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Reports Of The Death Of Dr Beeching Have Been Exaggerated

Headlines about the new national strategic vision for rail concentrated on an alleged Government plan to reverse Beeching, which must have been a relief to ministers given that the document looks like making our dysfunctional franchising system even worse and more expensive to the taxpayer. Reversin...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 07 December 2017

Be Careful What You Wish For

There has been much understandable relief that chancellor Philip Hammond ignored calls from flaky think-tanks for wholesale releases of land in green belts for housing. But his Budget was very far from good news in many other ways. There were a few good things in it on the brownfield housing front a...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 24 November 2017

Predict And Arrive

I was recently challenged to produce a plan for building five million homes in over the next 50 years. My initial reaction was to react like the apocryphal bloke in deepest rural Ireland who, asked by a passing motorist the way to Limerick, replied that if he were going to Limerick, he wouldn-apos-t...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 20 November 2017

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Des Collins warns on Redcar

Added on 26 September 2016

Solicitor Des Collins, who represented families who had had children with birth defects at Corby, has warned the lessons learned should be applied to any remediation of the disused steel works at Redcar.

Mr Collins, speaking to a BBC programme on the first anniversary of the SSI works closure, represented families who won damages after a court ruled in 2009 that dust from remediation of the Corby site was capable of having caused the defects.

Many commentators have since claimed the court ruled the dust had definitely caused the defects, but it merely judged that it was capable of having done so, a crucial difference.

Mr Collins now says the lessons learned at Corby need to be applied at Redcar, though there is currently no plan to clean up the 570ha site.

"What they didn&primet appreciate was that if the material was in the back of a lorry then it could disperse into the air," he told the programme.

No progress is possible on the site as three Thai banks have a claim on it over a 350 million pound loan to SSI.

The SSI Taskforce, chaired by Lord Heseltine, set up to help the area has published a progress report which shows how the 2,150 people who lost their jobs have been assisted.

"The closure of SSI was clearly an incredibly difficult time for Redcar and the wider Tees Valley, but today&primes report shows the real progress thats been made just one year later," he said.


"With a ground-breaking devolution deal and the new mayoral development corporation, the first ever of its kind outside of London, there is real cause for optimism for the region&primes economic future."

But there is currently no reclamation scheme in sight for the steelworks.

Taskforce

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