As I parked my car in the street the other night a humongous rat scuttled out from under the next door car and headed for the next door basement. Rentokil tell me that my street - because it has lots of restaurants is overwhelmed with them. "But don't worry about the rats", he said, "You should see the cockroaches"!
All this talk of rodents is due to the fact that this weblog has received a very kind review from Julian Dobson at his humourously named site: Living With Rats. He is the editor of NewStart magazine, which is one of the few publications around to really get to grips with regeneration in all its complexity.
Catch his 18th December blog about the West Bromwich Cultural Castle which after "£49m of public and lottery money (or £53m, depending on who you talk to) was poured into it" has gone into liquidation. Surprise surprise. I could have told you it would not work. I was subjected to an all singing all dancing Powerpoint about four years ago by the irrepressible Sylvia King. And I can remember being very impressed with the graphics, but very confused by how the whole thing would work. Clearly it was unsustainable from the outset. It all goes back to my current view that the economics of regeneration are not well understood in this country and places like West Bromwich just didn't really know why they were building this monster.
Lets hope a new life can be found for it - perhaps a super casino in the next round? Don't get me started on that one. Suffice it to say If I were a resident of East Manchester I would not be pleased to be considered as if I were a Navajo Indian on a desert reservation!