12 May 1969
This is the text of a leaflet circulated today in the Students Union calling on students to attend a mass meeting to support the planned picket of the opening of Senate House. It provides new information following a fruitless meeting between Mr Higby, the University Estates Officer, and Mrs Ethel Singleton of the Abercromby Tenants Association:
REMEMBER THURSDAY’S MASS MEETING?
REMEMBER THE PROMISE MADE BY MR HIGBY, THE UNIVERSITY ESTATES OFFICER?
That the people of Vine Street would be rehoused in 12 months?
THE UNIVERSITY HAS FAILED TO MAKE GOOD ITS WORD.
In a meeting with Mr Higby on Friday evening, Mrs Singleton of the Abercromby Tenants Association was told:
- There is little or no possibility of the tenants of Vine Street being rehoused within 12 months. This contradicts the hopes raised at the Mass Meeting.
- The University has NOT opened negotiations for the purchase of Vine Street. There will be a meeting tonight between the University, the Corporation and the tenants.THIS IS THE FIRST TIME THE UNIVERSITY AND THE CORPORATION HAVE MET TO DISCUSS VINE ST. As a result, the people of Vine St. are likely to be left in an administrative limbo for a great deal longer.
- The University’s resources for rehousing people are drying up. The UGC grant has been exhausted. They only have one house in the suburbs for rehousing purposes at the moment. (This has been offered to Mr and Mrs Smith of 130 Vine St.) SURELY THE UNIVERSITY SHOULD MAKE SURE THAT IT HAS ENOUGH MONEY TO REHOUSE FAMILIES BEFORE IT STARTS BUYING UP MORE PROPERTY?
- The University has been buying houses in the Sefton Park Road area -but has been letting them out to staff members rather than urgent rehousing cases.
The tenants received no satisfaction from the University on Friday evening; the picket goes on.
PICKET SENATE HOUSE ON THURSDAY – PROTEST ABOUT HOUSING CONDITIONS, UNIVERSITY SLUM OWNERSHIP AND IRRESPONSIBLE SPENDING PRIORITIES.
THE UNIVERSITY AS A SLUM LANDLORD – The University owns 130 slum houses in the University precinct area. They have been purchased for development plans. They are all in a terrible state of physical decay – in desperate need of repair. Indeed, some are beyond repair.
These are extracts from an official University report, prepared last December:
8 Melville Place: occupied by Mrs Kynaston and daughter. In extremely dilapidated condition. Serious damp penetration in all rooms. With extensive plaster failure, including one area of very dangerous plaster failure over the staircase in eminent (sic) danger of collapse. All windows in back of house have been broken through vandalism. Roof in very bad condition,with loose slates. Front chimney stack dangerous.”
Mrs Kynaston has since been rehoused, but had lived for 8 years in these conditions. THE UNIVERSITY ADMITS IT!
50 Melville Place: occupied by Mr and Mrs Singleton and three children. Dangerous chimney stacks and serious fractures at rear. THIS PROPERTY IS CONSIDERED VERY DANGEROUS WITH THE POSSIBILITY OF SUDDEN COLLAPSE.
The family are still there!
THERE WILL BE A MASS MEETING…THURSDAY 12.30…CHILDWALL ROOM…UNION FIRST FLOOR…THIS IS AN IMPORTANT ISSUE FOR ALL STUDENTS OF LIVERPOOL UNIVERSITY.
YOUR UNIVERSITY IS A SLUM LANDLORD.
Footnote from the future (2009)
Go here for a map showing the location of the streets where the University and the City Council owned slum properties.