Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/557/6622

From The Socialist newspaper, 19 November 2008

Lewisham housing: Arguments against privatisation win

LAST WEEK saw another victory by Lewisham tenants in the battle against privatisation of council homes. The ruling New Labour councillors finally called off their efforts to hand over properties in the New Cross Gate area to Hyde housing association.

Clive Heemskerk

Last December the plans of this south London council were defeated in a formal transfer ballot, with 54.6% of tenants voting No to privatisation (see The Socialist, 10.1.08). This covered 1,820 properties, one third of them in the Socialist Party-held council ward of Telegraph Hill.

New Labour were determined to avenge this defeat. Every transfer ballot lost, is a blow to their pro-market agenda. And it was a double blow in New Cross Gate because the Socialist Party councillors, Ian Page and Chris Flood, were prominent in the Hands Off Our Homes campaign for a No vote.

So in March this year Lewisham's mayor, Sir Steve Bullock, announced a new stock transfer plan for 660 New Cross Gate homes in parts of the original transfer area where there had been majority support for Hyde. New Labour councillors were confident that, this time, they would get a victory.

To build momentum a letter was sent to every householder by Sir Steve making the false claim, again, that Lewisham didn't have the funds to bring council housing up to national Decent Homes standards. This was followed by an aggressive 'opinion polling' consultation where tenants were asked whether they wanted "to remain with Lewisham with uncertain prospects of gaining the necessary funding" or "transfer to Hyde Housing Association with guaranteed funding for a higher standard of work"! Having shown, they hoped, 'public support' for transfer by this loaded 'consultation', they would then organise another, legally-required, formal transfer ballot.

But it was not to be. A street by street breakdown of the vote in last year's ballot showed there had been a 59.7% to 40.3% majority for Hyde in the proposed new transfer area. But in a major turnaround, this time 51% told the polling organisation that they wanted to remain as council tenants. This did not "represent a sound platform from which to launch a second transfer", the New Labour councillors and Hyde forlornly concluded. "Both sides felt the results were less positive (!) than expected".

Hands Off Our Homes campaigners found that the changed economic circumstances since last year, when only Northern Rock had hit the buffers, made it easier to explain the dangers of privatisation. Many people signed our petition against a new ballot, who had supported transfer last year. But the arguments still had to be won. At the same time as the New Cross Gate 'consultation', a formal ballot to transfer 639 properties in Lee on the other side of Lewisham saw an 86% Yes vote with, unfortunately, no organised campaign against.

This shows the vital role of the Hands Off Our Homes campaign, and Lewisham's Socialist councillors. Lewisham council has spent more proportionately in New Cross Gate promoting transfer plans than anywhere else in the borough. In the comparably-sized Grove Park area, for example, they spent 637,000, against 1.4 million now in New Cross Gate - and yet here they were still defeated, twice! The task now is to spread the campaign to other areas of Lewisham where the threat of privatisation remains.

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


In The Socialist 19 November 2008:


No Job Cuts

'We're not taking these job cuts'

Programme of action to fight unemployment is needed

JCB: Pay cuts haven't saved our jobs!


Post office closures

U-turn over post office card account

Stroud post office saved!

Coventry fights post office closure

Lewisham housing: Arguments against privatisation win

Fast news


Socialist Party workplace news

Drop the witch-hunt in Unison fight to Defend trade union democracy

Scotland: Unison local government: Close vote on pay

Dover port workers strike

Unite/Amicus general secretary election

In brief


International socialist news and analysis

World food crisis: A systemic failure of capitalism

Democratic republic of Congo: Civil war erupts once again

G20 conference: Summit for nothing

USA: Challenging the two parties of big business

First ever all-Germany school students' strike

Eyewitness report: Italian students occupy


Socialist Students

Student democracy under attack

Privatisation = FE college students suffer


Interviews

Social workers say: investment needed

Sacked for being pregnant!


 

Home   |   The Socialist 19 November 2008   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Housing:

triangleThe Socialist Inbox

triangleRough sleeping crisis: make homes, not arrests

triangleLabour council Blairites deselected

triangleTory housing policy: build zilch, hike prices

triangleThem & us

Privatisation:

triangleSchool staff strike against privatisation

triangleDWP to outsource more work to Capita

triangleCorbyn must challenge pro-gentrification council leader or others will

trianglePFI privateers dodge tax

Lewisham:

triangleSchools and teaching: A perfect storm of cuts, underfunding, excessive workloads and low pay

triangleLewisham 1977: When socialists and workers defeated the far-right National Front

triangle'Ana Key MP' - Socialist artist responds to attacks

Council:

triangleNew ebook: Liverpool A City That Dared To Fight

triangleBristol libraries safe - for now - as council caves to pressure

Socialist Party:

triangleTamil Solidarity AGM & public meeting

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

7/12/17

RMT

Anti-DOO lobby of Liverpool's transport committee

7/12/17

Blacklisting

Unite protest against blacklisting

6/12/17

Donald Trump

Mobilise to stop bigoted billionaire Donald Trump's state visit to Britain

6/12/17

Transport

Arriva bus strikers stand firm

6/12/17

Pensions

BT pensions review - oppose the attacks on the pension schemes

6/12/17

PCS

Driving examiners walkout hits first day of new test

6/12/17

Newham

School staff strike against privatisation

6/12/17

Rail

Brutal rail privateer Abellio takes over Midlands rail services

6/12/17

PCS

PCS Left Unity celebrates 40th anniversary at annual conference

6/12/17

North Yorkshire

Court maintains injunction against fracking protesters

6/12/17

Waltham Forest

Waltham Forest Universal Credit protest

6/12/17

Coventry

Coventry Socialist sales hit 1,000

6/12/17

TUSC

TUSC conference to debate 2018 elections

6/12/17

Liverpool

Liverpool John Moores Uni landslide for Socialist Students

6/12/17

Kirklees

Plans to launch no-cuts campaign at Kirklees College

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle8 Dec Local government pay: fight for the full 5% claim

triangle6 Dec Strikers rally in Liverpool

triangle6 Dec Corbyn's Labour can defeat Tories with socialist programme

triangle5 Dec Victory at Glenfield shows people power can save our NHS

triangle5 Dec Labour council Blairites deselected

triangle30 Nov Victory: Glenfield Children's Heart Centre saved!

triangle30 Nov Dramatic retelling of Grunwick strike

More ...

triangle11 Dec Leeds Socialist Party: Campaigning workshop

triangle11 Dec Bristol North Socialist Party: Christmas Quiz

triangle12 Dec Birmingham South East Socialist Party: Can the Labour Party be changed?

triangle12 Dec Liverpool Socialist Party: Fighting council cuts

More ...

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

Archive

Archives:

December 2017

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