When it comes to flogging council houses, remember the ALMO
Haven t council tenants had about enough of Alan Walter and his lobby group Defend Council Housing, which might well be renamed Defend Council Housing and Watch It Rot ((Protest over plans to sell off council homes, H&H May 10). It was they who successful
Haven't council tenants had about enough of Alan Walter and his lobby group Defend Council Housing, which might well be renamed Defend Council Housing and Watch It Rot ((Protest over plans to sell off council homes, H&H May 10). It was they who successfully campaigned against the Labour Government's offer of £283 million to bring Camden's council homes up to decent standard, conditional upon the establishment of an ALMO.
Now Mr Walter has the temerity to say: ''The council is a complete mess and doesn't have a clue... we need the Government to give funding to improve council housing.'' Three years, on he still has not learnt that there is a very big difference between what we need from a Labour Government and what we can expect!
Of course Camden Council has continued to urge that Government should do the decent thing and shell out the £283 million while leaving council housing under council control, as tenants want.
But the Government almost certainly will not budge. They have probably spent the money and even if it was paid out in full it would no longer be enough to meet the growing repair bill.
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I take encouragement from your reported attitude of Cllr Anna Stewart, Labour group leader, who calls for tenants to be fully consulted but does not appear to criticise Cllr Naylor's scheme. Her immediate predecessor is promising to march against the scheme, alongside Mr Walter, I suppose.
Let us hope that progress is about to be made. Don't let Alan Walter sacrifice tenants on the altar of his ideological dogmas any more.
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Bedford Avenue, WC1
I am glad to see so many stand up for council housing and oppose proposals to sell off some housing in order to repair the rest. We should not go down this slippery slope - there is too little public housing in the borough with people having to wait far too long to move out of overcrowded housing and far too long to be housed.
Every home counts in providing residents with a good quality of life and children of all backgrounds with a good start.
I am however surprised to see former council leader Raj Chadha say that this is not Labour's fault. The Labour Government insisted on private ownership or private management before handing over desperately needed funds.
However, he is right to say that it is reckless of the new council to put proposals to the Government when there is about to be a change in leadership that may well lead to the release of funds. It does make one wonder how far the new administration is committed to ensuring sufficient public housing.
It is important that we all stand together to insist on Camden's right to its fair share of central funding to improve our housing stock.
Cllr Maya de Souza
(Green Party) Highgate
I share Defend Council Housing's frustration but one thing should be made clear. This crisis is directly attributable to Government blackmail (no funding unless you vote for an ALMO) directed at Camden tenants and residents over the last 10 years.
The new administration would love the Government to give us the £242 million needed to bring our housing up to standard. That has always been our position. But, with no sign of the money forthcoming, we have to look at the alternatives.
One option is selling a maximum of two per cent of our current housing stock to raise money to invest in the 98 per cent which would remain in council hands.
No final decisions have been taken. We want as many people as possible to get involved in the debate, but it should be obvious to anyone who walks around our estates that to "do nothing" is simply not an option. It would be a gross betrayal of residents if we were to sit on our hands while the current crisis gets steadily worse.
(Lib Dem) Kilburn
Speaking to tenants at our Saturday morning street stall on Queen's Crescent, a number of people were genuinely angry about the proposals to sell off council homes. The vast majority I spoke to are against this privatisation. When many families face chronic overcrowding, we need more council homes, not less.
The local Labour party will be campaigning to ensure that tenants and the community have their say before the Lib Dems and Tories bulldoze these plans through.
Prospective candidate, Haverstock