Great British sell-off: how desperate councils bought £nine.1bn of public assets
Bureau for Investigative Journalism and HuffPost UK studies show greater than £9.1bn really worth of publicly owned assets offloaded to plug gaps left via authorities cuts
Stretford Public Hall is the type of building that embodies the idea of the general public accurately. A staggering, Grade II indexed pink-brick Victorian edifice has served the area people in Trafford, Manchester, in view that 1878.
Home to one of the first libraries in the metropolis, as well as public baths and a civic theatre, it has hosted community celebrations for the give up of each international wars as well as events starting from debates, meetings, plays, and speeches with the aid of anyone from Oswald Mosley to Tony Benn to dances and ancient Rock Against Racism live shows providing the Fall and John Cooper Clarke. In December 2013, Annoushka Deighton, chair of the Friends of Stretford Public Hall, determined thru a news story on Facebook that the cash-strapped nearby council had marketed it – and the maximum probably buyer turned into a “heavyweight” assets developer who wanted to turn it into apartments. “The council had been underneath full-size pressure, because of cuts to their budget, and desired to look what the nice deal they could get for it [was].”
It becomes, Deighton and her neighbors quickly realized, “a tragedy in the making. Once you sell off a construction like that, it’s lost to the community forever. Stretford has completely overlooked a part of quite a rich borough. We had been usually seen as the rubbish cease of the metropolis, the pubs and bars had been all remaining down, there’s little or no social area, and it’s surely looked down on. Directly contrary, the corridor is a 1930s cinema that’s privately owned and hasn’t been open for two decades. If [Stretford Public Hall] had shut as well, it felt like that would be the stop of the city.”