We paid a surprise visit to the home of Tom Davey this morning, Barnet’s ‘Head of Social Cleansing,’ coinciding with the Independent’s new report that 50,000 families have been socially cleansed from London in the last three years.
The other day we pitched up a series of tents and umbrellas in the front garden of Richard Cornelius’ house, the leader of Barnet Council and ward councillor for Sweets Way. We wanted to bring homelessness home to one of the individuals most responsible for the decision to demolish 150 good family homes on our estate.
This morning, as the Independent leaked figures from London Councils that over the last three years, 50,000 homeless families had been forced-out of London by local authorities, we showed up at the home of Barnet councillor and Chair of Barnet’s Housing Committee, Tom Davey, to send a message about what his housing policy is doing to Sweets Way families. We delivered a full-sized grim reaper model, with Davey’s face on it, and the label ‘Head of Social Cleansing,’ placed amongst the same ‘temporary accommodation’ tents that we used to decorate his boss’ garden with last week.
Just days ago, one of the final Sweets Way families left on the estate was forced to move up to Luton, one of the cities that has received a significant number of homeless London families via Council social cleansing policies, according to the Independent.
Davey, described by a fellow councillor as ‘not fit for office’ over offensive comments made on Facebook about almost everyone you can imagine offending, is the latest public figure who we are throwing into the public spotlight for their role in kicking families out of the borough. Like with Cornelius, as long as their decisions rob us of our right to homes, we will go to theirs to make our voices heard.
However, we know that the problem isn’t limited to Barnet’s ‘ultra-Tory housing policy’ – London is cleansing its poor and working people at an unprecedented rate, as today’s Independent story makes crystal clear. In every London borough there is a Tom Davey, a Richard Cornelius and a fight that needs to be fought and won if London is going to avoid becoming one great big investment property for the rich. For now, we will keep bringing homelessness home to those who are making it happen in our neck of the woods and encourage others, around London to keep doing the same!