Not an architect or planner, just somebody who cares about housing and the housed
This blog was started in February 2010 as a direct result of this article in the Evening Standard on Thursday 9th July 2009 highlighting the intention of the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham to rid the borough of council estates and their residents.
In the four years since they have gone some way towards this and have certainly done little to reassure the worried that their intentions are otherwise.
Until 1986 London had the GLC which administered the London boroughs on behalf of all Londoners and whose policies ensured through cross subsidy that no borough became excessively rich or poor.
Since its abolition Tower Hamlets and Newham have declined (even North Kensington), while boroughs like Wandsworth have not only become wealthier but have been able to implement policies that are divisive and favour only the better off.
My background is technical. I became a radio officer in the Merchant Navy during the 80s & 90s then moved to IT when GMDSS took my profession away. Became self-employed in the noughties doing IT contracts with the most rewarding work as civilian support for the RAF.
Following a long term interest in public housing I started looking for an ex-Local Authority flat to buy near London in 2008, but having studied hundreds of floor plans for both old and new flats became disenchanted with the poor quality of design in the private sector, and disenchanted with the condition of the estates on which the local authority flats were located.
This led to my visiting housing estates and other C20th buildings with the eponymous society, the photographs and day trips being written up in the blog you are reading.
I am motivated by anger and dismay. The dismay I feel whilst being an unwilling witness to the destruction of the Welfare State under whose aegis I grew up, and anger at the residualisation of council housing as a direct result of Right to Buy, the greatest evil perpetrated on public housing in this country since the Luftwaffe flew over and bombed our cities. In my view.