographer. I do not believe that I misreported any of Cllr. Hickson's responses. The answers given were to the questions I did report. I would be keen to learn what inaccuracies she feels I have made. Perhaps agreeing to filming on my crappy old phone would have been better all round.

    I'm not wild about the description of an 'interview'. I see it as a chance conversation with a local elected official. I certainly have no journalistic ambition and only wanted to film it to provide a better record for all those here with an obvious interest. I respected her wish to not be filmed but now wish I'd made a sound recording anyway.

    Anyhow - here's hoping to hear her side.

    ETA Just re-read my post. I stand by it.
  14. Paulie

    Paulie Well-Known Member

    Caroline Pidgeon used to be one of the cllrs for this ward. I didn't see her often but did cross paths a few times and always had a more reasonable conversation than today's felt like. She's now the leader of the LD group in the LA, I think. I'm not a party-political type at all but sometimes think the LD cllrs were a bit better?
  15. pros

    pros Well-Known Member

    today, cllr fiona colley (regeneration) had her letter published in the independent, saying,
    Regeneration, not social cleansing
    The redevelopment of Heygate estate in Southwark is not "social cleansing", as you report (5 February); it is the regeneration of a run-down and tired estate into a place where people will genuinely want to live, work and visit.
    Any change, even one that creates 5,000 new homes, 6,000 jobs, a new park, a new leisure centre, and vast improvements to transport and traffic, will face some opposition. I expect that, but I do not expect to have to constantly challenge lies that are spread about this essential work.
    Elephant and Castle, when the regeneration is complete, will have at least 1,625 new affordable homes, many more than in the existing Heygate estate. They won't all be concentrated in one place, but spread across neighbouring streets to create a mixed community – something that is widely seen as a successful way of avoiding the problems that can occur in low-income monotenure estates.
    I challenge anyone who questions the wisdom of our plans to come down to the Elephant & Castle. They should look at the sad housing blocks that film-makers choose to illustrate despair and decay, and then speak to many residents already enjoying new, warm, dry, modern affordable homes in the area.
    The only cleansing that Southwark Council is interested in is the positive and inclusive transformation of Elephant & Castle into a sparkling, vibrant neighbourhood, where everyone is welcome.
    Cllr Fiona Colley
    Cabinet Member for Regeneration at Southwark Council, London SE1

    if you feel like responding, send your comments to: letters@independent.co.uk
    or southwark news (deadline: tuesday 12th feb) - will conform correct email a bit later
  16. Brixton Hatter

    Brixton Hatter Home is south London mate

    lies :rolleyes:
    pros likes this.
  17. weepiper

    weepiper Jock under the bed

    because it'll have hundreds less social housing flats.
    muscovyduck likes this.
  18. ViolentPanda

    ViolentPanda Hardly getting over it.

    More like "disingenuous half-truths". That's the thing with our political representatives nowadays - they're all well-trained in the art of allusion, and in not making public commitments, so you get shit like "affordable housing" being mentioned, with no reference to the criteria for "affordable housing", for instance.
  19. ViolentPanda

    ViolentPanda Hardly getting over it.

    About a thousand less. :(
    Greebo and pros like this.
  20. agricola

    agricola a genuine importer of owls

    If anything its that the standards of people who question politicians that have decreased, rather than political representatives are well trained - lets face it almost everyone knows what "affordable housing" usually means, and anyone with the slightest inclination to do some research (or even just to read this thread) could prove what it means in this context within about three minutes.
    treelover and Greebo like this.
  21. pros

    pros Well-Known Member

    Greebo likes this.
  22. equationgirl

    equationgirl Respect my existence or expect my resistance

    And any property where the rent alone costs £20 more than the total weekly income (as in this case) isn't going to meet those criteria for affordability.
    muscovyduck and Greebo like this.
  23. Brixton Hatter

    Brixton Hatter Home is south London mate

  24. Paulie

    Paulie Well-Known Member

  25. starfish2000

    starfish2000 Well-Known Member

    Isnt this the problem with the private sector in general, every time they are given the opportunity to do the right thing....they don't
  26. Paulie

    Paulie Well-Known Member

    E-mails sent to Cllr. Colley asking for clarification of yesterday's letter in The Independent and to Cllr. Hickson encouraging a right-of-reply either here or by e-mail. Let's see if I get anything back. In fairness, I will only post their replies here if consent is given - I am, after all, a private citizen.*

    To avoid turning into 'Outraged green ink of SE17', I'd love to hear from anyone active in this and what this Johnny-come-lately might be able to contribute.

    * I've seen on Medialens that some replies from journos get pulled as they weren't consenting to online posting. Any opinions gratefully received.
    Greebo, Libertad, pros and 1 other person like this.
  27. equationgirl

    equationgirl Respect my existence or expect my resistance

    Greebo likes this.
  28. editor

    editor hiraethified

    Nice of Peter Tatchell to link to the urban75 article in this Guardian piece :)

    equationgirl likes this.
  29. Paulie

    Paulie Well-Known Member

    Never did get a reply from Cllrs. Hickson or Colley. I'm sure they're very busy engaging with their electorate elsewhere.
    editor likes this.
  30. Favelado

    Favelado Half to the Tower, please.

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