Mary Rhodes asks whether the Government has abandoned Stoke. And on the anniversary of the Coventry Blitz, the Cathedral reveals the stained glass saved from destruction.
Browse content similar to 14/11/2011. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!
Tonight, the consequences of getting your sums wrong. Did people
in Stoke-on-Trent lease their homes because somebody couldn't add up?
You come out through your front door and what have you got? An
empty building site. What can we do? We are stuck.
The police are giving safety advice. 100 days after the riots, the
roving reporter who went into the thick of it finds out if the
Community is bouncing back I want to find out why this happened and
if anything has been done to stop it happening again.
On the anniversary of the Coventry blitz we have got a special report
from the cathedral. This is Inside Out for the West
First, could it be possible hundreds of homes in Stoke-on-Trent
were knocked down because somebody got their sums wrong? We have been
added up the figures and talking to some of the people displaced by
demolition in a programme that was meant to regenerate the city. Marc
Glover Jones used to live in Stoke- on-Trent, and didn't want to move,
but the council decided to demolish the streets around two men are
planted jeep -- regenerate the city. He left when vandals started at
setting light to homes and the pigeons moved in next door. When we
first moved there it was every the cookhouse, the neighbours looked
after each other, any problems were dealt with, be the well-built,
really nice. Didn't want to live anywhere else. He now lives in a
tall, thin, three-storey house that he and his wife did like as much
with' Rusty windows, the kitchen needs replacing. He owned his old
house but the council have a 30% stake in the new one, because he
couldn't get a mortgage. When he walks past the derelict land he
once lived he has little confidence in the future.
Stoke will never improve because things never change, the same
problems happened time and time again. They are not houses down and
do nothing with the land. It ends up wasteland.
A short walk from his old terraced house is this Street. While one
side of the road is still standing the other side has been knocked
down or boarded up, leaving bits of wallpaper flapping in the wind.
Behold regeneration programme stalled halfway through a 15 year
plan when the coalition government came in and stop the money. It has
left people like Florence Walker in limbo, living in a bizarre
landscape. I spend a fortune on my house over
the years. Luckily my house is stopping. But the only thing this,
if you look round the area, it is not a nice area. It looks like a
living they reached. -- I lived in Beirut. Demolition and compulsory
purchases began under Labour to bring the loads -- local have in
store up to standard. Many properties were cold and damp.
A falling population meant one in 10 was a lift in while others
belonged to landlords who rented the mat to a transient population.
It was an attempted to breathe life into the city which had been long
neglected. Stoke has had 30 years of decline.
We have not been able to arrest that but we have been able to take
the edge off. In future we will not be able to do that. We are looking
at the kind without government support and a managed decline.
In the face of bleak predictions of a total housing market collapse, it
was knocking whole streets full of houses down the best way forward? A
few weeks ago Prince Charles visited Stoke-on-Trent and ask the
council or why they were pulling down Victorian heritage homes?
Could the answer be somewhere somebody couldn't add up? We have
been doing some number-crunching on the options costed before homes
were demolished here in Slater Street. They included comprehensive
renovation or demolition. We have discovered in an assessment for
renovation a positive figure representing the increased market
value of renovated homes was actually added to the costs when it
should have been taken away. That made renovation appear �14 million
more expensive than it actually was. The council points out the mistake
was noted in the 2006 public inquiry, but the inspector came out
in favour -- favour of clearance having decided the future value of
homes can be them predicted adding householders can be forced to
renovate them anyway. We have spoken to experts who say you
cannot do a financial assessment without taking the benefits into
account as well as the costs. One even did the sums again, finding
more mistakes and showing that even if you discount the increase market
value figure renovation would still have been �9 million cheaper. In
middle port Ted Owen campaigned to keep the old streets, demolishing
only those beyond repair. I think Renew had a wonderful opportunity
with the money they have got to invest in a community in the wake
of refurbishment. We had it all costed out. He would have cost
something in the region of �20,000 per property. And to demolish some
of it, to open up the area, to refurbish another set of Coronation
Streets if you like, that was the weight it batch that was the way
forward. -- that was the way forward. Whatever you did was very
poor. What you did actually was fail. That is what you did. That
For customers of the traditional hole-in-the-wall shop, demolition
has blighted lives and destroyed communities. To somebody who comes
in from outside he wouldn't know what Stoke on Trent is about. It
was about the pottery. Now it is probably known more for the
football club. The community has just gone. It is just derelict here
at the moment. All the space needs filling up. In the middle of a
demolished area the hole in the wall is the last shop selling
oatcakes in the traditional way, through the window of an ordinary
house. It has been handled very poorly. They told us originally it
would be a 15 year plan. Five, seven years down the line, it has
fallen apart. Everybody has jumped ship. At least people like myself
are trying to sort myself out and get myself out of here but I don't
know where to go. At a bit of a loss. You have got to take into
account at the time at which the programme developed and it wasn't
just here, it was across a number of northern cities, particularly in
Stoke-on-Trent, we had 3,000 empty properties and we were losing
population at the rate of 1,000 residents each year so the trend
were going the other way, we were going to have more empty properties
if we didn't do something to stop a complete housing market collapse
that had happened in parts of Manchester and Salford and
Newcastle. We needed to do something quickly to get the
confidence back to developers and residents there we are trying to
deal with the situation, and put something positive from the
investment we can put into it. Before they could finish the
Investment the government stopped the promised money. For Brendan
Nevin it was a vote of no confidence in the area.
Ideologically this government doesn't believe in intervention, he
believes in letting places think or swim. Large parts of the Midlands
and North of England are not competitive. At the moment they are
being left to sink rather than swim. The housing minister turned down
our request for an interview. Instead he issued a statement
denying abandoning Stoke, saying the money was stopped because
renewal wasn't working. He said the government is committed to helping
residents who are stranded in derelict neighbourhoods, and had
announced a �13 million lifeline As the council promises there was
doomed the action in the areas currently left in number, one idea
being put forward by Tom Nocher is to allow local groups to take over
some of the assets and rebuild their communities themselves.
Attracting funding from ethical lenders and government grants.
me another option. We have no housing market, local authority
budgets are eye-watering late high. Developers are up reticent about
investing in these areas, stepping back. We need to think about
creative options. This is what we can test. Realistically, I think it
will be like this in five, 10 years, I don't think anything will have
changed. That is the reason I have suggested we try to work with
groups to do it. Leaving the land bacon like this is perhaps the
worst option. We know it rains public resources. We know for many
bring residents it is not great living adjacent to land like this.
The impotence -- emphasis has to be an doing something.
For people still living with strokes boarded-up streets it may
seem amazing all this could have happened because someone couldn't
add up. Many of them don't have any confidence in the future
mathematical skills of our leaders, both local and national. Ferries
people have told us things. The main one is down to the fact the
value of the land with has not on it than with a house on it. People
are set to make a lot of money. Unfortunately we are in the way.
They should get their priorities right. Make it a decent area like
it was before. Not keep saying we are going to do this, do that. And
get nothing done. Everybody makes these decisions, not one of them
have to live with it 24 hours a day. We have to.
You can join in the debate on BBC Radio Stoke tomorrow morning, full
details on our Facebook page. You can also lead your comments.
It is 100 days this week since the Birmingham riots. He can forget the
presenter from Sangat TV he drove right into the thick of it?
I don't care if I lose my life, at the end of the day it is about
humility, it is ridiculous what is happening.
Now he is back with a report for Inside Out, and we are asking how
Birmingham is my home, I love this city. But for two days in August
anarchy reigned. It was a place I didn't recognise. I was here when
it happened, reporting live. It is like a small war zone at the moment.
It is really bad. The police are giving the safety advice. The
images we filmed were beamed into They have got him. 100 years --
days on, I want to find out why this has happened and if anything
has been done to stop it happening again. I joined at the police as
they tried to track down those Sangat TV is broadcast from the
back room of a house in Birmingham. It is a satellite channel for
Britain's Sikh community. Until recently, this was its only news
programme but on 8th August, all Good evening. A large-scale police
operation is under way tonight after a series of violent
disturbances... After news came in of the riots, we grabbed the
cameras and a hit the road. I went live on television for the very
first time. Do not let your children out. It is really bad. My
aim was to tell them to stay safe. This is what is happening, please
make sure you do not come out and look after your property and your
children. Stay out of trouble. They are running.
We were first on the scene, beating the big networks to it. The
community station became a rolling news channel and soon we became
part of the story. When we saw a police officer running after a
group of young men, we offered him This is what we need to do, the
community. The police are protecting us and doing their job...
We filmed the arrest and won plaudits at the highest level.
me praise Sangat TV who helped the police to catch a criminal. But
that was an exercise in social responsibility by that media
organisation. 100 days on, I am meeting the officer who grabbed a
lift with us tonight at the squat where he made the arrest. This is
the first time I have seen him since. How do you do? Pleasure. It
is good to see you. It was one of those strange things. We never got
the chance to have a talk afterwards. I am under no doubts,
he would have got away if they have not helped. We might still have
been looking for him now, three months on. He was right here, my
colleagues and I managed to detain him, arrested him, right there and
then. At that point, it was get him into the van, into custody, and
deal with it later. It was only after that that we got the chance
to sit down and think, those guys it did me a favour. They held the
catch that guy. You could couldn't ask for anything more than that.
don't care if I lose my life. At the end of the day, it is about
humanity. It is very emotional. It is ridiculous what transient... It
was a frightening time and even now I have no idea why people laid
siege to their own communities. Dr Patrick Tissington has an
explanation. He is a psychologist from Aston University who studies
people's behaviour during crisis. It is interesting. There is a man
there who has just tried to kick in the door. There is a big grin on
his face. He is not normally allowed to do that sort of thing.
He has done it and no one has stopped him. In that moment, what
he is sharing is a very powerful gesture, it to say, I can do what
ever I like. It is only that -- when the rest of the crowd realise
it is open, they going to see what they can take. They do not take
very much, they're not really about stealing the property. What do they
are about his power. Being able to get away with things they would not
normally be able to. The rioters were not just after a big-screen
televisions. Many were also after power and status. What they did was
criminal and wrong and it led to I watched Abdul Qudoos agreed but
for his two brothers who were hit by a car while at protecting the
community from looters. He has lost his life. He was somebody's brother,
somebody's son. It was heartbreaking to watch. This was my
community too. That gives me the strength... Days later there was a
peace rally, designed to bring people together after the riots and
prevent a backlash. When I saw Abdul Qudoos there, I embraced him.
He told me that our communities must stay together. Has that piece
lasted? It is a question I want to ask Mohammed Abbasi who helped
organise the rally. There was a lot of tension after the events on
Dudley Road. Things seemed to calm down a lot. Rather than Asian and
black people being at each other's throats, we have come together in
many areas. I think people are making a lot more effort, not just
a amongst the black and Asian communities, but the wider society.
I am proud that communities across the West Midlands have responded so
well to the riots. It does not stop there. I have heard people helping
shopkeepers too. I am on my way to meet one of the worst affected
shopkeepers be during the riots. Let us see how he is coping. Ajay
Bhatia has spent years building up his business but in less than a
minute it was torn apart. We were really so low at that time. I was
planning to close the business. The first six weeks, it was so, so bad.
I was running around like a headless chicken, talking to people,
how are we going to get the money? What is going to happen? The bills
are piling up. Eventually, Britain responded. Ajay Bhatia had a royal
visit and receive financial help from businesses, the council and
members of the public. The response saved his business. After about 40-
60 days, things started to happen. Things are getting better, day-by-
day. What about the rioters themselves? What happened to them?
The hunt for them goes on. This morning, I am joining the police
for an early-morning raid as they tried to arrest more rioters.
Police! Show yourselves. Birmingham, I watched the police
stormed a flat and arrest a suspected looter. It is part of the
biggest police investigation in the West Midlands for more than 30
years. So far, they have made more than 600 arrests. This is exactly
the results I wanted. This is what the police are doing as well. It is
brilliant. It is good to see that they are not giving up. Whether it
is 100 days, another hundred days, they are not going to get away pull
stop -- get away. 100 days since the burning and
riots. 14th November is always something of a sombre night in
Coventry as it marks the anniversary of the terrible night
when large parts of the city were flattened during World War Two.
This evening, a special event is under way at the cathedral which
attempts to look to the future. 71 years ago today, Coventry
suffered a ferocious attack. Waves of German aircraft targeted be city
in one of Britain's worst night of bombing during the Second World War.
It was a long, brutal bombardment which left more than 500 people
dead and much of the city centre in ruins. Coventry survived, and
rebuild itself and today, few obvious signs remain of what
happened back then. There is one. Coventry's old cathedral was the
most shocking, highest profile victim of the bombing raid. Today
its shattered medieval ruins still stand as a striking witness of the
city's darkest night. After more than 70 years, the walls of this
old place are starting to fall apart. Its future is under threat.
I think this site is far too important to lose and capable of
achieving more than it does today. Let me show you why I think it
Old St Michaels was built towards the end of the Middle Ages and was
originally a grand parish church. In fact, it had only been a
cathedral for just over 20 years when the bombers struck. Now, what
is left is starting to show its age. Where is the crack? When did it
happen? It appeared to us in early September... The stonework is
cracking and that is expensive to repair. There is a strong feeling
that these ruins cannot be allowed to crumble because of what they
represent. The ruins stand as something quite powerful, a
reminder of war, its costs, the human tragedy of it. Therefore, we
have a potential here to continue to develop that been on the site,
not just about 1940, but about the ongoing human cost of war among
civilian populations. The cathedral authorities want to preserve this
place as a monument to war victims in Coventry and far beyond. Old St
Michaels is certainly a striking memorial. These ruins have another
valuable role to play. They can help us understand more about the
history and people of this city. The Cripps are down here? You can
see the two doors... -- the crypts. After the war, the cryptics were
sealed off. Now they have been opened up, revealing a hidden part
of the city. Here we are in the second crypt. It is an amazing
space. We know there is another crypt through there. And then there
is that? This is very interesting. It is full of rubble, we think from
the November Blitz. We think -- we think this crypt was used as a skip.
What do we know about it? We know nothing. There is no record. No
photographs. We do not know the size of it on anything. What would
we gain, what could the excavation of this area and its presentation
tell us? About the wealth and investment by the wealthy Coventry
merchants into this great apparent Church -- parish church and why it
is so big and why we can see from the position of this chapel that it
was actually quite a small church when it first started. This was
standing on its own. It is a story of the success of Coventry in the
late medieval period. That is a story too few people know. It has
been forgotten. Old St Michaels can give us a glimpse of commentary in
the late Middle Ages. But there is more. It can also shed a multi-
coloured light on the city's artistic past. In the Middle Ages,
church architecture was a -- with large Gothic windows and the
stained glass was an expensive form of art. It told been story of
common life. One of the greatest of all of the British Dane Karsten --
stained-glass artist came from Coventry. His name was John
Thornton. Thornton is probably best known for the stunning great east
window at York Minster. His stained glass also adorned Old St Michaels.
What few people realise is that much of it survives, or because
someone had the bright idea to remove it before the war. The
windows were dismantled into more than 2500 pieces, a treasure Hove -
- treasure-trove of glass that was forgotten for years. Now we can put
the puzzle back together. You have got all kinds of faces here. That
would seem to be John the Baptist. A but Saints, with their haloes.
Ladies, in contemporary dress will stop bearded men as well. All of
the life, the character, the people from the late Middle Ages, when
Coventry were at its peak, are still here to be met. If indeed.
This is a very important aspect of commentary's heritage which to date
has not been very well publicised. It is not often that you can get as
close as this to pieces of art, glass art, which were produced in
the Middle Ages. What would the value be to the City of Coventry if
this class was cleaned, understood, publicised and put on display?
would make Coventry a centre where class of great importance could be
viewed by all those who are interested in all areas of up art
history. It would even be a tourist attraction for the City as a whole.
Old St Michaels can tell us a great deal about Coventry's recent and
distant past. It has so much to offer, such potential to be useful
and inspiring. We should not allow this to slip away. That is why
today a campaign is being launched to raise a million pounds for this
historic site. Old St Michaels and what it stands sport cannot be lost.
But with a shared funding, protection, opening it up to the
public, we can optimise and make it useful and then these ruins will
become a gift for future You can see a special report on it
tonight's events at the cathedral on BBC Midlands today at 10:25pm.
That is all for now. During the next week.
On that next week's programme... Eventually, when you hit the edge
of the water, beak abroad will react. After one of the driest
Has Stoke-on-Trent been abandoned by the government? Mary Rhodes reports on the city of six towns which has struggled to get back on its feet since the 1970s and asks whether the boarded up houses and derelict sites of Stoke will ever come back to life or if the city is destined for failure. And on the anniversary of the Coventry Blitz, the Cathedral reveals the hidden medieval stained glass saved from destruction, as the ruins make the World Monuments fund watch list for 2012.