Sunday, 30 November 2008

Cutting of concierges on council estates in Kennington

I've been watching with some concern, various news stories about concierges being removed from (or having their hours cut) on various council estates in Kennington. There have been plenty of reader responses in the media, and all have reacted negatively against the cost cutting suggestions. The SE11 Labour councillors have weighed in on the debate, arguing that it's the Lib Dems fault for bringing in expensive CCTV cameras that there's now no money to operate. Unfortunately, the current Labour councillors have not actually resolved the situation yet.

Whilst cutting concierges might appear to the council (or more likely, the management companies), as a quick way save money, it appears instead to be making certain estates more dangerous. The concierges perform the role of keeping an eye on the estate, and no doubt, help unite the people who live in any particular area.

Sadly, there is now an alarming piece on the front of this week's South London Press about serious arson at Elkington Point on the Ethelred Estate. I think that the newspaper's linking of the blazes with the issue of cutting concierge services is spot on, although I'm not clear whether the Elkington Point services have been cut. (By the way, Elkington Point is such a nasty looking building - that is, it's very badly upkept, that I cannot find one image of the tower to display here). If they haven't actually cut the concierge services, I dread to think what might happen within the next few months...

1 comment:

Mark Harrison said...

Any cuts to the concierge service at the Ethelred Towers are rightly a big concern to residents, especially with the recent fire. Councillor Steve Morgan and Kate Hoey MP have been working hard to push the Council for figures to justify the changes, and to look for agreement between residents and officers. I understand that the proposals are now for the numbers of staff to be cut but for service levels and times to stay the same.

The story you link to on our blog refers to a different issue concerning the Ethelred TMO blocks - these are the medium and low rise blocks, not the three towers. There is supposed to be a concierge service at these blocks but it has not been set up because the Council haven't set up a service charge to pay for it.

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