Prosperity without Growth

Letter to Hereford Times 17 August 2017


Startling claim

MR A W Johnson, leader of Herefordshire Council writes about the need for a Hereford bypass (letters column July 13 ) citing as reasons, future traffic management and opening up the space for 6,500 houses and businesses which must be built by 2030.
He goes on to assert: “Our future depends entirely on growing the economy and income.”
This is a startling claim and I think it’s increasingly untrue.
A desirable future for the people of Herefordshire is definitely possible. But it depends on a whole host of things and unlimited economic growth will ruin everything that’s unique about it.
Since the mid 20th century the world economy has grown by more than five times. However, over recent decades expectations of further growth have created enormous levels of consumer debt. And now growth is increasingly stalled by hard physical limits such as depletion of resources, environmental devastation, financial crises, mountains of debt and the rapidly deteriorating net energy of oil.
Our future, Mr Johnson, does not depend on the fantasy of an ever-growing economy. Our future depends on us clearly seeing the reality of our situation, moving away from growth in consumption and towards improvements in the quality of life.
Herefordshire is a wonderful county, we can thrive, we can create something better. Growth is over – what about “prosperity without growth”.

Bridge over the River – Wye?

Letter to Hereford Times 17 August 2017

River’s role
THERE are interesting links to be made between recent items in the Hereford Times.
The river party ‘Wye Float’, and Herefordshire Lore’s new project ‘River Voices: Stories from the Wye’ are just two examples of the central role this beautiful river plays in our lives.
And of course this is the time of year when we see hundreds of tourists enjoying canoeing, birdwatching, and walking the Wye Valley walk.
Our council promotes the Wye as a prime attraction, and recommends walking from Hereford to Breinton Springs to admire this unspoilt stretch of river, and its surrounding meadows, orchards and woods.
Meanwhile, Tony Johnson, our county council leader, tries to persuade us of the ‘need’ for a massive bridge and road through west Hereford ‘to open up space for new housing’.
This road is also being promoted by the council as a relief road for the motorway system! More houses and more traffic – not exactly solutions to congestion!
Last week’s item on planning permission being refused for the decking and summerhouse overlooking the river Wye quoted councillors’ views that the construction ‘adversely affected the character and amenity of the landscape’. Following that reasoning, how much would smashing an enormous new bridge and road through Breinton’s unique scenery ‘adversely affect the character and amenity of the landscape’?!
Mr Johnson also appears in the paper making another desperate plea for suggestions on how to save money.
A good place to start would be to cancel this hare-brained scheme, which, as we know from experience, would end up costing us all a fortune, as well as causing irreparable damage to the precious green lung to the west of our city.


Jeremy Milln standing in Golden Valley South By-election

The by-election on 7th September for this County Council ward follows the resignation of Graham Powell (Cons). Jeremy’s campaign leaflet will be hitting the streets very shortly. In it he says:

I’m a self-employed conservation archaeologist from Hereford with children at the Sixth Form College and the Steiner Academy. Locally I’m secretary of the Longtown & District Historical Society and lucky enough to have many friends here. Since I have no vested business or property interest in the ward, my concerns are purely for its people, and for this beautiful and ancient landscape. The Green Party stands for social justice, fairness, equality and care for environment that we may live in happiness together.

If elected I would work hard for:

  • the four parish groups in the Ward (Abbey Dore, Ewyas Harold, Longtown and Vowchurch) with the implementation of their Neighbourhood Plans
  • decent broadband coverage especially in Craswall and St Margarets where many businesses are still disadvantaged by slow speeds
  • affordable housing for local people, enabled perhaps by setting up a Ewyas charitable trust as a means of sharing skills and resources within the community
  • hill farmers concerned about their livelihoods in a post-Brexit world and the opportunities for sustainable diversification
  • our excellent local primary schools, outdoor education and the Mountain Rescue Centre
  • the life of our landscapes and wildlife and the conservation of the historic places we love — especially of our castles, places of worship and our public houses (not necessarily in that order!)
tel 01432 357085 mob 07779 034457

This is a great opportunity to strengthen Green Party representation on the County Council. If you can help in any way with the campaign, please get in touch.

thumbnail of Jeremy Milln leaflet A REV1

thumbnail of Jeremy Milln leaflet A REV1