Monday, March 18, 2013

Another Battle of Britain

MORE news of  people threarened with loss of their homes to the relentless drive for profit in London. And the culprit is a This is Cameron's Big Society at work!

Wally Kennedy is a former Labour councillor in the London Borough of Hillingdon, who still runs a regular advice surgery for people in his ward, and is chair of Hillingdon Against the Cuts. Where there's a battle to be fought, or someone needing help, you'll see more of Wally than of many remaining councillors combined.

Here's a note he posted this morning:

I attended a packed meeting on Sunday 17th at 4pm at the Battle of Britain Club on the Uxbridge Road ... called by Sara Carson ... to start the campaign to stop the eviction of 64 families who have lived at the Former RAF base for almost 2 years. Their landlord is Nottinghill Housing Trust who has issued them with Possession Orders and £175 court costs ... even though there were no Court hearings. 

We are organising legal advice and representation through the Law Centre in Hayes and I will be in the Civic Centre in Uxbridge today to chase up the Housing Dept.  The MP, the Councillors and the Press were invited to attend the meeting ... did they turn up ... I will leave that to your imagination.
Well done to Sara Carson and her daughter Emma for all the hard work and welcome to all those who agreed to be on the action committee ... let battle commence. Bail out our communities - not the banks. Build council and affordable housing for all. Take all empty properties into public ownership and sustainable use.
Wally is a Socialist Party member.  He does not protest local injustice without talking about broader alternatives; but nor is he one of those people who tell us how nice the socialist future might be,. without doing anything in the here and now. 

The same could be said for left-wing Labour MP John McDonnell in the neighbouring Hayes and Harlington constituency, but unfortunately Uxbridge is represented by a Tory, John Randall MP.

RAF Uxbridge has quite a history, containing 60 feet below ground the RAF’s 11 (Fighter) Group Operations Room, otherwise known as  the ‘Battle of Britain Bunker‘. During the Battle of Britain this Operations Room coordinated the air defences for London and the entire South East.

Following on its near neighbours at RAF Eastcote, and RAF West Ruislip, the  site has been earmarked for development, including housing and commercial use and a riverside park.. At 110 acres it is the biggest development site in West London.

The Notting Hill Housing Trust has a more recent, but also more chequered history, dating back 50 years to when Bruce Kenrick, a Scottish Reformed church minister, and one of the founders of Shelter, moved to Notting Hill and was shocked at the housing conditions, as well the numbers of homeless. He started raising funds and bought one house to house several homeless families. Within a year this had grown to five houses. Today, with Dr.Kenrick long gone, the Notting Hill Housing Trust has the Duchess of Gloucester as patron, and owns 25,000 houses in London. It is credited with contributing to the gentrification of Notting Hill.

If that is not gratifying to all the working class families whom the Trust was supposed to help, or some of its dissatisfied tenants, it helps sustain Notting Hill Housing Trust's CEO (since 2004), Kate Davies, on an estimated £165,000 plus per year back in over £196,000. Mind you, in these austere times the trust has imposed cuts and poorer conditions on junior staff.  That must have really come hard on Kate Marshall, as she was known when general secretary of the Revolutionary Communist Party (Living Marxism).

Nowadays not suprisingly she is closer to the Tory party, though still in touch with some of  her old chums apparently. As for her partner Nick Davies, having quit a local government job in Bromley on "health grounds" he recovered enought to join Tory Hammersmith and Fulham, running its arms length housing agency which is divesting itself of council housing and closing its waiting list. Registered as a company Davies is collecting £310,000 a year according reports. Just the couple to understand and sympathise with the ordinary tenant facing eviction. Charity begins at home, as they say..

It looks like RAF Uxbridge is due to be another battle in the class war which Living Marxism told us was over.

Kate Davies file

Nick Davies Ltd - but not his salary!

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