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The Liberal Democrats have held onto power in the city of Liverpool.

Old Council

LD 59, LAB 27, LIB 3, GRN 1


New Council

LD 56, LAB 30, Lib 3, GRN 1


In terms of the development of the city will this result have any effect on the built environment, transport systems etc?

What would the city be like if Labour had won?

What would the city be like if the Tories had won?

What would the city be like if the Greens had won?

Given the determining influence of the unelected technocrat, Machiavelli, sorry, Davey Henshaw in recent years (sorry about the value judgement here) does it make a real difference anyway who is in control?

Any change - or business as usual?
 

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Liverpool8 said:
The Liberal Democrats have held onto power in the city of Liverpool.

Old Council

LD 59, LAB 27, LIB 3, GRN 1


New Council

LD 56, LAB 30, Lib 3, GRN 1


In terms of the development of the city will this result have any effect on the built environment, transport systems etc?

What would the city be like if Labour had won?

What would the city be like if the Tories had won?

What would the city be like if the Greens had won?

Given the determining influence of the unelected technocrat, Machiavelli, sorry, Davey Henshaw in recent years (sorry about the value judgement here) does it make a real difference anyway who is in control?

Any change - or business as usual?
I suppose it all depends on who was elected /unelected.
Will there be more Munby like figures around or not.
I don't suppose the lib dems losing just three seats will make much difference really.
Although many people dislike the Tories it wouldn't do too much harm to see them represented on the council,if only to keep the others on their toes.
 

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There are real (shouldn't that be) imbalances inherent in the current system. The powerful CEO mentioned who meddles in the democratic process is not so much down to the personality but to the system. There are other major problems in the city with so many agencies being responsible for vitally important strategic areas, but unacountable to anyone, and charged with delivering outside of government dictated programmes. Often the elected members are powerless to make drastic change or halt unpopular programmes. In THEORY they can, as with the governments 'New heartlands' programme, but if they complain or hold up proceedings 'money' is lost to the city.

It was interesting looking at the excuses given by local councillors to Liam Fogarty's campaign for a referendum on change to a mayoral system in the city. Most talked of extra costs and beauraucracy (highlighting a fundamental misunderstanding of the way a mayoral set up works) or fatalism, saying a mayor would be as powerless as the current cabinet as most decisions are made in Westminster or their proxys (NWRA/DA etc).

I can't say how much things will have changed if Labour had won, except they may possibly be more developer friendly, as stated by Joe Anderson in his objections to WHS (said before the arguments against had been well rehearseed in public) but more generally anti enterprise.

Intersting possibility of a Tory revival in the city, thogh my feelings on the reality of that would be that they would be even more chaotic than the Lib Dems who, we must remember, had massive success thrust upon them, to such an extent that most 'councillors' are 'mates' or relatives of the core group, so sudden and so large were the gains... the tories in Liverpool are completely unprepared for power... though they generally do run good councils.

I was disapointed that the Greens or the Liberals didn't make the slightest gains... and extremely sad that the anti demolition allience really fucked up by standing under the Liberal banner... a few people I spoke to didn't know this and assumed that in their ward the group weren't standing. I think they may have had more success if they would have at least made mention of the candidates platform in brackets behind the Liberal title on ballot papers.

With Labout only gaining three wards I don't think there will be any changes forced by reslults... so, nothing changes that would not have happened anyway!
 

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Local government in this country is far too weak for this to make any real difference. British governance is very centralised for a western state.

The only exception to this rule is in the regulation of land use, where local authorities do have a lot of control over planning in their areas. Although even this is limited by national and regional guidance, and funding controls at Westminster. And in Liverpool's case, this is also WHS which handicaps local government (depending on your view point), as well as a plethora of quangos lurking in the mist somewhere between central and local government.

Labour may have been a little more pro-development. I agree with Tony there. I don't think an awful lot of the lib dems, even if they have managed to make some good achievements. There are very basic matters where they show the utmost incompetence. The pavements are still disgustingly covered in chewing gum, and litter is far worse than it should be in a western city. It is on basic matters like this where any worthy local council should be successful IMO.
 

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Liverpool8 said:
The Liberal Democrats have held onto power in the city of Liverpool.

Old Council

LD 59, LAB 27, LIB 3, GRN 1


New Council

LD 56, LAB 30, Lib 3, GRN 1


In terms of the development of the city will this result have any effect on the built environment, transport systems etc?

What would the city be like if Labour had won?

What would the city be like if the Tories had won?
A bigger mess. The Tories are nowhere to be seen in Liverpool - quite rightly and the sooner they are cast into histiry the better for the whole country.

Of 22,000 seats nationwide the Tories gained 250 despite a press onslaught against the government because Johnnny had a shag with slag (that is his business alone). The Tories made no ground at all in the big cities, being dropped below the Greens Liverpool. The bumpkins tend to vote Tory because the local squire said so.

Any change - or business as usual?
Business as usual, locally and nationally, and be prepared for the government to be returned at the next election, unless there is a major economical disaster, which doesn't look on the cards.

Charles Clark has just been sacked.
 

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Blabbernsmoke said:
Out of interest. Does anybody know what the turn out was?
When I was voting in Halton the people at the voting thingy during one of the quieter moments calculated it to be 9%, that was just after 6PM...
 

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If, instead of being consigned to history, there was a revival in tory fortunes as a local party here the city may finally undertake the renaissance we all wish for?

Did you know John, that they are supportive of looking seriously at the land value tax?
 

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Blabbernsmoke said:
Local government in this country is far too weak for this to make any real difference. British governance is very centralised for a western state.

The only exception to this rule is in the regulation of land use, where local authorities do have a lot of control over planning in their areas. Although even this is limited by national and regional guidance, and funding controls at Westminster.
The planning system is Stalinist. It has centralised dictated quotas which councils have to adhere to. The planning act was laid down in 1947 with the blessing of the Council for the Protection of Rural England – who acted as consultants. CPRE is a body of mainly very large wealthy landowners, a self interest group, who wanted the shanty towns taken out of the countryside. Yes Britain was full of shanty towns, we called them “plotlands”, and attempt to airbrush this out of our recent history. CPRE pushed teh act to suit themselves and retain their luctrative acres - 0.66% of the population own 70% of the land (a legacy of the Normans which has not been rectified), with only 7.5% of the land settled and 2.5% paved. In no other western nation is there such an imbalance. Countries which have an even spread of land ownership and a fair planning systems have higher qualities of life than the UK.

It could be argued that the centralised system was necessary to get people housed after WW2, as the private sector certainly could not house the country in homes of basic facilities. Despite being Stalinist in nature, Thatcher reinforced the act.

It is worth reading these recent reports from the Policy Exchange Think Tank. First is:

Unaffordable Housing

This document hits the nail right on the head. From the document:

"Planners have created a system that has led not only to higher house prices but also a highly volatile housing market"

"Compared with other countries, the standard of living in terms of housing has fallen over the years, both relatively and sometimes absolutely "

"We are living in crowded and dense cities, not a crowded and urbanised country"

"It is a feature of central planning that in fulfilling the production target planners may lose sight of the ultimate aim "

"Over the years the difference between prediction and constraint has become increasingly blurred, and nowhere has this been truer than with housing"

The follow up document, Better Homes, Greener Cities. Planning is heavy in the report.

The Link:
Better Homes Greener Cities

Here are the Conclusions and Recommendations of the report

Over the past 50 years town planning has lost sight of its original objectives, those of providing decent homes and a decent living environment for the people of Britain. Particular groups have been able to get policies favourable to themselves adopted because the economic costs they impose on others have not been seen. So, as we have just said, Green Belts – which were intended to be relatively narrow and primarily used for recreation – were put in place and expanded in width, but continued to be used for farming. The shire counties used Green Belts to hold back the influence of the nearby city. The recreational uses disappeared and the Green Belts became green blankets – or more accurately green barriers – designed to keep urban inhabitants from spoiling the lives of those living in the countryside. And often they were not even very green, i.e. not places of `unspoilt' nature but of industrialised and intensive agriculture.

Development came to be increasingly restricted, so that everywhere controls were imposed to prevent what was labelled `urban sprawl' – a settlement pattern that we now know provides the best foundations for an environmentally friendly and healthy lifestyle. In consequence land prices rose, and house prices too, as demand increased but the supply of land did not. The increase certainly gratified existing house owners, but they failed to realise that what they were getting for their money, as generation succeeded generation, was both more expensive and smaller. So, in the end, Britons found themselves with the smallest, oldest and most expensive new homes in Western Europe.

In our report we have shown that there are ways to improve this situation. We believe that it is possible for Britons to enjoy stable house prices, affordable accommodation, green cities and modern, spacious houses – very much like their neighbours on the continent. To sum up, we believe that two major sets of reforms are required to tackle Britain's housing crisis. The first is reform of the planning system itself:

• Planning is a means to an end and not an end in itself. Therefore we think it is necessary to get rid of the presumption of plan-led development. Development must be possible where it is necessary, and it should not be impossible just because it was not previously envisaged in the plan.

• Planning should include land buffers which could easily be activated when more land is needed than the amount that was thought necessary at the time the plan was set up.

• The presumption of a right to development should be introduced into planning. It would then be necessary for the authorities to demonstrate why development was undesirable and not the other way around.

• The economic benefits of development should be recognised to a far greater degree as a material factor in the planning process.

• The planning system should be localised, with local authorities being placed in charge of densities, brown vs. green field ratios, design codes and Green Belt designation, with freedom to vary the Social Cost Tariff downwards if they wish to `go for growth'.

• The planning system should be made more flexible, with greater freedom to change between planning designations and an extension of permitted development rights.

The second set of reforms should be applied to the existing fiscal incentives and the system of local government finance:

• VAT should be equalised at 5 per cent for both new building and refurbishment.

• Local authorities should be confronted with the results of their planning activities through budgets that reflect the degree of development in the local
community. This can be achieved through either more local taxes (e.g. a localised income tax) or government grants directly linked to local population
figures or tax revenues. This will shift the balance between local and central taxation and budgets, but it should not increase the overall level of
taxation as such.

• Receipts from existing taxes associated with new development, such as Council Tax and business rates, should be hypothecated to the local authority.

• Formalised Section 106 agreements could give an extra incentive to local communities to allow development.

• The introduction of a system of Social Cost Tariffs would provide an even better incentive, and compensate local communities for their loss of amenity. They would internalise the costs of development, provide an incentive to `go for growth' and be entirely retained locally. Social Cost Tariffs would replace all other charges associated with new development, including Section 106 agreements.

In this paper we have put forward a number of proposals to try to free up the planning process in Britain. The aim is to make it more responsive to the needs and demands of the population as a whole. And while this book has made a number of technical and legislative proposals to bring about the required change, we must not lose sight of why this change is needed. A localised, incentivised planning system will bring many benefits – more affordable homes, better neighbourhoods, less pressure on social housing – benefits that our centralised planning system has failed, and will continue to fail, to deliver.

There is a challenge for house builders too. A leap in the supply in housing must not mean more boring boxes in drab neighbourhoods. Their goal must be diversity, innovation and a real desire to satisfy communities' needs.

What has been provided over the past 30 or 40 years has increasingly diverged from this. As we demonstrated in our first paper, we have had a Soviet style centrally planned system of housing provision imposed on us because it suits various interests. And we know from our experience with the Soviet Union how successful a centrally planned economy can be in providing what consumers want! Our hope is that it is not too late to change.
 

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Some good links herer. Just received it from some of those in the anti demolition groups.

*
Some of you may know that*anti-demolition pro-refurbishment candidates ran in yesterday's local elections in Liverpool, under the old 'real Liberal' party banner.
*
They made a huge impact in the press and on*the campaign trail, changing the result in two key marginals to unseat ruling party councillors who had voted for mass*CPOs.*
*
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Kensington and Fairfield - Community candidate Elizabeth Pascoe scores "One Hundred and Eighty" to unseat the Liberal Democrat councillor of 17 years and beat the Greens and Tories into 4th and 5th place.* Labour have opposed the demolition scheme here as "social cleansing" and "municipal vandalism", and have pledged to reverse Pathfinder blight throughout the area.
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http://councillors.liverpool.gov.uk/mgElectionAreaResults.asp?XXR=0&ID=21&RPID=35756&J=9
*
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Prince's Park, Toxteth*- Anti-Demolition Coalition of Welsh Streets resident Nina Edge, the Green Party and Respect together score*737, to push out the sitting Lib Dem*Councillor whose vote collapsed from over 1,000 to 645.
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http://councillors.liverpool.gov.uk/mgElectionAreaResults.asp?XXR=0&ID=28&RPID=36674&J=23
*
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Picton -*anti-demolition candidate Griff Parry takes almost 10% of the vote and with the greens and Labour carve over 500 off the Lib Demolition majority.
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http://councillors.liverpool.gov.uk/mgElectionAreaResults.asp?XXR=0&ID=27&RPID=36155&J=11
*
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St. Michaels - Peter Allen,*a principled Lib Dem*who opposes Pathfinder demolition policies, saw his vote increase to 41%, with a strong showing for the Green Party's Jean Hill, who took 25% of the vote in a ward that now enjoys Liverpool's first Green councillor following senior Lib Dem John Coyne's defection to them over the demolition issue last week.
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http://councillors.liverpool.gov.uk/mgElectionAreaResults.asp?XXR=0&ID=31&RPID=37811&J=33
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Anfield - Anti-demolitionist and Stanley*Park campaigner Mike Butler takes 17% of the vote:
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http://councillors.liverpool.gov.uk/mgElectionAreaResults.asp?XXR=0&ID=9&RPID=36403&J=14
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Clubmoor - Liberal 'Stop Demolishing' candidate David Maher doubled his vote to 27% to push the Lib Dems into third place.
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http://councillors.liverpool.gov.uk/mgElectionAreaResults.asp?XXR=0&ID=14&RPID=37670&J=27
*
And in case you haven't seen:
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John Prescott remains Deputy Leader but loses his departmental responsibilities at the ODPM.
Mr Prescott will continue to chair Cabinet Committees and will work on Environmental issues with the new Defra Secretary. The new ministerial team at Mr Prescott's old department has not yet been announced.
*
Charles Clarke leaves*his job as Home Secretary. He will return to the backbenches.
*
Jack Straw is no longer Foreign Secretary. Neither his replacement nor his new job has been confirmed. It is being reported that he will become Leader of the House of Commons. This is not confirmed.
*
Geoff Hoon moves from Leader of the House of Commons to become Secretary of State for Europe.* This is a new position with full Cabinet status.
Margaret Beckett replaces Jack Straw as Foreign Secretary.
Her replacement as Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has not yet been confirmed.
*
Jack Straw*is confirmed as Leader of the House of Commons.
*
John Reid replaces Charles Clarke as Home Secretary.
His replacement as Defence Secretary has not yet been confirmed. Mr Clarke has confirmed that he was sacked.
*
 

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Tony Sebo said:
Some of you may know that*anti-demolition pro-refurbishment candidates ran in yesterday's local elections in Liverpool, under the old 'real Liberal' party banner.
This is very naive. Older buildings cannot, or cannot be economically, be brought up to high insulation standards, making them expensive to run, which with rising fuel prices and a drive to lesser emissions is unwise. In many cases is cheaper to demolish and build a modern replica on the same site. Many older buildings are just not fit for purpose and do not fit modern lifestyles.
 

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I'm going to report you to ICOMOS!

Actually there are two intersting elements in that report John posted and the motives driving these anti demolition folk.

many of the groups are not anti demolition on heritage grounds as such, but that what is being wiped out is the infrastructure of a good urban neighbourhood that will be lost along with the housees. There is still a huge anti city bias within the planing and design professions that suburban 'homesteading' is the idea and so they try to build as near to that as possible.

the report posted says as much, but I particularly like this one
"Development came to be increasingly restricted, so that everywhere controls were imposed to prevent what was labelled `urban sprawl' – a settlement pattern that we now know provides the best foundations for an environmentally friendly and healthy lifestyle"

It then descends into some embarrassingly subjective stuff about theft and keeping people out.

What they propose is completely the opposite direction to what cities need..... we do not see continued urbanisation, what we actually witness is the ongoing anti urbanisation..... environmentally devastating and car based development that damages cities as much as it does the countryside.

Essentially they recommend that we continue to strip populations from 'crowded' districts and put them in modern equivelants of Dovecot, Hillside and Speke... utopian ideals of the TCPA!
 

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Tony Sebo said:
I'm going to report you to ICOMOS!

Actually there are two intersting elements in that report Johnposted and the motives driving these anti demolition folk.

many of the groups are not anti demolition on heritage grounds as such, but that what is being wiped out is the infrastructure of a good urban neighbourhood that will be lost along with the housees. There is still a huge anti city bias within the planing and design professions that suburban 'homesteading' is the idea and so they try to build as near to that as possible.

the report posted says as much, but I particularly like this one
"Development came to be increasingly restricted, so that everywhere controls were imposed to prevent what was labelled `urban sprawl' – a settlement pattern that we now know provides the best foundations for an environmentally friendly and healthy lifestyle"

It then descends into some embarrassingly subjective stuff about theft and keeping people out.

What they propose is completely the opposite direction to what cities need..... we do not see continued urbanisation, what we actually witness is the ongoing anti urbanisation..... environmentally devastating and car based development that damages cities as much as it does the countryside.

Essentially they recommends that we continue to strip populations from 'crowded' districts and put them in modern equivelants of Dovecot, Hillside and Speke... utopian idels of the TCPA!
The reports gave the results of a survey. Most people don't want to live in flats, yet flats are being built in suburban settings, so we don't expand on subsidised empty green fields.

Flats are fine in centres and the likes – they are perfect and suit many people and their lifestyle. I knew one man who had a small house in the town he worked in and a flat at the coast. People said he was irresponsible. He said I could have one big house or two small homes in different locations – I know people in Chicago who have flats in the centre and homes out by the lakes. The UK can have as many so-called holiday/weekend homes as it wants, as only 7.5% of the land is settled – if London, Liverpool, Glasgow and every town village and city was doubled in size the settled area would still only be 15% of the land. This would create many jobs too. The UK has a land surplus, we are not short of land at all despite propaganda saying the opposite - read Who Own Britain by Kevin Cahill. In short, people can have the best of both urban and country

As much as many of us hate it, the cars is here to stay and environments designed to cater for them are much more pleasing and practical – Milton Keynes does this wonderfully and is the model of many planners world-wide. A grid road system with no homes on the grid road system, with trees and bushes hiding the suburbs behind – traffic speeds up to 60-70mph on the grid. In each cell of the grid is a suburb which tend to be like a village in itself, greenery, parks, lakes traffic calming measures – many were existing villages. That idiot Prince Charles has parts of Dorchester laid out in a Victorian fashion – him being the Lord of the Manor and his plebs in tiny congested homes around him indicates the mentality of the fool. There are always problems with parking and neighbour disputes.

We do not have de-urbanisation at all. We have the opposite. We have a highly urbanised country, more so than any other in the western world. We have a split country, where city kids know nothing of the British countryside as they are effectively kept out. As a Liverpool 8 kid I know sweet FA of the English countryside. There was nowhere I could just walk out into it. We wee holed up in an urban hellhole that resembled a war zone.

"The vast majority of the British people have no right whatsoever to their native land save to walk the streets or trudge the roads.
- Henry George

"Stop to consider how the so-called owners of the land got hold of it. They simply seized it by force, afterwards hiring lawyers to provide them with title-deeds. In the case of the enclosure of the common lands, which was going on from about 1600 to 1850, the land-grabbers did not even have the excuse of being foreign conquerors; they were quite frankly taking the heritage of their own countrymen, upon no sort of
pretext except that they had the power to do so."
- George Orwell.

Who ordained that the few should have the land of Britain as a perquisite; who made 10,000 people owners of the soil, and the rest of us trespassers in the land of our birth?
- David Lloyd George

The land, the earth that God gave to man for his home, his sustenance and support, should never be the possession of any man, corporation, society or unfriendly government, any more than the air or water - if as much. An individual or enterprise requiring land should hold no more in their own right than is needed for their home and sustenance, and never more than they have in actual use in the prudent management of their legitimate business, and this much should not be permitted when it creates an exclusive monopoly. All that is not so used should be held for the free use of every family to make homesteads, and to hold them so long as they are occupied. A reform like this will be worked out some time in the future. "
- Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865):

"Except for the few surviving commons, the high roads, the lands of the National Trust, and the sea shore below the high-tide mark, every square inch of England is 'owned' by a few thousand families. These people are just about as useful as so many tapeworms. It is desirable that people should own their own dwelling houses, and it is probably desirable that a farmer should own as much land as he can actually farm. But the ground-landlord in a town area has no function and no excuse for existence. He is merely a person who has found a way of milking the public while giving nothing in return. He causes rents to be higher, he makes town planning more difficult, and he excludes children from green spaces: that is literally all that he does, except to draw his income"
- George Orwell

Now what had the landowner done for the community; what enterprise had he shown; what service had he rendered; what capital had he risked in order that he should gain this enormous multiplication of the value of his property! I will tell you in one word what he had done. Can you guess it! Nothing.
- Winston Churchill

The report correctly says: “"We are living in crowded and dense cities, not a crowded and urbanised country". It does not enter into the land ownership question which is fundament to quality of life, the economy and just about every aspect that effects us.
 

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Tony Sebo said:
Essentially they recommend that we continue to strip populations from 'crowded' districts and put them in modern equivelants of Dovecot, Hillside and Speke... utopian ideals of the TCPA!
The TCPA tend to be in favour of market forces, and it is for this reason that they tend to prefer lower density, suburban-style development. Their view is that if most consumers want to live in houses with gardens in pleasant, open areas then there is little point adopting planning policy that forces people to do the opposite.

Ask people with families where they'd sooner live: lower density, suburban areas, in semi (or) detached homes with gardens near decent schools. Or in terraced/high rise housing in more built-up, urban areas. Over 99% will opt for the former. Here lies the problem for the future of Britain's cities. Apart from young professionals, more well-off and retired culture buffs, and those in the gay and lesbian community, most people do not want to live in cities and either don't realise or don't care whether this is unsustainable.- this is the market!

This makes it difficult to persuade developers to build decent family housing in central areas, and this is why they usually build 1 and 2 bedroom apartments (which are themselves very expensive.) To get families into the centre there will need to be a massive building programme of literally thousands and thousands of very large, high quality and secure dwellings near decent schools and with adequate, private outdoor space. There will need to be thousands to make it worth while for developers and affordable for families.

British people, particularly those with or planning to have families, are obsessed with suburbia.
 

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"The report correctly says: “"We are living in crowded and dense cities, not a crowded and urbanised country". It does not enter into the land ownership question which is fundament to quality of life, the economy and just about every aspect that effects us."

But we are not. Our cities are not overcrowded... in places like Liverpool vast swathes are underdeveloped and with population levels and density at a dysfunctional level.

Blabbs points were right about the 'market' situation though, the only way people will ever be attracted to live in different modes is for us to build some proper urban districts and let people see for themselves, the ONLY way.

We could make it extremely expensive to maintain a suburban life by tolling roads, putting fuel up 10x etc but this will not be done. It is important to note though that the dysfuntionality of suburbs are plain to see in places like I mentioned before... when people do not have access to subsidies and sufficient incomes to mask deficiencies... that is why perfectly sound housing on estates across the inter war suburbs are being deserted... you cannot live in them without the financial or state aided means to mitigate the disadvantages!

Issues of land ownership are different issues... the basic pattern of urban development has a simple logic... density may intensify bu small towns in Europe conform to the same patterns and 'logic' as the bigger cities.. more sustainable, and we can argue, as we go to these places on holiday... more amenable... Has anybody ever been to Cantril Farm on a package tour?
 

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Blabbernsmoke said:
Ask people with families where they'd sooner live: lower density, suburban areas, in semi (or) detached homes with gardens near decent schools. Or in terraced/high rise housing in more built-up, urban areas. Over 99% will opt for the former. Here lies the problem for the future of Britain's cities.
Chicago has a wall to wall high rise financial district. The zone ends and the other side of the road virtually low rise suburbs start. It seems to work.

This makes it difficult to persuade developers to build decent family housing in central areas, and this is why they usually build 1 and 2 bedroom apartments (which are themselves very expensive.) To get families into the centre there will need to be a massive building programme of literally thousands and thousands of very large, high quality and secure dwellings near decent schools and with adequate, private outdoor space. There will need to be thousands to make it worth while for developers and affordable for families.
Firstly, flats are cheap to build, as so much is packed onto one plot. Family homes can be terraced 3 high town houses with a garage on the ground floor, garden out the rear. These really do work and can increase density quite easily. A digression: British building regs are very poor on sound insulation and this should be upgraded ASAP, to improve the quality of life in terraces and flats.

British people, particularly those with or planning to have families, are obsessed with suburbia.
Because the maligned and despised suburbia works.
 

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Getting back on topic, here's the results for the whole city.

Ellesmere Port & Neston - LAB Hold - LAB 27, CON 13, LD 2
Halton - LAB Hold - LAB 35, LD 14, CON 7
Knowsley - LAB Hold - LAB 52, LD 11
Liverpool - LD Hold - LD 59, LAB 27, LIB 3, GRN 1
Sefton - NOC Hold - LD 26, LAB 21, CON 19
St Helens - NOC Hold - LAB 23, LD 19, CON 6
West Lancs - CON Hold - CON 29, LAB 25
Wirral - NOC Hold - LAB 26, CON 21, LD 18, UKIP 1
 

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Tony Sebo said:
"The report correctly says: “"We are living in crowded and dense cities, not a crowded and urbanised country". It does not enter into the land ownership question which is fundament to quality of life, the economy and just about every aspect that effects us."

But we are not. Our cities are not overcrowded... in places like Liverpool vast swathes are underdeveloped and with population levels and density at a dysfunctional level.
Cities ARE overcrowded, the facts do not tell lies. Some facts:

SOME FACTS:

* The UK has 60 million acres of land in total – 1 acre for each person.
* 70% of the land is owned by 0.66% of the population.
* Just 6,000 or so landowners - mostly aristocrats, but also large institutions and the Crown - own about 40 million acres, two thirds of the UK.
* Britain's top 20 landowning families have bought or inherited an area big enough to swallow up the entire counties of Kent, Essex and Bedfordshire, with more to spare.
* Big landowners measure their holdings by the square mile; the average Briton living in a privately owned property has to exist on 340 square yards.
* Each home pays £550/ann. on average in council tax while each landowning home receives £12,169/ann. in subsidies. The poor subsidising the super rich. In Ireland where land redistribution occurred, there is no council tax.
* A building plot, the land, now constitutes between half to two- thirds of the cost of a new house.
* 60 million people live in 24 million "dwellings".
* These 24 million dwellings sit on approx 4.4 million of “settled” acres (7.7% of the land).
* Of the 24 million dwellings, 11% owned by private landlords and 65% privately owned.
* 19 million privately owned homes, inc gardens, sit on 5.8% of the land.
* Average dwelling has 2.4 people in it.
* 77% of the population of 60 million (projected to be more in new census) live on only 5.8% of the land, about 3.5 million acres (total 60 million).
* Agriculture only accounts for a paltry 3% of the economy, yet consumes 70% of the land. We could afford to virtually get rid of it and import cheap food from elsewhere. We in reality, with subsidies, support a country lifestyle for the chosen few.
* Average density of people on one residential acre is 12 to 13.
* 10.9 million homes carries a mortgage of some kind.
* Average value of an acre of development land is £404,000. High in south east of £704,154, low in north east of £226,624. London is in a category of its own.
* Reservations of land have been place by builders to a value of 37 billion to build the 3-4 million homes required. The land reserved is almost wholly owned by aristocrats; with none of it on the land registry. This land is coming out of subsidised rural estates, land held by off-shore trusts and companies and effectively untaxed.

The above money figures are from 2001, and would have risen since.

The failure to re-distribute land in the UK is one of the prime factors why the UK under-performed during most of the 20th century. The artificial land shortage in the UK ramps up land prices, seriously affecting the availability and quality of homes, commercial space, etc. Under 0.66% of the population own 70% of the land, something you expect from a third world dictatorship -- an absolute disgrace in a modern educated country. This situation led the Sunday Times editorial on the publishing of the first UK "Rich List" to equate the UK with a banana republic.

Blabbs points were right about the 'market' situation though, the only way people will ever be attracted to live in different modes is for us to build some proper urban districts and let people see for themselves, the ONLY way.
That makes sense.

We could make it extremely expensive to maintain a suburban life by tolling roads, putting fuel up 10x etc but this will not be done. It is important to note though that the dysfuntionality of suburbs are plain to see in places like I mentioned before... when people do not have access to subsidies and sufficient incomes to mask deficiencies... that is why perfectly sound housing on estates across the inter war suburbs are being deserted... you cannot live in them without the financial or state aided means to mitigate the disadvantages!
The private suburbs do not have the problems at all of public owned estates.

Issues of land ownership are different issues... the basic pattern of urban development has a simple logic... density may intensify bu small towns in Europe conform to the same patterns and 'logic' as the bigger cities.. more sustainable, and we can argue, as we go to these places on holiday... more amenable... Has anybody ever been to Cantril Farm on a package tour?
Who wants to live in the dense centre of a city? Single people, childless people, older people, etc. NOT families for obvious reasons.

It will be a case of the young man living in a flat then selling and buying a house in the suburbs when a family is planned. Or sort out land ownership and planning and let the market sort itself out. Advocating dense centres is social engineering. I personally want no restrictions where anyone can build – next to industrial estates, national parks and special areas like the Lakes, etc, excepted, but the rest should have no restrictions whatsoever. The land is to be used for the benefit of the people, not to keep a few aristocrats stinking rich.

We are now in the time of the autonomous off-the-grid house. Properly designed and built it needs:

- no heating or cooling system
- small Combined Heat and Power units provide electricity and heat for hot water.
- PV cells on the roof can provide much electricity,
- mobile phones mean no telephone land lines,
- septic tanks or reed beds means no sewers,
- water can be delivered into a stainless steel tank,
- ultra low energy appliances are already here.

People now no longer need be attached to urban communities to obtain basic utilities. Fast comms make hoemworking much easier fior millions. This is great flexibility for individuals and developers who are then not tied to existing communities and services.

We should have a situation where people can have two homes, one city one rural/suburban, or dense cities and spread out communities outside the centres - local centres could also be dense.

That is why making a dense city on water out of Liverpool’s waterways makes sense, as whether we like it or not low rise spacious suburbs and homes further out and remote will only become more popular. What will attract people to a waterbound city is the shear quality of life and just the attractiveness of such an environment. Liverpool may end up with a dense, hopefully attractive, waterways city on the riverbanks and not much else further inland.

I personally would like to live in the sticks and have an apartment in Liverpool’s dock waterways. The best of both.
 
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