Move driven by finance alone

Clare Blair, Letter in Cambridge News, 5 December 2012

TIM Bick's letter of November 19 (“Tenants led up the garden path”) about Water Lane demonstrates just how far removed from reality a tired and failing Lib Dem city council administration is.

So here, Cllr Bick, are a few home truths. The Water Lane homes are all sound, well-constructed properties which are home to a close-knit community, close to buses, shops and surrounded by a wider Chesterton community, many of whom, regardless of political affiliation, are appalled and angry at what is happening and how it has been done.

Had these tenants not had the misfortune to be sited round a peaceful central green space of the kind developers love to build on, they would be left in peace. As it is, a mere three of the current tenants will be eligible to return under your draconian resettlement programme which will disrupt lives and deeply upset many of the tenants.

We all know moving to be a very stressful time when we chose to move. How much more stressful when it is forced upon people and there is very limited choice as to where they can go. It is quite clear that what is driving this is finance, not consideration of your duty to existing tenants.

What is worse is that this is a bad deal. It is a bad deal for Cambridge which desperately needs more council homes, not fewer; it is a bad deal for the city council which desperately needs more land to build on rather than to give away its prime assets, and it is a bad deal for tenants who have to uproot themselves and start again in different parts of the city, often far from their support networks, often far from the life they thought they had built for themselves.

Unlike Cllr Bick, or any of the other Lib Dems who sat silent in October as protester after protester spoke at the Guildhall of the upheaval they are facing across the city, I have sat with tenants who are in tears and deeply shaken by what is being done to them and I have attended meetings where officers stated they were not permitted to discuss anything except where and when tenants had to move.

Shame on you and shame on every single Lib Dem councillor who has chosen to ignore the voices of those they purport to serve.

Clare Blair


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