Friday, October 10, 2008

Ruskin Park House Update

A three hour meeting took place on Tuesday night to discuss the proposed works at Ruskin Park House on Champion Hill. Veronica and I were not able to attend as we are not shareholders, and the Committee did not choose to invite us. But as we were aware that many residents had concerns about how they are going to be able to meet the costs of the works we turned up at the start of the meeting to hand out our contact cards.

I cannot pretend to understand the politics of this situation - many residents appreciate and support the Committee in the hard work they are doing, but that old problem of communication seems to be contributing to the unease which some residents have expressed to us. So I hope that the meeting was at least successful in allaying some of the fears about how the works have been approached. Although I have not met the Chair or the influential Estate Manager, I know several Committee members and can vouch for their real commitment to Ruskin Park House.

Southwark Council is the freeholder for Ruskin Park House, but that is subject to a lease to RPH Limited until 2071. So there is nothing the Council can really do to influence what happens at Ruskin Park House at the present time. But both officers and councillors can offer advice about financial support which residents on fixed incomes can receive to meet the costs of the proposed works - and Veronica and I are committed to ensuring that this happens.

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