LIVERPOOL – PUBLIC OR PRIVATE?
Last May a BBC reporter was about to interview me on Exchange Flags when a security guard approached saying ‘You can’t do that there ‘ere, this is private property,’ or words to that effect.
The BBC reporter accepted this directive, while assuaging my indignation at being moved from an area that has been publicly owned for centuries.
A recent report confirms that the trend appears to be insidiously seeping into large areas of the city. Take L1: The entire estate is built on private land, owned by a private property corporation called Grosvenor.
Having sold off the land to the private developer (or rather, technically speaking, having granted them a 250-year leasehold of the site), Liverpool City Council has essentially relinquished all control over the development. The bins, street lighting, round-the-clock security team – all are under corporate control. The city centre has effectively been privatised.
Liverpool’s citizens need to be vigilant less they wake up one morning to find our public spaces owned and controlled by an unholy alliance of Peel Holdings and Grosvenor.