Give Us The Money

Wenlock Barn TRA chair and Hackney Independent member, Tony Butler comments on the latest news about attempts to gentrify the area.

And so, it goes on! After 4 years of telling the Government and local authority what we want as tenants the government and council still sees fit to insist that if Shorditch wants the money for redevelopment we must comply with it’s parameters. These been to knock down 800 homes so that X amount can be rebuilt at X amount rent and X amount of tenants may move back in. All the decision makers involved seem to like to play with figures, a popular one been if your home costs more than £44.000 to repair than it is not worth fixing! These particular properties, strange to notice have the most land surrounding them, can in no way cost more than the stated amount. One survey (Shorditch Our Way) had at one time stated that the buildings ‘Are structureley sound’ so how Levitt Bernstein have come up with this figure beggars disbelief.
There are people involved in the decision making process that will play on the worst fears of the tenants involved in this process and try to make them believe that all is bad. Not only our homes but our aspirations for a better life are shifted about to suit the interests of groups who are waiting in the side lines to scoop the rich rewards of Shorditch who are keen to play up the worst of the area with out commenting on the best of the area.

It is not the fault of Shoreditch council tenants that our homes ‘have been allowed to be run down to the condition where they are now deemed worthless’. Over the years, our rents have been paid only to be mismanaged by Hackney Council in whatever scurrilous means it has allowed it’s self. I wonder if any councillor’s homes are up for the draconian affects of demolition. These people are the very apologists who put us in this situation and laud up the value of such schemes as it means they do not have to take responsibility for council housing and pray, if it ever comes to it, that they will escape surcharging for the incompetent way it has managed our affairs. P.S. Which Housing Association is Hackney Labour M.P. Brian Sedgemore chair of?

The Wenlock Barn Estate 4 years ago made it plain to the council that we did not want Stock Transfer and caused them to back down when the overwhelming majority signed a petition to reject stock transfer and stay council tenants. Our insistence on this has not changed we do not view our homes as been decrepit or our social lives as impoverished. Yes, there are problems with our homes but using social engineering as a mechanism to destable our values is not going to work. We know what we are worth and what we want. We have paid for the maintenance of our homes over the years and have the moral right to be acknowledged for this and not used as a tool to encamp essential/key workers (what ever they are?) in to our homes our area.

My block was once referred to as a ‘bad social mix’. Where the consultants got this from, I cannot imagine because I get on with every one in my block. I can only allude this has come from a set of prejudices that have no connection with the culture and value system that has grown up over the 30 years this estate has lived. 1477 properties cannot be wrong.

The spectre of demolition still haunts the minds of every one but the council tenants concerned. We buried it before and we will bury it again.

WENLOCK BARN IS NOT FOR SALE. IS NOT FOR DEMOLITION. IS NOT FOR STOCK TRANSFER. If they do not believe us, let them come and take us on. We are organised, informed and ready. Take note Lord Falconer we know where you are at. You owe us and not the other way round.