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iPetition For London Road Fire Station

Sign up and force the Britannia's hands

Written by . Published on November 20th 2012.


iPetition For London Road Fire Station

'THIS is a petition against greed, inaction, cynicism and destructiveness caused by the Britannia Group in regard to the ‘Gateway’ to Manchester, the London Road Fire Station.'

So starts the blast of outrage in an iPetition set up to make the Britannia Group act. The idea is get 750 petitioners (there's already 550 of them) to try and force the hand of the council to issue a fresh compulsory purchase order (CPO). 

Confidential supports the idea although feels it's a shame English Heritage were duped by the Britannia Group on the previous occasion.

As we wrote on 6 March this year: 'As a result of the CPO public enquiry, Britannia made a public pledge to return London Road Fire Station to use as a high quality hotel as soon as possible - with the first phase of work starting three months after the rejection of the CPO.' 

Nothing has been started in the way of conversion. Almost a year has passed.

The Britannia Group, led by Alex Langsam, still prevaricates. They appear to be doing this through some twisted notion of vengeance on the council and thus the City of Manchester generally, for having the temerity to pursue a CPO in the first place. The Britannia Group and Langsam have shown themselves to be completely without honour over London Road Fire station.

The result is that this major landmark and listed building, neighbour of Piccadilly Station and the point of arrival for so many visitors, lies derelict and has done so for the thick part of three decades. 

You can sign the petition HERE.

For context you can read our stories here, here and here.

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89 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

Hero
James CunninghamNovember 20th 2012.

Duly signed.. please will more ManCon readers sign this and get this building back into use.. before it is too late!!

1 Response: Reply To This...
Poster BoyNovember 27th 2012.

Another pointless exercise in slacktivism; cue the dreamers and idealists...

Read the findings of the CPO Inspector.

If any lesson has been learnt, it is that Mr. Langsam does not respond to being told what to do.

Everyone’s time and energy (including that of the City Council) would be better served identifying a development manager and an operator who can buy the building so that Britannia can walk away with a big fat profit and recycle the cash into buying existing hotels they can operate elsewhere.

That is, if there is a ready buyer and operator, in the current financial climate.

And if there isn’t, it is not the role of the City Council to fund or purchase unviable private development projects, whether the building is listed or not.

AnonymousNovember 20th 2012.

Thanks so much Joanthan for taking this petition to the next level!

One month ago I was walking by LRFS and just thought I have had enough. Searched for any online petition and there was none! A month later, the momentum is going so strong and all because all of us know Manchester deserves better.

There a rumors of a new CPO, and worse MCC trying to bid off of the scandalous Britannia Group. who have behaved unforgivably over these 26 years (in mine and many opinions).

Even if MCC win CPO, the public must pressure for a world class redevelopment and not a lackluster one. We need to see a multi-purpose space combining private and public functions including an arts centre, museum, restaurant cafe, visitor centre, music venue, retail units, hotel, private flats and offices.

All signs needed and welcome. Stories can be added to new blog, http://t.co/d9IVcQFl

Time to win this appalling case, of neglect, abuse, destruction, ineptitude and greed.

AnonymousNovember 20th 2012.

Sorry for misspellings above! Have been celebrating with a drink for the success of Manchester Confidential taking on!

AnonymousNovember 21st 2012.

Maybe our shiny, new, City Centre MP can get on board with this? Surely she wants the best for Manchester??

rinkydinkNovember 21st 2012.

Thiis is absolutely outrageous. Start a boycott of the Britannia hotel now!

Phil MurphyNovember 21st 2012.

810 now and aiming for 1000. Should smash it.

Adam PrinceNovember 21st 2012.

Wow! Support is amazing! Cannot keep up with how fast it is going up! (I started this petition out of desperation for justice for #LRFS)

UrbaneFoxNovember 21st 2012.

Duly signed Adam. I was thinking, it might be worth sending a copy of the petition to Department of Community and Local Government (Eric Pickles). I have a suspicion that the CPO would have been better recieved by Mr Pickles had it not been fronted by a Labour Council. A community-led campaign under the auspices of the Tory 'Localism' ideology might garner some traction.

jrsteeveNovember 21st 2012.

How much was wasted on the last failed CPO though? Hotel Du Vin are looking for a site menmedia.co.uk/…/1594199_malmaison-boss-reveals-plan-for-a-hotel-du-vin-in-manchester…

2 Responses: Reply To This...
UrbaneFoxNovember 21st 2012.

There are new hotels being built all over Manchester (First Street, the former BBC site, Media City). Add in the Radisson Blu extension and it's perfectly clear that the demand for bed spaces is there. Hotel operators are clamouring for sites in Manchester, if this site had been sold to anyone else it would have been developed.

almondcroissantNovember 27th 2012.

Hotel Du Vin have the receivers in!

DavidNovember 21st 2012.

It is pretty clear that the owner of Brittania Hotels is an awkward sod,regarding this building.If you push him to do something,he does exactly the opposite.So I really doubt this petition will work unfortunately.
Maybe a different approach is needed,one that flatters his ego,lets him play at being the big man.Perhsps a Langsam Place name would be a price worth paying.Otherwise I think he will fight to the bitter end to stop anything happening

rinkydinkNovember 22nd 2012.

Where have all of the other comments disappeared to? Boycott the Britannia hotel group now!!

EditorialNovember 22nd 2012.

Rinkydink no comments have been removed

Adam PrinceNovember 22nd 2012.

Hi David, that's why I set up the petition! The public has no online presence or has been asked to give opinions on mass about this case. Langsam seems a 'complex' character I agree. Take this segment from the Guardian interview with him on 18/02/11

"Langsam's desire to hold on to decaying bits of British history come perhaps from his father. His Jewish parents fled Hitler, leaving behind substantial property and retail interests in Vienna, to start a new life in "rooms" in Hove, West Sussex. "My father was the most nationalistic person I have ever come across," he says. "Britain saved his life and gave him a living and he instilled that in me. I am grateful for what this country has given me."

If it was possible with this man I would love to appeal to his morality! Is he making his parents/ ancestors proud? How can he can he destroy heritage and culture coming from the context that he does?

It's a sad, sad, sad, business indeed.

I would absolutely object to the council bidding him out at market value as rumoured in MEN 5/11/12.

I would love to see the planning laws changed so a criminal case could be brought against people who destroy / neglect/ vandalize At Risk Heritage.

But I'm an idealist.

Duke FameNovember 23rd 2012.

How many empty buildings are there in Manc? Why pick on this one for which when there is a market for a new mid-price hotel, they will no doubt refurbish it.

I think Brittania hotels have a better understanding of demand for hotel space in the town than a journalist.

Dave MartinNovember 24th 2012.

Duke are you aware of how long they have been waiting for that market to arrive? About 30 years. Have you seen the state of the place? Perhaps it was never expected it might take so long to collapse in a heap.

AnonymousNovember 24th 2012.

Hi Duke - Do you work for Britannia or something and desperately trying to claw some respect back for the company through ignorant comments? If you knew anything about this case you mightn't make such sweepingly stupid comments. But whatever floats your boat. As a rare At Risk building maybe you should respect Manchester more but I bet you are not even from the city. Fool.

DavidNovember 24th 2012.

The property has stood empty for decades.But it has not actually fallen down.But clearly the kind of upmarket hotel development that is proposed here,is not what Britania do.
The question is why Britania are so determined to hang onto this building?.Are they going to be able to push the asking price up by holding onto it?.I really doubt this,as there are plenty of empty sites for hotel development nearby.I think this is very much a personal grudge between the council and Langsam and needs to be resolved by third party diplomacy.People may not like the man,but slagging him and his company off continually will not achieve the desired result,of him selling the building.

Thomas HammondNovember 25th 2012.

this would be a perfect building for hotel du vin, we should try and get them to make Britannia a decent offer

Martin OrmeNovember 25th 2012.

I would love to see this building becoming a modern art, design and media study centre. Tate Manchester would be absolutely brilliant with major international exhibitions as well as seminars on new media, graphics, illustration etc

1 Response: Reply To This...
Martin OrmeNovember 25th 2012.

here is what it could look like...

www.facebook.com/photo.php…

AnonymousNovember 25th 2012.

Martin, so with you! A multi-dimensional and inspiring space for tourism, inspiration & the arts! Tate Manchester is so due in this redevelopment! All better ideas than just some private hotel, posh or not! Manchester needs inspiration. A small hotel, fair enough, this building is huge!

1 Response: Reply To This...
Martin OrmeNovember 25th 2012.

www.facebook.com/photo.php…

witty124November 25th 2012.

It lies derelict along with the old London Road train station. It's the first thing you see when you arrive into Piccadilly. Do we know who owns it?

witty124November 25th 2012.

I think it was actually called Manchester Mayfield though.

witty124November 25th 2012.

And yes, agree that London Road Fire Station would make an excellent museum or art gallery space. We don't need another hotel surely?!

Martin OrmeNovember 25th 2012.

her is what a what the firestation as a Tate Manchester could look like

www.facebook.com/photo.php…

3 Responses: Reply To This...
Duke FameNovember 27th 2012.

What i made on my holidays by Martin Orme 7 3/4.

i'm going to feel guilty if Martin is only 7.

Martin OrmeDecember 5th 2012.

Ha ha. Dont feel guilty just try contributing something useful

Martin OrmeDecember 5th 2012.

Sounds like somebody has well and truly rattled your cage. Anything useful to say?

Christina ClareNovember 25th 2012.

A beautiful building in desperate need of repair to bring it back to its former glory. This has gone on for far too long now, Britannia must open their eyes and realise the damage they are causing to Manchester's heritage. It is one of the first buildings visitors to Manchester see when they exit the train station, let's turn it into the iconic building it deserves to be! We need to take this building away from the Britannia Group now; before it is too late, falls into complete disrepair and gets knocked down and sold off to developers to make way for yet more apartments that we don't need!

rinkydinkNovember 26th 2012.

What can be done to speed this process up now? Can't the council do anything more?

DorothysmithNovember 26th 2012.

do we need another hotel i dont think so
it would be a great heritage centre for manchester with some of our older firefighters memories around the place everytime i pass this amazing it breaks my heart its greed more wants more dont let them get anymore , come on lets stop em.

1 Response: Reply To This...
Duke FameNovember 27th 2012.

It would appear Brittania agree with you at this time, that is why the haven't developed it.

I'm sure if someone makes Brittania a generous offer to buy it, they may consider it. I don't think the council should be spending our money on anymore property to sit idle and empty. Remember, the council controls more empty property in the town and it's hypocritical for them to complain about Brittania.

rinkydinkNovember 27th 2012.

The council have someone else waiting to take over the site which is why they issued a CPO. Obviously it has been deemed a viable business proposition otherwise no-one would be bothered. And yes we do need another hotel

Duke FameNovember 28th 2012.

If that's the case, rather than waste money on a CPO, give the number of Britannia to the chap who wants to buy the place.

I don't really agree with a council bullying a private owner into selling their property just because it suits them. What if the council's buyer is one that has close links with the town clerk or turns out to be a prominant backer of the Tif bid who already has a monoploy on space in the city? It would look like something was fishy.

3 Responses: Reply To This...
UrbaneFoxNovember 28th 2012.

Leave the building empty, spend next to nothing on it, watch the area continually improve and the land value skyrocket. The value of this site will have gone up exponentially in the best part of three decades Britannia have owned the site.
What possible incentive is there for Britannia to develop or sell to another developer - they keep making money doing nothing.

Except its a key City Centre site and a designated heritage asset, so in my opinion Britannia have a duty of care to develop this building. If they don't intend to develop it then they had no business buying it!!

Duke FameNovember 28th 2012.

But for an industry that is notoriously cash poor, making money on the balance sheet is of no use whatsoever.

UrbaneFoxNovember 29th 2012.

I think keeping the fire station vacant has more to do with Andrew Langham's personal investment portfolio than the balance sheets of the Britannia Group.

This is land banking and speculation at its worst. It not only stymies the aspirations of the Council (which, on principle, I imagine you disagree with) but it also frustrates the development industry.

On strategically important sites such as this one, land banking is clearly inappropriate.

AnonymousNovember 28th 2012.

So in your opinion City Council should wait for another 25 years? I agree with URBANEFOX - the value of the land in this part of Manchester grows rapidly and it will continue to grow. Britannia is waiting for the building to collapse. Then they will be able to demolish it and sell the land to a property developer for a large sum. And instead of LRFS we will have another soulless office building.

rinkydinkNovember 28th 2012.

Duke, you are entitled to your point of view but 1,327 people disagree with you so far

1 Response: Reply To This...
DavidNovember 28th 2012.

I agree with Duke in a lot of ways.Why pick on Britannia?.Thats because the council chooses to pick on them,and and force a sale on the cheap.The same council that did nothing about maintaining many of its own historic buildings.
If I was Britannia I would see a very big double standard.Look at the amount of financial help they have provided to Spinningfieds and to First Street.
Also those people who suggest all sorts of wonderful new uses for the building,should explain where the funding is going to come from,to pay for it.Any such plans if they did happen,will also take years to come into fruition.

AnonymousNovember 29th 2012.

Duke there is one word for you! Are you just trying to wind people up by talking total BS? Or are you Alex Langsam playing more mindgames? As the people of Manchester know (as would the rest of the UK if it was exposed more), this is one of the worst cases of neglect by a corporation of At Risk Heritage. They've had 26 years of chances FFS! You are just trying to provoke an argument and clearly you're getting something out of it, despite clearly knowing nothing about the situation.

1 Response: Reply To This...
Duke FameNovember 29th 2012.

That word is "correct"

AnonymousNovember 29th 2012.

David. Willed vandalism is something that should be criminal. Go look at the building and see how many windows are open to the rain etc. Funding would come from many sources and there are many companies even in this recession who would have love to have taken over and over these 26 years would have made this place great or at least used! This is at Manchester Piccadilly the entrance to the city. Are you then saying companies who 'OWN' (it should never have been sold) At Risk Listed Heritage can do with it what they will? Is that on any level sensible or fair? If I went out today and committed vandalism I would be arrested. But persistent neglect and vandalism is OK for this company? Well there's something sick about that double standard.

1 Response: Reply To This...
Duke FameNovember 29th 2012.

Why should it never have been sold? It wasn;t being used!

As for vandalism, can you prove Brittania broke their own windows?

JoanNovember 29th 2012.

To contradict Duke and his fantasy about Britannia's understanding of the hotel room market you only have to look at the number of new hotels opened in the city centre over the 20+ years Britannia have owned the LRFS. Almost every one is thriving, try getting a hotel room this weekend, and one is on view for over 20 miles around. Hardly a hidden market.

6 Responses: Reply To This...
Duke FameNovember 29th 2012.

Joan, Brittania has a hotel just around the corner, I suspect they have a good idea of their occupancy rates and whether that justifes the investment. If you know better, perhaps you could go into business and buy the property yourself, all for free-enterprise.

I'm against telling private busiensses or individuals what to do with their assets. I'm certainly not keen on hte council spending my money on my behalf to sell to their favoured businesses, that smacks of corruption. What next, will they compulsary purchase my house so they can sell it to their mate who may or may not be giving them a back-hander?

AnonymousNovember 29th 2012.

Britannia are a two star, stuck in the 80s, rubbish hotel experience.

Duke stop gassing about a case you clearly haven't read about.

At the CPO case, Alex Langsam said he would personally fund the project in June 2011. He is worth 70 milllion and has recently brought Pontins group. This was a lie!

Making a comparison about your house is not only childish and completely irrelevant, it goes against the realities of this ongoing case. Please study Wikipedia and the references and when you are informed please reconsider you irksome opinions.

The money this unique building could bring by tourism as well as enhancing the image of Manchester (rather than degrading it), would be financially viable also.

Your childish 'why don't you go and buy it' retorts, show how much substance your argument has.

Duke FameNovember 29th 2012.

Anon: The 'why don't you go and buy it' retort, is simple, it highlights those on th eleft as continually wanting something to be paid for by others.

Britannia is indeed a budget level hotel and must know it's market.

For Alex Langsam, I couldn't care less if he told a fib, I'd prefer it if he told the COP hearing to mind their own business but he may not have won.

I see it that he & Britannia fell they will not be bullied by anyone and I support that.

As for a unique building, yes it's OK but nothing special. It's in just the wrong spot and in a shadow of ugly over-sized buildings so it's not ideal.

UrbaneFoxNovember 29th 2012.

Joan can't go and buy the site Duke. Its not for sale and hasn't been for the past 26 years. That's the whole point of the CPO!

Langham owns the site and does not want to develop it.
Other people do want to develop the site.
Langham is stopping them developing the site.
Therefore, Langham is holding back development in the City.

Duke FameNovember 29th 2012.

Buildings are like footballers, they are all for sale at the right price. An offer that is above the owner's own personal value will mean it changes hands.

I just object to other people putting their beak in.

UrbaneFoxNovember 30th 2012.

Nonsense. You can only buy something if the vendor wants to sell it.

As I've already detailed, Langham has no need, or incentive, to sell.

Your argument boils down to 'he owns it, he can do what he likes'. Which is weak. And wrong.

To use one of your earlier inappropriate analogies. If you bought a house and wanted to sell (the regeneration of the Piccadilly basin), but the neighbours (Britannia) had let their house rot (LRFS) making yours unsaleable, you'd be whinging to the Council (The Council) to get them to do something about it.

I know your on the wind-up but I think your clutching at straws.

AnonymousNovember 29th 2012.

Duke, with the heritage as hostage, LRFS, "Alex Langsam intended to fund in June 2011" for this redevelopment. He is worth 70 million & has brought Pontins recently.

Please don't make childish comparisons with your house or tell Joan "If you know better, perhaps you could go into business and buy the property yourself, all for free-enterprise". How is that sensible or constructive?

This is a building unique in the UK and the tourism alone for a building that is used in a multi-faceted way, would be awe inspiring and help make Manchester (already in the top ten tourist destination cities for Europe) have a wonderful inviting entrance to the city and its pioneering spirit.

Please study the case (wikipedia would be a good place to start). Keeping an At Risk Listed building as a hostage when other companies could of thrived over these 26yrs is indescribable and indefensible.

This is neglect and vandalism waiting for this building to collapse so it can be knocked down and something cheap and easy put on its place.

Duke are you justify the inactions and untruthful acts by Britannia? Please outline your reasoning (so we can despair at the poor intellectualizations and inadequate argument you provide without evidence or substance).

3 Responses: Reply To This...
Duke FameNovember 29th 2012.

That building (in it's own right) is not going to be a tourist hub with the best will in the world. Manchester may not be the most attractive city but that building is not going anywhere. If Britania convert it to a hotel, it will be just another hotel and no more in demand than their current place.

It is however, theirs, I believe they use it as storage etc and no doubt pay rates on it so what's it got to do with anyone else?

It's a pity that the local council didn't want anything to do with the programme to transfer commercial space into housing as that would have given an incentive for Britania

UrbaneFoxNovember 29th 2012.

Duke, Andrew Langham doesn't have to develop the building into a hotel, he just has to bloody develop it!

Duke FameNovember 29th 2012.

Why? he's using it as storage at times, it's his prerogative.

DavidNovember 29th 2012.

How he uses this building is up to him,because he owns it.Manchester Council have failed to develop buildings they own,should they be taken off them?
Stop blaming him.Why not question why Radisson,Hilton etc are not willing to make an acceptable bid for it?

AnonymousNovember 30th 2012.

It would be nice to have some more background. Planning permission exists for a 4 star hotel (June 2010) It was approved and the approval can be found in the minutes of the Planning Committee that month.

So it has planning consent. It is not clear that its presnt usage has such consent. It is a Grade II list building which may require attention form the Conservation team and their are when I looked last some fire and safety cosniderations.

So how he uses this building is up to him,because he owns it but only within the law.

DigsterNovember 30th 2012.

Went past the building this morning and there were lights inside and people wandering about.
First time I've seen any form of live in it for years.

1 Response: Reply To This...
DigsterNovember 30th 2012.

sorry - should say life

AnonymousNovember 30th 2012.

Lights on! Probably faking it so they can London Rd Fire Station until it falls down. Probably went in for a show and because petition has had some attention. Fakery.

Adam PrinceNovember 30th 2012.

Duke I started this petition because this is a genuine concern for so many people. I've had replies of the Head of Head English talking about his intense anger and frustration with Britannia. You comparing it to any old building is just not true. The intensify damage is of real concern. You may not respect cultural and historical At Risk buildings, but believe me, many people do. Your lack of aspirations for Manchester are also depressing.

Your welcome to attend the public meeting when it is called and I am sure you can express your insightful perceptions to the wider audience.

The Anonymous poster today saying it has permission for a 4* hotel is also at odds with Britannia's current position, where they explicitly stated after challenging the CPO "'Developing the scheme as it stands, would not be sustainable either in the current climate or the foreseeable future"!

As Jonathan Schofield writes these are mind games based on exploiting the building and anger at being challenged. As other people write clearly the emphasis is on waiting until the building will be destroyed.

I would love to see other companies bid for this building! But as with the failed Argent attempt in 2006 because of Britannia they can't!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm sorry but until this domination shifts we are just awaiting an inevitable destruction and decline of a very significant, city central At Risk listed building. I cannot for the life of me see how some people find this acceptable.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
UrbaneFoxNovember 30th 2012.

Adam, I think the work your doing is really admirable and I think a strong public campaign is integral to forcing Britannia's hand.

I'd really like to help you with this, is there any way I can send you my contact details to you without posting them online?

AnonymousNovember 30th 2012.

Hi UrbaneFox, sure just Tweet me re: LRFS petition on @ManFireStation or Facebook, Saving Icon All support welcome! Thanks

Duke FameNovember 30th 2012.

Adam, The permission for a 4* hotel is from Britannia's own application. Planning permission isn't granted on hte basis of commercial feasibility Britannia may feel that whilst a business strategy for them to offer a 4* alternative to their current offering may have been part of their strategy at the time of application, they have to anticipate demand and in a difficult economy and they must feel that such a strategy will be potentially damaging for their business.

I suspect Britannia doesn't like being bullied by a 2-bit council and is standing up for itself - I for one applaud that.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
Adam PrinceNovember 30th 2012.

OK Duke. A difficult economy for 26 years! Not prior to 2008 and they have stood in the way of every opportunity hitherto for London Rd Fire Station.

Clearly the Head of English Heritage disagrees and has sent me a personal email about this today.

Also the CEO promised to pay for this out of his own fortune of 70 million and not only that he recently brought Pontins. I would not say short of cash.

As for a two bit council, your personal rage and personal issues aside, perhaps you need to consider why your opinions are so extreme and at odds with many people. Clearly there is a sense from your previous posts you are angry, a little derailed from reality and probably enjoy instigating arguments.

You support lying, disagree with 'people sticking their beak in', compare your home to LRFS, hate the council and seemingly the public sector, support corporate greed, the destruction of English Heritage so what's the point of continuing a discussion with you?

Duke FameNovember 30th 2012.

The purchase of Pontins must have offered a better potential return on his investment, that is surely up to him.

IF he sees it as potetially loss making to invest money on the renovation, surely he would be mad to throw money at it.

I don't hate the council, they have a role of providing public goods, clean the roads, streetlighting etc. I don't think the council should exceed that remit, they are not going to be any good at propery development, implementing transport sytems etc - it's beyond council staff and coucillors who tend to be fairly limited people.

I support corporate success, that drives the economy & emploment, nothing else can. I'm not sure where anyone has lied, they may have changed their mind but surely that's ok? I don't wan the destruction of heritage, I simply think the owners of property should not be forced to do something that may put them at a disadvantage.

Duke FameNovember 30th 2012.

The purchase of Pontins must have offered a better potential return on his investment, that is surely up to him.

IF he sees it as potetially loss making to invest money on the renovation, surely he would be mad to throw money at it.

I don't hate the council, they have a role of providing public goods, clean the roads, streetlighting etc. I don't think the council should exceed that remit, they are not going to be any good at propery development, implementing transport sytems etc - it's beyond council staff and coucillors who tend to be fairly limited people.

AnonymousNovember 30th 2012.

Duke no-one is ever going to agree with you about London Road fire Station. You chat this rubbish and then backtrack. Yes there have been lies. You are really trying peoples patience. Go crawl back under your rock.

1 Response: Reply To This...
Duke FameNovember 30th 2012.

Not sure of your maths bonny lad. I see 4 agreeing with me and 6 + 1 anonymous who is more than likely one of the 6 in any case.

Given most contributors on here are the left leaning slovenly types and the petition has 1,000 names out of 2.6m population, that suggests that most are with me.

Adam PrinceDecember 1st 2012.

I'm quite sure it will be hard for me to get London Road Fire Station message to 2.6 million people. I am quite sure the vast majority are not even aware of the petition or the case. How many people voted in the recent elections? Your logic that 2.6 million are mostly with you would be seen a delusional. Many people do not read the news or interact with current affairs, or indeed, vote and apathy doesn't mean 2.6 million agree with you!

I hope your defense of the Britannia do not come true when a new CPO is issued, won and then the building will be used again and redeveloped and their tyranny lost. I'm sure you'd be one of the only people to find that situation harrowing. That you enjoying seeing a decaying At Risk Listed building I'm sure will put you in a minority. Hopefully when this case is won, you can add to another gripe list and you can dream about the great 26 years it stood empty and falling into ruin.

AnonymousDecember 1st 2012.

Duke! Perhaps your interest lays more in trolling than anything proactive. "Given most contributors on here are the left leaning slovenly types". Perhaps you can come to a public meeting when it is held and tell everyone all your opinions and insults. Or do you prefer to hide online?

2 Responses: Reply To This...
Duke FameDecember 1st 2012.

So says the chap who posts as 'anonymous'.

It seems to me as the act of someone who does not have a constructive argument when they can only accuse anyone who doesn't share their POV as a 'troll'.

Would you not say most contributors on these pages are left-leaning?

I'll come along to your meeting if I'm not too busy.

Michael JonesJanuary 9th 2013.

Here we go - 'left leaning'. Anyone with half a brain must be a crypto-communist...

Adam PrinceDecember 2nd 2012.

Hi Duke, I'm sure Manchester Confidential staff and readers will laugh at loud after you have labelled them 'left leaning'/ lefties like they are some Communist outfit! Too funny. Thanks for keeping my article about the London Road Fire Station petition. Why perhaps you are a relative of Britannia's CEO, are the CEO himself.

Please, I'd rather you did not attend a meeting. If you do have to I'm sure the meeting will be chaired so you may keep your opinions and rhetoric short if you do attend.

The idea will be for a CONSTRUCTIVE meeting to see what can be done with a neglected At Risk building.

Please watch this youtube clip of inside the LRFS in 2008. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Nfcqb6HZFg If you find this easy viewing your sense of justice for the Gateway to Manchester is sadly siding with the destructive.

To call "council staff and coucillors who tend to be fairly limited people" is insulting, especially considering the sad news 900 people are to loose their job this Xmas.

Some people work for things to get better. Others delight in inaction and arguing.

Actually I think you are quite funny as your views are ridiculous and rude! You told a City Councillor to go and buy a million pound building even though it's not for sale. You "just object to other people putting their beak in", though that in a way is what you are doing too! You say the Council is 2 bit, despite all it's staff and productive peoples efforts and commitments. You compare your home to LRFS. And you say Manchester has no real tourism or the need to develop tourism.

Dear Sir, your tomfoolery and lacklustre insults are almost, almost entertaining if they weren't so profoundly offensive, off the point and so ill-informed.

I look forward to your inevitable reply.

1 Response: Reply To This...
Duke FameDecember 4th 2012.

I've no idea of ManCons politics, they may have to suck up to Leese & the council as how else will they get the invites to lavish parties that the council top brass throw themselves. Moreover, the contributors tend to be left leaning politically.

Duke FameDecember 3rd 2012.

I say to anyone (be it a small time Councillor or anyone else) who thinks they can do something better with the building to put there money where there mouth is, n short, put up or shut up.

I reiterate, I don't think it's MCC's place to steal property off private owners but to put in place an environment where business can thrive, employ people and add value to the economy. The council, by taxing the public to buy a property for which they have no commercial need is simply killing the local economy.

I see the public sector as Winston Churchill did, as employer of last resort. They are not dynamic people who drive success, they are grey people who like to enjoy long periods of time on long term sick & that.

1 Response: Reply To This...
Michael JonesJanuary 9th 2013.

Silly patronising comment.

AnonymousDecember 5th 2012.

"...but to put in place an environment where business can thrive, employ people and add value to the economy".

So London Road Fire Station wouldn't do this? A historic building that gives at least a little something to Manchester's identity; something that says; "This is Manchester, not some provincial backwater".
Buildings like this provide identity, they tell potential investors this is Manchester - not Leeds, nor Birmingham, not Glasgow and certainly none of the hundreds of other cities worldwide that compete with Manchester for that value added and for that employment. This identity, and thus these buildings, sways (win some, lose some) potential investors when the business case is neck and neck between Manchester and its competitors.

Feel free to stick to your tried and tested "Tear down the architectural masterpieces in the perpetual quest for increased productivity and maximum value added" economic valuations, but the brightest and best companies are increasingly focusing on social (what wider benefit does LRFS bring for Manchester) valuations when building business cases.

All in all, the free market will dictate how valuable this building really is and, as it will pay market rate, a CPO will be the medium through which this is done!

Duke FameDecember 5th 2012.

You quote "Tear down the architectural masterpieces in the perpetual quest for increased productivity and maximum value added", can you tell me who you are quoting or have you just made it up?

A CPO on London Road Fire Station will not put in place an environment where business can thrive, employ people and add value to the economy. It will mean that the council will have to fork out a load of cash for which it will need to tax it's residents, businesses and visitors in order to finance it. Let's say they have a favoured developer to sell it to, what does this tell businesses who potentially will expand here? I'd say it tells them that they will have their property forcibly taken from them if they don't run their business in the way the council wants them to. A council that is run by people who don't know how to run a business and mostly have never worked in the real world. It tells investors that the council will help out businesses that are close to the council at the expense of those who don't cross the palms of certain people.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
GimboidDecember 5th 2012.

Nonsense. Britannia aren't running a business here, that's entirely the problem.

Michael JonesJanuary 9th 2013.

This isn't so much about running a business but protecting our heritage. The council has a duty to support a good environment in which we can live.

George MageeDecember 8th 2012.

It makes me so sad to see the state of London Road Station. I served as a Fireman AND lived at London Road from 1961 to 1968 inc. and brought my two kids up in Flat 29. I had 8 happy years there before returning to the Isle of Man. I have only been back to visit Manchester once since 1968 visiting the Museum in Rochdale thanks to Bob Bonner. Good luck Adam with your petition and I hope you get more positive comments and less people like Duke Fame (if thats his real name) making silly remarks. not anonymous.

Adam PrinceJanuary 7th 2013.

Thanks all! Will try to get somewhere with LRFS petition in 2013. Its 27 years of this heritage abuse now and so unforgivable and shameful for Manchester now. Hopefully will get somewhere with the challenge and alongside paid work and life, hope to unite and get change at last for this lost icon! All exposure, assistance and letters to Pickles/ Langsam / media/ Boles or Griffths (the Planning Officer who overturned CPO welcome)! This is a sharing Doc to email docs.google.com/…/edit…
Meetings will hopefully be coming soon, leafleting later this week and hope momentum can carry on into this New Year.

Yes some negative people more clownish and misunderstanding or like to provoke foolish debate but that's there gig! Whatever makes them happy! Some fight for change and hope for better, others like to defend bad politics and bad business. I'm developing a certain stoicism to these antic now! Best wishes all and all help welcome.

Michael JonesJanuary 9th 2013.

So much of our heritage in Manchester is under threat. The victorian hospital in Ancoats was allowed to fall into such a poor state that it now needs to be knocked down. And it's only a matter of time before the same happens to the victorian laundry building in Greengate. A scandal!

Hero
James CunninghamJanuary 19th 2013.

The loathsome Langsem announced a £25million investment programme in his multi-million purchase of Pontins.. Seems he can flash the cash after all... it really is time something was done to get his hands off this beautiful but crumbling building!

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