The leader of Liverpool Council made quite an astonishing admission today – but also quite a calculated one. He admitted publicly – for the first time as I understand it – that the city’s Housing Market Renewal scheme has been a shambles which has wreaked untold damage on the communities it is meant to be regenerating.
Quite a confession, but the timing is no accident. The city council is, after all, a Lib Dem administration which has been behind the rolling out of this heavy-handed New Labour regeneration scheme. Now, with two weeks to go before the general election and when the writing would appear to be on the wall for the government, it would seem that the council is trying to distance itself from what has been a controversial and divisive programme.
I found out about this interview in an email from a housing campaigner in Liverpool, who forwarded it onto a number of contacts. One of the responses I was copied in to was from Steve Ord, a former Liverpool resident and landlord who I’ve interviewed for my Street Fighters project.
“So does that mean I can have my house back?” was his bitter response.
Steve Ord’s former family home in Picton, an area in Liverpool’s Wavertree neighbourhood, was taken from him after his opposition group lost a public inquiry into a Compulsory Purchase Order. The property, which he was renting out to students – accounting for 45 per cent of his total income -may well have been demolished by now. Along with most of his childhood landmarks.
Please listen to it in Steve’s own words: