Letter: Cheerful view from Merseyside

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The Independent Online
Sir: I am not a native-born Merseysider. Nevertheless I was appalled to read Peter Popham (23 April) describe recent shootings, riots that took place more than 10 years ago, a stadium disaster in Belgium and the awful murder of a toddler as somehow linked and illustrative of Liverpool's alleged "urban barbarity".

Presumably he regards the Brixton riots (all of them), the killing of PC Blakelock, unprovoked attacks on tube passengers and the murder of a headmaster as accurately summarising the character of London.

Clearly, his visit to Merseyside was fleeting. Otherwise he would have known that the very obvious new investment here is not (yet) the result of Objective One money but flows from the sustained efforts of government, local authorities and private enterprise alike to build on Merseyside's recent successes.

The region still has much to achieve but views formed from a distance do nothing to support the efforts of local people to realise their ambitions for Merseyside.

Roger Prideaux