Reading the comments, made me think that most of them were judging the place on what they had heard rather than experienced.
Somebody wrote that "a woman called Thatcher had destroyed it."
Thatcher came to power in 1978, Birkenhead's demise was well under way by then.
Containerisation destroyed the Birkenhead and Liverpool docks, along with the many strikes. Once the import and export of goods on either side of the river declined, so did all its local businesses. Many of its residents today are the descendants of the dock workforce that died along with the docks. Many people and their families are wholly reliant on benefits. But whose fault is that?
Then there was the town's loss of its shipyards. They too were well on their way out when Thatcher came to power. Again, constant strikes and a workforce that had lost its way, coupled with a decline in the shipping industry that couldn't compete with other European shipyards, saw it's eventual closure that also ended all the thriving little industries and shops that relied upon the business that Laird
's provided them with.
What future does the town have? The only thing that's keeping it going, as I see it, is the generous welfare state that must be costing £millions to prop up many in the town.I bet half or more of the outlying communities in the more affluent areas rely upon the state for their pay packets: teachers, doctors, health care workers, police officers, housing agencies, the courts, probation service, the legions of social workers and state employed care workers. I'm sure most of you who visit these forums could add many more.
And the $64,000 question is, if there were tens of thousands of decent paid jobs on offer tomorrow, how many of Birkenhead's benefit claimants or for that matter in any other
town with similar problems, would turn up to claim a job?