Letter: A millennium park for the stifled south

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The Independent Online
Sir: Your leading article castigating the plans for monumental celebration of the millennium is apt and timely. The ideal project would be one whose value would grow with the years, not decay once the party's over.

Why not a set of projects which move us forward environmentally? In addition to your excellent deciduous forests, what about millennial allotments, millennial cycle paths (but to meet real everyday transport needs, not weekend leisure), even millennial house insulation?

What about technology? A hundred and fifty years ago, Victorian society created the great museums and institutions of learning to ensure that the country would benefit from advances in knowledge and creativity. In recent years, many advancing nations have kick-started this process by creating national centres; the excellent Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research in Bangalore is one of many. A few years ago, the UK toyed with the idea of "Faraday Centres"; the millennium is the time for it to be dusted off.

Lastly, the future of the UK depends on our children and their children. One simple idea would be a national programme to teach parenting skills, both in school and in the community.

Professor CHRIS ADAMS

Birkenhead, Merseyside

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