Public Interest Law Centre

public law | human rights | legal action

17Apr 2024

Refurbish Don’t Demolish

17th April 2024|Gentrification, Housing|

Saskia O’Hara shares legal routes available to housing campaigners in South Thamesmead.

PILC’s Saskia O’Hara joined residents, tenants and campaigners at the Lesnes estate in South Thamesmead to host a workshop about how to use the law as a tool in their campaign. 

PILC is representing a resident on the estate as part of our gentrification project. Saskia was invited down to speak to residents about the process of planning and the law, explain the legal challenges that are available, and share lessons learned from other estates and campaigns. 

Campaigners known as ‘LesRes’ (Lesnes Resistance) gathered to protest the Peabody’s plans that, if actioned, could see hundreds of people forced out of their homes. 

“With a new fast connection into central London, the area is ripe for profiteers, and around 600 homes on this mid-60s built estate are facing demolition” says Real Media.

The residents on the estate are demanding that the Director of Peabody, John Lewis, meets with residents to discuss: 

  • Filling the empty homes, and refurbishing them instead of demolishing them
  • Protecting social housing, protecting their environment and stopping the social cleansing of the community. 

PILC will continue to work with residents by using the law as a tool to help them achieve the aims of their campaign. 

To support the campaign, sign their petition here. Follow the LesRes campaign on twitter to keep up to date and amplify their demands. 


So often, developers treat people’s homes as disposable in the pursuit of profit.

But PILC supports tenants and homeowners in estates like Lesnes who are up against major developers.

We work with local residents and campaigns to shift the power away from privatisation, and put it back in the hands of the communities.

If you’d like to talk to us about a case as part of our gentrification project, drop Saskis an email at saskia.ohara@pilc.org.uk

27Mar 2024

Local Council financial meltdown – is there another way?

27th March 2024|General|

Photo: Socialist Party/Militant

There is a spectre haunting the Town Halls of Britain, the spectre of bankruptcy. Local councils are going bust, or are teetering on the edge of a financial precipice. Paul Heron, the Legal Director at the Public Interest Law Centre, examines the problems that face councils, and asks is there anything that can be done?

On 5 March 2024 Councillors at Birmingham City Council sanctioned the most extensive budget cuts in the history of local government. The measures entail the elimination of approximately 600 council jobs, the ending of arts grants, closure of libraries, and the reduction of bin collections to once every two weeks. Furthermore, the approved cuts include reductions in funding for adult social care, children’s services, flood defences, and highway maintenance. Additionally, street lighting throughout the city will be dimmed. The council, has also endorsed a 10% increase in council tax for the upcoming financial year. This decision follows the council’s declaration of effective bankruptcy in September 2023, with the government granting special permission to exceed the national cap on tax rates.

From Birmingham to Northamptonshire, Croydon, Slough and Thurrock, the list of bankrupt councils goes on. Indeed as has already been noted, “One in 10 county councils in England is facing effective bankruptcy – putting vital services at risk, local government leaders have warned.”

From libraries, to youth clubs, from care homes to other essential services, austerity measures have served as the final blow to these social lifelines. Let us make it clear these are Central Government cuts to local government finances, however local Councillors sit on their hands and do nothing.

In 2018 the Public Interest Law Centre (PILC) through judicial action stopped the forced sale of Southall Town Hall by Ealing Council. .The old Southall Town Hall was the home of many charities and community groups. Had the sale gone through, charities housed there would have been homeless. Without a base, many of these vital community groups would have ceased to exist. According to Ealing Council Councillors the sale was necessary to ‘plug the gap’ in the cuts expected in the Council’s finances. Campaigners were told ‘there was no alternative’. Since the successful judicial review action the council have not re-visited the decision, and the sale was effectively stopped. There is now a healthy and vibrant Southall Community Alliance who supported the case all the way through, and have no intention of these proposals returning.  In Folkestone, Kent, we helped the community secure the future of their local library and hold the local authority to account over their austerity-backed closure and lack of repairs.  This case demonstrates how councils cut without consultation.

Cuts, cuts, cuts…

Local councils have been the frontline instruments to pass on austerity cuts for the past decade and more. No other area of government has been subject to the same financial squeeze. In July 2023 the London Government Association estimated that English councils faced funding gaps of £2bn in 2023-24 and £900m in 2024-25. It has since revised those figures in the light of Bank of England inflation forecasts to £2.4bn and £1.6bn respectively.

You don’t need to be a financial genius to understand how we arrived at this point. The funding allocated to councils by the Central Government experienced a substantial real-terms reduction of 40% from 2010 to 2020. Further and even sharper cuts are on the way.

There is no doubt that local councils are caught in a whirlwind of cuts and financial constraints. Sadly, elected councillors are doing nothing to stop this happening. They are merely voting to pass the cuts. This is not only an abdication of duty, but an act of political cowardice.

What should local Councillors do?

Local councils retain enormous powers and responsibility.  Councils in England control budgets totalling £120 billion – providing services from housing to schools, youth provision, adult social care, libraries, museums, crime reduction, local welfare assistance, sports centres, parks, transport, highways maintenance, recycling and refuse collection, and have legal powers over many non-council provided services.

Local councils are in a powerful position to fight back. It is just not true, as the majority of Councillors try to suggest, that they are powerless to act.

Local councils are facing major cuts from Central Government. However, there is room to manoeuvre. The Localism Act 2011 provides local councils with an inherent power of competence [to do] anything apart from that which is specifically prohibited. As a matter of law this allows Councillors to act against making cuts.

As a start, local Councillors who are prepared to resist austerity can use their own reserves and ‘prudential borrowing’ powers to avoid passing on government cuts. Such a step needs to be linked to empowering the community, building campaigns against cuts and crucially linking with the wider movement. A mass campaign of opposition to Central Government cuts has to be built. Such a strategy is completely within a council’s legal powers.

Council finance officers can challenge a budget they believe to be ‘knowingly unbalanced’. In other words, a no cuts budget, but it is not unlawful to set such a budget if it can be balanced in other ways.

Thus, the use of reserves to meet projected deficits and finance debt repayments is legally a ‘matter of judgement’ for Councillors themselves to make. As The Times reports, local authorities were ‘sitting on £21.8 billion of non-ringfenced reserves last year, £5 billion more than they had in 2017 and £11 billion more than they had at the start of the decade’.

I would accept that councils using reserves and selective borrowing to avoid making cuts would only be buying time. There is an inevitable showdown to be had with Central Government at some point. There is after all no ‘clever tactic’ or legal principle that can avoid the need to build a mass campaign against the cuts.

Any legal tactic therefore needs to be linked to a campaigning strategy. Thus, the best way for Councillors to contribute to the mobilisation of a mass campaign, necessary to defeat the cuts and campaign against Central Government, is to argue for budgets that meet the needs of their local communities, without massive council tax hikes. They should call for councils to join together to demand that the government makes up the funding shortfall. Such a deficit budget or no cuts budget clearly highlights what is needed, and exposes government cuts. This is not a new tactic.

Councillors – fighting cuts

In 1984 the council in Liverpool employed the tactic of a ‘needs budget / no cuts budget’  to great effect. Indeed, they forced the then Central Government to concede extra resources to the city worth up to £60 million (£98 million today).

However, there is, of course, no guarantee of victory – but if there is no fight, there will be no win.

It is important to pause here and acknowledge that the law has changed since the 1980s. The Local Government Act 2000 abolished the power to surcharge Councillors (that is to fine Councillors). So whereas Councillors in Liverpool and Lambeth councils faced surcharge in the 1980’s, this is no longer a weapon that can legally be used. There is therefore no reason why Councillors can’t act now.

The advent of ‘localism’ under the Localism Act sought to place councils in control. Thus powers were restored to local councils by Central Government and there is more flexibility for Councillors to act.

The state’s reserve powers to appoint commissioners to take over particular council functions remain, although only after a legal process – which in itself could also be challenged both in and outside the Court. Central Government moving against a local council and deploying commissioners to take over would be difficult – particularly if there was wide support in the community for an anti-cuts budget. That would be even more problematic if several councils take the ‘Liverpool road’ simultaneously and are backed by a mass campaign.

What if Councillors fail to act and continue to make cuts?

The attitude of the Councillors in Birmingham and all the councils who have faced financial meltdown is to pass on Central Government cuts. They don’t want to act to stop cuts. What legal remedies are there?

There is still the possibility of bringing selective legal challenges to stop cuts. The first option is to challenge any proposed cuts that impact on a service or duty that the Council has a statutory duty to deliver. The second are services that are provided as part of a public service which are not pinned to a statutory duty. Such duties such as youth services or libraries that are cut or closed, these can also be subject to a public law legal challenge and a Judicial Review.

If you require further information contact our Public Law team on 0203 559 6342 or at office@pilc.org.uk

13Mar 2024

Litigation as a catalyst: PILC’s approach to movement lawyering in the fight against gentrification injustice.

13th March 2024|Gentrification|

Legal caseworker and community legal organiser, Saskia O’Hara (right), shares how litigation has created space for Aylesbury Estate residents to grow their campaign

Campaigning can take an incredible amount of hard work, time and resilience. Deciding whether or not you should take a developer to court, and facing a legal landscape that has proven to be hostile to housing campaigners can be intimidating.

At PILC, we use the law as a tool to assist, support, and empower the residents who are on the frontline of gentrification. At the Aylesbury Estate, we worked with Aysen Dennis to challenge developers as they attempted to alter the terms of the Outline Planning Permission (OPP). This win in the High Court has been a successful way to buy more time for the campaign to grow, attract new people, and reestablish the residents’ authority to determine the future plans for the estate.

Forming part of PILC’s gentrification project, here are some of the ways we worked with Aysen and the Aylesbury Estate housing campaign in their recent High Court win.

Met with residents and campaigners face-to-face to build a legal challenge

When you are tasked with building a legal challenge, nothing beats spending time with those affected, listening to concerns and paying attention to their local expertise.

We walked around the Aylesbury estate and spent time with Aysen in one of the buildings threatened with demolition.  We also attended a ‘Gentrification Exhibition’ Aysen held in her flat  – this was an incredible insight into the history of their fight. 

In these initial meetings we spent time explaining the concept of the law being only one of the many tools which campaigners can use to achieve their aims.

Secured public funding for the case

Securing Legal Aid was key to making sure that Aysen was financially protected from costs throughout this public/planning law case.  It is tricky to obtain public funding for planning law Judicial Reviews, so it was not only beneficial for this case, but also sets an example to other legal aid firms to show securing public funding in this arena is possible.

Held a public meeting before the court date

Once we had established a legal case, issued a claim at the High Court and got permission to proceed to a hearing (discussing and taking instructions from our client and her fellow campaigners along the way), we worked with the campaign to co-host a public meeting.

To get as many of the residents to come along as possible, PILC designed and funded campaign leaflets that were posted to all residents and distributed in communal spaces. This meeting was also open to the wider public so that anyone who was interested could get involved, including documentary film crews and press.

My colleague Alex and I were joined by the barrister Alex Shattock of Landmark Chambers. We started with a presentation explaining what the legal challenge was, how it had emerged and what it could achieve.

Even though the legal case was a highly technical planning law challenge, we took the time to guide attendees through it, and made time for questions and a discussion. We were  honest and clear that it was very difficult to win a Judicial Review at the High Court, and either way, the case was really an opportunity for campaigners to:

  • delay the developers
  • push them back to the drawing board
  • reinvigorate the campaign 

Community presence at the court on the day of the hearing

We encouraged campaigners to show up at the Royal Courts of Justice and protest as it’s a great chance to show the scale and strength of their campaign.  This draws attention from the media so that the case can be highlighted to as many people as possible.

It was so great to see that the public area in the courtroom was packed out with the community on the day of the hearing.

Post-win public meeting

Even if there had been a different outcome, it was always the plan to have another public meeting after the judgement to share what happened in court, and talk about the next steps.

Again, this event was open to all, and we worked with the campaign to advertise the meeting as widely as possible. 

The meeting was electrifying. Litigation wins like this can often provide a spark of possibility and positivity for the campaign. Campaigners were happy that ten new estate residents come along.

We explained the legal aspects of the win –  and that although the developers chose not to appeal the court’s decision, it doesn’t mean the end of the redevelopment plans. 

We also shared just how far-reaching this win is for housing developments across the country (the barrister, Alex, had just come from hosting a session with over 1200 lawyers specifically regarding the implications of this case!).

The majority of the time was for residents and campaigners to plan what they will do next. The discussion was lively and the ideas were brilliant. We will continue to support. 

Watch this space!

Developers so often assume that the residents who live in the homes they want to destroy aren’t paying attention to what they’re doing. They want unlimited power to shift and change plans as they please. But PILC supports local residents and campaigns to shift the power away from privatisation, and put it back in the hands of the communities. Donate to support PILC’s work in the fight against gentrification.

1Mar 2024

Criminalised for Seeking Asylum: the conviction of Ibrahima Bah

1st March 2024|General|

Last week, Ibrahima Bah, a teenager from Senegal, was convicted of illegal entry into the UK and manslaughter by gross negligence. We are deeply concerned and saddened at this result, both in the impact on Ibrahima and the perpetuation of the criminalisation of seeking asylum that this case demonstrates.

Details of the Case

Ibrahima Bah was arrested in December 2022 after the dinghy he was driving across the Channel broke apart next to the fishing vessel Arcturus. Four men are known to have drowned, and up to five are still missing. One of those who drowned was Allaji Ibrahima Ba, 18 years old from Guinea who had travelled with Ibrahima from Libya and who Ibrahima described as his brother.

There were multiple factors that contributed to the shipwreck and resulting deaths, including the boat’s poor construction, passengers standing in the dinghy simultaneously, the delay of the French Coastguard in launching a search and rescue operation, and the delay of the fishing vessel Arcturus in informing the Dover Coastguard.

Ibrahima’s testimony explained that he had agreed to drive the boat in exchange for free passage for himself and his brother, but refused upon seeing the size of the boat compared to the number of passengers. He explained that the armed smugglers then beat him and forced him onboard to drive the boat. Many of the survivors testified that Ibrahima saved their lives by steering the dinghy towards the fishing vessel when it got into danger and described him as an ‘angel’, assisting passengers to board the vessel first and holding the rope to keep the collapsed dinghy alongside. Their testimony also corroborated that Ibrahima had been beaten and forced onboard the boat.

The prosecution argued that Ibrahima was not telling the truth about being forced to drive the boat, and suggested that even if he had been forced that he was responsible for the deaths as he did not turn the boat around.

This the second trial of this case following a previous trial resulting in a hung jury in July 2023. In this trial, the jury found Ibrahima guilty of manslaughter by gross negligence by a majority of 10-2 and guilty of illegal entry into the UK unanimously.

Ibrahima was sentenced on 23 February to 9 years and six months imprisonment.  

Criminalisation of seeking asylum

As the first shipwreck survivor to face manslaughter charges for the deaths of fellow passengers, Ibrahima’s conviction represents another troubling expansion of the criminalisation of seeking asylum.

Despite the many contributing factors to the shipwreck and his attempts to assist his fellow passengers, Ibrahima has become a convenient scapegoat in this tragedy. For example, the French and UK Coastguards have faced no consequences at the time of writing for their failure to assist people in distress.

On broader level, Ibrahima’s conviction hides the reality of the UK’s border regime which makes these journeys inevitable. For the vast majority of migrants, there are no safe routes to the UK to seek asylum. It is not possible to make a claim of asylum without being physically present in the UK, and arrival into the UK without valid entry clearance is illegal. It is simply not possible to come to the UK to seek asylum in a way that complies with current immigration rules.

The Nationality and Borders Act 2022 expanded the provisions of the Immigration Act 1971 to create new criminal offences. Under the previous rules, there was a key legal distinction between ‘arrival’ and ‘entry’ into the country whereby arrival takes place when a person arrives at a designated port with an approved area, whereas entry only takes place when someone passes immigration control or leaves an approved area.

A recent report published by the Centre for Criminology at the University of Oxford and Border Criminologies concludes: “Despite the Government’s rhetoric, both offences target people with no role in organised criminal gangs. The vast majority of those convicted of both ‘illegal arrival’ and ‘facilitation’ had ongoing asylum claims. Victims of torture and trafficking, as well as children with ongoing age disputes, have also been prosecuted.

“Those who were charged faced short hearings in the magistrate courts, usually within 48 hours of their arrival. Proceedings were often complicated or significantly delayed by poor interpretation and faulty video link technology. Bail was routinely denied without proper consideration of each individual’s circumstances.”

The 2022 Act removed the significance of this distinction by making even arriving or attempting to arrive in the country without valid entry clearance a criminal offence. R v Mohamed [2023] EWCA Crim 211 confirmed that prosecuting asylum seekers is lawful under the Act. Whilst having a strong case for asylum will count as a factor against the need for prosecution, making an application without merit may increase the likelihood of prosecution.

Unsurprisingly, prosecutions have not acted as a deterrent for Channel crossings. Between June 2022 and October 2023, 253 people were convicted under the act for illegal entry. These prosecutions do nothing but criminalise and continue the suffering of vulnerable people seeking asylum, whose rights should be protected by the Refugee Convention to which the UK is a signatory.

Anti-black discrimination in criminal justice

Ibrahima’s case also highlights the structural racism of our criminal justice system. We are very concerned by the anti-migrant sentiment expressed by the captain of the fishing vessel Arcturus in an interview with GB news and the racial stereotypes in his witness testimony in describing Ibrahima as ‘mouthy’ and ‘ungrateful’. Ibrahima was convicted by an all-white jury, and it is disappointing to see that the testimonies of the survivors of the shipwreck, that were communicated via interpreters, appear to have been dismissed. The duress the Ibrahima was subjected to in driving this boat, and his efforts to save his fellow passengers have gone unnoticed, whilst the lethal and irrational border regime remain unchallenged.

Captain Support, a group supporting Ibrahima and others facing criminalisation for migration, have said of the case: “The result of Ibrahima’s retrial is a miscarriage of justice. Seeking asylum is not a crime. His actions to steer the dinghy towards the Arcturus and assist fellow passengers following the shipwreck saved lives. They should be commended, not condemned.

“However, Ibrahima is not alone but one of hundreds facing prison time for having come to this country to claim asylum. The fact he was arrested and successfully prosecuted sets a worrying precedent for the future. People are forced into precarious and dangerous crossing by sea through the cruelty of the border. Then, they are blamed for it. The support of civil society groups socially, legally, and politically is invaluable in our shared campaign to right this wrong.”

We offer our heartfelt support to Ibrahima and all those targeted by these prosecutions, and hope to see his conviction overturned.

Image: Captain Support

2Feb 2024

Elephant Park H1 Planning Inquiry: Case Update

2nd February 2024|General|

Elephant Park H1 Planning Inquiry: Planning Inspector allows Office Block to proceed.  What did participation achieve, and are there any lessons to be learned?

On  30 November 2023, the Planning Inspector allowed Lendlease to proceed with plans to build an office block on the final site of the former Heygate Estate in Southwark, London.

PILC, along with Southwark Planning Voice and Charles Bishop of Landmark Chambers, represented a group of residents and campaigners called the Community Objectors of H1 (‘COH1’).  They won the right to be a Rule 6 Party to this Planning Inquiry in which Lendlease were appealing a decision by Southwark Council to refuse them planning permission to build the office block.

COH1, as well as supporting Southwark Council’s position on the character and light impacts of the proposed office block, put forward the position for housing.  COH1 argued that Lendlease have not followed Policy H8D of the London Plan 2021, as they favoured an office block over building affordable (and we say particularly social rented) housing.

A full review of the Planning Inquiry, and arguments made by Lendlease (Appellant), Southwark Council (Defendant) and COH1 (Rule 6 Party) can be found in a previous blogpost

Unfortunately, although the Inspector acknowledged COH1’s case as ‘perfectly legitimate’ (as opposed to Lendlease, who called it ‘inadmissible’), they decided that the question had been settled in 2013, when Southwark determined that off-site replacement housing (the so called Early Housing Sites) was sufficient for rehousing ex-Heygate households.  You can read more detail about the decision, and local analysis, in this blog by the 35% Campaign, who were a crucial part of COH1.

Although this outcome is ultimately disappointing, COH1’s formal presence in this Inquiry achieved a number of things:

  • COH1 forced the question of housing, and particularly social housing, at the Inquiry. It also gave a new insight into how Lendlease deal with estate regenerations.

Tough questions were asked of Lendlease which resulted in clarity on how they have dealt with the redevelopment of the Heygate estate including the numbers of homes built in place of the units on the Heygate estate and where these were built (see aforementioned blogs).  Further, the interesting revelation that Lendlease hired Acme architects to design an office block some four years previous to a local policy change, which allowed greater office space on this site.  At its best this is “remarkable foresight” (as the 35% Campaign puts it) and at worst, contributes to community distrust of the close relationships between local authorities and developers.

  • COH1 gave the community a voice in the Inquiry.

Through written statements, and a community witness in the stand, COH1 ensured that both Lendlease and Southwark Council were forced to engage and respond to community concerns.

  • Further to COH1’s efforts in arranging a visit to council properties opposite the proposed block, the Inspector resolved against Lendlease’s expert analysis of the value of light to Temporary Accommodation tenants:

“The living conditions of residents of studio flats, bedsits, or temporary accommodation are just as worthy of protection as those of residents of more permanent and/or substantial forms of accommodation.”

This may seem an obvious sentiment, however the Inspector was responding to arguments put forward by Lendlease which sought to diminish the value those living in Temporary Accommodation place on light.  These expert statements included the shocking: “During my site visit it was also clear to see how the windows had accumulated a meaningful amount of dirt. This leads me to conclude that the occupants do not place a high value on the available daylight as Plot H1 currently stand.”

Hopefully this arguably classist position will not be raised by Lendlease in the future.

If there is any major lesson that campaigners can learn from this inquiry it is this: Ultimately, the Inspector found that there were policy reasons supporting the use  of office space, this was in the local Southwark Plan. In the end, Lendlease were able to say that the plan requires  60,000 square metres of office space, and this was the only area left for it. Before they entered the plan, Lendlease had hired Acme architects to design the office block. Thus, the takeaway is that campaigners should organise at the outset of Local Authorities designing their local plans, and fight for these plans to benefit the community.

12Dec 2023

Lambeth Council agrees to extend public consultations after PILC letter

12th December 2023|General, Gentrification|

Photography: @savecentralhill / Twitter

On 21 November 2023, the Public Interest Law Centre (PILC) sent a pre-action letter to Lambeth Council on behalf of the Central Hill Estate Residents Association (CHERA).

CHERA – a group of residents from the Central Hill Estate in the Lambeth – challenged the council’s decision to run a public consultation on Lambeth’s Housing Strategy across just six weeks, from the period 9 October to 20 November.

On 8 December 2023, Lambeth Council confirmed they would extend all three consultations until 19 January 2024.

CHERA also challenged the council’s decision to run two other public consultations concurrently – on Lambeth’s Housing Allocation Policy Review and on Central Hill Environmental Improvements.

Owing to the similarities between these consultations, and the importance of public engagement on all issues, PILC and CHERA argued that there was a strong risk of public confusion and ‘consultation fatigue,’ especially given that two consultations were open for an identical time period, and an additional third for the majority of the time period.

On 17 October, Housing Action Southwark and Lambeth (HASL) – a volunteer-led community housing group made up of families and individuals who are homeless, living in overcrowded housing or facing other housing problems – wrote to the proposed Defendant with their concerns about the Housing Allocation consultation. HASL raised concerns about:

  1. The levels of outreach and engagement undertaken by the proposed Defendant to ensure that ‘hard to reach communities’ most affected by the policy were consulted;
  2. The format of the policy review and the accessibility issues;
  3. The nature of the Equality Impact Assessment; and
  4. The timeframe of the consultation of six weeks being too short.

Pre-action letter

In the pre-action letter sent to Lambeth Council on 21 November, PILC challenged the length of time allocated to the three concurrent public consultations, given the length of the documents to be reviewed, the lack of consideration for people whose first language is not English, and the lack of support provided to enable people with access requirements to respond to the public consultations.

The Law

Where a public body undertakes a consultation exercise, it must be conducted properly. When public consultations are conducted outside a statutory requirement, a duty to consult arises where there is a ‘pressing and focused’ impact on a particular group through a policy or project ending abruptly, or where a legitimate expectation exists that a consultation would take place. The overall test is whether the consultation process was so unfair as to be unlawful.

The requirements for a lawful consultation were established in R v London Borough of Brent ex parte Gunning and consist of four principles which enable a consultation to be fair and lawful:

  1. Consultation must take place when proposals are at a formative stage;
  2. Sufficient reasons must be put forward for any proposal to allow ‘intelligent consideration’ and an informed response;
  3. Adequate time is given for consideration and response; and
  4. ‘Conscientious consideration’ must be given to the consultation responses by the decision makers before making a decision.

CHERA says:

“Lambeth doesn’t seem to be engaging properly with, or truly listening, to residents, just completing tick box exercises.”

Alexandra Goldenberg says:

“Housing is the most pressing issue facing Londoners. Residents of Lambeth should be given a chance to have a say in the future of housing policy in the borough.”