Saturday morning involved a visit to the monthly surgery of local councilor and leader of Barnet Council, Richard Cornelius. A month ago, we’d paid him a visit and he’d taken everyone’s details and promised to follow-up with all the individual cases. But he didn’t. And so everyone was a little less patient with him this time round, some having been moved out of borough since, others living in extreme precarity, with no sense what kind of support they will be able to receive from the council, after having been repeatedly rejected by countless private landlords. Several mothers powerfully told the stories of dispersal and inadequate accommodation that the council had forced them into, while teenagers and children were brought to tears during the confrontation.
When asked why there wasn’t any truly affordable housing (as in social or council housing) in Annington’s planning application, approved by Cornelius’ council, he was clear: it wouldn’t have been profitable enough to have any. And that’s what this comes down to: if a home isn’t profitable, it should be knocked down to make way for one that is.
Barnet Homes’ website makes perfectly clear where they stand in regards to those who can’t afford highly-profitable homes:
“There is very little affordable housing to rent in Barnet. If you have a low income you will need to consider looking for a home in areas outside of Barnet and even outside of London which are more affordable.”
But we won’t have it. So we will continue to fight against the demolition of the place we call home.
If you’re around Barnet on Monday morning, come join us as the Sweets Way social centre goes to court with Annington to fight their attempts at social cleansing, 9:30am at Barnet County Court: https://www.facebook.com/events/916567795031609/918777254810663/
We’re also at nearly 50,000 signatures on our Change.org petition! Please sign and share if you haven’t already!