Archive | January, 2015

RPZ consultation outcome

23 Jan

Fellathebunny 2015 Jan 23

Finally the council have worked it out: no RPZ for us!

A good result for Forest Gate North.

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Affordable housing

21 Jan

ClaptonUltras 2015 Jan 18

Will the council stand up for local people or just let Galliard get away with it? I think we all know the answer to that question.

To rub salt into the wound, the developer is proposing that just 51 of the 838 homes to be built on the Boleyn Ground site will be ‘affordable’ housing. That’s made up of 5 studios, 8 one bedroom flats, 25 two bed units and 13 three bed homes. These will be offered on a shared ownership basis: there will be no affordable homes for rent.

As bad as that seems, things are even worse in Stratford.

CBRE are proposing to redevelop Morgan House – an office block – and part of the shopping centre to provide more than 500 new homes. These will overlook the Olympic Park and provide easy access to both east London’s best connected transport hub and Europe’s largest shopping mall. 

Given the high prices such a prime location will attract, it comes as no surprise that, according to the developer:

There are a number of unique and exceptional site-specific circumstances which result cumulatively in the proposal site being entirely unsuitable for on-site affordable housing provision.

The reasoning is that Newham’s priority is family homes, and a town centre location surrounded by busy roads would not be the right place to house families.

So what about the option of providing affordable homes on another site? That’s not going to happen either.

an initial review of site availability in the area has not identified an appropriate donor site for affordable housing provision. Further, the applicant does not have any suitable sites that could be identified for affordable housing provision.

The only option the developer will consider is bunging the council some cash:

Subject to viability, given the very special circumstances involved with the existing site and emerging proposals, it is considered that a commuted payment towards affordable housing provision would be the most appropriate mechanism for the provision of affordable housing.

Of course once the council has the cash – assuming the viability assessment even requires it to be paid – there’s no obligation to actually spend it on providing affordable housing. It can just vanish into the general pot and pay for whatever the mayor wants.

Frosty

17 Jan


via Instagram

Image

Solidarity

7 Jan

Stepping out

6 Jan

Not my actual feet

As part of my ongoing attempts to live a slightly healthier life I’ve been trying walk a bit further everyday, with the aim of doing 10,000 steps a day.

According to the pedometer application on my phone, in 2014

  • I walked a total of 3,526,983 steps, which was 2,716 kilometres
  • My daily average was 9,690 steps, or 7.5 km
  • I exceeded my 10,000 steps-a-day target on 227 days (62% of the time)
  • On my best day I walked 20,732 steps – 16 km
  • My worst day was just 378 steps (I think I must have left my phone on the charger all day)

My target for 2015 is to get my daily average over 10,000 steps and to exceed the daily target 270 times (about 75% of days).

Heroes and villains

6 Jan

E15 com photo

In the Guardian Aditya Chakrabortty named the Focus E15 mothers as his ‘Heroes of 2014′

Jasmin Stone has the body language of a shy person. Meeting people for the first time she tends to look down. Her speech at an anti-cuts rally this summer kept dissolving into giggles. Yet as a leader of the Focus E15 Mothers, Stone has kept her family and 28 others from being moved out of their east London neighbourhood. She and her group have faced down an intransigent council – and done more than perhaps any other campaign group this year to force social housing up the political agenda. She is not yet 21. Last year, Stone and 28 other single mothers faced being moved out of their hostel, in Newham, to Birmingham and Hastings. They fought – and all are still in Newham. In September Focus E15 took over a flat in an otherwise empty council estate which the borough had long ago cleared for a (failed) land deal. Despite court action and the water being cut off, they left of their own accord – and wrested both apology and concessions from the mayor of Newham, Robin Wales. Focus E15 is still fighting evictions and for social housing. Sometimes it takes a crisis to turn a shy soul into an accomplished radical, but that’s what Stone and her crew now are.

By contrast, the Morning Star nominated Sir Robin Wales to its list of ‘Villains of the year’

The Labour Mayor of Newham was investigated for misconduct after storming off when mothers from the Focus E15 campaign confronted him about their housing plight.

A YouTube video of his tantrum was shared extensively when the women used the London borough’s family day to highlight his support for social cleansing. Their banner at a later protest summed it up perfectly: “Sheriff of Newham — Robin the poor!”

Both nominations are richly deserved.