it looks like everything that happens in the states gets mirrored over here eventually
the tories(conservatives like the republicans) are looking to do what there doing to the housing projects in the states, in the borough of hammersmith & fulham. There looking to
1.raise the rents on social housing to private rates
2.bulldoze existing housing estates(projects) and rebuild expensive exclusive flats and not re-house anyone, making people homeless
3.there getting rid of council housing for life except for old people and the disabled
they want to do this in a pilot scheme in the borough of hammersmith & fulham and then roll it out nationwide, they want to gentrify the hood to rid the endz(area) of labour and liberal democrats supporters and the poor, its the same old tory hatred and disdain for the poor, i can't believe there bringing that shit over here, its evil and riduclous, its unfuckinbelievable, this devilish shit has to be stopped, its crazy
taken from www.guardian.co.uk
Stephen Greenhalgh and "decent neighbourhoods"
The plot is thickening rather murkily in the saga of Tory flagship Council Hammersmith and Fulham and its attitude to housing some of its less affluent residents: or, perhaps, not housing them at all in future.
It has concluded in its Draft Local Development Framework that a number of council estates in the borough are "not decent neighbourhoods" and that something radical must be done. I wrote last month about suspicions that the professed desire of Council's leader and Boris ally Stephen Greenhalgh to rescue people from "ghettoes of multiple deprivation" masked a wish to lift them out of Hammersmith and Fulham altogether by demolishing their homes and making little if any provision to house them elsewhere in the borough.
Now Shepherd's Bush MP Andrew Slaughter has released documents obtained under Freedom of Information which track the evolution of a so-called "bulldozer policy" and Greenhalgh's attempts to sell it to the Conservative Party nationally. Greenhlagh leads the Conservative Councils Innovation Unit, which is developing Tory local government policy ideas. The documents show:
- Extracts from a presentation given by Greenhalgh to Eric Pickles, Chairman of the Conservative Party and Shadow Minister for Communities and Local Government, and to Grant Shapps, Conservative Shadow Minister for Housing. Greenhalgh proposes that local authorities should provide homes only for those who are unable due to age, infirmity or disability to provide it for themselves. Everyone else should instead be given welfare payments sufficient for them to find their own accommodation in the private sector, for example a room in a shared house.
- Extracts from a presentation Greenhalgh made in January to James O'Shaughnessy, Conservative Party Director of Policy, saying that what is needed is "a solution to pockets of deprivation." His solution in Hammersmith and Fulham appears to be to demolish all or large parts of at least seven housing estates, including the White City, which contains 2,027 housing units, and two other smaller ones nearby; the Ashcroft Square and and Queen Caroline estates in Hammersmith (just over 500 units between them); and the West Kensington and Gibbs Green estates in the Earls Court area (663 units). It not not clear what would become of the people currently living in these places.
- Possible blurring of the non-political roles of Council officers into performing political functions, and recruitment of political activists to do work normally undertaken by Council officers. For example, invitations to a round table discussion in March about "creating mixed communities in concentrated areas of deprivation" were sent jointly from the Council and right-wing think tank Localis, which hosted the event. The material for discussion was prepared by Council officers.
- A connection with Richard Blakeway, Boris Johnson's housing adviser, who wrote an email responding to a summary of the round table discussion asking "Are you thinking of reconvening this group again? Impressive group," and indicating that City Hall might be able to assist in the development of the policy.
- An awareness of the possible political implications of pressing ahead with the policy, which would involve breaking up communities containing many natural Labour voters. Material prepared by Council officers recognised the risk of being accused of [Shirley] "Porteresque" gerrymandering or social engineering and the need to rebut it.
Stephen Greenhalgh was a member of the Forensic Audit Panel set up by Boris Johnson shortly after his election to examine Greater London Authority and London Development Agency finances. Attacking Hammersmith and Fulham's approach, Andrew Slaughter said, "It's not about looking after the welfare and future of current residents, it's about replacing them with people the Council thinks are more suitable to the area."
Update, 14:06: The Standard too has covered this story, finding a coupling of different angles from mine.
Meanwhile, I've obtained a statement from the Mayor's office about Richard Blakeway's email. I didn't quote that in full above because it seemed fair and sensible to give Blakeway a chance to explain what it was about. Now that I have that explanation it makes sense to publish the email in full:
"V interesting. My big point, which the front bench know, is units not being tied to tenure. This means PPS3 reform. Are you thinking of reconvening this group again? Impressive group. One option might be to use the next stage of the mayor's housing strategy and/or tory green paper, so just before the summer."
Statement from the Mayor's spokesperson:
Richard Blakeway was referring to a whole range of ideas put forward by the group, containing of Chief Executives of Housing Associations, industry experts and councillors from across London. He was not suppporting any specific policy suggested by the group. Since this group met the revised Housing Strategy has been published and contain no proposals suggested in the article.
Thanks for that.