Salford City Council is appearing at MIPIM UK, the largest property orgy in the country, which runs from 21st to 23rd October at Olympia in London.
The Council is to have stand, which it's sharing with the likes of Peel Holdings (Peel Land and Property [Ports]), Capital and Centric, which avoided almost £100,000 in planning fees in Ordsall (see here), and Renaker, whose off-shoot, WB Developments (Salford) Ltd, avoided almost £2million in planning fees on its huge blocks of flats at the back of Regent Road retail centre (see here).*
The cost of the stand is between £395 and £505 per square metre, with a minimum of 9sqm having to be booked, although the space taken is much larger. While there, Salford Council staff can take in talks and workshops, including `The Rise of Private Rented Sector' and `London: From Social Housing to Super-Prime'.
Those affected by the lack of social housing and the increase of the unaffordable Private Rented Sector won't be able to get near MIPIM UK, with visitor tickets costing almost £600 (£495 + 20% VAT for the cheapest and £610 +VAT).
Instead, the Radical Housing Network, Defend Council Housing and a range of other groups have called a protest outside the event – Stop MIPIM: Cities for People not for Profit from 9am at Olympia tomorrow morning, 21st October...
"We'll not be sharing in this meal ticket" organisers state "MIPIM promotes an unsustainable business-as-usual approach to housing and land use that is privatised and profit-driven for the benefit the richest 1% whilst destroying our communities and keeping millions in poverty..."
One of the songs to be sung on the demo will be a revival of the ballad by Salford's Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger called Hey Ho, Cook and Rowe, which charts a protest in 1960 after St. Pancras Borough Council raised rents of municipal flats.
Under the leadership of Don Cook and Arthur Rowe, there was a huge rent strike, which led to tenants barricading the buildings with barbed wire, old pianos and junk as it took on the character of a military siege. An army of police finally battoned its way through demonstrators and in through the roof, where they were greeted with the offer of a cup of tea from the rent strikers. The chorus goes...
`Hey, ho, tell them no
With a barb-wire fence and a piano,
Took a thousand cops to make them go,
Three cheers for Cook and Rowe!...
`...Oh, now I've lost my board and bed,
I'll barricade the streets instead.
So all you tenants, settle in,
Keep up the fight, you're bound to win...'
(To hear the song on YouTube – click here)
• The Salford Star asked Salford Council how many staff it will have at MIPIM UK, and the cost of their time, travel, accommodation and expenses; and how much the stand has cost the Council. Salford Council hasn't either acknowledged the email nor responded to it. A Freedom of Information request has been sent.
For further details of the Stop MIPIM UK protest see the Facebook page – click here
For more details on Salford's £19million Planning Scandal and Social Cleansing see the latest printed issue – click here
* Salford Council will also be sharing its stand with Manchester City Council, which oversaw the eviction this morning of The Ark homeless camp by Manchester Metropolitan University - click here for further details
Photo courtesy of Radical Housing Network