You can read 19 more articles this month
TWO tower blocks at the famous Broadwater Farm estate in Haringey are to be knocked down as part of a “very clear agenda of gentrification and social cleansing,” housing campaigners warned today.
The London borough’s council cabinet voted for the demolition of the Tangmere and Northolt blocks on the estate in Tottenham at a meeting on Tuesday night.
The decision was in response to health and safety concerns after checks carried out in the wake of last year's Grenfell fire tragedy revealed that the two blocks are at risk of collapse.
More than 200 residents have been told that they will have to be rehoused following the checks, which also identified lesser risks at nine other blocks on the estate. Work is being done to make those buildings safe.
As the meeting was being held at the the council’s headquarters in Wood Green, protesters outside expressed outrage at the decision and concern about the rehousing of tenants.
Broadwater Farm residents' association secretary Jacob Secker warned that tenants could be moved to single rooms in hostel accommodation, although the council denies this.
“Over my dead body will that happen,” Mr Secker vowed.
Defend Council Housing tenant campaigner Paul Burnham said: “There is a very clear agenda of gentrification and social cleansing when the council is so determined to demolish rather than strengthen and improve its housing.”
He warned that senior council officers are planning a “ribbon of redevelopment” across Broadwater Farm, which could lead to further demolitions and unaffordable homes being built on council land.
Haringey Council said, however, that it has made a clear commitment that all demolished homes will be replaced by at least the same number of new council properties at council rents on the estate.
Housing campaigners also voiced anger that Broadwater Farm tenants were not balloted, but the council said this was not necessary due to the urgent safety concerns.
A detailed consultation was carried out instead, which found that 91 per cent of respondents in Tangmere and 81 per cent in Northolt agreed with the plans.
However, the consultation is the subject of an an official complaint, which could invalidate it, on the grounds that the council's independent tenant and leaseholder adviser argued in favour of the demolition while helping residents fill out the forms.
Such advisers are supposed to be independent and to serve residents not landlords.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by joining the 501 club.
Just £5 a month gives you the opportunity to win one of 17 prizes, from £25 to the £501 jackpot.
By becoming a 501 Club member you are helping the Morning Star cover its printing, distribution and staff costs — help keep our paper thriving by joining!
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by become a member of the People’s Printing Press Society.
The Morning Star is a readers’ co-operative, which means you can become an owner of the paper too by buying shares in the society.
Shares are £1 each — though unlike capitalist firms, each shareholder has an equal say. Money from shares contributes directly to keep our paper thriving.
Some union branches have taken out shares of over £500 and individuals over £100.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by donating to the Fighting Fund.
The Morning Star is unique, as a lone socialist voice in a sea of corporate media. We offer a platform for those who would otherwise never be listened to, coverage of stories that would otherwise be buried.
The rich don’t like us, and they don’t advertise with us, so we rely on you, our readers and friends. With a regular donation to our monthly Fighting Fund, we can continue to thumb our noses at the fat cats and tell truth to power.
Donate today and make a regular contribution.