Thursday, 14 May 2009

Cllr. Greenhalgh Admits He's Talking With Property Speculators About Knocking Down Our Homes

On Wednesday, 29th April we took Tory Council Leader, Cllr. Stephen Greenhalgh, to task after he admitted his Conservative run Administration was in talks with property speculators to knock down our homes.

We attended his self styled 'Leader Listens' meeting at St. Paul's Church Hammersmith. This meeting was poorly advertised and made inaccessible by a requirement to 'register an interest' ahead of time. But some of us found out about it and turned up anyway.

A number of residents stood up and questioned Cllr Greenhalgh about his plans for our homes. They described the levels of distress, fear and anger amongst residents and were impressively dignified and polite, given the strength of their feelings. But they were also resolute and well informed and under the pressure of a continuous barrage of questions Cllr. Greenhalgh came clean and admitted what was happening, having previously denied this was the case.

He did say that we would be not be made homeless. But we all knew that as it would currently be illegal under national law and no matter what happens the Council has a legal duty to house us. We have never said that the Council intends to make us homeless but that they want to take away our homes and destroy a thriving community. Cllr.Greenhalgh refused to say where we would all be moved to and failed to explain how he could house thousands of people in our borough if he knocks down estates, sells off street properties and has stopped building any new rented social housing. One resident picked up on this and said that she didn't want to be moved to Barking or east London.

Click on the attached picture to read more. We will report more on this meeting and how we intend to fight to SAVE OUR HOMES.


  1. It's just wrong.
    When I was 12 years old our house was condemned as 'unfit for human habitation' by the council. Along with all our neighbours we were forced to leave a close knit and caring community who were all happy living with our makeshift bathrooms and outside loos. Nobody wanted to move but we were caught in the middle of a determined property speculator and a willing council who wanted to assist his purchase and demolish 40 victorian houses. Our homes were in a wonderful location, facing the common and tennis courts. None of the tenants had complained about the fact that we had to go outside to the loo and the council had been quite happy to ignore our area for years and not force the landlord to improve the properties. We were privately rented tenants, so why assist in this loss of 40 solid homes which could have been improved and not demolished? I have no proof that money changed hands, but there were suspicions - why suddenly did the council have such concern for our welfare? So when I heard about what was likely to happen on Queen Caroline Estate, it actually brought back a lot of memories about what it felt like to face the enforced removal from your home, the loss of community, the lack of control over your future. Although our removal was a long time ago, it still reminds me of the misery and anxiety that the process produced. We were all split up and sent all over the borough. We got flats and houses with bathrooms and inside toilets but we had lost our community and sense of belonging. Elderly people who had lived for generations in the same house died prematurely and one neighbour actually committed suicide some years later - it may have been something unconnected but we were told that he never settled into his new home and felt isolated. What the ignorant council didn't realise is that homes are more than toilets and bathrooms. When you destroy a community, the spirit dies. Queen Caroline Estate is unique in that it has a wonderful location and views, is small enough to be able to develop and nurture that sense of community and looks in good enough condition to survive for many years. What the council is planning to do, is so similar to what happened to our homes all those years ago. Of course you will never be able to prove that money has changed hands, but the suspicion will linger; why would the council be so keen to work in partnership with a property speculator - I can't believe that it is selflessness on their part. What do they, as individuals stand to gain from this plan and from this relationship? Like some of our less honourable MP's they seem to have forgotton that it is you who elected them, not the property speculator, that they are there to work with and for the community and not destroy it. I wish you luck - you will need it, because a determined property speculator and a misguided council are dangerous opponents indeed!
    Good luck.

  2. my sister and nephew live on this estate, and breathed a sigh of relief when they arrived having been in temporary accomodation for some years, they have spent money [they havent really got] making it cosy and have been able to put down roots, is all this so lightly taken away? I find it incredible that blatant lies are told by elected councillors and that this is not punishable in some way. Why are our councillors people, apparently working for us, lying TO us? it seems inconceivable to me that this is allowable and that they can get away with it. And makes me very angry in these days of apparent 'transparency'. I'd laugh if it wasn't so dreadful! Keep up the good work, you deserve to be there just as much as the 'elected' councillors and businessmen. Is it that theres some implied belief that 'social housing' is occupied by the poor, worthless members of society, when in actual fact it is full of people working to create better lives for themselves and their families?
    such a lovely site ,close to the river and all those million pound properties i wonder whose voices will get heard?? SHOUT LOUD! good luck. cathy Hack

  3. The sad thing about this affair is that in these days of politicians treating themselves to a life of luxury at the expense of voters it's not surprising that a sell off like this is being attempted. It has everything doesnt it, right down to clandestine meetings with property speculators in exotic locations!
    This estate has just been completely refurbished and is a solid community. I think the local council is going to find that out to their lament. The climate is changing, people will no longer put up with the dodgy deals. This time is the wrong time for these shenanigans. Take the greedy bastards down, HANDS OFF QUEEN CAROLINE ESTATE!

  4. I have visited your estate many times and always think how important it is that not only the wealthy or the trendy have access to such a great position by the Thames. I live in Brighton and have seen how the developers have built up around our train station but are now struggling to sell the properties. How outrageous it would be if you were forced out of your homes to then see a similar fate happen.

    Keep going - the times are so uncertain that the Tory councillors are far more likely to go than yourselves!!