Martin Pawley is probably forgett ing the political issues when he suggests that John Prescott is for turning on the greenfield issue (AJ 17/24.8.00).
Prescott is bound to be adjusting his 'belt' with election time approaching but Pawley's redundant farmland theory is too simplistic, just like his football pitch theory (AJ 25.5.00) and Armageddon one (AJ 30.5.00) which justified greenfield development.
Redundant farmland is now inevitable just as urban areas have become 'over crowded cities' with 'the crumbling infrastructure'which must take priority.
You cannot create two societies, one ebullient with a future and the other struggling to cope with its obsolescence; eventually one will affect the other.
While it may take decades to change politicians' opinion, the Urban Task Force is a valuable tool to convince them. The cold shoulder shown by the government towards it is tactical and understandable.
Imagine a Labour government supporting a more comfortable life on the outskirts while life is crumbling within.
True, jobs and opportunities would be created in the short term but my guess is that, given another term in office the present government will start to deal with the issues they are avoiding now.
The issues are not just economic, they are also moral. Some control of society is better than none and a state of turmoil and, as Labour support comes from the heart of cities, not from the Shires, there is no value in creating comfortable groups outside our cities.
This is no way to build a just society, whichever way you look at it.
Rex Hawkesworth, Portsmouth