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Last Updated: Thursday, 15 December 2005, 17:46 GMT
Revamp plans accused of race bias
Artist's impression
Elephant and Castle as it might look under new plans
Black Londoners are not being properly consulted on one of England's largest regeneration schemes, says the mayor.

Ken Livingstone has requested that the Commission for Race Equality (CRE) investigate the 1.5bn regeneration of Elephant and Castle, in south London.

His office said the black community was "happy about regeneration but not happy about gentrification".

Southwark Council said the mayor's comments were "incredible" and accused him of "cheap political point" scoring.

The successful regeneration of the Elephant and Castle is in everyone's interests and we should be working together to achieve this
Cllr Nick Stanton, leader of Southwark Council

The master plan for regenerating the 170-acre site in Elephant and Castle was agreed in February 2004.

About 4,200 homes are to be built along with two new "landmark" buildings and a civic square. The entire project will take about 10 years to complete.

Recommendations implemented

In a statement, Mr Livingstone said the council had "failed to reassure the local black community of its determination to tackle racism" and failed to address its concerns.

A spokesman for his office said the black community had "just not been involved at all".

In March 2005, Lord Herman Ouseley made 35 recommendations in his independent review of Southwark Council's equality and diversity framework. The council say they have been implemented.

Cllr Nick Stanton, Liberal Democrat leader of the council said: "This is incredible. I met with Ken Livingstone just last month and we agreed that the successful regeneration of the Elephant and Castle is in everyone's interests and we should be working together to achieve this."

He accused the mayor of trying to score "cheap political points" which would only undermine "our excellent community relations".




SEE ALSO:
Massive revamp for the Elephant
20 Feb 04 |  London


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