Assess other options and resident support before awarding estate regeneration contract

Assess other options and resident support before awarding estate regeneration contract

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Derek Moss started this petition to Kingston Council

Important news: Recent leaks have revealed that Kingston Council intends to prevent residents petitioning it in future, so this may be the last chance any of us get to present our concerns to Council before it makes decisions. Let's show them we care about resident participation by getting as many signatures as possible.

https://www.surreycomet.co.uk/news/17547425.leaked-documents-reveal-plans-to-place-limits-on-public-participation-at-committees/ 

What are the issues?

On 24 April Kingston Council plans to award a joint venture contract for the regeneration of Cambridge Road Estate to Countryside Properties, so that they can develop a masterplan to present to residents before a ballot later this year. The current plans involve spending around £100m of public funds for an increase of just 109 social rent homes on the Estate (from 658 to 767), and building around 1,500 £500,000+ private sale flats, which most people won't be able to afford.

So far the Council has not considered the opportunities provided by the Government's decision last year to scrap the HRA borrowing cap, which could allow it to build 1,000s of new council homes without turning over valuable public land to a developer to build unaffordable private sale flats on. In 2012 the previous Lib Dem administration planned to invest £400m over 30 years in Kingston's council housing, half of which was for building new housing, and that was with the borrowing cap in place, so the current administration have even more ability to invest in council housing if they want to.

It has also failed to ask residents if they might vote for any plan that involves the demolition of their homes yet the proposed contract with Countryside will require it to pay the company £1.5m compensation if residents reject their masterplan.

The proposed ballot excludes the 94 Housing Association residents on the Estate whom the Council has no duty to rehouse after it demolishes their homes and it has no minimum turn-out, so if just 10 people vote and 6 vote For, this will be taken by the Council as sufficient support to demolish all 820 homes.

For further background, please see here: https://dchkingston.wordpress.com/marching-on-regardless/

What we want
At its meeting on 24 April the Council should vote against awarding the contract to Countryside Properties and instruct officers to produce a detailed assessment of the alternatives to joint venture regeneration which are provided by the Government's decision to scrap the HRA borrowing cap, with reference to the 2012 council housing investment plan drawn up by the previous Lib Dem administration.

Once that report has been considered, if the Council still considers that joint venture regeneration is the best option, then before signing a contract with a developer that will waste £1.5m if residents reject the masterplan it should first ballot residents, at a estimated cost of less than £50,000, to find out whether there is any chance of them supporting a regeneration plan that involves the demolition of their homes.

Any ballot should include all residents and home owners on the Estate and the regeneration should only go ahead if at least 50% of eligible voters vote in favour.

0 have signed. Let’s get to 200!
At 200 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!