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Camden New Journal - LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Published: 11 June 2009
Homes money is there, so let’s take up the PM’s offer

• THURSDAY June 4 was not just the day voters went to polling stations, it was also a turning point in the campaign for direct investment for council housing in Camden.
Would Camden Council join council tenants in lobbying ministers to flesh out Gordon Brown’s cash offer made so publicly in the June 4 New Journal (see right)?
Just the previous week Camden Council was on record saying that the government had told them that there was categorically no money on the table.
How hard did Camden really ask?
Council leader Keith Moffitt shocked tenants by bluntly refusing to jointly lobby government with us.
As guest speaker at Camdenfed’s annual meeting, Cllr Moffitt on the one hand praised the work of tenant representatives and Camdenfed, and still said “no, no, no” to a joint delegation. When asked why not, all he could come up with was that he believed a joint delegation would not be taken seriously.
This is the same council who allegedly have been trying “their hardest” on their own, to persuade the government for three years.
In just two months though, tenants’ “no sell-off’s campaign” has pushed open the door, with the Prime Minister saying that money is there for the asking?
Angry tenants in Camden feel that the council has been paying lip service, and not really pushing the government hard.
Perhaps they don’t want to be exposed and are worried that a partnership delegation with tenants will succeed where theirs have failed? Or do they perhaps feel it’s simply easier to sell council homes instead?
We call on Camden to recognise our campaign’s success, and add its own weight by joining us like many other local authorities up and down the country have joined their tenants.
We demand a joint delegation of council tenants and councillors to see the housing minister so that we can begin negotiations for the money the Prime Minister says is there for the asking. This is what Camden Council’s own cross-party housing scrutiny committee unanimously agreed should happen.
We call on Camden to suspend all council home sales, and proposals to market-rent them.
Meric Apak
Chair, Camden Federation of Tenant and Resident Associations

Reluctance to talk

• I HEAR that Keith Moffitt, the leader of Camden Council, is refusing to join tenants to send a delegation to see the housing minister for the cash we need for the Decent Homes works in Camden.
I am angry. As a council tenant, is it because Cllr Moffitt thinks I am a second class citizen that he believes the minister won’t take us seriously?
Or is it because he has something to hide?
He says that he has been asking for the money repeteadly and the government has been saying no.
Given that Gordon Brown has revealed all he had to do is ask for it I find anything the Liberal Democrats in Camden are saying hard to believe.
That is why I did not and will not vote Lib Dem. I am disgusted at their decision to sell off council homes.
George Short
Brassey Road, NW6

Why sell?

• IN all of the debate regarding council homes sales one thing seems strange.
While I can understand (though not approve of) the sale of street properties I cannot for the life of me figure out why estate properties are being included unless secondary motives come into play. I certainly know that on my estate as soon as a flat becomes vacant council workmen come in and spend a couple of weeks getting it up to scratch before new tenants move in. And any repair bills have to be minimal compared with street properties.
So why the sale of three flats in Aspern Grove and one in Harrington Street?
The only plausible reason I can see is that the Liberal Democrat/ Conservative alliance see no reason to keep estate properties and are therefore cashing in before the next election.
If re-elected I can see enforced arm’s-length management agreements or transfer lock, stock and barrel to housing associations being very firmly at the top of the agenda.
I’d like to think otherwise but everything is pointing that way so my message to all council tenants is be very very wary.
D Hodgkinson
Address supplied

Fixing it!

• SO Gordon Brown promises to fix Camden homes, eh?
Don’t hold your breath. In a very short time he will be in no position to fix anything… apart, perhaps, from his own peerage, a fat pension and a position on the board of the Royal Bank of Scotland.
Jane Marshall
Ferdinand Street, NW1

Send your letters to: The Letters Editor, Camden New Journal, 40 Camden Road, London, NW1 9DR or email to The deadline for letters is midday Tuesday. The editor regrets that anonymous letters cannot be published, although names and addresses can be withheld. Please include a full name, postal address and telephone number. Letters may be edited for reasons of space.

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