TENANTS and residents at the West Hendon Estate in Barnet, North West London, are holding a meeting, a march and a giant banner drop today, as they step up the fight to defend their homes and community.
At 2pm there is a meeting at the Marsh Drive Community Centre, then refreshments followed by a march to Hendon Town Hall which sets off at 5pm.
A public inquiry is underway at Hendon Town Hall into the legality of the London Borough of Barnet’s actions on the West Hendon Estate.
Mitzi Hendy, a West Hendon tenant for 34 years, told News Line yesterday: ‘We’ve got a banner drop, we are dropping a huge banner.
‘We’ve got New Era Estate residents coming, the E15 ladies are attending and anybody else who wants to come along is welcome too. We are also doing a march up to the town hall.
‘When this first started in 2007, we had a much clearer picture of what they were proposing, then they turned round and said the regeneration won’t be going ahead because of the collapse of the market, but then all of a sudden, they started building again last year.
‘Now, they want to put all the secure tenants on a traffic island and 250 families that have got non-secure tenancies they are moving out of the area, basically social cleansing.
‘They are breaking up our community.
‘Tom Davey, the Tory councillor has said at a Town Hall meeting on video that he doesn’t want the likes of us living around here. Barnet Office were very derogatory.
‘We are showing solidarity. This has got to stop, it’s ridiculous. They are building houses that nobody is going to live in, luxury safe deposit boxes that people will buy as an investment but none of the people on the estate can afford.
‘Our proposed rents are going to be 80% of £2,800. We’ve had an increase in population in the borough of 26%.
‘We have received a lot of help and support and I’d like to thank everybody. We are doing well. They can’t carry on doing this social cleansing, all these landlords. Barnet Council is full of landlords. They are keeping rents high while our wages are 1930s-style.
‘We are meeting at Marsh Drive Community Centre at 2pm. There will be speakers from the Focus E15 mothers talking about their campaign when they held off people trying to evict them, then between 4pm and 5pm hot food and rolls followed by a giant banner drop.
‘Then there is a march from the estate to the public inquiry at Hendon Town Hall, where the inquiry is going on for over another week.’