We’re paying councils to pull down council houses

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Re: City in Homes Crisis, March 10, 2015.

Can we please be spared the bleatings of Harry Harpham now that the city is facing a housing crisis?

Years ago I watched, with deep reservations, what appeared to be a cynical process, carried out by numerous councillors and officers, of trying to justify the demolition of hundreds of good, solid houses on Parson Cross and Shirecliffe.

During this time, I well remember the very same Harry Harpham bringing David Blunkett to my late brother’s (Brian Wilson of Sheffield Defend Council Housing) house on Shirecliffe and during the conversation, I asked the obvious question: “Why are you demolishing so many solid houses?”

Immediately Harry replied:“I have been in many houses around Shirecliffe and seen water running along the windowsills!”

What an extremely valid reason for bringing in the demolition squad and wreaking misery on a community.

However, the following quote: “We’re paying councils to pull down council houses” (New Labour’s John Prescott on Question Time, July 4, 2002) said it all: Well! Sheffield Council took its 30 pieces of silver but now the homeless are paying the price.

Judging by the attitudes of many taking part in bringing demolition plans to fruition, however, I doubt they will be losing sleep.

I also seem to remember Harry Harpham revelling in the fact that new houses on the Manor had been bought by more affluent people from down south.

Did he conveniently forget that Sheffield was built by the efforts of the workers living on these estates?

How ironic it would be if the new ‘gentry’ repaid him by putting their cross elsewhere, helping keep Labour out of office.

Mary Steele

Deerlands Avenue, Parson Cross, S5