YOU DID IT!
The Bradford people have SAVED THE ODEON!
12 / 6 / 12
This week the Homes and Communities Agency confirmed that there is no guarantor for the proposed Odeon replacement, New Victoria Place. This means that if anything happens to Langtree, we would have another Westfield – a development that is never finished with nobody being held responsible. Read the full story on the City of Film website.
19 / 4 / 12
GALLOWAY ASKS PRIME MINISTER TO INTERVENE AMID ACCUSATIONS OF CORRUPTION
The Yorkshire Post today wrote an exclusive story covering the info that the Bradford public uncovered showing that the HCA could terminate the contract at any time.
16 / 4 / 12
MORE FALSE INFO UNCOVERED BY THE PUBLIC
The Telegraph and Argus ran a story claiming that the development agreement between Langtree and the Homes and Communities Agency is ‘set in stone’.
We are still waiting for a response from both, but the public are being urged to contact Langtree to request that they back out now.
CELEBRITY ENDORSEMENT AND TORY ENDORSEMENT?!
Last night Bobby Ball from Cannon and Ball unexpectedly joined our cause
Even more surprising though was the Tories suddenly joining our cause. The Tories were in power in the council when our Odeon was sold by the Council to Yorkshire Forward. Tory Council leader Kris Hopkins was one of the main culprits.
30 / 3 / 12
HUGE NEWS DAY FOR OUR ODEON
George Galloway stood in the Bradford West by-election and today won by 10,000 votes. One of his key promises was to save the Odeon. He won the seat from Labour, the current council leaders. He also mentioned our Odeon in national news coverage today.
There is also a new campaign website which has launched today which is fantastic:
27 / 3 / 12
IF YOU ARE ON TWITTER
@BradfordOdeon and followers are asking many questions of the Homes and Communities Agency at the moment, well worth a read.
27 / 3 / 12
TWEET IN SUPPORT FROM JONATHAN FOYLE
Broadcaster and architectural historian Jonathan Foyle today tweeted:
In Bradford, destruction of a once fine urban centre is planned to continue with the
@BradfordOdeon – please support them.
His public support joins that of Dan Cruickshank, Michael Winner, Terry Jones, Imelda Staunton, Jenny Agutter and the British Film Institute, among others.
27 / 3 / 12
LIST YOUR BUSINESS IN SUPPORT OF THE ODEON
You can now list your business in this directory on Pity Poor Bradford if you are supportive of retention of the Odeon. The more Bradford businesses in support, the louder our city’s voice in opposition to demolition.
27 / 3 / 12
MOVEMENT ON SITE AND RUMOURS OF AN APRIL DECISION
It looks as though preparations are being made to remove some of the fittings from inside. Skips from a demolition company have been spotted. A new document has appeared on the Council website which is not available to the public and is an update to the planning permission documents. We need to act now. We want an independent survey, which we have never been given, with a view to refurbishment, and to see the results of that before any word on her condition (which is ever-changing, apparently) can be believed.
We have found out the contact details of the man who will make the decision on whether to offer her to developers who want to save her, and we urge you to contact him. More information.
26 / 3 / 12
CANDIDATES FOR BRADFORD WEST
For info, the candidates for Bradford West by-election, and their views on the Odeon:
Craig [Democratic Nationalists] It should be kept, modernised and renovated.
Galloway [Respect] Abolish demolition plans now and restore and regenerate this iconic building.
Hope [Monster Raving Loony] It can be retained and returned to it’s former glory.
Hussain [Labour] No apparent view.
Islam [Green] It should be redesigned and regenerated.
McNally [UKIP] It’s up to the people to decide.
Sunderland [Lib Dem] Demolish it or retain the towers.
Whiteley [Conservative] No apparent view.
25 / 3 / 12
Get Well Soon, Victoria – 7 / 4 / 12
22 / 3 / 12
NEW ARTICLE EXPLAINING THE ODEON STORY
20 / 3 / 12
SIT DOWN PROTEST PLANNED
The City Park is opening on Saturday 24th March (this Saturday) and we have learnt that a few people are planning to sit with their backs to City Park during the grand finale, facing the Odeon instead. We don’t know how many people are planning to do this but if you would like to join them the finale performance at City Park begins at 6.20pm. Suggest you bring popcorn and 3D glasses if you have them. Remember to always protest creatively, but peacefully – the Bradford way.
19 / 3 / 12
WORD FROM THE HCA – ‘NOT A THREAT, CAN BE RESTORED’ AND ‘NO SEPARATE CONTRACTUAL AGREEMENT IS NOW IN PLACE’
19 / 3 / 12
LETTER TO THE HCA YOU WILL WANT TO READ
19 / 3 / 12
‘HOW COULD THEY LET THIS HAPPEN?’
It looks like the Council have begun to argue amongst themselves about how ‘they’ (previous owners Yorkshire Forward) could let the Odeon fall into its current state instead of being bound by their legal obligation to maintain the building in the state it was in when they bought, until such time as it was redeveloped.
The Council of course could have come down on Yorkshire Forward to have this rectified long ago. But this is the same council who sold part of the city centre to Westfield to build a shopping centre in 2004 and forgot to impose any time limits on completion, leaving us with a hole in the city to this day.
Should this civic vandalism be allowed to be a reason that the Odeon is lost? We don’t think so, and this is why we continue to fight to have the building saved to the fullest extent possible.
16 / 3 / 12
ALL BRADFORD WEST BY-ELECTION CANDIDATES WANT OUR ODEON SAVED
15 / 3 / 12
GEORGE GALLOWAY CALLS FOR HALT TO DEMOLITION PLANS
George Galloway is standing in the Bradford West by-election and has spoken out strongly to support everything that we have been saying. We are glad of his support for the Odeon, although we are not politically aligned to any one party.
13 / 3 / 12
ODEON DEVELOPER IN SERIOUS FINANCIAL TROUBLE
Is this really the kind of business we want to see about to create another hole in the city centre?
13 / 3 / 12
MORE OF THE SAME OLD TALES OF ASBESTOS AND THE LIKE
Now that City Park is about to be officially opened, and the Odeon is covered in scaffolding, a new push to get her demolished has predictably begun, with the raising of new stories of her hazardous nature. These are the same old stories that keep getting printed by the T&A and are about as trustworthy as they ever have been. With the same evidence against them as ever.
20 / 2 / 12
CITY PARK COMPLETE
The city centre pool has been finished and now there is talk of wrapping up the Odeon before its launch.
Whilst we’re not passing comment on the £24million bit of water and paving itself, which will apparently generate £80million in tourism somehow, it has brought the Odeon issue to the forefront of discussions about the future of Bradford city centre.
We have had no updates for ages as the issue came to a standstill, with nobody knowing who would now own the building, who had the final say on her fate, and therefore who we could petition and how. With the city park bringing up questions about the Odeon again we will be pushing to find out this information for you. In the meantime, keep sending people to this site, and to the history and pictures and video of the Odeon.
A NEW IDEA FOR THE ODEON, SOMETHING ABOUT MONOPOLY, AND MORE
We’ll not clog the news feed, just click here for more information. Very exciting.
1 / 3 / 11
THE T&A’S EDITOR GOES MENTAL, PLUS NEW VIDEO AND PICS FROM INSIDE THE ODEON LAST MONTH
The stance of our local paper has jumped from unsupportive to ridiculous, suggesting that even if the deal with Yorkshire Forward does become void and the council gets the building back, she should be knocked down anyway and replaced with ‘a car park and some planters’. If you’re not already aware of why the T&A would be so biased, let us remind you.
We suggest that you contact the Telegraph and Argus and tell them what you think of ‘their view’, you can do so by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
And here’s why they’re so mistaken. These are the pics that caused such a stir at the recent Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting in City Hall:
As you can see, she’s eerily intact, and certainly NOT derelict.
So what now? Well we still want you to speak to your councillors, see below for details. Another meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee is coming up. More details when we get it, but the more of you can contact your councillors, the better. Imagine being in this position a year ago! It just wouldn’t have been imaginable that we could be talking about getting the Odeon back, but that’s what could happen.
22 / 2 / 11
NOTES FROM THE MEETING AND WHAT TO DO NEXT
You can find full notes from the Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting here but the upshot of the meeting is this:
- The Committee were very sympathetic and will be advising the Council about ways to exit their agreement with Yorkshire Forward
- All of the things that we have previously told you about in in our Shocking Facts and Dodgy Dealings section were talked about and acknowledged to be genuine issues
- Councillor John Pennington showed a slideshow of photographs and video taken inside the building THIS YEAR, showing all the decor still intact, all the art deco interiors, seats, drapes, everything.
Moving forward, the Committee suggest that WE, the public, contact our councillors so that they can push forward on our behalf with this new advice from the Committee.
We suggest that you do so by going to www.writetothem.com and ask your councillors about the following:
1: The cut pipes flooding water into the building from the valley gutters which have been highlighted since 2007 and never repaired – why is this being allowed to go on? Yorkshire Forward are contractually obliged to maintain the building in the state it was in when they bought it.
2: The stagemanaged site visit by councillors who were unable to ‘see everything’ as they requested to – why was this?
3: Will we have another Westfield, where we could be beholden to a developer who does not build anything for many years, even worse demolish and leave?
4: Will the councillors to be receptive to any alternative plans which may emerge?
We have also been strongly advised to put in Freedom of Information requests to the Council and Yorkshire Forward, asking them for information on all of the above.
To request information from the council, email email@example.com. To request information from Yorkshire Forward, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Ask them EVERYTHING. Go go go go go go!
14 / 2 / 11
There is a meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee at Bradford City Hall tomorrow at 5.30pm. Please attend if you can. This is all about the Odeon, and it is very important that supporters are there.
13 / 5 / 10
NEW FACEBOOK GROUP CALLS FOR A MUSIC VENUE IN OUR ODEON
A Facebook group calling for an O2 Academy venue to be put into Bradford Odeon has attracted over 2,600 members in five days.
The group has also featured on local and regional news, and puts pressure on Bradford Council and Yorkshire Forward for a response.
7 / 5 / 10
WHAT DO THE ELECTION RESULTS MEAN FOR OUR ODEON?
Both the local and general elections could have positive results in our fight to save our Odeon.
Locally, Clayton – a village outside Bradford city centre – gave 400 votes to independent candidate Mark Nicholson, whose sole policy was saving the Odeon. Not only did Conservative councillor David Servant (one of the five councillors who voted for demolition of the Odeon) lose his seat there, but this proves Bradford Council wrong in thinking that only people who live near the Odeon care about the Odeon. As the Bradford Odeon Rescue Group have long said, there is at least ‘one person on every street’ throughout the Bradford district who wants to see it saved.
Of the new local councillors, many are positive about the Odeon.
In the General Election, Lib Dem councillor David Ward – an Odeon supporter who has spoken at protests and who insisted on the full council vote on the Odeon – is now the Lib Dem MP for Bradford East.
The Conservatives getting in also bodes well for the dismantling of Yorkshire Forward, the QUANGO who currently own the building.
04 / 5 / 10
ODEON HERO UP FOR ELECTION IN BRADFORD
Bradford Odeon Rescue Group member Mark Nicholson is standing as a candidate in the local elections in Clayton and Fairweather Green.
Mark, who has lived and worked in the area, is up against – amongst others – Conservative councillor David Servant, one of the five infamous councillors who voted for demolition of the Odeon last year.
The Odeon is Mark’s main issue, and if he wins in Clayton and Fairweather Green, or causes David Servant to lose his seat over this single issue, it will be huge news both in Bradford and beyond.
03 / 05 / 10
BRADFORD CONSERVATIVES TELL RIDICULOUS LIE
Bradford Conservative party have attempted to make out that leader of the Council – Kris Hopkins – was nothing to do with the Bradford Centre Regeneration board, and was in fact responsible for winding it up, and declaring it a waste of space.
01 / 5 / 10
PYTHON STARS TO SIGN PETITION
Monty Python legends – and successful directors in their own right – Terry Jones and Terry Gilliam have agreed to sign the petition to save the Odeon after being contacted by members of our Facebook group ‘Save Our Odeon’.
Terry Jones – a guest at last year’s Bradford International Film Festival – was contacted by fans in Bradford. Terry Jones then asked Terry Gilliam if he would sign as well, to which he has agreed.
The stars will sign the petition later this month when members of the Facebook group travel to London to take the petition to them in person.
1 / 4 / 10
CELEBRITY ARCHITECTURE EXPERT JOINS ODEON FIGHT
BBC presenter and architectural historian Dan Cruickshank has lent his weight to the fight to save the Odeon building in the centre of the UNESCO City of Film.
The ‘Britain’s Best Buildings’ and ‘Timewatch’ star was in Bradford filming for a new BBC program which invited people to bring their old home movies to be discussed.
Dan first heard about the campaign when members of the Save Our Odeon Facebook group contacted him prior to his visit to the city, to tell him about the public’s battle to save the building. He spoke to other experts at the 20th Century Society and SAVE Britain’s Heritage – both of whom have supported campaigners from the Bradford Odeon Rescue Group – before putting his name to the petition.
He is the third celebrity in a week to have signed the petition, following Imelda Staunton and Jenny Agutter, but the first from the world of architecture as opposed to film. British film director Mike Leigh has also agreed to sign the petition.
30 / 3 / 10
THE GREAT HERITAGE ROBBERY – ARTWORK DROPPED OUTSIDE THE ODEON
Early morning commuters were yesterday greeted with an 8ft square piece of artwork depicting the Councillors who did a u-turn on their initial decisions to save the Odeon at the decision meeting in September. The artwork was dropped overnight on the last night of the Bradford International Film Festival.
The artwork parodies The Great Train Robbery poster, and is entitled The Great Heritage Robbery. It is thought to have been painted by Bradford artist CageOne.
CageOne was once on the front page of local paper the Telegraph & Argus, who boobed by advertising a reward for information leading to his arrest after he painted on property in Bradford which the Council had given him permission to decorate. The paper were forced to issue an apology.
29 / 3 / 10
JENNY AGUTTER SIGNS ODEON PETITION
‘Spooks’ and ‘American Werewolf In London’ actress Jenny Agutter has signed the petition to save the Odeon.
The actress heard about the battle to save the building before her visit to the Bradford International Film Festival, as its star guest on its closing night. Ms Agutter, who was at the festival for a screentalk and a showing of her film The Railway Children, was greeted by Save Our Odeon representatives in film-themed fancy dress, and signed the petition as she left the National Media Museum.
Jenny Agutter is the second film star to sign the petition, after Imelda Staunton’s enthusiastic signing last week.
25 / 3 / 10
SENT YOUR ONE-LINE EMAIL YET?
We’re asking all our supporters to send an email a day – just a one line, maybe only a few words – to developers Langtree Artisan, whose signature is the reason that planning permission hasn’t yet been granted for New Victoria Place – the Odeon’s proposed monsterous replacement.
Email them at: email@example.com
We’re putting ‘save our Odeon’ and nothing more. Please join us in this daily mini protest.
24 / 3 / 10
IMELDA STAUNTON SIGNS ODEON PETITION
During her visit to the acclaimed Bradford International Film Festival this week, the Harry Potter and Vera Drake star enquired about the future of the Odeon building. When she heard it was due for demolition asked to sign the petition put together by local people to save the landmark cinema.
Staunton, who plays Defence against the Dark Arts teacher Dolores Umbridge in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenx, was at the celebrated annual film festival in Bradford, the UNESCO City of Film, to take part in a screentalk session at the National Media Museum. She signed the petition after her screentalk, and underneath wrote ‘SAVE IT’.
This story has been sent out as a press release to local and national media.
20 / 3 / 10
PLANNING PERMISSION STILL NOT GRANTED
We spoke to Bradford Council last week and the Local Government Ombudsman. This is where we currently stand:
The replacement building for the Odeon has not been granted planning permission. This is because developers Langtree Artisan have still not signed the contract to continue. Until this happens, the Local Government Ombudsman can’t progress all our complaints.
What you can do:
Write your complaint, if you haven’t already. Save it. When the contract is signed, the Local Government Ombudsman can start investigating the Council. If you’ve sent it already, save it, and re-send it when we let you know it’s time.
4 / 1 / 10
BOYCOTT NEW VICTORIA PLACE
4 / 1/ 10
BRADFORD COUNCIL RESPONDS TO YOUR COMPLAINTS
Bradford Council have finally sent a response to everyone who has complained about the Odeon scandal. The duplicated response letter, from Julian Jackson in the Planning Department, fails to satisfy ANY of the issues complained about, and and fails to admit any wrongdoing on the Council’s part. It also contains outright lies.
If you have received your copy of this letter – or if you have yet to complain to the Council and would like to join us in escalating this issue above and beyond the Council to the Local Government Ombudsman – we are here to help.
ODEON IN PRIVATE EYE AGAIN!
The Odeon was written about for the second time in Ian Hislop’s satirical Private Eye magazine (Nov 27th – Dec 10th).
The piece was scathingly critical of Bradford Council, accused them of lying to and misgoverning Bradford, and pointed to this site.
The article said:
“Although the city they misgovern is home to the National Museum of Photography, Film and Television and has been declared the City of Film by UNESCO, the party political dinosaurs who control Bradford metropolitan district council are determined to demolish the Odeon, one of the last Art Deco supercinemas in Britain (EYE 1217).
This is despite strong public opposition – 2,000 letters of objections were sent in but somehow mislaid – and the campaign by BORG (the Bradford Odeon Rescue Group).
The cinema is now in the neglectful hands of Yorkshire Forward, a regional development agency based in Leeds, which wants to build a shopping centre and offices on the site. The council claims no other buyer could be found, but when BORG found one who was ready to pay £3m, the offer was declined.
Other lies told by the council include the presence of asbestos in the building, which has been used to keep people out; yet the asbestos was removed in the 1980s.
On 23rd September the seven councillors charged with deciding the building’s future had a tour of it and were minded to vote 5-2 to keep it. Then a solicitor told them how much it would cost if a thwarted Yorkshire Forward were to sue. They then voted 4-3 in favour of demolition. Yorkshire Forward subsequently says it would not have sued.
The people of Bradford have been betrayed by their council (again), and by English Heritage, which has u-turned over the merits of the Odeon (Eye 1242). In protest, Bradfordians now have no option but to take to the streets (which they did last month) and to the internet (see www.savetheodeon.wordpress.com).”
23 / 11 / 09
PERFORMERS, ARTISTS AND TECHIES NEEDED
After the success of the live music outside the venue, and offers from professional artists to come and decorate it, we’re getting ambitious and wanting to turn the venue inside out. If they won’t let us in, we’ll just have to make do with the street. So, we’re looking for performers of all kinds, as well as artists and techies, anyone who thinks they could contribute anything to a programme of events outside the Odeon that we will cover on film and circulate details of to the press.
Can you contribute anything? Contact us if you think you can.
20 / 11 / 09
REVEAL THE INSIDE STORY
17 / 11 / 09
MORE ABOUT BATS
Further to our earlier story, we’ve now found out that a bat survey WAS conducted this year, but mysteriously we’ve only been told:
‘A bat survey was undertaken by the applicant in July 2009, received by the Council on 4th August 2009. The survey was considered to have addressed the presence of any bats at the site and the proposed development would make provision for roosting within the fabric of the building.’
So, not saying they didn’t find any bats, and the report isn’t in the associated documents. We’ve asked for a copy of this, and if it’s proven that there are bats in there, we will be expressing our concern that they’re still planning to demolish it anyway, and will be speaking to the bat conservation lot again.
12 / 11 / 09
BATS IN THE BELLFRY?
We’ve received reports that bats have been spotted going in and out of the building. If it’s proven that bats are living in the building, this could mean the building cannot be demolished. Refurbishment would need to be done in a very careful way, but still, it would mean the building may need to be saved.
A report on the Odeon recommended that surveys were carried out in 2009 to conclude whether there were bats in the Odeon, but no evidence is on the associated Odeon documents to show that this has ever been done.
We are now contacting everyone we can find who may be able to advise us on this, and will post more news when we get it.