Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1051/29412
From The Socialist newspaper, 31 July 2019
Enfield: 100% council homes at Meridian Water!
Build council homes, photo Scott Lewis/CC (Click to enlarge)
Enfield Socialist Party members
A big meeting of local residents and trade unionists in Edmonton, North London, agreed to set up a new housing campaign to fight for 100% council homes at Meridian Water, the biggest redevelopment project in London.
The meeting was called by Enfield's fighting, no-cuts councillor, Tolga Amaraz - recently suspended by the Labour Party for refusing to vote for cuts - along with other anti-austerity Corbyn-supporting Labour Party members who have organised as Enfield Labour Socialists.
Socialist Party members enthusiastically took part and will be helping to build a campaign to force this right-wing Labour council to change course.
The development is Labour's chance to end the housing crisis in Enfield instead of handing publicly owned brownfield (ex-industrial) land to private property developers and guaranteeing only 75 council homes in the first phase - and none at all in the second phase!
The initial plans for Meridian Water are to build 10,000 homes, but even if only 5,000 get built because of protections on the land, it would still be enough to solve Enfield's housing crisis.
There are over 3,400 households in Enfield in temporary accommodation, the second highest in the whole country, costing the council £8 million a year. 4,500 are on the council waiting list.
In Enfield, over £150 million is paid in housing benefit to subsidise private landlords. As Tolga said, "socialism is cheaper!"
The meeting gave a little glimpse of what could be achieved if, instead of bowing down before the Tories, Labour councillors made a stand.
One rebel councillor and some Labour members who genuinely want the party to act as the champion of working-class people, have galvanised a great start to what could be a major campaign.
Imagine the impact if Jeremy Corbyn was calling on Labour councils across the country to do the same.
A general election is looming and there could be a Jeremy Corbyn-led Labour government very soon - so what's the issue? As several speakers said, there is no reason to wait for a Labour government.
The council should make a stand now, use reserves and borrow the money, and lead a big campaign for the resources necessary from the government.
Socialist Party members pointed out that Haringey right-wing councillors were removed by the members when the left got organised to deselect them. Enfield cutters and privatisers be warned - if you're not prepared to build council houses, others are waiting in the wings who will!
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In The Socialist 31 July 2019:
What we think
Boris, Brexit and British capitalism
CWI refounded with determination and confidence
"The longest, darkest days of my life": fighting Universal Credit
Socialist Party news and analysis
Build a working-class movement to force an election
Labour promises to end council privatisation: councils must do that now!
Tories look in wrong place for climate solutions
Lib Dems: little bosses' party elects eager pro-austerity leader
Aristocrats are rich after all... and getting richer
International socialist news and analysis
Mass movement topples governor of Puerto Rico
Hong Kong: the struggle for democratic rights escalates
Workplace news and analysis
Lobby the TUC for workers' action to defeat Johnson
Northern Ireland: Harland and Wolff shipyard workers enter occupation
"Enough is enough": 20,000 Northern Ireland civil servants strike against pay restraint
Plymouth posties deliver defiant message to bullying bosses
"BEIS: stop pISSing about and give outsourcing the boot!"
Hackney transport strike - blockade foils employers
Sainsbury's distribution workers' second 24-hour strike against cuts to sick pay
Nottingham Deliveroo riders strike against unfair algorithm
Bromley library workers strike against running down
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
Enfield: 100% council homes at Meridian Water!
Walthamstow shopping centre fire: people's plan - not disaster capitalism
Tolpuddle festival 2019: socialist policies to end Tory rule and austerity
Barking: campaigning over housing safety
July climate strikes: link up with the workers' movement
Ilford: parents and teachers unite against school cuts
Boris Johnson 'coronation' - demos say: boot him out!
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