Labour leaves Woolwich Estates to rot

From Spencer Drury, PPC for Greenwich & Woolwich

Conservatives in Greenwich this week revealed that Labour’s plans to rebuild three estates are stalled and residents will have to live in poor quality homes and badly designed estates for years as a result of Council incompetence and inactivity. Despite planning to borrow £30m to reach the Decent Homes target for Council homes across the borough, 1,000 homes in Woolwich will be left untouched.
The Council announced plans in February 2006 to demolish 1,000 homes in the Connaught, Morris Walk and Maryon Road/Grove Estates and decided not to undertake any upgrading of the homes on these estates as a result. Having first decided to demolish the estates in 2006, in 2007, the Labour Cabinet decided that outline development plans would be displayed publicly in summer 2008, but to date not a single plan has been made. It now appears likely that no official plan will appear during 2009 and 2010 is earliest time that residents can expect to see any action to improve the estates where they live.
Conservative Council Leader and Parliamentary Candidate for Woolwich Spencer Drury said “Labour seem to have done nothing since deciding to exclude the three estates from the home improvement programme, which, in my opinion, makes quite clear how little they care about the residents of Woolwich. Instead of improving homes, Labour decided to demolish, but have not planned or organised for this to happen. The estates are being left to rot and Labour is simply holding out a dream of improvement but is doing nothing to make it a reality.”
“The Labour Council was the first Council nationally to suspend the right to buy on the three estates, but this only applies for five years. This suspension of the right to buy will probably run out before a developer manages to demolish even one home.”
Woolwich resident Petrina Sargent said “I am furious that Labour doesn’t care about the quality of the accommodation we live in. It is their duty to keep to their proposals. They are pretending to help us, but in fact rely on our support and then leave us in the cold."