The Noose Of “Regeneration” Tightens Around Lancaster West


Back in the summer of 2011 members of the Grenfell Action Group first stumbled across concrete evidence that the Council was making plans to “socially cleanse” RBKC of it’s poor and excluded residents. It was at this time that Councillor Coleridge sanctioned a “Decant Policy” to apply to tenants and leaseholders on housing estates facing regeneration that explicitly removed the “guarantee” that they could return to their existing communities in the event of being decanted during construction works.

This immoral and fascist “Decant Policy” allows RBKC the legal right to move people to Manchester, Peterborough, Slough, or anywhere they choose and anyone who refuses a tenancy in an area outside of London will be deemed “intentionally homeless” and the RBKC duty to house them will be voided.

When members of the Grenfell Action Group confronted the RBKC Council about the removal of the “guarantee” that decanted residents could return to their communities we were told that we would have to rely on the “word” of RBKC Councillors that this would not happen. Unfortunately, even the dogs in the street know that the promises of RBKC Councillors are worth nothing as evidenced by the lies and deceit foisted on the Lancaster West community in relation to the closure of Station Walk.

When we began whistle-blowing about RBKC plans to apply a scorched earth policy to social housing in North Kensington we were ruthlessly stamped on by the neo-cons at Hornton Street who fear nothing more than having their heartless and money grabbing plans exposed to the wider public. This also brings great shame on the RBKC Labour party who accused us of “scaremongering” when we tried to warn our community about the imminent threat of “social cleansing” and the managed decline of Lancaster West Estate.

Over the past week more evidence has surfaced that indicates that the Grenfell Action Group has been completely vindicated in our assertion that social housing tenants in RBKC are in for a very rough ride and that those facing homelessness in RBKC will be ruthlessly treated as we predicted.

The following comment appeared on the Hornet’s Nest website and it is the considered opinion of the Grenfell Action Group that it was most likely posted anonymously by a Labour Councillor on 5th May :

“The new Private Rented Sector Offer (PRSO) will be applied to every new homeless household for whom the Council becomes responsible. This means paying private rented sector landlords to offer temporary accommodation to these households outside the borough, for a period of two years (including very probably a “sweetener” on top of the rent). After two years the household can be evicted into homelessness – but will then be the responsibility of the borough where they are living. This policy explicitly states that “eventually the majority of households owed the full duty will have that duty ended with a PRS offer”. Furthermore, the Council has instructed its agent the TMO not to bring empty properties up to standard for re-letting on the estates that are ear-marked for imminent “regeneration” plans. These include Balfour Burleigh, parts of Silchester Estate and the “finger blocks” on Lancaster West. All other Council-owned properties that become void will either be sold on the open market or let at a market rent and won’t be allocated to homeless families”.

The above observations show the full horror of RBKC Council’s intentions to rid the Rotten Borough of anyone living in social housing or facing the terrifying prospect of homelessness. The RBKC Councillors and Officers who are responsible for implementing these fascist and immoral policies should be deeply ashamed of themselves and can rest assured that their evil actions will not go un-responded to. As we know that we can’t rely on the useless RBKC Labour Party to offer any effective resistance it looks like residents and local community groups will have to lead the way!

Stay posted for a forthcoming announcement…….

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