Today I want to introduce someone you haven’t met on here before. In fact I hadn’t met him myself before yesterday. He’s John Davey, the man who invested £500,000 in us at Granby 4 Streets Community Land Trust, thereby more than helping to get us moving and bring the whole partnership of organisations together that’s now transforming the 4 Streets.Here we are in Cairns Street yesterday. Back row, Erika Rushton of the CLT, Tracey Gore of Steve Biko Housing and Frank Hont – Lead Councillor for Housing at the City Council. Then front row, Ann O’Byrne – Deputy Mayor of Liverpool and next to Ann, John Davey.
So I always try and build a walk of several miles into each day. On many of the posts I write on here I’m actually going somewhere to work. Though sometimes, admittedly, I’m just ambling around wherever my feet take me!
By early afternoon my feet have taken me back up to Granby, having first checked in on the site there during my morning walk. To find that John has already arrived, well before his expected time. This gives us some informal time together before the planned welcome, to look round the streets and, particularly show him what we’ve been spending his money on.
As well as visiting us, John is here to talk with the City Council about Ducie Street, the only one of the 4 Streets not yet on site.
John set up Steinbeck Studio to work in the area with us and also to do the long-awaited renovation of Ducie Street. And today he’s here as part of finally coming to a Heads of Terms agreement with the City. So not something that’s formally connected to the CLT, but something that’s vital to Granby, so of course we’re more than interested to help get things moving if we can.
John at times seeming to come from a completely different economic place from several of us around the table. But all of us finding literal shared ground in our beliefs in bottom up, community driven change and development.
To say that we’re grateful for John’s help and trust in us all at the Community Land Trust is of course a huge understatement. I’ve often told people about this man behind Steinbeck Studio who decided to help us out because we were already doing so much to help ourselves. But I’d thought it more than likely we would never meet. The limelight not being his place.
So yesterday afternoon’s discussions were a real pleasure as well as a challenge. Being intelligently questioned and debated with by someone who describes himself as a ‘libertarian economist’ made us all feel we’d been given a good run around all of our usual opinions about what works and how things might get done. So I’m definitely looking forward to some more of that from John as things get seriously moving, and soon, on Ducie Street.
After John and everyone left, Erika and I head up to North Liverpool, to the Isla Gladstone in Stanley Park.
After which I’m grateful when Paul Morrison from Good Neighbourhood gives me a lift home. Thanks Paul, a long but very good day.