Lambeth Spend over £1.3m on Legal Fees

Dear Councillors,

Lambeth’s social cleansing exercise known as ‘shortlife recall’ has now cost over £1.3m in legal fees.  Lambeth have even taken a case to court again after losing it on numerous previous occasions, thereby ensuring that money spent on legal fees continues to increase.

This money has been spent on evicting long-term housing co-op residents, some of whom have been in their homes since 1974.  

Meanwhile, Lambeth has refused a social housing settlement that could have saved up to £13m.

Aside from the costs of the legal action against us, and rehousing people who have homes, there is also the cost of surveyors, auctioneers, vacant property managers, and employing ‘shortlife’ officers.

Then there are the costs that will be created by moving vulnerable people outside of supportive communities – this means that they will have to rely on social services to pick up the pieces for them after their lives are profoundly disturbed by their eviction. 

You’ve already been told about one man who collapsed four days before his trial with a heart attack and about an elderly cancer sufferer who had to undergo one eviction and who – we believe – may face another eviction.  Then there are cases of mentally vulnerable people whose conditions have worsened because of this vindictive policy.  You don’t seem to care much – and if you do you’re not speaking loudly enough to help.

Meanwhile, the destination of the monies raised by booting out some of the borough’s longest-term residents has been consistently hidden, with FOIs on the matter deemed ‘vexatious’.  When Lambeth don’t like the questions it moves the goalposts.  How democratic.

We think you need reminding of the clear statements made by Lambeth Labour councillors in support of us – support that has now disappeared in a flash of self-interest, careerism and short-termism:

“We have reminded colleagues and officers that some of these homes would not be standing if it was not for the work of the people living in them.”

“It would be senseless as well as expensive to evict people only to have to re-house them again.”

“Labour will continue to fight for your right to stay in your home.”

Now Lambeth Labour support evictions.  You are liars, pure and simple.

We will never vote for you again, we will never trust you again – but you might at least earn some respect if those remaining in homes they’ve maintained are able to continue living in them and pay their rent for their homes directly to the council – something that you have never allowed and yet – in an example of gross hypocrisy – you come after us for spurious ‘use and occupation charges’ as a means of legal coercion.

The housing co-op evictions have exposed this authority as lacking on every possible level.  Most councillors are completely unaware of the community break-up tactics employed by your officers – aka ‘the henchmen from Hackney’ – and their lack of curiosity or moral response does them no credit.

You might sit there thinking that a national swing gives you some kind of unassailable local mandate, but what’s the use of all that power if you can’t exercise it with honour? 

You can be assured that this email has been copied as widely as possible to again raise the issue and keep it in the public domain.

We would happily let the public know about an honourable resolution as much as keep them informed about your dishonourable actions so far – but that’s down to you…
Twitter: @LUHousingCoop


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