This is the first press release our campaign sent out. It gives the background to the campaign. For more information check the Who Are We page.
At a meeting called 16th April 2014, with 2 days notice, attended by 4 senior officers and Ward Cllr, Jane Pickard, residents were informed that in order to pay for Lambeth’s planned update of sheltered housing programme, it had been decided in January 2013 to demolish and sell some schemes, including Leigham Crt. Rd. This decision was made in the absence of any condition survey information, which was not provided until Autumn of that year. The decision must therefore have been taken on financial grounds, without regard to social considerations for the elderly residents, some in their 90s.
It was emphasised that the decision was irrevocable.
The reasons the council gave are here (link coming soon), along with annotations explaining why the residents oppose the council decision
Dave Worrall, Commissioning Manager for Lambeth Council stated that the intention of this meeting was to inform Leigham Court Residents about the time-table for the sale and demolition of Leigham Court, and the removal of her residents.
He stated that, “The stress would be on people having a choice. If you don’t want to go into a scheme you don’t have to. The only choice you don’t have is to stay here!”
“Extra Care Housing” is being offered to Leigham Court Residents. Of this type of care Jonathan Bartley, chair of Lambeth’s Green Party has said “It has become abundantly clear that it’s all about fulfilling targets. It has nothing to do with taking account of the wishes of residents, the actual state of the buildings, or the significance of the architecture. The council is moving towards a medical care-based model of old-age, rather than a social model, geared towards putting people in little boxes and charging them for extra services they don’t need.”
Carers will replace Scheme Managers. Ms Pickard was economical with the truth in failing to state that Residents will have to pay for carers, whereas under the current system of Scheme Managers, operating at Leigham Court, this is an all-in service not paid for by residents on an individual basis.
Many residents want to live in the same area and many want to be moved (if moving is inevitable) as a group, saying, “We live here like a family; we don’t want to be separated from one another.
They were told that In reality, this will not be an option and that some residents who are couples may have to seek accommodation in private sector housing.
As Jonathan Bartley has said “Lambeth claim to be a ‘co-operative council’, doing things in partnership with residents, not doing things to them. So the future of 269 Leigham Court Road will be the real test of their flagship policy.”
The signs are not good!
Representatives of Lambeth Council, Officers and Ward Cllr. present
- Ms Dinah Amo, Leigham Court Scheme Manager (Responsible for official event bookings).
- Councillor Jane Pickard, Ward Councillor and Council Representative ‘Looking After Older People’ (One of the key decision-makers responsible for the planned demolition and sell-off of Leigham Court); and with responsibility for developing Sheltered Housing Strategy.
- Dominic Stanton, Lambeth Council, Assistant Director of Social Care.
- Dave Worrall, Senior Strategic Commissioning Manager for Lambeth Council – Asked to look over Older People’s Strategy.
- Carline Francis, Head of Brokerage, Careline24 and Sheltered Housing, Manager for sheltered Housing Scheme Managers
- Valerie Dinsmore, Head of Policy, Research and Customer Relations, Lead on Engagement and Engagement & Policy.