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Last Updated: Thursday, 31 May 2007, 11:49 GMT 12:49 UK
Aylesbury estate - any hope?
Jerry Thomas
The Politics Show London

Tony Blair
The choices are coming ten years later in the Aylesbury estate

After 10 years, problems with urban regeneration in London remain, despite the rhetoric of Tony Blair on what was billed as a 'vision for the future' in a south London housing estate. So, where do the residents stand today?

Ten years ago, almost to the day, Tony Blair left Downing Street and crossed the Thames to travel the few short miles to the Aylesbury estate in south London, where he made his first major speech outside Parliament.

The Prime Minister chose the biggest housing estate in Europe to unveil his vision for regenerating Britain's inner cities and underlined his government's determination to tackle the problems of urban deprivation and despair.

The set piece speech came to symbolise a new era, one in which equality and social justice were placed centre-stage in his administration's priorities.

Since then, there has been a vast amount of money and a plethora of policy initiatives to try and improve rundown inner cities.

However, despite the schemes and the billions invested, many would argue that the results have been distinctly patchy.

Plans a-plenty

Tony Blair
There will not be "no hope areas"

Since the Prime Minister's visit, there have been at least five plans drawn up to renew and regenerate.

These include a plan, in 2002, which proposed a stock transfer which would have meant the estate being flattened, rebuilt and run by a housing association.

The plan was thrown out with 70% of the residents voting against.

After a 10-year hiatus, building work has only just begun on the estate.

The new plan will re-house residents in newly built council houses on the fringe of the estate whilst the estate is flattened and rebuilt.

No hope areas

The displaced residents will be given the choice to remain or return into housing association homes on the rebuilt estate.

In his speech, Tony Blair declared that there must not be any "no hope areas".

But in perception terms at least, the estate has come to symbolise the problems of stock transfer, disaffected residents and the government's lack of trust in local government.

The PM's speech, 10 years ago, served to raise expectations, but the problems of urban regeneration in London remain as acute as ever.

The Politics Show London

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