Starting from the wrong place


The old Irish joke – now worn rather thin – that to get where we want to get to we had better start from somewhere else, still resonates.

If you look at the Gloucestershire Vision 2050 Consultation Document, supposedly something to promote discussion about how we can achieve a better County, one is forcibly struck by the feeling that it starts at the wrong place. It wants to know how the County can achieve economic growth, attract more businesses and young people, build bigger cities and even more roads. Even the provision of more green spaces is to promote eco-tourism.

Frankly, this is a business document, drawn up by business people, to promote more business.

What about sustainability rather than growth? How about distributing our resources more fairly? We urgently need more affordable housing, better wages, more active concern about conservation, better (i.e. non-polluting) transport, better social care and so on.

I notice that the original document does not speak of fairness at all. But, if you are thinking about a whole County, prosperity and justice go together. You can’t have one without the other.