Event: Housing and Land in RBKC

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One week after the second anniversary of the Grenfell Tower atrocity, local residents and campaigners are holding a day of talks, workshops and film screenings about the housing crisis in Kensington & Chelsea.

The event takes place at Kensington Town Hall and will be hosted by Save Earl’s Court Supporters Club; Save Silchester; T.H.I.N.K., Westway 23 and supported by the Radical Housing Network. Below is their summary and here is the link to register for a free ticket: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/housing-and-land-in-rbkc-tickets-62845738295?aff=ebdssbdestsearch

Two miles from Grenfell Tower lie 22 acres of empty land that used to be the Earls Court Exhibition Centre. A venue that brought over £1 billion a year into the economy. Knocked down to make way for a luxury housing development. Public land given to private developers to build for the property speculators on and off-shore in a Borough where public land is constantly under threat from the council and private developers. A development with zero social housing planned whilst families from Grenfell still live in temporary housing. How is a council that has failed to react to the housing crisis going to deal with the climate crisis? All development and buildings now take place in the context of the climate crisis.

This event asks the questions; how did we get into this situation? In the context of the climate crisis and Grenfell how should our land and housing be used? What does our community need?

Sessions Include:

The Attack on Public Housing

Safe Homes

Housing , Land and the Climate Emergency

Community and Co-operative Solutions

Older People Forgotten Victims of the Housing Crisis

Speakers confirmed so far include:

Stuart Hodkinson Academic, author of Save as Houses: Private Greed, Political Negligence and Housing Policy After Grenfell

Phil Murphy. Fire safety expert. Manchester Sustainable Communities

Danielle Majid, Tower Blocks UK

Richard Lees, Just Space

Land Justice Network

Alison Bancroft, Housing Association Residents Action

Joe Delaney

Lizzie Spring, Long term K&C resident who writes and campaigns on whole neighbourhood resident-led approaches to housing

Emma Dent Coad MP

Cllr Linda Wade

Melanie Wolfe

Tony O’ Brien, author: Tackling the housing crisis

Writings from the Roots – North Kensington Zine

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Art by Toby Laurent Belson

Urban Dandy features in a new Ezine, curated by Toby Laurent Belson. This first edition brings together the words of local writers, campaigners, film makers and artists to reveal the context in which the Grenfell Tower fire took place.

The Zine represents some of the best of the North Kensington community: creativity, diversity, openness, unity and defiance…above all a commitment to life in the face of forces that work against it.

The Zine is an ideal primer for those who want to learn more about this unique area, as well as a timely reminder that the Grenfell Tower atrocity did not occur in a vacuum, but in the context of policy decisions and systemic attitudes towards the population of North Kensington.

As the struggle in North Ken continues, Writings from the Roots will stand as a testament to the enduring spirit of the people of this area who continue to face down injustice and insults from the same forces that were at work long before 14th June 2017.

 

Some words of introduction from Toby Laurent Belson are below. You can open a digital version of the Ezine hereNorth_Kensington_Writings_1 and print copies are available at local libraries (Ladbroke Grove & Kensal), the Venture Centre, Acklam Village, Henry Dickens Community Centre and the Taberncale, where there will be an official launch on Saturday 15th June at 6pm.

Over to Toby:

“It has been produced to respond to a couple of specific things:

1 An acknowledgement that the strong online presence and platforms of our grassroots activities are not always matched by offline efforts (albeit for good reason given the next level of resource and commitment some of these outcomes require).

2 To make clear that there are strong and established networks in this community. Just as in the 60s and 70s, where the People’s Association and their centres acted as a gathering space for a multitude of autonomous groups or All Saints Road was a space of Black communiity resistance. Things are connected.

3 To publish a piece that (amongst others) will act as a marker. Having done various research over the years, the value of published works and outstanding ephemera has become clear. And the need for communities and individuals to produce their own stories and present their own narratives has also become clear. We need more books, more zines, more leaflets, more posters, more songs, more films, more artworks, more exhibitions, more talks, more libraries and more archives. We have the skills in and around the community to do it all.

This is a further development of the ‘North Kensington Healing’ artwork produced for the ‘Shifaa (Healing)’ edition of the Khidr Collective zine released in January 2018.

https://www.khidrcollective.co.uk/product-page/khidr-collective-zine-issue-two-shifaa

In continuing to explore the nature of this part of my home, West London, roots are discovered that go further out and further down with an endless diversity of trunks, branches, blossoms and leaves that make more and more sense. It’s amazing and I encourage everyone to keep on contributing and cultivating to this healing, this culture, this freedom.”

 

RBKC Bites Back @ Canalside House & the Community

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The council of Kensington and Chelsea has revived its plan to get rid of North Kensington community asset Canalside House and replace it with flats. The resurrection of the plan will be viewed by many as signalling the explicit return of the council’s long-standing policy of asset-stripping North Kensington. Will it be third time lucky for the council? 

What is Canalside House and Why Does it Matter?

Opened in 1929, Canalside House is an integral and much-loved part of the North Kensington community, serving many hundreds of local people each year, including hundreds of children, the disabled and other vulnerable groups. It is ideally located at the north end of Ladbroke Grove, with excellent transport links. It continues to play a vital role for people in West London, including with its role as a hub for Grenfell recovery and support.

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