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From The Socialist newspaper, 8 November 2017

Housing campaigners ask Corbyn to instruct Labour council regeneration ballots

Protesting against the effects of the housing crisis, photo Paul Mattsson

Protesting against the effects of the housing crisis, photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

Waltham Forest Housing Action Network has sent the following letter to Jeremy Corbyn following his conference speech in which he called on Labour councils to hold ballots on regeneration schemes, something which other housing campaigns could replicate.

Dear Jeremy Corbyn,

We are writing to you to request that you instruct Labour-controlled councils, and particularly London Labour councils, to act upon your Labour conference speech about holding ballots on regeneration schemes now.

Losing your home or your child's play space is something that can't wait until an election is called - more importantly, we believe it is within Labour councils' power to help slow these schemes down.

We appeal to you to act upon your words at Labour conference and instruct Labour councillors to hold ballots that would support tenants to defend their homes.

Generally there is a deep cynicism among people regarding 'public consultations' which too often are seen as tick box exercises that are ultimately ignored.

Your conference speech brought people to their feet when you echoed this sentiment.

We very much agree that genuine consultations are required, ones that have binding outcomes.

We too are calling for public consultations that end with binding ballots. We believe that this would restore trust in many Labour areas, where, as you rightly said, "tenants and leaseholders feel ignored and not listened to."

At a recent 'Homes for all - axe the Housing Act' meeting we heard reports from activists from Haringey to Southwark where majority Labour councils were continuing with the kind of demolition, regeneration and the social cleansing you so strongly condemned in your speech.

Please act now by issuing a statement to Labour councillors to initiate ballots and binding referenda to stop the onslaught of ruthless property developers, to stop tenants from being forced out and the stock of council properties being reduced.

We look forward to your reply.

Sincerely,

Nancy Taaffe (on behalf of Waltham Forest Housing Action Network)

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