Aylesbury residents protest lack of heating
Aylesbury Estate, Southwark, London. Mon 4 Feb 2019
Two large blocks on the Aylesbury Estate. They are still occupied
but Labour Southwark Council want to demolish them
This block, Taplow, has the Council's area housing office
and protesters arrove to complain about the frequent failures of the
local heating system (its boiler chimney in the distance)
They find the shutters are down
but they are raised as the protesters shout at them, though the door
is still locked
Aysen Dennis, a local resident shouts calling on someone to come outside
to talk with the protesters - but nobody will
Soutwark want to demolish the estate and redevelop it with a private
developer, with most of the new housing being
sold or let at market prices - making large profits for the developer
but losing almost all low cost public housing
in the kind of scheme that resulted in the loss of over a thousand
low cost homes in the neighbouring Heygate estate.
She holds up a poster 'Wanted for Betraying the People of Soutwark
- Peter John, Leader of Southwark Council - Head of Social Cleansing'
A resident's vote showed a large majority in favour of staying put
and refurbishing the existing flats. The council lied
about the cost of this and decided for demolition and giving away
a huge public asset to private developers in
excahnge for a very small fraction of social housing - and lucrative
job offers for some councillors and officers
The protesters continue to call for someone to come out and talk with
As well as local residents there were a few housing activists supporting
them , including some from the neighbouring
borough. Similar estate demolitions are also taking place across London,
with around 200 estates in Labour-controlled
boroughs either under threat or already being demolished. It is happening
in the few Tory boroughs too.
The residents - and activists - see the failure to keep the boilers
working as a deliberate attempt by Southwark council
to force people to move out of the estate, and that the system is
in a poor state because of years of deliberate
managed neglect. As well as the major system failures, the council
has also been failing to carry out repairs in
individual flats, with one resident at the protest having been without
heat in some rooms for six months.
A woman spoke about her problems, with the flat being too cold to
sit in and for her children. The back-up electric
heating is very expensive to run, and she says that when she put £20
on the key for her pre-pay meter it only
lasted 24 hours. She can't afford to heat the flat and feed her children
The protest was small - most of the affected residents are at work
outside the area on a weekday - but it was
reported by a regional TV news channel, who also got some rathre disingenous
replies from Southwark Council
who claimed they were doing their best to keep the heating going.
Apparently their best is just not very good.
Two police stood watching the protest for half an hour or so, then
came to talk with the protesters before going away
and the protesters left soon after. It was too cold outside to keep up the
protest and a later protest at the council offices was abandoned.
February main page
Other sites with my pictures include
londons industrial history
lea valley / river lea
and you can read what I think about photography on my blog at
All pictures on this section of the site
are Copyright © 2019 Peter Marshall;
to buy prints or for permission to reproduce pictures or to comment on this
site, or for any other questions,
your comments may be added to the site - or not.
Comments are welcome on the >Re:PHOTO blog.
Payment may be waived for acceptable non-profit uses by suitable non-funded
But organisations that pay any staff should also pay photographers.