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Salford City Council Damned.
 

The Audit Commission is hardly a radical body. It’s an independent watchdog that aims to ensure that public money is properly spent, and chose Higher Broughton for a `Performance Review’ because it received over £13million, the highest level of Housing Market Renewal (HMR) funding in Salford between 2003 and 2006.


The massive housing project has been created by the Higher Broughton Partnership – a partnership between Salford City Council, the Royal Bank of Scotland, Inpartnership and City Spirit – and the Commission looked at the role of public money within this – who takes the risk (Salford Council) and who gets the profits (everyone else).

Its remit wasn’t necessarily to look at affordable housing. Indeed, it praises Salford Council in parts and salutes the Partnership’s objectives to establish `housing products and neighbourhoods that will attract new, more affluent residents’. Yet, in a 40 page report, released last December, the Audit Commission, in its own bureaucratic terms, let rip… Here’s the main points from the Audit Commission Review with a translation underneath.

 

 

Audit Commission:



Translation:

The financial return to Salford City Council will not be high in phase 1, and the return for other partners, particularly the Royal Bank of Scotland, is high in relation to the risks borne.

Private developers are gambling with public money and nicking all the profits.

 

 

Audit Commission:

Translation:

The plan was initiated by the developer…

This explains the above point.

 

 

Audit Commission:



Translation:

It is surprising that there has not been an explicit statement of the regeneration objectives of the Higher Broughton Partnership – how its development will contribute to the future sustainability of the whole Higher Broughton area…

Have you worked this out on the back of a fag packet or what?

 

 

Audit Commission:




Translation:

The master plan focuses on a very narrow area – only the area that is to be cleared and re-developed – so says little about how the re-development will integrate with the wider area and act as a catalyst for physical change within it…

How the hell’s this going to benefit Salford?

 

 

Audit Commission:





Translation:

There is a need to balance commercial viability with regeneration outcomes. While Salford City Council is on the Board as a key partner, it is still important for there to be a shared understanding of the over-arching and long standing objectives of the Partnership, both to guide its members and to be publicly accountable.

It looks like you’re getting rolled over by the private developers who have their own agenda. And you’re not telling anyone. But it’s our money you’re chucking away here…

 

 

Audit Commission:



Translation:

Where residents are to move into a new home at Vincent Street the gap between values of old homes and the cost of new homes has typically been around £60,000

Affordable ? You’ve knocked their homes down and now they’ve got to find at least sixty grand on top…

 

 

Audit Commission:



Translation:

In one sense, public subsidy…has paid for high quality, larger homes at a relatively affordable price…Affordability is relative and clearly only applies to the more affluent local households.

Tax payers’ money has helped pay for the massive houses priced between £235,000 and £500,000 which are really cheap for the area… if you can afford it…You’re stretching the word `affordability’ until its knicker elastic almost snaps.

 

 

Audit Commission:




Translation
:

The NRA (Neighbourhood Renewal Assessment) report suggests that a majority of residents supported the need for some clearance in the worst areas but wanted to ensure that work to other homes would take place at the same time to support home owners…work to existing stock has been limited to alley gating.

Hello, the community asked for some selected demolition, not to bulldoze the whole bleedin’ area…They just wanted their houses done up and you’ve done nowt but shove up a few alley gates…

 

 

Audit Commission:




Translation:

In the first 178 homes at Broughton Green there is…no housing for existing residents affected by clearance, and no shared ownership or homes for affordable renting. It would seem very obvious that the first phase should provide homes for people being relocated.

Before you knocked everyone’s house down in the 1st phase you never even thought of building new homes for the peasants to move into, you were so busy concentrating on the expensive huge luxury houses and flats.

 

 

Audit Commission:

Translation:

Residents of the “top streets” feel that the area is getting worse…

What a fantastic success this has been…eh? Dickheads !

 

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