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Asset transfer and stripping for the public good?


megilleland
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As we head towards the next council and general elections in May 2015, the current administartive bodies are rushing to get the cash into their tills. Having passed the majority of public services over to their private friends the assets of these public bodies entrusted to us are now in the forefront of a fire sale to get the last coppers from us. 
 
The latest deals involve the relocation of the fire station
 

Deal for new Hereford fire station is close

 
2:37pm Friday 21st February 2014 in News By Bill Tanner
 
A DEAL that seals the site for a new fire station in Hereford could be done by next month.
 
Forward plans prepared for Herefordshire Council show that a decision to dispose of the council's Bath Street - or County - offices rests with Councillor Harry Bramer, cabinet member for contracts and assets.
 
Coun Bramer  will consider the decision after next Friday (Feb 27).
 
The forward plan specifically outlines the disposal of land and buildings at the County Offices site as being for Hereford to the Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service (HWFRS)  to enable a new fire station for Hereford.
 
Earlier this month, heritage campaigners failed to get the offices, formerly the Hereford Working Boys Home, listed by English Heritage.
 
Alternatives to a fire station include a campus site for the county’s proposed university , an “innovation" or retaining the sites features as a frontage for flats.
 
The cash-strapped council  is keen on selling the site to HWFRS for a much-needed new fire station for Hereford.

 

and the Queenswood Country Park and Bodenham Lake nature reserve
 

Council considers transfer of top natural attractions

 
10:25am Friday 21st February 2014 in News By Bill Tanner
 
HEREFORDSHIRE Council is in talks with a “community group†looking to take over two of the county’s top natural attractions.
 
Queenswood Country Park and Bodenham Lake nature reserve could both be transferred out of council control.
 
The council confirmed this morning (Friday) that it had been approached by an  as  yet un-named community group over assuming responsibility for both sites.
 
In a statement, the council said: “As part of our community asset transfer process, we have asked the group to complete a business case which outlines how it would operate the locations and how this would benefit the public, along with providing various assurances around competency and financial viability.â€
 
The council will consider the proposed transfer once a copy of the business case has been received.
 
In June last year, the council faced calls for “clarity†over its proposals for the future of Queenswood Country Park.
 
Opposition councillors wanted a guarantee from the local authority that the site on Dinmore Hill called one of county’s “most precious public assets†would not be sold off.
 
Then, the council said no decisions had been made on the overall future for its parks and countryside service ahead of a related savings plan.
 
The 170- acre Queenswood is managed by the council and the Queenswood Coronation Fund.
 
Forty-seven acres are made up of more than 1,200 rare and exotic trees from all over the world. Another 123 acres is spread over semi-natural woodland designated as a site of special scientific interest and a local nature reserve.
 
Queenswood survived a privatisation scare in 1988 when the then Hereford and Worcester County Council was forced into a denial of any plan to privatise its country parks after reports suggested it could happen.
 
Originally part of the Hampton Court estate, Queenswood has a history of public access dating from 1935 when it was bought by public subscription through an appeal organised by the then Council for the Preservation of Rural England.
 
It was handed over to the then county council “to look after for the people all the time†and prevent development that planning law at the time did not protect it from.
 
Bodenham Lake Nature Reserve is 44.5 hectares (110 acres) of varied habitat including riverside meadows, veteran orchard, newly planted orchard, a 'gravel' area and wet woodland. The lake itself is the largest area of open water in the county.

 

 
 
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  • 2 weeks later...
I came across this on the council's development blog:

 


The council has created a database of property the council owns which they have made searchable in a number of ways. They have also made sure you can see the results on a map following a search under the headings:

 


Search by property name 

Search by parish 

Search by ward 

Search by classification


 


Why would you want to see our property?

There are several reasons but probably the most important one is that the council is a public body and that you, as citizens, have a right to understand what assets we hold and how we use them.

 

Yes, but not a right to know the decisions behind selling off assets below market value.


 

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I would have thought that selling off assets was a last resort - if that truly is the case, then surely getting the very best price should be top priority.

Sadly this authority have squandered so much money, that we are, apparently, down to our last £100,000 in reserves.

However this council are still happy to saddle us with even more debt to fund an incinerator, which many folk believe is outdated and a huge waste of money.

The amount of money that has been thrown at pet projects and people with fancy job titles is quite astounding.

 

In the meanwhile, it transpires that even our beautiful Queenswood, isn't worth hanging on to.

But the councils track record on how highly they value trees is still fresh in my memory.....

I'd like to know if the Campaign to Protect Rural England will have any comment to make on this.

That said, Ofsted had plenty to say about our children's services, and I am yet to hear of any significant improvements......

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All these things that they've given away, sold or plan to dispose of are the wealth gifted to all of us by the hard work of our ancestors. Our Great Grandparents, our Grandparents and our own Parents grafted hard to recover from the aftermath of the First and Second World Wars and they bequeathed all these things to us so that their descendants, us, could care for and add to the wealth that they created.

They never thought that all their work, all their achievements and their labour would benefit chancer's, asset stripping suits and a handful of well placed individuals who profited from being in the right place at the right time and knowing the right people.

When the Wars finished and the Governments of the day decided to provide our nation with a vast housing programme that would benefit all of us for generations to come, they'd roll in their graves to learn that all our social housing has been moreorless handed over to private companies who now manage these homes that were intended for us to have. Now they stand available for anyone who can tick the right box and worse, this huge property portfolio provides a lot of people with huge salaries all taken from the pot of wealth that we inherited.

The promise that was, 'it's been left in your care' has been replaced by an ethos of greed and entitlement taken by the few who have their hands on power and either give it away, sell it cheap or give some profiteer a lease of time that moreorless means, 'they now own it' and local people no longer matter.

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Hereford Times
10:40am Tuesday 4th March 2014 in News By Bill Tanner
 

Herefordshire Council sites could be a university campus

 
THE campus for  the county’s proposed university could be spread across former Herefordshire Council sites.
 
A groundbreaking motion before full council on Friday steers the council towards talks on transferring existing offices and other estate to the university project.
 
Karen Usher, university project leader, said she was confident of cross-party support for the motion.
 
That support reinforced the principle of the council entering into talks with the project over sites and estate that could be transferred - under mutually agreed terms - for campus development or made available at “peppercorn†rent, she said.
 
The motion is proposed by councillor Andrew Atkinson and is seconded by councillor Nick Nenadich.
 
In full, the motion reads:
“A Herefordshire University would bring a wide range of benefits to the county including supporting economic growth through the development locally of relevant higher level skills; encouraging younger people to study and work in the county; and contributing to the vibrancy of the county.
 
This Council welcomes the developing proposals to establish a university in Hereford, and the wide support being generated for the proposals.
 
This Council requests the Executive to identify the most appropriate way in which the council can assist in securing the future of higher education in the county.â€
 
Coun Atkinson said that Friday’s motion was not intended to be binding at this stage.
 
“I personally would like to see asset transfers happen to make this project viable and release funding streams. If agreed on Friday then asset transfers can be decided after debate at cabinet when more specific information has been gathered,†said Coun Atkinson.
 
“Agreement in principal at this stage is what I think we need from Councillors and what the motion calls for,†he said.
 
Council chief executive Alistair Neill has previously said that the university is “potentially transformational†for the county in lending both his personal support to the project and committing the council to doing “everything that it reasonably can do†in assisting.
 
In August last year, the Hereford Times revealed plans to provide the county with a university linked to some of the world’s leading academic institutions by 2016.
 
Some of those institutions, in both the UK and USA are already on board offering advice on the structure, governance and administration of the new university.
 
Further talks are aimed at establishing grounds for more formal support.
 
Since the plan went public and number of  volunteers have brought strong academic and organisational backgrounds to the project.
 
As proposed, the university would specialise in on-line courses with its campus spread across the county.
 
A task group is already looking into likely campus locations in Hereford, Leominster, Ledbury, and Ross-on-Wye.

 

Although a University is a good idea, to use buidings all over the place, just because the council wants to get rid of them isn't the best solution. A Herefordshire University would need to have a distinctive identity and something more creative could be built to highlight this beacon of further education. After all we don't want student tutorials in public conveniences just because the council can't afford to keep them open!

 

Asset transfer appears to be the flavour of the month - at the moment.

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extract from item 60. 

BUDGET 2014/15 AND MEDIUM TERM FINANCIAL STRATEGY 

 

MINUTES of the meeting of General Overview & Scrutiny 
Committee held at The Council Chamber, Brockington, 35 Hafod 
Road, Hereford on Monday 13 January 2014 at 12.00 pm 
 
Present: Councillor A Seldon (Chairman) 
Councillor EPJ Harvey (Vice-Chairman) 
 
Councillors: EMK Chave, PGH Cutter, BA Durkin, JW Hope MBE, TM James, 
Brig P Jones CBE, RL Mayo, R Preece, GR Swinford and DB Wilcox 
 
60. BUDGET 2014/15 AND MEDIUM TERM FINANCIAL STRATEGY 
In reply to a question, it was stated that the assets that would be sold were industrial, retail, commercial units, as well as county farms, to a total of £100m. It was expected to be able to realise £60m over the next three years. 
 
In reply to a question, the Cabinet Member (Infrastructure) said that the Council had borrowings of over £200m, and the investment priorities were pooled in order to get the best value for money. Any asset sales over the next two years would be subject to Cabinet or Cabinet Member approval. 
 
In reply to a Member’s suggestion that the increase in borrowing was to fund the Energy from Waste Plant, a project that Members had been assured would fund itself, the Cabinet Member said that there were no loans for individual assets. 
 
In reply to a comment, the Cabinet Member went on to say that appendix 2 of the report outlined the Council’s projected borrowing over the next 25 years. There was a spike in borrowing over the next two years, but as asset sales took place, together with the reduction of funding to new infrastructure, borrowing would be reduced. 
 
A Member questioned whether it would be possible to obtain best value for the assets that it was intended to sell, given the present economic climate. If the Council was forced to sell, then he requested that more information be provided as to what was being sold off. The Cabinet Member concurred, but pointed out that the Council’s asset base increasing with the incumbent costs associated with this. The statutory requirements for the council’s work lay in Adult and Children’s Social Care and, as a result, the asset base had to be reviewed. 

 

Looks like there is going to be a big fire sale. What new infrastructure? Will there be anything left? 
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A good question.
 

PUBLIC QUESTIONS TO COUNCIL – 7 MARCH 2014 

 
Question from Mrs Protherough, Clehonger, Herefordshire 
 
Question 6 - Selling of Bath Street Site 
 
With an urgent need for sustainable housing developments in the City Centre, why does this Council feel that it can achieve best value for the local taxpayer by selling the Bath Street site to the Hereford & Worcester Fire Authority, rather than as a prime residential development site, which could include sensitive redevelopment of a building of historical significance in the City?

 

I wonder what the council will reply. Knock it down for a knocked down price!

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Probably Megilleland. They appear to have no interest in this building, other than making a quick buck. It's criminal. Affordable housing is needed within the city, that's a fact they cannot deny.

The Shirehall, which is currently undergoing it's two million pround refurbishment, is to be their new home...so I am guessing Brockington will be one of the next to be sold...or transferred to become part of a University.....who knows, I am beginning to lose track of exactly what they want to do.....

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Good point Denise - it should be encouraged more. At one point, the council were actively tracking down owners or landlords of empty properties,and offering them a deal. The council made the house habitable, and the owner signed the building over on a long term lease. The council placed tenants in the property, and the landlord got a guaranteed rental income.

Haven't heard of this scheme being implemented anywhere recently, so can only assume it's ended due probably to lack of funds.

 

Anybody else heard of this or similar schemes?

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Hereford Times:1:59pm Friday 7th March 2014 in News By Bill Tanner

 
 
HEREFORDSHIRE Council has overwhelmingly backed the principle of passing its offices and other estate on to the county’s university project.
 
The groundbreaking motion went through with just one abstention and no votes against at full council this morning (Friday).
 
Support for the motion means fundraising for the project can begin in earnest.
 
Council leader councillor Tony Johnson urged members to maintain their enthusiasm for the project when relevant planning applications – and inevitable objections – came in.
 
Proposing, councillor Andrew Atkinson said the motion represented the 50-100 year future for the county.
 
Councillor Anthony Powers, group leader – It’s Our County - said the university project was “the most comprehensive and inspiring vision† to come before the council in this time.
 
As approved, the motion reinforces the principle of the council entering into talks with the university project over sites and estate that could be transferred - under mutually agreed terms - for campus development or made available at “peppercorn†rent.
 
Councillor Carl Attwood urged the council to look at lease arrangements for the sites - so that they could come back to the council if circumstances dictated -  rather than a “wave goodbyeâ€.
 
Councillor Liz Harvey asked for assurances that such assets as could be handed to the project were not “double counted†in the council’s overall asset disposal programme and the money expected to be made from it.
 
The council heard that the planned countywide campus university  would have an “international†graduate and post-graduate reach specialising in  science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
 
There was, the council heard, a “gap in the market†for a university offering such subjects.
 
In August last year, the Hereford Times revealed plans to provide the county with a university linked to some of the world’s leading academic institutions by 2016.
 
Some of those institutions, in both the UK and USA are already on board offering advice on the structure, governance and administration of the new university.
 
Further talks are aimed at establishing grounds for more formal support.
Since the plan went public and number of  volunteers have brought strong academic and organisational backgrounds to the project.
 
As proposed, the university would have its campus spread across the county.  A task group is already looking into likely campus locations in Hereford, Leominster, Ledbury, and Ross-on-Wye.

 

Assuming that students will be attracted to a Herefordshire University, splitting the campuses around the county is going to create a lack of identity for it. Students want to be able to get to the university town easily - they rely on public transport. So Hereford, Leominster and Ledbury with a rail service are contenders. Also students want to be in a place with an active nightlife - this rules out Leominster and Ledbury. Also there needs to be a range of accommodation to rent. Trying to fit a university into a few buildings that the council wants to get rid of is not the answer. Create an institution of education that stands out from the norm by incorporating dynamic architecture, draws in the local youth with buildings that the public can use and provide seasonal accommodation, out of term, to boost tourism.

 

Any thoughts?

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With the recent hike in University fees Universities are struggling to get enrolments what makes Herefordshire Council think we can compete with the bigger City Universities? Hereford Colleges are struggling to get students. 

 

Also the Council are moving towards more and more staff working from home because they no longer have office space. They can't monitor staff working in the offices not sure how they are monitoring them working from home. One member of staff no longer has to pay for childcare so is absolutely delighted by the move. Isn't this one step away from bringing your children into the office? How exactly can you work with the distractions young children bring?

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Yes Flam - the "hot desking" isn't really working, is it?

 

Folk wander in late, leave early, sometimes don't appear at all - all under the guise of "working from home."

 

Next thing you know, a job with a massive salary will be created, for a passionate and committed person to be employed checking up on these people!

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I have not heard too much about this idea to create a university in Herefordshire, but it appears the scheme is well under way. Information concerning the establishment of such a place of higher education can be found at The New University - Herefordshire website.

 

As this project is going to gain momentum I have started a fresh topic "The New University - Herefordshire" to follow its progress. Comments will now be taken at a higher level led by King Bobby who I nominate for an honoury degree when the establishment is finally opened.
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Hereford Times: 10:42am Monday 10th March 2014 in News

 

Kington Town Council takes up new home

 
KINGTON Town Council has moved house, taking up its new premises in the Old Police Station as part of an asset transfer to save the town’s other facilities.
 
KTC will now share the Market Hall Street building with Marches Access Point (MAP) – the training centre that currently occupies it – following a £75,000 refurbishment.
 
It’s a move that the town’s mayor, Bob Widdowson, hopes will ensure Kington’s public buildings remain in the hands of the people of Kington.
 
He said: “We have relinquished our former home in exchange for Herefordshire Council making substantial improvements to the Old Police Station building.
 
“This is in line with our commitment to keeping Kington’s public buildings for community use.â€
 
Discussions began in November over Herefordshire Council transferring ownership of the Old Police Station to the town council, along with the Market Hall, two car parks and the public toilets.
 
Final decisions are expected later this year, following an assessment of the facilities’ costs and potential liabilities.
 
While the former headquarters at Mill Street will likely be sold off by Herefordshire Council, the deal may prevent those other assets - as well as the town’s museum, the Place de Marines and the Coach house - following it onto the open market.
 
For the town council, opening hours and contact details will remain the same at their new premises, and Coun Widdowson has been impressed with the revamped building.
 
He said: “The Old Police Station provides excellent facilities for the council with a larger meeting room and technical facilities.â€
 
And new neighbours MAP are this week launching five new computer courses for those looking to improve their IT skills.
 
Covering everything from creating your own website to an introduction to Microsoft Word 2010, each course runs for five weeks.
 
For more information contact MAP on 01544 231 771or info@map-kington.co.uk .

 

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Greece protests over government plans to sell off historic national buildings

 

Angry demonstrations in Athens after public buildings around the Acropolis and other landmarks included in privatisation list
 
Greece's cultural gems have become the focus of renewed protest on the streets of Athens following the cash-strapped government's announcement of plans to include prime properties around the Acropolis, and other landmark buildings, in its privatisation programme.

 

So we are not the only ones who have their public assets given away. The only difference is that they are on the streets trying to stop it. Read more here.

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  • 2 months later...
Hereford Times: Thursday 22nd May 2014 in Letters

 
Herefordshire Council is intending to sell, to the highest bidder, the Backney Bridge Picnic Site, in Sellack/Bridstow, Ross, without any conditions that the public will have continued access.
 
Whilst acknowledging the Council is "cash strapped" for what ever reason, this is an iconic historic public open space, with one of the best views of the River Wye in Herefordshire, including the finest example of a disused “Herefordshire stone†railway bridge. Consequently I for one, believe this is a “step too farâ€
 
If the site is sold, any proposed plans (presently on the "back burner" because of cost) for a cycleway, over Backney Bridge to Ross, will be scuppered forever, as will the possibility (although controversial for some locals) of a canoe launch site, with continued public access
 
The Council cannnot expect the local Sellack and/or Bridstow Parish Councils to solely take on the burden of maintenance. This is not simply a local open space piece of grass verge, but a site for the benefit of all Herefordshire residents, and further afield. As such the Council should retain the site and, at the very least, share the maintenance costs with the Parish Council/s concerned or, if it has to sell the site, it should be on condition that public access rights will remain
 
I would urge the Council to think again and, if you, please put your objections in writing to Helen Beale, Estates Management Officer, Herefordshire Council, PO Box 4, Plough Lane, Hereford HR4 0LE or by email to hbeale@herefordshire.gov.uk by 12th June as the Council must, by law, consider any objections received before making a final decision
 
Remember, as with the 1960’s Beeching Rail Line Cuts, once gone, its gone for good !!
 
Jane Robinson
Kinsleigh Cottage
Sellack
Ross-on-Wye
HR9 6LU

 

Every thing up for sale! Notice also that the Council also intends to dispose of land at Sutton St Nicholas by way of community asset transfer. Anyone know what the use will be be?

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  • 2 weeks later...
Police probe requested for cash-strapped Council's cut-price Sir Anthony Eden mansion sale

 

POLICE have been asked to investigate why a cash-strapped council sold the stately home where former Conservative prime minister Sir Anthony Eden was born – potentially worth millions – for just £241,000.

 

and 

 

The council was so desperate to sell not only did officials accept Mr Davenport’s £241,000 offer, they spent £36,375 to repair the central heating system for him and even spent £4,453 on filling the Hall’s heating system oil tanks.

 


 

An audit report criticised the council for a lack of “clarity and transparency†in its handling of the sale and said it should have obtained an independent valuation but concluded it was not ­possible to say whether the authority could have obtained more money for it. The council insists it did nothing wrong and got the best possible deal.

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  • 4 months later...
In The Guardian today:

 
Property developers wining and dining town hall executives - it’s a jaunt so lavish as to be almost comic
 
Time to accept that public-private partnerships just don’t work
 
Starting this Wednesday, 4,000 men (and, yes, they’ll mainly be men) will gather in a giant hall in London. Among them will be major property developers, billionaire investors and officials of your local council or one nearby. And what they’ll discuss will be the sale of public real estate, prime land already owned by you and me, to the private sector. The marketing people brand this a property trade show, but let’s drop the euphemisms and call it the sales fair to flog off Britain.
 
For the past 25 years, this conference – Mipim for short – has been held in Cannes. It’s a jaunt so lavish as to be almost comic – where big money developers invite town hall executives for secret discussions aboard private yachts, and whose regulars boast that they get through more champagne than all the liggers at the film festival.
 
Suitably oiled-up, local officials open talks with multinational developers to sell council housing estates and other sites. All this networking is so lucrative for the builders that they even fly over council staff. Last year, Australia’s Lend Lease paid for Southwark’s boss, Peter John, to attend Cannes. This is the same Lend Lease to which Southwark sold the giant Heygate estate at a knockdown price: 1,100 council flats in inner London to be demolished and replaced with 2,500 units, of which only 79 will be for “social rentâ€.
 
Events such as Mipim raise the flag on the land grab that eventually leads to thousands of people being kicked out of their homes – and in many cases out of London. It is a forum that relies on invitation-only lunches, secret talks and the public being kept well away. In a shamefully undemocratic development system, this is one of the most untransparent forums of the lot.
 
You might think that seven years after the collapse of an economic system built on property speculation and amid a historic housing crisis, Mipim would have no place in the UK. You’d be wrong. When it opens this week it will be to a welcome address from that loveable friend of big money, Boris Johnson. Even with 344,000 households in London awaiting a council home, the mayor is cheering on their flogging off and replacement with unaffordable luxury flats. Joining him will be Conservative ministers, senior civil servants and council delegations from Glasgow through Leeds and Liverpool and down to Croydon.
 
Many of these councils are coming because they have no other means of raising serious cash: three decades after Thatcher’s rate caps, and four years into the most painful cuts faced by local government, they are flat broke. Some council leaders will admit as much privately. But in all cases, the strong scent of neediness comes off their planned Mipim session titles (“Croydon: the economic powerhouse of the south-eastâ€) – and forces them into the kind of rotten deals that jeopardise the livelihoods of their residents.
 
On Sunday afternoon, a group of about 40 Londoners convened in a Pimlico community centre. A greater contrast with the hangars of Mipim can hardly be imagined: no lavish buffet, just a kettle and some instant coffee; no PowerPoint slides but a dungareed bloke scribbling on a flipchart. But the people here knew about the property fest: they live on the council estates about to be demolished to make way for private developers. They reeled off where they were from: Chelsea, Elephant and Castle, Haringey, Barnet. Some had already been handed their court orders and were unsure if they’d even be in London next month. One woman, who had bought her Southwark council flat as Thatcher and Blair encouraged her to, had been offered a risible sum to get out. As the group planned meetings and demonstrations before Christmas, she kept repeating: “I might be homeless by then.†The first couple of times, she even managed to smile.
 
These people live in public housing built with public money on public land. And soon, their homes will be someone else’s speculative asset. The British Property Federation (BPF) published a report last year which showed that of London’s newly built homes, only 39% were bought to live in. The vast majority – 61% – were taken by investors. After the meeting broke up, a resident of Churchill Gardens in Pimlico walked me around her estate and pointed out the old people’s home and lovely modernist low-rise block that was earmarked for the wrecking ball. It faced out on to the Thames; on the other side was Battersea power station, being turned by Malaysian investors into luxury flats. In this part of London, that same BPF report found, 49% of new-build homes were bought by overseas investors.
 
Against that backdrop even the smallest victory looks historic. Up on the northwestern perimeter of London, in West Hendon, other council residents are fighting the borough of Barnet over the redevelopment of their estate on terms that suit the developer, Barratt Developments, not locals. Just under 700 homes are to be smashed up to make way for 2,000 new units. Just under 1,500 will be sold privately: the rest will be “affordableâ€, which in the doublespeak of housing means unaffordable.
 
The council cannot say how many social-rental homes will be provided, but it is clear that whatever provision there is will be grudging. With a quick Google you’ll find a video of the chair of Barnet’s housing committee, Tom Davey, claiming that his council is providing affordable housing because people are buying them. An objector points out that only the wealthy can afford them and the young Conservative thumps the desk and says: “Those are the people we want.â€
 
Whatever the propaganda, when I turn up at West Hendon, I meet a telecoms worker and a full-time carer. I also meet a woman in her 60s who hasn’t had a good night’s sleep in years, and a man facing homelessness and suffering depression.
 
About a third of the estate’s residents have already been bounced from regeneration to regeneration. They have no idea where they’ll go when they’re moved out. Others are leaseholders who can’t afford to buy anywhere in London on the £165,000 offered by the council. The majority of the tenants will be moved to what was formerly a car park, surrounded by busy roads.
 
“A giant traffic island†is how it is described by Jasmin Parsons, who’s lived on the estate for over 30 years. From there, she and her neighbours can look at their old homes, which are now off-limits to them and their children. Their faces won’t fit the area, you see, and their bank balances certainly don’t go far enough. They’ll be barely tolerated trespassers on yet another private development.
 
Maybe there’s a metaphor in there for all of us.

 

Wonder if anyone from Hereford is going?

 

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Oh I have no doubt one or two of them will jump at the chance of an all expenses trip to Cannes.  This greed for the "finer things in life" is an illness sweeping the country.  Over the weekend there was an article in the Telegraph about the boss of the company that issues the Blue Badges getting a near million pound bonus.  These people disgust me.   I suppose the thinking behind not having many affordable homes within city limits is so that the "riff raff" are out in the sticks hence making centres appear prosperous,thriving and buzzing.  

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Sometimes I barely recognise this country of ours. Where are all of these folks supposed to go??

 

Where is the inclusivity in schemes  like this??

 

Not only are they quite literally selling off huge swathes of our country, they also seem to be wanting to cherry pick the people they want living their.

 

We are already a country of the "haves" and "have nots". This is segregation of the rich from the poor.

 

There has been a lot of discussion about areas of towns / cities where due to race, religion, or other factors, there are marked splits in communities. There has also been a lot of discussion about how to positively improve community cohesion.

 

I would say the split between rich and poor will trump any other divide with ease. And the sad fact is, once this land is in the hands of those purely out to make a profit, this split will be a permanent one. 

 

As a country, we have never been less united than we are now.

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Another example of the corrupt Hereford council executives the leases for Hereford united have been released and guess what the plans for the football ground are different to the plans that were issued with the land registry a large amount of the ground is missing no starlite rooms the area were the old supporters club is missing the land registry map was the plan issued with the current leases is some deal being done with a London based company aboard a yacht in cannes because the current owners are London based and when asked about the future of the club what the plans were they have refused to comment they were told that the supporters boycott would be lifted if they could assure 100%

the future of the football club that was 3 months ago and still no reply this proves to me that the council and current owners are on the verge of a deal and as i stated on belmont voice over a year ago about the football club moving to the racecourse and before you mention covenants they can get around that problem nothing is beyond the law .

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