Sunday, 4 December 2022

We need to re-learn the use of the word NO..

It is actually a great privilege to be able to understand another culture and language. I am not talking about Wales on this occasion but what us Welsh speakers call Yr Iseldiroedd. Translated to The Lowlands. In other words The Netherlands or as I tend to say Holland. Basically Holland is only the two coastal provinces, Noord and Zuid (North and South Holland). I am from the north. But to come to the point – Reading a report about planning problems and concerning development in the Netherlands which apparently has thrown up a big problem. They have or are close to having, run out of space! Meaning where can they build the new houses, the infrastructure accompanying, the factories to provide work? Even worse, where can they now have land to grow their produce? The demand for housing is taking precious agricultural and forested bits (as much as is left still) resulting in the government scratching their heads about how now to deal with the ever increasing migration all western countries experience. They also want to re-wild vast tracts to save the indigenous flora and fauna as well as accommodate the millions of overwintering visitors. This has to be the result of planning failures and yet again lax political governance. Being afraid to say NO.

This is precisely what we see in this country, the United Kingdom. But I think particularly so in the English bit, England. Wales has only 3.5 million citizens and is pretty strong in governing its national parks but even here there are pressures. England has 55millions to deal with and London as well as the Midlands (Birmingham et al) are ever increasing in size. Also thanks to unbridled migration. It must be said that the European open borders makes the problem worse than we are experiencing. What happens with the boat migration is that we tend to get single young males, not many families. This tends to fuel the criminality here when these people find it difficult to assimilate. There are a plethora of problems to overcome. Scotland has 5 millions and vast open spaces of a mountainous type. The problem is the same all over, how to equally share the incomers and also the needed money to develop the infrastructure. But as now very noticeable in the Netherlands there is an end somewhere. We need a coherent, and well-working development policy or policies and very much include in those the need for green spaces. It has been known that even the so-called Green Belts have been under pressure. It is really time to put our thinking caps on – WHAT do WE want? How do we want to live? Even how and where we build houses? The truth is we just cannot keep building houses – where I live the Council has made a big mistake, literally plonking houses (estates) in one place forgetting the necessary infrastructure. The result? Vastly increased traffic clogging up the small roads and valley towns where most people park in the road on both sides, making it worse at certain times of the day. The air quality has taken a big dive! The one doctor’s Surgery is now entirely dependent on Locums as the main owners have taken ill due to stress. The towns inhabitants cannot make dentist appointments as the books have closed. All this is a failure of proper planning and unwilling to use the word – NO.

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