I NOTE with some alarm, the statement by the new minister for housing, on October 27, that contrary to recent assumptions in the national press, the full numbers of so-called Eco-Towns are still proposed in two phases: five immediately, for completion by 2016, and five following on, for completion by 2020.
This would fly in the face of concerted and determined local opposition – which saw a petition with 10,000 signatures handed in to 10 Downing Street last month – and in the face of logic.
The arguments against the Ford scheme do not need rehearsal here. I do, however, note a softer approach from Mrs Beckett, who proposes "five in the early stages, with a hope that we will be able to identify 10 at a later stage".
I trust the Minister will forgive me if I do not share her hopes. My own hope is that the new minister has found a bridge to withdraw over, or even a Ford.
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