Sunday, 23 November 2014

Hammersmith spent £38,000 on backers

Hammersmith & Fulham Council has spent nearly £38,000 on a steering group of tenants which backs controversial plans to demolish and rebuild two estates, it has emerged.

The Conservative council plans to redevelop the West Kensington and Gibbs Green estates as part of the £8 billion Earls Court regeneration scheme. But the tenants’ and residents’ associations on the estates want to use proposed new right to own regulations to have existing homes transferred to a new housing association instead.

Documents released under the Freedom of Information Act show the council spent more than £34,000 on legal costs for a separate ‘steering group’ of tenants which is willing to work with the council on its plans.

The steering group was established last year to ‘allow the council to engage and negotiate with residents of the estates’.

Council leader Stephen Greenhalgh has said previously that he does not believe the residents’ associations represent the views of the majority of people on the estates.

The council has also spent £1,367 on a newsletter and draft tenant contracts for the switch to the new development, and £1,575 on a trip to the Bromley-By-Bow community centre.

Jonathan Rosenberg, a housing activist, said the council had ‘unfairly orchestrated unrepresentative support for its scheme’.

A council spokesperson said it had made a similar offer of financial support to the residents’ associations in the past - a claim they have denied.

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