Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/26184

Posted on 22 September 2017 at 15:55 GMT

Ledbury tenants fight for decent homes

Ledbury Estate, south London, photo Philip Talmage/CC

Ledbury Estate, south London, photo Philip Talmage/CC   (Click to enlarge)

The Socialist has previously reported that the Ledbury estate in Southwark, South London, following the Grenfell Tower fire, was declared wholly unsafe by structural engineers and residents were told they may have to temporarily leave.

This was due to large cracks (which you could fit your whole hand into) in the fabric of the four 13-storey tower blocks.

The Labour council was forced into action by the revelation that the blocks should never have been installed with gas because the structures would fail in the event of explosion and, like the Newham tower block Ronan Point in 1968, lead to collapse.

Ledbury tenants, photo by Arti

Ledbury tenants, photo by Arti   (Click to enlarge)

Danielle Gregory, Ledbury tenant and leading figure in the Ledbury action group spoke to Southwark Socialist Party activist Bill Mullins.

Bill: Ledbury tenants had been complaining about the cracks for over 20 years. When did you get involved?

Danielle: I have been a tenant for eight years and raised the issue with the council many times. They said there was nothing to worry about, it was down to 'natural movement' but I realised it posed significant fire risk.

On 6 June, a few days before the Grenfell fire I raised concerns. The council once again said there was nothing wrong.

It was only after Grenfell that the council took it seriously. They didn't want to; I had to call the fire brigade in, and their report gave a damning verdict (on the dangerous state of the blocks).

It was only after I threatened to go to the press did the council conduct its own investigation.

BM: What is the main demand of the tenants after Grenfell?

DG: We want safe council homes and an end to the negligence of the council.

Arup (the council's appointed building engineers) came along to look at the blocks. But we took advice from experts, who the Guardian had initially approached for comment, and on 11 July they pointed out, to both Arup and the council, that having gas installations in the building made it very unsafe.

How is it that our experts can see the problem but theirs can't? Is it incompetence or something more sinister?

BM: There were two issues, the cracks in the buildings and the unsafe gas installations. I believe there is a third one now?

DG: Yes there is now the whole question of structural viability. This is a result of the discovery that the buildings do not meet the regulations following the Ronan Point collapse in 1968.

The council cannot find the plans from when blocks were built between 1968 and 1970 and whether they live up to the regulations from that period.

BM: What will do you want if it turns out the blocks have to come down?

DG: We want to see the blocks safely fixed, that is our priority. If that cannot happen we want the land kept in the council and that the new buildings are council tenancies.

BM: What has the council said to that?

DG: Vague promises. If Arup says it's not feasible or affordable the council have refused to say what they will then do. They refuse to enter into discussions about that!

BM: What do you want if the blocks are not brought up to standard?

DG: Sam Webb (a retired RIBA architect) said the buildings cannot be safely fixed. If that is true then we are really upset.

We are now awaiting the Arup report due out on 20 November. If it says the blocks can be fixed, good. But if not then we expect the promise made by council leader Peter John to keep the land in council ownership be delivered, and that any new developments are council homes not private ones.

We have to be prepared to fight against what Peter John inferred - that a PPP (public-private partnership) arrangement would take its place. We are totally against this.

First and foremost we want the blocks fixed. If Arup says the buildings have to come down, we want a guarantee that the blocks will be replaced by council homes at council rents, with council tenants, not so called 'affordable ones' or 'housing partnerships'.


Ledbury estate protest march

Sunday 24th September

3pm, outside Ledbury TRA hall, Pencraig Way, off Old Kent Road, London SE15 1SH


This version of this article was first posted on the Socialist Party website on 22 September 2017 and may vary slightly from the version subsequently printed in The Socialist.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.






Related links:

Southwark:

triangleHundreds evacuated after Labour council dismisses cracks in tower blocks

triangleTenants' meeting reveals huge anger

triangleHealth cuts responsible for rise in deaths - reverse all austerity now

triangleThe Socialist Inbox

triangleThe Socialist inbox

Tenants:

triangleThem & us

triangleCorbyn must challenge pro-gentrification council leader or others will

triangleNo more excuses: fit sprinklers now!

triangleHousing campaigners ask Corbyn to instruct Labour council regeneration ballots

Homes:

triangleThe Socialist inbox

triangleCouncils' 1bn on commercial property amid housing crisis

trianglePosh estate agent's housing crisis solution: make your own sandwiches

Council:

triangleSouthampton: Corbynista success but cuts continue

triangleLiverpool Socialist Party: Fighting council cuts

Fire:

triangleWe're freezing: reverse cuts to boiler replacement schemes!

South London:

triangleLabour MP attacks local student over anti-austerity art project

London:

triangleHackney Socialist Party: Catalonia - Your chance to pose questions

Labour:

triangleLeft comic's take on politics will have you in tears

Grenfell Tower:

triangleCardiff Socialist Students confront 'Parasite' Jacob Rees-Mogg

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

22/11/17

Disability

Disability cuts outrage: my story

22/11/17

Southampton

Southampton: Corbynista success but cuts continue

22/11/17

Nottingham

Nottingham 'Reclaim the Night' march highlights cuts to women's centres

22/11/17

Socialist Students

Socialism 2017 Socialist Students meet-up

22/11/17

Student

Lively student demonstration for free education could have been much bigger

22/11/17

Leeds

Leeds college workers protest poor pay rises

22/11/17

Usdaw

Usdaw general secretary coronation

22/11/17

Scotland

Scotland: BiFab workers' occupation and march secures jobs and pay guarantee

16/11/17

Sheffield

Sheffield Eastern Ave Job Centre strike ends

16/11/17

Virgin

Virgin train workers vote for strike action over pay

15/11/17

Students

March for free education! We demand a future!

15/11/17

Plymouth

Plymouth PCS members fight relocation threat

15/11/17

Virgin

Virgin train workers ballot for strike action

15/11/17

Carlisle

Carlisle socialists campaign against Universal Credit

15/11/17

Haringey

Corbyn must challenge pro-gentrification council leader or others will

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
photo: GMB

triangle22 Nov After the budget: step up the fight against austerity!

triangle21 Nov Zimbabwe: Mugabe gone - but his regime remains in power

triangle15 Nov March for free education! We demand a future!

triangle15 Nov Tories on the brink - kick them out!

Socialism 2017

triangle14 Nov Socialism 2017: Organising to fight back

triangle13 Nov Strike wave continues with 49 walkout days by housing workers

triangle10 Nov US: Historic vote for Ginger Jentzen campaign in Minneapolis

More ...

triangle22 Nov Caerphilly Socialist Party: Women and Revolution

triangle22 Nov Cardiff West Socialist Party: How do Marxists analyse the world?

triangle22 Nov Salford Socialist Party: 70 years since the partition of the Indian subcontinent

triangle22 Nov Tower Hamlets Socialist Party: Organising for socialist change

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

November 2017

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice

V2