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Old June 2nd, 2009, 11:15 AM   #1181
Tony Sebo
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because the planners are also obsessed with getting fancy buildings on the waterfront too!




On a sort of seperate issue;
If you actually think your first statement through, I bet you can't find any real rationale for it? 'Do not overwhelm the old stuff' is the cue for shite modern buildings... as the arena, the Halifax building and Commutation plaza, amongst too many others prove. It would be near impossible to 'overpower' the Albert dock complex, no matter what you put next door. If they built the Petronas towers on the other side of Parliament St from teh Anglican cathedral, do you eally think the church would be 'overpowered' into insignificance, or would it just mean that there was another decent scheme completed in the city?

These words and statements are crafted to draw emotional responses from people, like 'social justice' and 'progressive' politics, rather than have people support change in the city. Liverpool's development narrative is now full of these empty but powerfully barriers to decent building. The dogma of the extreme preservationsits is not good for our city, we should resist aping their mantras.
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Old June 2nd, 2009, 11:34 AM   #1182
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I don't know when you were last in London but it's rammed full of shite modern buildings of varying heights that would cause even the horrors haunting Princes Dock to blush. In this country a great modern building is the exception not the rule. We don't live in a design/innovation-friendly culture. The bottom (only?) line is return. Of course good return/good design need not be mutually exclusive but quality (despite what they say in magazines) costs. It really does and it shows, too. If WHS were responsible for the dire state of modern architecture in Liverpool then you would have to explain why buildings that were erected before WHS came into being are even more dire and why other cities without WHS are in the same boat.
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Old June 2nd, 2009, 11:58 AM   #1183
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I see your point. I would like buildings no higher than Albert and gradually rising to the Hope St line. Look at many cities around the world that build tall on the waterfront and these buildings act as a barrier to the city beyond. The South Bank in London has some of this, as the people behind the South Bank tall buildings are cut off from the riverfront.

The Arena does not fit comfortably next the Albert Dock and in hindsight was a mistake. A bigger more exciting design and good unrestricted location surely could have been found for such a needed facility. Transport access is essential in building these large capacity structures, Public transport is not that good around the Kings Dock. An arena needs a rail station outside the doors, or do they want people to wander through the Albert and spend along the way? That is not to say transport access cannot be improved in time, the Wapping tunnel is there ready for use.

I think the Petrona Tower next to the Anglican would impose and do nothing for the cathedral. I think that tall buildings must not overpower what we already have. The five years overdue UNESCO demanded new guidance document, which is under draft, suggests that tall buildings only be in the north end dock cluster and the south end docks as well. I would assume Brunswick, Toxteth and Harrington Docks and the land inland from them. Which begs the question of why the Brunswick Quay Tower was rejected. At the time I don't think the council had an idea and there was no guidance document. An I making excuses for them? As a lot of the Central Docks are in the World Heritage Site, I fail to see how Liverpool Waters will transpire.

I am with you in that the city needs to build higher. Many of the new apartments are "tiny" places and a total rip-off. Many have open plan living room/kitchens to attempt to maximise space. In time people will not want to live in such pokey places and more urban blight will take hold, as the prices of these will fall and less desirable elements will occupy them. If building taller means cheaper, larger, higher quality flats than I would go for that. Or will the developer still build tiny places and take a bigger cut on more "units"?

Last edited by Liverpool Playboy; June 3rd, 2009 at 12:08 PM.
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Old June 2nd, 2009, 12:21 PM   #1184
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Quote:
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I don't know when you were last in London but it's rammed full of shite modern buildings of varying heights that would cause even the horrors haunting Princes Dock to blush.
London does have some dross for sure. The city is the world rip-off capital. Only the bottom line matters and they are allowed to get away with it. The cheap rubbish built around Docklands has to be seen. The block paving is cheap as is the design, the bricks, everything. In 20 years time much of the residential buildings will need demolishing they are so bad. Demolishing would be cheaper than a make-over.

Those who make the money do not live in London. They live in Surrey or Bucks and have big places in Spain or the likes. They have no feeling for London and view it only as a money making place, immigrants are the worse as they have no emotional or family connections. I met one Londoner, a millionaire, who was into property in London and responded when I mentioned beaches around Liverpool, "is Liverpool on the coast"? He was 64 years of age. They really do not want to live in England and don't particularly like it, and see London only as a way of making money, even if they were born there.

The government brought in Commonhold, yet few developers have taken it up still going for the old leasehold. Leasehold is another form of rent and only in England and Wales has it in the world. You could pay cash £400,000 for a 20 years lease. If you do not have the money to extend the lease in 20 years time the flat goes to the freeholder, and you think you "bought" it. It is a license to print money. The government was naive and never abolished leasehold thinking everyone would go over to Commonhold. They should go back to the law and sort it out.

Lessons there that Liverpool must learn.
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Old June 2nd, 2009, 12:25 PM   #1185
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but Cunard did not put their building on the Pierhead because it 'did something' for the Liver Building! This is why I say you have to be careful about these things. Glib rhetoric has cost our city some nicer buildings than we got. Elysian Fields is just one example. The original plan for that site was very good, but its quality was of no concern to EH, they just insisted on it being cut down to fit some mad massing and height obsession.... end result, a mediocre building that does nothing for the city except sit there, but it DOES adhere to the diktats of the heritage aesthetes. Same goes for the tat over the road on Duke St actually, squat blocks, rather than elegant buildings, as was originally proposed.

We also have to be careful to not step out of the realms of reality into some design/heritage fantasy land. As you have just pointed out, London canot provide great design and quality materials for the mass of its buildings, so what chance Liverpool? That is the reality. How can we insist on portland stone cladding and york stone paving when there simply isn't the money do insist on this? All that happens then is that any proposal would be dropped, for the logical reason that it would not be financialy vialble. How can you demand that a developer put a £10m skin on a space that can only generate £100k? As soon as you start to cut into a developers potential profit you usually find that the first thing to go is any quality elements as these are usually the most expensive.. demand more and you lose the development completely.



I agre with your points babs. I am not saying that everything built would be world class if only we got rid of WHS. What I am saying is that all it has achieved has been to diminish even further what ever mediocrity a developer was offereing on any particualr site, so the 'quality moderne' has been even worse here as a result of non architects intefering in schemes, one or two which where originally quite nice, but now are not. I can honestly say that I do not know of any scheme that has been improved as a result of the 'design process' teh city now has, wher EH and some panels the council have, over and above all the usual planning hoops every city has, that can run roughshod over project designs.

I have said this before, though I do like tall buildings I am not really making the case for them as such, rather I am saying that the city should build what it needs to build. If developers are offering tall buildigns (more floor space) then I can see no economic, social or even aesthetic reason why teh city should reject them.


Liverpool was never crafted to some great overall masterplan, I see no reason why we should start doing so now. The city's quality is utterly provided by its incongruity... it is a mishmash, and it looks the better for it.

Last edited by Tony Sebo; June 2nd, 2009 at 12:34 PM.
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Old June 2nd, 2009, 01:11 PM   #1186
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The fact that the ferry terminal, the MoL and the black blocks exist demonstrates that WHS is a paper tiger. EH cuts more sway with the council (heaven knows why because they are a bunch of charlatans. Oh yeah, that's why). In a typical English fudge they deal with 'concerns' by restricting height (sometimes that's the only thing a building has going for it!) rather than knocking back poor quality. The idea that the market builds good urban spaces when left to its own devices is wishful thinking. It builds places like the precinct and Clayton Square. The office blocks fronting the river in Princes Dock were built according to market requirements at that time. Only a handful of cities have been crafted according to an overall masterplan but in Liverpool our indigenous civic culture was to replace what already existed with something better. After 1940 Liverpool ceased to exist. It became a vassal of the London-centric state. It still looked like Liverpool but it wasn't and it built buildings to match. Without civic imagination, wealth, will, and largesse we will henceforth suffer from a glut of market-led mediocrity or state funded stunners like the QE2 law courts, Merseyside Police HQ ...
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Old June 3rd, 2009, 11:03 AM   #1187
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Quote:
Mersey champion resigns on day of chaos at Westminister


Jun 3 2009 by Rob Merrick,
Trinity Mirror North West

GORDON Browns hopes of rescuing his ailing government with a smooth Cabinet reshuffle were in tatters last night after Home Secretary Jacqui Smiths resignation.

Her decision to step down within days following hugely damaging revelations about lavish expenses also came at the worst time for the PM, on the eve of tomorrows crucial European and local elections.

In further evidence of the growing disarray, a backlash was gathering against the expected promotion of Ed Balls to succeed the doomed Alistair Darling as Chancellor.

Blairite MPs warned the choice of Mr Balls Mr Browns closest ally and former economic adviser would be widely seen as the PM reverting to tribalism amid the crisis.

In another day of extraordinary drama at Westminster, two other ministers childrens minister Beverley Hughes and Cabinet Office minister Tom Watson also quit the governmnent. Ms Hughes is also the Minister for the North West, hand-picked by Mr Brown to co-ordinate efforts to pull the region through the recession. The chaos cast a further shadow over the PMs attempts to avoid a rout at the ballot box tomorrow and a possible coup by panicking Labour MPs.

Many at Westminster believed the Home Secretary jumped before she was pushed in the reshuffle expected by Monday. But her aides insisted she had told Mr Brown two months ago of her intention to leave the Cabinet at the reshuffle, because of the battering from the expenses furore.

In April, it was revealed Ms Smiths husband mistakenly claimed £10 in parliamentary expenses for two adult films he watched in the familys constituency home.

She was also fiercely criticised for declaring that property her second home, thereby claiming £116,000 in allowances over five years, including for widescreen TVs, an antique fireplace, washing machines and a kitchen sink.

According to a national newspaper, Ms Hughes rented a second home in London where she claimed £801.60 for re-upholstering furniture, £718 for a chair and £435 for curtains and bedding. But in a letter to the Prime Minister, Ms Hughes stressed her decision to leave the government and parliament at the next election was purely for family reasons.

Ms Hughes wrote: I know you are already aware of some of the family circumstances that lie behind my decision and I appreciate very much the personal interest you have shown in this.

The Home Secretary declined to speak publicly about her resignation yesterday even while leading debate about the Borders Bill on the floor of the Commons.

William Hague, the Shadow Foreign Secretary, led the taunts that the government was falling apart, describing the Cabinet as a row of political corpses.
The LDP is increasingly a shadow of its former self but this one says it all - in terms of how much in touch TMNW is with Liverpool's interests.
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Old June 3rd, 2009, 12:13 PM   #1188
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Quote:
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Elysian Fields is just one example. The original plan for that site was very good, but its quality was of no concern to EH, they just insisted on it being cut down to fit some mad massing and height obsession.... end result, a mediocre building that does nothing for the city except sit there,
I am not sure if greater height so developers can maximise their investment on the plot would result in quality spacious apartments. They will build to the levels that people accept and they have been accepting low levels of space and quality for years without grumbling. In principle you are right, reservations I do have on that point knowing developers and their greed.
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Old June 3rd, 2009, 03:02 PM   #1189
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but that project I highlighted was a fine example of how it can all go so wrong. Developers look at budgets, then see how investment in quality can generate a premium. When the figures stack up they improve the spec, fittings, materials, cost of a decent architect etc then go for it. At the end of the day tat is how you get the difference between a good building and a mediocre one (grade 'A' and grade 'C' office space, for example). It only ever gets built if the developer reckons there is a market for it (i.e a profit to be had), but they do this.

Elysian Fields was taller, but also much better designed. Excellent lobbies, higher qulaity finishes in the appartments and a whole floor to be given over to community use. They even put the carpark on the third floor in order to keep the ground floor unclutterd, for commerce.

All that went out of the window when EH said chop it down by half. I imagine that the appartments are as nice as originally planned, but now it is just a block of flats, not a contribution to the revival of a potentially fantastic area.

Another issue that was important in that proposal is that the developers wanted it to be their flagship proposal, so where willing to put much more into it than you usually would. This also had to change when it became obvious that what ever would be acceptible to the heritage people would in no terms ever be able to be advertised as a 'flagship'.

It is a nice development, I saw it finished last week, but it hardly made me go weak at the knees, where as the original quite possibly would have... if it had gone ahead! So, end result another failure to add to the city's stock of buildings that could be decribed as excellent and of potential future heritage value.

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Old June 3rd, 2009, 05:53 PM   #1190
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The amount of substantial signage that still has '08' all over it is quite embarrasing. It is all over town.

I also got a look from inside Lime St station of the 'wonderful vistas' that will greet the millions of tourists to our 'Florence of the North' with the removal of the shops and Concourse Hs.... pitiful!
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Old June 3rd, 2009, 09:44 PM   #1191
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Yer true Tony, but at the end of the day its the council which gives the planning permission and not EH. Of course they could insist on a PI but thats unlikely for such a site. Sadly the council failed yet again
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Old June 4th, 2009, 09:48 AM   #1192
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What a depressing thread this is, the capital of doom.
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Old June 4th, 2009, 11:09 AM   #1193
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all the positive stuff goes onto their alloted threads.
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Old June 4th, 2009, 11:45 AM   #1194
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Sebo View Post
The amount of substantial signage that still has '08' all over it is quite embarrasing. It is all over town.

I also got a look from inside Lime St station of the 'wonderful vistas' that will greet the millions of tourists to our 'Florence of the North' with the removal of the shops and Concourse Hs.... pitiful!
Where did you manage to get a good look at the new vista from Lime Street? I tried the other day whilst munching my way through a pasty but I couldn't find anywhere that afforded a decent view. I was pleased to see that those Virgin lounge things aren't as awful as they promised to be (in my imagination at least).
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Old June 4th, 2009, 12:44 PM   #1195
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They're not bad at all actually.

Two of the posters on the windows overlooking the demolition site had been removed/fallen off, so I got quite a full and proper look at the site and, sadly, beyond! You can actually see a fair chunk of St George's Hall, but this only comprises about a quarter of the vista, the ret is given over to the obvious tat, smelly, cheap looking hotel, arse end of a shopping precinct etc... as we know it would.
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Old June 5th, 2009, 08:42 PM   #1196
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The cabinet resignations and reshuffles are great news. Beverley Hughes was not a "Mersey champion", she was a Greater Manchester MP who was driving a project to move civil service jobs from Gr Liverpool to central Manchester. Good riddance - an enemy of Liverpool and its people. How disgraceful that she had to be invited to the city to consider its potential to continue hosting civil service jobs. I think she should be put on a roll of dishonour, of people who have truly been enemies of Greater Liverpool and its people. Hitler should also be on that list, for the blitz.

And look who else has gone. Hazel Blears, MP for Salford and Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, who so enthusiastically arm-twisted on behalf of Manchester. She was not a fan of Liverpool. No favours were done for Liverpool. Many favours were done for Manchester. Good riddance. Her replacement represents Southampton in parliament.

Ruth Kelly, another Greater Manchester MP, laid the groundwork for the later and disgraceful agreement to fund Manchester's trams (despite the TIF bid debacle) whilst of course Liverpool was left tramless for a quite trifling sum. Where were regional priorities when Manchester was given yet more tramlines while Liverpool waited for its first few miles? Utterly scandalous. Hoon is also gone, thankfully.

Andy Burnham - a very treacherous son of the Greater Liverpool region who shamelessly feather-nested Greater Manchester (as MP for Leigh) in his role as Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport. He wanted the Royal Opera House to move to Manchester even when he had a report saying that this would damage the viability of existing opera in Leeds and Liverpool. In other words, he wanted to attack those cities to support his adopted city. He kept saying how great Capital of Culture was, whilst refusing to provide any funding - and even had the nerve to try to persuade "Visit Britain" to move 300 jobs from London to Manchester (with no consideration of other locations) whilst Liverpool was Capital of Culture. He then lectured an audience in Liverpool on how they would do better if they voted in a Labour council instead of a Lib Dem one, using the goodies Manchester had obtained as a bait and example of why voting Labour made sense. That speech smelt very bad indeed - sugggesting a bribe to a city if it would support the government party, on the grounds that another city had already been so favoured. He gave nothing to Liverpool or Greater Liverpool, and gave all he could do Greater Manchester during his period at DCMS - he should join the roll of dishonour, an enemy of the city and its region.

The cabinet is - happily - very largely de-Mancified now. Through FoI and other means I hope the New Labour - Manchester project is thoroughly investigated and that there is redress - possibly including a requirement for the BBC to disperse from Salford. It is quite wrong that one city that was politically popular was literally able to steal jobs from cities whose people voted the wrong way. That is tribal and third world and it needs to be dealt with. Liverpool and its region, and its elected representatives, need to seize the opportunity of a less tainted cabinet to become more assertive. The scheme to move civil service jobs from Greater Liverpool to Manchester needs to be even more vigorously opposed (and its a lot more serious than just giving up the pitiful number of Government Office North West jobs currently in the Cunard Building, it affects quite a few other jobs in Greater Liverpool also).

With fewer feather-nesting (by which I mean feather nesting their "Greater Manchester" homeland and constituents, not their personal pockets) MPs in the cabinet, the Mancunians are weaker now. It's time to take them on.

Last edited by design_man; June 5th, 2009 at 08:55 PM.
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Old June 5th, 2009, 08:53 PM   #1197
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Sagacious.
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Old June 5th, 2009, 09:07 PM   #1198
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Sagacious.
I thought it was pretty good.
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Old June 5th, 2009, 09:20 PM   #1199
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Ha!
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Old June 5th, 2009, 09:23 PM   #1200
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Originally Posted by design_man View Post
The cabinet resignations and reshuffles are great news. Beverley Hughes was not a "Mersey champion", she was a Greater Manchester MP who was driving a project to move civil service jobs from Gr Liverpool to central Manchester. Good riddance - an enemy of Liverpool and its people. How disgraceful that she had to be invited to the city to consider its potential to continue hosting civil service jobs. I think she should be put on a roll of dishonour, of people who have truly been enemies of Greater Liverpool and its people. Hitler should also be on that list, for the blitz.

And look who else has gone. Hazel Blears, MP for Salford and Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, who so enthusiastically arm-twisted on behalf of Manchester. She was not a fan of Liverpool. No favours were done for Liverpool. Many favours were done for Manchester. Good riddance. Her replacement represents Southampton in parliament.

Ruth Kelly, another Greater Manchester MP, laid the groundwork for the later and disgraceful agreement to fund Manchester's trams (despite the TIF bid debacle) whilst of course Liverpool was left tramless for a quite trifling sum. Where were regional priorities when Manchester was given yet more tramlines while Liverpool waited for its first few miles? Utterly scandalous. Hoon is also gone, thankfully.

Andy Burnham - a very treacherous son of the Greater Liverpool region who shamelessly feather-nested Greater Manchester (as MP for Leigh) in his role as Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport. He wanted the Royal Opera House to move to Manchester even when he had a report saying that this would damage the viability of existing opera in Leeds and Liverpool. In other words, he wanted to attack those cities to support his adopted city. He kept saying how great Capital of Culture was, whilst refusing to provide any funding - and even had the nerve to try to persuade "Visit Britain" to move 300 jobs from London to Manchester (with no consideration of other locations) whilst Liverpool was Capital of Culture. He then lectured an audience in Liverpool on how they would do better if they voted in a Labour council instead of a Lib Dem one, using the goodies Manchester had obtained as a bait and example of why voting Labour made sense. That speech smelt very bad indeed - sugggesting a bribe to a city if it would support the government party, on the grounds that another city had already been so favoured. He gave nothing to Liverpool or Greater Liverpool, and gave all he could do Greater Manchester during his period at DCMS - he should join the roll of dishonour, an enemy of the city and its region.

The cabinet is - happily - very largely de-Mancified now. Through FoI and other means I hope the New Labour - Manchester project is thoroughly investigated and that there is redress - possibly including a requirement for the BBC to disperse from Salford. It is quite wrong that one city that was politically popular was literally able to steal jobs from cities whose people voted the wrong way. That is tribal and third world and it needs to be dealt with. Liverpool and its region, and its elected representatives, need to seize the opportunity of a less tainted cabinet to become more assertive. The scheme to move civil service jobs from Greater Liverpool to Manchester needs to be even more vigorously opposed (and its a lot more serious than just giving up the pitiful number of Government Office North West jobs currently in the Cunard Building, it affects quite a few other jobs in Greater Liverpool also).

With fewer feather-nesting (by which I mean feather nesting their "Greater Manchester" homeland and constituents, not their personal pockets) MPs in the cabinet, the Mancunians are weaker now. It's time to take them on.
Excellent post.

Recent events have uncovered greed of gross proportions on the part of many MPs, and Greater Manchester's Hazel Blears in particular. Mis-using tax payers money so that she could basically gamble on the property market, making a fat stack of cash in the process and then unlawfully avoiding taxes that her own governments have foisted on everybody else. What a disgusting and corrupt little creature she is.

Should it come as any suprise then that this thief from Manchester should have gone to such lengths to secure an unfair amount of public investment in the area she hails from - where she owns property and where her family live? It must have done no end of good for the value of her home(s) in Gr Manchester (and what an expert she is in property appreciation), and for the opportunities available to her family and friends, to so blatantly and disgracefully "feather the nest" as you call it.

There has been a clear conflict of interest on the part of several Mancunian ministers, and there are obvious parallels between their constituency "feather nesting" and their mis-use of expenses. I wonder if the feather nesting will ever really come to light and be fully investigated in the media as part of the wider discourse on expenses? It ought to be, because I think the millions of tax payers across this country who don't live in their constituencies can rightly ask:

Where is our new transport infrastructure? Where are our flag ship civil service buildings and jobs? Where is our Media City?

I think future governments will need to recognise what has been going on for the last ten years with this feather nesting, and make concerted efforts to ensure other cities are sufficiently compensated. If that means dismantling some of Manchester's ill-gotten gains then so be it. The role of national government should be to govern fairly, not to corruptly reward the homes of its incumbants.

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