Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Save Us From SAVE Britains Heritage.

I attended the planning committee meeting of the 19th April and on the agenda was the demolition of phase one and two of the Welsh Streets.
I previously wrote, and there is a real reason for keeping the heart of New Heartlands, but.........
The hotly contested Welsh Streets, but by who.

I have never before seen a situation where people who live in an area are supporters, declaring they want their houses knocked down..............and it helped change my mind, enough is enough.
Merseytravel once owned Ringos House. Joe Anderson promised to save the demolitions....but
Now it transpires that SAVE Britain’s Heritage are mischievously trying to buy, off anyone, who will sell, any of the remaining properties in the Welsh Streets.
This will cost us hundreds of thousands of pounds in legal fees in a futile and silly plan to disrupt the process, while the area is 95% empty, already cleansed, yes we know it was all wrong, but who are we to argue with people who want decent housing.
The idea is to have all the houses around them knocked down and force the council to CPO the houses that they may have bought.
What is the point?
I grew up in a similar house and some of the supporters of the demolition mirrored exactly how it felt for me till we were re-housed in the 60's from what was labelled a slum.

Now, I don’t like to give in on a fight but SAVE would be better placed buggering off back to London than wasting Liverpool ratepayer’s money on a lost cause to further their own public image of being heritage fighters.

Ringos house may have been worth fighting for I thought, but not any, more.
They at SAVE cannot buy Ringos house in Madryn Street because the city council own it. There was a point but it has now gone too far. It seems some people are so empowered to have their names in the paper, that it drives them on when they should stop and common sense come into play.

If Nina Edge and others wish to fight that's up to them it seems her house is a big house for the area, but why should others not have the right to move.
They at SAVE may have done some good heritage battles and they pride themselves on being vociferous, but on this occasion they have misplaced ideals that need to be stopped.

Peter Brown of the Merseyside Civic Society was in attendance at the planning committee and the MCS have been supportive of Nina Edge, who it was claimed by supporters of the demolition, did not fully live in Kelvin Grove. They the MCS have also assisted the misguided attempts of Elizabeth Pascoe who cost herself a fortune to save her house. There is one thing being classed as heroic as a way to make friends and influence people but at what point do you stop being tagged along by people from London who put on the occasional wine and cheese evening here in Liverpool and then go home.
I feel sorry for anyone losing their house. Joe Anderson said he would save the demolitions but it now seems he wont

Jonathan Brown seems to be able to motivate Peter Brown, oh, and Steve Parry of Neptune Developments, I couldn’t.
When he should have been fighting against world heritage blight he was supporting its developments. I will never be able to respect him again.

Where does the point come when all those around you have decided to sell and the place is an area full of rats and blight? It seems now.

So the idea of SAVE, if they can, as their charitable status is being checked to see if they can do it, is to buy up a few houses and let everything be knocked down around them. Hey clever!

While they go home to their middle class London Mews the people they are claiming to help are living in squalor. There is a chance that the development may stall but it is too far gone now I fear.

This is a misguided campaign by the eccentrics at SAVE and they should think carefully before they proceed in cajoling vulnerable sections of society. There is one thing putting on a glossy exhibition and producing a glossy booklet costing £14 about Liverpool’s lack of care with its heritage and genuinely helping people with their plight.

SAVE claims to have saved the Lyceum in Bold Street many decades ago, it was Florence Gersten who did all the work. This is now under threat with blight about to happen all around it.
Far too close to Peter De Figeurido they at SAVE are now art risk of becoming labelled heritage nutters, in fact there are a few there already. read some of the coments from SAVE members here
or here,
or eve here and there. Fruitcakes anonymous.

I do not take stating my opinion lightly in this instance despite some of their senior members being completely bonkers (see above links) and in my opinion verging on the edge of heritage madness, they have done some good work, but here they are looking like middle class twits playing heritage games that affect far too many people’s lives. Who should not be used in the arsenal of SAVE’s Heritage publicity machine.

SAVE Us from SAVE.


  1. Hello Wayne. I am much flattered by the phrase 'publicity machine' seeing as it's just me and my computer.

    We are involved in the Welsh Streets campaign because local people, including the Welsh Streets Home Group, asked for our help. Are you suggesting we ignore them? I don't think you'd like that either.

    It's interesting that you seem happy for LCC to use millions of pounds of public money to decant, blight and clear a functioning neighbourhood, and put £30m of housing assets in landfill - but find the idea of making them pay for a CPO so abhorrent. It's worth remembering that in 2005, before the HMR blight set in, Madryn Street residents opposed demolition by 35 to 1. This was inconvenient for the council as it had offered for development in 2003 so it continued to empty the area, run it down, and re-survey until, eventually, the only people left wanted to get out - and the council got result it wanted. Of course it is a disgrace that residents in phase 3 of the clearance area are living in dark and damp conditions, but most of these properties are owned by the RSL Dane-Plus (Chair - Richard Kemp) so you should focus your ire on them (and him). They have a duty to maintain these properties but, of course, it is not in their interest to do so as they are a developer-partner for the site.

    These properties have value and would be snapped up on the open market. The council just bought a house in Kelvin Grove for £120k. So where's the market failure? I think you'll find that the real reason why Welsh Streets were 'red-lined' is that this is valuable land, close to the city centre and would be attractive for developers. Trouble is that post housing crash these sites are not very attractive anymore. Elsewhere (around Edge Hill), developers have jumped, leaving muddy meadows. Is this what you want for the Welsh Streets?

    Lastly, you forget that SAVE has been fighting HMR for nearly a decade. We've appeared at inquiries, lobbied government and published 3 reports - the first of which featured the Welsh Streets and included a memorable quote from Ringo Starr. Unlike you, we haven't given up on this one.


  2. Hi - we at Salford Star have always loved this blog and its anti Peel stance. But labelling SAVE as `eccentrics' is well heavy. They've just produced a brilliant report on Pathfinder which mirrors our own residents' views on the £2.2billion mess. SAVE's stance is backed by Homes Under Threat which is supporting the residents rights to defend their homes, particularly those in Kelvin Grove. Residents need to arm themselves with reports like the ones SAVE produces - try telling Salford people that SAVE are a load of `middle class twits playing heritage games' - they use such reports to try and save their homes or at least discredit the rip off process known as Pathfinder.

  3. I make no comment about Salford and the involvment of SAVE there, and if Salford has benefited from WILL AND HIS COMPUTER WELL I VERY MUCH TAKE MY HAT OFF TO HIS WORK IN HELPING SALFORDS PATHFINDER PLIGHT. I have nothing personal against Will in fact assisted him in his exhibition Liverpool Triumph Disaster and Decay, where I met some of the SAVE organisation.

    All I know about on Pathfinders in Liverpool, and I disagree with the principle in general, is that SAVE are activly trying to buy properties to slow the process down, this is ill advised and is prolonging the process what which is what they did at Edge Lane while the money was available to develop the area. I was a prperty developer in the 80s in Liverpool when I bought a house in Botanic Road and the local search, my solicitor advised said that there was plans,then to widen Edge Lane.

    The plans for demolition have been passed for the Welsh Streets so why are SAVE attempting to buy houses just to have them CPO'd, this seems a bit eccentric to me and will cost us humdreds of thousands of public money in a city besieged by massive public sector cuts. This money could be better spent serving the more vulnerable sector.

  4. Daily Ghost letters page 27.4.11

    Need for affordable housing overlooked

    WE WERE at the Planning Committee meeting which discussed the demolition of the Welsh Streets. It was a pretty extreme mix.

    The un-met housing needs of residents not included in the current application to demolish were presented as a reason to demolish many more houses than is necessary to re-house them in family homes with gardens, as they desire.

    The residents from the houses earmarked for demolition were not there because they had to vacate their homes to allow the bulldozers in. Their voices were heard. The residents from Kelvin Grove, which is neither included in this application to demolish, nor removed from the threat of demolition, raised concerns about dust, noise, working hours and traffic during the demolition which they see as regrettable yet inevitable. Their voices were ignored.

    Kelvin Grove objectors were joined by residents from all over Toxteth and across Liverpool all seeking enough time to draw together proposals from the companies who are now gathering with offers to pay for and deliver quality renovations.

    So far, four companies are preparing refurbishment proposals for part of the Welsh Streets site. The Liverpool objectors were joined by many more in the UK and elsewhere, who between them submitted 32 letters and 1,235 petition signatures in favour of a solution that met more needs for more people at less cost. Of these, 184 signatures opposing demolition were from L8.

    Anyone concerned about claims that 74% of signatures were from outside L8 should note just how many L8 signatures there were opposing the bulldozers, more than three times the 51 people in total who signed the petition in support of the planning application to commit to demolition.

    Somewhere in the mess left behind by the market-orientated HMR, the urgent need for affordable housing has been overlooked.

    Welsh Streets Home Group (residents and neighbours to Welsh Streets)

  5. From Will Palin at SAVE

    Hi Wayne,

    Wayne, disappointing that you've swallowed the LCC spin on the Welsh Streets - I thought you'd be more perceptive. You've played straight into the hands of a council which has perfected the divide and rule tactic. In the Welsh Streets the council has either trampled on residents or used them as pawns in their political games by promising smart new homes - which elsewhere have not materialised - and blaming those wanting to stay for the delays.As Salford Star says, Pathfinder is a 'rip off process'. On average, home owners lose £35k equity when rehoused. And that's quite apart from the affects of being uprooted from home and seeing your community

    broken up and dispersed.

    We are not 'slowing down' the process. LCC has had 10 years to come up with revelopment plans for the Welsh Streets but has produced nothing. All we are slowing down is the demolition of 400 decent, repairable houses and the grassing over of the site. Look at dozens of other cleared sites in the Toxteth area. Where is the new housing? Could it be that the developers are no longer interested - even though they'll be getting the land for next to nothing? Surely not?And we are not 'buying up houses to have them CPO'd' we are buying a house which we intend to refurbish in an attempt to demonstrate how, with modest outlay, some life and dignity can be restored to a shamefully neglected street which 6 years ago people wanted to live in. We hope this will draw national attention to the scandal of the Welsh Streets and eventually lead to the retention and renovation of all the surviving housing stock.Perhaps you should be asking on your blog why 'a city besieged by massive public sector cuts' has been paying a consultant £182k a year for to advise on the Welsh Streets - Or why the heads of its HMR-colluding Housing Associations are (all?) paid in excess of £150k. They should be your targets, not us.Or perhaps you're too concerned with the 'glamorous' cases in the World Heritage Site and that you don't care the peripheries of the city. We are not playing games, Wayne, we are deadly serious.

    As for your comments on Edge Lane. Yes, why bother objecting to the CPO of your life-long home - after all you'll just be slowing down a pointless 1960s-style road widening scheme and jeopardising the chance of a developer profiting from your misery?

    William Palin


    SAVE Britain’s Heritage

    70 Cowcross Street

    London EC1M 6EJ

    Tel: 020 7253 3500

    Fax: 020 7253 3400


    Evelyn Cook of Nemesis republic and member of SAVE Britains heritage, numerous vile alias and all round fruitcake seems to have upset a lot of people along her hateful journey.

    We want nothing to do with this current argument she has taken on with other groups.
    We are interested in Heritage and conservation in Liverpool only, and have no political views whatsoever unless local to Liverpools polititions and its heritage.

    We have asked David not to print any more of the comments that she has tried to leave on these pages.

    We hope she will go away with her vile trail of cyber squatting and filth.

    It is also interesting to note that she may be NR on building design
    A registration may be required.

    The connection with SAVE Britains Heritage leaves us astounded.
    They really should know better than to encourage her.