Toxteth no better 25 years on

A report by a regional newspaper into the Toxteth area of Liverpool, 25 years on from a popular uprising in the area that shook the city, has found that promises to invest heavily from the government

Submitted by Freedom on June 24, 2006

The Liverpool Echo, which investigated official records at both local and national level to obtain an overall view of how the socially deprived area has fared, said: “Toxteth is still being crushed under the weight of socio-economic inequality. When it comes to unemployment, deprivation, health and education the area is always towards the bottom of the pile.

”And, perhaps most importantly, those who live in Toxteth feel left behind and are still waiting for promises made a quarter of a century ago to be fulfilled.”

A litany of statistics showing high unemployment, poor living standards and low life expectancies have shown that over the last two and a half decades, little has been done to remedy the area’s problems.

The report found, among other things:
- Standard mortality rates far above the city average, and at 2.5 times the national average.
- Unemployment of 20.4% in the Granby area, and only 25% of residents in Princes Park area in full time employment.
- 72% of local children grow up with benefits as their main source of income
- 51% of the workforce has no qualifications.

Toxteth, which has a huge number of houses lying empty as the area has spiraled into greater poverty is currently part of a major scheme to knock down much of the old housing and replace it with a new estate, under a plan linked to the national ‘Decent Homes Standard’, which has begun to displace some of the poorest communities in the country to make room for new build housing.

According to Cllr Warren Bradley, leader of Liverpool City Council: “The architecture, cultural mix of people and its close proximity to the city centre make the Granby area one of the most attractive and up and coming parts of Liverpool and the high level of investment in the area reflects this.”

Although the area itself remains one of the poorest in Liverpool, its positioning is highly desirable, and a major project, the ‘Granby Toxteth regeneration framework’ is currently in development.

It seems to have backing from the main Registered Social Landlords (RSLs) in the area, who have repeatedly refused requests by local people to buy empty properties on their books.

One local chartered surveyor, submitting information to the then-housing body the Office of the deputy Prime Minister two years ago, cited extensive evidence that there was a high demand for the existing housing, which is being artificially being depressed by the actions of local RSLs, thus giving a justification for the regeneration scheme.

- Rob Ray -