New town is no reason to go bananas
So doubtless many of these properties will be attractive to those priced out of London housing effectively becoming zone 7 of the commuter network.
This will not be the last of these big plans to come forward.
There will be huge pressure for further development – companies attracted by the connections and more reasonable land values. Green fields – already disrupted by the arrival of a new high speed rail line – will be swallowed up.
In reaction there may be protests from the NIMBY lobby, and indeed the new BANANA crowd – build absolutely nothing anywhere near anything – trying to stop the march of the bulldozers.
But they would be better focused on making sure the schools, public services and leisure facilities are delivered alongside the new development.
IT was the last full council meeting before the May election and therefore offered the final chance for the soon-to-be candidates to land a few direct blows on their opponents.
These are always fraught affairs, but with every council seat up for grabs rather than the usual third emotions were running off the scale. With bins such a contentious issue following last month’s strike, it was no surprise that cabinet member Lisa Tricket came in for a battering from the Tory opposition.
Labour had sought to diffuse the issue by committing to weekly household residual waste collections for four years, but the Conservatives continue to accuse them of a ‘secret plan’ to make them fortnightly once the prospect of a voter backlash is out of the way.
So they are effectively accusing Labour of misleading the public with a commitment they know will not be honoured. On the other side Labour have accused the Tories of ‘fake news’ – making false claims about the stated Labour policy. The exchanges grew increasingly heated with barracking, heckling and snorts of derision greeting every speech. There were questions about trust – when the service has been particularly poor in the last 12 months of strike action and reorganisation – how could the leadership be trusted the Tory front-bencher Gary Sambrook asked.
Cllr Trickett replied that the Tories could not be trusted when their campaign material was based on ‘lies’ about Labour’s plans for the service and complained that she was submitted to greater level of heckling and abuse because she is a woman.
This was too far for the Tories who complained – the councillors can be as nasty as they like but calling someone a liar is beyond the pale... although it seems phrases like ‘deliberately mislead’ or ‘fake news’ are OK.
Cllr Sambrook was stung by the accusation of misogyny and suggested that Labour barracking which greeted his comments must be a result of homophobia. Asked to withdraw the comment, Cllr Trickett refused and the Lord Mayor suggested that the Conservatives take up their complaint in another forum while the rest of the meeting moves on. Thankfully Conservative Debbie Clancy and Labour’s deputy leader Brigid Jones followed up with a calmer exchange. Later on during the meeting Labour used their majority vote to cut short a follow up debate on the bins service, much to the annoyance of the opposition who sought to land a few more blows. Labour leader Ian Ward was absent for the afternoon, no doubt delighted that his diary had taken him to Cannes to sell Birmingham to investors at the MIPIM conference rather than put himself through this.
The councillors can be as nasty as they like but calling someone a liar is beyond the pale...
> Cllr Gary Sambrook