Elephant & Castle shopping centre: the battle at London’s gentrification “ground zero”

Corporate watch

The Elephant and Castle has been called London’s gentrification “ground zero”. In a just a few years the area has been transformed beyond recognition – from a bustling neighbourhood of council estates and street markets, to a spike of high-income glass skyscrapers owned by offshore investors.

The developers’ next target is the shopping centre in the middle of the area. The complex’s architectural beauty is debated – 1960s design icon to some, concrete carbuncle to others. But it’s undeniably a living heart of a diverse working class neighbourhood, with its many Latin American shops and cafes, street stalls, a popular bingo hall, and the nearby Coronet venue.

All this is set to be demolished and “redeveloped” by property investor Delancey (see our profile of the company here). Delancey is also responsible for the Elephant One tower next door: a luxury housing development with zero “affordable homes”, involving massive profiteering through offshore tax havens. In the new shopping centre scheme, too, Delancey has used every possible trick to minimise its commitments to local people.

Full post

Advertisements

The Right to the City: ASH Residency at the 221A Gallery, Vancouver

Architects for Social Housing (ASH)

‘Art is not a mirror held up to reality but a hammer with which to shape it.’

– Bertolt Brecht

For a Socialist Architecture (under Capitalism)

Within the overall socio-economic context of Western democracies today, in which there is a cross-party consensus from the political establishment on the marketisation of housing provision, and whatever party forms a government there is no longer the political will to make the state responsible for housing its citizens, how do we meet the housing needs of an increasingly homeless population? Is a socialist model of housing provision unsustainable and impossible within capitalist economies? And in the absence of a socialist government – let alone a socialist revolution – on the horizon, what would a socialist architecture look like?

 more

Red And Black Telly: TOURISM IS DESTROYING WHITECHAPEL

Support Dorset Eye – Independent Citizen Media

Via www.dorseteye.com

Dorset Eye is a vital resource for communities and activists, providing local, regional and international voices on a wide range of topics determined by the public. Since 2012 thousands of people have contributed news and analysis to a website that is unique in the UK, supporting local democracy, defending public services and keeping a close “Eye” on those with authority and influence.We aim provide an empowering democratic experience, so the website is run entirely by volunteers operating on a not-for-profit basis. The site is clean of corporate advertising: content is at the centre of the media experience. With growing costs and ambitious plans to become a model that can compete with the corporate media we need a significant increase in resources, especially through financial support.

What they say about Dorset Eye:

Debbie Monkhouse, Defend Dorset NHS:

“Dorset Eye covers the news that really matters to us here and is not afraid to state the facts. Dorset Eye has really helped get the message out about what is happening to our Dorset NHS – the huge losses at Poole Hospital A&E and Maternity, 245 acute beds across the county, and community hospitals in Portland, Wareham, Ferndown, Westhaven and Alderney. Crucially, Dorset Eye has not shied away from sharing clear evidence of the risk to life inherent in the CCG plans.”

Dr David McQueen, Journalism & Media, Bournemouth University:

“Dorset Eye provides a quite unique example of citizen journalism in action – giving local people a venue to write about and debate topics that range from parking, crime, traffic issues, the impact of austerity on local NHS provision, to Brexit, climate change and the mainstream media’s failure in its reporting around Saudi Arabia and the war in Yemen. No other local media in the UK is so open to citizens’ voices across such a wide range of topics and stories.

Please support Dorset Eye as generously as you can and never hesitate to contact us to discuss how we can help each other. You can back us financially at:- Support Us:  https://dorseteye.com/support-us/

– GoFundMe: https://www.gofundme.com/dorset-eye
Please circulate this message to your friends, workmates and neighbours, and through your community, trade union, party and other networks.

You can contribute your own news, reports and analyses to Dorset Eye at: https://dorseteye.com/submit-a-report/

The Dorset Eye team

South Norwood stands with Grenfell 14th November

Piracy by the Mayor Of London. Freedom news.

Sadiq  Khan is a cheap crook – ed.

Found at Freedom news 27th Oct 2018

Piracy by the Mayor Of London

What if we told you that Sadiq Khan, the elected Mayor Of London, has been willfully abusing his power in public office by illegally evicting a legitimate company from its premises, illegally taking over its businesses, administration office, plant machinery and equipment, and hijacking a marina and boatyard, only to hand it all over to the Royal Docks Management Authority (RoDMA), one of his Mayoral/GLA-funded companies – stealing all the company’s contracted clients in the process? You’d naturally assume that this is a made up story, right? As a matter of fact, this actually happened at 10.49am on 9 October 2018 to a family run business in East London: Gallions Point Marina Ltd, when the GLA, controlled by the Mayor Of London, ordered an eviction without giving any notice. Four High Court bailiffs, 20 private security guards and four security dog unit vans brutally and forcefully evicted two female members of staff from the marina’s administration office.

Leigh Miller assault by GLAs Private security

Leigh Miller was assaulted by the GLA’s private security in the presence of the police (incidentally the staff called the Police to assist their help in stopping the illegal eviction!) as she went to access the trailer where she lives to retrieve a few essential personal possessions: handbag containing prescription medication, ID cash card and some clothes. It was clear GLA’s private security had been pre briefed to deny Leigh to access to her home to retrieve even a single item.  She was left standing with nothing but the clothes on her back.  Leigh went back to the Marina in the evening to try and retrieve her medication and a few personal items and was physically assaulted for a second time by GLA’s private security.  Who duly informed her that the GLA had instructed them under no circumstances were they to allow Leigh to access any of her personal possessions.  These events raise more worrying questions about the ex-human rights lawyer Sadiq Khan, now the Mayor Of London who completely ignored Leigh Millers basic human rights during this illegal eviction.  And more even questions by using the Met Police to enforce illegal evictions. Estimated cost of this outrageous exercise to the public purse: £30,000.

East Dock view, September 2018

Since 2016, Gallions Point Marina has been locked in an ongoing legal fight with the Mayor Of London, who is using the might and finance of three publicly funded authorities – GLA, TFL and RoDMA – to smother with litigation the Miller family who own the marina business. The plan is to terrify and crush Eric and Leigh Miller personally with eye-watering legal costs so the Mayor can get his hands on the marina and hand it over to London and Regional, a property company whose majority shareholders are billionaire developers the Livingstone brothers. The hyper-publicity-shy Livingstone brothers will then run and operate someone else’s marina under the questionable guise of “the Albert Island Vision”… with the new Mayor (no different from the old Mayor) of Newham Rokhsana Fiaz in cahoots, aiding these private profiteers who are land-grabbing publicly owned land from the people of Newham! A big media fanfare is being used to promote this “Albert Island Vision” by the Mayor Of London and the Mayor of Newham. It’s a carbon copy of the massive London Olympic scam (dig a bit and you’ll find it’s the same key public policy players behind it…Jules Pipe ex Mayor of Hackney, now Khan’s right hand land grab Regen man) with public land and public money going into private profiteers’ pockets with the flimsiest promises of jobs and homes. The reality is that these homes will be predominantly private, with a few paltry old chestnut crumbs of “affordable” homes – aka social housing for wealthy professionals earning upwards of £60,000 a year, and totally unaffordable to Newham residents and working-class Londoners.

During the eviction of the marina, the bailiffs, who were assisted by the Met Police (also controlled by the Mayor of London), were immediately informed that their High Court writ paperwork was incorrect. Staff presented them with the Gallions Point Marina Limited company incorporation documents and court-stamped Judicial Review application documents (dated 4 October 2018) to prove that the legal case is still active within the court system. Dated 2 October 2018, the High Court eviction writ from RoDMA (funded and controlled by the Mayor Of London, and who incidentally are only supposed to control the water and not the land) was incorrectly addressed to private individuals, Eric Miller and Leigh Miller, and not to the company that is both the legal occupier and also the legal sitting tenant of the marina. Eric and Leigh do not pay the rent and their clients do not pay the Miller family. Gallions Point Marina Limited makes all rent payments, and all client payments are made to Gallions Point Marina Limited. So the High Court eviction writ should have been addressed to Gallions Point Marina Ltd and not to Eric Miller and Leigh Miller. The bailiffs also refused point-blank to hand over a second writ dated 2 October 2018 from GLA Land & Property Limited (again controlled by The Mayor Of London) and an attached map. They refused to provide copies of these documents and to allow any copies of these documents to be made.

Gallions Point used for sales & marketing

The legal action has been directed at Eric and Leigh personally. It is clearly a tactical sock-and-awe attack by three publicly funded entities, GLA, TFL and RoDMA, all controlled by Sadiq Khan, the Mayor Of London. The Mayor’s modus operandi in this aggressive pre-planned attack and blatant piracy of the Millers’ business stinks of institutional joint enterprise and abuse within public office. Ironically the GLA took rent from Gallions Point Marina Ltd’s business account on 5 October 2018. And RoDMA took rent from the Marina’s business account on 15 October 2018, six days after it forcibly and illegally evicted Gallions Point Marina Ltd.

There is no court order in existence for possession or eviction against Gallions Point Marina Ltd. The High Court writ was addressed to Eric Miller & Leigh Miller. Gallions Point Marina is a separate entity that has been totally excluded from the legal case, despite legally occupying the land and paying the rent since 1999. The company is also a legal sitting tenant. The 2010 lease was never signed and there is hard evidence to confirm that The GLA are aware of this fact

Backstory:

Eric Miller founded the marina in 1992 on derelict, contaminated wasteland in the Albert Docks. At the time people laughed at Eric – they told him he was mad to set up a boat yard there. But Eric and his daughter Leigh prevailed and pumped blood, sweat, tears, and every penny they earned for 27 years into creating Gallions Point Marina and its infrastructure.

GPM East Dock, 1992

Eric and Leigh did not like the original and officially correct spelling of the name: Galleons, and had to get permission from the Port Of London Authority/GLC to change the spelling to: Gallions.  Fast forward to 2018, the publicly funded authorities who have stolen the Millers entire business, vision, concept and intellectual property of the Marina and boatyard, have now jumped on the bandwagon and use the same spelling for marketing and naming local developments, with no acknowledgement to Eric & Leigh’s.

In 1999 Eric registered Gallions Point Marina as a private limited company that has been paying the rent ever since. The Miller family created a landmark and worked hard to put the marina and boatyard on the map and its success is constantly used by others to lure finance, development and property sales in the area while adding an extra 25 per cent to the value of the new-build flats that have views over Gallions Point Marina.

GPM image used for advertising purposes

The Mayor Of London even has the bold-faced temerity to pimp off the back of the visionary hard work exclusively done by the Millers by shamelessly using photos of Gallions Point Marina Ltd on site hoardings quoting ‘supported by Mayor Of London’ promoting Mayoral developments in the area.

Eric and Leigh vowed from day one to fight to the bitter end for the marina, to ensure working-class Londoners can have access to the River Thames and enjoy the docks that were built and worked on by the working class, who have historically been the wealth creators, the backbone of the economy, the invisible scaffolding that holds society up when the state and local councils fail, with no thanks or acknowledgement.

Eric is quite ill and receiving ongoing treatment for cancer. The shock of the events on 9 October took a heavy toll on his kidneys and he was hospitalised, where he remains to date. From his hospital bed, Eric is still adamant to continue the fight, as is Leigh, who commented on the eviction: ‘This sickening injustice cannot be ignored. If they [the GLA, RoDMA and TFL] get away with this, then absolutely nothing and nobody in London is safe.”

Eric Miller in hospital bed, 11.10.2018

The GLA’s London Assembly Overview and Scrutiny Committee were fully informed of the legal case and events leading up to the illegal eviction of Gallions Point Marina Ltd. It is clear that the London Assembly is not functioning correctly in failing to hold the Mayor to full account. It has just become another highly paid public-purse gravy train ride for the main political party wannabes.

The Mayor Of London meanwhile is the son of a bus driver who grew up in council housing, a former human-rights lawyer who has continually ridden roughshod over the human rights of small businesses like the Millers’ and over hundreds of council estates and communities in London that he plans to demolish and class cleanse for private profiteers’ interests. And let us not forget the damage he is doing to London’s black cab industry, or the thousands of businesses based on numerous publicly owned council brownfield sites i.e., the Old Kent Road, and similar sites across the capital and the thousands of businesses located in London’s Railway Arches also currently under threat of evictions.

Its time these disparate groups joined together to put a stop to the wanton destruction of Working Class peoples: businesses, trades, industries, homes and neighborhoods by the political red and blue out of touch public purse gravy train riding elite in government and public office, who clearly are working and acting to ensure only private interests benefit from our land and off the back of our hard graft!

The evidence is clear: Sadiq Khan is not a man of the ordinary people. He certainly does not, and is not supporting London’s pioneering independent small businesses like Gallions Point Marina.  His actions indicate he is a selfie-addicted stooge and puppet mayor for big business.

Since taking office Mayor Khan has done nothing but wage an all-out class war against London’s white, black and brown working-class communities and small independent businesses on behalf of private corporate profiteers. It’s time to get rid of the elected Mayor of London with the special unaccountable power system. It has completely broken democracy while destroying businesses, livelihoods, homes and lives, and eviscerating and displacing entire working-class neighborhoods in London. This deliberately broken Mayoral system, a carbon copy of New York’s mayoral structure, ring-fences our communities’ land and homes for private profiteering developers, and has continually provided investments and public money for the few at the expense of the many.

As Leigh Miller says: ‘This fight is far from over!”  This remarkable lady has everything to fight for and nothing to lose, just like the unprecedented growing numbers of London’s white, black and brown working class people who have been dispossessed by the Tory state, and betrayed by traitorous Working Class hating Labour party elite Oxbridge, Oxford & Cambridge gravy train riding mafia who dominate Mayoral offices, and have turned Labour run Town Halls into complete unaccountable dictatorships, that are making Working Class peoples/small businesses lives an absolute misery.

This Gallions Point Marina Ltd case is still active and live within the court system with no legal conclusion to date.


A longer version of this article is currently in the process of being written containing links to relevant documents that will expose the actions of three publicly funded bodies controlled by the Mayor of London working in joint enterprise to illegally evict Gallions Point Marina Ltd, and reveal how a gravy-train-riding ex-human rights lawyer and champagne-socialist Labour Mayor hijacked a legitimate business, its boatyard and its clients for private corporate interests!

Feature photo: GPM image used by Mayor Of London

Red And Black Telly: THE CONSERVATIVE CONFERENCE 2018