Tributes paid to council housing champion
Tributes have flooded in for tireless tenant activist Alan Walter, who died this week, aged 51.
As a founder member, spokesperson and chair of Defend Council Housing, Mr Walter, of Camden in north London, was at the forefront of the fight to keep social housing publicly owned. Austin Mitchell, Labour MP for Great Grimsby, described him as the ‘inspiration and driving force’ behind DCH.
DCH’s campaign had enjoyed major success in recent months, with both the prime minister and the housing minister promising support for a new generation of council homes, he continued.
‘It is particularly sad that - I think - we shall now win and he won’t see the fruition of it,’ said Mr Mitchell.
Meric Apak, chair of the Camden Federation of Tenants and Residents Associations, said that although Mr Walter ‘always talked up the achievements of the collective surrounding him’, there was no doubt that he was ‘the binding glue of this collective’.
Candy Udwin, Mr Walter’s former partner and the mother of his son, Joe Udwin, 23, said he had died suddenly at his desk on Saturday evening, while working on the campaign. It is believed he suffered a heart attack.
‘I think his real legacy was that he convinced and inspired people to believe that they could fight to change things - that if you saw something that was wrong you didn’t have to put up with it,’ she said.
A memorial service will be held at 6.30pm on Monday 16 March, at St Aloysius Social Club, Phoenix Rd, London, NW1 1TA. All are welcome.