An estate with a future

As one of the Liberal Democrat councillors for the Aylesbury estate, I would be the last person to pronounce new Labour's New Deal as the perfect solution ("City in the sky", 17 July). But however flawed, the New Deal has at least been a starting point.

The government has indeed imposed severe financial restrictions upon us. It is salutary to note that the entire Aylesbury demolition and rebuild of nearly 3,000 homes is projected to cost approximately £235m, the same as a single new parliamentary office building, Portcullis House.

But tenants of the Aylesbury are not sitting passively by, waiting for a Labour council to impose on them another version of the architectural catastrophes of the Sixties. They are getting involved in their estate's future. They will not accept anything less than 100 per cent right to return.

Sarah Helm diagnoses "mass neurosis" about the changes. I am on the Aylesbury every day, and I have spoken to hundreds about our community's future. I detect a mixture of anticipation, concern, excitement and relief. Neurosis, no.

Cllr Ruth Bright
London SE17

This article first appeared in the 31 July 2000 issue of the New Statesman, Why Tony Blair is a Bobo