Knock Knock

Saturday morning, and a further example of how the proposed John Lewis style of local government is just pure pre-election fantasy, rather than a serious approach to address the problems that we are facing in Lambeth.

Local Labour Councillors @cllr_robbins and @cllrstevereed, leader of Lambeth Labour, have been out doing the #labourdoorstep thing around my little patch of South London.

Good work – it’s rare that we get the knock knock treatment from *any* politicians around here. The presence of the good Councillors on the mean streets of SW8 has to be applauded and encouraged.

In particular, the door knockers were keen to support a petition by local residents to put pressure on Presentation, the company that manages the Bolney Meadow housing stock on behalf of @lambeth_council:

Ten of us out in Stockwell collecting a petition for security doors. #labourdoorstep

With Bolney Meadow recently becoming part of the Police Dispersal Zone, tenants are campaigning for Presentation to fit security doors on their property.

When asked about where the John Lewis model fits into all of this, the good @cllr_robbins reported:

@Jason_Cobb did get positive feedback from a couple of residents, but more support for campaign to get security doors fitted.

Hang on – so here we have a situation where having voted to transfer their stock out of local authority management, the tenants are now being encouraged by electioneering politicians to petition Presentation to make improvements to council owned stock.

Failing that, then there’s always the DIY approach of the proposed John Lewis style of the management of council owned facilities – take control of the property (and repair bills) yourself, all in the name of a cooperative.

So who is ultimately responsible for the state of disrepair that council owned property has been allowed to fall into? The housing association? The tenants who have been encouraged to set up a cooperative?

It certainly doesn’t sound like the electioneering politicians and their petitions want to be accountable for the fitting of security doors around the council stock of the Bolney Meadow estate.

Nu Labour talk about opening up the market and empowering residents, but it seems that the only empowering being done is for the democratically elected officials losing all accountability. Let the housing association manage your property, or manage it yourself under a re-branding exercise – anyone but us.

Actually, that sounds like more of an anarchist bookshop model, rather than a fancy John Lewis department store system of local government. It may just appeal to me.

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