Land for sale

An open letter to Herefordshire Council and ESG Herefordshire Limited

Herefordshire is a great county. We love its landscape and scenery and we love its history and culture.

But we recognise that there is also a lot that can be done to make this place better. We are in desperate need of cheap housing for the thousands of the people that are on the local waiting lists. The county needs more leisure facilities, especially the younger generation who in most towns and villages have no space of their own. And like almost everywhere else in the world there is still a divide between the haves and the have-nots; we are still governed by capitalist economics that create inequality and a divisive class system. Capitalism must be destroyed in Herefordshire, and throughout the world.

But what your council clearly believe we need to improve our lives and make us so much more fulfilled is more shops, more chain stores, more useless tat. If only we could afford to buy, buy, buy we would all be so much happier.

Because what the single mother, struggling to get by on benefits really needs is a John Lewis. What the old-age couple living on a pitiful state pension would really love is a Debenhams. What a truly great county Herefordshire would be if you gave us a big shopping centre of our own! And you could really put us on the map; perhaps we could be a proper tourist attraction if Waitrose could boast they have the largest biscuit department in the whole of England.

But what your Conservative-led council has given us is initiative after initiative designed to make more money for the bosses and big business and nothing but cuts in the essential public services that each of us ‘ordinary folk’ depend on to get by. Cuts in education, leisure, childcare services, drug prevention projects Ö the list seems never-ending.

Dearest Herefordshire Council and ESG Herefordshire, we really do have nothing but a deep loathing for your ‘bright new vision’ for the Edgar Street Grid and we will do whatever it takes to get the whole thing scrapped.

You see, because if you get your way and the existing businesses on the grid have to relocate, and many of the independent shops in town close down, it will mean job losses. Many of these businesses are the ones that have already been dealt a hard blow by the recession and the costs of relocating will put many jobs into further jeopardy. That could mean families losing a significant portion of their income, bills going unpaid, the threat of bailiffs knocking at the door, cutting back on the food shop and the struggle to find another job.

This is what it could be like for many of the people working on the Edgar Street Grid; it’s a situation we hope you’ll experience too. Although we know there won’t really be any bailiffs turning up on your doorstep because all those City firms and dodgy banking companies you’ve worked for have already set you up for life. Perhaps you’ll just have to slum it in Sainsbury’s for a bit.

ESG Herefordshire Ltd must be completely wound up. It has already wasted over £10 million presenting its ‘grand vision’, and this is before any work has even started. Maybe all of this money should’ve gone straight into paying for things we actually need, like housing. 

You’ve come to Hereford like a gang of cowboy builders with plans that we know won’t stand the test of time. The evidence is there from countless other towns that your idea of ‘development’ doesn’t work but you carry on regardless. Maybe one day we’ll see you all on Rogue Traders.

We believe that your vision for the Edgar Street Grid will blight the city for years to come. It’s not what Herefordshire needs, nor wants. The campaign to stop your plans has the support of the majority of Herefordians. Remember, when we get together and stick together, we are powerful and we can achieve anything. We will win!

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