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The Masked Tulip

Stoke Suffers De-Generation After Homes Scheme Collapse

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Paul Mason has a piece on housing in the north of England in tonight's Newsnight. He also has blogged about it here:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-14036653

Truly shocking of course, TMT.

I think this was referenced on the forum a while back.

New Labour were indeed demolishing lots of perfectly good housing in the north to generate new property development.

Prescott's disciple, Ruth Kelly, was dubbed, 'More Dangerous Than The Luftwaffe' as she demolished thousands of homes in Liverpool.

Telegraph Story from 2007

It's pretty sad about Stoke, a pottery town with its whole economy and traditional industry outsourced so a few awful overpriced flatletettes could be built with canal views.

This dovetails a bit with the other thread about Bradford. New Labour was trashing its own heartland while in office . . . and yet people continued to vote for them. Unbelievable.

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Truly shocking of course, TMT.

I think this was referenced on the forum a while back.

New Labour were indeed demolishing lots of perfectly good housing in the north to generate new property development.

Prescott's disciple, Ruth Kelly, was dubbed, 'More Dangerous Than The Luftwaffe' as she demolished thousands of homes in Liverpool.

Telegraph Story from 2007

It's pretty sad about Stoke, a pottery town with its whole economy and traditional industry outsourced so a few awful overpriced flatletettes could be built with canal views.

This dovetails a bit with the other thread about Bradford. New Labour was trashing its own heartland while in office . . . and yet people continued to vote for them. Unbelievable.

Also a lot of the former owners of the houses that got demolished were debt and mortgage free, as they had bought for a song, yonks ago. They ended up having to move to more expensive housing and ended up in debt. So you don't need to be in any doubt what Labour were really about.

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Too much obsession with "regeneration at all costs!" luckily my pit town's terraces are protected by law

or we would have been turned into another faceless town. We still have some of the original iron ornate streetlamps

which would have gone. the town ain't pretty by any means but it has it's soul intact!

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Poor old Stoke. Grew up fairly nearby. It was never a rich area but it definitely had something about it. It was always a bit of treat to cycle over there as it had some shops and facilities you couldn't find elsewhere locally (eg health food shops, a cinema with more than one screen and a specialist sci-fi store). The deindustrialisation not an entirely bad thing - when I was a kid, some old folks still had crooked legs on account of vitamin D deficiency (the smog would block out the sun when they were youngsters).

I had heard that the madness of HPI had largely passed it by - but it seems at some fools were trying to stoke (!) it up.

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Unbelievable really.

Part of the last Labour governments maniacal desire to 'modernise' (euphemism for destroy) traditional working class communities. Why poor whites in particular should want to vote for sacks of sh*t like Prescott is beyond me. The Tories under Stanley Baldwin had a more progressive housing program in the 1930s than Blair or Brown between 1997 and 2010.

I particularly agreed with this comment in reply to the BBC article.

The state can come to the rescue of bankers but not ordinary people because the state is the political reflection of the underlying economic interest

This why the state will always let the people down

The working class, trade unions and the labour movement in general took a terrible wrong turn when they abandoned mutualism and self determination at the beginning of the 20th century and embraced state sponsored socialism.

The latter was always destined to betray them.

Edited by stormymonday_2011

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The working class, trade unions and the labour movement in general took a terrible wrong turn when they abandoned mutualism and self determination at the beginning of the 20th century and embraced state sponsored socialism.

The latter was always destined to betray them.

+1, good post.

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The shocking truth about labours housing record is creeping out. It's time that Lord Prescott and his cronies were questioned by a select committee.

I found the rumours an the time implausible but how wrong was I.

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Unbelievable really.

Part of the last Labour governments maniacal desire to 'modernise' (euphemism for destroy) traditional working class communities. Why poor whites in particular should want to vote for sacks of sh*t like Prescott is beyond me. The Tories under Stanley Baldwin had a more progressive housing program in the 1930s than Blair or Brown between 1997 and 2010.

I particularly agreed with this comment in reply to the BBC article.

The working class, trade unions and the labour movement in general took a terrible wrong turn when they abandoned mutualism and self determination at the beginning of the 20th century and embraced state sponsored socialism.

The latter was always destined to betray them.

Agreed. 100 years reversing into a cul-de-sac.

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Too much obsession with "regeneration at all costs!" luckily my pit town's terraces are protected by law

or we would have been turned into another faceless town. We still have some of the original iron ornate streetlamps

which would have gone. the town ain't pretty by any means but it has it's soul intact!

That's the way things are going though. An endless one-way effort of making the country duller, blander, less interesting, with less character - but it's all going to be much more practical and efficient and that's all that matters! It's perfectly sufficient to keep a very small number of more interesting and characterful bits in a theme park. Anyone who says otherwise is obsessed with the past and making things up because there's no reason not to be happy with the way things are going.

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So it's now impossible for these people to move? I mean who wants a house in the middle of scrub land?

It's quick and easy to bulldoze.

In 2007 National Audit Office described the whole project as "high risk", adding: "While there have been physical improvements in some neighbourhoods, it is unclear whether intervention itself has led to improvement in the problems of low demand."

Was there the work to stimulate demand to go with the planned shiny new houses?

Was there anything wrong with the old stock, was it in need of major repair?

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Also a lot of the former owners of the houses that got demolished were debt and mortgage free, as they had bought for a song, yonks ago. They ended up having to move to more expensive housing and ended up in debt. So you don't need to be in any doubt what Labour were really about.

Agreed. Labour consistently damage the quality of life of those they supposedly represent.

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There is a 'regeneration' near me, just a couple of streets, held up for years by two or three owner occupiers who hold out for more 'compo'.

Now they have been left in no man's land.

They are on local TV quite regularly advertising their plight.

Everybody else took the cash offered, the community didn't stand together, perhaps it wasn't as strong as they claim.

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Was there anything wrong with the old stock, was it in need of major repair?

I remember a few years ago ITV renovated a house which I believe was earmarked for demolition under the Pathfinder scheme, belonging to a lady who lived in the house all of her life. The house was renovated at a cost of c.£23k, a few thousand more than the demolition of each house.

Surely renovating the existing housing stock, then either selling them or renting them would have been a more economic use of public money? :unsure:

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Surely renovating the existing housing stock, then either selling them or renting them would have been a more economic use of public money? :unsure:

No, because it doesn't help drag the country into dull, monotonous blandness. Nothing must be allowed to stand in the way of destroying anything attractive or interesting.

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Isn't this similar to the scheme in Liverpool (I think) where they were cherry picking houses near a park, for developers and chucking the original owners out? They houses were not going to be demolished. Sure it was commented upon here, some while ago.

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But did anyone else hear Paxman's statement, "......whilst we were all living in Gordon Brown's fantasy world....." ? !

Question for Paxman et al: why was not Newsnight exposing "Gordon Brown's fantasy world" whilst it was happening ??

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Isn't this similar to the scheme in Liverpool (I think) where they were cherry picking houses near a park, for developers and chucking the original owners out? They houses were not going to be demolished. Sure it was commented upon here, some while ago.

It might be. It was telling in that piece on the TV that although the Pathfinder scheme was set up nationally, it was down to the local council to plan how it would apply it.

The bit on TV I mean is when they interviewed one of the residents and he said it would have been better to move a few families out, rebuild or renovate the houses, put them back and then move onto the next section. It sounds like the council moved everyone out in one big go but has run out of money to replace all the houses now! At least if they had done it piece by piece they wouldn't have a load of derelict housing.

Wasn't there a scheme in Manchester as well where they renovated a couple of streets of Corrie-style terraces into funky upside-down houses? (The bedrooms were downstairs and there were roof gardens upstairs leading into the kitchen.) Pretty sure the new tenants were not the same people as the ones that were kicked out.

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Unbelievable really.

Part of the last Labour governments maniacal desire to 'modernise' (euphemism for destroy) traditional working class communities. Why poor whites in particular should want to vote for sacks of sh*t like Prescott is beyond me. The Tories under Stanley Baldwin had a more progressive housing program in the 1930s than Blair or Brown between 1997 and 2010.

They work in the public sector and don't want any cuts in public sector jobs or wages which is what the tories usually try and do.

There is no other explanation.

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I remember a few years ago ITV renovated a house which I believe was earmarked for demolition under the Pathfinder scheme, belonging to a lady who lived in the house all of her life. The house was renovated at a cost of c.£23k, a few thousand more than the demolition of each house.

Surely renovating the existing housing stock, then either selling them or renting them would have been a more economic use of public money? :unsure:

If that is an accurate figure than revamping was the best option for the taxpayer as you've got the cost of rebuilding on top.

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If that is an accurate figure than revamping was the best option for the taxpayer as you've got the cost of rebuilding on top.

Of course it is a taxpayer subsidy to property developers. They could do they own demolition, but 'prefer not to'.

There has been quite some protest about this in Germany. Developers have lobbied for demolition, particularly in the old East part where there has been a huge surplus of housing. With the decline of the old socialist-era industries, a lot of people moved West for jobs.

A surplus of cheap housing, and there was plenty of that among the old plattenbau, was bad for the market.

A combination of demolition and yuppification in the former East Berlin has seen a huge increase in rents over the last decade. Local protests include groups turning up naked at new apartment viewings.

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Truly shocking of course, TMT.

I think this was referenced on the forum a while back.

New Labour were indeed demolishing lots of perfectly good housing in the north to generate new property development.

Prescott's disciple, Ruth Kelly, was dubbed, 'More Dangerous Than The Luftwaffe' as she demolished thousands of homes in Liverpool.

Telegraph Story from 2007

It's pretty sad about Stoke, a pottery town with its whole economy and traditional industry outsourced so a few awful overpriced flatletettes could be built with canal views.

This dovetails a bit with the other thread about Bradford. New Labour was trashing its own heartland while in office . . . and yet people continued to vote for them. Unbelievable.

I disagree with you.

The houses you mention are two up two down terraces that open directly onto the street, and were typically built during the Victorian era to house workers of the factories.

We have stacks of these houses in Reading, and they don't re-develop these houses because people will quite happily live in them.

I'll bet that the govt demolished swathes of these houses in Stoke and Liverpool because so many of them were empty. I wish they did the same thing in Reading but they won't because people want to live in them.

IMO they are wholly inadequate homes for a great deal of the population. I wont look at them because they are very small and dense, and parking on streets that have these houses is often a nightmare.

Yes, perhaps they didn't need to demolish such a great deal of these homes, but surely attempting to replace old cramped housing with more modern homes is a good thing?

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I disagree with you.

The houses you mention are two up two down terraces that open directly onto the street, and were typically built during the Victorian era to house workers of the factories.

We have stacks of these houses in Reading, and they don't re-develop these houses because people will quite happily live in them.

I'll bet that the govt demolished swathes of these houses in Stoke and Liverpool because so many of them were empty. I wish they did the same thing in Reading but they won't because people want to live in them.

IMO they are wholly inadequate homes for a great deal of the population. I wont look at them because they are very small and dense, and parking on streets that have these houses is often a nightmare.

Yes, perhaps they didn't need to demolish such a great deal of these homes, but surely attempting to replace old cramped housing with more modern homes is a good thing?

There are a lot of this type of house in the area where I live. People like them. They sell well. I can see no reason to demolish such a rescource. I used to live in one myself. Plenty of room for two people, warm and practical. Far better than a lot of 'modern' homes. My old house is 130 years old now and seill looks fine. Very few modern houses will last as long.

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There are a lot of this type of house in the area where I live. People like them. They sell well. I can see no reason to demolish such a rescource. I used to live in one myself. Plenty of room for two people, warm and practical. Far better than a lot of 'modern' homes. My old house is 130 years old now and seill looks fine. Very few modern houses will last as long.

I had a 'hofjeshuis' in The Hague. These were originally built as a one-room house, with a bed folding into the wall and a coal cellar underneath.

It was easily converted into a three-room house - an attic bedroom, a living/dining area and a study below. It was the most characterful place I lived in and offered more space than a modern apartment for the same price.

In the old terraces, much space was wasted by enclosed stairs, which can easily be replaced by a spiral or an open ladder type. If you remodel a row of terraces you get economies of scale, obviously. It's recycling at its best.

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  • 309 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

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      • down 5% +
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      • up 5%



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