ESTATE RESIDENTS WHOSE HOMES FACE DEMOLITION COULD STILL GET A BALLOT IF COUNCIL CHANGES ITS PLANS

People living on Lambeth council estates who have been denied a ballot on whether their homes should be demolished could still get the chance of a vote if the council changes its plans for them.

Green party leader Cllr Jon Bartley told Monday night’s meeting of Lambeth council’s cabinet: “The business plan states that if bleak financial forecasts require it, there may need to be changes to the design and objectives of the scheme.

“And the Mayor’s guidance suggests if there are indeed major changes then the GLA may still – even now – require a ballot.

A Green party spokesperson told News From Crystal Palace: “Although the requirement to ballot residents doesn’t apply to local authorities that agreed GLA funding prior to July 2018, the requirement can be applied retrospectively should the council seek to amend planning permission or a GLA funding agreement to include the demolition of additional social homes.”

“This can be found on page 3 of the guidance under “Transitional exemptions”-

Cllr Bartley told the meeting: “Circumstances with regard to both the sales of private housing and GLA grant funding have changed significantly since the last Business Plan and the new risks are not addressed adequately in this new plan.

“In the business plan approved by cabinet a year ago (pp 34/36) one of the major risks identified was the inability to generate sufficient sales if there was falling demand in the housing market.

“This is what we have seen in the last 12 months.  “This new business plan warns for the first time, what we previously warned, that build costs are rising and market sales are stagnating.  “It warns that this is now a ‘very real risk’ which will bring about a shortfall in revenue and have a huge impact.

“Homes for Lambeth suggested in its plan that such risks might be dealt with by ‘procuring appropriately skilled marketing and estate agents’ (pp36).

“Another option it gave was to reduce the level of affordable housing. “Neither is a solution.

“The new business plan now tells us there will be no profit but losses of £22,6 million in the first two years. “And that these losses will be covered by the council with a working capital loan. “The debt will then be repaid by the speculative sale of private houses in future years.

“So the cabinet is being asked to approve a £22.6 million pound loss, underwritten by the council, but dealt with by future sales of private properties which this business plan states are at serious risk.

“If the cabinet member suggests that the schemes themselves may be modified to deal with the risk, this also presents a new set of potential problems with regard to grant funding.

“A month after cabinet approved the last business plan the Mayor of London proposed mandatory ballots of residents for schemes where demolition is planned.

“The £55 million that the council was awarded predated this.  “Therefore the council hasn’t been required to conduct ballots.

“It is still possible that a requirement to ballot residents might be imposed retrospectively.

The business plan states (section 4.8 pp9) that if bleak financial forecasts require it there may need to be changes to the design and objectives of the scheme.  Under the Mayor’s guidance suggests if there are indeed major changes then the GLA may still – even now – require a ballot.

And we all know that residents on estates would vote.

But nowhere is this risk mentioned.

LAMBETH LABOUR TWITTER FROM THE CABINET MEETING:

“Lambeth Labour has a plan to deliver the genuinely affordable homes our residents need, while the Tory-Green opposition have absolutely no solutions to the housing crisis.” Cllr @Paul_Gadsby at Lambeth Cabinet

LambethLabour‏ @LambethLabour Mar 4

Lambeth’s Green leader calls the council’s investment of £22 million in 146 new homes for social rent a “loss” – we call it a much needed investment in genuinely affordable homes for local families

LambethLabour‏ @LambethLabour Mar 4

At Cabinet, @CllrMattBennett sets out how we’ve delivered new homes in the last year, including 70 new council rent homes at Lollard Street. Families moving in to them have waited years in overcrowded accomodation and now have the decent new home they deserve

LambethLabour Retweeted Matthew Bennett‏ @CllrMattBennett Mar 4

We’re able to build these homes because @LambethLabour took the decision to set up a 100 per cent council-owned and council-controlled company to build homes for local people with no profit paid to external shareholders and decisions made locally & democratically by @lambeth_council

LambethLabour Retweeted Matthew Bennett‏ @CllrMattBennett Mar 4

Tonight @LambethLabour will set out how we’ll fight the housing crisis over the next 12 months: 159 new homes built or under construction. 92pc of those homes for social rent, a further 8pc for affordable rents. Secure planning permission for another .

LambethLabour Retweeted Matthew Bennett‏ @CllrMattBennett Mar 4 Matthew Bennett Retweeted Lambeth Green Party

At the last @lambeth_council meeting Lambeth Greens called for Labour to declare a “housing emergency” *But* Less than two weeks later & they’re shamelessly opposing @LambethLabour plans for new social housing for local families.https://twitter.com/Lambethgp/status/1102593702202089472 …

Matthew Bennett added, Lambeth Green Party @Lambethgp

Green Councillor @pete556 has called for @lambeth_council to halt their risky, reckless estate regeneration scheme which causing harm to the health and lives of residents https://lambeth.greenparty.org.uk/news/2019/03/04/green-councillor-calls-on-lambeth-to-halt-%E2%80%98reckless%E2%80%99-estate-regeneration-plans/ …

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