From: Julian Hall
Sent: 28 October 2013 22:03
To: Peck,Lib Cllr
Cc: Kate Hoey; Anderson,Derrick
Subject: RE: Housing co-op evictions in Lambeth
Dear Cllr Peck,
During last Thursday’s ‘Meet the Leader’ event at the Omnibus centre in Clapham you said that if there had been a scheme for ‘shortlife’ housing co-ops which gave the council a bigger financial return then you would have adopted it.
In order for the council to get what it sees as its due financial return from homes it has had nothing to do with for nearly 40 years, this scheme had to be either:
a. us buying our houses, which you have already admitted in correspondence that only a minority could afford to do
b. going in with a Registered Social Landlord happy to accept paying a high percentage of market rate and keeping us in situ, again very unlikely
Your remark is interesting because it reveals (again) that there really is no bar to keeping ‘shortlifers’ in situ, though we have often been told that there is.
Furthermore, if you really believed that there could ever be such a solution why wasn’t the council helping us find it rather than ploughing ahead with an eviction process?
This is bearing in mind that we have already brought a social housing solution to the council numerous times within the last year (with the backing of social housing and co-op professionals), so there was certainly a basis on which to form a working party.
When we met Steve Reed last year at a South Bank Forum meeting he asked us who was helping us with our business plan and said to write to him and to Derrick Anderson, which we did – some time later we had our first meeting with you. Steve Reed had also raised the prospect of finding a backer, in fact he told a Croydon newspaper (who pressed him on the issue before the Croydon North by-election) that:
“If there’s a way to get an outside financier or bank to purchase those homes so we can recoup the cost over a period of time by acting as a stand alone social landlord, perhaps there’s a way like that we can come up with a compromise that everyone benefits from.”
Ultimately, despite these statements, it seems that Lambeth Council has preferred to have us out of the way and weren’t ever sincerely interested in any other kind of settlement except eviction, even though it meant ripping apart long standing communities.
So, last Thursday might you as well have said if the moon was made of cheese you could have broken a bit off for us?!
If there was any sincere willingness behind your comments (and, indeed, those of your predecessor) then now is the time to act on it. Clearly, if a solution is to be reached it requires flexibility and a positive, pro-active approach from the council, which has been lacking so far.
On 30 Oct 2013, at 16:15, “Peck,Lib Cllr”
Thanks for your note and also attending the question time last week.
I really don’t have anything else to add to my comments on the night or indeed the conversations that we have had over the last year.
There is no lack of intention on our side to come to a better solution for some of the short life residents – though I appreciate you don’t believe that. But despite the experience of coop housing professionals, who you have introduced to the discussion, and others who have met with the Council separately, no-one has yet suggested anything that is workable.
Councillor Lib Peck
Leader of Lambeth Council
Labour, Thornton ward
Phone: 020 7926 1167
Fax: 020 7926 2049
Lambeth Town Hall
Lambeth – the cooperative council
Cllr Peck’s Personal web links*
These external websites are not operated or sponsored by Lambeth Council. These are personal websites operated by councillor Peck and the Labour Group in their capacity as a party members. The council is not responsible for the content of these sites, and the views expressed through them do not necessarily reflect the views of the council.
It is grossly unfair to say that solutions offered have not been feasible. Our experts only came along because they believed our solution to be workable. What you mean to say is that they could not work within your parameters which have not moved sufficiently to approach a compromise.
I note that you have not tackled the issue of the council being pro-active in finding a solution, which says it all really.