Friday, April 11, 2008

Kirkby Nan's Planning War!

Which plan do you prefer?

Option One: Kirkby grandmother and retired laundry worker Dot Reid plus loads of her neighbours get chucked out of their homes, which are then demolished to make way for yet another Tesco, some more shops, and a new stadium for Everton FC.

Option Two: Tesco CEO and scouser when it suits him Sir Terry Leahy gets slung out of his luxury home in Hertfordshire, which is then demolished to make way for a community garden with water features and a kiosk for pensioners.

Well both these planning applications are officially being considered by local authorities at the moment - the first by Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council, and the second by Welwyn Hatfield Council.

Dot Reid submitted her application a week ago, retaliating against Tesco's campaign to make her homeless. She told the Daily Post that “I do not want my home knocking down for a superstore and a football stadium, but that is what will happen if the plans get passed.

“I thought how would Sir Terry and his family feel if their home was being threatened? That is why I put in an application to knock his house down.

“I am appalled our homes are under threat. It would mean the break-up of a happy community.

“I have not had any proper consultation over these plans and if I was asked, the answer would be: ‘I am not moving and you are not knocking down my home’.”

Tesco have contemptuously dismissed Mrs Reid’s application as a “publicity stunt”. They can do that because they know the legal process is loaded against working class people, and that big business can use its financial muscle and political connections to get its way.

The destruction of working class Merseyside homes in the name of 'regeneration' is not unique to Kirkby. Similar fights are also going on in Toxteth and Edge Lane and Kensington. In fact they're going on all over the world. These struggles need to link up not only with each other, but everyone fighting against the effects of the profit system, if they are to succeed in the long term.
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