Mar 28 2007
The estate where an 82-yr-old sits in the dark . . too afraid to switch on her TV in case the yobs discover that she’s at home
by Luke Traynor, Liverpool Echo
PEOPLE are living in the grip of fear and misery on one of Liverpool’s most notorious housing estates, the ECHO can reveal.
The derelict and crime-ridden Daneville Estate in Clubmoor is blighted by a catalogue of social problems which is driving people from their homes.
Today, we can expose some of the shocking stories of those still living in the ailing district. They include:
An 82-year-old woman who sat in her dark front room every evening, too afraid to switch on lights or a TV, for fear it could alert street gangs.
Teenage mobs hurling petrol bombs at front doors.
Up to 20 youths daubing “RIP Smigger” graffiti on house walls, in tribute to murdered teenage gang member Liam Smith.
Cllr Roz Gladden, ward member for Clubmoor, has called on Liverpool council to take action to clean up the ailing housing estate.
She said: “There have been deep-rooted problems here for years, which have turned into a nightmare for ordinary, decent people who just want to live a quiet life.
“From being quite a nice estate, the last 12 months have seen the place degenerate into a living hell.”
Huge swathes of empty and boarded-up homes still blight the area after an exodus of tenants.
Many owner-occupiers have grown so disenchanted by the problems blighting the area that they have sold up.
Driving around some parts of the estate, the sight of metal sheeting over windows, crumbling brickwork and broken shopping trolleys lying in front gardens is commonplace.
Now, a hard-hitting action plan has been unveiled by Liverpool council to renovate the area in a bid to get the estate back on track.
Vacant homes are being let to responsible tenants in a bid to reverse the trend that saw only homeless people applying to live in the estate’s properties.
The Loopline, a disused 12-mile cycle track that runs through the estate, has frequently become a haven for criminals.
Up to £30,000 was taken from the Neighbourhood Renewal Fund to boost home securities of houses that back on to the popular route.
There are more council homes in Clubmoor, around 4,000, than in any other ward in Liverpool.
Frampton Road, Knighton Road, Hillcrest Road, Evesham Road and Daneville Road are among those badly affected.
But ward councillors believe the estate is improving for the better after a notorious drug dealing family was evicted.
Police swooped on the home in Frampton Road last year after a build-up of community inform-ation about illegal activity.
Neighbours complained that even mothers could be seen openly selling drugs while sitting on deckchairs in their front garden.
Vacant homes, used as a meeting point for yobs for drug-taking and illegal dog-fighting, left many responsible owners terrified.
Over the past 12 months, residents have been faced with persistent fly tipping outside abandoned properties and cold, damp and rat-infested homes barely fit for human habitation.
A city-wide vote, to be concluded at the end of the week, to decide the future of their homes, could be crucial for the area.
Tenants across the city are being urged by the council to back plans to transfer their properties to Liverpool Mutual Homes, which promises to spend £300m refurbishing them.
Cllr Gladden said: “Many properties are a nightmare for residents to live in, there are massive problems which need to be solved.
“The Scarisbrick Estate has been given a lot of investment since Cobalt Housing took it over, and it’s difficult to see one area blooming and the other getting worse and worse.
“We want people on the Daneville Estate to have pride in the area where they live.
“This is now starting to happen, but we’ve got to keep our eye on the ball.”