Tuesday, 20 August 2019

Infrastructure - problems? You decide...


There is a word that is used frequently in the media, infrastructure. I live in an area of Wales, not far from the capital Cardiff where an enormous amount of building is taking place. Whole farms have been taken over, flattened, and made ready for hundreds if not thousands of dwellings. These are private houses by the large building companies. The question is twofold – firstly why, do we need so many new houses? And why private dwellings and very little social housing? Secondly, has the infrastructure been updated or renewed? The first question is an interesting one because in my opinion, yes we need some new houses simply because of the altering demography. But this house building is happening everywhere. The Rhondda has a decaying housing stock, simply because of past grave mistakes and omissions made by respective governments. But owners and landlords do update the dwellings and frankly there wasn’t a big problem. Tonyrefail a smallish village of about 18,000 people has a LDP (Local Development Plan) with some 1,000+ new dwellings. That would equate to 4,000+ new inhabitants. So, quite a development in South Wales. One might ask what the rationale is? It has everything to do with movement of people westward. People moving out of the Home Counties, in particular the London/Reading areas, selling their expensive homes and relocating to Wales where housing is up to 20% cheaper! It probably stems from the rising criminal activity and lawlessness now prevailing due to government/EU policies. The Rhondda now acts as a 'sleeper town'  to take up the poorer people displaced from the richer southern Welsh areas. Whatever the cause, I am looking at areas full of houses and people but no proper infrastructure, no more doctors, dentists, or improving roads. People will want in the end use their cars to go to work and for leisure. In Tonyrefail there is just one road in and cars parked both sides of the street. It is the major bus route from the upper valleys to Cardiff. At times traffic comes to a standstill. Now all this occurs with 18,000 people, what will happen if we put another 4,000 or so on top of that? 
In the Cardiff region we talk of many more new inhabitants, up to 5,000 or even more. Apparently doctor’s appointments make waiting times of up to three weeks a normal occurrence. Local dentists said their patient registers are closed. Friends, this is just happening in a small area of Wales. We as tax payers are paying thousands for people to ‘govern’, to ensure a decent living for all. By all accounts the council chiefs can earn anything up to £200,000 per annum. With corresponding salaries for those below grades. In private firms if a manager fails they get the boot. In council/government terms, you get promoted.
Indeed, the original two questions have a bearing on that latter statement. It all circles around the quality and competence of public servants. Instead of people going to university to study home economics or pop culture (pop music that is, not lemonade) and apparently there is a university somewhere that offers studies in Harry Potter (don’t mention his underwear). Please start to study the subject of the INFRASTRUCTURE of inhabited environments, as a matter of urgency.

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