A ‘residents project group’ is being set up on Central Hill estate with potential members apparently being hand-picked by Lambeth.
In a post on the Save Central Hill Community Facebook website campaigner Pete Elliott, who narrowly missed out on being elected as a Green party councillor in last year’s Gipsy Hill ward by-election, says the Central Hill ‘resident project group’ has been “set up by the Lambeth council Central Hill demolition team under Fiona Cliffe (a Lambeth council officer) and ward Cllr Matthew Bennett.
“The stated vague, meaningless aims of this group are:
Overview of the work of the design and engagement and communication groups;
Consideration of and comment upon the information/strategies from Homes for Lambeth; and
Information and input on the work of the independent advisor.
“It was only by accident I ended up at the meeting which was attended by demolishers Cllrs Matthew Bennett and Cllr Anna Birley and was run by the arch demolisher Fiona Cliffe.
“Not sure how many invites to residents on the estate went out but I and others never received one.
“This group, as you can see from its objectives, will just be another talking shop so that the council can say it has consulted.
“This group has no funding so will not be able to communicate effectively with residents. It is not democratic as it is self selecting and the potential members has (it appears) been hand-picked by the council.
“One of the other objectives stated in the terms of reference for all of the ‘engagement groups’ is ‘to ensure the rights of the different groups of residents on the estate tenants leaseholders and homeowners and potentially the more vulnerable resident groups are considered’.
“Surely the best way to do that would be to have representatives of more groups than just leaseholders and tenants.
“But when asked if private tenants could sit on this group, as they had had no representation at all in the whole process, Cllr Matthew Bennett refused that request, stating that the council didn’t have a contract with them.
“So paying your council tax and living in Lambeth does absolutely stand for nothing in the eyes of Lambeth Labour – we knew they thought that anyway but it was good to hear it from the horse’s mouth.
“These groups that are being set up are just another attempt to divide and conquer. “My view is that a truly independent (of the council) and democratic group needs to be set up to save Central Hill community.
“I’m looking forward to reading the published minutes being published of the inaugural meeting.”
Cllrs Bennett and Birley and Lambeth council have been asked for a response to Mr Elliott’s comments. None has yet been forthcoming……