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SALFORD FORCED EVICTION LOOMS
 

Star date: 9th November 2010 

FEAR AND LOATHING IN HIGHER BROUGHTON

Fear and stress from living in a demolition zone? Robbers trying to break in through your attic? Salford City Council has the answer…

`We're going to bring in the Sheriff to forcibly evict you!
In your own best interests, of course!'

More unbelievable hypocrisy from Salford Council, as it seeks to chuck a bloke out of his house after he complained about conditions in Higher Broughton…

Click here for full story


TOP STREETS SALFORD TOP STREETS SALFORD TOP STREETS SALFORD
TOP STREETS SALFORD TOP STREETS SALFORD TOP STREETS SALFORD
TOP STREETS SALFORD TOP STREETS SALFORD TOP STREETS SALFORD
TOP STREETS SALFORD
click image to enlarge

TRAPPED IN THE DEMOLITION ZONE OF SALFORD

"It feels like I'm being victimised for being outspoken"

THE BACKGROUND: OCTOBER 2009

Last year an old lady living as the only resident in a street full of tinned up houses in the Top Streets area of Higher Broughton applied to Salford Council for a £25,000 relocation grant to move outside of Salford.

Even though discretionary (the Government says they can be given to move anywhere in Engalnd and Wales), Salford Council will only give these grants to people whose houses the Council wants to demolish, provided they move to another property within Central Salford. For this lady, Salford Council made an exception – and in so doing admitted the horrendous conditions that the residents were living under…

"As the only remaining resident in the block, she is living in very poor and isolated conditions and has already been the victim of anti-social behaviour on a number of occasions" the Council stated "…recent events have taken their toll on her well-being leading to her being treated by her GP for anxiety…"

It continued:  "Enabling this resident to move out of her property within a relatively short time timescale will minimise the risk of further injury to her physical and mental well-being."

Salford Council was about to take forced ownership of the lady's house, through a `General Vesting Declaration', or GVD, so that it could be demolished. The Council would then have been responsible for her well being – and didn't want a potentially tragic case on its hands…

The report stated that after the GVD had been served, "the Council will then owe this resident a duty of care should she suffer injury as a result of vandalism/arson etc…Enabling her to move to a safer and more secure environment relatively quickly will reduce this risk."

The £25,000 relocation grant to move out of Salford was granted (see here for full story)

FAST FORWARD TO NOVEMBER 2010: ATTIC ATTACK!

What Salford Council feared would happen to the old lady did actually happen to another resident who lived just around the corner from where she had lived in the demolition hell of the Top Streets.

Last month (see here) the Salford Star reported how thieves had hammered their way through the attics of six empty properties to get to the only occupied house on the street. The resident was horrified to see a hand coming out of his attic panel but managed to rebuff the would-be assailant with a broom handle.

He had complained to Salford Council on numerous occasions about his vulnerability, reminded councillors of their `duty of care' to residents whose houses they now owned, and asked them to properly secure such properties.

This resident had also applied for the £25,000 relocation grant to move out of Salford because of the stress, vandalism, isolated conditions and `risk to his physical and mental well being'. Only in his case Salford Council's reaction was very different – it's going to call out the Sheriff to forcibly evict him!

In his decision to refuse the relocation grant, Councillor Peter Connor, Lead Member for Housing, admitted "the ongoing risks associated with the continued occupation of the property which the resident has highlighted" and that "the property remains vulnerable to vandalism from the adjoining empty property".

The resident was even more horrified than his attic attack to read that Salford Council is to "institute legal proceedings to secure the issuing of a Sheriff's Warrant for possession of the property", adding that "the Council considers it is in the best interest of the resident to relocate" and "eviction may become necessary".

The £25,000 relocation grant to move out of Salford was not granted.

SPOT THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE OLD LADY AND THIS RESIDENT!

This resident's name is Guy Griffiths who has criticised Salford Council's regeneration plans for Higher Broughton over the past ten years.

He and his brother Jimmy were the first people in the country to be forcibly evicted from their homes under the Government's notorious Pathfinder programme when the Council demolished houses in the Bottom Streets of Higher Broughton five years ago (see here and here).

Jimmy has since taken Salford Council to a Land Tribunal which found that the Council had undervalued his home by over 40% (see here). Guy Griffiths isn't frightened of telling the world what is going on behind Salford Council's glossing of the Higher Broughton regeneration failure.

"It feels like I'm being victimised for being outspoken" says Guy "It looks like a case of `Shut the f*ck up or we will evict you!'"

Guy is still living in the property, now owned by the Council, because there are still outstanding matters to sort out regarding compensation and valuations. He's also still there because three other residents have taken out a High Court injunction against Salford Council to stop it demolishing their homes, after originally agreeing to renovate them (see here).

"I am waiting to find out whether the Compulsory Purchase Order under which Salford Council seized people's homes will be found to be illegal, and if the Council has taken people's homes off them by an illegal act" Guy explains "If this is the case then I expect that everybody in the Top Streets would have a legal claim for the reinstatement of their former houses or substantial damages.

"I think that this why the injunction may be successful" he adds "because it will be cheaper to renovate 23 homes than to pay compensation or damages to over 200 home owners."

Meanwhile, Salford Council's `duty of care' to Guy Griffiths seems to be to call out the Sheriff to evict him.

"I'm proud to have been born in Salford" he says "But I'm ashamed of what this city has become."

In Salford Council's official decision to evict Guy Griffiths, it states that it risks "the City Council's action being criticised in the media"…

Salford Council – welcome to your first criticism.

 

 

Gamo wrote
at 19:51:27 on 10 December 2010
So what do the Salford councilors actually do? Good luck to Mr Griffiths he seems to have more common sense than all of the council put together! Freedom in this country does not exist!
 
Nikh wrote
at 13:11:18 on 21 November 2010
how can Compulsory Purchase Order's be legal ???? they offer nowhere near market value for your land and force you to sell it to them,this is legalised theft because it suits the needs of the council,would they sell there land at an under valued price ? i think not.Stick to your guns guy don't give up.
 
Mercury S wrote
at 13:11:08 on 21 November 2010
That is awful. I dont suppose he,s had an answer to that e-mail he sent to the council yet? It must be very stressful having this hanging over him. How the hell can the bloke plan for anything? If he is still there, I cannot omagine the lead up to Christmas will be much fun. Best wishes.
 
Bigphill wrote
at 19:18:46 on 20 November 2010
Well that shows what this country of our's is comming to when you can't even speek out about what is going on around you. Its a DISGRACE.
 
Paul B wrote
at 14:11:09 on 19 November 2010
This is disgusting. I cannot believe that none of the Salford councillors have brought this matter up and challenged it. What,s up with them? Have they no spines or are they too busy with their expenses?
 
John Weston wrote
at 18:21:59 on 18 November 2010
Ruthless scum; do these automatons ever manage to sleep at night? I wish then nighmares for the rest of their lives!
 
Rob Edge wrote
at 21:29:14 on 17 November 2010
Shameful isn't a word that could be used to describe the behaviour of the council. Common theft is nearer the mark.
 
Andy G wrote
at 21:29:04 on 17 November 2010
How utterly vindictive, uncaring, bombastic and sub-human can a council be? As a councillor myself I am ashamed to share the title of "Councillor" with these uncaring Stasi-like dictatorial animals. These sort of actions are happening in the Far East now, and my parents suffered this under the Fascists and Communists during WWII. Reconsider, bow your heads in shame and apologise!!!
 
Thomas wrote
at 18:32:10 on 17 November 2010
Guy Griffiths should run for Mayor at least he has the spine to stand up for his rights and not bow to convenience. Salford you should be ashamed
 
robert bainbridge BA wrote
at 18:31:59 on 17 November 2010
"O YES AN ENGLISHMANS HOME ISNT INDEED HIS CASTLE" WELL WE WILL ALL BE FEELING EVEN MORE SECURE IN THAT THOUGHT FROM NOW ON.,WITH THE IMPENDING ROYAL MARRIAGE EVEN MORE DIFFICULT PROBLEMS CAN BE QUICKLY BRUSHED UNDER THE CARPET;FROM CUT BACKS TO SLASH BACKS.
 
Jai Nolan wrote
at 18:31:51 on 17 November 2010
I have spoken to Guy many time son the phone - he is an OK chap minding his own business - this is wrong. There is no difference in what this council is doing and what happened to farmers in Zimbabwe - what is so wrong with these houses ? they are beeter constructed than new 'rabbit hutch' houses - they have been there since Victorian times ! It absolutely disgusting that an englishmean can no longer rely on his council.
 
Doug wrote
at 11:58:05 on 17 November 2010
Land grab behaviour more appropriate to Mugabe's Zimbabwe. I cant believe British people are being treated like this and apparently with the backing of the law. Why is this outrageous theft not on national news?
 
wrote
at 06:43:02 on 17 November 2010
Shameful behaviour by the council. Typical of the rotten boroughs in the Victorian era, but not the 21st century.
 
conor wrote
at 20:15:18 on 16 November 2010
good job mr Griffith hasnt got feelings and doesnt bleed blood because my blood is boiling for him. just a little man trying to stand up to the bullies. keep on shouting at them, dont back down
 
G.Griffiths wrote
at 15:32:07 on 16 November 2010
I have just emailed Councillor Merry and invited him to send out a letter to me which removes the threat of imminent eviction. It is not nice fearing every knock at the door or every letter that comes through the letter box. We will see now if the councill will show some good will or sense rather than appearing as power crazed bully boys with no repect for people in the city.I have invited them to send a copy to the Salford Star and I am sure it would be put up on here to show the site is balanced. So it is over to them now. Watch this space.
 
Simon wrote
at 15:31:51 on 16 November 2010
Sounds like a job for the European Court of Human Rights.
 
Rob wrote
at 09:29:53 on 16 November 2010
Why is it that we can't deport foreign criminals for fear of infringing their 'human rights', but a law-abiding British man can have his home stolen from him by those in power? This case is sickening! Mr. Griffiths has been treated so badly by the council, they should talk to him politely with offers of compensation and sort out his problems, not forcibly steal his home! I'm so angry about this and will be thinking about this case at election time! I'm telling all my friends about your situation Guy!
 
Rich wrote
at 05:58:49 on 16 November 2010
Was the hand coming through the attic a councillor trying to have the shirt off Mr Griffiths back per chance??
 
Ian Cawthorne wrote
at 17:01:20 on 15 November 2010
Typical council. Lots of small minded people drunk on their own power trying to force their ill conceived plans onto the masses that put them in power in the first place. Time and time again we see these woefull double standards applied and woe betide anyone who has the balls to speak out make a stand against them. Good luck Guy.
 
AL wrote
at 14:59:28 on 15 November 2010
An Englishmans' home is his castle!?. Apparently not in this day and age. This is exactly the kind of situation that the Human rights act was written for, to protect the people from unjust authoritarianism. This is a disgusting state of affairs and reminds me of 'the crofters'. Shame on you Salford council!
 
Mr J Stringfellow wrote
at 14:58:50 on 15 November 2010
I cannot beleive that in this day & age, this can be allowed to happen. The council should be ashamed of itself, & should be seen to be fair in whatever action is taken, either pay compensation agreeable to all parties, or renovate the houses to a good standard.
 
Baz wrote
at 14:18:19 on 15 November 2010
Leave the man alone and go and fix some potholes like you are supposed to do! Councils are supposed to help not bully and victimise, you should be ashamed of yourselves
 
Barry wrote
at 07:13:50 on 15 November 2010
Is this British justice? Shame on the council.
 
Vic Thompson wrote
at 04:57:30 on 15 November 2010
sounds a bit like an unfair situation forced upon a private individual "for the greater good", when it's obvious from the pictures of the local area that no ones benefitting from the situation at all, except for vandals and miscreants.
 
Oliver Gilkes wrote
at 20:53:19 on 14 November 2010
This is an absolutely outrageous abuse of council powers. The whole Pathfinder scheme has now bee discredited as an expensive diasater and yet Salford Local authority contines to victimise this resident. Gary stick in there and fight.
 
bluemike wrote
at 20:53:10 on 14 November 2010
Salford council bow your head in shame,not only has someone tried to burgle him,but eviction twice,i hope it all works in your favour in the end Guy.
 
timberdog wrote
at 20:52:26 on 14 November 2010
This is an outrage how can humans do this to other humans disgrass
 
Nige wrote
at 20:52:19 on 14 November 2010
How utterly despicable of Salford council, SHAME ON YOU!!
 
Andy wrote
at 18:51:18 on 14 November 2010
Good on you Guy i wish you all the bestin the future, its disgusting how youve been trated in this dayand age!
 
jim devine wrote
at 08:35:01 on 14 November 2010
Even if Mr Griffiths doesnt manage to get justice he can hold his head high. I have reread all these posts and it is heartwarming to feel the empathy and takes me back to Merry's arrogant post here when he said the Salford Star noticeboard only involves 3 or 4 people squabbling amongst themselves. Well are you watching over there, are you watching over there.
 
Fair point wrote
at 19:16:37 on 13 November 2010
That is a fair point that Mr Griffith raises about the grant being given to enable people to stay in salford and they could still stay in salford if they wanted to if the grant was given to move anywhere. Will any of the councillors involved explain why it will not be given to Mr. Griffith?
 
jim devine wrote
at 20:21:30 on 12 November 2010
"It is said that power corrupts, but actually it's more true that power attracts the corruptible. The sane are usually attracted by other things than power". Good luck lads but I somehow feel sanity has left their Ivory Tower(if it was ever there in the first place).
 
CannonFodder wrote
at 18:18:38 on 12 November 2010
Typical big-boy bully tactics - disgusting, how about a bit of respect for someone's home?
 
Ray Ross wrote
at 18:18:26 on 12 November 2010
Wasn't it Harold Wilson who said "a pound in my pocket is better than a pound in yours". Pay the man the Grant and be able to hold your collective heads up. Keep fighting mate you deserve much better treatment.
 
Vic wrote
at 12:15:17 on 12 November 2010
This is disgusting. It looks like they are making an example of the brothers because they stood up for themselves.Message to Salford council "Pay up you B**T**DS and let the man live where he wants".
 
wrote
at 07:55:39 on 12 November 2010
Good on you Guy for not being railroaded against your will and standing up to Salford council and its planning department. I bet they are not as blind and deaf to the needs of their henchmen, the property developers and moneymen, as they are to the decent working citizens of Salford, whose interests they are supposed to represent. Official double speak isn't a satisfactory explaination for destroying the streets and communities of this city, against the will of the long term inhabitants of the region. How many of its officials actually live in Salford. Damn few I suspect. Cheers
 
morgan dicks wrote
at 07:55:10 on 12 November 2010
Good on you Guy for not being railroaded by Salford council. I bet the council are not as blind and deaf to the moneymen and property developers they are hand and glove with, as they are to the needs of the good citizens of Salford, whose streets and communities they have destroyed. Veiled threats and official doublespeak isn't an acceptable substitute for proper financial redress and fair play, when dealing with people who have been disposessed against their will and seen their homes they grew up in torn down. All the best mate
 
John.. wrote
at 07:54:47 on 12 November 2010
whatever happened to the phrase "An Englishmans home is his castle"???? Obviously it means nothing when snotty officials have it in for you- good luck Guy- stick it to 'em mate!! Bleedin' jobsworths...
 
wrote
at 07:54:38 on 12 November 2010
Salford council should be ashamed...rejuvination not demolition is the answer.My support goes to Mr. Griffiths & all like minded individuals who stand up to these public funded bullies..shame on you Salford..!
 
Neil. wrote
at 07:54:23 on 12 November 2010
Salford Council, Stop trying to play god and get on with the job you were elected for-emptying the bins.
 
Paul wrote
at 07:54:12 on 12 November 2010
Shocking. Sounds like disgusting double standards and the council trying for some "pay back" for past events. Truely disgusting, but not surprising that they expect to do whatever they want and expect everyone to just role over and accept their decisions. Well done for standing your ground Guy!!
 
Doctor John wrote
at 21:33:22 on 11 November 2010
what a disgace, Salford council should play fair with Mr Griffiths and stop being such bullies. John
 
Steve T., Salford wrote
at 21:33:16 on 11 November 2010
Good on you for fighting on Guy, good luck! My Mrs. and I, and our daughters (who are both old enough to vote) are watching how this works out for you, if the council doesn't deal with you in a fair way, we will remember next election! We are going to vote against these councillors if they don't treat you honest and fair! Best wishes and good luck, Steve T. and family, Salford
 
gooner wrote
at 12:10:32 on 11 November 2010
to the councillors of salford council please readdress your approach to towards guy and jimmy and stop this unneccessary persercution of two ordinary men who's only crime is to speak up for themselves. Now seek a peaceful resolution and inturn will repair your pr image.
 
John Pennineway wrote
at 12:10:27 on 11 November 2010
This behaviour by Salford Council appears not only to be blatantly inconsistent but also absurd and wasteful. We see so much money wasted by councils that it really does make you question their judgement and competence to serve us at times. Guy Griffiths is being treated very badly and I wish him well John
 
benchgrinder wrote
at 05:51:49 on 11 November 2010
Completely reprehensible bully-boy tactics on the part of Salford Council!...who should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves!!
 
Derby Rob wrote
at 20:46:31 on 10 November 2010
Wishing you "all the best" with this Guy, you don't deserve to be treated so shabbily buy the council. These people are supposed to be "serving the public", instead they act like they are lord and master over us, they need to be reminded who pays their wages, and whose interests they should be working for! Good luck, I hope this pans out in your favour! Rob
 
bighit wrote
at 20:46:23 on 10 November 2010
this is truly shocking . its the same thing happening up here with trumps golf course . how can people throw people from their homes to suit their own needs . we dont live in the medievil times or do we ? fight on MR G
 
Marvin wrote
at 20:46:00 on 10 November 2010
The behaviour of the concillors is disgraceful. They should be ashamed of themselves.
 
G.Griffiths wrote
at 17:01:05 on 10 November 2010
To Joe O,Neill------My local councillor happens to be a certain John D Merry. Hmmmm I wonder if he would give his backing? Lets see---Council leader who wont give people the money to leave Cental Salford----Nope. The government says that this grant can be given to move anywhere in England and Wales. Salford say it has to be in cental Salford, not even all of Salford! Councillor Merry,s twisted logic says that "This grant is to enable people to stay in Salford", not realising that if you gave it to them with the freedom to move wherever they wanted, it would still enable them to stay in Salford if they wanted. The council is scared of people voting with their feet. They need people to stay here so they can convince the government that the "Regeration" must be working because so many of the people moved (literally) by it stayed in the area. This grant should be given to anyone in these CPO.areas to move wherever they want to go. THAT is the spirit of the government legislation that allows the grant.
 
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