West Ken & Gibbs Green Community Homes – West Kensington & Gibbs Green Tenants & Residents Associations
PRESS NOTICE: 15 MARCH 2012
DOUBLE TROUBLE KILLS EARL’S COURT SCHEME
Government says yes to empowerment! Community says no to demolition!
Left to Right: Executive Director of Housing and Regeneration, Melbourne Barrett (holding the WKGGCH response), Shirley Wiggins, Chair of West Ken & Gibbs Green Community Homes (holding over 650 resident responses) and WKGGCH Board member Rita Vlahopoulou.
West Kensington & Gibbs Green residents have welcomed the Government’s publication of draft regulations for a new Right to Transfer, which empowers them to take over their homes.
Through regulations, published for consultation today, S34A of the 1985 Housing Act will give the Secretary of State power to force councils to co-operate with requests from tenants to transfer the ownership of their homes to the community. http://www.communities.gov.uk/news/housing/2107157
Housing Minister Grant Shapps “challenged tenants who feel their landlords have neglected their neighbourhood to exercise their rights and take matters into their own hands”:
“I want to make it easier than ever for council tenants to take charge of local services, from minor repairs to major regeneration. And it will no longer be acceptable for councils to dismiss tenants’ proposals for improvement out of hand. Nobody knows the needs of a neighbourhood better than the local community. Now I want to see tenants use these powers to prove us right.”
This long expected announcement spells certain death for the Earl’s Court scheme, which depends on the demolition of the West Kensington & Gibbs Green estates, where residents have long since proven their determination to use S34A to save and take over their homes.
It comes bang after residents’ 12 March massive response to Hammersmith & Fulham Council’s proposal to sell their homes to the developer for demolition. A huge majority voted No by a factor of several to one. Indeed, an absolute majority (in excess of 55%, perhaps 60% or more) of all households voted to save the estates.
And, Council Leader Stephen Greenhalgh got more than he bargained for when he personally asked West Kensington & Gibbs Green residents: “to spend a few moments to write some comments in the boxes … this is the time to say what you really think”.
Many hundreds poured out their personal thoughts and feelings in a torrent of upset, anger and outright defiance. Although some sent their forms straight to the Council, most residents entrusted them to their elected associations for safe delivery.
The scale of the consultation response is unprecedented, involving nearly 1,000 residents, aged 4 to 92, half the total estates’ population. Additionally, their associations submitted a Response to Council consultation on CLSA exposing the many defects in the consultation process and the fatal flaws in the documents relied on by the Council.
Over 550 responses, where people wrote material additional to the standard associations’ response, are available through this link: http://tinyurl.com/7uhhgye
A full list of response titles, with an explanation of their codes, is attached as additional information to this press notice.
Shirley Wiggins, Chair of West Ken & Gibbs Green Community Homes, said:
We are thrilled to bits! The Government’s support for us to take over our homes comes hot on the heels of residents’ overwhelming vote against demolition. The people have decided: the Earl’s Court scheme is dead. Now we are very excited about transferring our homes so the community can take charge of this neighbourhood.
Diana Belshaw, Chair of Gibbs Green Tenants & Residents Associations, said:
Council Leader Stephen Greenhalgh has always claimed he will only go ahead with this dreadful scheme if it benefits residents. On humanitarian grounds alone, and given how many elderly and vulnerable people are suffering now from the anxiety and stress he and the developer are causing, they should cancel the scheme immediately.
Sally Taylor, Chair of West Kensington Tenants & Residents Associations, said:
I’m so proud of our community. Hundreds of residents have written about how much they love their homes and care about their neighbours. Anyone who reads what people say can’t fail to be moved. The Council told us that by taking over the estates we would prevent our homes being included in the redevelopment proposal. It’s plain the demolition scheme is well and truly finished.
Jonathan Rosenberg, Community Organiser for the estates said:
Residents’ responses provide a rare and extensive glimpse into the homes and minds of people whose voices normally go unrecorded. Many have not put pen to paper for years, cannot spell or compose grammatically, and or have English as a second language. Yet, these idiosyncrasies only lend weight and colour to people’s powerful expressions of emotion and extraordinary proclamation of community.
Website and Photos
Our website https://westkengibbsgreen.wordpress.com has:
- Photos freely available for use. Please credit West Ken & Gibbs Green. Images include: Chair handing over residents’ responses (12 March); Nine year old girl presenting her “letter to the Governor” asking not to be made homeless (29 February); group shot outside town hall with posters; residents put on the boxing gloves at their Summer Festival; views of both estates etc.
- Drawings submitted by two girls aged six and eight and three cartoons submitted by a 15 year old boy.
- Recent newsletters and other key documents.
For regular updates on our campaign, follow us on Twitter @PeoplesEstates
Further information: contact Jonathan Rosenberg, Community Organiser, 020 8960 7620; 07961 301 801; firstname.lastname@example.org
Residents’ responses identify thousands of highly negative impacts that affect especially children and their mothers, teenagers, elderly people, and those who have little or no English. The letter covering the residents associations’ response from the residents’ associations summarises the main equality impacts.
Response codes and titles
The code in front of each response title identifies gender, age, and tenure. The tenure abbreviations are: CT=council tenant; LH=leaseholder; FH=freeholder; PT=private tenant; HA=housing association tenant; LG=lodger; WA=resident of the wider area. The first essay code is F04CT, which means female, 4 years old, council tenant. Each title is an extract from that particular essay.
F04CT I like my house; F05PT People might get angry; F06CT I am 6; F06CT I love my estates; F06CT I am very worry; F06PT I play in playground; F06PT No, no! F07CT Knock down your own home! F07CT You are a big bully and…; F08CT Please don’t knock down our homes! F08CT My friends walk me to school; F08CT What about people? F09CT Demolish other places! F09CT So, don’t sell our homes; F09CT That is rude! F09HA It makes sad and angry; F09HA You are being cruel! F09PT To the Governor;
F10CT Don’t contact me! F10CT Respect the wishes of majority! F11PT I hope my words…; F12CT The estate is not noisy or messy; F12CT I know my way around; F13CT I’d be very depressed; F13CT No David! Our Society! F13HA Make more money with buildings F13PT You are making us homeless! F14CT Memories thrown away! F14CT My friends all live here; F14CT This is pathetic! F14CT You can’t make me move! F15CT Blackmail, insulting! F15CT Emotional, social and ethical…; F15CT Very shocking! F15HA May not be accommodating; F15HA You can shove your promises! F15PT Don’t tear down our neighbourhood! F16CT Children-teenagers point of view; F16CT Don’t take away freedom of speech! F16CT Very out of order! F17CT Great sense of loss; F17CT Council spoon-feeding residents; F18CT It is a selfish act! F18CT Kicked out! F18CT Not going anywhere! F18CT Of course I’m concerned; F18HA Major negative effect; F18HA Should focus on kids’ future; F18HA I will talk to my neighbours; F18HA Very selfish indeed! F19HA I dread the idea!
F20CT Ballots would be democratic; F20CT I refuse to move! F20HA It’s stupid! F20HA Piece of s###! F20HA They don’t give a f###! F21LH No one listens! F22CT It’s a bad idea! F22CT Start all over again; F22CT Stubbornness to stay put; F22CT WKGGCH should have ownership; F22PT Agree! F23CT Council totally and utterly wrong! F23LH Council refuses to help; F23LH It made me cry! F23PT They can’t rule over the people! F24CT I have two babies! F24CT I love my community! F24CT You must listen! F25CT Don’t demolish! F25CT Elderly and disabled don’t deserve it; F25CT It’s horrible! F25CT No offer to me; F25FH Everyone looks out for each other; F25HA I will not move! F25PT Detriment to the wider area; F25PT Wrong to knocked down! F26CT False promises! F26CT No one asked me! F26PT It’s bull s###! F26PT Too bad! F27FH Lead to overcrowding; F27HA One way conversation; F29CT I don’t want the money! F29PT No promise for me!
F30CT The demolishment is unnecessary! F30CT They don’t want to know! F30CT They shouldn’t shut us down! F30HA The scheme is crap! F31CT Cause us great distress! F31CT I love my neighbours! F31CT No focus on the people; F31CT Tell us the truth! F31PT I feel very bad! F32CT Discrimination against lower income people; F32CT I don’t want the community destroyed! F32CT I will fight this demolition all the way to the end! F32CT My home is beautiful! F32CT It’s going to upset the children! F32FH Plans need to be honest! F32LG I will be made homeless with my child! F32PT We will be homeless! F33CT Just out for their selves! F33CT Of course I don’t want this to happen! F33CT The developer’s hidden agenda; F33PT Demolition is not right! F33PT So much extra cost! F34CT I’m being conned and blackmailed! F34CT Not shown me any respect; F34PT Please don’t! F35CT My children like the place! F35CT Negative on the community; F35CT Our voices must be heard! F35HA I will be hugely disadvantaged! F36CT Enough to cause stress! F36CT We should be able to vote! F36PT People help each other; F36PT Take care of her; F37CT Don’t destroy our homes! F37CT Don’t sell to developer! F37CT I am flabbergasted! F37CT I have spent a lot of money; F37CT I love my home! F37HA Awful thing to do! F37HA Stop bullying me! F37PT Neighbours help with new born baby; F38CT £££ signs! F38CT Hands off the community! F38CT I don’t want to be demolished! F38CT Misleading information from Council; F38CT Treated us stupidly! F38CT You’ve secret agreement; F38PT I came from Iraq! F38PT My family, nowhere else to go; F39CT The future is dark for me; F39CT I feel very stressed! F39CT Scheme is not beneficial to residents; F39CT You disregarded us! F39FH You must be heartless! F39HA WKGGCH is the way forward; F39LH We are being exploited!
F40CT Five children, better off in this house; F40CT Not been translated; F40FH Money to the developer; F40HA Get out please! F41CT Calling where we live slums! F41CT Diabolical! F41CT Making money out of people’s vulnerability; F41CT Very bad thing! F41CT You didn’t tell me! F41HA Adding stress; F41LH This will devalue my property; F42CT Don’t destroy! Don’t sell! F42CT F### You! Keep Out! F42CT I don’t believe the Council; F42CT I see no reason for destroying; F42CT I will never leave this home! F42CT Leave me alone! F42CT Poor to be squashed; F42CT The developer wants to throw us out! F42CT We did hard work! F42CT Will affect my well-being; F42HA I have done a lot of planting; F42HA It is a shame to be brought down! F42PT I am worried about harm to elderly; F43CT Don’t trust the Council one bit! F43CT Residents’ emotional attachment to the community; F43CT Our future, our lives, our homes! F43HA Both my children have disability; F43HA I will be scared! F43HA Last thing I want! F43HA Stop lying! F44CT Confusing and unclear! F44CT I will chain myself to the doors! F44CT So very angry! F44CT You are stopping me! F44HA Put poor people in bushes! F44PT Please respect the people! F45CT For them to say…; F45CT Give us the vote! F45CT I love my home! F45CT I Object very strongly! F45CT I’ll watch you fail! F45CT This is my neighbourhood! F45HA I am settled here! F45HA Listening to its pockets; F45HA You just don’t care! F45LH My only dream is to keep my home! F46CT Very condescending! F46HA Really annoying me! F46HA Seems a waste! F46HA What happened to the Conservatives’ Big Community? F47CT Already own my own white goods; F47CT Please listen! F47CT Thrown away! F47FH Your assurances are a sham! F47HA Kicking us around like a football! F48CT I am not impressed! F48FH Neighbourhood means everything! F48HA Very worrying; F48PT We should be self-governing; F49CT Allow residents to vote! F49HA They’ll disregard the estates!
F50CT Asthmatic, building site; F50CT Community housing a brilliant idea! F50CT Good community spirit; F50CT We look out for one another like a family; F50CT Stay out! F50CT To be stuffed some other place; F50FH This is a great neighbourhood! F50LH I want to see tenant ownership! F50PT I feel completely rejected! F51CT You say one thing…; F51LH Adversely affect residents; F52CT Get out of my house! F52CT How dare you! F52CT Money is nothing! F52CT Security and belonging; F52HA I have set roots down; F53CT I don’t think they take my opinion…; F53HA Disabled adaptations; F54CT Blocking off my choices! F54CT Bulldozer to take me out! F54CT I Feel betrayed! F54CT I have to sleep in the kitchen; F55CT This is my final decision! F55FH Get stuffed! F55PT We don’t want to be homeless! F56HA The promises don’t make sense! F56LH Council is on one-track mission; F57CT They talk utter rubbish! F57FH Against my wishes! F57HA It makes me feel violated! F58CT Uprooting destabilizes family and neighbourhood; F59CT Treated as an idiot! F59FH Plans are unnecessary; F59HA Social cleansing
F60CT Good community spirit; F60CT Making feel sad; F60CT My neighbours are good friends; F61CT Disabled and need to stay; F61CT Force us into hutches! F61CT Jargon hide their lies! F61LH I’ve experienced dictatorship! F62CT A very important argument…; F64LH I am disabled after a brain tumour; F64LH Put to Outer Mongolia if lucky; F65CT Cannot replace what I have got; F65CT Council, stop that! F65CT I must not move! F65CT Load of rubbish! F67CT I am appalled and upset! F68CT All about greed! F68CT You make me feel terrible! F68CT Full of s##t! F68CT The Council is running down the estate; F68CT Sell to a company saddled with debt; F68CT You only want to build private homes; F69CT I have a right to be heard! F69HA Leave us alone! F69LH The Council are mean!
F70CT This is causing a lot of stress! F70CT High class people will benefit; F70CT Many people will go homeless! F70CT You played around with people’s minds; F71CT I am very depressed and angry! F71CT It’s all one way! F71HA I am disabled, this house suits my needs; F72CT Council is utterly wrong! F72CT Scheme’s promoters – self-aggrandizement; F72CT You want to throw us out! F72HA She doesn’t want the upheaval! F72LH This is bad! F72LH You are just trying to fool us! F73CT Do not sell my home! F75CT I’ve had enough! F75CT I want my vote! F75CT Council treat people like an idiot! F75CT Proposal would harm community! F75CT Put everyone in a ghetto; F76CT I won’t let you kill my mother! F76CT Like most of my neighbours…; F76CT Scheme is crackpot! F77CT Arabic; F78CT Who are they to say? F78CT You are wrecking my nerves! F79CT It would be awful to demolish!
F80CT I will go to the Queen! F80CT One of the stupidest things! F82CT My Gosh! My Gosh! F84CT You will have to drag me out! F89CT In my mind and being . . .
F92CT It is a bit scary!
M05CT We don’t want to move! M06CT Don’t demolish my home! M07CT Don’t razed our homes! M07CT I am worry about this! M07CT Keep your hands off! M07CT Your promises just a trick! M08CT It is hidden agenda; M08CT Please don’t do this to us! M08PT I feel very scared! M09CT Demolition game, rubble trouble! M09CT I’m very unhappy and upset! M09CT So don’t knock it down and demolish!
M10CT Accept what the people want! M10CT I will miss my friends! M10CT Keep out from our estates! M10CT Why would you do that? M11CT The Council has no democracy! M11CT Going to be full of strangers; M11CT I am very concerned! M11CT No, no, please! M11CT Don’t demolish! M11CT Rich people will be moved in; M12CT Association to fight! M13CT Don’t demolish decent homes! M13CT It makes me personally unhappy! M13CT Quite disorganized! M13HA The Council is sly; M13HA Somewhat greedy; M14CT Am not happy! M14CT Bog off! M14CT You don’t ##ing care about us! M14HA They suddenly want to knock down! M14HA Very devastated! M14PT Some kids…; M15CT Huge repercussions on young people! M15CT Intention to destroy! M15CT I’ve grown up here! M15CT Please don’t! M15CT Scheme is rubbish! M15FH Snakes! M16CT Don’t sell to the fat cat! M16CT I will have a tough fight with you! M16CT Not reasonable! M16PT Government should not allow! M16PT I’m not going to let this happen! M17CT It will disrupt my life! M17HA You won’t have much luck! M18 I don’t believe the assurances! M18CT I won’t stand for it! M18CT Keep our homes! M18CT One of the reasons…; M18CT Waste of time and money! M18HA Demolition machines! M18PT Cancel the scheme! M19CT Your assurances is hollow one! M19CT It’s not for the people around here; M19CT Their offer, we don’t need it! M19CT It’s a strong and safe community! M19CT They’re just pushing us aside! M19CT Take our passion seriously! M19FH Dunkirk beaches! M19HA I feel saddened! M19HA We shouldn’t be thrown out! M19LH The Council are quite corrupt! M19PT I’ll just get made homeless!
M20HA My brother is disabled! M20PT Very disruptive! M21HA Classist proposal! M21HA Epilepsy! M21LH Try listening to us! M21PT Furthermore…; M22CT I’m happy with my home! M22CT Regardless of anyone’s views! M22PT Abuse of power! M22PT The problem with the scheme…; M23CT I really feel pity for those; M23CT I will stand firm! M23CT Perfectly good homes! M23CT It’s too risky to accept; M23CT You don’t have residents’ interests at heart! M24CT The human cost must be considered; M24CT I won’t let it happen! M24CT Worstest manner! M24PT I almost fainted! M24PT It is not fair! M25CT It’s disgusting! M25PT Refused this plan from A-Z! M25PT Treating us like animals! M26CT No choice except to fight! M26LH Very unstable for me! M27CT All lies! M27CT Not properly informed! M27FH Unrest from all tenants! M27LH Out, out the developer! M28CT Community should take over! M28CT Too much inconvenience; M29CT I f#ing don’t want your promises! M29CT Promises are not genuine; M29CT Such a great friendly community; M29CT The future scares me! M29LH The question is…
M30CT Fiercely opposed! M30CT They don’t want to communicate! M30FH Devastating for the neighbourhood! M30PT Bad idea to move the people! M30PT There is no reason to knock down! M31CT Development would destroy jobs! M33CT Development will destroy the environment! M33LG Should be illegal! M34CT The way the Council talk is upsetting; M34FH It’s not just! M34PT I will feel bad! M35CT Am against! M35CT Development is bad! M35CT I am psychologically attached…; M35CT I want WKGGCH to take responsibility! M35CT Let us get on with our lives! M35HA Oh My God! Can’t imagine the mess! M35LH My preference is for the estates to be transferred! M35PT Feel angry and crap! M36CT I would shed a tear! M36FH Make me sick! M36LH We are being pushed aside; M36PT I want the right! M36PT Sense of community; M37CT Load of tosh! M38CT You are very rong! M38CT You lied to me! M39CT Let us run our estate! M39CT My home is my kingdom, my neighbours my family! M39CT No way! M39CT You do not deliver! M39HA Stop telling lies! M39PT Everything is gloom and blue!
M40HA I fight to the end to kip my home! M41CT What about us? M41HA The Council is trying to bribe people! M41HA Disposition of working class citizens; M41LH There is nothing wrong with the estates! M42CT The developer is not legally bound! M42CT I am against demolition! M42CT You are trying to frighten people! M42HA I like so much my home! M42HA Stop you monsters! M42PT I wanted stability for my family! M43PT Seven children, nowhere else to go! M44CT Council put a sum on happiness; M44CT I don’t enjoy best of health; M44CT I don’t trust the Council! M44CT It will affect my family! M45CT I objected! M45CT You are irritating; M45LH The Prime Minister; M45LH Views are disturbing! M46CT For rich people, not for poor; M46CT Our beloved estates! M46CT You shouldn’t sell our homes! M46HA Your communication is below zero! M46HA There needs to be social housing; M46HA Put the residents ahead! M47CT Cancelled! M47CT Elderly can’t defend themselves; M47HA I can’t understand! M47HA I am on the side of the people! M48CT I don’t want the Council to get rid of me! M48CT It would hurt me! M48CT The new development is not what I want! M48CT Proposal to demolish very unfair! M48HA I am happy to stay put! M49CT Neighbours are very helpful; M49CT We have invested time and money! M49CT What do we get? M49LH Council in cahoots with the developer! M49PT Greedy developer out!
M50CT Like pie-crust, easily broken! M50CT Toe the Leader’s line! M50HA Fat cats! M50HA Unbelievable! M50LH Affected negatively! M51CT People call and cook for me; M51CT You cannot put a price on the home! M52CT Don’t darken my doorstep! M52CT Nervous breakdown! M52CT I feel uninformed and herded! M52HA You cannot put a value on the home! M53CT It is not polite! M53CT My psychological well-being; M53CT The Court will bring justification! M53CT They don’t know who I am! M54CT Tory canvassing for Boris Johnson; M55CT Council is just being greedy! M55CT Fed up to the teeth! M55CT I’m lost! M55CT I march tomorrow to stop you! M55CT You are robbing us! M55HA We should have full freedom! M56CT Get together and fight this decision! M56CT The community should take over! M56CT We will not move for the world! M57CT Very, very angry! M59CT I refuse to leave!
M60CT Greenhalgh wants social cleansing! M60CT I’m not a gambling man! M60CT Stop and think! M60CT Stress might finish me off! M60FH Not conducive to well-being! M60HA Greenhalgh stood in my house! M60HA Made me feel worried; M61CT Fight for the estate! M61CT It hurts me! M61CT Keep protesting! M61FH It would be criminal to demolish! M62CT I don’t want a flat! M63CT Let the people decide! M63CT Stop ignoring us! M64CT It belongs to the people! M65CT Improved immensely under Decent Homes! M65CT No Sir! M66CT Think of what you are doing! M67CT The Council does not listen to the tenants! M67CT Your mercenary intentions! M67HA A community of loving families! M68CT No water or heating; M69CT Council try to cheat me! M69CT I want to stay here!
M70CT I am old and blind! M70CT It makes me bloody angry! M72CT I am a doctor serving humanity! M72CT Do not pack my things! M72CT The Council are cheating us! M73CT We oppose with efforts of unity! M73PT I belong here! M74CT I don’t want to move! M75CT Council neglecting their responsibilities; M76CT It’s mysterious; M76CT Not good enough, upsetting me! M77CT The buildings are structurally sound; M77CT The Nazi Party bombed us! M78CT No way!
M80CT Greed! M81LH When your heart is in a place; M86CT In one ear . . .
WAF43 Bullying tactics to bulldoze; WAF50 Harm the local people; WAF63 Cafe members strongly object; WAM15 I will start to commit crime; WAM15 We cherish this estate; WAM16 Lamp you in your head; WAM18 Cannot put a price on community spirit; WAM25 Explain, don’t dictate! WAM26 Nothing short of contempt! WAM41 I feel for the people; WAM41 They never tell us proper; WAM43 Bring rich people in to serve you; WAM49 Unfair; WAM50 Council has declared war! WAM50 Talk to TRA; WAM58 Battery hen environment; WAM60 I do strongly object! WAM63 Cause stress and hardship; WAM70 Wider community adversely affected; WAM74 Stop it!