Thursday, January 31, 2008

Build it and they will come. And go. And..

Local news is, by definition, going to be focussed on local issues. But often a story can make me ponder much weighter national issues. One such was in today's Midlands Today.

Addendum - extra info attached, see below.

The BBC site has again let me down on finding more info or a link (though I have asked - LATEST - I am doing well at the moment with helpful replies for follow-up information. It's always well worth trying to locate the author and ask. In this case, the correspondent himself has kindly provided this: Report is there under the TOP STORIES link on the right hand side (I suspect this will have a finite time it's up though. The one to look at is the next under 'Possible commuter problems', though all are worthy of noting)). There's also a specific page for reports from this week's transport features), but there was a report by correspendent Robert Punt that really struck a chord.

Today, in 2008, with all else we have swirling around us, it seems national government is requiring local government to plonk several thousand new homes on some rolling green belt land.

That's bad enough. I just wonder what they plan for when the last blade of grass has been concreted over to provide 'affordable housing' to buy off 'lower-income ratepay... er.. voters' property-owning aspirations.

Thing is, if I heard right, there is also no money, and hence no alowance for any support infrastructure. Bad enough for the plight of the community that this probably includes schools, hospitals, flood systems, etc, but one thing for sure ain't there is transport.

And it's next to a motorway. So, as this valauble piece pointed out, this not so little additional collection of working stiffs will be jumping in their Fiestas each day to earn a crust.

Barking. I look forward to the bin fines to offset the carbon. Not.

Addendum 2 - 1/02

As he was nice enough to show an interest and asked, I have sent the link to this to Mr. Punt. Of course I couldn't avoid a bit of context... which sort of turned into more a rant. But it was a good one and worth sharing here:

There just seems to be no joined up thinking when it comes to environmental matters between government, LAs and, often, business. But always the consumer cops it in the end.

I get livid when I hear the latest anti-car edict issued from Westminster, slavishly (and uncritically) printed by Fleet Street (though often also broadcast by the national BBC) and endorsed by Islingonistas. Very few out here have a tube line at the end of the road. So the car is often the only option. I choose to write for Fiesta family rather than 'My other car is a Prius' Person, the former of whom have lower incomes, mortgages, kids to get to distant schools, 2 weeks tops to spend, with luck, somewhere sunny, and the chance to do one weekly shop of a Friday evening at Tescos.

There's so much more I could highlight where the onus is thrown on those least able to cope, from plastic bags to, like I infer, the latest recycling wheezes. Just how much is spent of massive ad campaigns and how much effort put into punitive legislation, when there are still no credible, coherent systems put in place for the willing consumer to actually do what is best, easily, affordably and to a decent enviROI?

Sorry, rant over. Back to trying to DO something rather than just box-ticking, narrow-agenda-serving exercises in guilt, fear, threat or nanny that so far seem to have achieved little (OK, a teensie bit more of a rant). I sincerely believe the public DO understand the issues, and DO want to help. But they need to have their situations understood better and see things shared that are designed from the ground up to help them help.

And, speaking as an ad man, all lead by end benefit and incentive bolted on to logical, persuasive communications, which seems a much more productive route to consider.

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