Oral history project: interview on housing. Sample containing about 6295 words speech recorded in leisure context

4 speakers recorded by respondent number C255

PS29F X u (No name, age unknown, worker at law centre) unspecified
PS29G X u (No name, age unknown) unspecified
GYKPSUNK (respondent W0000) X u (Unknown speaker, age unknown) other
GYKPSUGP (respondent W000M) X u (Group of unknown speakers, age unknown) other

1 recordings

  1. Tape 097401 recorded on unknown date. LocationNottinghamshire: Nottingham () Activity: interview on housing interview

Undivided text

(PS29G) [1] Right.
[2] I [...] start.
[3] Erm.
[4] [...] you work for erm Law Centre, erm, how long have you been working for the Law Centre?
(PS29F) [5] Been working for the Law Centre for three and a half years.
(PS29G) [6] Mhm.
[7] During that time erm how much involvement have you had with flats?
(PS29F) [8] Erm we've always been involved with the flats,
(PS29G) [9] Mhm.
(PS29F) [10] and with the tenants of the flats right
(PS29G) [11] Yeah.
(PS29F) [12] from the start.
[13] Erm but we've also been involved with p with specific projects with the tenants group.
[14] Erm one to do with tenants moving out of the flats,
(PS29G) [15] Mhm.
(PS29F) [16] and another to do with erm supplementary benefits and heating additions for tenants, in both and flats.
(PS29G) [17] Mhm.
[18] So the main p so the main erm that's individuals that have come in here?
[19] You're talking about individuals that have come in here, or you're talking about the tenants' association, the representation
(PS29F) [20] I, I, I'm say erm we've, we've been in we've been in we've been involved with individuals, [...]
(PS29G) [21] Yeah.
(PS29F) [22] always
(PS29G) [23] Yeah.
(PS29F) [24] a a and always will be.
[25] But we've been involved with two specific projects that we've worked on in conjunction with the tenants' association,
(PS29G) [26] [yawning] Aha [] .
(PS29F) [27] .
(PS29G) [28] Yeah.
(PS29F) [29] Erm a and that has, that has led us from the group back to the individual tenants, and one
(PS29G) [30] Mhm.
(PS29F) [31] one of those projects erm was, was an advice er advice project for tenants who were being moved out as part of the, as part of the programme of moving o of moving the tenants out,
(PS29G) [32] Yeah.
(PS29F) [33] and was to do with what the rights would be erm in terms of benefits and in terms of compensation from the council when they moved out.
(PS29G) [34] Mhm.
(PS29F) [35] The other, the other thing that we worked,w we've been working with, and are still working with, erm to take up campaign for tenants in who're on Supplementary Benefit or Housing Benefit supplement, erm to claim the higher rate heating addition for their flat.
(PS29G) [36] Mhm.
(PS29F) [37] And I think the tenants als the tenants in the low-rise flats, the maisonettes,
(PS29G) [38] Yeah.
(PS29F) [39] are also erm being involved in take up campaign for the s for the same thing.
(PS29G) [40] Mhm.
(PS29F) [41] And we've had one or two appeals so far.
(PS29G) [42] You've had one or two appeals actually go out?
[43] And how the how've they gone?
(PS29F) [44] Erm it seems to be pe
(PS29G) [...]
(PS29F) [45] depend very much on individual circumstances.
(PS29G) [46] Mhm.
[47] So the heating addition that you, that you, that you erm been talking about, that's the extra heating m money you can get if you can prove that y that your erm [...]
(PS29F) [48] Accommodation is hard to he
(PS29G) [49] is exceptionally hard to heat, yeah.
(PS29F) [50] That's it.
[51] That's right, yeah,
(PS29G) [52] Mhm.
(PS29F) [53] yeah, yeah.
[54] And the main thrust of our campaign was to try and get the D, to get the D H S S to accept that ... as an entity, as a tower block, was hard to heat, so that the tenants would automatically get it.
[55] But they've refused to do that, and they insist on taking each case individually.
(PS29G) [56] Mhm.
(PS29F) [57] Erm because although they accept that there are certain conditions within the, within the tower block which affect the block as a whole, they would say that they would affect each individual flat to a greater or lesser degree and that they would have to be taken on individual merit.
(PS29G) [58] Mhm.
(PS29F) [59] And it's the same with the low-rise flats as well, with the maisonettes.
(PS29G) [60] And that's, am I right in saying that in terms of the erm move to try and get erm heating additions, it's actually started er in , and that but now there's, there's, there's been a spin-off affect, and increasingly people are trying
(PS29F) [61] Yes.
(PS29G) [62] to get the same thin trying to get the heating additions in erm, flats themselves?
(PS29F) [63] Yeah.
(PS29G) [64] And also am I, am I right in saying that [...] the preliminary interview, you said something about erm having erm sessions, you had, for a time you were actually erm situated in the flats overni
(PS29F) [65] Yes, we were.
[66] Erm, it was early last year, nineteen eighty five,
(PS29G) [67] Yeah.
(PS29F) [68] erm people were starting to move out, and I think that, I think quite a lot of people, well although they'd had a lot of information from the Local Authority, were still very unsure about how that would affect other benefits, in particular supplementary benefits, and single payments, and that, that, grants for, for the furniture, that kind of thing.
[69] Erm and I think the tenants' group came to us and, and asked us if we would ... set up an advice session for tenants moving out, which could be situated in the flats, and could be run on a regular basis.
[70] And we agreed to do that, and we put out quite a lot of publicity.
[71] W we put leaflets through the doors of all the flats, we put posters in the local post office and the library, and the boys' club, and one or two local shops, arts and crafts,
(PS29G) [72] Mhm.
(PS29F) [73] and an advert went out on Caroline, Radio Trent.
[74] And T X R X, B B C Radio Nottingham, to the effect that there were going to be these regular advice sessions at , which is the ... ac the tenants' action group office.
[75] Erm a and f at first we had one or two people coming in, but then it, it, it dr it dropped off very quickly, and after about three months, I think, we decided we weren't getting enough take-up,w that we would not have the sessions in the flats any more, but that we would encourage people to come to the Law Centre if they had any problems.
[76] Erm, we, we had lots of theories about the reason, the reasons why people weren't coming to us.
[77] One, one might be that for people who are on a fairly low income or on benefits, the home-loss compensation which the council was offering did i would in fact seem like quite a lot of money erm and for any tenants who weren't in arrears, then they would receive the full amount.
[78] Er it did seem, it did seem, it would seem to a quite a lot of people that they were getting a good deal and they would accept that, and they would, relatively speaking, they were getting a good deal.
[79] Erm the other, the other factor would, might be that the kind of k er decrease and loss of morale within the, within the, within the complex.
[80] The fact that quite a lot of effort had actually gone into actually going int having negotiations with the Local Authority to, to rehouse all the tenants.
[81] Having achieved that, big sigh of relief and nothing else, kind of thing.
(PS29G) [82] Mhm.
(PS29F) [83] Erm ...
(PS29G) [84] You t you said about morale being, but why, and the, having met quite a few tenants from the flats, who in terms of individuals that have come in here, you know, to, to seek advice.
[85] You know what g how do you feel morale is in the flats at the moment?
(PS29F) [86] At the moment?
[87] Erm
(PS29G) [88] N er [...] when you've been here what?
[89] For about three, three and a half years,
(PS29F) [90] Yeah.
(PS29G) [91] I mean has it ch is it, is it's changed during that period?
[92] Or is it
(PS29F) [93] Erm I w I, I can't really say whether I feel it's changed a great deal because before I, before I wasn't really very closely involved
(PS29G) [94] Mhm.
(PS29F) [95] with, with, with it, with it before I actually got involved after negotiations had gone through for the remo for the moving of the tenants.
[96] So, although I, I met individual tenants at prior to that, that was on a much more kind of ad hoc basis, they w when they were, were coming into the Law Centre, maybe about something completely different.
[97] So I wouldn't necessarily talk to them about conditions in the flats.
[98] I feel now, erm just from talking to people, that there's very much a feeling of er a torpor, erm a kind of hiatus of waiting for something to happen, waiting to be moved out, looking forward to that.
[99] Although having said that, there w there are of course other people who ... are probably quite very happy in their flat.
[100] Depending
(PS29G) [101] Mm.
(PS29F) [102] on
(PS29G) [103] Have, have you met m any, any who, who specifically said, you know, they were happy?
[104] It doesn't [...]
(PS29F) [105] I've met people who've said they've, they've enjoyed living in the flats, but all the people I've known who've said that have since moved out.
[106] And I think
(PS29G) [...]
(PS29F) [107] the people, most of the people I knew who said they were happy living in their flat
(PS29G) [108] Yeah.
(PS29F) [109] are people who had a choice about where they would live.
[110] Erm so they would have ch they chose to live there and they chose to move out.
[111] This was before the actual move.
[112] The actual big move that the because of the shutting
(PS29G) [113] Mhm.
(PS29F) [114] down of the complex.
(PS29G) [115] Mhm.
[116] But you s so there's a, you [...] there was a basically, a minority of those people that were happy?
[117] On
(PS29F) [118] Er
(PS29G) [119] the basis of your knowledge of t s e
(PS29F) [120] Yes, on the basis of my knowledge I would say, I would say so.
(PS29G) [121] Mhm.
[122] What about other people who [...] has anyone ... on the basis of individuals that have come in here, do many individuals come in and actually have problems related to living in the flats?
[123] Directly or not.
[124] Or they, what kind of problems do, problems tend to come with from the flats?
(PS29F) [125] Erm well as you, well,
(PS29G) [126] Generally, I mean I would obviously
(PS29F) [...]
(PS29G) [127] I wouldn't want you to
(PS29F) [128] Ye yeah.
(PS29G) [129] [...] individuals [...]
(PS29F) [130] No.
[131] Oh no.
[132] Erm we er well as you know I mean the there's a very high rate of unemployment amongst tenants in the flats,
(PS29G) [133] Mhm.
(PS29F) [134] and that obviously affects the kinds of problems they have with regard to income, benefits, debt problems erm ... and with regards the kind of ... things they come in to see us about, things like single payments f for things.
[135] Erm
(PS29G) [136] That's the, that's the payments that you can get erm
(PS29F) [137] The grants that you can get on, on top of your basic, your basic Supplementary Benefit rate.
(PS29G) [138] at the moment, yeah.
(PS29F) [139] At the moment, yeah.
[140] Yeah.
(PS29G) [141] Mhm.
[142] So in t erm with your regard to you were saying about the fact that there's a lot of unemployment in the flats,
(PS29F) [143] Mhm.
(PS29G) [144] erm what impact do you think it has when you have a complex in which there is such a, is such a high level of unemployment in which, which so few people are working, I mean, the ar the area itself, do you think it ... has certain implications or not? ...
(PS29F) [145] I think it, I, I cer I, I certainly feel myself that it intensify
(PS29G) [146] Mhm.
(PS29F) [147] it intensifies an individ the individual problem.
[148] It decreases the possibility of, of getting out of that situation because you've got so many other people against, against whom you're competing for work.
[149] ... And also it, it intensifies the erm demand on housing stock, because none of those people are gonna be in a position to have very much choice when it come when it comes to finding somewhere to live.
[150] And g m quite a lot of them are going to be dependent on rented accommodation and in particular, well both council cou both, both council rented accommodation and private rented accommodation.
[151] Erm so you're going to get a lot of kind of landlord tenant type problems.
[152] ... Erm ...
(PS29G) [153] What about your own?
[154] You've got what, you know in terms of when you've got ... say that you have a very very high percentage of people, all in the same position living in one area.
[155] I mean what does that doing to, how does that, what impact do you think that, in terms of the c on the community, do you think that?
[156] On the basis of your ... experience with tenants here, and the fact that there's so many people in the same position, I mean does that act is that
(PS29F) [157] I don't er
(PS29G) [...]
(PS29F) [158] erm I don't think it, I mean we all know that, you know, er the unemployed are the, the least collectivized group of people in, as, as a group, that
(PS29G) [159] Mhm.
(PS29F) [160] the fact that, there might be a lot of unemployed people doesn't nece around doesn't necessarily mean that they feel that ... that they feel that they have a lot in common with each other, in terms of
(PS29G) [...]
(PS29F) [161] Yeah.
[162] Er it's not like if you had a lot of people in the flats who were all working up at for example, you'd have a lot more kind of community spirit going, and a lot , and a lot more common erm feeling, I think, between people.
(PS29G) [163] Mhm.
(PS29F) [164] And of course this whole area, I mean this whole area was, was built at a time when those factories were at their height, in the sort of late nineteenth century.
[165] And all
(PS29G) [166] Mhm.
(PS29F) [167] these, all these terraced houses, and a quite a lot of them were actually built by and .
[168] Erm and this whole area is, is, is, was built on that kind of industrial expansion at the end of the nineteenth century.
[169] A and I think, I mean that has, that itself has had an effect on the, on the, on the f on peoples' feelings for this area.
[170] I mean there, there are a lot of people, of people in who have lived here for a long time, and lived here ever since they were born.
[171] A lot of old people, we're talking about who have a very strong feeling of community within, within the area erm so I think that community spirit exists, but, but I think, but I think it exists despite the condition of unemployment that exists in the area.
(PS29G) [172] Mhm.
[173] And y am I right, am I right in saying that you'd say that e ... even though it may exist in itself, that it may even be, in fact be less in the flats than it is in the, in the wi in that in the wider area?
[174] Right in saying that you [...] and that the, the fact that, the fact
(PS29F) [175] I, I wouldn't, I, the fact
(PS29G) [176] there's such unemployment, that the unemployment's even higher, that I mean it's pretty high in the area,
(PS29F) [177] I, I what I'm saying is I'm saying that unemployment as a, as a ... as a condition,
(PS29G) [178] And if it especially,
(PS29F) [179] D
(PS29G) [180] high levels of unemployment exist in the flats?
(PS29F) [181] and erm er erm erm doesn't necessarily bring people together, in fact, because it's a, it, it's a very isolating condition to be in.
[182] Because you're not, because you're inside a lot, you don't have to go out every day, you don't, you don't have anything very specific to do at different times during the day.
[183] Erm ... it doesn't, it does it doesn't bind people together.
(PS29G) [184] Mhm.
(PS29F) [185] Erm it's a very hard thing for people in that situation to organize a as a group er so what I'm saying is that the level of unemployment in itself doesn't bind people together, but given that is a long-established kind of traditional working class area, there is that tradition of, of, of community that exists anyway,
(PS29G) [186] Mhm.
(PS29F) [187] over and above the conditions that, that kind of pertain now
(PS29G) [188] Mhm.
(PS29F) [189] if you like.
[190] I feel that very strongly, I mean a lot of people have said, a lot of people in the flats have said, well I don't want to move out of the area, I don't like living in the flats, but I don't want to move out of the .
(PS29G) [191] So is that kind of identification with the, with the area itself
(PS29F) [192] Yeah.
(PS29G) [193] even, even if people may be quite alienated
(PS29F) [194] From the flats
(PS29G) [195] to [...] from the flats themselves?
(PS29F) [196] That's right.
[197] Absolutely.
(PS29G) [198] Mhm.
[199] ... In te er in ter in terms of erm the flats themselves ... and the tenants you've met, have they, what kind o have they complained very much about the flats?
[200] Have you, have you had much contact in terms of that?
[201] Related to the problems in, in with
(PS29F) [202] Yeah.
(PS29G) [203] with regard to say repairs or the
(PS29F) [204] Yeah.
(PS29G) [205] complex itself?
(PS29F) [206] Erm people don't actually complain that much about the complex itself, surprisingly
(PS29G) [207] Mhm.
(PS29F) [208] enough.
[209] They'll complain about an individual flat,
(PS29G) [210] Yeah, what are their con
(PS29F) [211] and I mean things like disrepair, erm inadequate heating, erm noise from other tenants, erm
(PS29G) [212] But noise in what sense? [...] what kind of noise are they talking about?
[213] Are they talking about
(PS29F) [214] Well, it would depend but I mean there are various of nuisance from noise in the flats, or anywhere where you've got a lot of people put together all living in a s fairly small area.
[215] But erm but they don't, they don't really complain about the complex as a whole.
[216] They'll complain about their own i individual bit of it.
(PS29G) [217] Does the er yeah.
(PS29F) [218] If they complain at all.
(PS29G) [219] Mhm.
(PS29F) [220] And I think it's the tenants' group which got together the, the, the sum of all those complaints,m erm which er and, and put them together to, to find what those common complaints were.
[221] ... Which was then highlighted in the c in the structural report which went before the council which was the basis of their decision to rehouse all the tenants.
(PS29G) [222] Mhm.
[223] And what do you feel, what are your feelings and with regard to the fact the flats are coming down? ...
(PS29F) [224] I just wonder what they're going to do with that space.
(PS29G) [225] Mhm.
[226] [...] about that, what are your feelings with in terms with regard to the tenants themselves?
[227] I mean do you think it's a good thing that the flats are coming down, for the people who are actually living there?
[228] Or not? ...
Unknown speaker (GYKPSUNK) [sniff] ...
(PS29F) [229] I think it, I think it's a good thing that the problems have been acknowledged,
(PS29G) [230] Yeah.
(PS29F) [231] and that, that the existing tenants are being rehoused.
[232] But I worry about whether that amount of housing stock is going to be replaced in the area, cos that is obviously very important.
(PS29G) [233] Mhm.
[234] So what you're s so what you're saying is that erm one of the consequences could be that even as people are being rehoused from , one of the risks is that other people who are on the h waiting list
(PS29F) [235] And also
(PS29G) [236] may suffer, may well suffer?
(PS29F) [237] and also that, that there might be, there might be fewer houses in the
(PS29G) [238] Mhm.
(PS29F) [239] so that it would have the affect of ... decreasing the population in the and decreasing the amount of housing that's available to people in the .
(PS29G) [240] Mhm. ... [...]
(PS29F) [241] Cos I don't, I, I believe there's been, there've been no firm proposals for that site yet?
[242] Is that right?
(PS29G) [243] That's right, yeah.
(PS29F) [244] Yeah.
(PS29G) [sniff]
(PS29F) [245] Mm.
(PS29G) [246] You're telling me erm prior to the interview about erm compensation about work that the erm Law Centre are doing with regard to compensation.
(PS29F) [247] Yes.
(PS29G) [248] Erm, can you tell us a bit about that?
(PS29F) [249] Erm, yes.
[250] Erm
(PS29G) [251] That's compensation, is it for the tenants living in the flats [...] ?
(PS29F) [252] Right, right.
(PS29G) [253] Could you explain that?
[254] I know that the tenants are getting s get so, will be getting so much money,
(PS29F) [255] Er when they leave.
(PS29G) [256] on moving yeah th [...]
(PS29F) [257] That's right, well each tenant, each, each, each tenant on, when, when they move are given
(PS29G) [258] Yeah.
(PS29F) [259] a home loss and
(PS29G) [260] Yeah.
(PS29F) [261] disturbance payment erm to compensate them for the cost of remo cost of moving and
(PS29G) [262] Yeah.
(PS29F) [263] and, and kind of transporting themselves elsewhere, and setting up home elsewhere.
(PS29G) [264] Mhm.
(PS29F) [265] Erm now one of the things that the tenants' action group asked us about initially when they asked us to get in involved in the, in the advice sessions in the flats, was whether or not the tenants would be able to claim additional compensation, over and above what was already being offered.
[266] ... We're still waiting for a green form extension to grant t t to be granted
(PS29G) [267] Yeah.
(PS29F) [268] to the tenants erm for an independent environmental health officer to come along and do an independent environmental report on the flats.
[269] Erm a green form is a, a ... it's,gr green, green form money is money which is given by the Law Society erm depending on how much work, how much time is spent on each case
(PS29G) [270] Mm.
(PS29F) [271] and in this case, as we we're working for a group of tenants, we can ask for an extension on one form to cover ... so
(PS29G) [272] Mm.
(PS29F) [273] many tenants,
(PS29G) [274] Yeah.
(PS29F) [275] and, and kind of use a test case for that.
[276] Erm, if we get the extension, and if we can get the report done, we can then use that report with a view to either one, taking an action for compensation by a test case for breach of the landlord's repairing obligations
(PS29G) [277] Mhm.
(PS29F) [278] and or two, ... with a view to proposing to r reduce the rateable value of the flats.
[279] ... Erm
(PS29G) [280] So would th would that s I mean, if that in terms of the rateable value, would that mean the rents would fall? ...
(PS29F) [281] No, it would mean the rates would fall.
(PS29G) [282] [laughing] The rates would fall [] .
[283] Yes, so th so therefore as a consequence, the, the, the rent that people are paying each week would
(PS29F) [284] Yeah, presumably, yeah.
[285] Yeah.
(PS29G) [286] Mhm.
(PS29F) [287] It would have a, it would have a knock-on effect.
(PS29G) [288] Two was that element, sorry, and the, in terms of the ... so that the rates would fall, and what's the other, the [...] sorry,t that's, is that related to them erm?
(PS29F) [289] Well, I mean we don't think, we, it's, I think it's unlikely that this is going to, to have any effect until possibly all the f all the tenants are moved out anyway.
(PS29G) [290] Yeah.
(PS29F) [291] In which case it won't have any effect on the on the rent.
(PS29G) [292] So what, what, what could it ... am I right in saying that it's related to the, the work that you're doing is related to the particular circumstances the particular problems that people living in flats have had?
(PS29F) [293] Yes.
(PS29G) [294] Over and above the compensation which people would, would get anyway,i in this situation?
(PS29F) [295] That's right,
(PS29G) [296] By saying that.
(PS29F) [297] that's right.
[298] Yeah.
(PS29G) [299] And the hope is to actually be able to get some recognition of that,
(PS29F) [300] That's right.
(PS29G) [301] and hence erm
(PS29F) [302] I i
(PS29G) [303] compensation to c some kind of
(PS29F) [304] [...] right.
(PS29G) [305] compensation to cover that.
(PS29F) [306] Basically er the broad overall description would be to compensate for the conditions that the tenants had been living in prior to the move.
[307] And
(PS29G) [308] Mhm.
(PS29F) [309] I think that's, that's, that's, that's covered by my first point.
[310] Erm the possible action for compensation for breach of landlord's repairing obligations.
(PS29G) [311] Mhm.
(PS29F) [312] And ... we'd be talking about the kinds of things which were brought out in the structural report I think there.
(PS29G) [313] Mhm, that's, that's the report that erm, yeah.
(PS29F) [314] You know, to do with con the construction of the flats. ...
(PS29G) [315] Mhm.
[316] So how l in terms of this, [...] how long for this?
(PS29F) [317] How long could this go on for?
(PS29G) [318] It go on for, [bell ring] quite a while.
(PS29F) [319] It could go on for years possibly.
[320] It might go on f ... it, it, it could take two or three years.
(PS29G) [321] Mhm.
[322] And how many of you working on that?
[323] Right, carrying on erm for the subject of erm compensation over and above erm that which is normally given to people who move from one place to another when, when they're, they're f h h have to be, [...]
(PS29F) [324] Compulsorily rehoused.
(PS29G) [325] Yeah.
[326] Erm you've, you've said [...] kind o you said erm the k you've ba told me the kind of case that, that one would try and present related to the fa the, you know, the erm the structure, the lack of repair of the flats.
[327] Erm so how many of you are actually involved you know, in the in erm the Law Centre?
[328] Is there a few of you who are actually involved in that kind of work?
(PS29F) [329] Well this is been
(PS29G) [330] Yeah.
(PS29F) [331] th this is been, in, this particular aspect of the work is, is, is being done by John who's a solicitor.
(PS29G) [332] Yeah.
[333] Mhm.
(PS29F) [334] Yeah.
(PS29G) [335] And erm what kind of, what kind of support are you getting er from ?
[336] What kind of response are you getting from tenants towards this work that you're doing?
[337] Were they are they aware of it?
(PS29F) [338] To be, to be, to be honest, to be honest, I, I don't know what the, what, what, what's actually happening on a day-to-day basis with this.
(PS29G) [339] Yeah.
(PS29F) [340] Erm, it's a very long term thing, and John's been working through the tenants' action group on it so I personally don't know what, what the kind of take up is on that, er
(PS29G) [341] Mhm.
(PS29F) [342] and wh and what the response of the tenants has been.
[343] So you'd have to ask him, [...]
(PS29G) [344] So ba but what you are, but what you are telling, what you have told me is that erm there is, there is erm work being done to try and get people compensation in addition to what they would normally get
(PS29F) [345] I, I'm, I'm say I'm
(PS29G) [346] as result of
(PS29G) [347] saying that there's a been an application for more money,
(PS29G) [348] Yeah.
(PS29F) [349] to enable us to have a stru have another report done which would then be used as part of the evidence in conjunction with a test case, to
(PS29G) [350] Where would the case actually s where would it go to, I mean say when you've got all the evidence?
[351] What do you do with it then?
(PS29F) [352] Th well then we'd have to [...] we'd have to present it.
(PS29G) [353] To?
(PS29F) [354] To the council.
(PS29G) [355] Yeah.
[356] And so it would be a case of actually negotiating with the council hopefully? [...]
(PS29F) [357] Well, it'd be, it mi it might have to, it mi it might have to go, go
(PS29G) [358] Go [...]
(PS29F) [359] through the courts. ...
(PS29G) [360] Yeah.
(PS29F) [361] But er I, you know, I don't really know what, where John's got to on that.
[362] So I can't really say.
(PS29G) [363] Mhm.
(PS29F) [364] Erm, I can only talk very generally about that.
(PS29G) [365] Mhm.
[366] Er and on the basis of your knowledge I mean, in terms of the flats, when you've s you've been there f er and also you've erm worked with some of the tenants that have been down here, I mean how ... what do you think er in terms of the living conditions, I mean how er in the flats, I mean how do they, how do you see them?
(PS29F) [367] It's the, it's the typical concrete jungle.
[368] It's erm anonymous, and treeless and ... empty.
[369] Erm once you go ins into the, into the complex the, the piazzas, the, the kind of squares, which, which o occupy the space between each erm block of, of flats are usually fairly empty.
[370] Erm there have been attempts to brighten them up at various times.
[371] There's a tenants hall which is very brightly painted.
[372] And there's a children's playground.
[373] Erm but on the,o on the whole these are areas which belong to no one.
[374] They erm ... there's, there's less, there's less a feeling of community in there than there would be on the average street.
[375] Erm ... and in a sense that might be because the, the flats, the area within the flat isn't a thoroughfare.
[376] It's, it's like a dead end.
[377] You only go into the flats if you're visiting someone or if you live there, so there's no, there's none of that hustle and bustle that you get on a, on a regular street.
[378] Erm ... so I think possibly people don't really feel responsible for that, for those, that space within the flats which isn't actually right outside their front door.
(PS29G) [379] Mhm.
[380] Do you think
(PS29F) [381] And
(PS29G) [382] that's, yeah ... and [...]
(PS29F) [383] And it does have, it has a very bleak aspect to it, to me.
[384] Even on the brightest day it's erm it's, it, it's very grey and very very bleak.
(PS29G) [385] Mhm.
[386] So what do you think, you know when, when, when people, if people don't feel that the area outside their door is a an area s you know that's part of their area, it's an area that they've got responsibility, what consequences does, do you think that has?
[387] ... If they're i
(PS29F) [388] I think it gives it an air of abandonment.
[389] Erm it isn't necessarily dirtier than the average street, it doesn't necessarily have more dog shit or more paper strewn around it ... but neither does it have a, any sense of activity within it.
[390] I th I think I think that's the key, I think e I think there, there, there's, there's n there's no activity there's no communal activity.
[391] ... And you get the feeling that people kind of beat a, a way through to their particular flat and out again, without looking either to left or right really.
[392] And that's a very extreme view and it's c but ... er it's the impression that I've got of the flats.
[393] It's a very personal impression.
(PS29G) [394] Mhm.
(PS29F) [395] Erm
(PS29G) [396] Do you, have you had much contact erm with, with anyone who, with erm any parents at the flats that ha have been bringing up kids there?
[397] And any of their experiences?
[398] Or not?
(PS29F) [399] Erm well I kn I've known, I've, I've, I know tenants in the flats who have got children,
(PS29G) [400] Yeah.
[401] And
(PS29F) [402] Yeah.
(PS29G) [403] how do they ... how do they feel?
[404] ... You know about having t how do they feel in terms of bringing up kids in the flats?
[405] I mean do they have, do they have any views or?
(PS29F) [406] Well as I say, I had, I don't, I haven't really had any involvement really with talking to people about their experience of living in the flats until people knew that they were going to be moved out eventually.
(PS29G) [407] Yeah.
(PS29F) [408] And that does tend to colour people's what people say, and what people think about it.
[409] Erm I don't know if I said this already, in this interview, but there does seem at the moment to be a general air of, of people waiting to move.
[410] Yeah, I think I have said that haven't I?
(PS29G) [411] Mhm.
(PS29F) [412] Yeah.
[413] ... Which kind of suspends their immediate problems.
[414] They, they kind of suspend their immediate problems as they wait to, to move out.
[415] To some extent. ... [break in recording]
(PS29G) [416] I think the last point we've, we were, we were er mentioning about erm bringing up erm young people in the flats.
[417] Erm in terms of bringing up young people in the flats, how do you s how do you see the, do you think it's ... a good area, or a, or a, or, or erm a bad area to bring up kids?
[418] Cos quite a g quite a few young people have actually been brought up in the flats, haven't they?
[419] I mean
(PS29F) [420] Yeah.
(PS29G) [421] there's quite a lot have moved out now, but erm still are some there I think.
[422] ... And how do you see it as being an area to bring up kids? ...
(PS29F) [423] In the flats themselves?
(PS29G) [424] Yeah, in the flats themselves, living in the flats, I mean s ... have to look at the actual local facilities as well, I mean they're, I mean I suppose that's a factor as well to take into account?
(PS29F) [425] Yeah.
[426] ... The flats themselves are, are quite big I think, and
(PS29G) [427] Yeah.
(PS29F) [428] quite big enough for, for fa for a small family.
[429] Small [...] depending on how many bedrooms there are.
[430] Erm ... but I think the problems to do with the flats are the, the kind of overall problems of access to the flats and er the, the, the, the actual structural condition of conditions of the flats.
[431] The dampness, condensation which is very bad for young babies for example, elderly people, erm and the condition of the, of the, of the space between the flats erm which
(PS29G) [432] So you're talking about wh wh the condition of the space between the flats aren't you?
(PS29F) [433] I'm talking about, I'm talking about the s the, the open spaces between the flats,
(PS29G) [434] Yeah.
(PS29F) [435] and the problem of access to the flats, and sometimes the necessity to walk quite a long way before you can get out onto the street, which would be a problem for young mothers with, with, with small children, as equally it would be a problem for elderly people or disabled people.
(PS29G) [436] Mhm.
(PS29F) [437] Er and that is, that is one of the problems ... within the flats, that having got, once got into the complex you might have quite a long way to go before you actually find where you're going.
[438] Equally erm, and this is a kind of aside, there's the problem for the newcomer of not knowing how the flats Where, you know where each flat, where each block is, so you get in there and you and you're trying to find , for example, or wherever, and you haven't got a clue, [laugh] sort of where to start
(PS29G) [...]
(PS29F) [439] Erm ... it's a bit like, it's a
(PS29G) [440] Is that [...] yeah.
(PS29F) [441] bit like a maze in that sense.
(PS29G) [442] Is that the way you found it when you first started erm
(PS29F) [443] Wh when we first started working there, we, we went right round all the flats, and we put, put leaflets in every door, so we, we got
(PS29G) [444] That was with regard to er
(PS29F) [445] That was with regard to the advice sessions, the
(PS29G) [446] Yeah.
(PS29F) [447] weekly advice sessions.
[448] So we actually saw it all, erm it's actually quite a lot bigger than it looks.
[449] There's a lot more flats there than you would even think of.
[450] It's amazing.
[451] Lots, it's quite a small area, but they're really quite, quite neatly packed in.
[452] [sniff] Mm.
(PS29G) [453] Mhm.
[454] And you, you touched on erm the problems that erm so that living in the flats can have for somebody who's disabled, or elderly.
[455] Do you feel that, do you feel that those are raised or not?
[456] Do you feel that the flats are not particularly suitable for, for those groups?
[457] Do you think fo do you think that who was disabled
(PS29F) [458] Would have difficulty pro possibly in actually getting to their flat.
(PS29G) [459] Mhm.
(PS29F) [460] Erm the actual geogo the geography of the flats isn't, isn't conducive to easy access within, within the complex. ...
(PS29G) [461] You said also that yo that there could be problems with young mothers?
(PS29F) [462] For the same reason.
(PS29G) [463] Yeah, for the same reason.
[464] And also for the er elderly as well.
(PS29F) [465] Yeah.
[466] ... And also having got into the f into the complex, I think maybe having said that the spaces, you know the, the space between the blocks is erm isn't cared for erm
(PS29G) [467] In terms of it not being cared for, yeah, I mean who do you
(PS29F) [468] I don't mean not ca
(PS29G) [469] Yeah.
(PS29F) [470] not, I don't mean not clean or not, not tidy,
(PS29G) [471] Yeah.
(PS29F) [472] I mean having no s no it has no,th there is no collective
(PS29G) [...]
(PS29F) [473] responsibility for it.
[474] It, it, it doesn't make you feel, it possibly wouldn't make people feel very happy about having to walk a long, a long way within the complex, once having got into it.
[475] You might want to be able to sort of get to their flat very quickly.
(PS29G) [476] Mhm.
[477] T and one final question.
[478] Erm we touched on quite a few of the, quite a few of the erm [cough] bad points about living in the flats.
[479] Would you sa you know on the basis of erm your contact with, with tenants erm in terms of living in flats, are, are there any good points that people have made about living there t I mean
(PS29F) [480] Yeah, yeah.
[481] Well, yeah.
[482] I mean
(PS29G) [483] Yeah.
(PS29F) [484] it's ver a very central, I mean
(PS29G) [485] Yeah.
(PS29F) [486] they're in a very good position.
[487] Very prime, prime position for shops, and
(PS29G) [488] Yeah.
(PS29F) [489] for local and for sort of local amenities, for the forest, it's very close to the forest.
[490] It's on a main shopping route into the city centre.
[491] Erm it's [phone rings] [telephone conversation starts] Hello [telephone conversation ends] ? ... [break in recording]
(PS29G) [492] Right erm before we broke off erm this last question I'm going to ask you, you were s you were saying about erm in terms of erm some of the good points of h the, you were talking about it being pretty central erm for buses erm being near the forest erm what about erm in terms of local shops?
[493] I mean what, what've you found?
[494] Do people, do people t tend to use those?
(PS29F) [495] Oh yes, very much.
[496] I mean a lot of people who live on the don't go into town at all.
[497] [laughing] Don't know where it is [] .
[498] [laugh] Erm and they use local shops almost exclusively.
[499] So is a i i it, it is a very thriving area, it is a very thriving shopping centre for the people who live in the immediate area.
(PS29G) [500] Mhm.
[501] What about the facilities for local people?
[502] I mean do, do people find, tend to see those as being ... a plus or not? ... [...] you know,
(PS29F) [503] How do you mean?
(PS29G) [504] facilities other than shops, er erm
(PS29F) [505] What you mean like the boys'
(PS29G) [...]
(PS29F) [506] club?
(PS29G) [507] Yeah, er
(PS29F) [508] Erm yes er there's, there's a community centre on .
(PS29G) [509] Yeah.
[510] Now what's
(PS29F) [511] Yeah.
(PS29F) [512] that?
[513] Yeah, what [...]
(PS29F) [514] That belongs to the church, St Paul's Church.
(PS29G) [515] Yeah.
(PS29F) [516] Erm there's
(PS29G) [517] What kind of contact, do they have much contact with the people in the flats? ... [...] , you not sure if you're not
(PS29F) [518] Y I don't know, you'd have to ask them.
(PS29G) [519] sure on that [...]
(PS29F) [520] No, I'm not sure on that.
[521] There's what's the boys' club, there's a library.
[522] There's erm a community arts centre, which is used by both individuals and groups within the area.
[523] Erm, and there's the youth and community centre which is on the corner of and .
[524] So there is quite a, a concentration of activity within the area.
[525] Whether or not that is actually used by the people who live in the flats, I don't know, to be honest.
[526] That would have to, that would have to come out of any kind of interview with workers in those other groups really.
(PS29G) [527] Right, thanks very much, thank you.