Anger Over Estate Agent Board Claims

Council accuse of claiming credit for residents' efforts

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There has been an angry response from the Sinclair Road Residents' Association (SRRA) to a circular from local ward Councillors which appears to claim total credit for the campaign against the plethora of estate agents' boards in the area.

In correspondence with the Labour party's Addison Action group, the joint chairs of the SRRA stated, "It is with a great deal of anger that we see that the work which has been done by Sinclair Road Residents Association members over the past four years has been hijacked for political gain. As you know perfectly well yourselves, the campaign against rogue estate agents and fly-boarding was not initiated by Labour, or, indeed by the Labour-controlled council. This initiative was set and worked upon solely by SRRA volunteers; at no point in the past did Labour offer to help in this matter; it jumped instead on the bandwagon two months ago, when all the hard work had been done by our association."

The SRRA say that it was one of their campaigners who alerted the Council that it was possible to use a so-called 'section 7 order' to curb the excesses of local estate agents. They claim that this information was met with complete inertia and that subsequent research and survey work was carried out by the SRRA to provide the Council with a substantial dossier of information which showed that fly-posting was prevalent in the area.

The SRRA told the Addison ward councillors, "We are deeply shocked that no effort was made by you - at any stage - to discuss the matter with our association. As a strictly non-politically aligned group, we would have welcome this opportunity, as we welcome the opportunity to work with all stakeholders in our community."

The Addison Action group which includes the three councillors for the Addison ward say that they wrote to residents a few months ago asking for support and received an overwhelming response. They have forwarded these letters to the Council’s Planning Committee and to the Deputy Prime Minister (he makes the final decision). If John Prescott agrees to a 'Direction 7' order, there will be an immediate ban on estate agent boards in Sinclair Road, Sinclair Gardens, Addison Gardens, Lakeside Road, Hazlitt Road and Maclise Road. All estate agents within the area will be given notice that they will be prosecuted if their boards remain in the area after the Direction comes into force.

March 21, 2006