State development

It was reported this week that not only is what little redevelopment that’s happening in the town centre being funded by us via the state, but also that building in Swindon’s front garden is also being bankrolled by public funding. Now I don’t mind, too much, the tarting up of Swindon town centre being paid for by our taxes. If the regeneration of Swindon town centre hadn’t stalled it would have been paid for through levies on developers which, ultimately, gets passed on to those that buy the properties and then to those that use them, i.e. the local population. Either way, it’s taxation at the behest of local government.

Unwanted in East Wichel? Photo © komadoriRather more objectionable is use of our money to build houses that aren’t wanted locally and now seemingly aren’t wanted by anyone else either. For decades central government has prevented most local councils from spending money from council house sales on building new houses. They still do. Yet now central government’s throwing money at housing developers, to the tune of almost £50,000 per house built in the case of the Swindon scheme.

If our money is going to be spent concreting over the local countryside, I’d rather us locals had a say in where and when it’s done.