2016: June 08 – Speech at East Boldon public meeting

On Wednesday night, I spoke at a meeting of ‘Keep Boldon Green’ at a church hall in East Boldon, a village NW of Sunderland but actually in South Tyneside. Four local women organised the meeting in a rush and due to their efforts well over 200 local people turned up for a packed meeting. It was a big success and the organisers deserve a mighty vote of thanks.

Yet again more greenfield sites are at risk from the tide of concrete, brick and tarmac. The village will be swamped and vital farmland and wildlife habitat lost. The crisis is not particular threats such as that in East Boldon, bad though they are. It is also the fact all councils are pushing the same growth just about everywhere.

South Tyneside council alone is pushing plans that effectively reduce green spaces between it and Sunderland to mere postage stamp sized parcels. Wildlife cannot survive in such tiny fragmented pockets. We will also need all the farmland we’ve got in the even more overpopulated and increasingly climate-stressed world of years to come. Growth is indeed the ideology of the cancer cell. If the developers get their way now, they will only come back for more later. That is the logic of growth and why it must be resisted.

Towards the end of the meeting, a young dapper and newly elected Labour councillor asked to speak. He said that he “fully shared the concerns” expressed by local residents. I noticed that he carefully avoided saying that he would resit the proposals tooth and nail. The other Labour councillor just sat there saying nothing. I do not know which is worse. Typical!

Sandy Irvine's photo.
"This is me speaking"
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