People Before Profit squat Crofton Park

Lewisham's political landscape would be a blasted, level place without People Before Profit.

The Union-busting-tea-and-crumpet-estate-agent-entrepreneurs will not be distracted by the closure tomorrow of their cafe due to an industrial dispute and are soldiering on with their campaign to prevent Lewisham Council from selling properties at auction. This time, they've occupied homes in Crofton Park.

The News Shopper reports:

Defiant campaigners have “saved” two more properties from auction so they can be used to house Lewisham families. In a bid to stop the flats in Hazeldon Road, Croftfon Park, being sold off at auction tomorrow, activists from Lewisham People Before Profit (LPBF) entered the addresses yesterday evening and have been squatting in them since.

The last time they did this, we suggested they had a point about the Council allowing properties to be sold too cheaply. The analysis that followed in the comments section, from people who know what they are talking about, persuaded BC that they didn't have a point after all.

34 comments:

Anonymous said...

"comments section, from people who know what they are talking about"


yeah right . . .

best not to take the comments section of this blog too seriously, or indeed, seriously at all

Welcome to 2012 said...

In your particular case, I will take your advice.

Fattyfattybumbum said...

Clearly none of these self-appointed saviours of the 'working class' actually work themselves then?

I have a cunning plan said...

Can see how it makes sense to sell a property for 25% below market value rather than faff about with a long drawn out sale. Auction buyers want dooer-uppers so little point so it would be more difficult to realise any investment on improvements. Depending on the size of the housing association, hiring more staff to procure and manage renovations may prove more costly than any retrun achieved as a result...

Home owners can do renovations whilst they live in a house but that wont work for a housing association. An empty house is dead money and selling the property quickly releases funds so that the housing assoc can fund other ventures which may be more efficient economically. I hope the funds from this sale being lost wont scupper a bigger deal elsewhere affecting more families than can be housed in this single home...

But...

It would be great if someone could think up a joint venture between job centre, housing association and building apprenticeship/training scheme:

Get DSS peeps or young trainee builders to refurbish the properties for people on the waiting list - Generates Skilled workers and renovations on the cheap.

Happy days?

My younger bro did a plastering training course and it was in a warehouse in dartford...

Danja said...

Maybe the council should go on the offensive and squat the cafe if that's shut.

Osh said...

@Danja LOL!

hladik said...

@I have a cunning plan

The New Cross Gate Trust (successor to the NDC) did exactly that with a property in New Cross to great success. A decent number of young, local, unemployed people gained real building skills and lasting employment thereafter.

The difficulty in getting a wider project off the ground is threefold:
(1) cajoling the council into freeing up LBL properties for this purpose (and overcoming these sort of objections from LPBP), (2) getting developers to take on further cost and risk by incorporating training & apprenticeship programmes into small-scale renovation projects, particularly when house prices are reasonably static and (3) whether there is actually enough work, locally or otherwise, to sustain a whole pile of new entrants into the construction workforce and ensure the project actually delivers lasting employment as an outcome.

Headline news in the construction industry today is Balfour Beatty shedding a whole pile of jobs as they 'restructure' their various construction and engineering arms, which would suggest not...

Anonymous said...

House one family and leave others in homes not decent to live in?

As the PBP said it cost them money to refurb the properties, they deducted their costs from the rents (over what time, I doubt 30 years), they could not afford to house unemployed people.

Anonymous said...

Mmmm....a take over of the cafe seems fair.

Anonymous said...

At Cormill Gardens the developers took on a number of local apprentices who helped build the homes they were going to live in.

At Loampit Vale, Leisure Centre & Flats was finally kicked started by £20m grant from the previous government to take on local apprentices and train them in building skills.

Anonymous said...

This is the same bloke who stood as mayor a few years ago...and blighted the eduction of kids going to Lewisham Bridge school for years to come.

Anonymous said...

How come NewsShopper ain't picked up the dispute at the cafe?

How the not for profits organisation is profiting from not providing employment contracts?

Anonymous said...

More like the night of the long knives than democracy; I wish these ideologues would f off.

Anonymous said...

If price is the problem, just sell it via estate agents making sure the buyer is a family and not a developer.

Which estate agent? well give it to all of them and sell to best bid.

Anonymous said...

Clearly none of these self-appointed saviours of the 'working class' actually work themselves then?

Quite

Get out of those houses, let the council sell them - and an open auction is the least offensive way of doing it - and stop causing trouble. We don't want your Communist style propaganda here, those of us who work don't have time for it. It is completely self serving, introspective and booorrrring.

Anonymous said...

Anon 15:58, I totally agree with you. I would like to know what the council is doing to reclaim these properties.

Anonymous said...

Matt Collins Facebook page has been updated...looks like profit first, people second.

"The cafe has since been shut early, ahead of the stated date of 30th March.

Two weeks ago on the 12th of March, we the workers of Come The Revolution were given our notice, some of us for the third time, with vague conditions that if the cafe didn’t make more money in that time it would have to close and we’d lose our jobs."

The first occasion we were given notice was in November/December, this was rescinded, but the terms worsened with drastic reduction in hours for some workers.


Meeting tonight at the Amersham Arms (upper room) 7:30 pm.

Are the PBP hoping the occupation in Crofton Park distracts attention away from adverse publicity about from events at the cafe?

Lou Baker said...

Are the workers from Commie cafe surprised it closed?

Honestly, when you read the manifesto on here it was evident that this was going to fail.

I know this area is a hotbed of lefty loons but even here this Trotskyite view of life was clearly out of touch.

Come and join us in the political centre. You'll find people here work. And shower.

kolp said...

Good on PBP for trying to get something going. It didn't work. That's fine. Learn from the mistakes, try again.
In trying to shape an alternative vision of how the world can work, symbolism is important.

What this shows is that it is not going to be easy and the tenacity required.
onwards and upwards!

Anonymous said...

PBP was only linked to the cafe inasmuch as one of our members opened the cafe - any thoughts beyond that is fantasy I'm afraid - it's like blaming Nick for all the ills that rupert murdoch has heaped upon us - nick is only responsible inasmuch as the organisation he works for supports rupert murdoch, but PBP will not be tainted by association, if tainting is going on, which it isn't. Go to the meeting and you'll probably find out yourself rather than relying on your own prejudices.

Brockley Nick said...

@Anon - no, that's a laughable comparison.

The Cafe was branded "People Before Profit", as is its website (which includes an "About LPBP" section on its homepage) and its Facebook page. The PBP website promotes the cafe and the cafe is painted in PBP purple.

PBP ran promotional events and activities from the cafe and used it as a base of operations.

The "one of your members" who ran it is also rather understating it. Ray Woolford is described as a "leading People Before Profit campaigner in New Cross and Deptford" on your own website.

The attempts to distance yourselves from this affair make it worse.

Anonymous said...

you're talking about something you know nothing about apart from what you've read on the internet, and I'm afraid your wrong. If you were to actually try and find put the truth you'd be surprised how wrong you are - but I wonder why it bothers you so much - antipathy has turned bitterness and resentment Nick - you better get a grip.

Brockley Nick said...

It's ironic that an anonymous correspondent is telling me not to listen to internet rumours.

Look, I am sure there are two sides to the dispute - I never said otherwise and have never laid blame for this sorry business at anyone's feet.

But I *know* that Come the Revolution's logo has the People Before Profit in the middle of it. I *know* that Ray Woolford is one of your most high-profile members. And I *know* all the things I mentioned in my previous comment to be true because I - and anyone else who cares to look at your website and the CTR revolution website can see these things for ourselves.

For you to pretend that these things are not true is daft.

kolp said...

Nick you are creating bad feeling, again sneering at groups you don't understand or disagree with as you did/do with the religious.

Brockley Nick said...

Thanks for your advice Kolp. Just tell me what I have said that is not correct.

kolp said...

Sneering is great isn't it?

Brockley Nick said...

So you don't know, do you Kolp. There's nothing I have said that is inaccurate.

Welcome to 2012 said...

So... we have an anonymous poster telling us not to listen to unaccountable gossips and a person who doesn't know what they're talking about telling someone who does know what they're talking about not to talk about stuff they don't know about.

Facts are uncomfortable things sometimes. But given the huge irony of this story and the breathtaking hypocrisy involved, I think the coverage has been pretty restrained.

Anonymous said...

From the PBP website...

Come the Revolution at 465 New Cross Road is the brainchild of Ray Woolford, leading People Before Profit campaigner in New Cross and Deptford

Ray is an estate agent and when he heard that the former Logan's Chemists building was empty but not due for demolition for a couple of years, he arranged for a short term lease on the building and opened it as a base for Lewisham People Before Profit to work from....

Anonymous said...

Kolp have you read the facebook page of one of the workers at the cafe?

It refers to changes in hours, threats of dismissal, lack of contracts.

Staff fired by text?

From what's been exposed on Facebook, profit consistantly came before people.

It was then we came under the clear impression that the cafe was to close over Easter for refurbishment and then open with new workers under a different name.

A former workfare programme attendee told us he had been approached by Ray asking if he was interested in work.


If the worforce were happy and being treated fairly they would not be in dispute?

NAT said...

Anon. You have had your Kronstadt moment and you have had it cheap.

There are lots of real broken things out there to fix.

Move on.

NAT said...

Anon 11:58, if anyones asking.

Anonymous said...

What sort of fare did the cafe serve? That's the detail that seems to be missing from this story.

Anonymous said...

Nick is clearly right on this one. End of.

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