Tenants in Archway furious at ‘sink estate slur by council’
11:27 22 December 2012
»An estate’s residents are furious because they feel Islington Council have made them out to be a “sink estate”.
The Elthorne Estate, Archway, was just given a whopping £1million grant for a makeover, but residents reckon the town hall used “offensive” language about the area when announcing the lottery cash.
In the document, widely distributed to the media, the council said the estate “lacks the strong sense of identity enjoyed by other estates” and has “high unemployment, antisocial behaviour, unmet demand for youth provision and poor quality green space”.
Cllr Lorraine Constantinou of the opposition Lib Dem group said: “I have lived and worked on the Elthorne over 33 years and cannot believe that we have been described effectively as a ‘sink estate’. Nothing could be further from the truth. It’s offensive.”
She added: “The council press release is misleading and unfortunate considering the already outstanding resident participation on the Elthorne.
“The estate is managed predominately by housing co-operatives run by resident volunteers.
But they have been ignored nor been part of any consultation on this project as should have happened as a matter of courtesy.”
Michelle Carr, chairman of one of Elthorne’s housing co-ops, said: “I wonder if Cllr [Barbara] Sidnell has ever been on the Elthorne longer than just having her photo taken or if she even knows how excellent resident participation on the four co-ops that run the majority of the estate is.”
The Lib Dems are comparing the press release to the infamous incident when conservative MP Ann Widdecombe sparked outrage when she called the Andover Estate, in Holloway, a ”dump” on TV.
Cllr Barbara Sidnell, Islington Council’s executive member for tenants, residents and communities, said: “We have never described Elthorne as a ‘sink estate’ and we never would.
“I have a good understanding of the problems there and that’s why I am so pleased we’ve got the £1million of lottery funding.
“It’s brilliant news and it would be a real shame if anyone’s trying to take the shine off that.
“The next step is for residents of Elthorne and the local area to tell the Big Lottery Fund how they want to spend the money, so there will be real improvements before long.”