• The Ace of Diamonds, Oldham Road, Newton Heath, Manchester: Is this an act of political spite?

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    The above is the Ace of Diamonds pub situated on the Oldham Road in Newton Heath in the north of Manchester is a popular traditional pub that dates from 1850. The landlord, Derek Adams is facing the loss of his pub, which constitutes his livelihood and his home as a result a compulsory purchase order (CPO) issued by the council. The council wishes to demolish the pub and redevelop the area – which will include a new “family pub.” Council officials stated that the decision to issue the CPO was taken in December 2007 followed widespread consultation and publicity about plans for the area dating back to 2001. Mr. Adams disputes the timing claiming the CPO was issued ‘for no apparent reason other than to persecute the owner’ and that the pub was not originally included in the area’s redevelopment plans. After objections to the order were received a public inquiry was held over four days last July, where Mr. Adams attended to present his case.

    This may appear to be a fairly conventional argument between a victim of a CPO and the issuer. However what causes the British Gazette to take an interest in this case is that Mr. Adams is a prominent member of the British National Party and was that party’s candidate in a by-election held in the Moston ward on Thursday 9th April, 2009.

    The Orwellian phrase, “In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” Is on a banner on the side of the pub that is the de facto headquarters of the North Manchester branch of the BNP.

    Despite a valuation just over twelve months ago of £320,000 for his land and building, Manchester City Council have offered him a mere £138,000. Unfortunately, for Mr. Adams, this amount will not buy him one of the several houses to be built on his land and will not even cover his mortgage. He will be evicted from his home, business and land in January 2010 and left homeless with no income.
    The British Gazette asks two questions:
    1. Why could this long established public house be allowed to continue to exist if another pub is planned?
    2. To what extent have the political activities of Mr. Adams influenced the decisions made here?

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