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A Five Billion Pound National Disgrace

Having watched the progressive degradation of Government policy on planning and transport in England over the past 15 years, I thought I was beyond being shocked. But a quick analysis of the Government announcement on its five billion quid Housing Infrastructure Fund left me speechless. Well, almost...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 04 February 2018

Transformational Dreams

Thanks to a quirky coincidence, I was in a small town in the north of England when Transport for the North launched its Strategic Transport Plan, setting out its aspirations for what it grandly called transformational growth over the next third of a century. Well, quite a lot of the north is in need...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 21 January 2018

An Egregious Future

Few elephants live in this country and most of those that do live in zoos. So conservation of them is unlikely to figure in any 25-year environment strategy, which is a pity, as the Plan published by the Government yesterday must have had two very large pachyderms roaming silently around the launch ...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 12 January 2018

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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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