Saturday, 8 February 2014
Landlordism in North Shields
Understanding the machinations of the local state. Landlordism is a reality of life in 2014 but it is nothing new. Reading the North Tyneside CDP report (1978) North Shields: Working Class Politics & Housing 1900-1977 it offers a fascinating historical dialectical critique of the local politics in Tynemouth Council up to its reorganisation in 1974. This publication not only records the way socialist alternatives to Conservative/Liberal rule was thwarted by a propaganda of 'red scares' but also explores how Tynemouth Council in 1912 was packed with landlords, building society associates, builders and estate agents and how they resisted implementing the 1890 Housing Act, which made it incumbent upon local authorities to carry out slum clearance and build low rent housing for the working class. Too many councillors had their vested interests to look after - in keeping rents high and maintaining profits from private building - despite the health dangers of open sewage, an infant mortality rate of 280 per 1000 births and small pox epidemics on the North Shields banksides in the early 1900s.