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From The Socialist newspaper, 24 November 2021

Newham: Durning Hall - another shameful act of Labour gentrification

Durning Hall protest 2 October, photo Niall Mulholland

Durning Hall protest 2 October, photo Niall Mulholland   (Click to enlarge)

Niall Mulholland, East London Socialist Party

On 16 November, a Newham Council committee unanimously approved the demolition of the iconic Durning Hall community centre in Forest Gate, east London - another shameful act of gentrification by the 100% Labour-controlled council.

We were given just 48 hours' notice to request a speaking slot at the hearing. Nine people attended to oppose the application, given just 15 minutes between us to speak.

I was one of six objectors able to address the hearing, speaking in a personal capacity as chair of a local housing coop. The vast majority of the flats that developers Aston-Mansfield want to build on the site will be unaffordable for local people, and 90% of the community space will be lost. The remaining space will only be available at Aston-Mansfield's discretion, i.e. not for public use.

To justify the loss of community space, Aston-Mansfield was required to demonstrate "realistic proposals for re-provision that continue to serve the needs of the neighbourhood and wider community". But Suz Hu, from Durning Hall Redevelopment Community Action Group, told the hearing that the closest alternative venues listed were "not feasible, being too small, not accessible, already booked out to existing clients, too expensive, or not available to hire at all."

Aston-Mansfield's 'consultation' was a farce. They never made it clear that the new community space would prohibit user groups.

Suz was only the seventh objector to the plan. But after she told others, objections rose to over 200. One councillor admitted this was "the highest number of objections we've seen in any application."

The decision has to be formally ratified by London mayor Sadiq Khan. Although the odds are heavily stacked against us, the campaign to stop the Durning Hall redevelopment will continue.

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In The Socialist 24 November 2021:


News

Workers' action can defeat weak and divided Tories

Working class strangled by price rises and pay cuts

Poorer pensioners fleeced by social care cap

Tories hammer nail in pensions triple lock coffin

HS2 eastern route cancelled: Fight for a workers' plan for public transport

Cricket's history of racism and elitism


NHS

Midwives march against unsafe staffing and for adequate funding

Tories responsible for NHS staff shortages


Violence against women

End sexism and violence against women


Socialism 2021

Socialism 2021: A steely determination to change society

What did you think of Socialism 2021?


Workplace news

Support uni workers' walk-out on pay and pensions

RMT to strike in London night-tube dispute

Panasonic workers strike against pay freeze

Tesco warehouse workers ballot for strike action

Sage care home workers' pay victory


International news

Historic victory of India's farmers

Sudan: "Hamdok has sold the revolution!"

USA: Right-wing vigilante Rittenhouse acquitted - capitalist courts will not defend the working class!


Working class history

Chartism: The world's first working-class movement


Neurodiversity

The struggle for accessible workplaces and an inclusive society


Obituary

Obituary: Ted Austin (1940-2021) - working-class socialist stalwart


Campaigns

Victory! Hackney children's centres saved!

West Sussex: Payouts for council bosses, cuts for us

Newham: Durning Hall - another shameful act of Labour gentrification

Slough: Adult service cuts will leave vulnerable homeless

Northampton: Phoney consultation to mask cuts

Selling the Socialist


 

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