Friday, August 14, 2009

Have your say on the future of the countryside

The Conservative Party has developed the new 'FutureCountryside' website for canvassing ways of promoting a sustainable countryside.

This recently launched initiative is an opportunity for radical thinking, it aims to engage people to gather views on rural issues, such as sustainability and impact on the environment, against the backdrop of climate change and growing pressures on resources.

I feel rural areas that make up a large proportion of the East Riding of Yorkshire face real challenges in the years ahead, including climate change, development and the over-exploitation of natural resources such as wind and minerals. We face critical decisions over how we will manage the East Riding countryside, enhance biodiversity and cater for the demands of agricultural diversification, improve communications and transport, cater for renewable energy generation in the future, and encourage ‘rural localism’.

Shadow environment secretary Nick Herbert says,” Now is the opportunity for new thinking with radical ideas such as our proposal for a scheme of conservation credits to help us protect habitats and enhance biodiversity. As part of our commitment to new politics, we want to open up this debate."

The 'FutureCountryside' website provides a public forum for stakeholders to discuss the long-term policy decisions that would decide the future of the countryside.

It seeks to assess a range of issues set to affect the future of the countryside in the 21st century.

Over the coming months, it will explore the role of regulation; the potential for new market-led solutions to promote conservation, and how to achieve a sustainable countryside.

The website does not solicit party political support.

This initiative is seeking to engage informed views from across the political spectrum, and is your opportunity to join the debate.


John Jessop said...

Oh dear Paul - another "initiative".
I know I have grey hair and am seen in some areas as an awkward bugger but but why do we need to keep tinkering with the world? Go back about forty or fifty years when small local councils held sway. In Howdenshire everything was run smoothly by a "small" (yes really small) team based in the Hailgate offices in Howden. The East Riding County Council (mark 1) ran such things as schools main roads and health. We had local people who had the local interests at heart in control and in general everything worked just fine.
Having a properly working system wasnt good enough - we saw the demise of the ERCC and the introduction of that bastard child of officialdom known as Humberside. Eventually Humberside was disbanded and a mark 2 East Riding Council created. Unfortunately we did not go back to an efficient system we once had.
Just as one example we had Thornton Dam lane running from Gilberdyke main road Northwards to Sandholme Bridge. This was owned by and maintained by Howden Rural District Council. Humberside County Council were not interested in maintaining it so it degenerated. ERYC are not interested in maintaining it and now it is almost completely blocked in its Northern end section.
Come on you politicians - get a grip of your council officers and departments, and lets see some value for money from our council taxes. Forget the initiatives and get back to basics!

Paul Robinson said...

I would never describe you as an 'awkward bugger' John. But you seem to have missed my reference to ‘rural localism’, which is exactly what you're alluding to .. bringing decision making down to the local level…

John Jessop said...

No , I didn't miss it Paul but my inherent cynicism kicks in and I wonder what tide of "authorityspeak" will flood out to skew the actual wishes of the populace. We shall be lucky to even understand the questions when the steering groups have finished with it, much less recognise the end result.
You will recall us both attending a meeting in Eastrington where one guy seemed to think if he had to he would convince us of his stance by "explaining it" often enough. I think I had to be quite uncivil to him in the end! We'll see if the promised next meeting materialises.