Channel 4 News did a great piece on HMR’s collapse tonight, focusing on Werneth in Oldham and Anfield in Liverpool, and briefly speaking to Brendan Nevin, whose research underpinned the regeneration programme. It’s great to finally see the national media sitting up and giving this debacle the attention it deserves – because until now very few outlets have been interested. There are limits to what you can squeeze into 11 minutes on a subject like this – despite it being a really long time for a news package – so the piece really focused on what has happened since the ConDem coalition came into power in May and took away much of HMR’s funding. I still think it’s worth pointing out though that this whole scheme was a disaster from the start – I didn’t feel that was made clear enough. The pathfinders took on too much at once and did it quite often in an inhumane and cack-handed way, led (in my view) by developers and an overheating housing market. The new government has made things worse by decisions which mean the whole thing will drag on for far longer – at the expense of Kadija in the piece and other householders like her and like the people I have met in the past four years. But make no mistake – disaster was well underway under the previous government.
The background of the HMR pathfinder and its impact on ordinary people like Kadija can be seen on my Street Fighers site