Mike Lane | 09.08.2003 11:51 | London
This letter and the answer to the question proves that central government are working with local government and housing associations to socially cleanse areas to reduce the amount of tenants in inner city areas.
Direct Line: 0151 – 224 6429
05 August 2003
37 Botanic Road
Liz Gill: I thought I should try and reply to your recent e-mails and the questions you left with me at our meeting. My comments on the latter are at Annex A.
As I said before, I am sorry that you felt our meeting was not helpful – at the very least it gives us some insight into each other's perspective.
(My comments: The meeting with Liz Gill was not helpful because, she already had a prearranged agenda that she was trying to impose upon me and the 13,000 people who live in the Liverpool Kensington New Deal community. Mike Lane)
Liz Gill: In some respects, however, I can only repeat what I have already said to you. I cannot accept your term 'social cleansing' – there is no agenda to force tenants out of Kensington. It is simply not true to say that I stated that central government promotes the reduction of tenants in poor run-down inner city areas. You know as well as I do that I did not say this – Frank Dunn and Ian Brodhurst would confirm this if confirmation was needed.
(My comments: Senior Government Office civil servants, such as Liz Gill, are part of the dominant culture, and as such perpetuate the dominant cultures oppressive agenda. They use very conversant in semantics. They deny everything and explain everything away with what the famous writer George Orwell, in his book 1984, called “double speak.” Mike Lane).
Liz Gill: What I did say is that there probably is a general acceptance that the housing stock of the area has to change. Some is in such poor condition or obsolete that there may be no option but to demolish it. All of this has been looked at in the neighbourhood planning groups. This will mean that some people in the area will need to move, and given the relatively small size of the NDC area the options open to them (be they tenants or owners) may include a move outside the area.
(My comments: Let’s take a close look at what Liz Gill has said here. She says the housing stock in the area in such a bad state that there may be no option but to demolish it. This is simply untrue. The housing is in such a bad way because the housing associations, and the council who own nearly 60% of the housing stock have let it fall into a dreadful state of repair. This has been deliberately done because the council want to transfer their houses to the housing association Community 7, who are a subsidiary of the dreadful Riverside Housing Group and intend to take over all the other 9 housing associations stock in the New Deal area, and Community 7 want to get shut of this old stock for new builds, which will be mainly funded by the Housing Corporation. Liz Gill also says some people. This is not true. What we have here is a £62m NDC project, money which was intended to reach the most disadvantaged and socially excluded people within the New Deal area, an area which encapsulates 4,000 houses and flats, 60% of these dwellings being housing association, council and private landlords, housing association being the largest, being used to throw the poor, who live mainly in rented accommodation, out of the New Deal community altogether and ghettoise them in areas which are not strategically important, because the NDC community is close to the city centre, which is in the process of an architectural renaissance.
Liz Gill also mentions the Neighbourhood forward Planning Group, I am a tenant and I tried to get on one of these group but was surreptitiously rejected by the homeowners. There are five Neighbourhood Planning Groups, which are comprised of about 12 people per group, that works out to 60 people 50 of these people are homeowners and 10 are tenants and this is in spite of the fact that tenants are in a 60% majority in the new Deal community The regeneration administrators, who are working with Government Office and the city council are using the homeowners as a tool to subjugate the tenants, in effect the homeowners are sub oppressors of the oppressor regeneration administrators. Mike Lane)
Liz Gill: I also said that general research on sustainable communities generally highlights the ratio of home-ownership to rented property as one of the baselines to consider in reviewing how well a neighbourhood works. The average for the NW is 75% ownership, 25% rented.
(My comments: The above assertion surely proves, once and for all that central government advocates social cleansing. As already stated the Kensington New Deal area is comprised of 60% tenant and 40% homeowners. If the above figures are implemented in this community it will mean that 35% of tenants will have to be moved out of the area altogether. This is social cleansing of the poor and excluded, who are mainly found in the rented sector, on a massive scale. When this community got this money we were told that we would be stakeholders in the initiative, what a joke! This money is going to be used to throw us tenants out of the area. Mike Lane).
Liz Gill: You also questioned the Housing Corporation's commitment to Kensington. The Corporation have treated Kensington as a priority for their investment almost from the start of NDC, and that remains their position.
(My comments: The housing Corporation are in cahoots with the all the housing associations, in other words they are all in it together. The Housing Corporation cares nothing about tenant democracy and its senior officers are all members of the upper middle class, who retreat back to the prosperous suburbs at the end of their easy working day. Mike Lane).
Liz Gill: Tenants have never to my knowledge been shut out of the NDC decision-making processes – they are actively encouraged, but clearly they cannot be forced to participate.
(My comments: The above statement is not true. Whilst not denying that housing association tenants are very hard to engage in participation, from the beginning of this NDC project no procedures were ever put into place to address the situation of tenure within the NDC community or to encourage tenant participation. The tenants were sidestepped and never encouraged to become involved, this was in spite of the fact that Government Office, The Kensington Regeneration administrators, headed by Stephen Boyle the initiatives £52,000 per year chief executive, the Bishop of Liverpool, the Rev Jones, who is chair of the NDC board, were told that the issue of engaging tenants would need to be addressed. Mike Lane).
Q10. Does GO-NW know that C7 intend to give Riverside Housing property to homeowners by swapping their old house which will be demolished for a refurbished ex-RSL house?
Liz Gill: A. There is a need to look at a menu of different options in order to achieve a sustainable programme of housing renewal in the area. Any home swap scheme will be on an equitable and value for money basis so that homeowners will not benefit or be penalised unduly.
(My comments: What the above answer means is housing association houses will be done up and relocated to home owners who face demolition on a key for a key basis. This is in spite of the fact that there are thousands of poor people trying to get a housing association dwelling. This is how they are going to reduce the situation of tenure within poor inner city communities were mixed housing exists. They will simply steal tenants houses, refurbish them at a cost of £15,000 and give them to homeowners under threat of demolition or sell them to prospective homeowners. What is happening in Liverpool’s Kensington area will happen right throughout the country. Mike Lane).