SAVE MADRYN STREET campaign
is launched in Madryn Street, 25th August 2010
LETTER FROM WELSH
STREETS HOME GROUP
Post article web link here
Blight concerns if Housing Market Renewal Initiative collapses
GRANT SHAPPS RESPONDS TO THE MADRYN
Shapps moves to stop bulldozers demolishing Ringo Starr’s
Housing Minister Grant Shapps has today called for a temporary
reprieve to the demolition of Ringo Starr's birthplace to ensure
the people of Liverpool have a chance to have their say in what
happens to what many consider to be a culturally important building
He has written to Liverpool City Council asking them to halt the
planned demolition to give the local community and other interested
organisations an opportunity to put forward alternative viable preservation
A special meeting of Liverpool City Council’s Planning Committee
is expected to take place in January where the demolition of Ringo
Starr’s former home and other houses will be considered. If
approved the council would give two weeks notice of demolition.
The Government has received a request from SAVE Britain’s
Heritage to direct Liverpool City Council to dispose of an area.
The Public Request to Order Disposal (PROD) process allows citizens
to write to the Secretary of State, Communities and Local Government,
requesting action be taken regarding under/ unused land (including
buildings) and he may direct that the land be disposed of. SAVE
hope that this will help save these houses from demolition. The
Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government is considering
this request in the normal way.
But this request clearly demonstrates the strength of feeling locally
and prompted Mr Shapps to call for a delay to demolition to see
if an alternative community-led solution is possible and to ensure
that there is sufficient time for a full and proper consideration
of SAVE Britain’s Heritage request.
The letter from the Welsh Streets Home Group
Welsh Streets Home Group, C/O the secretary, 40 Kelvin Grove,
Liverpool, L8 3UE, mobile 07971 472707, landline 0151 726 0348 email@example.com
Dear Grant Shapps,
I am writing as the secretary of the Welsh Streets Home Group.
We are a residents group in the Toxteth area of Liverpool, formed
when we discovered the HMRI Pathfinder plans to demolish our homes
and as it turned out a large part of our city. In 2006 we joined
other residents associations and took a group of Conservative politicians
around the city on a tour of the HMRI devastation. The group included
David Cameron, Michael Heseletine, Caroline Spellman and Alistair
Burt. (They seemed appalled and said they disagreed with the scheme.
) In a nutshell we have campaigned for nearly seven years to minimise
demolition, increase renovation and thus provide more homes for
less money. The majority of Welsh Streets residents expressed this
view and sought renovation but the HMRI and City Council re-ran
the ballot until they had a majority for demolition. So far our
streets remain, as do plans to demolish them and it is with a sense
of exasperation that we contact you now. Please read on - a pdf
of this letter is attached if a long e-mail makes you feel dizzy.
In the past couple of years we have located the expertise, and
more importantly funds form the private sector which would allow
a great many houses in Liverpool to be renovated, re-insulated and
returned to use. There are three principle participants in this
offer so far which would see homes in existing buildings can be
made available for both sale and rent at little or no cost to the
public purse. This would allow the public money saved , to be used
for ensuring the new build housing which were wanted by a proportion
of the community.
Princess Park Housing Co-op who want to renovate a number of Welsh
Streets Houses for affordable rental to people on low incomes. They
formally made this offer to Liverpool City Council in writing in
The Empty Homes Agency Homesteading Scheme – a system thought
which private sponsors provide some support for people wanting to
‘self renovate’ (like self build where people work on
renovating their own home building up sweat equity towards a deposit).
This would allow people on low earning access to buying homes.
Regeneration Express an award winning not for profit company have
offered to acquire, renovate and return to the market Kelvin Grove
in the Welsh Streets along with many other HMRI blighted streets
in Liverpool. They would make homes available to local owner occupiers,
as they have already done in their successful, award winning scheme
in Tancred Rd, Anfield (trading then as the Affordable Homes Development
Company) They have formally made this offer to Liverpool City Council
in writing repeatedly in 2008, 2009 and 2010.
Liverpool City Council have not responded. Some of the reports
they are using to support their continued desire to demolish homes
are flawed and inaccurate as can easily be demonstrated if you want
to meet and look at the documents in question (Notably the DTZ Sustainability
Report presented November 2009)
We have literally hundreds of residents letters which can be viewed
on request. All testify to the massive opposition to the HMRI demolitions.
Nobody denies there are residents who seek demolition and new homes.
The question seems to be how can we provide the new homes without
destroying the old ones whilst there are people with the money and
desire to mend and occupy the existing houses.
We have read with great concern in today’s paper ( Liverpool
Daily Post 24.11.10 ) that Joe Anderson is coming to London today
to lobby for additional funds for Newheartlands the Merseyside Pathfinder.
He has been reported in the local press recently mourning the loss
of the scheme’s massive funds arguing that it leaves people
in limbo, unable to seek new housing, sell their properties or move
on. He has spoken to residents who seek the demolition of their
home, and see that route as the only way of getting decent housing.
He has not so far spoken to us (residents seeking to keep their
homes) HMRI and Liverpool City Council Officers and Councillors
have been informed in writing repeatedly of the various alternatives
to demolition and all are aware that many people who have remained
on threatened sites have done so because they continue to hope the
alternatives to demolition will prevail. We think that will rather
depend on leadership from the coalition government.
There was no prior warning that Joe Anderson leader of LCC was
planning to speak to you today, and we can see that it may be many
days before you read this mail. As and when you do read it we ask
that you will raise, forcefully the offers described above with
Joe Anderson and the Merseyside HMRI. If Merseyside officials have
claimed that more public funds, and more dereliction, more homelessness
and more demolition is the only option you might like to look through
some of the documents attached ; just some of the evidence of the
financial an technical offers we are describing.
We felt it vital that you are aware that the HMRI in Liverpool
has failed catastrophically. The failures were foreseen and forewarned
by residents long before external heritage, environmentalists, economists,
homeless charities and academics joined the criticism of the doomed
regeneration theory. It is vital that you are not mislead, and vital
that you are given a balanced and accurate oversight which allows
resolution of problems the scheme has produced. It is as well to
be aware than for the most part the scheme has been defended only
by it’s own staff, and that has included paying for pieces
in the press;
There is no reason to believe that the Newheartlands HMRI will
be capable of solving the huge problems that they themselves have
created. The scheme was badly planned, wasteful, bullying and illogical.
The problems we are referring to include around 15,000 tinned up
abandoned houses for which the local authority now has legal responsibility,
around 23,000 people citywide who are in need of affordable rental
homes and the un-met buyers demand for specifically roomy and solid
Victorian terraced housing in the inner suburbs. There are many
hundreds of people in the city, who had more than decent homes taken
off them by the HMRI scheme who sought to demolish them. They may
have stopped communicating about it, as they and their residents
groups are now dispersed across the city, but they knew they had
good houses and good communities and they wanted to keep them. The
re-housing of these people lead to a huge waiting list for affordable
homes in Liverpool , and effectively aided the hiking of prices
in the private rental sector by reducing housing supply.
There are also large numbers of people desperate to buy renovate
and re-inhabit the existing houses who have registered this interest
with our residents group over the past six and a half years. Please
do not underestimate the fury and frustration of Liverpool people
that their city and it’s reputation have been damaged so badly
by a New Labour folly. It is not too late to repair a great many
of these houses, but it is as if the city has been frozen under
a spell cast by the now discredited theories and disgracefully incompetent
practices of the HMRI Pathfinder.
We accept there are huge problems here –we are trapped by
HMRI blight. There is the legal and financial liability hanging
over the city (and it’s property holding partners 2020 and
Mouchel who issued a profit warning last month) There is the frustration
of people who want to live in Toxteth but who can only access ex-housing
association stock at inflated prices because that is all that is
on the market. There are closed waiting lists for Housing Association
homes. There are empty silences where the developers used to be
and plans for grassing over demolition sites, where residents were
promised new subsidised housing.
But it would be misleading to claim that residents are crying
out for demolition. They are crying out for decent housing, and
demolition lacks the economic, social, environmental or community
benefits to warrant spending any more public money on it. Our legal
advisors have said they think ‘Blight Orders” quoted
by LCC’s leader today as some imminent threat can actually
only issued by local authorities – so there is possibility
of recompense for ordinary residents who are living with the scheme
which we suspect only you can stop.
Blight concerns if Housing Market Renewal Initiative collapses
It seems naive now that a group of academics from Birmingham University
in 2002 should think the housing market could be tweaked by reducing
supply and altering stock alone. We have all now seen for ourselves
the housing market is governed by the availability and cost of borrowing
and on local incomes.
It would be negligent beyond belief to give these clowns any more
public money without insistence that the demolitions cease , and
the renovations start. The coalition Government could easily prime
the pump by reducing or removing VAT from renovations to bring it
into line with new build on which VAT is not payable, and by linking
with local training initiatives to provide local work , for local
people on repair work ( retro eco-refit work). If there is a big
society it will only be as big as it’s imagination. We all
know these houses do not have to go to landfill dumps. Better dump
secretary Welsh Streets Home Group, Liverpool
Who is the SAVE MADRYN STREET campaign for?
- It is NOT for Ringo who has enough homes of
his own, so we aren't asking for donations or a whip-round for
him, so anything personal against Ringo from the people of Liverpool
that has been voiced, although important, is not relevant to this
campaign : it is not for him.
- This IS for Beatles Fans Internationally
who contribute millions to the local economy for hotels, restaurants
etc. They come in their thousands to see the Beatles' sites so
this is for them, the fans, past present and future
Myths and truths to clear up:
- Ringo was born at home, at 9 Madryn Street, and lived
here until he was 5 years old, when
he went to Admiral Grove (some have wrongly quote it as only a
- His parents divorced when he was 3 and his dad moved back in
with his parents at 59 Madryn Street,
where Ringo spent a lot of time
- His maternal auntie lived at 21 Madryn Street
- His best friend Marie lived at 10 Madryn Street
Liverpool City Council
- Originally, under the Labour Govt. this was a Pathfinder area
which in 2005 started to empty properties and move residents out.
The plan was to build lovely new houses. You can understand that
as an objection to what we are saying and doing.
- Under the current government, and the new Labour City Council,
the notice says they will demolish the houses just to
then seed the ground for grass and put a fence up!
- There are no new houses, so why can't we save
even just Ringo's and a couple of others, restore them to 1940s
and let them be a Ringo "museum" and education centre
for school children to study social history in a Victorian house
in 20th Century Liverpool.
- The choice surely is: make a big grassy area or invest
in the heritage of Liverpool
14th June 2012 - RINGO'S home has
been saved, along with a
number of the local streets, though many will still be demolished.
Thanks for all your support, and to the Welsh Streets Residents'
Group for their tireless campaign. NEWS
17th June 2011 - UK
Government steps in again to halt any demolition plans as the whole
site needs an Environmental Impact Assessment Details
19th April 2011 - Council
vote to demolish but Government
here for the full story
20th January 2011 - Council
Leader Joe Anderson in positive response
- click here
20th January 2011 - GREAT
NEWS FOR THE WELSH STREETS
- click here
16th January 2011 - Latest comments by Grant Shapps,
and Liverpool's leader Joe Anderson responds too.
Liverpool's Welsh Streets residents did not overwhelmingly support
the destruction of their homes as Cllr Steve Munby (not a councillor
for that ward) suggests (Letters, 5 January). The council's own
from July 2005 showed a majority opposed. In Madryn Street itself
the vote was 35 to 1 against.
Of course the City council then sponsored a well-resourced campaign
and ran the area down until they could hold another ballot and get
result they wanted.
Media Coverage of Grant Shapps' announcement:
This is encouraging as a precedent has now been set - click
Heritage group calls for sale
of abandoned Liverpool homes
Liverpool City Council have protected
the brickwork from being destroyed - who says they don't care?
Daily Post 26th October 2010 Quoted rebuilding
costs are queried by experts
Mail 27th October 2010 - covers the story too as does the Mirror
Newspaper 27th October 2010
TV have also covered the story 27th October 2010
Fans have been taking bricks from the front of Ringo's house!
Media watch here from the
3rd October 2010
Are The Beatles important to Liverpool? The Liverpool Echo
seems to think so.
What Can Be Done?
There is a fantastic case study in Tancred Road in Anfield which
has been renovated and the original houses saved. All this at no
cost to Liverpool City Council or the council tax payers.
all about it here
THE MADRYN STREET FESTIVAL
Renowned Italian musicians Rolando Gianbelli and the Marco Zappa
band made a pilgrimage to Madryn Steeet to play an impromptu acoustic
gig on Saturday morning (28th August).
Rolando, who is also President of the Italian national
Fab Four fan club "Beatlesiani" is appalled at plans to
demolish the house where Richard Starkey was born.
THE MADRYN STREET PLAN
Liverpool City Council has confirmed that they intend to demolish
the properties in the Dingle, known as the "Welsh Streets".
This area of mid-19th century two-up two-down terraced houses has
been earmarked for demolition since 2005.
More than just another area of houses, this includes Madryn Street
where, on 7th July 1940, Richard Starkey was born in 9, Madryn Street.
Starkey went on to become the most famous drummer in the world:
John Lennon's birthplace, Oxford Street Maternity Hospital has
been saved and converted into apartments.
Paul McCartney's birthplace, Walton Hospital, has been saved and
converted into luxury apartments.
George Harrison's birthplace, 12 Arnold Grove, is still lived in.
Ringo Starr's birthplace is under threat - please help us save
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