Friday, April 04, 2008

Swampy in a Suit

the Heathrow Protestors
From Green Places News:
A new generation of Swampy-style protesters could emerge if the government's public consultation process is not reformed. That was the warning from the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) which says the Heathrow protests on 27 February were a direct result of a process which undervalues community input.

The RTPI believes the protests, which resulted in security breaches at both Heathrow Airport and the Houses of Parliament, occurred because people believe they are powerless to effect change though official channels. The Institute says that unless the community consultation is improved, high profile protest activity against major infra- structure developments will become more common.


“The English are not given to militancy, so you know there are some genuine problems with the way projects are being handled when people start hanging banners from the buttresses of Westminster. Clearly the public is feeling ignored. Heathrow is fast becoming a graphic demonstration of what happens when consultation fails. The government needs to take note and revise the process accordingly, or risk the return of Swampy.”

And it’s not confined to “Swampies”. All sorts of “normal” people are beginning to get irritated and are campaigning on various issues. Nick Hurd, MP for Ruislip-Northwood slams the proposal for a third runway at Heathrow in his latest Newsletter. He also wants to set up a Green Community Action Group. He says:

“I know many of us share a deep concern about climate change and the damage we are doing to the planet. I also know that many residents are frustrated by the condition of our local environment—streets and green spaces that are too often blighted by litter and graffiti.
I do not think we should leave everything to Government and business. We need to engage our community with the opportunity we all have to make small changes that will make a positive difference. Thinking more carefully about energy for example is good for the planet and good for our wallets. We need to build a sense of collective action that will make these changes seem normal.”

Good Luck Nick.

1 comment:

  1. Under current Govt proposals, large-scale planning issues will be even further, possibly totally, removed from local influence than they are now, and will be imposed upon communities when some faceless bureaucrat or well-connected politician thinks it is good for us peasants.