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From The Socialist newspaper, 5 June 2019

Neglected Newham tenants demand action

Housing demo, London, 13.3.16, photo Martin Powell-Davies

Housing demo, London, 13.3.16, photo Martin Powell-Davies   (Click to enlarge)

Ian Pattison, East London Socialist Party

For decades, repairs on the homes on the Lawrence Street estate in Canning Town, east London, have been neglected. These homes have also been under threat of demolition. 30 residents met on 30 May to discuss their problems.

The kitchens are in a terrible state. The windows need fixing. "What about mould?", the chair asked. Most of the hands shoot up.

Fly tipping and public safety are pressing issues. "Do you feel safe?" Everyone laughs. "Do you see police?" "No!", the room bellows back.

Everyone present filled in a survey with their issues. The campaign is going to keep a log, and hold the council to account. Most worryingly, the estate is threatened with demolition. This must end now.

Newham's Labour councillors were meeting next door. Eventually one, Shaban Mohammed, turned up to the meeting with the local right-wing Labour MP, Lynn Brown. The MP didn't say much. And didn't stay long!

The councillor complained there is a housing shortage. Then build more council homes!

He said he used to oppose regeneration, before he was a Labour councillor. Now he wants "regeneration that works for tenants." If that means fixing the repairs pronto, great! But if that means demolishing the estate and jacking up the prices, so tenants are forced out, absolutely not!

Before the councillor spoke, people were demanding repairs. After he spoke, there was talk of a rent strike!

The Socialist Party demands that the campaign starts by saying "we won't move", was echoed in the discussion. Just like the Butterfields tenants did in Waltham Forest, when an entire street that successfully fought eviction.

The Labour council should immediately stop making cuts. And use its enormous reserves - 500 million in Newham - and borrowing powers to invest in services and repairs and build council homes.

Housing maintenance workers in Newham have been forced to strike against pay cuts.

Lawrence Street residents can take inspiration from last year's victories against school privatisation/academisation in Newham by the National Education Union led by its secretary, and Socialist Party member, Louise Caffaro.

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In The Socialist 5 June 2019:


What we think

Corbyn must go on the offensive against the right with socialist policies


News

Tories deny dire poverty ...look around you! Boot out the Tories

Reverse the GP cuts

Theresa May admits tuition fees system is broken - but plans new attacks on students

Laughable research denies low-pay scandal

Them & Us


Tiananmen square

The Tiananmen Square massacre - 30 years on


Workplace news

Strike together to kick out the Tories!

Nationalise the threatened Glasgow 'Caley' railway depot

Welsh train fleet workers' victory

Fighting to stop school meals privatisation

UCU conference 2019: Preparing for struggle

Sexual harassment of LGBT+ workers shows need for unions to fight

Universal Credit workers' strike


International socialist news and analysis

India: Modi victory underlines need for real socialist fightback

Counter-revolution in Sudan


Nineteen Eighty-Four

70 years since the publication of Nineteen Eighty-Four: "But if there was hope, it lay in the proles"


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Tens of thousands march against Trump

Worcester libraries campaign victory

South Yorkshire: No to fire service cuts!

Protesters condemn Tory candidate

Step forward for campaign to reverse mobility pass cuts in Nottingham

LS26 campaign lobbies council to save their homes

Neglected Newham tenants demand action

Protest against Send education funding cuts


 

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