Socialist Worker

Reports round up: Labour’s housing trouble in Haringey

Issue No. 2611

Housing protests propelled the left into the leadership of Haringey Labour council

Housing protests propelled the left into the leadership of Haringey Labour council (Pic: Guy Smallman)

The left wing leadership of Labour-run Haringey council has come under fire for its treatment of people living on the Broadwater Farm estate.

Two blocks on the north London estate have been found to be unsafe.

Campaigners lobbied a council meeting last Tuesday to demand guarantees over tenants’ rights.

At the meeting the council voted unanimously for demolitions. A 28-day consultation process has begun over the plans. Jacob Seker of Broadwater Farm Tenants and Residents Association demanded “a choice-based lettings scheme”. Tenants must be able to choose where they are going to live.

“The second demand is we must have a ballot on whether the block is going to be demolished or refurbished,” said Jacob.

“If they cannot guarantee one-for-one replacement of council housing at exactly the same rents, then no demolition.”

Fresh housing scam from the Tories

The Tories want to remove social sector rents from their sham “affordable housing” definition. Their version of “affordable” includes rents of up to 80 percent of market rates.

There was no mention of social rents in the Tories’ draft National Planning Policy Framework. A final version of it is due to be published soon.

Councils have asked the government to include the tenure in the planning framework.

Statistics released last week showed 2.48 percent of the homes built in 2016-17 were for social rents.

It is not enough for councils to ask the Tories to remember council housing while they are gutting it. They must be forced to fight.

Pay strikes could rock universities

UCU union members in higher education (HE) have backed strikes over pay in a consultation.

Some 82 percent rejected a 2 percent pay offer and 65 percent backed strikes on a 47.7 percent turnout.

The union will ballot HE members between August and October for pay strikes.

It says workers have seen the real value of their pay fall by 21 percent since 2010.

Pay walkouts are just the ticket

Traffic wardens in Hackney, east London were set to walk out over pay on Monday of next week.

It follows a 48-hour strike by the Unite union members in May.

The 40 wardens are employed by outsourcer APCOA Parking. They are fighting for a 5 percent pay increase and against unfair work practices.

Unite regional officer Onay Kasab said, “Our members are simply asking for fair pay and to be treated with fairness, decency and respect.”

Action to hit Scots oil and gas rigs

Strikes are set to hit three oil and gas offshore rigs off the coast of Scotland.

Unite union members on oil giant Total’s Alwyn, Dunbar and Elgin rigs voted “overwhelmingly” for action over pay and working hours.

They are fighting against the company’s wage review and plans to increase offshore working time.

Unite regional officer Willie Wallace said the plans would “drive a coach and horses through workers’ work/life balance”.

Unite is also in dispute at a Total gas plant in Shetland, where 97 percent of workers recently voted for strikes.

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