On Wednesday, I spoke as Leader of the Opposition at a Cabinet meeting, for Labour councillors to rubber-stamp the demolition of the Central Hill estate.
As a Conservative and housing lawyer I believe that everyone has rights under the law: human rights and property rights. The law is there to protect everyone equally, whatever their background or income.
Yet Labour councillors are demolishing homes and ending residents’ secure tenancies and their Right to Buy. Labour councillors think council homes belong to them to do with as they wish, as the best and brightest and most virtuous Left-wingers - despite driving Lambeth into becoming the 29th poorest borough in the country.
As a result, Labour councillors think a ‘consultation’ is them making a decision, then telling residents what to accept. They have never provided any proper data as to why these homes cannot be repaired. By contrast, a survey from residents on the estate shows that 78% of them do not want their homes demolished.
In fact, without the Conservative Secretary of State intervening in a similar decision in Southwark, Labour-Lambeth would never have improved its offer. Yet the reality of the new ‘Key Guarantees’ is that most have been downgraded into fine-sounding ‘principles’. In other words, not guaranteed at all.
If Labour concillors halted this demolition and repaired Central Hill, they would have full cross-party support. But Labour councillors are not listening.
Conservative councillors would repair the award-winning, beautiful Central Hill estate. Like Wandsworth Council we would bring in expertise for major works contracts, we would drive down costs to generate savings for spending on repairs, and we would use the proceeds from our ‘Right-to-Part-Buy’ policy to fund a proper regeneration of our estates.
Truly, the worst rogue landlord in Lambeth is Lambeth Council.