Ealing Liberal Democrats say residents are being “gagged” from not being allowed to speak at an Extraordinary Council Meeting (ECM) called for by them over the way residents have been treated and living in South Acton’s Meath Court shipping container development by Labour-run Ealing Council
But the Majority Group on the council countered the LibDems and told EALING.NEWS: “if the Liberal Democrats have received such a request, they have not passed it on as they should have done”.
In a Lib Dems statement, the official opposition to Labour-run Ealing Council raised their concerns: “Liberal Democrats are disappointed that Meath Court residents are not allowed to share their experiences at the special Extraordinary General Meeting set up on 19 Dec 2023. Those who are suffering are being gagged and so lessons are not being learned.”
Prior to the statement, Ealing Council had announced that it was decommissioning Meath Court and another shipping container development in Hanwell, Marston Court. Both developments were created to serve as temporary accommodation though some residents have been there for many years. All current residents at both developments are being moved to other temporary accommodation.
Both developments have been criticised by those living there as “shipping container hell” while Ealing Council has also been called a “rogue landlord”.
Ealing Liberal Democrats Councillor Gary Malcolm said: “Liberal Democrats are appalled that Labour are not prioritising the opportunity for residents (of Meath Court) to speak but are leaving them in a squalid situation, having delayed the meeting taking place as long as they can. Those who are suffering are not being listened to and so lessons are not being learned. Shocking.”
Councillor Jon Ball, spokesperson for Lib Dems on Planning, Licensing and Housing added: “The families feel overlooked, ignored and want answers in the short term so they can have some hope for the future. The Liberal Democrats will continue to fight until these families and residents get a proper quality of housing.”
A Majority Group spokesperson challenged the Lib Dems opposition and told EALING.NEWS: “First and foremost, the council is decommissioning Meath and Marston Courts, and is actively in the process of rehousing residents. The council is therefore in constant contact with residents. We are not aware that any residents wanted to speak at the Extraordinary Council Meeting, which was cynically called by the Liberal Democrats in order to ask us to do something that we were already doing.”
They added: “If the Liberal Democrats have received such a request, they have not passed it on as they should have done, so it is false to suggest that this is being blocked.”