Letter: Class concerns in Warwickshire: why should rural communities lose out?

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The Independent Online
Sir: Alan Smith, in writing about village school closure in Warwickshire (Letters, 8 October), says that the debate should be widened to take into account post offices and shops closed, he suggests, by the opening of supermarkets and the building of roads. To these possible reasons can be added planning policy for refusing houses, aided and abetted by Nimby residents who do not want their villages 'spoilt'.

There is another way of looking at the problem in this age of scarce resources, public and private partnership, community development and parental control. This is for villagers to do something to help themselves, other than producing babies. A local trust could enable those usually well-heeled and well-educated people involved to contribute money and services for local needs, whether teaching, maintenance or other tasks, and so allow more local government finance to be targeted to needy urban schools. The same principle could be applied to shops and libraries, so giving the villagers a real stake in their future instead of depending on local authorities.

For their part, planners need to be more concerned with healthy communities than policies of restriction laid down in another age. Perhaps the people of Warwickshire could lead the way.

Yours faithfully,

JOHN HOLLIDAY

Edge,

Gloucestershire

10 October

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