Where has estate's �50m gone?

EXCLUSIVE by Andy McCorkell The community is pretty bloody angry on that estate and with huge reason – �50 million has been spent there over the last nine years and it s really not at all clear where it s all gone. Those are the words o


by Andy McCorkell

'The community is pretty bloody angry on that estate and with huge reason - �50 million has been spent there over the last nine years and it's really not at all clear where it's all gone.'

Those are the words of Jackie Sadek, independent chairwoman of the board for South Kilburn Partnership (SKP) - formerly the South Kilburn New Deal for Communities (SKNDC).

Her alarming comments were published on a regeneration blog in the Estates Gazette last week.

As former chairwoman of the British Urban Regeneration Association, Ms Sadek has a reputation for shooting from the hip with straight-talking and bullish opinions.

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Peter Jones, a Kilburn resident and former board member of SKNDC, said: "For some time now it has been clear that the New Deal for Communities programme was failing its principal objective - to tackle multiple deprivation in South Kilburn.

"The area remains in the top 10 per cent of the most deprived neighbourhoods in the country.

"Why can't Jackie Sadek be open and honest with the local community rather than making her views on the area in a magazine that South Kilburn residents have no access to, and explain what can realistically be achieved before the programme ends in 2011?

"Like most residents I haven't a clue what the vision of the South Kilburn Partnership is these days."

In her blog, the outspoken chairwoman goes on to say: 'Actually I was in a pretty hairy public meeting myself last week.

'It was at South Kilburn where I was appointed last year to chairwoman the partnership board.

'And I don't think any regeneration practitioner would seriously hold up the NDC programme as value for money, although we don't, as yet, know the full extent of the waste.

'I am hoping that the row at South Kilburn will subside once we get on site and finally start delivering real homes for our beleaguered community. It will not abate until we have done so. And quite right too!'

Ms Sadek told the Times that she felt her comments were unguarded and slightly reckless and has agreed to be interviewed in the coming weeks.

She said: "I am 50-years-old, I have spent three decades in urban regeneration and I have never let the community down."

A Brent Council spokesman told the Times Ms Sadek is an independent voice who is recognised for 'a no nonsense' approach to successful regeneration.

He added: "The council is working closely with the partnership and local people to deliver housing, jobs and opportunity for South Kilburn and Jackie is well qualified to take us forward in this objective.

"Open and honest debate is welcome and that very independence of the chair, free to express a range of views on many issues, is the strength of the post."