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The Right Homes In The Right Places

Six days of debate were promised on the Government programme set out in the Queens Speech and, out of a sense of duty, I read through the discussions of housing and social care on 22 June. I hope I saved you the trouble, because little of it was very edifying. Despite a background of near-zero socia...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 23 June 2017

The Times Have Become Interesting

Just when you thought that politics had become predictable, even a first-past-the-post electoral system manages to throw up a result to surprise everyone. Interesting times indeed. And even though the new Government looks superficially like the old, despite the addition of Democratic Unionist Party ...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 12 June 2017

Corridor Vision

One of the oddities of the garden city movement is its obsession with the northern Home Counties and the south-east Midlands. Perhaps this is because the area was the location of its only two garden cities and the first of the new towns they spawned, at Stevenage. Or perhaps it-apos-s because the mo...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 24 May 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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