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tv   Inside Out  BBC News  September 9, 2018 4:30pm-5:01pm BST

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itfikéif itfiiéff fuc— him a thief after receiving two penalties. voting is under way in the swedish general election, with an anti—immigration party expected to make large gains. and sir mo farah wins the great north run for a record breaking fifth consecutive time, kenya's vivian cheruiyot wins the women's race. i'll be back with a headlines at five. but for now, inside and out. music: turn the page by the streets all over london, council housing is being ripped from the landscape, cut from the skyline. we have seen the demolition of up to 100 council estates. the stock has been decimated. at the same time, entire estates originally built
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to house the working—class are being sold—off to developers. we have a situation of what might be called hyper—gentrification, council estates have very much become a target for making profit. with council homes now increasingly scarce, families are being forced out of their communities, to the edges of our city and beyond. i can't believe this is what i have worked all my life for. to end up in a property like this cos i couldn't live here. this is the story of how some councils in london have demolished, sold and neglected their housing and how their tenants have been left fighting for a place to live. since i was a child running around the hood, i've noticed a reduction in the greatest provisions this city had to offer families like mine — the houses, the flats, the blocks — for a lot of us, our stories began in council homes.
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but now, these homes are disappearing. poor people are being pushed out the capital and i want to know what's going on. what is causing the loss of council homes in london? myjourney begins in southwark with a retired community nurse whose family have lived in social housing on the same street for over 100 years. so, john, you must be one of the few londoners who has lived on the same street their whole life, can you tell me how that is? my grandparents moved here from tottenham court road in1916 into number20. they had about 12 children but only eight survived into adulthood i think i counted at one stage there were 37 of us family living in this street so you couldn't do anything naughty because everybody had an eye out on what you were up to. four generations ofjohn‘s family members have lived on hayles street. now, john is the only member left.
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that's my dad, my brother, my sister. that was the hub, everybody went into number 20 cos that's where my gran lived. this is a rent book from 1960. we lived across the road in number 37 but the rent for a week was 18 shillings and ten pence. that's about 93, 94 pence a week. a week? a week. i suppose that was a lot of money in those days. so which of these houses did your family live in over the year? number11, number13, number19, number21, number20, number18, number 30, number 37. you guys had the whole road on smash. that's crazy, your whole tribe was basically here. some of the council houses that john's family once lived in are no longer called home by anyone, they are empty. there's another house further along that's been empty for two and a half years but that's just been left. there's one further along,
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somebody died there two years ago, council property, that's still empty. why? i have no idea. as well as leaving properties unoccupied, southwark council are also auctioning some off including the very first house the baileys moved into over a century ago. this one has been sold at auction for £846,000 about a month ago. the chap has done nothing to it, he's put it back on the market for a million. there's a further twist to this story. before auctioning it off, southwark council spent £19,000 refurbishing it. to me, that's madness, so i asked them to explain themselves. it is on the market for £1 million, it hasn't been sold yet and so we believe the price we received for that property is a fair representation of its market value coupled with the fact that in the intervening period, that property is still liable for council tax. as you say, a significant amount of money was spent to bring repairs to the property and we do recognise
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there is an issue there and that's why we have recently set up an empty homes team, which will be specifically looking at how we make sure that process is as efficient as possible and ensure the property is ready to go back out for people on the waiting list to be able to take up. music: no skylarking by wylie southwark are not the only borough to offload homes at auction. over the past eight years, london councils have privately sold and auctioned off around 1,100 homes, with sales raking in almost £350 million. local authorities say homes are only auctioned off when refurbishment proves too costly and that profits are usually invested into new affordable housing. yet the construction of new council homes has been waning. since 1980, for every five houses sold by councils in london, only one has been built. and the auctions are occurring when nearly a quarter of a million
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londoners are on council housing waiting lists. those who, if you like, are at the very bottom, are going to have a lot less chance of getting a decent home. i think it's pushed up the cost of housing, notjust for those who depend upon social housing but for everybody. because an option, if you like, that most people could have taken advantage of for decent housing is being withdrawn. it is my great pleasure to hand that over to you as a little token... conservative prime minister, margaret thatcher in 1980, introducing a controversial new policy that allowed council tenants to buy their home. over a well— publicised cuppa, mrs thatcher defended the councils' sale policy. since then, over 300,000 londoners have seized the chance to purchase their council home and get on the property ladder under the right—to—buy scheme. music: where did i go byjorja smith beverly says it was a dream come
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true when she bought her two—bedroom flat on the aylesbury estate in southwark, after the council offered her a 38% deduction. before i decided to buy my home, i lived in the flat for 19 years. it was just a nice flat, big and spacious and the beautiful views over the london skyline. it took me two years to get the mortgage together, so i worked two jobs. so it was a very different financial commitment but i knew this is where i wanted to live for the rest of my life. butjust two months after beverly signed up, the council announced the estate was to undergo a regeneration programme. the old blocks will be demolished with beverly's cherished home among the first to be torn down. they sent letters to myself and other leaseholders and even the tenants saying we had to move away from the area as they wanted to buy back our property. i was quite shocked because the local authority initially offered me £65,000 for my
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two—bedroom property and that was not enough to buy anything in the area. leaseholders tend to be pushed completely out of the city. they are priced out of london by the below market value recompense that they are given by the council. many people do have to move further away, mainly leaseholders who depend upon compensation to buy new homes and the compensation is nowhere near enough to live in the area that's being regenerated. so many of those are moved to outer london boroughs and maybe outside of london altogether. after beverly threatened legal action, the local authority increased their offer to £117,000. foui’ years ago, oui’ cameras followed her and an estate agent as she tried to find a new home in london for the sum that was then being offered by southwark council. it leads right into the bathroom and the kitchen is tiny. is this bedroom or the living room? this is all one room. so you live in here and sleep in here?
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yeah. i can't believe this what i worked all my life for. to end up in a property like this. because i couldn't live in a place like this. i think i need to step out for a moment. music: push me to my limit by rae morris many other leaseholders on the aylesbury estate have told us they too face being priced out of the area but southwark council dispute this. we're saying leaseholders can appoint their own surveyors. and if their own surveyors come forward with a different valuation of the property, then we have taken that into consideration in terms of revising the offer and being able to find a solution for them. we've also reviewed our leaseholders guide as well to be able to ensure that they stay on the footprint of the estate. music: kamakura by the maccabees we wanted to know how many council housing estates in the capital are subject to regeneration. so we sent a freedom of information request to every london borough. the responses reveal that 118 london estates are currently undergoing or are earmarked for regeneration
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in the next five years, affecting 31,000 residents. at city hall, green party member sian berry, has also been doing some research into the consequences of estate regeneration. i looked at what's called the london development database, that's where every planning permission in london gets recorded. what i found was that for schemes where there's at least one social housing, council home on the site, we've got a net loss of over 4,000 homes in schemes that have been completed over the last 15 years and when you look forward, schemes that have planning permission now, it gets even worse. there are 7,600 homes to be lost on schemes that regenerate so the whole process is accelerating. music: warning by bugzy malone one of the estates to see the biggest loss, is the heygate. constructed in the early ‘70s, the south london site provided over 1,200 council homes. but at the turn of the century
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it was listed for redevelopment and torn down, decimating the council housing stock and the community. the heygate estate was demolished a couple of years ago. it's been replaced by elephant park, a luxury apartment development by the australian developer lendlease. almost 3,000 homes, of those only 82 are social housing. the regeneration of the heygate estate was a pretty stressful experience for the people living on the estate. it was very long term, starting in 1999, it didn't finish until 2008. and many of the promises that were made, well all the promises that were made, to the people on the estate about having new homes and being able to move into them straight away were all broken. jerry, who organised a campaign group to try to halt the heygate regeneration, claims tenants on the estate were treated so badly they were left scrambling to find new places to live. the council tenants had to look for new homes using the home search magazine, a magazine southwark brought out every week saying what vacant properties there were and you used to have to bid for it,
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you had to wait and see if your bid came out on top. then you had to get round there quickly to view it and accept it and sign a new tenancy agreement. it was a very stressful experience. southwark council claim most of the original tenants from the estate are rehoused in the borough but they admit to having learnt from the experience of the heygate regeneration. now the whole thing has changed, the grass has gone, the trees have gone. when i look at it, it brings tears to my eyes. it's all gone. there are just holes and trenches. back on the aylesbury estate, demolition work is under way. here is still my home and i am happy living in my home, what i have left, but the surroundings have been destroyed. it's very sad. just four years ago the council spent almost £5 million improving this site before deciding it would be cheaper to tear it down. beverly says the council could have done more to save the aylesbury. a lack of care was taken
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in maintaining the estate. the lifts broke down. we had no heating and hot water. i think the idea was to run the estate into decline so it would be a reason to pull it down. it's become a common trope really that councils undertake a process of managed decline in the run—up to the regeneration of estates. so that they can argue "look, the fabric of this estate "is in poor condition". "we need to bring in money, we need to do something about this." and certainly i have found this evident on a number of estates. there were gutters that were not being cleaned. there were blocked drain pipes. there were roofs that were not being fixed. these things just aren't attended to. we've learnt to call that "managed decline" because what appears to be the council's agenda is that they stop doing the basic maintenance, the fabric of the buildings deteriorates, the quality of life deteriorates. the biggest example, of course, is grenfell. music: lupulagio by sigur ros.
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18—year—old lamya — a carerfor her mum — lived in grenfell tower. the block they now live in overlooks the ashen frame of theirformer home. i moved to grenfell when i was about five. and then we moved to here when i was about 12. so all of my childhood, essentially, was in grenfell. lamya and her mum moved from grenfell long before the fire that has left an indelible scar on our national psyche. they say they were moved out because their flat had fallen into disrepair, but they fear their new home is a fire risk. we don't know which ones are fire doors. if i had a fire in there which ones would stop it for a few minutes so that i could get my mum out. we decided to find outjust how valid lamya's fears are, so we arranged for a private company that specialises in fire safety to visit her home. at the main entrance to whitstable house
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the fire safety team spot a fault that could leave residents with no route of escape in the event of a fire. that's fire—retardant court plate glass. this is a plastic panel which has been put in probably because the original piece was broken. but the fire would break through that into minutes. which makes a nonsense. upstairs, inside lamya's flat, the team find a newly installed fire doorand an alarm. but they also discover that the mouldy window and door frames pose a fire risk. the door itself, the seals don't actually meet. so there's no smoke seals at all. also, it doesn't actually physically shut. like at grenfell, the fire broke out and then broke in on other levels. itjust makes residents feel definitely unsafe that the council are not listening to us. it sort of gets you thinking
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of what the council needs to do to better the buildings. because we are living in unsafe buildings, essentially, is what they are saying. people have been complaining on this estate certainly for five or ten years about the fact that very little money has been spent on maintenance. it's all part of the managed decline. we presented our findings to the royal borough of kensington and chelsea. in a statement they said: after the grenfell fire, kensington and chelsea halted all regeneration projects. yet, across the capital's other
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boroughs, 84 estates are set be partially or totally destroyed before redevelopment. these projects are often joint initiatives between private developers and local councils. local authorities sign up to such deals on the basis a certain number of affordable homes will be built, yet some developers are using a clause in planning laws called "viability assessments" to negotiate down the number of social homes they build and to increase their profit margins. 35% to 50% of new homes built in london are meant to be for affordable housing, but when developers get involved with their financial motives, that rent agreement runs into problems. using their viability assessments, they claim there is no way they can afford 35% to 50% and so local authorities give in, failing those in need of social housing. the property developers are the winners of regeneration. all these regenerations
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are public—private partnerships. they depend upon the so—called viability of the scheme, and the profitability of the scheme is the first benchmark of deciding whether a scheme is going to go forwards. so you can have developments where they've promised 30% social housing and actually when it comes down to it they provide 5%, a few units. so you have thousands of people who were living in controlled council housing who are just totally displaced. the man who has the final sign—off on most major building projects in our capital is mayor sadiq khan. today he's in croydon, pushing yet another regeneration project and a pledge to build 10,000 new council homes across london over the next four years. but how can he ensure those homes won't end up benefiting developers more than communities? i am saying to developers the condition of you getting permission to build homes, market value homes or whatever; you must agree to build a certain
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percentage affordable. the expectation is half to be affordable. numbertwo, we are saying to a developer, if you want to regenerate an estate, you've got to take the residents with you. you've got to make sure you ballot your residents. if the majority want it to take place, all well and good, you can apply for funding from city hall. but even if you are not receiving funding from city hall, if you want to get permission for planning there must be no loss of social homes. but the mayor's promise that residents on council estates will have a say via the ballot box is not being applied to previously—agreed regeneration schemes, and even some new projects will be excluded. what he's done he is giving ballots to estates were social housing is being demolished and more than 150 homes are being built. and i'm worried that this 150 homes minimum will result in a lot of schemes proposing 149 homes. music: tell me the truth
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by la psley. 0n the ebury estate back in westminster, tenants are still hoping they can save their homes. i've lived here for almost 26 years now and it's been the best place i have ever lived. it's fantastic. i was really shocked when i learnt that they were going to demolish, not refurbish — i mean, there's nothing wrong with the building i am in, the flats are all well as you can see from my flat — there is nothing wrong with it. people have been involved in all processors, looking at the design of the scheme and the response has been very positive. kari had high hopes that sadiq's new ballot pledge would save her home from the bulldozers but westminster council are not
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relying on a grant from the mayor to regenerate the ebury so they are able to bypass his new policy. basically if the council pays out of its own budget it doesn't need to do a ballot. however, i think that is really wrong. i think when people's lives are being affected so drastically, whoever they are, wherever they are, however it is being paid for, people whose lives are being affected so seriously should get a ballot. campaigners say the mayor's new ballot policy is flawed. its influence is limited, and the homes of thousands of council tenants throughout london still remain at the mercy of developers. this is unlikely to change without a reversal of government policy towards social housing. we are working under the constraints of a national government which has cut the affordable housing grant, has basically withdrawn a significant amount of support for local councils and essentially councils are being left to deliver council homes off their own back. with a shrinking pool of social housing available and estates
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being demolished in favour of private ownership, many council tenants are feeling under siege and taking action. regeneration has triggered a mass grass—roots movement across the capital, from lambeth to hackney to haringey to brent, people are taking a stand and saying no, you can'tjust demolish our homes. it's a fight of will, it's a fight of words. it's a fight about who has the right to live in london. this demonstration to save the aylesbury estate in 2015 attracted hundreds of angry protestors. and scenes like this have become a regular occurrence in our capital. the anti—gentrification movement in london is big and i think it is growing at a really exponential rate because the conditions of living in london are getting totally untenable. you have tens of thousands of people essentially being ejected
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from the city, and so people are really coming together to fight back. there have already been over 50 protest marches in the capital this year. but resistance isn't just breaking out on the streets. all her neighbours have been moved out and beverly is the last resident left in the entire block. holding out for more money from the council, over the last year, she has teamed up with leaseholders elsewhere on the estate to launch a legal fight. doing the public inquiry was like a full time job and itjust took over my whole life. it was a relief when we actually got the inquiry and we were able to present our case and it was shown that the cpo was actually disproportionate to taking leaseholders homes and also that the council had breached our human rights. butjust a few months after this ruling, southwark secured the right to another public inquiry.
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beverly has reached her limit and submitted, and agreed to move out. i have been doing this battle for over five years. during this process, it's taken my health and i came to the conclusion i need to take a step back. i am losing my home and i am actually being forced, even though i've mediated, even though the mediation settlement has been done, i still feel like it's not what i would have chosen for myself. beverly might be moving on to take care of her health, but other leaseholders and tenants on the aylesbury are determined to continue the resistance. like hundreds of others on regeneration sites, they are fighting not just for their homes but for their communities. my neighbours are fantastic. i have got korean neighbours on one side, they've got a little boy who i often take to the cinema, and we have a great time. sometimes they cook for me, sometimes i cook for them some english food.
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with my bi—polar condition i have got really good support from the care team in the area. i see them regularly. they care for me when i am unwell. i would hate to lose all of that and have to start from square one again. and i am coming towards 60 now, i don't want to move when i am 70. and the temporary accommodation — what is that going to be? where is it going to be, what is it going to be? will my carer also still be able to live with me? redevelopment doesn't have to end this way, with former tenants displaced, neighbourhoods gentrified. redevelopment could actually empower communities. but for that to happen, we need to ensure this beautiful city doesn't lock out the very people who make it what it is. these council properties are our home, and we have to fight for them before the day comes when we wake up and there's none left. hello there. it has been a better afternoon than yesterday. drier, more sunshine and quite warm also.
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but it has been breezy. farther north, the rain and showers has been a feature. it will turn windier across scotland later this evening and overnight. courtesy of this area of low pressure, getting closer to the north of scotland, squeezing isobars bringing windy weather. the south, not as windy, a nice end to the day, some sunshine, staying dry overnight. for much of scotland, winds picking up, 50 to 55 mph. outbreaks of heavy rain also. particularly in northern and western areas. particularly in northern and western the eastern parts staying fairly dry. light winds in the south. clear skies this afternoon. one or two eastern areas could dip into single figures. a fresher night than last night. this is the pressure chart for monday. high pressure across england and wales, which means fine weather to begin with before this next area of low pressure moves in from the atlantic.
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plenty of sunshine to begin the day, a pleasant morning for many. still breezy across scotland and some showers. later in the day, the weather system will arrive across northern ireland and push into western parts of scotland. turning windy also. further south, temperatures not quite as impressive as this afternoon. highs of 20 or 21 degrees at best. remains quite wet and windy across the northern half of the country tomorrow. but this weather front moving southwards. tuesday morning it will be through the central parts of the country, heavy bursts of rain. to the north, plenty of showers. it is important, because this weather front will be a dividing line on tuesday between something cooler and fresher to the north, to something warm and humid to the south. on tuesday, we will be tapping into this warm and humid air coming off the near continent.
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and given spells of sunshine, it will be feeling pleasant. in the north, it will remain cool and windy tuesday and wednesday. could see 24 degrees in london on tuesday. turning coolerfor all areas on wednesday. this is bbc world news i'm tim willcox. our top stories... wade and handed the detonator to brussels. i am live here at the tuc conference in manchester as they call for the public to be the ones with the final say on the brexit deal. high drama at the us open as serena williams loses her cool. and the final. and north korea stages a
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huge military display to celebrate its 70th anniversary. the country's long—range missiles weren't part of the display of power. voting is under way in the swedish general election. the anti—immigration party expected to make large gains. and
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