Sunday, 11 April 2010

Vote Labour and get your home demolished!

A recent edition of the Manchester Evening News had an interesting local story concerning Manchester City Council's planned demolition of 189 maisonettes in Collyhurst South. The maisonettes were built in the 60s and the council now want to demolish and replace them. The cost of this “redevelopment” will be £3,300,000 – the council rejected a proposal to refurbish the maisonettes at a much lower cost of £300,000, which would obviously have involved a lot less disruption to the community. Other options, like turning over ownership of the properties involved to a housing association or a local housing cooperative, don't seem to have been considered. Pretty typical of the sledgehammer approach that this Labour-dominated council tends to adopt.

For me though, what's particularly interesting about this story is that it implies that the local people are almost all behind the council's plan. That wasn't the impression I had recently, when I was canvassing for nomination signatures in the area. I only met one guy who plans to vote Labour, everyone else seemed to hate the incumbent councillor John Flanagan, who voted for the demolition. I talked to people who have lived there for decades and who resented the council's actions. Collyhurst South is a functioning community, not some urban battlezone – I've certainly lived in worse places, so why is the council set on this course of action? One very friendly couple who live in one of the maisonettes in question kindly invited me into their home and explained how distressed they were about the prospect of being moved into temporary accommodation while their home was demolished and a replacement built – both of them already have health problems, the stress from this can only make things worse. As usual with this council, they won't let the needs of individuals get in the way of their grand schemes.

1 comment:

john in cheshire said...

The local gauleiters are socialist; you must realise that they know best. Best antidote to socialism - a shotgun. Probably extreme, but .....