Put any of our 'spare' space to good usePosted: February 9, 2007
from the Hackney Gazette, 1 February 2007
Commenting on the disquiet that has met proposals to flog off ‘spare’ space on council estates for development (“In the Dark Over Land Sell-Off Plan”, Gazette, January 11), Cllr Jamie Carswell made a number of remarks that need clarification.
He said: “We will be building much-needed housing (and) we will also be investing in facilities for the community, such as playgrounds, garages and parking spaces”.
Who is this “we” that Cllr Carswell claimed will be building new homes? Certainly not the council. Their report on the matter makes it clear that any land freed up as a result of the demolition of homes and garages will be sold to housing associations. Moreover 30 per cent of the new homes will be for private sale.
How can the council claim that “we” are set to build new homes under these circumstances? It seems that what New Labour in Hackney are really doing is continuing the flogging-off of public assets – something we were told was a thing of the past.
Where exactly will the space be found to provide “playgrounds, garages and parking spaces” when it is just these facilities which the council is proposing to knock down and sell off?
The space already exists for “investment” in these facilities. Why not just “invest” in what’s already there, if that’s what Cllr Carswell really meant?
Hackney’s council estates are already densely built and under-resourced. If there are unused spaces – and that is debateable – why can’t they be used to improve the environment for existing tenants?