AFFORDABLE HOUSING HYPOCRISY REVOLVING DOOR AWARD
COUNCILLOR PAUL LONGSHAW
There's nowt so stark as the social cleansing that's going off in Pendleton. The area, near Salford Precinct, is on the doorstep of the University of Salford and MediaCityUK, and ripe for a clear-out of the working class.
Don't take the Salford Star's word for it – read the Business Case that went off from Salford Council to the Government, to kickstart the 15 year, £430million gentrification ...
It stated quite clearly that the final plans for Pendleton "will lead to a dilution in the current concentration of economically inactive households" by "young professionals and individuals who wish to live in Pendleton".
In the first £40million phase of the massive PFI (Private Finance Initiative), so-called `Pendleton Together' project, only 110 of 300 new properties are affordable and for rent. In the overall scheme, only around 500 homes out of 1500 being built will be affordable. This compares with 885 affordable properties being bulldozed.
The social cleansing was particularly stark in July, when Salford City Council approved `decant notices' for families living in 149 homes on the High Street estate. Yep, 149 homes will be bulldozed. But only 52 `affordable rented homes' will be built to replace them (see here).
Again, don't take the Salford Star's word for it – there's been an academic paper on the `creative destruction' of Pendleton presented to the Global Urban Justice conference in Madrid last year by the Manchester Met University's Jane Brake and John Van Aitken. They've even got a whole event and exhibition on it on Thursday 12th January at The People's History Museum (see here for further details).
And Pendleton is not just about the bulldozing of affordable homes and their replacement by unaffordable homes. In February, Pendleton Together increased service charges for those renting affordable properties by up to 10.5% in the refurbished towerblocks, and by a whopping 17.3% for those living in sheltered accommodation at Lombardy Court (see here).
The company also installed the hated NIBE heating systems into the towerblocks which were supposed to cut energy bills but, instead increased them – as seen on Angela Rippon's Ripped Off Britain (see here) as well as the Salford Star (see here).
The chief architect of all that's gone on was Paul Longshaw, Salford City Council's Programmes Director for Creating a New Pendleton. Indeed, his own Linkedin profile recalls how "Paul played a key role in driving forward the housing ambitions for Pendleton, Charlestown and Riverside...so that those two areas...play a key part in the city's growth and prosperity ambition".
In March 2016, Paul Longshaw left employment at the Council (we're unsure whether he took voluntary redundancy and got a wacking great pay-off) to stand as the Labour Party councillor for Langworthy, which he duly won and, within months, was suddenly representing those very residents who were on the sharp end of the Pendleton social engineering project.
Councillor Longshaw was then fast-tracked into the Council Cabinet as Lead Member for Housing and Neighbourhoods, and, ever since, has formed a double-act with Salford Mayor, Paul Dennett, counting rough sleepers, railing against homelessness and giving heart-wrenching speeches to fellow councillors about the `dysfunctional housing market'...
"We need around 750 new additional low cost rented homes per year in the city to meet need" he wept to a full meeting of Salford Council in November, adding that "homes should be there for all..."
...Unless, of course, you live in Pendleton, where the plans that Paul Longshaw put in place to reduce the amount of social housing "will lead to a dilution in the current concentration of economically inactive households" by "young professionals and individuals..."
So, ladies and gentlemen, rip the heart out of Salford, get a `young professional' makeover and cry crocodile tears for the winner of the Salford Star Mary Burns Affordable Housing Hypocrisy Revolving Door Award...
Councillor Paul Longshaw!
If Paul would like to make an acceptance speech, please use the comments box below...
Winners of the 2016 Salford Star Mary Burns Awards
*Nice Work If You Can Get It Award – Hazel Blears – click here
* Green Fingers Award - Salford City Council - click here
*Ethical Hypocrisy Award – Co-operative Group – click here
*George Bush Read My Lips Award – Hazel Blears, Phil Mayall and Councillor Derek Antrobus - click here
*Services To Heritage Destruction – Fred Done – click here
* Pimp My Poverty Award - Salford City Council - click here
*Feed The Rich Award – Peel Holdings – click here
*International Award – Manchester City Council – click here
*`How The Fuck Did You Manage To Ignore Almost 3 Million People?' Award – Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) – click here
*Services To Social Housing - Salford City Mayor, Paul Dennett – click here
* Uncle Joe Stalin Award for Open and Democratic Government – Salford City Mayor Paul Dennett – click here
* Gary Neville Finger In Pies Award - Salford City Council - click here