Was at the environmental fair yesterday and lots of interest in our stall campaigning for the upholding of London Plan and LBS Planning Policies to create a premier urban nature reserve at Beddington Farmlands as part of the coreland for the Wandle Valley Regional Park. Visits to our stall from lots of passionate people and also including the CEO of the Royal Parks, the Mayor of Sutton and our local MP.
Very interesting talking to various people regarding several concerns. The main concerns were related to the local area being used as a sink to dump wider problems with a lack of protection from the local authority/government despite their own 'commitments' to local social/environmental improvement- so basically those policies are being used as a front to hide a different reality.
Also along the same vein there are fundamental concerns over the implementation of policies regarding provision for nature and the needs of local people when there is a reliance on a corporation (Viridor in our case) to implement those policies. It seems apparent that our cash strapped local authority cannot enforce legal conditions attached to planning permissions when it comes to taking on expensive legal teams of the large companies.
It seems to all boil down to whoever has the most money gets to call the shots and in our case Viridor get to decide how they treat the local people and the wildlife- for better or worse. So due to the tyranny of litigation risk they more or less have absolute rule with a choice to act in a social/environmentally responsible way or in a way that trashes the local society/environment. So....so far.... round here's its a money dictatorship and local democracy and commitment to social/environmental policy is just an illusion.
Soooooooooooooooooooo........... what can be done about that?
Meeting with lawyers later today to see what the remaining options are. Options are slowly converging on martyrdom :-)