Friday, 12 August 2011

Memo to PM

"...the look of many city centres has improved beyond all recognition as a direct result of urban regeneration policies. Yet it still only takes five minutes to walk from the sparkling Liverpool One shopping complex to the first block of boarded-up flats. The shopping centre provides low-paying jobs in an environment that encourages high spending, and does nothing to stimulate the local economies of nearby areas.
"We can't ignore what geographers such as Danny Dorling have been stating for years. Polarisation between rich and poor areas, as much as between rich and poor people, has been increasing since the 70s, in large part because regeneration projects have not been able to make good the simple fact that wages and employment prospects at the bottom have collapsed while those at the top have gone through the roof."

As I walk through the streets and parks of poor areas of London I can only feel that their state betokens a kind of contempt among the 'enabled' classes for their residents, and that  the rescuing of these environments must be beyond their residents' capacities. I can only wonder what they feel when they travel to the well manicured environs of Kensington or Notting Hill.