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Private greed, political negligence and housing policy after Grenfell

As the tragedy of the Grenfell Tower fire of 14 June 2017 has slowly revealed a shadowy background of outsourcing and deregulation, and a council turning a blind eye to health and safety concerns, many questions need answers. Stuart Hodkinson has those answers. Safe as Houses weaves together Stuart’s research over the last decade with residents’ groups in council regeneration projects across London to provide the first comprehensive account of how Grenfell happened and how it could easily have happened in multiple locations across the country. It draws on examples of unsafe housing either refurbished or built by private companies under the Private Finance Initiative (PFI) to show both the terrible human consequences of outsourcing and deregulation and how the PFI has enabled developers, banks and investors to profiteer from highly lucrative, taxpayer-funded contracts. The book also provides shocking testimonies of how councils and other public bodies have continuously sided with their private partners, doing everything in their power to ignore, deflect and even silence those who speak out. The book concludes that the only way to end the era of unsafe regeneration and housing provision is to end the disastrous regime of self-regulation. This means strengthening safety laws, creating new enforcement agencies independent of government and industry, and replacing PFI and similar models of outsourcing with a new model of public housing that treats the provision of shelter as ‘a social service’ democratically accountable to its residents.

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Something rich and strange

Manchester: Something rich and strange challenges us to see the quintessential post-industrial city in new ways. Bringing together twenty-three diverse writers and a wide range of photographs of Greater Manchester, it argues that how we see the city can have a powerful effect on its future – an urgent question given how quickly the urban core is being transformed. The book uses sixty different words to speak about the diversity of what we think of as Manchester – whether the chimneys of its old mills, the cobbles mostly hidden under the tarmac, the passages between terraces, or the everyday act of washing clothes in a laundrette. Unashamedly down to earth in its focus, this book makes the case for a renewed imaginative relationship that recognises and champions the fact that we’re all active in the making and unmaking of urban spaces.

Seen and unseen migrants
Stephen F. Wolfe

of British and European modernism (see Baily et al., 2005 ; Gilroy, 1995, 2005 ; Procter, 2003 ; Walkowitz, 2006 ). For example, V.S. Naipaul, like a number of other migrant writers, situates his own attempts to begin writing in this disorienting period through the use of tropes of passage: rites of passage, passage as a journey over water from one country to another, and passages of time (Ellmann, 2016 : 106). As a youthful colonial migrant from the West Indies to England (whose family, in its turn, had emigrated to the Caribbean from the Indian subcontinent

in Border images, border narratives
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Manchester: seeing like a city
Paul Dobraszczyk and Sarah Butler

(London: The X Press, 1998), p. 18. 10 See Laurence Brown and Niall Cunningham, ‘The inner geographies of a migrant gateway: mapping the built environment and the dynamics of Caribbean mobility in Manchester, 1951–2011’, Social Science History 40:1 (2016), p. 106. 11 Jeff Noon, Vurt (London: Ringpull, 1993), pp. 18–19. 12 According to Leigh, a retired schoolmaster from Prestwich claimed to have written the song for a school review at Stand Grammar in 1950. 22 Introduction 13 Corinne Fowler, ‘Publishing Manchester’s black and Asian writers’, in Pearce, Fowler and

in Manchester
Regeneration meets the Private Finance Initiative
Stuart Hodkinson

.4 billion. 28 The size of these profits and the trading of equity are in­ extricably linked to systematic corporate tax avoidance. Many PFI schemes are owned by companies registered ‘offshore’, in countries or territories like Jersey, Guernsey, Luxembourg and the Caribbean SAH.indb 69 30/01/2019 12:44:51 70 Safe as houses islands – tax havens as they are more commonly known – where they are normally exempt from paying taxes on income, profit and capital gains.29 The main investor in the disastrous Barts Health NHS Trust PFI project is Innisfree – a fund management

in Safe as houses
Liam Harney and Jane Wills

). Today the area is very different, having undergone major demographic change since around the 1970s, with waves of in- and out-migration fragmenting the community. The docks declined and thousands of people lost their jobs, devastating the local economy. Families that had lived in the area for generations left for better opportunities elsewhere, mainly moving to Essex and Kent. Newcomers arrived not just from South Asia, but Africa, the Caribbean and Eastern Europe, whilst new middle-class migrants arrived from Western Europe, the USA and other parts of the UK to work

in The power of pragmatism
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Postcolonialism and ecology in the work of Tim Robinson
Eóin Flannery

forced migration, suffering, and human violence.20 Essayist of place: postcolonialism and ecology While Harris’s immediate context is the protracted, and variegated, experiences of slavery, plantations and indentured migration in the Caribbean, the authors seek to progress from Harris’s local vision to a working methodology for the discourse of postcolonial ecocriticism. Given that our discussion strives to situate Robinson’s oeuvre within this latter discourse, DeLoughrey and Handley’s critical manifesto offers relevant, and enabling, arguments on just how Robinson

in Unfolding Irish landscapes
Transnational reflections from Brazilians in London and Maré, Rio de Janeiro
Cathy McIlwaine, Miriam Krenzinger, Yara Evans, and Eliana Sousa Silva

: Queen Mary University of London . Evans , Y. , Tonhati , T. , Dias , G. , Brightwell , G. , Sheringham , O. , and Souza , A. ( 2011 ). Brazilians in London: A report . Canadian Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Studies , 36 : 235–48 . Fenster , T. ( 2005 ). The right to the gendered city: Different formations of belonging in everyday life . Journal of Gender Studies , 14 : 217–31 . Guimarães , M.C. , and Pedroza , R.L.S. ( 2015 ). Violência contra a mulher: Problematizando definições teóricas, filosóficas e jurídicas . Psicologia

in Urban transformations and public health in the emergent city
Images of the ‘Jungle’ in Breach by Olumide Popoola and Annie Holmes
Jopi Nyman

( 2000 : 23) associates such refusal to provide a continuous narrative with the fragmentariness of modern life, Smith ( 2018 : 6–7) emphasises that the genre is successful in contexts where identities are in rapid flux, transforming rather than fixed, such as the early twentienth-century United States or the post-colonial Caribbean: ‘the genre repeatedly emerges during moments of embattled identity-making’ ( 2018 : 7). Both Lundén ( 2000 ) and Davis ( 2001 ) underline that the form is particularly suitable to address situations of tension and cultural encounters, which

in Border images, border narratives
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Phil Hubbard

Caribbean tanker and a Peruvian freighter, with the wreck of the former then hit by a German ship, Brandenberg , and, improbably, a Greek steamer Niki . In all 51 lives were lost, and oil slicks washed up on Kent beaches for months. 7.1 Cornelia Parker, The Folkestone Mermaid , Sunny Sands But as

in Borderland