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From The Socialist newspaper, 5 June 2019
Neglected Newham tenants demand action
Housing demo, London, 13.3.16, photo Martin Powell-Davies (Click to enlarge)
Ian Pattison, East London Socialist Party
For decades, repairs on the homes on the Lawrence Street estate in Canning Town, east London, have been neglected. These homes have also been under threat of demolition. 30 residents met on 30 May to discuss their problems.
The kitchens are in a terrible state. The windows need fixing. "What about mould?", the chair asked. Most of the hands shoot up.
Fly tipping and public safety are pressing issues. "Do you feel safe?" Everyone laughs. "Do you see police?" "No!", the room bellows back.
Everyone present filled in a survey with their issues. The campaign is going to keep a log, and hold the council to account. Most worryingly, the estate is threatened with demolition. This must end now.
Newham's Labour councillors were meeting next door. Eventually one, Shaban Mohammed, turned up to the meeting with the local right-wing Labour MP, Lynn Brown. The MP didn't say much. And didn't stay long!
The councillor complained there is a housing shortage. Then build more council homes!
He said he used to oppose regeneration, before he was a Labour councillor. Now he wants "regeneration that works for tenants." If that means fixing the repairs pronto, great! But if that means demolishing the estate and jacking up the prices, so tenants are forced out, absolutely not!
Before the councillor spoke, people were demanding repairs. After he spoke, there was talk of a rent strike!
The Socialist Party demands that the campaign starts by saying "we won't move", was echoed in the discussion. Just like the Butterfields tenants did in Waltham Forest, when an entire street that successfully fought eviction.
The Labour council should immediately stop making cuts. And use its enormous reserves - £500 million in Newham - and borrowing powers to invest in services and repairs and build council homes.
Housing maintenance workers in Newham have been forced to strike against pay cuts.
Lawrence Street residents can take inspiration from last year's victories against school privatisation/academisation in Newham by the National Education Union led by its secretary, and Socialist Party member, Louise Caffaro.
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In The Socialist 5 June 2019:
What we think
Corbyn must go on the offensive against the right with socialist policies
Tories deny dire poverty ...look around you! Boot out the Tories
Reverse the GP cuts
Theresa May admits tuition fees system is broken - but plans new attacks on students
Laughable research denies low-pay scandal
Them & Us
The Tiananmen Square massacre - 30 years on
Strike together to kick out the Tories!
Nationalise the threatened Glasgow 'Caley' railway depot
Welsh train fleet workers' victory
Fighting to stop school meals privatisation
UCU conference 2019: Preparing for struggle
Sexual harassment of LGBT+ workers shows need for unions to fight
Universal Credit workers' strike
International socialist news and analysis
India: Modi victory underlines need for real socialist fightback
Counter-revolution in Sudan
70 years since the publication of Nineteen Eighty-Four: "But if there was hope, it lay in the proles"
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
Tens of thousands march against Trump
Worcester libraries campaign victory
South Yorkshire: No to fire service cuts!
Protesters condemn Tory candidate
Step forward for campaign to reverse mobility pass cuts in Nottingham
LS26 campaign lobbies council to save their homes
Neglected Newham tenants demand action
Protest against Send education funding cuts
The Socialist 5 June 2019 |
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