KHT NOT FIT FOR DEMOCRACY
Local resident Eddie Adams, of The Alliance for Green Socialism, gives a personal view
'We sit on the brink of a disaster for our local community. This has been brought about by the secretive and speculative actions of the Kensington Housing Trust management committee and its senior partner Catalyst Housing trust.
'The market brief issued in December 07 for the re-development of Wornington Green estate, London W.10, and for the selection of a development partner to build 1,100 homes has just been seen by local residents and tenants
'The brief ignores the present community, its future, its needs and its aspirations, and the wider communities' concerns. It intends to pull down all the estate despite the whole estate being under forty years old. This is not inspired by any need to improve the present tenants' housing. Most of these are fairly satisfied, their main concern is getting the Trust to carry out repairs on time.
'The tenants have become so angry by the lack of real information as opposed to spin
that the tenants of Peplar House have declared independence from the Trust, and at a tenants' meeting tonight it looks like the rest of the estate will follow suit.
'The lack previously of real information and consultation goes right from the KHT management committee to the grass roots. As one of the only 37 shareholders
who have not been given any information about these plans or any other developments such as the meetings being held, consultations or tenants responses or given any publications being put out on the estate or received from the tenants.
'The AGM of the KHT is a shell of democracy. There is no real information given out and seeing this is the only meeting that shareholders are invited to one has to go on to the streets to find out what is really happening and observe the anger against the KHT management in the community.
'The previous secret appeal to the Kensington & Chelsea Council to let them build on Athlone Gardens which we understand was turned down in 2001 makes a re-appearance in this new development brief. The local park belongs to the whole community but no one has been consulted about this possibility nor the fact that if this proposal goes ahead we will be denied this amenity and many local people will be living in a giant building site which will bring noise dirt and chaos to the area.
'Historically Housing Trusts built and maintained affordable housing so that families with limited income would have a decent home. Usually their constitutions say they should be non profit making. Under this New Labour government this has all changed. Trusts are now using public land to sell flats and housing privately; in Kensington & Chelsea this makes no sense. In the local Grove magazine for February 08 there are adverts for flats at £500,000 upwards, there are no adverts for affordable flats or housing, which is what is needed for our community and local people to continue to live here.
'We urge those public bodies involved with public housing such as the Housing Corporation and the Charity Commissioners to intercede and stop KHT from continuing with this ill conceived development.'
LINK TO: FOUR FACES OF KHT