HANDS OFF OUR HOMES! – Aylesbury and Heygate tenants to march

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Tenants on the Aylesbury and Heygate estates have been fighting for a number of years against the plans to demolish their homes, and are now to march again to drive the privateers out of the area
Tenants on the Aylesbury and Heygate estates have been fighting for a number of years against the plans to demolish their homes, and are now to march again to drive the privateers out of the area

TENANTS on demolition-threatened Aylesbury and Heygate council estates in Southwark, south-east London, are to march through the estates on Saturday April 5 to defend council housing.

Aylesbury estate tenants voted in a ballot by more than 70 per cent against the privatisation of their homes, yet Southwark Council has plans to destroy thousands of homes on the two estates near Elephant and Castle.

Aylesbury and Area Tenants and Leaseholders First campaign, who made a deputation to Walworth Community Council last night, said: ‘We are at The Final Frontier to stop this hated privatisation-demolition scheme.

‘Support for resistance on the Aylesbury is very high and more and more determined.

‘This we know from door-knocking and comments received when we have been leafleting.

‘The NDC (government-backed New Deal for Communities) glossy leaflets are not conning residents anymore.’

The Tenants First campaign demands:

• Stop the Aylesbury scheme – repairs and refurb now!

• No evictions – keep council housing!

• Build more council housing!

Heygate tenants plan to join Aylesbury tenants on next weekend’s midday demonstration through the estates to a meeting at Aylesbury Day Centre, Bradenham Close at 2.00pm.

The tenants on Heygate are in uproar at threats to evict them if they don’t quit their homes to make way for the bulldozers.

Not a single new council home is planned on the rubble of either estate.

All the land would be handed over to private developers, so anyone trying to return to the area would have to surrender their council tenancy.

Heygate tenants have told News Line that the so-called ‘regeneration’ of Elephant and Castle has turned into a nightmare for them, accusing Southwark Council of letting the estate run down to get them to move out.

But they have vowed to stay put, and want their rent money used to maintain the estate and carry out repairs, and the money promised to the private developers used to renovate their council blocks instead.

The ‘regeneration’ has been described by many tenants as ‘social cleansing’ to get the working class and poor people out and build private flats overlooking Westminster and the City.