Today we had a meeting to which all residents of the Aylesbury Estate were invited, to discuss the estate’s immediate practical problems, the council’s demolition plans and how we can organise to combat both.
We heard from leaseholders still living behind the prison-like fences of the phase one demolition area. We head from tenants in the phase two demolition area who area confused about if and how they are supposed to find other places to go.
Everyone had complaints about council neglect, particularly the council’s refusal to fix leaks. They pointed out that this is the result of the council sub-contracting repair work to private companies in whose interest it is not to complete work. Others described it as an intentional strategy to damage the estate and persuade residents it needs demolishing.
We also heard about the broader movement to destroy London’s council housing and the struggles against it (poster series). Aylesbury is one of eighty estates that will be demolished over the next decade and rebuilt to be sold and rented on the open market, and – as one resident pointed out – kept as an investment, not even to be lived in!
Together we decided to compile a dossier of council neglect, to do some repair work ourselves, and to continue with our stalls and petition against demolition. Other things, of course, we won’t write about here…
The next meeting for all residents will be in October.