NEW infrastructure is desperately needed in Stratford district.
Stratford District Council called on the government to allocate funding to the district for more schools, adequate health provision and better transport last week.
And now a government advisory body has echoed Stratford’s infrastructure warning.
A large number of new houses had been built in Stratford district over the past 20 years, Coun George Cowcher, SDC’s planning spokesperson, told a full council meeting, but new infrastructure had not kept pace with the needs of a growing population.
He explained: “Top of the list for most electors is house building and its disconnect with the provision of infrastructure. Many of us will have been challenged on the doorstep about why children cannot be accommodated in local schools and why we are losing our hospital beds. Where are the dentists providing NHS provision?
“We have also got a very quickly growing level of population – 1.8 per cent in the last census period and we are also proposed to have another 10,685 people by the middle of 2028.
“Despite this enormous growth, we have not been guaranteed enough government money to tackle key infrastructure issues and it will never be possible to rectify these deficiencies by building yet more houses.
“Central government has largely neglected Stratford because of the inactivity of our local MP but also because we have not always been clear about precisely what we require.
“We now need to make sure that we are doing that advocacy to government about what we need for education, health and transport.”
His words were echoed a few days later by an influential report to government.
The National Infrastructure Commission insisted that modern, reliable infrastructure was needed to support economic growth, help tackle climate change and enhance the natural environment.
The government’s independent advisors on infrastructure strategy continued that improved infrastructure to boost economic growth across the UK and meet climate goals was both acheivable and affordable if the right policy steps were taken and significant public and private investment in infrastructure was made – “but we need to get on with it”.
Coun Cowcher added: “We welcome the Second National Infrastructure Assessment calling on the government to properly fund infrastructure provision.
“This is exactly what the council recommended unanimously last week.”
The council motion called on the government to allocate sufficient funds to the providers of health, education and transport services to ensure the needs of Stratford district residents are met.