The Growth Board – the Leaders of Oxfordshire Councils and their cronies – are helping Government force us to become the New Singapore. We are signed up to 100,000 houses by 2031. This new 2050 plan is for us to take hundreds of thousands of extra homes along an ‘Expressway’ to Cambridge.
Either we have a forced doubling of the county, or half of all homes would be empty, or abandoned building sites swathed in concrete, would devastate our fields (as in Wallingford right now).
URGENT – THE CONSULTATION CLOSES ON THE 25TH MARCH!!! WE SUGGEST WORDING, BELOW
You scroll down to a list of documents and click on the blue one, which is the interactive version. This takes you to the ‘Foreword’ which is a bit uninteresting, so scroll to below the comment field and click on ‘next’. (Don’t be fooled by the lovely words and pictures)! In the Introduction, click on ‘add comment’ and it will take you to the registration page. (I thought my old registrations might work but they don’t).
You could use my text below (in italics) dropping it into any sections you choose! Or just put it all in under ‘introduction’. You can view other people’s comments there too.
OR SIMPLY EMAIL THE CONSULTATION, BY WRITING TO
firstname.lastname@example.org. You could use the following text:
I do not accept the overall premise
I do not accept the premise of the Plan that the ‘Oxfordshire authorities’ and Government have a mandate to single out Oxfordshire for forced economic growth. There have been no deep and widespread consultations, no Citizen’s Assemblies, no BBC debates, nothing to ask the people of Oxfordshire what future they see for the countryside of Oxfordshire. Do we want our County’s economy to be changed from an efficient and attractive rural economy to an engine of growth?
This plan has been hatched by the Local Enterprise Partnership, the Growth Board, the Government and PwC. Most citizens of our county have not heard of the LEP and the Growth Board. The Growth Board is the only local element that contains elected officials, but the Councils themselves have no right to abrogate responsibility to their Leaders alone.
I do not accept that the Oxfordshire Housing and Growth Deal guarantees adequate funding for 100,000 houses in Oxfordshire. The Oxfordshire Infrastructure Strategy clearly states that it will cost a bare minimum of £9 billion to support this housing, whilst the Growth Deal provides a paltry £215 million, just 2%. The introduction to the Plan implies that this pathetic amount is enough for all the affordable housing and infrastructure we would need.
The Infamous Expressway!
What proportion of Oxfordshire people want a motorway (or expressway) to Cambridge? In what sense does this fit in with Zero Carbon aspirations and ecosystem recovery? The No Expressway Alliance and countless others, rightly, totally oppose this 20th Century notion. So do I.
Climate Emergency and the Sixth Extinction
I do not accept that the Plan will resolve the Climate Emergency that we face, or the disintegration of our ecosystem with the Sixth Extinction underway (insects dying out so fast that there could be none by the end of the century, or the loss of over half of our mammals, birds, fish, reptiles and amphibians).
Where is the deep underlying survey of our natural environment? Where is the modelling for how our ecosystem can be restored in Oxfordshire through landscape planning to allow swathes of wild land for plants and animals? Where is the provision for climate change impacts upon the natural world? Where is the understanding that nature is fragile and that we should plan concerted action first and foremost to restore nature, without which climate change increases, we will be unable to grow food, and we live (for as long as we can) in a denuded, dead world.
Topic Paper 6 ‘Securing Nature’s Benefits’ makes it quite clear that nature will not be prioritised in our transformation from a rural County to suburban sprawl. The improvements to nature ‘some of which may go beyond the scope of the OP’ would be paid for by ‘funding mechanisms linked directly to growth’.
Limits to Growth
I do not accept that endless growth can be sustained when at our rate of consumption in the UK the earth would require 3 planets to provide for it.
It is possible and necessary to provide well for our citizens with the immense wealth of our country. We can have prosperity without growth. We should be following the course of Doughnut Economics as recognised by the UN – living within planetary boundaries whilst securing wellbeing for our people.
It is possible and necessary to provide for our citizens with the number of homes we have now, in Oxfordshire. An additional 200,000 homes with the Expressway, plus the unneeded 100,000 being built now will require us to import 600,000 people (from where?) doubling our population, OR half of ALL homes in Oxfordshire will lie empty, OR there will be planning blight and half finished homes and sites stripped of their wildlife with swathes of concrete and then abandoned (as we already have).
I do not accept that in this period of automation and with robots expected to reduce our workload, we need 600,000 more people in Oxfordshire to service jobs and create growth.
It is clear that the ‘economic growth’ envisaged in this scandalous plan is in the form of sales of land and housing, to and fro, as GDP. We can no longer afford to slather concrete over our land, destroying the rich wildlife that lives in the earth, releasing the carbon that is stored in the earth, producing carbon dioxide in the highly emitting process of cement manufacture, solely to exchange dollars with one another. Homes should be for people already here or coming here for a reason to live in. They should not be for sale as investment vehicles.
WHAT ELSE CAN I DO? WRITE TO GOVERNMENT
It is central Government that is forcing Oxfordshire to built an unneeded motorway and a suburban sprawl of unneeded homes.
Please write to:
Kit Malthouse, the Housing Minister (email@example.com)
James Brokenshire, the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Your own Member of Parliament.
In South Oxfordshire these are: John Howell (email@example.com) for Henley constituency and Ed Vaizey (firstname.lastname@example.org) for Wantage Or phone them! John’s number is 020 7219 6676, and Ed’s is: 020 7219 6350.
Your District Councillor
South Oxfordshire people can find your councillor here
Your County Councillor
Your Parish Councillors
You might say:
“Oxfordshire rejects being the engine of growth and funding for government. The iniquitous Growth Deal causes us to build 4 times as many homes as can be filled by future Oxfordshire residents.
The emerging Oxfordshire Plan 2050 will create hundreds of thousands of extra empty homes, unless we double our population. And where would these people come from?
PwC have shown the Government’s aspiration for Oxfordshire to turn into Singapore. We reject this. At a time of Climate Emergency and disintegrating ecosystems we must not desperately push for unbridled growth.
Please scrap the development in the Oxfordshire Plan. Plan instead for the restoration of the natural ecosystem for our County and our Country.”
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR STANDING AGAINST GREED AND FOR TRUE SUSTAINABILITY
We’d be very grateful if you would drop a line to ‘urgentSOScampaign@gmail.com so that we know how effective our campaign is being.
I’M LOVING THIS! WHAT ELSE CAN I DO? SPREAD THE WORD
Please please spread the word! Tell all your friends about this website and the existential threat that Oxfordshire faces from the forces of greed.
We have a facebook group: “South Oxfordshire Sustainability SOS Group” (not to be confused with our deleted but still visible ‘page’ South Oxfordshire Sustainability SOS”)
Our twitter handle is: @sos_south
Oxfordshire Growth Board (the County Council and the District Council Leaders) has signed a Growth Deal with the government which commits Oxfordshire to building 100,000 new homes in exchange for only £150m of additional infrastructure funding. The Oxfordshire Infrastructure Strategy shows £9bn of additional infrastructure funding is actually needed for 100,000 new homes being built 2011-2031.
After that, after 2031, we face hundreds of thousands more homes in the County to fulfill the aspiration of one million homes along a motorway (expressway) between Oxford and Cambridge (in the ensuing 20 years).
We should protect our Green Belt and focus on our wellbeing. We do not want gridlocked roads – worsened air pollution – our fragile ecosystem destroyed – the Thames further polluted with processed sewage – more burden on our schools and health centres; on our social fabric.
Please stand against the forces of greed. Other parts of the country may benefit too if we can protect Oxfordshire. Please use your voice, even if you do not live here.
For more information, here is a crib-sheet on who is controlling us!
And here, a myth-buster on the mantra: “we need more houses”.
What is South Oxfordshire Sustainability?
We are a network of sustainability and nature groups in South Oxfordshire, working closely with other organisations such as the CAG network, the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England (Oxfordshire), Need Not Greed for Oxfordshire, Oxfordshire Friends of the Earth…and many more.
Treasurer: Joni Holt