PILC has today written to Sadiq Khan’s deputy mayor for housing, Tom Copley, on behalf of Focus E15 housing campaign urging the mayor to take action to ensure a ‘level playing field’ in ballots on estate redevelopment
The letter calls on the mayor of London to cap local-authority spending on canvassing aimed specifically at persuading residents to assent to redevelopment proposals, and to make funding available to local residents who wish to run their own (typically anti-demolition) campaigns.
In December 2021 a resident ballot on the Carpenters Estate in East London returned a yes vote in favour of the council’s plans to demolish almost 60% of the estate. 73% of residents voted yes to the council’s proposals for redevelopment, on a 66.5% turnout.
However, Focus E15, which includes residents of the Carpenters Estate, has accused the council of spending large sums of public money to secure victory in the ballot.
According to data obtained through a Freedom of Information Request, Newham and the council’s housing company, Populo Living, spent at least £350,000 on campaigning for a Yes vote, whilst residents had no access to public funds to run a campaign for a No vote.