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Star Date: 25th March 2009


"As I see it the battle is like housework.  We don't ever `get anywhere' but my goodness it is so much worse if we don't try.  I gave it my best shot."                          Elizabeth Pascoe

Yesterday Elizabeth Pascoe, who has been fighting to save her home in Edge Lane, Liverpool, for four years, finally lost her case in court after initially staving off demolition. Here we print two e-mails.  The first is from Sylvia Wilson of Homes Under Threat (HUT) and the second is a reaction from Elizabeth herself.

We re-print them (unedited) not so much for the technical details, which anyone can find on the net, but for the emotions the case has unleashed. This is about the affect on people's hearts when their home is taken from them...

Read on...


From Sylvia Wilson - HUT

Fellow Hutties,
It is with great sadness and yes, almost despair, that I tell you now, that Fellow Huttie Elizabeth Pascoe has lost her final case for Edge Lane West, Liverpool!

This is a crushing blow for every one of us fighting to save everything that we believe in and hold dear... a simple roof over our heads and the right to live our lives in homes the way we want, when we want, how we want and not under the false aspirations of Councils, Pathfinder or Government who wanted to deal with a Housing Market Restructuring rather that a Nationwide Refurbishment Project, which has been ignored for the last 15 - 20 years!

Altering the house prices on and within the Housing Market in 2003 has them all now by the short and curlie's doesn't it... I hope it hurts, because it is hurting us the Communities far more... and has been for the last 6 years!

This warrior has fought a true battle with greatly uneven odds to save her home and streets, Liverpool's history and heritage, and her very livelihood against a Council and a Government that cares nothing for the people who pay their (exorbitant) wages, she has helped fight for the homes and livelihoods of others too, and has been ignored by Councils, Government, Brussels (Human Rights) and by our own laws, that have been conveniently changed by Government to fit "their crimes" to relieve the humble folk of this land of what they own, and make paupers of them!

My heart and soul burns with indignation that we pay the councils and government our taxes, and they in turn use our monies to pay expensive Barristers and Solicitors to fight against us, and we have to find help, usually from Legal Aid or Pro Bono Solicitors or Barristers to obtain redress, talk about the "Poor House" and "Poor Institutions" of the 18th and early 19th century... this is so unfair, and we can't even claim Equality of Arms, and as yet have not heard of any case who have won on Human Rights outright - (unless it was so blatant and mixed in with other issues)!

There is no such thing in this 21st century, of people being equal anymore, (not that it ever was, but at least we were getting there) there is no such thing as democracy, and in my opinion our government has turned into a dictatorship!

I will be with you again on this issue in a couple of days... too late tonight to complete this and tomorrow I'm out of Town...

From Elizabth Pascoe
 
As apparently everyone will know by now, I lost today.
It was very close.  The proponent barristers were not in the least confident before hearing today's judgement.

I can't consider an appeal (as was said on the news may happen so the taxi driver just told me) partly as half my income is from overseas university student lodgers, and it simply isn't fair to take on new ones for next year when these leave at the end of this academic year when I can't promise them a full year, or even part.  In all it has cost me over £40,000 to fight this last 4 years, and all the lodger money pays for the borrowing I needed (as that was how I funded it).

I have no contingency plan, it was a fight "to the death" as far as I was concerned.  It has to be up to others now, younger than I, to fight for "the future", against the insanity of mindless consumerism, obviously damaging the planet and society, not just our built heritage, and the sort of hype that tells us what is being done is progress.
My conscience is clear.  I tried.  I fear greatly for what our grandchildren will inherit.  Hopefully sense will prevail before it is too late.

We had a good judge, who knew his onions, my lawyers were "committed" (I know did many all-night efforts, not all lawyers are merely mercenaries / merely mercenary). This time (unlike last) there was no "technical" remedy in law.  As quangos become ever more powerful and ever less accountable alongside increasingly "joined up" I (and so many others who know) fear it will be virtually impossible for anyone to "have a voice".

I must thank all of my over 70 witnesses, about half of whom attended the Inquiry at their own expense (representing Oxford, Cambridge, London School of Economics, Sheffield, Leeds, Liverpool Uni, John Moore's Uni, Hope Uni and several others) and from Save Britain's Heritage, Save our City, Merseyside Civic Society, and especially my right hand man architect Dai Gwynne, statutory objector, and my left hand IT man Mark Shooter, whose mother another statutory objector was the first of me neighbours / friends to die thanks to the additional stress, and SO many others, most of whom had also to burn the candle at both ends to fight in their day-jobs, families, own problems, and helping with this. 

As "the wider public" know, despite the "stakeholders' rhetoric" the support I have had has been almost universal both in this city and across the nation (and in fact in the 60 or so nations from which my "old" students this last 14 years have come).


As I see it the battle is like housework.  We don't ever "get anywhere" but my goodness it is so much worse if we don't try.  I gave it my best shot. 

There is an outstanding issue brought to my attention by various professional civic design colleagues to which I have alerted "Europe" about regarding "state aid"  which may be able to identify that funding supposedly to help poor communities is being hijacked to "decant" them into oblivion.

 

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