Opposition councillors in Lambeth have slammed the council’s attitude following our exclusive story which showed an official council press release about ballots on estate demolitions included blatant falsehoods.
Conservative opposition leader Cllr Tim Briggs said: “Labour councillors refusing to ballot residents on estates just shows that not only do they not consult properly, they don’t care about consulting properly. “Their attitude to residents is inhuman.
“My Conservative councillors have made our position clear for many years, and it is written in black in white in our alternative budget at Paragraph 10.6 –
‘All estate demolitions (‘regeneration’) will be halted wherever possible until a proper consultation of residents has taken place. All residents, including freehold owners, leasehold owners and private tenants, will be balloted on the plans.’,”
And Lambeth’s Green party Cllr Scott Ainslie, who was also contacted for a response by News From Crystal Palace, said: “Local communities want a say in the future of their estates.
“The leader of the Labour Party says they should have one. Now the London Mayor says they should have one. “It seems the only ones saying ‘no’ to local residents is Labour-led Lambeth Council.
“It’s time Lambeth council put an end to its destruction of local communities, and adopted instead the plans put forward by local residents which would create far more truly affordable homes in Lambeth.”
Our story on February 5th was headlined: EXCLUSIVE: LAMBETH COUNCIL’S ‘NO NEED FOR BALLOTS CLAIM’ EXPOSED AS BALDERDASH BY NEWS FROM CRYSTAL PALACE – Funding given by Greater London Authority for three estates was NOT for demolition – and GLA have not given any money for two other estates under threat
And it reads as follows:
Lambeth council’s claims that they do not need to ballot people living on five estates they want to demolish because they already have funding from the Greater London Authority to demolish them do not stand up to even MINOR scrutiny.
Investigations by News From Crystal Palace show that the GLA DID give Lambeth council £10 million for three of the estates – Knight’s Walk, South Lambeth and Westbury estates – but that was to be spent on obtaining vacant possession on those sites.
News From Crystal Palace can find NO evidence (via Google) of ANY GLA funding involving Cressingham Gardens or Fenwick estates.
The Save Cressingham Gardens Campaign posted on their Facebook page on Friday (12.01): “Lambeth to deny yet again Cressingham residents the ballot. “Disgraceful!! “They actually have not received any GLA funding yet for Cressingham to our knowledge!”
Paragraph 4.3 of the Mayor of London’s consultation paper issued on Thursday states: “First, the funding condition would not apply where the proposed demolitions already have full or outline planning permission.” (which Lambeth don’t currently have.)
“Second, the funding condition will not be applied retrospectively, meaning that where the GLA is already in contract to fund a particular estate regeneration scheme named in a funding contract with a registered provider, ballots would not be mandated, unless the registered provider proposes to make a significant change to the scope of the scheme.”
All this is in stark contrast to the press release the council posted on their official Love Lambeth website which categorically states:
Three estates in Lambeth (Knight’s Walk, South Lambeth and Westbury) have had detailed planning applications submitted in December, each demonstrating the council’s commitment to providing tenants a new home at council level rents…..
Two further schemes in receipt of GLA funding, Fenwick and Cressingham Gardens, were approved by Cabinet almost two years ago ……..
“The council has met all of the principles laid out by the Mayor’s guide for these five estates and the proposed new funding condition will not be applied retrospectively.
At the end of our article we said: Editor’s note: News From Crystal Palace does try and get answers from Lambeth council, usually without much success. What happens next: If Lambeth council’s press office think we’ve got anything wrong, we get an email telling us so. News From Crystal Palace will keep you posted .
So far? No reply.