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From The Socialist newspaper, 5 May 2021

Bellway must pay! Make our homes safe!

Protesting at Bellway Housing 1 May 2021

Protesting at Bellway Housing 1 May 2021   (Click to enlarge)

Ruth Mason, East London Socialist Party

On 1 May more than 60 residents of the Caspian Quarter gathered outside Bellway's Barking showrooms to protest about the property developer's failure to replace flammable balconies. Local Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition candidate and Socialist Party member, Pete Mason addressed the crowd who were shouting: "Bellway must pay!" and "Make our homes safe!" Pete has led the campaign against flammable cladding and balconies since the Samuel Garside House fire in Barking, 2019.

Just two years after the Grenfell fire, a fire on one of the balconies of Samuel Garside House turned the whole front of the building into an inferno within seven minutes. Samuel Garside House is a modern block of flats built within the last decade by the developers, Bellway Homes. The Caspian Quarter is a group of several blocks of flats which Bellway built even more recently. Only about a quarter of a mile from Samuel Garside House, the blocks of the Caspian Quarter also have flammable balconies.

In the immediate aftermath of the Samuel Garside fire, Bellway agreed to replace the balconies at no cost to the residents, but they have so far made no effort to do so.

The government's recently passed Fire Safety Act does nothing to assist leaseholders in the Caspian Quarter. The 5 billion pledged by the government to remove dangerous cladding incomprehensibly only applies to buildings over 18 metres tall, and lets the big property developers like Bellway off scot-free to continue to rake in billions in profits.

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

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In The Socialist 5 May 2021:


What we think

Capitalist sleaze and cronyism


Union elections

Unite general secretary election nomination stage

Unison: We need a fighting, democratic, member-led union to stop the austerity attacks

Four Socialist Party members elected to NEU executive - a thirst for action and a fighting leadership


International news

Biden's policies will not solve underlying US crisis

Colombia: Mass trade union-led protests force tax retreat


Mental health

Covid, capitalism and mental health


News

Fight the rotten establishment

Hands off our NHS

New law ignores economic barriers to escaping domestic abuse

Cladding: Tories refuse to protect leaseholders again


Workplace news

St Mungo's strikers fight on

Goodlord strike forces talks - solidarity needed

Sparks block Cardiff building site against deskilling

Vote 'yes' in the PCS DWP ballot

Beal High School strike against sick policy resumes

Go Ahead offers deal to Manchester bus drivers

Metroline buses to face summer of strikes unless it drops 'remote sign-on'


Local government

Can the 'Preston model' beat the cuts?


Campaigns news

Bellway must pay! Make our homes safe!

Police attempt to intimidate Newcastle protesters

Nottingham NHS pay protest

Establishing factory sales of the Socialist in Leicester

Plaque dedicated to Tony Mulhearn

Why you should join the Socialist Party

Defend the right to protest - to resist bosses' attacks


Readers' opinion

The Socialist Inbox


 

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