“For the right to live without fear”
Hamiltonhill demands secure entry steel doors for its closes.
“i am very frightened as a single female living with my dog […] i’m
frightened of what will happen next. my car was deemed economically
unsalvageable […] I do not have the freedom i used to have and the
self-knowing that i have my car, my time machine!! i am stuck in the
house all the time with a dog that needs to release her built up
energy, and its not fair on either of us as i’ve been told if i ever
have my car back in the street or ANY car, the junkies will destroy
it. I was told this to my face and recently was put in hospital by
this person” (from an email to the Action Group)
In a recent survey conducted by the Hamiltonhill Action Group 25 of
the areas 50 or so close doors were found to have been broken into and
in need of repair.
When the issue was raised with the landlord, prompt action ensued.
The landlord tried to co-opt the action group immediately.
“We do have community representatives on our management committee who
worked hard for the local residents in the area. We are always
looking for local champions to join, so you would be more than welcome
to come along.”
The GHA raised a repair line item for 17 close doors to be repaired,
after it checked out the survey’s findings.
Previously, before the Action Group demonstrated this dereliction of
duty from the landlord, GHA’s only interaction had been to remove our
literature from the many boarded up buildings in the neighbourhood.
Hamiltonhill, it was revealed in 2006 and 2007, has been the subject
of very large underspends of GHA cash allocated to the scheme for
routine repairs and maintenance. It has not seen the investment seen
in other areas of the city, and tenants are routinely patronised with
the latest schemes being adopted to gradually demolish the homes in
the community. Most recently (since the present plan of ‘phased
demolition’, over 5 years, was announced last autumn, before the
financial crash) tenants were informed the council suspected there may
be toxic waste beneath local’s houses. A contemptuous map accompanied
the announcement of ‘investigations’ (which may of course have led to
the houses ‘needing to be demolished’), which had a large rectangle
surrounding newly-built private flats and terraced housing in the
centre of the scheme; apparently these homes had not been exposed to
the contamination. (Before 1929, locals, many of whose families moved
to the area when the houses were built, confirm that the area had been
a rural farm. It was never industrialised)
The present ‘phased demolition’ appears to have entered ‘phase
mothball’ since the recession ensured the lucrative private housing
this neighbourhood’s ‘land without a people’ is coveted for was
effectively ruled out for the foreseeable future.
For the past few months local residents, fed up of putting their lives
on hold, have been meeting to discuss how to make the area a better
After a survey was conducted to determine what the neighbourhood’s
priorities were, a draft programme was drawn up. At a meeting open to
all local residents the programme was endorsed unanimously.
Hamiltonhill Action Group Programme
* No to forcing people out of their homes. Yes to investment.
* A dry warm home for all.
* A safe, secure community.
* Facilities for children and families must be kept and improved.
* Our homes and our surroundings should be a pleasant place to be.
* Our rents must be affordable, for all of us.
* This is our community. We demand respect!
The Hamiltonhill of today can remember the Hamiltonhill that used to
be. That Hamiltonhill would have no need of such a programme.
Because people would have taken it for granted. Now today, after
decades of neglect, residents are envisioning a better community.
Starting with new close doors.
As the Action Group noted to the GHA’s Chief Executive, Tahroub Zahran:-
“An essential part of making people feel safe in their homes and
community is to know that the entrance to their home is secure, that
there will be no people loitering in the close at night, and that fear
of opportunist housebreaking will not be a constant concern.
As GHA’s own studies have concluded
such doors have been shown to cut housebreaking by up to 75%.
We note that in recent years, Hamiltonhill has been the subject of
persistent underspends of the budget (two reports released from the
LHO, before the recent LHO reorganisation, demonstrate this); we are
therefore seeking to see some much needed investment deliver some much
needed safety to tenants in our neighbourhood.
We trust that GHA will be keen to action this, as it has now become
the settled will of tenants in the area. We therefore are looking for
a timetable for this commitment to be published to tenants in the
area, before the end of August.”
HOW YOU CAN HELP
The GHA has in the past proven very reluctant to spend money when
tenants have asked for it. We will need to exert pressure to win our
demands. You can help by volunteering to write letters and phone the
GHA to express your disquiet at the way they are ignoring tenants in
Hamiltonill, when the time comes to do so.
We are asking for you now to get in touch with us TODAY, if you are
able to help out in this way.
If you are able to help in other ways, please also get in touch with us.
firstname.lastname@example.org | 07526113198
Together all our neighbourhoods are stronger. Together, we can
finally win respect for working people.