Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/26694

Posted on 12 January 2018 at 17:05 GMT

Waltham Forest: outrage against 'monster block' plan

Waltham Forest Socialist Party members

On 11 January 140 people crammed into a Waltham Forest Trades Council Housing Action Network meeting.

This was called in opposition to plans to tear up our town square, build a monster tower block 29 stories high, build four more blocks on public land and reduce open space by a third.

The proposal also includes chopping down 81 trees and moving a children's playground to the most polluted part of the square, just in front of the bus station.

And after all that, this development will make not a dent in the 20,000 people who are deemed as in 'housing need' in the borough. The community is in uproar.

There is a palpable feeling in London that the city is being gobbled up by billionaires and spiv builders while the working class is cleared out. And this phenomenon is extending elsewhere in the country too.

Trades council secretary and Socialist Party member Linda Taaffe chaired the meeting. She made it clear that even though the decision had been made by the Labour-controlled planning committee, we in no way see it as the end of the campaign.

The Save Walthamstow's Town Centre campaign has been active for over two years and Socialist Party members have been involved since then.

At the meeting, leading campaigner David and others outlined a strategy to help force either the majority-Labour council or the property company to withdraw.

We believe that we should use every tool available to us to get this monster block stopped - and this was endorsed at the meeting.

Campaign plans

Some will investigate launching a judicial review. Some will attempt to use their influence inside the Labour Party to get London mayor Sadiq Khan to enforce his proposal that all developments should be 50% affordable.

The meeting also agreed to target the developers, Capital and Reginal, so some people are researching opportunities to do this.

Many in the room were chomping at the bit to move to the agenda item to discuss the mass activity, which will be a key tactic of the campaign. We agreed to hold a community demonstration on 24 February to occupy the square for the day in a show of strength and to proclaim that 'this land is our land'!

Finally we discussed May's local elections. There were Tories and Liberal Democrats in the room. Those parties have implemented austerity and cut the local government grant.

Socialist Party members made it clear that we have no truck with them using this campaign to opportunistically feather their own nests - the blame lies at their door.

But these decisions are being driven through by Waltham Forest council - a Labour council. In fact, at council level, London is mostly a Labour city.

Right-wing Labour councillors have developed a certain arrogant idea that they are 'untouchable'. But in the face of big cuts to the grants from central government, a crisis of council funding and a huge housing crisis, they are now scrabbling about to save their positions.

At the meeting a Labour Party activist described the councillors as being "caught". To some extent that is true.

Some are caught by their own sense of entitlement to a position, and others by clinging to the outdated neoliberal policies of yesteryear - without realising that the tide is turning.

May's local elections

A speaker from Haringey, who is also in the Labour Party, explained how they managed to funnel the anger against the Haringey Development Vehicle through the Labour Party by getting anti-HDV candidates selected for May's elections.

Here in Waltham Forest a motion has been passed in at least one Labour Party branch opposing the plans.

The Socialist Party welcomes this. But right-wing pro-gentrification councillors have been reselected almost without exception for the local elections.

This means that one of the Labour candidates for High Street ward, which will be worst affected by the development, is right-wing council leader Clare Coghill.

Haringey is one of very few exceptions. In general there has not been a campaign by the left inside Labour to deselect the Blairites.

This has led to the boat being missed to change council candidates in time for May. Theo from the Socialist Party explained that Labour councillors have a choice in what policies they implement and they should refuse to bend to Tory housing or austerity policies.

Instead they should unite with the campaign to fight for the money needed for local services and social housing.

Socialist Party members argued that working class people, and all those being mobilised by this campaign, deserve better than a choice between the Tories, Liberal Democrats or right-wing Labour.

We need real anti-austerity, anti-gentrification candidates. Nancy Taaffe from the Socialist Party invited anyone interested in this type of a challenge to meet in the Red Room of the Rose and Crown pub on 20 February at 7.30pm.


This version of this article was first posted on the Socialist Party website on 12 January 2018 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:

Waltham Forest:

triangleEast London public square threat halted

triangleWaltham Forest Socialist Party: Brexit - the socialist viewpoint

triangleWaltham Forest Socialist Party: Fascism - what it is and how to fight it

triangleWaltham Forest Socialist Party: What is communism?

triangleWaltham Forest Socialist Party: Building the movement for socialism this autumn

Labour:

triangleCorbyn supporter wins Welsh Labour leadership

triangleJohn Maclean - revolutionary fighter of the working class

triangleTory chaos reaches fever pitch

triangleFight Cardiff Council's school cuts

Council:

triangleHull council workers fight to protect sick pay

triangleNorthamptonshire council crisis continues

triangleLeeds TUC conference to organise fight against austerity

Socialist Party:

triangleThe Socialist quiz of 2018

triangleCardiff East Socialist Party: Imperialism and war

Socialist:

triangleGive us a bumper Christmas cash boost!

Austerity:

triangleWomen's Lives Matter national meeting - a determination to fight cuts to domestic violence services

Walthamstow:

triangleWalthamstow Socialist Party: Who were 'the Militant'?

Anti-austerity:

triangleHaringey 'Corbyn council': end the secrecy and confusion - lead a fight against the cuts

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

13/12/18

Strike

UCU Wales suspends FE strike action

12/12/18

Domestic violence

Women's Lives Matter national meeting - a determination to fight cuts to domestic violence services

12/12/18

London

Jobs and homes not racism - kick the Tories out!

12/12/18

TUSC

New twist in Derby TUSC election agent case

12/12/18

Socialist Students

Socialist Students LJMU victory

12/12/18

Union

Workplace news in brief

12/12/18

Cheshire

Veolia waste workers vote for action in Cheshire

12/12/18

Hull

Hull council workers fight to protect sick pay

12/12/18

Hull

Spontaneous hull walkouts stick two fingers up at Tory anti-trade union laws

12/12/18

Chris Baugh

Select Chris Baugh as Left Unity AGS candidate

12/12/18

Shipyard

Strike action saves jobs at Cammell Laird shipyard

12/12/18

Airport

'Stansted 15' - outrageous guilty verdict

12/12/18

Fighting Fund

Give us a bumper Christmas cash boost!

12/12/18

Liverpool

Liverpool seafarers demand better conditions

5/12/18

CWU

WHSmith: hands off our Post Offices!

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0784 114 4890

North West 07769 611 320

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


December 2018

November 2018

October 2018

September 2018

August 2018

July 2018

June 2018

May 2018

April 2018

March 2018

February 2018

January 2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999