Sunday, January 02, 2011

Grant Shapps tries to save Ringo's house

Determined to step in where Liverpool councillor Flo Clucas failed, housing minister Grant Shapps has decided to save Ringo's house in the Dingle.

Actually, I say "where Flo failed", but in terms of making a large, eye-catching statement that turns out to not be pledge to protect the building at all, it's something of a success:

Mr Shapps said the house was considered by many as a "culturally important building".

"That is why, before a single bulldozer rumbles along Madryn Street, I want to ensure that every option has been considered," he said.

"In particular I want local community groups to have the opportunity to put forward viable proposals to preserve this historic house."
Of course he's going to do bugger all to actually save the building - he's a Tory, and we know how close they are to a pound note these days - but, hey, if the Big Society wants to do something, he's happy to issue a couple of press releases and sign a couple of letters.

You might wonder if Shapps' time might be better spent writing to Liverpool City Council about the scandalous neglect of the areas around Anfield, where people live, but maybe that wouldn't make it into all the papers.

Still, at least Grant has resisted the temptation to cram in a Beatles pun, right?

Oh... hang on...
He added: "It is right that the people of Liverpool themselves decide whether they want Ringo Starr's house to be demolished or to Let It Be."
It could be, he hopes, a building which would put an Octopuses' garden into the shade.

Somewhat surprisingly, while Shapps is talking about simply saving the house, Liverpool City Council react as if he wants to stop the entire redevelopment (which, actually, he should have been trying to do):
A spokesman said the council would consider the minister's request, but said: "Grant Shapps may not be aware of the fact that we have consulted extensively with local residents over these plans and the overwhelming majority are in favour of them.

"Residents have been fully involved in developing the proposals and have shown they want decent homes to replace houses which have long passed their lifespan.

"They are telling us that they are absolutely sick of the delays and the conditions they have to live in. They want the city council to demolish these properties as soon as possible so that they can get on with their lives."

The spokesman added: "It is vital for local people that this scheme goes ahead. We have not been helped by the massive cuts, but we are determined to get on with this work to improve the lives of local residents.
Of course, had the City Council simply improved the properties - which was all that was needed - the good people of Dingle would have been getting on with their lives a decade ago, and not living in area which is being allowed to slowly rot.

None of which, really, has anything to do with Ringo's first home. Nor does being Housing Minister really have much to do with Ringo Starr's home - surely that's Jeremy The Hunt's remit, isn't it?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

anyone up for squatting Ringo's house to keep it safe for the next 6 months?

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