New: Candidate stopped from campaigning on Aylesbury estate

Admin (02 April, 2015) Politics Housing

The council says the 'Alcatraz' fences are keeping residents safe, but a local politician has called them a "disgusting waste of money"

A parliamentary candidate says he has been denied the “normal democratic process” after he was refused entry to blocks on the Walworth estate, which are currently penned in by ‘prison walls’ and full time security guards.

Nick Wrack, who is representing the Trade Union and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) and Left Unity for Camberwell and Peckham this general election, said it he was told by security guards he needed to get permission from Southwark Council to enter the gated blocks on the Aylesbury when he was canvassing in the area last week.

In the same week it was revealed that the ‘Alcatraz’ fences  cost the council £140,000 to erect, which Nick referred to as a “disgusting waste of public money,” he said, “money that would have been better spent on renovating flats.”

Southwark’s cabinet member for regeneration, Cllr Mark Williams, has defended the high barbed fences despite the expense revealed by a freedom of information request, saying they are necessary for the safety of the remaining residents.

“With only 18 of 560 properties now being lived in, it is vital that we secure the first development site at the Aylesbury,” he said. “This is for the safety of both remaining residents and for people who would otherwise walk through this largely empty area.

“Securing this site is the right thing to do, we understand this has caused some problems for the remaining residents and we will review whether any changes to access points is possible.”

Sofia Guerrieri says:

Uncanny that when I lived on the Heygate Estate – for 9 years during the ‘decanting’ of it – we had rapes, we had thefts, burglaries, violence… by the end it was so scary that even the postman was too afraid to venture there! But Labour held Southwark council did ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to ‘protect’ us. We had no security guards and no fence of any kind of shape.The same can be said of all the other estates which have been/are being emptied because of the rampant gentrification of the area. So, how does Southwark council explains that, I would like to know??? We were not worthy?

Catherine says:

Mark Williams has been saying that they will “review” the situation ever since the first article appeared in this newspaper WEEKS ago. How come they haven’t managed to complete the review by now, and actually DO something to make things less intolerable for the remaining residents?

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