Monday, June 04, 2007

Will the councillors for Thamesmead please stand up?

The 10th-biggest mortgage lender in the UK has pulled out of Thamesmead. GMAC RFC, part-owned by General Motors made the announcement the other week that it would no longer provide mortgages to any properties in Thamesmead because it considered it too great a risk because of already rising negative equity.

Why is there rising negative equity in Thamesmead? Could it be because it is now one of the capitals of Europe for mass international fraud rings linked to Nigeria? After all, the former chairman of the Nigerian Oil Mineral Producing Area Development Commission (OMPADEC), Chief Opia, now lives there after allegedly siphoning off millions from the aid programme before coming here.

Don't expect the Council to acknowledge any of this though. The councillors for Thamesmead Moorings pretend that it's all just peachy in their ward (but they don't live there). The reports of alleged torture rooms and rising gun crime are quietly ignored.

Who is the owner of the Thamesmead developments though? It starts at the top with leaseholders purchasing their lease from larger companies who have purchased larger land leases from the freeholders. Who are the freeholders? Well it depends where you look, but vast swathes of the area are ultimately owned by Tilfen Land.

Tilfen Land? Could this be the same Tilfen Land that has a paid non-executive director that used to be the leader of Greenwich Council, and is now the Chair of the Metropolitan Police Authority, and is also the partner of one of the councillors for Thamesmead Moorings? Perhaps the news of lenders bailing out of the area might motivate them into action? The business impact could be huge when no one is able to buy the property.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's a serious concern is that at a time that there are near-record rises in house prices in parts of London, and when annual house price inflation for the capital as a whole is over 20%, that Bexleyheath and Greenwich are amongst the few areas that haven't seen continuing property value increases.

8:47 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a bit concerned that the MP for the area hasn't said a word about the situation either.

9:05 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

it doesn't help that it's built on a marsh - doesn't inspire confidence

4:45 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just found your blog - thank you so much for this.

We've been on to the council for so long about the fraud and crime we have seen coming in linked to some pretty unsociable behaviours. Negative equity - was the last thing we were worried about when we moved here 3 years ago - interest rates were more concern. Our life has been a living hell in West Thamesmead because of what
has been allowed to go on. Unfortunately Thamesmead has indeed by targeted by West African criminals - though the council will not make any statement on this. Additionally you are quite right to make the tenuous connections with Tilfen and others - the freeholders etc. It sniffs of dirty dealing, and a few 'incentives' doesn't it. Nothing is being done basically - as nobody will deal with the truth here. They are scared of being seen to be 'racist' and yet what we are talking about is 'criminal' not about race at all. It is just unfortunate that so many West Africans are behaving so negatively and criminally in this area as it skews a lot of people's opinion of them - and in reality there are good and bad everywhere.

Forget the marsh - a lot of people love their homes here, and the river and waterways - they just hate the area because of the bad behaviour and crime. That is something that the council and MP should be able to sort out. But don't hold your breath as I have no confidence that they ever will.

3:21 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I could not agree more with the previous posters comments. The council refuse to acknowledge the huge amounts of fraud, illegal immigration and anti social behaviour that exists in the area. Thamesmead is regularly featured in the national press as a major fraud hotspot, not just in the UK but in whole of Europe.

9:29 pm  

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