HOME   ARCHIVE   GALLERY   SHOP   ABOUT US      
 

 
SALFORD PATHFINDER AUDIT COMMISSION
 

Star date: 21st March 2011

SALFORD STAR PATHFINDER PUBLIC INQUIRY CALL
Part 4

What Do You Think Of It So Far? `Rubbish!'

"All they did was exchange our homes for substandard poor quality boxes" Val Broadbent, New Broughton Residents Asociation.

In the fourth of our features on the Audit Commission's report into the Manchester and Salford Pathfinder, we focus on the Commission's case study of community involvement in the regeneration of Lower Broughton. Is the community happy?

Full story here…


New Broughton New Broughton New Broughton Salford
New Broughton Salford New Broughton Salford New Broughton Salford
Lower Broughton Salford New Broughton Salford New Broughton Salford
click image to enlarge


READ PART 1 HERE

READ PART 2 HERE

READ PART 3 HERE

PART 4

COMMUNITY ABUSE!

"This was supposed to make everything better…But we didn't get what was promised."

Recently, the Audit Commission produced a report on the Manchester and Salford Pathfinder, the £354million housing programme which has aimed to regenerate Central Salford by pulling existing houses down and replacing them with `nicer' ones.

In Part 2 of the Salford Star call for a public inquiry into Pathfinder, we looked at how the programme was merely a free for all for developers' profits. In Part 3 we looked at the hopeless economic impact of Pathfinder spending in Lower Broughton, and in Part 4 we follow the Audit Commission's case study of Lower Broughton where it researched to what "extent local people influence spending priorities, and engage in decision making"…

Val Broadbent was a former resident of Lower Broughton and moved to `New Broughton' almost four years ago, in Phase 1 of the area's regeneration.

Val lived in Ascension Road, in a Salford University designed eco-house that was only 22 years old. But it was taken off her and demolished as part of the `regeneration'.

When Val read parts of the Audit Commission report she is absolutely horrified, particularly the paragraph on the whole premise of the Pathfinder programme

Audit Commission report Page 15: Point 37The pathfinder area is historically characterised by low levels of owner occupation compared with the national, regional and subregional averages. MSP set out to change the balance of the housing market, by demolishing unpopular and obsolete private and social rented housing, and providing a broader mix of tenures and house types.

"They didn't demolish any unpopular and obsolete properties in Lower Broughton" says Val "All the houses were modern and fully tenanted. There were no void, vandalised or derelict properties. All they did was exchange our homes for substandard poor quality boxes."

Val has been involved at every stage of the community engagement in Lower Broughton and can barely conceal her anger when she reads the Audit Commission's Case Study 3 on `Resident engagement in regeneration plans' and its conclusion which states `the HMR programme takes account of the views of local people in determining the shape of their neighbourhoods'.

"It might look that way on paper but it just wasn't like that" says Val. She picks out particular statements from the Case Study…

`The creation of a formal steering group, the Lower Broughton Regeneration Partnership with representation from across the area, has further strengthened community involvement…'

"This is way out of date and stopped working pre 2007 when the steering group fell apart" says Val "This was the theory but in practice it never worked."

`A series of themed planning workshops involved all local stakeholders, allowing the exploration of detailed design issues…'

"This never happened for Phase 1" adds Val "The workshops were cancelled and we never saw the plans until after they had been submitted."

Indeed, residents have catalogued every consultation meeting that was supposed to have taken place since 2005 but didn't, complete with missing minutes for those that did; plus five years of complaints about the regeneration from people in both private and social housing.

The Audit Commission report Page 22. Point 53 states: `Residents, for example, have expressed high levels of satisfaction with the way that their transfer to a new build scheme was handled in New Broughton.'

Residents were so delighted with the transfer that the New Broughton Residents Association carried out its own survey into `satisfaction' with Phase 1 of the scheme. A sample of 61 occupiers of new properties took part in the survey, 49 in social housing and 12 in private housing.

62% of its sample thought that they were `Worse off from where they moved from'. Only 4 people, or 6.5% of the sample, thought they were `Better off'.

When asked whether they were better or worse off `from what you understood things would be like from the New Broughton plans', 62% thought they were worse off, 6.5% thought they were `Better off' and 15% hadn't even seen the plans!

This survey, presented to a special meeting of the Lower Broughton Regeneration Partnership in November 2010 wasn't mentioned in the Audit Commission's report praising the `high levels of satisfaction' of residents affected by the New Broughton transfer.

"It's obvious that the figures they quote are just copied from 'paper reports' as though everything is black or white" says Val "For example, yes it's true they did demolish my house and give me a new one but nothing in the report reflects the 'human' side of that.

"I still to this day can't understand why they took that house off me and gave me this rubbish" she adds "We all had perfectly good houses but when you read what they put down, we all came from derelict properties. In fact we complained at the time that we were treated like slum clearance. They all thought we had a coal fire, a tin bath on the wall and an outside loo or something. But the house I had was only 22 years old and it was twenty times better than this new one. There was nothing wrong with any of the houses  but they've replaced them with matchboxes." 

Val takes particular offence to the whole patronising tone of the Pathfinder programme which seems to see `problem communities' but not the reasons for the problems.

"The area was a mess because of Salford Council pulling two schools down, the car wash, the nursery, the CAB…everything was taken away, demolished and left to rot with nothing put in its place" she explains "It was never cleaned up, it was just left like bomb sites. Everything was taken away from around us and then it was blamed on us for what the area looked like. All that's left now is the church but we can't even get there because they've blocked off all the access from here.

"This was supposed to make everything better" she says "But we didn't get what was promised."

The Audit Commissions reports that `New shops on Broughton Lane are serving local consumer demand, with space becoming available to hold even more new traders…'

The reality is two shops – a Costcutter and a chemist.

"Even these shops have taken three years to emerge" says Val "Costcutter has only just started to get a few morning papers and you can't do your weekly shop, although you can do your lottery in there. Meanwhile, we've been blocked off from Mocha Parade for over three years. It used to be a five minute walk there, now it's a 25 minute walk. You can see it from the bottom of my street but you have to walk all around the place to get there."

Pathfinder uses a lot of gobbledegook about rebuilding sustainable communities. The experience of Val in New Broughton is the complete opposite. It's destroying community.

"The new people who have moved in don't give much to the community" she says "A lot are students or Chinese people. The houses were bought by landlords and let to students – which we were told wouldn't happen. It's not people like you and me and my son who are buying houses to live here. It's a moving population and that's why there's no community because it's not stable. One lot of students come in and after a few months they're gone and another lot come in. They don't want to socialise with you. They don't want to sit in their gardens and talk to you."

Indeed, driving through New Broughton all looks shiny and new. But behind the gloss the community spirit has all but died.

"We are lonely and isolated and it isn't for want of going to courses or joining in, it's the daily life" Val explains "We had driveways at the other house and you met your neighbours on a daily basis – they were cleaning their cars, sat out reading the paper, doing bits of gardening…you'd go in the back hanging your washing out and see them, or sit at the back when it was sunny and speak to your neighbours over the fence. But here I'm surrounded by a 6ft fence – the only time I see next door is if I meet her on the street going shopping.

"There's no contact with your neighbours other than going and sitting in their houses which we don't really want to do all the time" she adds "You never see a soul unless you go out."

A Salford City Council report on New Broughton stated back in July 2005 that "The aim of the scheme is to demonstrate best practice in urban regeneration".

Six years later, with over £100million invested, only 685 new houses built, no community facilities completed and bleak prospects for further public investment, Val doesn't think the regeneration of Lower Broughton will ever be finished…

"Certainly not in my lifetime" she says and repeats "I didn't get what was promised – it was supposed to make everything better…"

We asked Roy Irwin, the Audit Commission's Director of Housing, what he would say to people in Lower Broughton who believe that the community engagement was a sham…who believe that Pathfinder decisions were not taken in the interests of the community… who believe that the houses are of poor quality… and who now feel that their community has all but died. 

Remarkably, he replies that he wouldn't disagree with those people.

"This area has been in decline for a long time, and I'm sure that decline hasn't been completely turned around at all" he says "So if the people and individuals are not happy with what's happened so far I accept that and their views because they live there. We're just reporting on the overall progress or lack of it in some circumstances that's been made in Manchester and Salford.

"We did pick out Broughton as one of the neighbourhoods where there had been activity but I don't think we say that everything's been solved, and I'm sure there will be people with different views and opinions about what's been achieved. But what's been achieved or not been achieved is a matter for the Pathfinder. So I'm not disagreeing, I'm just saying that we've reported on the information we've had and no doubt there will be people with contrary views."

The information they've had? From whom? From Pathfinder? From Salford Council? Was there any information from independent sources? This is one of the reasons why the Salford Star is calling for a public inquiry into Pathfinder, which seemed to be its own unaccountable, untransparent judge and jury throughout its bulldozing lifetime.

READ PART 5 HERE

READ PART 6 CONCLUSION HERE

See also In Supurbia : Click Here

See Salford Housing Goes back 50 Years: Click Here

See Salford Regeneration Failing (2009): Click Here

See Lower Broughton's Eco Houses: Click Here

Photos by Jemma Cooper

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Val Broadbent wrote
at 4:28:00 PM on Thursday, July 21, 2011
Has Roy Irwin, the Audit Commission's Director of Housing read the 19 page report produced by Salford University and it's findings that the houses they demolished were 50% more energy-efficient than UK average and 40% more energy-efficient than those compliant with the 2010 building regulations, and would still have been 25% more efficient when the proposed 2013 regulations take effect. Did the Pathfinder report get told of the massive cover up that took place. How they pretended that all the houses were very old derelict properties when in fact not one single property was more than 25 years old when they demolished them. Why have they been allowed to get away with this? All they have succeeded in doing is creating a very resentful torn apart community now living in substandard housing compared to what they were conned out of.
 
Eddie wrote
at 4:29:59 AM on Thursday, March 24, 2011
Depressed and suppressed .Time to crawl out of the gutter and fight back ,Sheeple .
 
No bloody wonder! wrote
at 5:49:25 AM on Monday, March 21, 2011
What a good article. It really is terrible what has happened there. The anger and despair come through. I noticed in an earlier article that you said 10% of Salfordians were depressed. I wonder what this figure is in central Salford.You read about stuff like this and you think "no bloody wonder!"
 
Please enter your comment below:
 
 
 
Salford Star Hoodies
Salford Star contact
Deli Lama
advertisement
 
Contact us
phone: 07957 982960
Facebook       Twitter
 
 
Recent comments
article: AS HOMELESS SALFORD MAN DIES UNCLE ASKS WHY IT’S NOT BEING REPORTED
Target the drug pushers probably in this country there are hundreds of rough sleepers who die dont think its a cover up its just t... [more]
article: SALFORD COUNCIL PLANNING SCANDAL CONTINUES WITH JUST ONE AFFORDABLE PROPERTY OUT OF 196
If say the money from council house sales was used to build more dwellings that would have been good ,but it wasn't. Even so ,thes... [more]
article: SALFORD APARTMENTS RE-BRANDED GREENGATE MANCHESTER AFTER AVOIDING £2MILLION FEES
The people who live in these luxury living gated community city centre flats or whatever they are called have to live somewhere.Ap... [more]
article: 91% OF SALFORD UNIVERSAL CREDIT CLAIMANTS IN ARREARS WITH CITY WEST
Mystic Meg looks at Rayofsunshine with pity in her warm, green eyes before: "Ray, you sound like a good kid, but you need to grow... [more]
article: SALFORD APARTMENTS RE-BRANDED GREENGATE MANCHESTER AFTER AVOIDING £2MILLION FEES
The question as already been asked but can someone answer???? what is affordable to the average man or women within this city. For... [more]
 
 
 
 
 
Days
Hours
Minutes
Seconds
 
 
 

Donate

Help the Salford Star...

all donations welcome

 
 

More articles...

AS HOMELESS SALFORD MAN DIES UNCLE ASKS WHY IT’S NOT BEING REPORTED

Star date: 23rd January 2018

'FOR ME, IT'S ALL BEING COVERED UP...'

Last Friday, a homeless man from Salford sadly died after living on the streets in Manchester city centre; the latest, many believe, in a spate of such incidents.

Now his uncle wants to know why his nephew's death was not reported and says "This is probably going on in every big city in the country, and for me it is just being covered up..."

Full details here...

SALFORD APARTMENTS RE-BRANDED GREENGATE MANCHESTER AFTER AVOIDING £2MILLION FEES

Star date: 23rd January 2018

£2MILLION FEE AVOIDANCE, £35MILLION OF PUBLIC MONEY, AND THEN APARTMENT BLOCKS MOVED TO 'MANCHESTER'

 A huge 'luxury' apartment block which avoided almost £2million in fees to Salford City Council, plus around 100 affordable properties, and then got a £35million subsidy from the Government as it changed ownership for £110million, has branded itself 'Greengate Manchester'.

Full details here...

SALFORD COUNCIL PLANNING SCANDAL CONTINUES WITH JUST ONE AFFORDABLE PROPERTY OUT OF 196

Star date: 22nd January 2018

WHEN IS THIS SALFORD COUNCIL PLANNING SCANDAL GOING TO END?

The planning panel of councillors for Salford City Council will be probably rubber stamping yet another huge development in Ordsall this week – two blocks of 'luxury' apartments, up to nine storeys high, off Ordsall Lane and Dyer Street.

From 196 properties being proposed by Selectric Investments Ltd, just one will be affordable, thanks to official Salford Council policy.

Full details here...

JOE O’BYRNE WINS SALFORD STAR AWARD FOR BEST PLAY

Star date: 21st January 2018

THE HAUNTING OF BLAINE MANOR WINS BEST PLAY

Last year, the Salford Star asked its readers to nominate winners in four categories reflecting Salford's cultural delights – Best Night, Best Performer, Best Play and Best Band.

From the shortlist, Live Events Editor, Ian Leslie, together with Salford Star staff, have decided the worthy winner of the first Salford Star Award for Best Play is The Haunting of Blaine Manor by Joe O'Byrne – a horror masterclass!

Full details here...

GREENPEACE PENGUINS HIT MANCHESTER TO PROTECT ANTARCTIC

Star date: 21st January 2018

CAMPAIGN TO PROTECT PENGUIN HOME

A waddle of Greenpeace penguins paraded in Castlefield, Manchester, yesterday, joining a worldwide awareness raising day about the need for the world's largest protected area to be created in the Antarctic Ocean.

Full details here...

 



written and produced by Salfordians for Salfordians
with attitude and love xxx