Stand Up For Public Sector Tenants; Stand Up For Hamiltonhill

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treehugger76
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Sep 14 2009 20:14
Stand Up For Public Sector Tenants; Stand Up For Hamiltonhill

Since putting in a formal request to GHA for a timetable of works to install Secured By Design steel security doors in Hamiltonhill, the Hamiltonhill Action Group have now escalated the campaign, since GHA have chosen to completely ignore both the request and complaint logged by the residents via the Action Group.

Over a month has passed since the Action Group registered their official request but GHA has been deathly silent despite follow up correspondence from the Group and residents. Even according to their own agenda and targets of responding to resident’s requests and correspondence the GHA have failed. Considering a colossal 50% of the budget is spent on administration, surely it can’t be an issue of not having enough people to answer the phones?!

GHA have shown themselves to be unconcerned for their tenants health and safety, consistently ignoring demands for investment to be made to improve the quality of social housing in the area. However, Hamiltonhill has been subject to a systematic programme of neglect by GHA and Glasgow City Council, prior to it being earmarked for demolition in 2008 and as a local resident said:-

“We have stayed here 9 years, and our door always opens when you press the service button, at any time. They don’t think there is anything wrong with that.”

Having publicised their situation throughout and beyond Glasgow, Hamiltonhill Action Group have now gained the support of the Scottish Tenants Organisation as well as neighbouring estates giving further signs of solidarity and support. The Action Group are holding a weekly stall immediately outside GHA headquarters and have made contact with several other resident’s groups in Glasgow. There have also been a large number of unaffiliated social housing residents coming up to the stall to share stories and generally showing GHA that Glasgow is supporting the campaign for better social housing, whether it is in Possil, Parkhead or Pollokshields.

The two groups have called a national demonstration on the 24th of September in Glasgow to show that the people of Scotland want and are in need of safe, secure, dry and affordable social housing and demand respect for their communities and themselves from the people who are meant to be working for them.

Isn’t it time that something changed?

Tenants and the STO are now calling a national demonstration, on the 24th of September, to demand investment in public sector housing.
Quote:
* We demand steel doors for Hamiltonhill. We demand real investment.
* We demand an end to unnecessary demolitions.
* We demand an end to the failed policy of stock transfer.
* We demand an end to write to buy. We demand debt write-off for local authorities, to give council a level playing field.
* We demand that public sector housing is an option of choice. We demand respect, in Hamiltonhill, across Scotland.

Let’s say it loud and clear, “Scotland’s for Council Housing!”

See you on Thursday the 24th of September, in Glasgow.

[Details to follow soon. Please get in touch if you hope to attend: agahst2003[AT]hotmail.com, hamiltonhillaction[AT]googlemail.com]

http://burghangel.files.wordpress.com/2009/08/microsoft-word-issue14-doc.pdf

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Steven.
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Sep 15 2009 09:58

Thanks for posting this - I moved it to the forums, however, because it is not formatted like a news article. See here for more information on submitting content:
http://libcom.org/notes/content-guidelines

Dundee_United
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Sep 15 2009 14:37

Letter I sent to the Weekly Worker...

Quote:
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Dundee_United
Date: 2009/9/14
Subject: Letter to Weekly Worker: It's time that we took the offensive in our communities
To: weeklyworker[AT]cpgb.org.uk

Dear editor,

As comrades and friends of the left will be acutely aware, the present crisis has sent the British Government into the red by £1.63 trillion: the equivalent of 12 annual NHS budgets, or of funding the armed forces for 24 years. That's a significant bit of dosh. And with the revelations that the government plans to buy back even more gilts as a confident trick to international money markets, it looks set to rise much further still. This stuff has to get paid for, and we can bet that current plans from any of the bourgeois parties do not include taxing the rich, capital controls, or ditching the British state's overweening reliance on the finance sector. So massive massive cuts are on the horizon. 10-12% (at least 13% in real terms) is due to be cut from the public purse, every year, for five years, from 2011.

That's a government commitment, and the Tories think this is not enough of a cut.

So on the left we face two very particular challenges. The first is to recognise the problem - in just over five years we face the complete destruction of the welfare state; a settlement that took decades of struggle to force from the ruling class. The second is given the stakes, what can we do to improve our chances of not getting completely shafted as a class.

I think we need a two pronged approach.

1. As a materialist I think the power that we can wield as a class is best represented by the institutions we build to reflect our class interests. These institutions are sources of campaigning experience, organised solidarity, finance, training, communication, mobilised bias, economic power, and moral support. Clearly when our institutions are strong and healthy and growing we stand a better chance of winning the battles and skirmishes over jobs, pay and
conditions, service provisions, and housing and community health, than when our organisations are weak.

We need to ensure that our institutions are healthy. Particularly at the coal face of where social contestations are going to take place. The public sector, social services, housing, health and education. At present, while we have an increasing break with social partnership represented by the best of the labour movement (as fractured as it is at present), with the PCS, RMT, CWU etc., we can conclusively say that on the ground in terms of community organisation we have been on the retreat now for many decades. Most towns and cities now do not even have a federation of tenants and residents associations, or other
co-ordinational civic bodies. I know from bitter experience on tenants issues and fights against council cuts in Glasgow precisely how weak and out-on-a-limb this leaves most communities when struggles to preserve what we have arise. So we need to have institutions in place in our communities and workplaces that are controlled by us, reflect our interests, and fight like tigers in defence of our basic class interests.

2. Very often on the left - because we are mostly (rightly) trying to stand by our brothers and sisters in struggle, we find ourselves moving from crisis to crisis, defending against cuts to this, arguing against job losses or closures to that. We can show people we're there beside them all the way when we do this. And that's important. But it's defensive. When we defend, and we stand to lose everything, mostly we will lose something. And we will call that loss a victory. And sometimes it will build our institutions along the way.

But when are we ever offensive? We have Defend Council Housing, Keep Our NHS Public, Anti-Academies Campaigns, hundreds of local affiliates and local anti-cuts campaigns. But these are all about preserving the status quo. We keep fighting for hamburgers. When are we going to fight for steak?

When we go on the offensive, most of the time we won't win. We won't get everything we wanted. But most of the time we will make some progress. So right now, in the face of a wave of cuts, why wait? Why don't we start as we mean to continue? Let's go on the attack. Let's demand council houses. Let's demand an end to PFI. Let's call for more public sector jobs. Why don't we make our pensions more generous? When asked to pay for, we should say it's about bloody time we had some fairness. Let's go on the offensive!

I'd like to draw comrades attention to a campaign gotten up by the national tenants body in Scotland, the Scottish Tenants Organisation, supported by the STUC; Scotland's for Council Housing is calling for investment in public sector housing. Debt write-off, a level playing field, and serious investment in the numbers, quality and infrastructure of our homes. My local tenants group, which is linked in to the STO, has launched a campaign to demand investment in our homes, calling for new security doors. This in an area that the neo-liberal privatisers at the city council and the stock transfer landlord, the Glasgow Housing Association, would like to see demolished to make way for private housing.

Let's say it loud and clear: the organised working class are not going to be kicked into the dustbin of history. We are going to fight, and we are going to win. We are going to win investment in our homes and public services. We are going to force capital and the state to rethink their plans to shaft us, and come up with other ways to pay for their crisis. But we will only do that when we grasp the strategic challenge. So comrades, how about it? Why don't we build some permanent working class organisation, and go right on the attack.

Why don't we keep hitting these bastards again and again and again.
Let's move fast and hit them first.

Scotland's for Council Housing. | http://www.news.scottishtenants.org.uk |
National Demonstration for investment in our homes and communities -
Assemble Granite House, Trongate, Glasgow, 11AM, Thurs 24th Sept.

Let's hit first. Hard.

Solidarity,
Dundee_United

Been trying to articulate this point for a while.

If we want to keep what we have, then we need to go into an all-out attack. Everywhere. On every key front in the class struggle. Now.

Quote:
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Dundee_United
Date: 2009/8/19
Subject: Spotlight Falls On Hamiltonhill - Burgh Angel Issue 14 NOW OUT
To: glasgow-anarchists[AT]lists.riseup.net

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- LATEST ANGEL - ANGEL ISSUE 14 - LATEST ANGEL - ISSUE 14 -
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http://burghangel.files.wordpress.com/2009/08/microsoft-word-issue14-doc.pdf
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- ^ ISSUE 14 ^ - LATEST ANGEL - ^ ANGEL ISSUE 14 ^ - LATEST ANGEL -
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Cdes.,

As we learn of the political victory of the Council and the Scottish Government with the resignation of Glasgow Housing Association Chief Executive Taroub Zahran, and Vice-Chair Fred Sheddon, a major tenants campaign has been gotten underway in the North West of the city for investment in steel doors.

With the change at the top of the GHA isn't it time the people of this city and tenants of its landlord started to set the agenda?

Next year there will be £35 million cut from Glasgow City Council's budget. With the publication of recent reports it has emerged that the GHA has slashed the city's housing figures, bringing Scotland to a historic low in terms of availability of social housing, according to Shelter Scotland.

Across Scotland now, the Scottish Tenants Organisation has embarked on an ambitious national campaign. Scotland's for Council Housing is calling on the Scottish Government, UK Government, and Scotland's local authorities to start now to build more council housing, provide debt write-off to councils to erase Scotland's historic housing debts, and bring council housing to a level playing field compared with the private sector. As more and more vampire landlords rake it in from those forced into the private sector due to the shortage of council housing, and its mismanagement in recent decades, and the country faces a wave of new homeless as the collapsing economy continues to bite, isn't it time we started to set the agenda?

The government plan 13% real term cuts to the public sector, every year, for five, from 2011. Unless we strike now, and go on the offensive, and build our organisation and strength as a class we risk losing a social settlement it took generations of workers to establish in bitter struggles. Things really can get worse. Much worse. We need lasting organisation in place to fight these battles, and due to the sustained attacks on tenants organisation for the past 5 years we have only just begun to regroup as a movement. We need now to go on the offensive.

And this is a critical time. It is a time in which the future of this city's housing is being determined. We need to state loud and clear the tenants voice. Starting this Friday, at 3PM.

This Friday from 3PM, Outside Granite House (the beating heart of the wrecking ball landlord). This Friday, at 3PM, the stall at GHA headquarters, Granite House, which overlooks Marks and Spencers, will commence the beginning of a tenants offensive in this city.

Isn't it time we asserted ourselves?

This Friday, at 3PM, at Granite House 117 Trongate, tenants will hold a protest stall. A stall that will reconvene EVERY WEEK, to call for investment in this city's housing. We will bear the information and material from any tenant of the GHA. We want to begin to assert our agenda.

Isn't it time we won steel doors for Hamiltonhill, and investment in all our communities. Isn't it time we asserted ourselves, and commenced an offensive, instead of lying down waiting to be attacked.

Because the attack is coming. It will hit us like a tidal wave. We had better be ready.

So let's fucking hit *them* first. Hard. Again. And again. And again.

Help build the campaign. Help build a movement for tenant power in this city. And that movement will fight a thousand struggles over the next few years. And perhaps we may even win, and take control of this city. Chance and strategy will be a fine thing. But let's strike out now, so that we will not be defenceless.

See you this Friday, at 3PM, 117 Trongate.

Dundee_United
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Joined: 10-04-06
Sep 15 2009 14:44
Quote:
Hamiltonhill Action Group Launches ‘Tenants Offensive’
Burgh Angel Blog Article
Quote:
Having publicised their situation throughout and beyond Glasgow, Hamiltonhill Action Group have now gained the support of the Scottish Tenants Organisation as well as neighbouring estates giving further signs of solidarity and support. The Action Group are holding a weekly stall immediately outside GHA headquarters and have made contact with several other resident’s groups in Glasgow. There have also been a large number of unaffiliated social housing residents coming up to the stall to share stories and generally showing GHA that Glasgow is supporting the campaign for better social housing, whether it is in Possil, Parkhead or Pollokshields.

Since putting in a formal request to GHA for a timetable of works to install Secured By Design steel security doors in Hamiltonhill, the Hamiltonhill Action Group have now escalated the campaign, since GHA have chosen to completely ignore both the request and complaint logged by the residents via the Action Group.

Over a month has passed since the Action Group registered their official request but GHA has been deathly silent despite follow up correspondence from the Group and residents. Even according to their own agenda and targets of responding to resident’s requests and correspondence the GHA have failed. Considering a colossal 50% of the budget is spent on administration, surely it can’t be an issue of not having enough people to answer the phones?!

GHA have shown themselves to be unconcerned for their tenants health and safety, consistently ignoring demands for investment to be made to improve the quality of social housing in the area. However, Hamiltonhill has been subject to a systematic programme of neglect by GHA and Glasgow City Council, prior to it being earmarked for demolition in 2008 and as a local resident said:-

“We have stayed here 9 years, and our door always opens when you press the service button, at any time. They don’t think there is anything wrong with that.”

Having publicised their situation throughout and beyond Glasgow, Hamiltonhill Action Group have now gained the support of the Scottish Tenants Organisation as well as neighbouring estates giving further signs of solidarity and support. The Action Group are holding a weekly stall immediately outside GHA headquarters and have made contact with several other resident’s groups in Glasgow. There have also been a large number of unaffiliated social housing residents coming up to the stall to share stories and generally showing GHA that Glasgow is supporting the campaign for better social housing, whether it is in Possil, Parkhead or Pollokshields.

The two groups have called a national demonstration on the 24th of September in Glasgow to show that the people of Scotland want and are in need of safe, secure, dry and affordable social housing and demand respect for their communities and themselves from the people who are meant to be working for them.

Dundee_United
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Joined: 10-04-06
Sep 15 2009 15:12

In a recent Glasgow Housing Association (GHA) press release, the stock transfer landlord noted that up to a 75% drop in housebreakings has been achieved in areas fitted with "secured by design" doors. Hamiltonhill has been scheduled for demolition since 2008. Tenants in the area have been left in limbo, however, since the massive crash in land values and financial crisis made the planned speculative developments (for which the centrally located neighbourhood was to be demolished to make way for) no longer viable, the area's future has been left in doubt.

In the meantime tenants have seen no significant investment. Streets have been left boarded up, but many still live in the area. There is constant speculation about what's happening to the scheme.

In recent months however tenants have started to come together on the estate to fight for investment and to demand that tenants are treated with respect. A poster campaign was followed with a community survey. The survey group asked their neighbours their priorities for change in the area. From this a programme has emerged for the new Hamiltonhill Action Group.

The group’s first action was to survey the close doors in the neighbourhood. With nearly half of all close doors found by the group to be broken or vandalised tenants wrote to the GHA to demand immediate action. 17 repairs were understood to have been carried out. Many have since been broken once more, so tenants are demanding that steel "secured by design"
doors are fitted on the estate.

In a letter to the Chief Executive of the GHA the action group demand a timetable for the doors to be fitted by the end of August.

Embattled tenants have told the Angel that they will “draw steel from Granite” (a reference to the headquarters of the GHA, the city’s giant landlord). Unless the Group’s demands are met by the end of the month campaign organizers for
the Group will take their campaign to the Scottish Tenants Organisation. The Angel understands that plans for a “very robust response” are now being put into motion. “They will rue the day they ignored Hamiltonhill!” The Action Group states, summarising their position.

Link to ISSUE 14: http://burghangel.wordpress.com/2009/08/19/angel-14-out-now/microsoft-word-issue14-doc/


Steven.'s picture
Steven.
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Sep 15 2009 14:46

What is the source for the "13% a year for five years" cuts figure?

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Steven.
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Sep 15 2009 14:48

BTW, good info about the residents dispute, please keep us updated.

Dundee_United
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Sep 15 2009 15:11

It's frankly everywhere (and nowhere stated bluntly) but without searching very hard at all...

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/stephanieflanders/2009/06/the_public_spending_debate.html

There have been a series of budgetary statements effectively stating this.

Check this out:-

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/newsnight/8095520.stm

Steven.'s picture
Steven.
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Sep 15 2009 15:30
Dundee_United wrote:
It's frankly everywhere (and nowhere stated bluntly) but without searching very hard at all...

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/stephanieflanders/2009/06/the_public_spending_debate.html

There have been a series of budgetary statements effectively stating this.

Check this out:-

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/newsnight/8095520.stm

neither of these links mention a 13% cut annually for five years. It's certainly not something I've heard before.

And so the statement about the complete destruction of the welfare state within five years would seem like a huge exaggeration.

However, this thread is about the local housing stuff, so I'll end of this derail here.

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Joseph Kay
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Sep 15 2009 15:31
Dundee_United wrote:
It's frankly everywhere (and nowhere stated bluntly) but without searching very hard at all...

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/stephanieflanders/2009/06/the_public_spending_debate.html

that mentions a 10% real-terms cut over 3 years. that's about 3% per year for 3 years. 13% per year for 3 years would be a 34% cut, for 5 years it would be a massive 50% cut. i'm writing an article on the cuts at the moment, if there's a source for anything of that scale i'd like to see it!

statistical anality aside, i'll echo Steven: good info on the housing struggle, please keep us informed, i'll try and do an article for Catalyst, or suggest someone else does if i don't have time.

Dundee_United
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Sep 16 2009 23:07

http://burghangel.files.wordpress.com/2009/09/microsoft-word-why-we-need-steel-security-doors-in-hamiltonhill-doc.pdf

treehugger76
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Sep 17 2009 01:26

The GHA are starting to take notice and sent the manager for Hamiltonhill to the Hamiltonhill Action group stall last Friday (11th) to talk to the members there.

Audrey Murphy not only insinuate the doors were effectively useless since they could be kicked in (conveniently forgetting that if the steel security doors were installed properly then they would open outwards thus solving the problem) but also that the tenants who live on the scheme are so unruly and ill-bred that no sooner were new doors installed that they would be broken again.
She informed the stall that GHA are working closely with the tenants to tackle anti-social behavior on the scheme but did not see how installing security doors may be part of the solution, especially if it would cost £250,000 to do so. When put into perspective, that would amount to around 8 months rent from each household, but surely that's a reasonable investment for feeling safe in your own home? People asked at the stall seemed to think so.

She didn't have much of an answer when asked what the GHA intended spending tenants rent money on instead of their homes and had to leave shortly after.

Dundee_United
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Sep 20 2009 08:08

Making the case at GHA headquarters:-

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZuSsRZ-saqs

Dundee_United
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Sep 30 2009 16:41

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0BGqkJw_oLU