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Social Cleansing in Southwark

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Saturday 18 October 2014 8.11pm
Housing campaigner Glyn Robbins has written a powerful article on the Guardian Housing Network about the Mipim UK fair entitled Property developersí fair embodies all thatís wrong with public housing policy:

It's a pity that this thread is now split out from the 'Planning for people who live in Southwark now' as the discussion points in this new thread are very relevant to the planning one.

As for our democratically elected leaders, we all know that just because an MP, council leader, councillor, etc. has been elected to a particular position doesn't mean that they're incapable of doing anything wrong, or making a mistake. Have we forgotten the expenses scandal already? The voting public has the democratic right to ask questions of its elected officials and when questions were being asked about MPs' expenses, this serious breach of the law would have been swept under the carpet if such questions had been dismissed as "harassment".

Several years ago I questioned the legality of some major works charges on the estate where I live; it took 12 months of wading through a huge amount of documents with the help of the Southwark Citizens' Advice Bureau and the outcome was that a number of leaseholders were identified as being owned thousands of pounds in refunds because Southwark Council had not adhered to something called the '18-month role" in terms of the required deadline for issuing the final invoice for the works. At the end of all of this hard work, the person who had helped me with the documentation told me that we were right to question the Council and that we should continue to do so. I see clear parallels with the right of local people to ask questions of the Council - only this time it's about the relationships between Southwark Council and developers. In the past four years we local residents have tried time and again with a whole series of contentious planning applications to have our reasonable concerns heard, but have seen our concerns consistently overruled or even ignored by Southwark Council. It's hardly surprising that our voices are now getting louder.
Saturday 18 October 2014 9.14pm
Floodplain wrote:
Can you please explain to us what a 'people's compulsory purchase order' is and what you realistically expect to achieve by undertaking such stunts?
I didn't vote Labour - but I do not approve of the personal targeting and harassment of our democratically-elected representatives in this way - especially when they are building new Council homes - it's pretty shameful.

It was at Southwark "HQ", if it were in their spare time and away from council premises I would agree with you, but it wasn't.
Democracy is also about protesting, peacefully, which seems to be what PROS did.
Saturday 18 October 2014 9.34pm
Protesting peacefully, and asking difficult questions.
Elected representatives are just that. Elected to serve the people of Southwark, not their own interests of those of business and investment interests.
If they fail to serve us, then we have every right to question them.
Saturday 18 October 2014 10.27pm
floodplain, if you read the 'people's cpo' document, you'll see precisely why the three councillors were targeted. one of the 'justifications' for this madness we're being told is 'regeneration' is the 'benefits for local residents/communities/you name it'. over and over and over again this has been proven not to be the case.

is that not 'shameful'?

why we did it? to ask, again, who is actually benefiting from 'regenerations'

to remind our 'elected representatives' (both deliberately in quotes as both are equally debatable) just how painfully, palpably personal their decisions to throw us out of our homes in the name of those 'regenerations' (simply because we're not good/rich enough) are.

anyhow, they've got 28 days to respond :)
Sunday 19 October 2014 12.38am
More power to your cause pros. I hope that you get a lot of deserved publicity for trying to expose the social cleansing that is being carried out in north Southwark, in particular, aided and abetted by elected representatives of the people, and if that means targeting those coucillors who are responsible then that is right and proper. They should be big enough and have the courage of their convictions to withstand the criticism and opprobium they have rightly earned and maybe explain how they have come to arrive at such a perverse policy
Sunday 19 October 2014 9.28am
So if Pros (et al) are so confident that they have mass support of 'the people' and that they are totally right - then why didn't they put themselves up for election as Councillors in May this year?
Sunday 19 October 2014 10.31am
All power to your elbow pros.

Everyone locally who has ever attended a planning committee in my particular ward since 2010 is of the opinion that planning committee decisions are made along party lines. I was asked by a few people if I would consider standing as in independent councillor and my reply was that in the current situation of a majority on the committee that consistently votes as a party political block, I would be absolutely wasting my time. Instead, I choose to use my time more wisely by working both as an individual resident and with local resident groups on other ways of calling Southwark Council to account. That is what pros are doing, and very effectively too.
Sunday 19 October 2014 2.54pm
thanks for the thumbs up, really appreciated. it's hard work, and we, much like quite a few other groups, are doing the best we can x
Sunday 19 October 2014 3.36pm
pros wrote:
thanks for the thumbs up, really appreciated. it's hard work, and we, much like quite a few other groups, are doing the best we can x

You are most welcome pros. I think a lot of people don't realise just how hard people like you work, on a voluntary basis, with the interests of residents and communities at the heart of what you do.
Sunday 19 October 2014 4.00pm
Thank you from me too Pros.

Floodplain, I'm sure that every Councillor in the land expects to be challenged at some point as it comes with the job. Your criticism of people who campaign (whatever their fight) is unfair unless it becomes physical, offensive or discriminatory.
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