The Bloody Great Big Elephant Rip-Off

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Wednesday 28 July 2010 4.15am
Southwark Notes website front page article on the Lendlease and Council deal. They aren't very happy. There doesn't seem to have been much comment on here on the forum about the deal. Did I miss it?

http://southwarknotes.wordpress.com/

After years of negotiations - is the deal a good one for the long-term existing population?
Wednesday 28 July 2010 8.26am
I could have written this myself (well, I couldnt, because I'm not a Heygate tenant) but it is ABSOLUTELY RIGHT and what I have been saying for some time on the Elephant thread although not at such length. I hope ALL the Powers That Be get to read it. Ah me, what slimy toads people are, how greedy, how immoral. Years ago I remember (most of you are too young) what happened on the Isle of Dogs, and how all the locals were shunted off, it caused political repercussions for years. Why do they never learn?? What a betrayal of the local people.
Wednesday 28 July 2010 7.29pm
Did i read that right Jackie....999 years?....whats that old song...the Rich get Rich and the poor get poorer! shame.....going back now to read the rest...:-(
Saturday 31 July 2010 10.41pm
Jackie, Jan...

I guess we live in funny times where no-one seems to care very much about these scandalous goings-on in The Elephant. Seems like people care more about the turbines on the top of Strata tower than the massive loss of local public land, the decimation of public housing and the continued privatisation of public space.
Monday 2 August 2010 7.33am
As you can tell by the stellar three replies to this thread....perhaps people are bored of your complaining and are quite happy something has actually been signed and the area will get better?

The person writing the link seems to be living in dream land, if you think you can get a private company to build houses for the public, without covering those cost by making a profit on selling private houses. There are alot more people in Elephant that will benefit from the area improving than purely the people wanting a free house off the council.
Monday 2 August 2010 7.48am
Ah HA, someone from the right wing here...but the thing is, mcheights, that this saga has been going on for now more than ten years. The local people who lived in the Heygate were most of them quite elderly, and had lived in this neighbourhood for decades. Their flats were roomy and comfortable and they brought up their families there. To oust them, under pretence of giving them a brand new home (albeit half the size of the one they were giving up) and getting them to agree to move out, and then deciding that they arent important enough and better to shunt them off elsewhere is just plain immoral. These are people who are NOT the feckless, free loaders of today, I know many of them. And The Elephant has been their HOME for forty years.
Monday 2 August 2010 10.19am
Repeat to fade.

10yrs, exactly. Hence, whatever is being done is probably better than nothing.

I have nothing bad to say about past/current tenants of the heygate, my point is that the regeneration is wider than that single issue.
Monday 2 August 2010 11.44am
The Southwark Notes thread is making a wider point than just banging on about The Heygate. It's not 'a single issue'. It's talking about how regeneration is often only a pretence that good things will come to the older local community. So if the area goes even a little more upscale, local shops will close due to their rents being put up; local amenities such as open spaces and parks will constantly be seen as possible sites for new private building (burgess park, victory park are good examples); more public housing (which McHeights are not free - people pay rent and taxes, of course) will be sold off to developers and council tenants will be removed from where they have lived for years; local council tenants will also be put in Housing Association places against their desires (a la Heygate despite all the promises); roads and spaces that are now public will become privatised and removed from local access (see Empire Sq); local street markets will be put under pressure to reduce or move to free up development space; more buy-to-let flats seen as good investments where the actual tenants are often temporary and have no idea or care little about the older local population. Etc These things aren't ideas or wheezes, they are what happens when areas are gentrified. A trip to Hoxton, Covent Garden, Dalston etc will show this is action.

It's very easy to say that regeneration means things will get better for the area as if it were so simple and as if new buildings like Strata symbolically means that the area is 'better' but that (as usual) is to ignore the consequences for older local people. Someone moved out from Heygate to Nunhead to a smaller flat and with very little chance of return to the Elephant would probably not consider themselves as merely a 'single issue'. That's as if they are some kind of irrelevancy now.

The Southwark Notes thread is trying (I think) to point up the hypocrisy and double-faced nature and activity around regeneration when it pretends that everything will be good for everyone (as a lot of people also seem to think on this forum)

A good example of this spin and lying can be found in the latest Southwark Life magazine (Aug 2010). It says on an article about Strata - 'Strata...is set to house an estimated 1000 people from the local area'. This is patently a lie but it's the kind of nonsense that feeds the 'regeneration is good for all' myth! As a council tenant, some of my rent and taxes are used to produce this rubbish.

Whenever someone points out some of the lies and scandal around the regeneration they seem to be written off as living in the past or as whinging moaners. But then most of the people doing the writing off don't live in council houses!

People forget that council housing is for everyone regardless of income. I'm proud to be a council tenant and think that public housing is a great institution that needs defending. I don't expect or even believe for a minute that private developers will supply public housing unless forced too. But local councils must be empowered to build again decent housing for everyone as they did in the past.

I like living in The Elephant (as I have done for 20 years) and I don't want to be decanted to Nunhead just so that some other person can come and live where I live now because regeneration has made the area 'up and coming'.
Monday 2 August 2010 5.37pm
you sound like you have a lot of free time, if you've worked it out, I'd be interested to know exactly how much of your rent and council tax actually finds it way through the council to pay for production of Southwark Notes.
Monday 2 August 2010 6.27pm
JonR wrote:
you sound like you have a lot of free time, if you've worked it out, I'd be interested to know exactly how much of your rent and council tax actually finds it way through the council to pay for production of Southwark Notes.

Writing to this forum doesn't take up much of my time and neither does figuring out that the council that I pay rent and council tax too uses some of that money to produce Southwark Life.

If you are implying that I have a lot of time on my hands and therefore must be unemployed and by further implication therefore what I say is then invalidated, you are wrong on both accounts.

Maybe you would like to comment on the substance of what I wrote about regeneration and leave the personal stuff to one side.
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