If you build it…..they will come.

It’s a story as old as time. The belief that just by building something, people will want to buy it. It was dramatized in a great film – The Field of Dreams.

Here in Basingstoke, pleas to build more houses, especially affordable ones, fail to acknowledgement the very unique situation that Basingstoke faces. In our borough, building too many homes not only suffocates the infrastructure and services that existing residents depend on, it also exacerbates the capacity problem by encouraging more inward migration.

We have built more homes per capita than any of our neighbours. 170% more homes than Hart, 50% more than Reading and 77% more than West Berkshire. This house building splurge has not solved the problem. It’s just opened the floodgates. Basingstoke’s forecasted population growth of 33% between 2001 and 2031 is twice that of Hart and West Berkshire, with 60% of that growth coming from inward migration. Basingstoke’s eyes have been bigger than its stomach for a while. The evidence proves two things. We never get the infrastructure and services we need to support more houses. And if we build them, they will come. So who are we building homes for? We know from The Council’s own research that 75% of residents believe we have built enough homes already and on past evidence it isn’t for local people. So the only people who benefit are the developers.

Basingstoke is a developers ‘field of dreams’. For those of us who already live here, too much more development will become our own nightmare.

Speak Out!

We’re mad as hell and we’re not going to take this anymore”. Those famous lines spoken by Peter Finch in the 1976 film ‘Network’ sum up what a great many people believe about the current state of our political system.

I share some of that frustration, and rather than sit and shout at the newspaper, radio or TV I decided to try and funnel my frustration and energy into becoming a local Borough Councillor.

Councillors can’t have any impact over issues like the EU, immigration, income tax, fiscal and foreign policy and international aid. They can make a real difference to things like local health and social care, planning & housing and the health of our local economy and the communities we live in.

So over the course of my election campaign, and beyond if I am elected, I will use this forum to share my thinking on issues that matter to local people. Whether you agree or disagree, I hope you’ll share your thoughts with me.

Clive