After 6 years of denial the Mayor has finally recognised the importance of our World Heritage Status after 6 years saying it was just a ‘plaque on the wall of the Town Hall’
So, after 6 years attacking us Joe Anderson has finally realised the importance of our World Heritage Status. In 2011 the Labour Party put out a newspaper throughout the City which criticised me personally and the Lib Dems generally for defending the World Heritage Status gained by the Lib Dems in 2006. They claimed it would cost the City 6,000+ jobs because we were threatening the Liverpool Waters development (what development you might ask!). Mayor Anderson described it then and used the expression many times in attacks on us as, ‘just a plaque on the wall in the Town Hall’.
We welcome his U-turn because now, faced with the reality of losing the status he has seen the light. Like me he does not want to see the City being awarded a pariah status of a handful of places which have had the award removed. The buildings in our commercial district plus all the 50 conservation areas make Liverpool unique. They make a vibrant city that understands and treasures its past and wants to use that past as a foundation for its future. I’ve seen people from many Countries being wooed by our buildings. They provide a worthy back drop for our arts and culture offer which is such a huge tourist draw and makes our City so great to live in.
It’s not just the iconic Pier Head but the other 980 listed buildings. Let’s not forget those conservation areas. They remind us that Liverpool is a City made up of villages. I can walk from my house to Penny Lane and walk alongside dry-stone walls that were used 200 years ago to delineate the old field system of our area.
But whilst the Mayor has taken years to stagger to this conclusion much damage has been done. We have allowed too much low-quality, high rise building in our City Centre. Buildings like Heap’s Mill have been allowed to deteriorate. Our Lime Street area has been ruined by the inappropriate development taking place there.
As we look to the future Peel’s Liverpool Waters scheme, which promises much but delivers little must now be reviewed. It alone is a major threat to the Status.
We must now use the campaign to keep the World Heritage Status to drive up the standards of architectural development in the City so that the ‘jewels’ in our crown’ can be joined by more buildings that will in 100 years’ time leave residents and visitors alike saying, ‘what a wonderful city’.
We can also take the opportunity to look at the numbers and types of buildings that we need. There is clearly now an overhang in the market with too much flat and student accommodation. We can now look at what we do need rather than what developers, some of whom are just exploiting the good name of the city, think they can make a big profit out of.
These are the tasks that should be considered by the new group of elder statesmen established by the Mayor. I hope they rise to the challenge and that the Mayor is then prepared to do what is necessary to keep the City’s status intact.
ARE THERE TWO JOE ANDERSONS? MY WORRIED LETTER TO THE LIVERPOOL ECHO!! WE MUST BE TOLD