Tory housing boss blocks committee debate on estate regeneration

Labour councillors walked out of this week's Housing Committee (8 Feb) after the Tory Chair, Cllr Tom Davey, refused to allow a discussion on improving the way Barnet Council conducts estate regenerations, despite the issue being on the agenda of the last two meetings.

Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, is currently consulting on a 'Good Practice Guide to Estate Regeneration' which "seeks to provide reassurance to Londoners living on housing estates that a guaranteed set of minimum standards should apply to the way that they are treated and consulted upon for any new estate regeneration scheme."

Following the controversial West Hendon estate regeneration which sparked mass protests from residents, Cllr Adam Langleben had submitted a members' item to the October Housing Committee asking for a best practice check list to be drawn up for future regeneration projects in order to learn from the mistakes made at West Hendon.

He submitted a second member's item to this week's meeting asking for the Housing Committee to adopt the Mayor's draft Good Practice Guide and to respond to the consultation.

Cllr Langleben said: 

"My members item referred to the Mayor's interim guidance on regeneration. If Cllr Davey actually took the time to speak to residents living on a regeneration estate in the borough he would know how angry and betrayed many of them feel about Barnet Council. 
 
"For him to so happily dismiss discussion of these proposed guidelines illustrates his sheer contempt for people living on these estates. Quite frankly he is not fit to lead this committee, he should resign and let someone who is actually interested in these issues lead it."
 
Labour's Housing spokesperson & Deputy Leader, Cllr Ross Houston said: "Cllr Davey's refusal to allow any discussion on a key housing issue at the Housing Committee in the same week a Tory housing minister acknowledged the government's record on affordable housing is "embarrassing" and "shockingly bad" and that the housing market is "broken" clearly shows he's got his head buried in the sand.
 
"The main business at this week's meeting was concluded in an hour so there was plenty of time to allow a discussion on Cllr Langleben's member's item. There are just four Housing Committee meetings a year for which Cllr Davey receives £15,333 to Chair, so he's not exactly providing value for money when he actively prevents the Committee from doing its work."

Ends.

Notes:
1. A copy of Cllr Langleben's members' items can be found here:
2. A copy of the Mayor of London's Good Practice Guide can be found here:
3. For more on West Hendon estate see:
4. For details of Tory Housing Minister statements on their record on affordable housing see:
For more information contact Cllr Langleben: cllr.a.langleben@barnet.gov.uk
To contact the Barnet Labour Group: 020 8359 2568
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