FENWICK a year after Grenfell

After deciding to knock down Fenwick Estate and robbing tenants of their secure tenancies, Lambeth have announced a further delay of five years before they start demolition. But they still refuse to give residents a vote to decide what they actually want.

Lambeth have managed the decline of Fenwick Estate for over 10 years. Now residents face at least another 5 years of disrepair and neglect, especially of the public spaces. This is Lambeth’s deliberate strategy to make sure that when they do start work, those residents who can will have left already. And those who are left will have such poor housing conditions that they will welcome the Council’s plans for gentrification.

The police have told us informally of the increase in gang activity and drug dealing on the estate as more properties stand empty. So we are all at risk of being mugged or burgled by addicts desperate for cash to feed their habit. In addition, our young people are at risk of grooming by these people.  The gangs offer short term fixes to a generation that has been let down by the government’s austerity. Meanwhile, the Council panders to those that that can afford £600,000 flats rather than those in most need.

Already Lambeth is leaving flats empty, instead of giving them to the homeless. And every flat left empty means one more family left in a desperate situation. A quick walk up Clapham High Street tells you that Lambeth is not doing enough to deal with the problem. But when we asked how many homes were vacant on the Estate, Lambeth would not tell us.