So much reconstruction, so little affordable housing

With the borough of Wandsworth constructing unaffordable housing can Labour be residents saving grace in the local elections?

By Isla Russell, journalism student

London is a city of constant regeneration. Buildings are endlessly being torn down only to be built back-up again in more extravagant and costly ways. Wandsworth is just one borough of London currently going through a phase of housing regeneration. But with the promise of luxury housing comes the threat of a luxury price which leads present and future Wandsworth residents wondering, how will they afford their rent?

“I know that in the not too distant future I’ll have to pack myself and the children up and leave our home for good. I just don’t know where we will go”. Joanne Martin has been living on the Patmore Estate in Battersea for nine years. She is a mother of two young children who balances caring for them with working full-time at her local Tesco Metro. Her flat is a mere 10-minute walk away from the Battersea power station where a nine-billion-pound reconstruction of luxury homes and shops is taking place and she fears the repercussions of this distance. “The Battersea Power Station construction is only a few minutes away from us, and you know what’s going on there. It could be our estate they knock down next”.

Wandsworth has been under a conservative local government since 1978 who have over-seen the regeneration work happening in Wandsworth. However, the local elections on May 3rdcould change the Tories nearly 30-year rule.

The Wandsworth labour party have put affordable housing at the forefront of their campaign. Sitting with Simon Hogg, labour MP for Lechmere, it’s obviously something the entire Labour party of Wandsworth is passionate about. Whilst keeping perfect eye contact with me, almost as if he knows I’m skeptical of believing anything a politician has to say when there’s an election going on, he explains to me: “inappropriate housing in Wandsworth has gone way too far. There are too many unaffordable houses being built and I fear that this will cause people to relocate to a different borough of London, or even outside of London”.

A study by job search engine Adzuna found that the average Wandsworth salary is £29,009 a year, and this has gone down 1% every year. In 2017 the average Wandsworth house cost £796,214 to buy and £511 per week to rent. Regeneration will only push these housing prices higher which may result in Wandsworth residents having to leave the borough. But this is not what the labour party wants. Simon tells me: “we [the labour party] really want to give the present and future Wandsworth residents what they want. We want to work with them to provide homes for the community that is affordable, and stop Wandsworth being a soft touch for developers”.

The labour parties plan for affordable housing sounds great in theory but how will it fair in reality? And what will the outcome be for people like Joanne? “I fear it’s already too late for this building, but maybe with labour controlling this borough we may be able to stay for longer”.

Week seven live show review

I found this week particularly challenging in terms of filming the VT as I was working alone the majority of the time.  


After deciding before Wednesday’s lesson that I really wanted to do a VT package on International Women’s Day (Thursday) I approached my group to ask if they would be available to film on that day. Despite none of them being available I still thought that the story was too good to not do. This left me researching, planning, filming, presenting, and editing the VT.


I decided that I wanted to show a range of events that were happening for International Women’s Day rather than just show what was going on at LSBU. I was already attending an International Women’s Day breakfast on Thursday and thought this would be the perfect place to get some expert interviews and some good vox pops. Despite the company running the event initially declining my request to film the event, on the day they allowed me to conduct some interviews and get some vox pops and GV’s as long as a permission form was completed. This provided me with a really good base to build my VT on.


I did want to include what we were doing at LSBU in my VT and so set up a range of interviews with individuals and groups involved in the day. My first interview was with LSBU’s health and wellness advisor who gave me some really good information on what was happening around the university and how LSBU combats gender equality. Despite being an incredibly good interview, I only used a small part of what she had to say in the end VT because of time restraints.


I was granted permission to film a guest lecture that was being put on for International Women’s Day and an interview with the speakers. Periodical diaries were a soon to be charity that aims to eliminate the taboo surrounding periods, which is a potential VT in itself. They were incredibly open to speaking to me about their work and why International Women’s Day was important to them, which provided me with some incredibly useful footage.


My main issue with filming my VT came from doing everything alone. I was both camera operator and presenter on most of the filming days and found it difficult and slightly unprofessional to have to set up a camera in front of the people I was interviewing. This resulted in some not so clean shots and framing where you could only see half of me. I tried my best in the edit to fix these issues, however, it was incredibly difficult. I also found that I had a lot of good forage in terms of interviews and vox’s that I found it difficult to cut down to just under 2 minutes. All in all, I believe that my VT was a success and something that, despite doing alone, I am incredibly proud of.


Due to illness I did not attend the live show.


Week 6 live show review

This week’s live show did not go as smoothly as previous shows have, however, there were some ambitious ideas trialled that should be commended.

After reading an article in the Guardian about sex education apps I pitched the idea to my group to base our VT on exploring these apps and how useful they are. It was decided that I would present, Elle would operate the camera, James would edit the VT, and Olivia would be editor and write the article. We had great difficulty trying to arrange a time to all meet, however decided that Friday at 9:30am would be best.

Despite it not being part of my role as presenter I compiled all the research for the piece, including downloading the apps and researching each one. In addition to this I planned what we needed to film for the VT, and tried to arrange our expert interview. Prior to our filming day I also recorded the voice overs.

On the day of filming it was myself and Elle who turned up. Luckily, we were only filming on campus and so managed to record our PTC and GV’s swiftly. Despite ringing several sexual health clinics around the Southwark area all refused to provide us with an expert interview. However, on the day of recording, after speaking to several members at the Student Union we managed to secure a very good interview with the unions head of representation advice and insight.

James successfully managed to edit our VT into a good package complete with GV’s, voice over, PTC, and an expert interview. Unfortunately, we didn’t have any vox pops included which was down to both the time restraints on the VT and the fact that when we were filming there were no students willing/available to speak to us.

This week I was editor-in-chief of the show which meant I co-ordinated the heads of departments to ensure a smooth-running show. I think I had varying degrees of success in this role, however do believe that I could have done a better job.

The day began with a news meeting to discuss the VT packages and the upcoming show. My first job was to sort out changes in staffing. Due to illness, I had to find both a bulletins and sofa presenter. I decided to use Mariah as the sofa presenter and Nicola for bulletins.

After the meeting I sat with Charlie, James, and Nick to discuss the running of the show and set up and the running order in inception. We had some difficulty regarding which VT’s we should drop to ensure there was time for a two-way-interview and an on the sofa interview. In the end Charlie, as news editor, was very good at being decisive and ended up cutting the KFC VT as it was no longer relevant. Besides working with Charlie to sort out the running order and checking in with the other heads of department I feel like my role was very limited and I didn’t really achieve much else.

As seems to be the case every live show our rehearsal did not go well. It was incredibly disorganised, partly due to the fact that the scripts had not been printed, however there were also issues with Inception and trying the movement of equipment between VT’s.

2 minutes before the live show our VT wouldn’t work on the system as it had been incorrectly exported. This caused somewhat of a panic just before the live show aired, and the issue was not fixed before we went live. Luckily part-way through the show we managed to effortlessly fit the VT into a slot and play it.

There were many positives to this weeks live show. Theo in particular was a very natural presenter and came across well on camera. Nicola was excellent at filling in as bulletins presenter and came up with three very good and relevant stories. The skype call was very good and, despite a few timing delays, was an interesting segment to have. Additionally, we also had a guest on the sofa which provided the show with some additional content.

There were a lot of changes made by Nick as director. Some worked very well, such as having the bulletins presenter with the sofa presenters, however in the end it was slightly over ambitious. Additionally, we had a slight issue with sound due to diverted attention which is definitely something that needs to be looked out for.

Despite the slight issues the show was not the worst we’ve done. On the day reporters did well at getting their stories in on time, all presenters worked well in front of the camera, and the editorial team did a very good job at putting the show together with some very interesting VT’s.