Saturday, 28 September 2013

Reality check?

Certainly a few interesting revelations recently regarding how the world works round here.

After closely following the process surrounding the incinerator I have come to a conclusion: we are pretty much at the centre of a black hole here. This area receives all the human sewage, household and industrial waste for the whole of South London, has some of the lowest property values  in the region and excels in social problems. The region is experiencing a well monitored ecological and social decline. Its pretty grim.

Planning law does not always apply here. Government objectives for this area are partly delivered via a hidden agenda which is implemented by non-enforcement. Social and environmental obligations attached to planning permissions are often not enforced by any layer of government and those planning conditions are often merely cosmetic in order to justify the granting of permission for further decline.

Ironically one of the greatest agents of decline are  the social and environmental groups that operate in this area. Through an endless stream of consultations, feasibility studies, masterplans and community workshops they attempt to cover up the declining state by re-branding it with terms such as nature reserve and sustainable village. Millions of pounds from funding streams are wasted in talking shops, unimplemented management plans, pretentious events and conferences which provides entertainment, growth and sustainability for the charities and governmental departments while outside the conditions for nature and people spiral into further decline.

So basically it like the whole world in miniature but probably even worse. But nonetheless it's still one of the best areas for wildlife in South London and will continue to provide a refugia for whatever can hang in there as the decline continues. So the focus is on helping out with hanging on to what we can because this thing is  so big- that nothing can stop it at the moment.


StourbridgeRantBoy said...

'Managed Decline' is the phrase that springs to mind Pete. When i lived in Forest Hill 35+ years ago during my formative birding days there were'nt any reserves as such but i managed to join the 'Conservation Volunteers' based @ London Zoo and got out at weekends with like-minded folk.

Keep up the good work.

Laurie -

Peter Alfrey said...

Yes. Cheers Laurie.
I think the only hope is that we can secure a very small part of it, get the right people together and create something amazing. As for everything and everyone else- well the only phrase that springs to my mind is.... to hell with it all? :-)