Grahame Park in Barnet is one of the largest council estate ever built by the old GLC.Â Some 1,777 homes sit cheek by jowl, or rather drug addled resident by asylum seeker resident, for although the estate was popular when it was originally built, it has been plagued by problems, and it now requires ‘regeneration due to the concentration of vulnerable and disadvantaged people’ – Nu-Labour code speak for it ‘has become a Hell hole’.
Over the next 15 years, it is intended that some 20 million pounds will be spent on bringing it up to modern living standards. That is a significant sum of money to be spent on under 2,000 homes.
So it was with some surprise that I noted included in the budget, the undeclared cost of the ‘first ever’ dedicated television station to be installed in social housing.
Why would they spend money on an innovative dedicated television stationÂ toÂ serveÂ just one estate when they cannot find the money to carry out basic maintenance?
The answer is buried deep –
Barnet Homes and partner organisations will use Grahame Park TV (GPTV) to broadcast short films and messages. The messages will be broadcast from a large screen on The Concourse.
This is the first time that a British social landlord has introduced its own dedicated television station for tenants and leaseholders. Grahame Park residents will be able to wish their friendsÂ (sic) on their birthdays, tell a joke or show off their musical skills on GPTV.
Key election messages will also be automatically sent to residents’ mobile phones using Bluetooth.
I do hope that the electoral commission wil be ensuring that a fair balance of ‘key election messages’ is beamed to these vulnerable and disadvantaged people.