Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Letter on Sustainable Communities Act

Dear Editor,

In response to your inside story covering our campaign to ratify the Sustainable Communities Act 2007 in Croydon, I reply with fustration at the council officials comments regarding the apparent ‘weakness’ of the Act. Let us not forget that this is the same council, which grants the unsustainable development of out of town superstores as well as their conglomerated counterparts such as Tesco Metro’s, surfacing ownership more or less on any spare piece of brown-belt remaining. It seems to be with immense regret that our council have allowed big business to overrule and dictate the path of economic development in Croydon in favour of shareholder returns in place of the livelihood of butchers, greengrocers, fishmongers, to name but a few which were once upon a time part of the back-bone of the once many vibrant communities, which entwined Croydon only to be replaced by a multitude of takeaways and fast-food outlets - we are surely spoilt for choice, no need to source our food locally when all we need to do is grab some deep-fried pre-incarcerated chicken drumsticks and genetically modified potato wedges and head straight home in time to catch the next episode of Big Brother? Are our lifestyles really guided by personal preference or are we now living in a society which is governed by what our chosen politicians gift wrap as democracy? And let us move on to our public services. The few remaining local post offices struggling to provide a value added service against all the odds in a climate fighting centralization. Police stations are centralized, reduced to part-time or closing completely not to mention our local fire stations. Is it at all surprising that the word ‘local’ doesn’t seem to register on our radars any more? To many of us, shopping and working locally involves getting in the car and driving to the nearest out of town shopping complex, motorway, or train stations and even our children’s schools if we can find a space! Infastructure goes deeper than simply adding roads. Community and locality is the key to improving our quality of lives, and it seems the only piece of legislation designed to encourage the return of our vibrant past is being excused as too weak. Could it be that council officials are concerned that the community are not capable of deciding how to contribute to decisions which benefit the vibrance of our town? The petition says it all LBC, the community disagrees. We call on LBC to appoint a Citizens Panel, sit up and Act Now and sign by July 31st.

Amelie Elisabeth Boleyn

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