Monday, 21 June 2010


We had kids playing out in the yard on Friday night. They also played in the alley. And we sat in the yard whilst the sun was still out. Who said terrace housing was obsolete? Who needs gardens? These scenes are replicated throughout our terrace on a regular basis yet we are told they need to come down because we need gardens!

Friday, 18 June 2010

Con Dem the Lib Dems

So the Liberal Democrats are not only arrogant and above accountability. They are also Tories that are putting the boot into affordable housing. So, first, get rid of affordable housing by kicking people out of their homes and demolishing it. Second, don't build any replacement affordable housing. At least there will be lots of scope for developers to pull the market out of recession by building lots of high value homes without having to consider the need for affodable housing. Vote Lib Dem, get another lot of arrogant Tories.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

HMR and Accountability: Where is Warren Bradley? And what do the Lib Dems really stand for?

In an interview with the Liverpool Echo, prior to the recent elections, Warren Bradley, then Liberal Democrat Leader of Liverpool City Council (LCC) acknowledged that HMR had 'ripped the heart" out of local communities in Liverpool. This was an astonishing acknowledgement from the leader of a council that, until now, had been arrogant in the way it had been dismissive of residents experience and feelings about the demolition programme.

In the light of Bradley's concerns about HMR and demolitions, a number of people felt that it was important to ask him what would happen next. We wrote to Bradley believing that, as an elected official, he was accountable to the people that elected him, i.e. us. We therefore expected a reply. Here is my letter to Bradley, sent by email on 28th April:

"Dear Warren Bradley

Your recent comments on the problems wwith HMRI, reported in the Liverpool Echo, are welcome. The HMRI initiative has caused much pain and suffering in the clearance areas and this has been documented in research. Moreover, LCC has been less than sensitive in its approach to HMR in these areas. It has even demonstrated contempt for the feelings of residents. Again this has been documented.

However, whilst welcoming your comments, there is also a need to reconsider the continuation of the demolitions in the light of them. To do this would show that you are true to your word. I woudl therefore welcome your views on (a) whether LCC intends to stop the demolitions and (b) what steps will be taken, immediately, to ensure that this happens.

Prof Chris Allen"

Bradley did not reply. We also sent the following letter, by email, to the Liverpool Echo on 29th April:

"Warren Bradley now accepts that HMR has caused a great deal of pain and suffering to residents in the demolition areas. This is significant because, until now, LCC has been less than sensitive to the feelings of residents during the demolition process. This lack of sensitivity has been particularly apparent during public inquiries into the compulsory purchase of their homes so that they can be demolished. The residents will testify to this themselves. It is now up to Warren Bradley and LCC to show that their concerns about the pain and suffering of residents is not empty rhetoric. If they now accept that HMR adn the demolitions have caused pain and suffering to the residents, it is incumbent on them to stop it. What do they intend to do to stop the demolitions and therefore the suffering?

Prof. Chris Allen
Lee Crookes
Dr. Pauline Marne

Again, we received no response from Bradley. We were concerned about this so we decided to write to the Lib Dem parliamentry candidate, Colin Eldridge, to seek a response. Here is the email that we sent to him on 1st May:

"Dear Colin

Please see the attached email that I sent to Warren Bradley earlier this week. He has not had the courtesy to reply. I am astonished that Warren Bradley has made such a high profile statement, on something that means so much to the people of the city, but does not have the courtesy to respond to questions about his views on such an important topic. You say you will fight for the people of Liverpool [this was a key claim made in Eldridge's campaign material] but is this not empty rhetoric if your representatives will not engage in a dialogue about what you intend to do in the city.

Prof Chris Allen"

Eldridge also failed to respond. So, on 7th May, I wrote by email again to both Bradley and Eldridge. Here are the letters:

"Dear Warren Bradley

I wrote the attached letter to you on 28th April, as a citizen of Liverpool and a member of the electorate. Accountability is a vital principle in any democracy. So I look forward to your reply.

Prof. Chris Allen"

"Dear Colin Eldridge

As a citizen of Liverpool and a member of its electorate I wrote the attached email to Warren Bradley on 28th April and a follow up letter to yourself on 1st May. The letters were concerned with Warren Bradley's comments on the devastation wrought by HMR in Liverpool and what you propose to do to stop further damage being inflicted on the communities involved. I have yet to receive a reply from either of you. I understand that the general election has been a distraction but the socialist labour party had the courtesy to respond to my enquiry. In the interests of accountabiloity, I look forward to your respoonse

Prof. Chris Allen"

I am still waiting for a response from Bradley and Eldridge who clearly do not feel that they are accountable to anyone despite the damage they have done to the people of this city. It is a bit rich for the Liberal Democraats to stand on a platform about 'renewing' our 'broken politics' - claiming the need for more democracy and accountabiility - when they will not make themselves accountable to their own electors. Perhaps this is why they were both, thankfully, rejected by their electorates last week. Meanwhile, the suffering continues.