Dr John Smith: We don’t know what road ahead holds

Councils need to be open and honest about the problems which will be caused by expansion, says Dr John

Councils need to be open and honest about the problems which will be caused by expansion, says Dr John

0
Have your say

I don’t know what is going to happen next.

That was a phrase, or something like it, that I frequently heard in the hospice.

Serious illness produces a terrible uncertainty; life that seemed so safe is safe no longer.

And, of course, it is not just illness that does this.

Redundancy does it, so do marital problems. The straight road now has bends in it and we cannot see round the bends.

It is often difficult to help because you can’t make it better, but allowing people the time and space to ask questions and to listen to them will go some way, even if you don’t have all the answers.

Rumour and speculation are the enemies.

All of our towns face the possibility of large, some very large, housing developments.

I hope that the people living there will have their dreams fulfilled – a new home, a garden, good local facilities.

But for the rest of us it will produce problems and uncertainties.

Roadworks will bring endless traffic jams, construction traffic will add to it and it will potentially go on for years.

Our hospitals are already under pressure, the pressure will increase.

Planned new medical centres will not relieve it.

Schools will be overcrowded, waiting lists will grow and car parks will be full.

The councils and the developers will say, do say, new facilities are planned but they always follow the house building and rarely come before it.

Our councils need to be open and honest. Acknowledge that it will be difficult for years, and I do mean years.

They should explain how they will deal with traffic congestion, hospital access and schooling.

It is not good enough to say it will be fine, one day. We need to be listened to and our questions answered.

Which brings me back to the beginning.

“I don’t know what is going to happen next, is it going to be alright.” I doubt it.