Star date: 13th September 2018


"It's scary at night and even through the day; we're getting druggies shooting up in the doorways, there was a homeless chap sleeping in the bushes..."

At the back of Salford Precinct is the High Street Estate, with 150 houses due to be demolished to make way for a 'regeneration' that Salford City Council states will "lead to a dilution in the current concentration of economically inactive households" by "young professionals..."

With most of the houses tinned up and their inhabitants exiled elsewhere, the estate looks post-apocalyptic; with belongings strewn everywhere, drug users huddled in doorways and worse. In the midst of this ghost town lives elderly Sandra, disabled, housebound, and left in limbo.

Full details here...

High Street Estate Salford High Street Estate Salford High Street Estate Salford
High Street Estate Salford High Street Estate Salford High Street Estate Salford
High Street Estate Salford High Street Estate Salford High Street Estate Salford
High Street Estate Salford
click image to enlarge

Yesterday, on the High Street Estate at the back of Salford Precinct, one of the houses was on fire, with smoke billowing everywhere. Two engines were present, firefighters with breathing apparatus, the works... 'Who set the house on fire?', we asked, only to be told it was the fire service itself; as a training exercise. 

It's nothing new on this post-apocalyptic estate, where row after row of houses are tinned up and old belongings are strewn everywhere in what has become a playground for anti-social behaviour.

Two years ago, in the wake of the Salford riots which were centred around the High Street Estate, Salford City Council slapped a 'decant notice' on the properties in lieu of 'clearance', or what many in Salford now call 'social cleansing'. 150 affordable houses were to be tinned up and eventually demolished as part of 'Creating A New Pendleton'.

Just 52 affordable houses were being built to replace them in the market led housing scheme that the Council stated in its business case would "lead to a dilution in the current concentration of economically inactive households" by "young professionals..."

Since then, 141 houses have been emptied as the place has become a ghost estate. But, in the midst of the midden, nine families are still living in limbo, holding out for a better re-housing deal, including elderly and disabled Sandra Preston and her family.

Unfortunately, after living in the hell of regeneration for too long, Sandra's husband died around Christmas time and now, while her son and grandson are out at work all day, she sits housebound with just her new puppy for company watching the anti-social behaviour unfold in front of her own doorstep.

"It's scary at night and even through the day" she told the Salford Star a few weeks ago "We're getting druggies shooting up in the doorways, and there was a homeless chap sleeping in the bushes...you get people with dogs coming to the grass where the kids used to play and they let them do everything and don't clean it up...

"...There's dirt bikes, motorbikes and the dog goes beserk, he's frightened of going out" she added "There's druggies, alkies...that's what it's getting like. They tell you to phone the police but by the time they get here, they've gone."

This is what Salford Council called implementing Salix Homes' "intensive management of the area in transition" in its initial report on the 'decanting' of residents...

"They've put security lights up but no actual security" explained Sandra "They've done it all wrong, leaving people like me until last. They've known about me and others on the estate like me who have mobility needs, and they should have done something for them either first or somewhere along the line but they've just done nothing."

Sandra couldn't move to one of the few new houses being built by Pendleton Together because they weren't big enough, nor suitable for her requirements as a disabled person...

It's like current residents won't be allowed to 'pollute' the 'young professional' 'New Pendleton'. It was the same story with the other regenerations in central and east Salford – in Higher and Lower Broughton, in Langworthy and Seedley, in Charlestown and Lower Kersal. Pendleton is the latest front line.

Indeed, this time last year, Jeremy Corbyn made a speech at the Labour Party conference about 'regeneration' meaning "forced gentrification and social cleansing". And here it is, on the doorstep of Salford and Eccles MP and shadow Labour Party minister Rebecca Long-Bailey.*

"We wanted to stay around here with the neighbours because we knew everyone and me being stuck in the house and everything; but most of the properties I couldn't get the scooter out on my own so there was no way I could get to the Precinct" Sandra explained.

"They offered us Tootal Drive, but that was too far away, and it was at the back of the homeless hostel so my husband didn't want to go there" she added "And the streets were hilly which was no good to me and my husband because we were both bad on our feet. Then they offered us a temporary move to Ordsall but we said 'No way' because if we went down there would be stuck there forever, so we refused that. We've had upteen offers but none were where we wanted to go."

The latest chance of a move centres on the Rainsough estate, to a large disabled-friendly property, not only out of the Pendleton area but out of Salford, over the border into Prestwich and the Bury borough... "Some of my old neighbours have moved into adjoining streets there so we'll see what it's like, and if we don't like it we'll have to wait until something else turns up..."

This is the second time that Sandra and her family have been forcibly shifted from their home. 33 years ago they were moved to the High Street estate from Trinity during that area's 'regeneration'.

Sandra and her family settled on the High Street estate and ideally wanted to stay, it being close to the Precinct and people who could keep an eye on her... "We were alright here, the neighbours were fine; they could have just tickled the houses up a bit..."

Yesterday, amidst the billowing smoke of the fire service training exercise, we visited Sandra again to see if anything had materialised and she'd finally got her move out of the apocalypse. Nothing had changed.

In the meantime, amongst the tinned up rows of houses, the nine families are still holding out, with most people reluctant to speak out, either through fear or mistrust of anyone entering the estate, as yet another tight knit Salford community gets smashed to pieces...

What is going on within the High Street Estate is the subject of absolute secrecy from Salford Council. Since its original 'decant' notice report two years ago, there has been nothing in the public domain on the issue.

This month there's been a decision notice to award Urban Vision the contract for 'pre demolition surveys, and utility disconnections, in advance of the demolition of the High Street estate', while a report to the Lead Member of the Housing and Neighbourhoods Committee on the 'High Street Demolition' was kept secret from the public under Part 2, arguing that disclosure wouldn't 'help people to understand and participate in public debate'.

The Salford Star would have contacted Salford Council for a comment on the High Street Estate but the Council hasn't responded to any Salford Star questions or requests for interviews for five years...

* For a full background see previous Salford Star articles...

Pendleton Demolitions See More Social Cleansing – click here

Jeremy Corbyn Should Come To Salford and See Gentrification and Social Cleansing at its Finest – click here

Pendleton Together Gentrification Slammed by IUD Project – click here

Photos by Steven Speed

pete wrote
at 12:53:17 on 18 September 2018
I think Bob is being a little bit hard on our MP. She defends our interests with regard to what the government does, not our council. Her misfortune is that she happens to be in the same party that they are. In Salford we will always have a Labour MP.I spoke to her at length a few weeks ago and found her to be ok. What I think she should do though is give a long interview to the Star. I remember some time ago the Star was asking for an interview and it just got forgot about. What is the state of play on that one?
Bob the regular wrote
at 08:30:38 on 18 September 2018
Up 7 places to page 6 on Sundays Mirror. Our little miss Stockholm is certainly going places in Captain Bobs old empire. 3 more and she's on page 3. Yesterdays Mirror certainly doesn't look like a labour supporting paper to me. opposite Beccy on page 7 was fake news that the late Michael Foot ( a truly honest and patriotic Labour man) was a KGB spy, and just in case their thick readers don't know what one of these was, next to his picture was the mugshots of the 2 KGB men accused of killing the woman in Salisbury. The other fake news was Beccy going on about car parking affecting small shops like Booths in Eccles where a once free car park ,owned by the council who were now charging Booths customer to use it was affecting Booths trade. Well ,I am more passionate about free car parking than the Americans are about the 2nd ammendment. Remember how you had to pay at Morrisons in Eccles and Tesco on Salford precinct? You do not pay now.This is because Morrisons and Tesco wouldn't have it. Big money talking. big business. Look at hospital car parking, you get ripped off there ,nobody goes to hospital because they like it, you have to go to visit people ,or for treatment.The council owned car park on Stott lane is just a huge rip off. Never mind ,just keep voting Labour.
Bob the regular wrote
at 17:40:48 on 15 September 2018
Trump is right about fake news. Read the girlfriends Mirror today. Guess who's on page 13 today? our own blue eyed, blond, swedish,socialist bombshell. She seems to like having her picture taken outside boarded up buildings. Why doesn't she go over to "New Stockholm" and get a few snaps of her stood near where this lady lives? I think Beccy might have developed the Stockholm Syndrome since coming to Salford.She appears to believe in all the bullshit of her captors, comrade Dennett and the Salford Labour party. She is a prisoner of Salford for the rest of her political career. Think how bad it would look if she moved elsewhere. We can all move away, she cannot. I wonder why the Tory gutter press don't come to Salford to show their readers what " New Stockholm"looks like.You would think they would delight in this ,especially with Jeza leading in the polls. Could it be ,that with all this talk of the Brexit row, and big mouth Bessie Bradock the second (Thornberry),talking about not supporting the brexit deal, that the Tories are engineering a general election that they wish to loose? There is a lot of talk of a big world crash coming. Wouldn't it suite them to have captain Jeza at the helm when the ship of state hits the rocks?
Bob the regular wrote
at 16:31:29 on 15 September 2018
In for a pound makes a great point here, but let me explain. There are 2 types of poundshop houses. the ones in Liverpool and the ones here. The ones in Liverpool were mostly I think like the ones he describes. Some were owned by housing providers, some owner occupiers, and some private landlords. I think they were bought in under pathfinder, and as such this scheme was greatly mis used by labour councils. The site in this article is different, it is mainly badly neglected social housing,although some had been bought under right to buy. To be fair to the council, the very few owner occupiers on that estate, or so i've heard, have been given a straight swop for a new house on the other side of Fitzwarren street. Perhaps other readers could confirm or not. To get back to the point raised, no I do not think proper compensation was paid. What our council did, along with housing providers, was to run areas down on purpose. someone did take them to court for this, and the case was settled in 2012, but you cannot find out about it because the case is sealed.If it is published it would be contempt of court.
In for a £1 wrote
at 08:40:19 on 15 September 2018
People buying houses for a pound is great----------But how does it benefit homeowners who were ripped off by compulsory purchase? It alwas makes me laugh when I see the houses for a pound thing----------it seems a good idea but for former home owners, the reduced compensation they received is just subsidising somebody else. Do you think all this "Regeneration" of terraced streets and estates would have taken place if a proper price had to be paid to owners? NO! There would not have been enough profit in it for developers.
Bob the regular wrote
at 21:29:44 on 14 September 2018
Try this one for size.Why do we not do what they did in Liverpool. We could flog these houses for a quid each. There are plenty of builders in Salford who live in council houses and pay rent to the council or these other equally bad outfits. If we made them do them up within a year, and made them live there 5 years before they flog them, like they do in Liverpool. we would then get 150 empty council houses back, that people who need them could have. Not only builders could participate, anyone. Whats wrong with this idea? Nothing, otherwise the scousers wouldn't be doing it. Thing is, they just do not like Salford working class people. I wonder what Warrington people would say if I went there, and did what Dennetts done here. I can guess.
pete wrote
at 18:56:28 on 14 September 2018
Dear editor, please can you take that stupid "pie eater" round to this estate so he can see for himself the new Stockholm. Unless it has been moved, I presume this estate is still in Pendleton. Still ,we should know by now how stupid these "pie eaters" are. We have had to put up with the stupidty of one for years in the shape of Cllr Lancaster.
Dave wrote
at 14:46:17 on 14 September 2018
I think that the former exec from Wigan has got this Swedish nonsense from one of Dennetts crew , perhaps even the great leader himself.He can certainly never have been there in person. Could it be all part of the new spin image of Salford? Think about it, the new, mainly young people moving in probably have more Swedish sorts of socialist ides about socialism ,than the old labour voters being shipped out. The vast majority of labour voters in our city have views not like Dennetts socialist view of things. If a hundred Salford labour voters were made members, and sent to the party conference , then on the first day, if these people spoke like they do in the boozer, 75% would have to be kicked out. Without going into contraversial issues, views on capital punishment, and using nuclear weapons on certain types of terrorists would be enough for starters to get them dismissed. Thing is though, will these new labour voters be as trusting as the old ones were? Look at the lady in this article and her family. Did they vote for this labour council that treats them so badly?
at 11:48:44 on 14 September 2018
The social cleansing does go on. If you ask anybody, but particularly homeowners who lived in a regeneration area whether they are better off for having their homes compulsory purchased I wonder what the answer will be? There will be the odd simpleton who will point at their nice new rendered sterlingboard house that they have "A stake in" , but the majority will tell you they were ripped off after many years of the council running down the area and creating the conditions similar to those in the story, to "Encourage" people to leave. Of course the council will deny this and say they "rescued" people from the situation they were in. THIS is equivalent to saving someone who is drowning by removing your foot off their head. There is a climate of fear in Salford. A lot of people will not even talk to the Salford Star as they are scared of what the council and it's partners (cronies) will do by way of retribution.
Stephen Kingston wrote
at 07:48:03 on 14 September 2018
I was at the launch of the (excellent) Manchester University report on GM development last night, and on the panel was the Chief Exec of Wigan Council, who praised Paul Dennett for making Pendleton 'like Sweden'...I thought 'Read this story you f**kers!'...These political and bureaucratic elites aren't in the real world. After inwardly exploding on hearing this crap, I couldn't keep my gob shut and did heckle Cllr Antrobus when he was going on about Salford being so great at collecting Section 106 money. Away from their actual community the Salford Mayor and his cronies are pushing it about that Salford Council is ace and progressive. Shame they won't be held to account on their actual doorsteps to explain to the Salford Star and its readers why we have to run stories like the one above and a further one about Pendleton tenants of the nine blocks which is coming next week and is absolutely shocking...
at 07:38:25 on 14 September 2018
corbyn isnt in government, so all he can do is piss in the wind like us, the only difference is he has a soap box,
Philip Giuseppe Rossi, The Broadwalk ... wrote
at 07:38:05 on 14 September 2018
Kevin, there's nothing wrong with the Broadwalk. Fact is it has a threadbare charm, especially with all the pissheads outside St Paul's Church. They give the place some "Colour", as do the many Africans and Eastern Europeans. It's great. And David, they move the "Lost One's" to out of the way characterless doss pits like Irlam and Little Hulton. Once there they are never seen again. Maybe their JSA won't allow them the luxury of buying a bus pass, or maybe they're turned into Soylent Green in some nightmare factory situated deep within the peaty confines of Irlam's Chat Moss.
Dave wrote
at 21:06:18 on 13 September 2018
Where do they put all the people that they move out? They must put them somewhere. And where they put them ,it must be in a better house or they would not move. So this means that whoever would have moved into that house has lost out. It is all too crazy to think about. If these houses have to come down, why do they not build new houses first to put the people into?
Kevin wrote
at 21:04:47 on 13 September 2018
Sorry I don't buy this social cleansing stuff, there are still lots of people you wouldn't live next door to if you had the choice. If they want young professionals they'll need to do a lot more than they are doing. A quick walk down the Broadwalk would have anyone with a bit of common sense turning around and getting out quick.
Joe O'Neill wrote
at 15:17:29 on 13 September 2018
When I sat on the council I heard the words homes you can aspire to. The reality homes people on huge sums of money can aspire to, Labour social cleansed Langworthy and other estates fell to the axe in time. Previously we witnessed people robbed of their homes and offered a pittance. Do people not ask why these stories end up on the star? is it because Labour turn a blind eye to reality? they talk of a revolution give us your vote for change, the realty the same shit but a different day.
Bob the regular wrote
at 13:38:09 on 13 September 2018
Boris the menace and Walter Rees mogg look like a couple of bungling upper class twits, but they are not, they are cunning devious bastards out to get us. Same with Corbyns mob.Both political parties are filled with god knows how many highly intelligent devious types all out for their own careers and their daft ideas. Corbyn will know all about Salford, he will have a profile of all the constituencies. Becky's team of town hall spies will all know whats going on. He will know whats going on in our council, the thing is, he cannot do anything about it. He may not wish to do anything about it, perhaps believing that in fact many Labour voters in Salford may hold views incompatable with Labour policy. If he rocks the boat, the daily Mail will love it. A big load of shit in Salford by a lefty council has got to worth a few percentage points in the polls. Remember old "red Ted" knight in Lambeth? All the barmy things he used to do? I can't remember anything specific, just "Red Ted ,Loony Lambeth", thats all the public need to know it sticks in their minds. If all the ethnic and social cleansing going on was happening in Bury or Trafford, then Corbyn would be up in arms about it, as these are swing councils. In the meantime ,poorer people suffer, It's XXXXXXX wrong and we all know it.
Gareth L wrote
at 11:39:56 on 13 September 2018
Disgraceful, it is amazing that for all his bold words, Corbyn has done nothing. The corbynite Salford council is the same as it was before.
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