Notwithstanding his role as the president of the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE), Bill Bryson speaks with great wisdom on the potential damage the NPPF could do to the English landscape.
If government ministers won’t listen to its own people – Francis Maude, a supposedly clever man at the heart of government, describing their concerns as ‘bollocks’ – perhaps they will listen to an American, who has personal knowledge of the damage done to his country through uncontrolled development.
Having tried and failed to get Network Rail to actually do something with the sub-standard Stepping Stones Bridge they dumped on Spalding last year, it now seems that the one solitary light that serves the bridge is the responsibility of the Lincolnshire County Council Highways Dept, even though the lamp-post itself is inside the Network Rail fence. Likewise, even though the bridge’s top walk way floods and freezes in the cold weather, or just simply floods in the rain, this is again the county council’s problem not Network Rails!
So, as well as all the potholes around the district, county highways will have to add Stepping Stones Bridge Spalding to their list of things that need sorting even though their budget keeps getting smaller. Meanwhile, Network Rail can smugly continue to do things we don’t want them to do and then pass the buck when it starts to cause a problem!
Meanwhile, Bill Bryson the Anglophile American, who now resides in England and leads the Campaign To Protect Rural England (CPRE), has come up with a bright idea on how to kick organisations such as Network Rail, when they ignore their duty to keep their house in order. Something called a Litter Abatement Order appears to be a good tool for the job according to Bill and although it’s all a bit tedious to do, the simple threat of doing it can have the desired effect.
I will be taking this to the next meeting of the Spalding town Forum to see what they think about threatening to use these on some of our more uncooperative companies.