Whilst a 100 people turned up to the launch, this was becuase the leaflet from the group, which failed to sufficiently identify themselves, has frightened residents into believing that the group had real information about large scale housing clearances in the area that did not exist.
Whilst droning on about the collapse of small businesses in Derker and the disintegreation of communityit became obvious that their sense of community was over selective. Only owner occupiers were to be in their vanguard to defend communities and they had not bothered to contact those in social housing at all.
Worse they did not believe that social exclusion and deprivation were issues in Hollinwood (the third worst deprived area of the Borough). They had little if any intrest in youth employment or addressing any other deprivation that residents in our area faces. These were dismissed as being the subject for better education.
The fact that the demon they were uniting to attack in failsworth and hollinwood did not even exist cast a great over their claims and objectives. But their atempts to put one section of the community at odds with another is really quite deplorable. We all invest in our community whether we buy or rent the home we live in and with "Right to Buy" it is now hard to tell exactly who owns and who buys their home. The exclusion of such residents by this self proclaimed action group on the basis of postcode merely replicates a process of stigmatisation and exclusion that communities have fought for 30 years and damages "social cohesion".
There are real issues and challenges for Hollinwood and Failsworth as to how HMR can help communities develop that will evolve over the next few years, but this group seemed to bring nothing but the old social divisons to the table that actually hold communities back.