Flammable Cladding – Where else!? — barnethousing actiongroup

We will be attending the Barnet Council Housing Committee Meeting on Monday 26th June 2017, from 6pm at Hendon Town Hall (NW4 4AX – nearest station Hendon Central, Northern Line). We are concerned about where else have corners been cut and who else is at risk. Urgent action needs to be taken countrywide to allow […]

via Flammable Cladding – Where else!? — barnethousing actiongroup

The Scandal of the Grenfell Tower Tragedy

From the West Hendon Residents

Our hearts and thoughts go to all the community that are suffering and those who have lost loved ones.

We are alarmed and appalled at the way LBB (London Borough of Barnet) have and still continue to ignore the resident’s issues and concerns as non-consequential, this has been proven to be true at countless council meetings and non-attendance of the ruling Cllrs to meet with local residents and take an actual factual interest in what how the estate has been allowed to be deliberately run down creating Health, Safety and Welfare issues to be completely ignored in order push through a separate agenda that does little to safeguard the residents, visitors and workers equally.

Our existing properties that should have had major electrical mains upgrade by the 1990’s was not committed to till 2013 completed in 2016 because of a previous fire that occurred in another housing block within the borough of Barnet. The fact that this work was not actually scheduled in to be done until between 2038 – 2043 means that Barnet Council although already allowing the safety of the whole estate to lapse for nearly 20 years they were still prepared to allow all the estate to continue to remain unsafe for another 25 – 30 years.

Instead of taking the electrical company to court and prosecuting them for gross negligence appertaining to their safety maintenance and work, with the clear documented evidence presented to the council by the resident representatives as other councils did such as Camden, etc. this would have then exposed many other issues that no doubt cover many other risk factors that other estates could still face within the borough of Barnet.

The ruling Cllrs decided without giving any reason or themselves presenting documentation to counter the residents evidence presented to them by the residents that they would not pursue the electrical maintenance company responsible as the residents repeatedly requested, but panicked instead without even a word of explanation put all costs onto leaseholders.

This is just one of numerous issues that the council constantly dismiss out of hand without any explanations ever given.

Tenants occupying new dwellings and blocks have also raised many concerns such as – not being able to call the emergency services mobiles that worked perfectly well in their old blocks no longer work in the new blocks, elderly and disabled being moved onto upper floors with only one staircase as means of escape in emergencies, gaps under various front doors and section doors, smoke/ fire alarms hanging off ceilings a year after tenants have moved in, many not working properly, no access to inner flats in an emergency, waiting months turn to years for something to happen. None of these issues have even been acknowledged by the ruling Cllrs and LBB.

We also believe that although committing to a full Public inquiry by the governing authorities this should take two lines of full public investigation, scrutiny, findings and decision making. This must not be left to the usual connected crowd that would still be able to side step many of the issues that must be heard and need to be raised that only they can.  Therefore, it is a necessity that a public inquest, rather than a public inquiry is carried out.

The first should obviously ensure that all risk elements should be found and rectified ASAP encompassing the person/s, companies and authorities involved, this must also allow the local residents and community spokes persons to present their evidence and speak at the full public inquest.

And secondly a much larger full public inquiry to encompass all the estates, existing – refurbished, redeveloped, regenerated and new estates regardless of tenure, which must allow chosen resident and/ or community representatives of these estates/ boroughs to be able to present their evidence and speak at the full public inquiry.

All new and proposed regenerations of (council) estates should cease any further-meant (especially those yet to have been agreed at the initial planning stages) until the full public inquest has been concluded, the final outcome presented to the public and decisions taken and enforced.

This statement includes the lack of interest and complete indifference shown to us by our practically non-existent MP for Hendon, Matthew Offord.

In Feb 2015 a fire spread through the new builds on Grahame Park estate (miraculously not long before they intended to fill the building with new residents spread throughout the complex within a very short space of time and if the fire tenders had not been there so quickly who knows what could have been???)
The whole building had to be demolished and built differently.

Public Inquiry – Press Release by Barnet Housing Action Group

Barnet housing activists, residents and tenants of the West Hendon Estate welcomed the attendees of the public inquiry with a 60ft banner reading PUBLIC HOUSING NOT PRIVATE PROFIT. The second public inquiry was called in relation to compulsory purchase orders (CPO) of flats in the 2nd phase of the Estate’s regeneration. This ‘regeneration’ has seen […]

via West Hendon Public Inquiry – Press Release — barnethousing actiongroup

West Hendon Public Inquiry – Round 2

Beginning on the 28th March 2017, will be the 2nd West Hendon Public Inquiry which will take place at the Royal Air Force museum in Colindale.

Details of the faceboook event are here.

Join the residents and supporters of the Our West Hendon campaign who will be outside protesting and raising awareness of the land grab and social cleansing of their Estate.

We also attach the ‘statement of reason’ from  Jasmin Parsons of West Hendon which has been put forward at the second Public Inquiry on behalf of the ‘Our West Hendon’ campaign, voicing the residents objections to the CPO’s, here:D2 Statement of reasons 1st March 2017

This statement sets out examples of why the residents are fighting against the alleged regeneration of their garden council estate and why it is of the utmost importance that the comments and views are given serious thought and consideration not only at the Public Inquiry, but also by the London Mayor as part of the Estate Regeneration Consultation.

To see Jasmin in action, and some footage of the last Public Inquiry, please watch the excellent documentary, The Estate we’re in.

Estate Regeneration – Mayor’s Consultation – Our Response

To the Mayor of London

Residents and community activists have worked together to formulate a detailed reply to your consultation Homes for London, ‘Good Practice Guide To Estate Regeneration ‘and we would like to ensure that it is documented by the mayor and City Hall that the following campaigns  have contributed to the attached written response.

  • Our West Hendon
  • Barnet Housing Action Group
  • Barnet Momentum Housing Group
  • Barnet Alliance for Public Services
  • Our Grahame Park
  • Dollis Valley Housing Action
  • Our Whitefields Estate

This is our response: v2 Homes for Londoners (Barnet Haction) (1)

For reference – here is the link to the Mayor’s proposal

Together, via Barnet Housing Action Group, we released the following statement to the press on the subject:

“We’d like to firstly thank the Mayor of London, for opening up the much needed debate on London Estate regeneration.  This consultation has given us an opportunity to highlight the iniquitous outcomes that have arisen from many  estate regenerations across London, and expose the truth that numerous estate regenerations have in reality resulted in families losing their homes. (Over 300 in West Hendon alone).

It was disappointing to see that the  democratic voice promised by the Mayor of London in his manifesto not only disappeared from the consultation, it went on to describe such ballots as being too “complex” and binary.   Does he really think that those residing on council estate are not able to grasp the arguments for estate regeneration?  We have seen over the last 5-10 years developers rampaging across our great city with no consideration for existing communities and London’s great heritage.

It is crucial that the Mayor gives residents in every estate facing regeneration a democratic vote without exception. This is not just a council estate issue now, the question here is who really does run London.”
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Tweet from March 2016 during the London Mayoral Campaign