Nothing corrupt about this, then, is there?
Apparently the Coalition government has confirmed that Bicester, in Oxfordshire, will be the site of the second new Garden City. It is six miles from David Cameron’s home village of Chipping Norton, but conveniently (for those wanting to avoid accusations of corruption) in the next-door constituency of Banbury, held by fellow Tory Tony Baldry.
It is already the home of Chic (that’s not a description – it’s the name of the company) outlet shopping centre Bicester Village, home of many big brands – and for “big”, please feel free to read “expensive”.
Now, up to 13,000 new houses are to be built on the edge of the town, as part of the National Infrastructure Plan. They are part of a £2 billion investment to build 55,000 houses per year until 2020. Do you think they’ll be expensive too?
According to the BBC News article, “Garden cities are large-scale developments in which, according to the government, certain features can be ‘hardwired into designs from the beginning’. The government has said it does not want to ‘impose any definition of what garden cities are’, but features can include ‘quality design, gardens, accessible green space near homes, access to employment, and local amenities’.”
A feature already announced is a new railway station “to serve the expanded population”.
How many locally-born working people will have a chance to live in this new conurbation? How many residents will be migrants from elsewhere (you can bet immigration will be no object if they’ve got wads of cash)? Whatever happened to austerity?
When he announced the plan for new garden cities in April, Nick Clegg said it was a “call-to-arms for visionaries in local areas in need of housing to put forward radical and ambitious proposals” for “beautifully-designed new cities” providing “affordable homes to live in”. But this part of the Cotswolds is already spectacularly well-off and nobody there will welcome a development that will adversely affect house prices.
What we’re looking at here is an expensive dormitory town for the people who have benefited from David Cameron’s premiership – high-cost homes in a luxury environment, served by designer-label shops and with an easy commuter rail link to London and all points beyond.
The whole project is sure to create a large amount of prosperity for Oxfordshire in the immediate future – handy for Conservative MPs whose government stinks and who want to ensure their continued political survival after a forthcoming general election! Meanwhile, other parts of the UK – that need the investment – will go without.
It isn’t for ordinary people, that’s for sure – you can bet the residents’ bins will be emptied by workers who have to travel in from sink estates in other towns – paying for the journey out of their own pockets.
Garden city? With Cameron’s fellow parasites installed, it’ll be a blot on the landscape.
Postscript: It seems Sam Cameron – the prime minister’s wife – has holdings in the company that will be responsible for this development. He reckons he “forgot” to mention it on the register of members’ interests! As one commenter put it: “I’m sure it’s all above board. I mean, he’s an MP, a Tory, a Cabinet Minister and the leader of the country. All positions beyond suspicion or reproach”, while another added: “Yes and we all came up the Clyde on a bike!”
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