What a tangled mess the government have created! Net immigration of 745000 is on the surface too high. It is equivalent to the population of Nottingham! I say this from an environmental point of view. However the situation is much more complicated.
The UK has a massive jobs shortage (possibly in part caused by the NHS under funding of this government. The number of people claiming sickness benefit is over 2000000.). In part this is also caused by the lack of planning for an ageing population (which has grown year by year(joke!). Brexit also caused specific job shortages in certain industries like hospitality.
The lack of any coordination of this migration inevitably leads to disharmony in some areas where unfunded migrants are forced to create imbalances in societies (often at the lower end of a socio-economic scale. Language classes, which would have aided integration, have been closed due to lack of funding.
And whilst the Ministry of Education has had more ministers than most football teams have had managers! there has been no planning for the skills shortages that are now apparent. Whilst Sunak has made a lot of noise about planning for the future whilst evidence shows that there has not even been planning for yesterday!
So should migration be reduced? I believe a sensible answer is that immigration should be organised in a sustainable fashion. The present government and right wing press are more likely to stoke division and animosity though (however this explosion of immigration numbers has happened under a conservative for 13 years – and the Mail and the Express will have to work hard to find lawyers and civil servants to blame!).
Remember too that these migrants are allowed in with work visa’s and have not battled the English Channel. many are part of deals related to trade (India), war (Ukraine) and politics (Hong Kong). Will European countries offer help to Palestian refugees fleeing from Israeli genocide?
It has been wet recently. I emptied a bucket about 2 weeks ago and it is now full again. the soil is saturated – a drive along rural roads is like navigating a river. The forecast is for more rain starting early morning and lasting most of the day. It is a credit to the Environment Agency that flooding has not occured around here. However much new housing has been built on flood plains and I wonder how much the flood defences can cope with.
The Met Office has announced another Yellow warning for rain here. We have missed most of the heavy stuff from Ciaran but have had a period of persistant wettish weather. The Met Office is correct that sodden ground may lead to flooding, but the public will be wary of the “crying wolf’ aspect. We had a wind warning for Ciaran but nothing of note happened. Could the met office please publish cumulative statistics to support warnings where the event itself is not notable, but is part of a chain of events.
Incompetence or calculation? In March 2020 the government pledged a £950 rapid charging fund to enable the transition to electric cars. As of today the amount spent is zero! Motorway service stations are waiting years for connection. Moto has asked just for the provision of the power, not a subsidy. Yet another hit for our climate change commitments.
On climate change – Storm Ciaran is on its way. A Greenpeace report has revealed that a huge number of flood prevention schemes are in poor repair (4204 in poor or very poor condition)… The North has had extensive flooding in some areas, now it is the turn of the South west. Checking the tide it seems that we are just past the spring tide maximum but still expect a tide over 11m. With high wind speeds and low pressure this could cause problems along the Somerset Coast. When will Sunak and Co realise that climate change is detrimental to the British Isles?
There has been no big hike in population in the last year, but demand for rental properties has risen massively. House prices are falling which indicates a surfeit of demand.
Over the last 10 years (to 2022) the number of second homes grew by 13% to 809.000 whilst there are a million empty homes in the UK. I am sceptical regarding the calls for planing restrictions to be eased. With increased congestion on the roads and ULEZ it would make sense for more flats in cities central areas. Building houses in areas with no jobs, shops or facilities makes little sense. No wonder Jenrick was spouting conspiracy theories this week at the Cons Conference. Has he done some more dodgy deals with developers? If built in suburbia and the countryside where are people going to park when going to te city? I think Waitrose amongst other supermarkets are proposing the building of flats above their shops – that seems mega sensible although they are doing it for purely financial reasons.
So Truss mentions the anti-growth coalition after she was interupted by Greenpeace Activists. I think she meant it as a disparaging comment – personally I am proud to be anti-growth. Our Planet is not growing, we are just seeing an increasing amount of her wealth concentrated in te hands of a few.
Tories try to con the workers that they need growth to receive higher wages. Not true – just a fairer distribution please.
My apples that I normally pick in late October are going rotton on the tree. A friend of the other side of the village said her trees were the same. It is a shame as my labels were working a treat. My backgarden is too small to attract the birds and animals that may enjoy the windfalls. No windfalls here as they are rotten before they hit the ground.
Di Redfern who writes for the Mendip Times, liked the article I sent her on Nature, and the need for less tidiness to provide shelter and homes for insects through the winter, she had planned a similar article for a future edition
His suggestions do not make economic sense. He proposes to limit the 20mph limit from Whitehall – where is the local democracy? If residents do not like it they can use their ballot. Limiting use of bus lanes seems pointless – allowing use when it is not busy anyway is going to help how? Rationalising speed limits would make more sense! Near here there are 6 different speed limits in 2km! Perhaps Khan should have imposed 20mph across London – that would cut emissions!
On a rational note – encouraging the motorist viv a vie the bus passenger will just reslut in more traffic and slower journeys and more pollution. I am not sure it is much of a vote winner anyway – yes there are 20+ million motorists but they are also residents and there are 45% of the poor who cannot afford a car. Perhaps more thought needs to be put into the 15 minute city concept?
A fundamental rethink of travel is needed – buses have WiFi so the need for speed is vastly reduced. Manchester has just taken its bus service back into public ownership – if this can reslut in a better and cheaper service, then good. Why is it cheaper to drive than use public transport? Is petrol too cheap? Should there be an environmental levy on it?
There is also a need to differentiate between urban areas and rural ones. Urban areas generaally have better public transport whilst in some rural areas it is non-existent. However rural areas have greater potential for charging points near housing for electric vehicles. Efficient park and ride schemes at low cost (vouches for use in city centre shops and services – a new currency?) could encourage people back to the High Street and avoid clogging the streets.
2 sources of info. When traffic is moving optimally in London’s city center, average speeds hover around 25 kph. Across the entire year, the overall average speed is 17 kph. and
london.gov.ukhttps://www.london.gov.uk › … › Find An Answer
8.7 mph to 7.1 mph in central London; 12.5 mph to 11.6 mph in inner London; 20.3 mph to 19.3 mph in outer London.
Pedestrian deaths as a result of a road incident increased by 15 to 376 in 2022. E-scooters deaths grew to 12 – this is two more cases when compared to the previous year. Cyclist were the only road user type to report a drop in the total of road fatalities in 2022. In total there were 85 deaths, 26 fewer than in 2021. How many were the result of a car travelling at more than 20mph in an urban area?
That year, on average, a fatal accident resulted in over almost two million British pounds of prevention costs. The cost of slight accidents was substantially lower, but not insignificant, reaching some 16,700 Great British pounds.20 Jul 2023. So I think we can put the cost of accidents to pedestrians at above £1billion. So why is Sunak panda’ring to the motorist other than pure electioneering.
A report states that one in six see ies in the UK face extinction. 43% of bird species at risk, 31% amphibians, 28% fungi and lichens, 26% terrestial mammals. Flowering plants distribution is down 54%. Only 20% of farmland is in nature friendly schemes. I would suspect that the % of gardens that are wildlfe friendly is less than that. Only 5 or 6 front gardens in my street out of 80 have anymore than a random showy flower like a pot of geraniums. The number with wintering places for insects is just one – mine! I know it looks untidy that is the point! Tidiness destroys wildlife. I leave the hollow stems of the fennel and the dying remnants of the lovage. I have however planted some shrubs and roses to add a bit of colour in the front.
At the back I am cutting back the buddleia and the nettles bybthe greenhouse door, but am trying to leave the thistles and the thicket that has developed behind the raspberries. I like to think that whilst others provide daytime entertainment for insects with food from flowers I am. providing a home for some to overwinter. I am not sure the bird box was used but remember a couple of years ago when I did not tidy some hedge cuttings we discovered a wrens nest with eggs amongst the strewn branches.
I need to order more bird food and a couple more feeders – I guess a bird food with more fatty bits in would be better for the little ones this winter. First storm – Agnes- of the autumn went past without much ado here – I think it went further north, but a couple more depressions are on their way. Looking out of the window I notice that my peace lily seems to be on last legs. Aloe vera all doing fine and flame lily by front door looks healthy. I will leave the lemon and lime trees outside this winter but do have some bubble wrap if it gets very cold – at which point I will bring them in. No signs of what the winter will be like though?
And then the government fucks us all by giving the go ahead for Roseland despite most scientists and economists saying that the world does not need it. Any analysis of right wing propoganda will reveal that money is the emperor – feed the people on cheap crap food from corporations whilst raking in profits – despicable!
So Sunak is making a play for votes by promising 1 million new homes over the next Parliament (to be built along side the 40 new hospitals?). This seems like a knee jerk reaction to rising rents and mortgages.
I guess most are needed in the South-East which already has a crisis of road traffic, and pressure on public services. There seems to be little demographic analysis of needs – a while back a Housing Minister stated that all new homes should have gardens. I would suggest that different age groups have different needs, but the house builders know which properties make the biggest profits. The government sets targets for Local Authorities. I would suggest that there is a classification scheme based on bedroom size/ terraces/flats/ semi’s, detached – luxury versions available? In a rural area it would mke more sense for the more expensive housing, whilst city centre developments could be more attuned to the needs of the young/single.
Rural areas often have poor bus services,and few facilities and are thus unsuitable for many. Consideration of facilities such as schools and health centres needs proper consideration along with water supply and sewage disposal/treatment.
OK I am privileged and live in a village. 200 new houses have been built recently and no new facities apart from a small swing park. I believe all use cars to get shopping from supermarkets 12km away, and to get to entertainment. The health cetre is in the next village. The well run and well stocked village shop is doing ok. Those who read this blog will know I am a bit of an anti-snob. However it would have made sense to me if the new housing estate had been replaced with maybe 10 4/5 bed quality houses surrounding a new village green (the village does not have one) and a pond (the site was sodden at times anyway). Rather than large gardens on some properties would it make sense for a small area and the option of an allotment? Allotment areas would do much to counter the pollution in cities and towns.
Ephasis needs to be put, not on the houses, but the communities they could create. has any estate been built in last 20 years with a youth centre? I accept that Cubs, brownies, scouts and guides can be a little too middle class (cubs was for me back in the 60’s with its militaristic use of badges/medals and flags). but society and the environment need the youth of today.