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The Laz Word....on Elizabeth Pascoe

Moving day for the grandmother who created major hold-ups on Edge Lane

Published on February 1st 2010.

The Laz Word....on Elizabeth Pascoe

SO “battling grandmother” Liz Pascoe, to use a language beloved by the meeja, has packed her bags and left. A bulldozer will do its worst to the place she called home in Adderley St, off Liverpool’s Edge Lane.

If we believe in a system of justice , Mrs Pascoe was well within her rights to make her case, to drag her fight through the courts

What surprises me about the Pascoe years, and her battle against the CPO in and around Edge Lane, is the venom and vitriol her stand has generated.

Some, it seems, say she should have saved everyone the trouble by rolling over to allow for some kind of civic tummy tickling. She has been vilified and demonised.When I worked as a television editor in Beijing I remember editing a story about a road widening scheme. I realised the project would mean the removal of hundreds of beautiful mature trees.

Hope there’s a green lobby to persuade them to spare the trees, thought I. When I gazed, bleary eyed, out of my window the very next morning, all the trees had gone. They don’t hang around here I thought.

If we believe, in this country, in a system of justice , Mrs Pascoe was well within her rights to make her case, to drag her fight through the courts - two public inquiries and six High Court hearings - against plans to widen Edge Lane and tear down hundreds of houses.

Edge Lane has, for too long, been an eyesore, but I like the style of Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian streets, with their more ornate masonry work.

Driving into London, the bustle of the street scenes is remarkable. Will we end up with boring, bland frontages onto Edge Lane? More importantly , will it make a lot of difference?

For months there were delays and hold-ups, caused by work on the earlier phases, from the Rocket interchange to towards the city.

We started with a dual carriageway and ended up with, err, a dual carriageway. Except now we had posh street lights and trees and probably a better pavement.

I had hoped we would have done something more ambitious, like creating a dual carriageway and an exclusive 24-hour bus-only lane in each direction.

So it will be interesting to see what happens to the new stretch of Edge Lane as it gets its makeover.

The cost of the work must have rocketed as a result of the delays caused by the 62-year-old's stand. Had she capitulated at the very start we would now be driving along (possibly) an improved roadway. It would have cost much less to construct.

Butit’s a small price to pay for democracy. It is a nuisance in the eyes of some, but why should people be forced to hand over their homes without a fight. If they had offered Elizabeth Pascoe a luxury home in West Derby with a swimming pool, and a chauffeur driven Bentley it would have saved hundreds of thousands of pounds.

Except Elizabeth Pascoe was not in the fight for a life of luxury, she just wanted the right to remain in her little house on the hill.

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