Council is ‘going to look at’ balloting estate residents on regeneration

News Desk (16 November, 2017) Politics

“Be careful what you wish for if you want more council housing built," council leader said, after a question about Corbyn's housing policy

8488Southwark Council leader Peter John

Council leader Peter John has said Southwark is “going to look at” whether residents should be balloted on whether their estate gets regenerated.

The statement came as he was questioned by Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn’s brother Piers, at a Leader’s Question Time event held last week at St Peter’s Church.

Piers, a Walworth resident, asked for Cllr John’s views on the policy for residents’ ballots and the right to veto estate demolition, which was announced at the Labour Party Conference in September.

Cllr John said in response: “We’ve said we’re going to look at whether estate ballots are an appropriate policy.

“There are questions that should be looked at… before making a blanket decision. It might not be appropriate if buildings needs to be pulled down because there are unsafe conditions…

“Will [the policy] increase the number of new homes [that get built]? I don’t know.

“It could even slow down new homes being built. Some councils might instead look to just patch up problems with estates rather than rebuild them.”

He added: “Be careful what you wish for if you want more council housing built.”

Cllr John also said Southwark already works using another of the Labour leader’s policies: that tenants on demolished council estates will have “the right to return” when new homes are built.

Piers is an active housing campaigner in the borough and has regularly spoken out against plans to demolish the Aylesbury Estate in Walworth.

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