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Everton Library in Liverpool named as 1 of the Top 10 Most Endangered Buildings

NATIONAL architecture charity the Victorian Society has released their annual Top 10 Most Endangered Buildings List which highlights the most at risk Victorian and Edwardian buildings and structures throughout England and Wales. Now in its twelfth year, the campaign aims to expose the plight of these buildings in the hope that increased awareness and appreciation will help save them. The public nominate buildings to be featured in the list, and the Victorian Society then decides the most endangered from these public nominations. 

Griff Rhys Jones, President of the Victorian Society, said:- "It is both inspiring and saddening to see this list. Who would have thought that a call to arms would reveal such a wealth of distinguished and absorbing architecture? From libraries to pubs to gorgeous theatres, these are gems. We are not looking at the 2nd rate here. We are looking at real historical monuments; and yet we can only be taken aback. How can a beautiful, rambling exemplary Victorian mansion like Shadwell Court lie abandoned? 1 would expect it to be starring in TV series not crumbling away, and in Norfolk too. Can we really want to lose a sturdy industrial site like Chatterley Whitfield Colliery near Stoke? Or a fine School in Glamorgan or worthy industrial frontage in the now newly flourishing Jewellery Quarter in Birmingham? All of these historic sites are glorious and imaginative places ready for a new and productive life. How incredible that should feature on the Top 10 Endangered Buildings list. Let us hope that people spring into action and pay attention…"

Christopher Costelloe, Director of the Victorian Society, said:- "This year's Top 10 Endangered Buildings is a particularly rich mix, with buildings of amazing quality throughout the country facing demolition or ruin. With a great country house, 1 of the country's most important industrial complexes, and public buildings at the heart of our Cities all on the list, it is vital that we get the public's help to try to save our threatened heritage."

The 2019 Top 10, in no particular order, are:-

Everton Library - Liverpool - GII - 1896 - Thomas Shelmerdine... When the impressive Everton Library opened in 1896 becoming 1 of the earliest public libraries in Liverpool. It is currently Grade II listed on account of its architectural quality and its role in the development of Liverpool's public library service. Everton Library has not been in use since 1999, there have been 2 failed schemes to develop it, which have failed to even touch the building. In recent years, the library has suffered severe vandalism including:- lead theft, resulting in extensive water damage. It is vital that a building of such enormous quality in an area that has suffered so much is saved.  Christopher Costelloe, Director of the Victorian Society, said:- "Liverpool is a City full of great district libraries, and Everton Library is probably the best. This fantastic building is a jewel, and the City can't afford to lose it. The Florrie shows how buildings like this can be given new life."

Shadwell Court - Norfolk - GI - C.1840-1860 - Edward Blore and SS Teulon... The striking Grade I-listed Shadwell Court in Norfolk is an impressive country mansion built in the Gothic style. Shadwell Lodge (as it was originally known) was originally built in 1715, but was extended and remodelled out of all recognition in 1840, by Edward Blore and again in 1857 to 1860, by SS Teulon. It has been empty since the mid 1990s and is owned by a member of the Dubai ruling family. It has extensive roof problems and has long been deteriorating. Christopher Costelloe, Director of the Victorian Society, said:- "Shadwell Court's owner can easily afford to look after this important building properly. This major country house has been neglected for far too long and it will be a scandal if it isn't put right soon.'

Chatterley Whitfield Colliery - Staffordshire - C19 and 20 - GII*/Scheduled Monument... On the outskirts of Chell in Staffordshire, stands an industrial monument of the utmost importance; the Chatterley Whitfield Colliery. The disused coal mine is considered to be the most comprehensive survival of a deep mine site in England from the industry's period of peak production and it was the 1st colliery in the UK to produce 1,000,000 tons of saleable coal in a year. Following the closure of the mine, the buildings had served as a museum, which has long-since closed. The whole colliery site is now vacant and the buildings are in a very poor condition, it will need substantial public funding if it is to be rescued. Christopher Costelloe, Director of the Victorian Society, said:- "The Industrial Revolution has left few more evocative sites than Chatterley Whitfield. Someone needs to think big here- King Coal was at the heart of our prosperity for centuries, and this complex is far too important to be lost."

Queensbury Tunnel - Yorkshire - (unlisted) - 1874 to 1878 - John Fraser... Queensbury Tunnel is a disused railway tunnel that connects Holmfield and Queensbury, in West Yorkshire, England. The now rapidly deteriorating tunnel symbolises the irreplaceable infrastructure legacy left to us by the Victorians. Built by the Great Northern Railway, it was the longest tunnel on the company's network, at the time of its opening in 1878. It is currently abandoned and flooded with water. It is also at the centre of a heated debate between campaigners, who want the tunnel restored to be a cycle path, and the Department for Transport (DfT), which wants to fill in sections of the tunnel with concrete and then leave it to collapse. We hope it will be used to give new life to the communities it connects rather than being lost forever. Christopher Costelloe, Director of the Victorian Society, said:- "Queensbury Tunnel could be the heart of a new transport revolution, bringing cyclists and tourists to this part of Yorkshire. If it is filled in this irreplaceable asset will be lost for ever. Bath's 2 Tunnels cycleway has been a triumphant success and there is no reason why Yorkshire; now the beating heart of British cycling; couldn't do the same."

Hulme Hippodrome - Manchester - GII - 1901  -  J. J. Alley... The future of this Manchester landmark hangs in the balance. The Hulme Hippodrome opened its doors on 10 October 1901, as a spectacular venue. Originally named the Grand Junction Theatre, the ornate theatre was recently sold at auction, on 18 May 2019, for just ₤325,000. The building is an important community building of social, historical and architectural significance, and currently stands in a very poor state of repair and facing an uncertain future. Christopher Costelloe, Director of the Victorian Society, said:- "There is nothing sadder than a shuttered theatre. Central Manchester's increasing prosperity has not yet spread to Hulme, which cannot afford to lose assets such as this splendid building."

Cowbridge School - Vale of Glamorgan, Wales - (unlisted) - 1896 - Robert Williams... In a small Town in south Wales stands this historic former School building that lies derelict and under threat from demolition. Much of the history of education is reflected in these School buildings: Cowbridge was 1 of 94 County Intermediate Schools designed to mainly cater for children who had little or no prospect of attending independent public Schools due to their social status or financial situation.  Christopher Costelloe, Director of the Victorian Society, said:- "Cowbridge School is a beautifully crafted building, solid, handsome and capable of being reused. Its thoughtless demolition would be a huge blow to the Town. Many other Victorian School buildings are in a similar position; these buildings can and should be reused."

Pelican Works, Birmingham - GII - c.1868 - (architect unknown) The Grade 2 Listed Pelican Works building in the Jewellery Quarter of Birmingham was built for Thomas Wilkinson of Sheffield as an electroplating works, and the company was noted for its cutlery production. The elegant frontage part of the red brick building is like a small Italian Palazzo, with the sculpture of a Pelican; the company crest; placed above the central main entrance. It is a significant landmark on 1 of the main thoroughfares of the Jewellery Quarter conservation area. Currently only the frontage part of the building is apparently occupied by a fashion company and the structures appear to be generally increasingly neglected. In May 2019 there was a serious collapse of part of the Hockley Street shopping range, which closed the road, and part of this rear range has been demolished on safety grounds. This could be reinstated, but little seems to be being done at present to secure the future of this extraordinary building, and other recent collapses at historic factory buildings, within the Quarter, including a tragic loss of life on another site, mean that we are extremely concerned that the Pelican Works is currently at risk. Christopher Costelloe, Director of the Victorian Society, said:- "The Jewellery Quarter, 1 of Birmingham's most loveable areas, combines increasing development pressure with some very derelict historic buildings. The Pelican Works is a prominent symbol of the area, and it must be repaired before more of it collapses."

Former Church of St Luke - Warrington, Cheshire - GII* - 1892 - Bodley and Garner... The former Church of St Luke was designed by the distinguished architect George Frederick Bodley and built from 1892 to 1893. It was declared redundant over 30 years ago and has since served as builders' storage. The interior of this Church is where its significance lies. This is 1 of only 3 examples of Churches designed by Bodley with a double nave under a single roof, separated by a tall, slender central arcade. It is extremely unorthodox and highly inventive, and the result is remarkable. A new use is clearly required for this highly significant building, 1 that respects the extraordinary nature of its interior. Christopher Costelloe, Director of the Victorian Society, said:- "This is a really unusual Church of great architectural interest, by 1 of the greatest architects of the period. It is far too good to be lost, and its importance lies predominantly in its interior, making subdivision impossible. Public bodies and Warrington Council need to give serious thought on how to save this architectural jewel."

Former Leslie Arms Public House - Croydon, London - GII - c.1850's - (architect unknown) A derelict Arts and Crafts style pub in Croydon, South London. This pub is permanently closed, despite many planning applications. Built by Croydon brewers Nalder and Colyer, this pub occupies a prominent position, at the South End of Cherry Orchard Road, but has been closed for several years. In an area undergoing so much development, it is crucial that pieces of our heritage such as this building are protected for the future. Christopher Costelloe, Director of the Victorian Society, said:- "Victorian pubs are closing all over the country and it is no surprise that this year there is 1 on our Top 10 Endangered List. A particularly intractable case, this is a building of great quality where continued pub use should be viable. The right owner is needed!"

Corn Exchange/ Former Town Hall - Swindon - GII - 1852-54 - Sampson Sage and E Robertson additions by Wilson and Willcox... This ruined complex at the heart of Swindon's Old Town is central to the Town's history. It has been a Corn Exchange, Town Hall and Dance Hall, at various periods, before falling into disuse. Many redevelopment proposals have come and gone, while the building continues to deteriorate. Urgent action is needed to save this historic and imposing building from being lost forever. Christopher Costelloe, Director of the Victorian Society, said:- "Swindon is now a Heritage Action Zone, and this building is 1 of several prominent historic buildings in Swindon that should be a priority. An imaginative and sensitive scheme is needed to return the complex to its place at the heart of the Town's life."

Convention of the North and NP11 call for seismic shift in funding and powers to 'level up' the North

THE influential Convention of the North and NP11 will set out and debate a number of bold actions and radical ideas that could; if agreed by leaders of the North and backed by Government and business; lead to revolutionary change for Northern England and the Northern Powerhouse agenda. In a speech to be delivered at the working convention, Roger Marsh OBE, chair of the NP11 which brings together the 11 northern Local Enterprise Partnerships will outline why the North must be placed front and centre of Government plans for UK competitiveness and prosperity beyond Brexit.

Cllr Nick Forbes, Leader of Newcastle City Council and on be½ of the Convention of the North will set out how Northern leaders can build on recent successful campaigns; including the Northern media's:- 'Power Up the North' and 'One North' campaigns; to make lasting changes and, if given the right tools, enable important decisions to be taken that will vastly improve people's lives.

Key policy proposals will be debated at the event through a series of policy workshops. These proposals include:-

Creating a coherent Northern Powerhouse strategy, designed and led by the North; working with Government to ensure the strategy runs throughout national policy; which sets out a clear long-term vision for the North with an ambitious plan to achieve it.

A step change in the level of investment allocated to the North; to be achieved by a long term investment programme linked to the Northern Powerhouse Strategy, which explicitly tackles the systemic issues and historic underinvestment that currently prevent the North fulfilling its potential.

Improvements to Government Policy such as the current Green Book appraisal system, to place greater emphasis on social value and long term growth, targeting those areas that face the greatest challenges; and therefore could deliver the greatest rewards for people, the economy and the Exchequer.

Enhanced powers for the North for the benefit of the UK as a whole, building on existing strong partnerships between the public and private sectors across skills and education, housing, energy, trade and investment, innovation, and transport.

The findings from the policy workshops covering skills, transport, innovation, trade and investment, clean growth and housing will culminate in the final session of the day led by Mayor Andy Burnham in which a:- "Manifesto for the North" will result.

Roger Marsh OBE, chair of the NP11 said:- "Despite the clear economic opportunity the North represents, the North South divide continues to widen, holding back our economy, our productivity and people's opportunities. That is why this working convention today, the largest of its kind, is vital so that we go beyond discussion of the challenges we face and focus on the action we can take as northerners, working with national Government, to build a North that works for everyone, for business, for people; for young people especially. We need bold ideas from the North and radical change from Government that leads to a seismic shift in funding and powers if we are to truly 'level up' the North. I very much look forward to contributing and listening to the debate that results from today so that we can together turn words into action."

Nick Forbes, leader of Newcastle City Council and chair of Convention of the North, said:- "There is a restless drumbeat of progress across the North. We are rightly fiercely proud of our Towns and Cities, and we all want them to succeed, but we are not afraid of the need to change, and we welcome any Government that empowers us in our aims. Our North is 1 that is ready to take on its challenges. Today we come together to address the big issues with a clear message to Government; give us the tools to finally close the north south divide. From transport investment to job creation, it is crucial that Government backs our ambition. We are ready for the next stage in the devolution journey, and I look forward to working with ministers to secure this."

Sheffield City Region Mayor Dan Jarvis said:- "I'm delighted that the Sheffield City Region is hosting this significant event today. Our country stands at a time of great change, which presents both challenges and opportunities. By working together across the North, maximising collaboration between the public and private sectors and bridging the political divide, we can make the North's case on a national and international level, power our economy and narrow the inequality gap that persists within the UK."

The Convention of the North with NP11, supported by Government, brings together people from all parts of the North, including:- business leaders, Council leaders and Elected Mayors, young people, education and 3rd sector leaders, and Central Government. Those attending the event will debate policy across the key themes of:- housing, transport, innovation, trade and investment, clean growth, skills and education.

The event is intended to make a powerful, unified case to the new Prime Minister and Government for tangible investment in the Northern Powerhouse. Senior Government Ministers are expected to be in attendance throughout the day.

The legacy of the event will be to produce a way ahead for the Northern Powerhouse and to present a set of policy "asks" to the Government; created by the North for the North.

The event will be hosted by award winning Broadcaster and News Reporter, Steph McGovern.

Speakers include:- Ruth Nic Aoidh, Executive Director, Commercial and Legal at McLaren Automotive, Amir Hussain, CEO of the award winning Bradford Architectural practice, YEME Architects, and Member of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Board; Dame Julie Kenny, chair of Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust; Simone Roche MBE, founder and CEO of Northern Power Women, a campaign to accelerate gender diversity from the North of England; and Ruth Ibegbuna, Founding Director of the Roots Programme, an initiative to bring together leaders and influencers from vastly different communities.

Sexual grooming crimes in the North West up by 25% with record numbers of children targeted on Instagram across the country

GROOMING crimes recorded by Police in the North West have soared by a quarter in the in 2018, data obtained by the NSPCC has revealed. There were 710 offences of sexual communication with a child recorded in the year to April 2019 compared with 565 in the previous year, in the North West. In England and Wales there were 4,373 offences of sexual communication with a child recorded in the year to April 2019 compared with 3,217 in the previous year. The offence came into force on 3 April 2017, following an NSPCC campaign.

The data obtained from 43 Police forces in England and Wales under Freedom of Information laws also revealed that, where age was provided, 1 in 5 victims were aged just 11 or younger.

In 2018/19 in England and Wales the number of recorded instances of the use of Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, was more than double that of the previous year. Overall in the last 2 years, Facebook owned apps (Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, WhatsApp) and Snapchat were used in 83% of the instances where Police in the Region recorded and provided the communication method. Instagram was used in 26% of them.

The Government has indicated it will publish a draft Online Harms Bill early next year, following the NSPCC's Wild West Web campaign. The proposals would introduce independent regulation of social networks, with tough sanctions if they fail to keep children safe on their platforms. The NSPCC believes it is now crucial that Boris Johnson's Government makes a public commitment to draw up these Online Harms laws and implement robust regulation for tech firms to force them to protect children as a matter of urgency.

Peter Wanless, NSPCC Chief Executive, said:- "It's now clearer than ever that Government has no time to lose in getting tough on these tech firms. Despite the huge amount of pressure that social networks have come under to put basic protections in place, children are being groomed and abused on their platforms every single day. These figures are yet more evidence that social networks simply won't act unless they are forced to by law. The Government needs to stand firm and bring in regulation without delay."

Freya* was 12 when, while she was staying at a friend's house, a stranger bombarded her Instagram account with sexual messages and videos. Her mum Pippa* told the NSPCC:- "She was quiet and seemed on edge when she came home the next day. I noticed her shaking and knew there was something wrong so encouraged her to tell me what the problem was. When she showed me the messages, I just felt sick. It was such a violation and he was so persistent. He knew she was 12, but he kept bombarding her with texts and explicit videos and images. Freya* didn't even understand what she was looking at. There were pages and pages of messages, he just didn't give up. Our children should be safe in their bedrooms, but they're not. They should be safe from messages from strangers if their accounts are on private, but they're not."

The NSPCC's Wild West Web campaign is calling for social media regulation to require platforms to:-

Take proactive action to identify and prevent grooming on their sites by.

Using Artificial Intelligence to detect suspicious behaviour.

Sharing data with other platforms to better understand the methods offenders use and flag suspicious accounts.

Turning off friend suggestion algorithms for children and young people, as they make it easier for groomers to identify and target children.

Design young people's accounts with the highest privacy settings, such as geo locators off by default, contact details being private and unsearchable and live streaming limited to contacts only. The charity wants to see tough sanctions for tech firms that fail to protect their young users; including:- steep fines for companies, boardroom bans for directors, and a new criminal offence for platforms that commit gross breaches of the duty of care.

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