Friday, 5 November 2010

Exclusive: "Social Cleansing" revealed at London council estate.

A London council is forcibly evicting tenants from a run-down estate in order to demolish their homes and replace them with far less social housing than was there before.

Council officials say the estate has "stigmatised" the area and insist that residents must be forced out before new homes are built in order to maximise the value of the land.

In the process playing fields have been concreted over, and hundreds of people have been left for years in frightening isolation in a crumbling, roach-ridden estate.

So am I talking about the Queen Caroline estate we've heard so much about in Tory Hammersmith and Fulham?

Or perhaps some other victim of Conservative "social cleansing"?

Actually no, I'm talking about the Ferrier Estate in Labour-run Greenwich, which surely has to be the grimmest place in all of London right now.

I've been covering goings on (or the lack of them) at the Ferrier for about a month or so and I'm only just starting to realise what a scandalous state of affairs it is.

The BBC to their credit have covered the story briefly but it's getting very little attention from the absentee local press and the Evening Standard.

Of course if this was a year ago and Greenwich was a marginal borough then perhaps we would have heard a lot more about it.

But sitting as they do in a rock-solid Labour seat, with a Council-run newspaper dominating the area, the Ferrier residents have little chance of getting themselves heard.

So even though my site The Kidbrooke Kite has only been going for a short while I'm already getting emails from residents desperate to voice their anger over their treatment by the council.

It's a sorry tale with many authors. So even though the Labour Council have acted badly, the coalition government are busy compounding the problem

Osborne's cuts to social housing means that much of the rebuilding may not now happen at all and a watchdog considering a complaint by residents has been summarily tossed on the quango bonfire.

All of which makes it a difficult story to get to the bottom of and an easy one for politicians and the press to ignore.

But with regeneration not due to finish for over a decade, the problems faced in Kidbrooke will sadly continue to run and run.


Anonymous said...

Christ it looks like somewhere in Eastern Europe.

AdamB said...

South Eastern London actually.

Anonymous said...

This so called Coalition is also going to increase the existing Social Housing rents by Eighty Percent so that it is almost in line with the cost of Private Rent.When this happens the Low paid,students,vulnerable and poor will not beable to live in London Full Stop.This is clearly Social Cleansing, if not, it is a Sick Grudge against the poor!

Anonymous said...

I worked on this estate as an apprentice roofer, 1989/90, replacing the flat bitumen rooves with a red/orange arched tiling on many (but not all) of the structures.

Sorry to rain on your parade, but even at the end of the contract the Ferrier estate was still one almighty dive.

In regards to the residents at that particular time, they had no pride in their community what-so-ever, which perhaps explains the current visual bomb site now.

No worries though, you continue with your Socialist Workers Party "Class war" rhetoric, whilst I live in the real World.

Ho Hum...

AdamB said...

Obviously I bow down before your extensive knowledge of all the issues on the estate (working as you did as an apprentice roofer there over 20 years ago)

Anonymous said...

Look, all that I'm attempting to say is nothing has changed in in the past two decades. On my way back from Kidbrooke (circa 1989/90) every night I used to either catch the Woolwich ferry or walk through the tunnel below the Thames.
At that time, all over the walls on both sides of the river, and where-ever you looked, were "Class War" slogans condemning the "Evil Tories" and imploring "the workers" to "rise up" and herald in a fairer Society.

* That was around the time of Maggie Thatchers poll tax riots.

Now we've just endured thirteen Years of a Socialist government bleating on about a "Fairer Society" for all, but looking at the Ferrier estate tonight via your blog, I see that nothing has changed and without a Tory in sight. Two decades from now do you honestly believe that anything will be different?