Freesteel Blog » So LSOA MSOA!


Friday, October 6th, 2006 at 12:15 pm Written by:

For statistical purposes the country has been divided into small blocks of land called Output Areas. These allow us to look in more detail at smaller local areas. Output Areas have been combined to form two layers of Super Output Areas known as Lower Layer Super Output Areas (LSOAs) and Middle Layer Super Output Areas (MSOAs)
Quoted from here

I live in an area of Liverpool that has been a ‘Neighbourhood Renewal Area’ for a number of years now. There’s a long (more than 20 years) history behind it:
The Granby area of Toxteth had it’s share of rioting back in the 1980’s and also later. It was about mainly black youth being fed up with the police harassing them for no other reasons than their skin colour. I don’t know too much about the housing situation back then. One problem must have been that ‘slum landlords’ neglected the houses, only interested in the rent they could squeeze from people at the bottom rank of the social ladder. People who cared tried to change this by getting the authorities to use compulsory purchase orders (CPO) against irresponsible landlords to take these houses into public ownership and improve living conditions. CPOs had not been used like this before, they were meant for road building, for airports and so on. Now these houses were given to housing associations who gave them to tennants that needed the social welfare system to find somewhere to live. Houses and living conditions were improved.
But over the years the area became more and more a dumping ground for people who were not wanted in other, more afluent, areas of the city. Eventually plans emerged to demolish the whole area and build something new. The housing associations were all for it and stopped using the houses for tennants. Instead the houses were tinned up, after stripping them of pipes, light fittings, toilets, sinks… things that you need to live in a house. Windows were smashed, roof windows left the inside open to the destructive forces of wind, rain and pigeons.
Deteriortation of the area was sped up and with the empty houses came other problems: Squatters, drug abuse, fly tipping…

pic of house in Cairns Street
But times have changed and my neighbourhood is trying to leave the bad reputation it still has, not just in Liverpool, behind. The few neighbours left are really nice people, there is a sense of community. We have window boxes with flowers in front of the houses, including the empty ones. We even won an award in the North West in Bloom competition for Improvement. My neighbour from opposite goes round and clandestinely paints butterflies on to the boarded up windows of empty houses. She calls the tinned up houses voids.
There are now four streets left, and the latest scheme to take away the houses is called Housing Market Renewal Initiative. The people who live here, including me, want to keep their houses. We have to fight the plans of a developer called Lovell, a company liked by Liverpool City Council and chosen to be their preferred developer for Granby Toxteth. The other day was a meeting of the ‘Three Parks Neighbourhood Committee’ where the residents organised in the Granby Residents Association were allowed to make a presentation about the effects the plans already have and will have on us. While trying to find what this committee actually does I came across the quote on top. The meeting went well, we got applause and the councillors present made the right noises signalling that they are sympathetic to our cause. But the decisions are made somewhere higher up, we are waiting for the executive board of the council to approve the plans Lovell has presented. Then the next stage in the fight to keep our houses will start.

1 Comment

  • 1. Martin replies at 8th October 2006, 12:21 pm :

    Over time this issue will become more important, and I decided to start a blog over on blogspot

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