The Spectator Blog
Thursday, 16th July 2009
Brown sets an eco-town trap for the ToriesPeter Hoskin 4:50pm Oh no. It looks as though Gordon has been thinking about his legacy again, and four more sites have duly been selected to become eco-towns. Problem is, they're all pretty much in the Middle of Nowhere, which - as I've blogged before - rather defeats their purpose as being either green or attractive for first-time buyers. Either Brown's ignoring the fact most young people want to be where the jobs are; in London, Birmingham, Manchester etc. Or he's expecting all those first-time buyers to do a lot of commuting; which, in turn, means cars, railways, road-building and massive infrastructure projects. Can you just imagine the carbon footprint?
Chances are, though, that the Dear Leader won't be in office to see these towns completed or even begun: construction on the sites announced today would start in 2016. Which prompts the question of whether a Tory government would continue the developments. They said last year that they'll junk them, and I imagine they'll be even keener to do so should they have to deal with Brown's debt crisis. But, as this Times article points out, local Conservative authorities might find themselves in a position where they've spent £millions planning for them (over the months leading up to the next election), and may be reluctant to let all that go to waste. In other words, there may be trouble ahead for a future Tory government over this - which could be all the legacy Brown wants.