The Churchill Ward Councillors, Murad Gassanly, Shamim Talukder and Jason Williams, have set out their concerns about the Churchill Gardens Project.
“The community is rather concerned about proposals for redevelopment of parts of the Churchill Gardens estate. These issues have been raised by countless voters during the election campaign.
1) Any threat of loss of school playgrounds (sunken playground at Lupus Street attached to Churchill Primary and the sunken playground at Sussex Street) is unacceptable. There is huge opposition from parents and the wider neighbourhood. We, as local councillors are absolutely opposed to any plans which would entail the loss of these playgrounds.
2) Churchill Gardens estate is already a mixed community – over 50% of housing stock is private, whilst a dire shortage of all types of affordable housing is blighting the lives of residents, many of whom live in extremely overcrowded conditions. We have serious doubts about use of public land for construction of private flats. Social rent and other types of affordable housing should be prioritised. Expanding and improving sheltered accommodation provision for the elderly is another priority.
3) Absolute red line for us as councillors – that any final decision on whatever the eventual plan is adopted should be determined through a binding expression of popular will (a local referendum) by residents and affected parties (including parents of children who attend affected schools and local businesses). Without this the project will suffer from serious democratic deficit and lack legitimacy. We would find it very difficult to support it, under those circumstances.”