Look at this area – I can get to Manchester in ten minutes on the bus, there's a library on the doorstep, Albert Park, Broughton Baths…I can walk to Cheetham Hill in 12 minutes – I'm in the right location, my house wasn't unfit, yet I got turfed out – something's wrong isn't it ?
It started over ten years ago and they've used rubbish speak like `We need to assemble a big enough parcel of land to make it attractive to developers to facilitate a regeneration' – basically what they mean is they want to get you out of your house and let somebody make a lot of money…
They said that two thirds of the residents wanted some form of demolition but, according to the same survey, two thirds also wanted some form of renovation. The old people just wanted to live somewhere nice before they died – by throwing us out they've scared a lot of people. We weren't after loads of money we were just after a house for a house. Or to be left alone.
We were thrown out September 5th 2005. I'd paid my mortgage off over 15 years by working 70 hour weeks…but by the time the bank had provided the deeds Salford Council owned my house.
They first offered £18,000, then £21,000, then £36,500. On what they've offered me, plus the £25,000 relocation grant I'd still be over £75,000 short on one of the new three bedroom `affordable' houses they've built on Vincent St…that's £75,000 short to move fifty yards up the same road…
I'm taking them to a tribunal and if I win, and even if they give me £100k for the house, what would I have won ? Another house ? I had one to start off with. And It doesn't compensate me for the ten years of crap I've been through.
If I take the £25,000 relocation grant I have to stay in central Salford. What are they scared of ? If it's such a wonderful place to be, are people going to clear off ? If you're exploiting people over the price you're giving them for a house, building expensive ones they can't afford and then you are making them live here, it's rubbing your nose in it…
Our surveyor has been involved for five years and he says he's never seen anything like this. The houses weren't unfit, there's no road coming through, yet they've used government powers for the benefit of a private company.
At first only the bottom streets were coming down, and the money was supposed to be invested to save the top streets, where I moved after they'd pulled my other house down…Now they're coming with CPOs for these and it's gone to a Public Inquiry.
The same happened to a woman in Hampshire Street – she stuck it out for a couple of years, accepted the council's offer, bought a house at the bottom of Turner St, put all her money into it, got everything done – what's happening now ? It's coming down.
This is real lives their playing with - what's up with these people, didn't they have Lego when they were kids or something ?
We're still waiting for the results of the Inquiry but what have you got here as your local councillors ? John Merry – council leader…Jim King, former mayor …Bernard Murphy, new mayor – and they can't sort out seven streets – the only solution they can do is social, or economic, cleansing. That's their only solution – the final solution.
Read Part 1 here
Read Part 2 here
Read Part 4 here
Read Part 5 here
Read Part 6 here