Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Waffle, banal generalities and avoidance in answer to specific questions

Received this inadequate response to specific questions about making the meaning of sustainable economic growth explicit in key council documents. The answer is waffle which repeats the error of not spelling out exactly what is meant by sustainable economic growth, instead talking in rather banal and and over-used generalities. Once again I've been pawned off with one response to several questions - they dont want to respond to specifics.

QUESTION A 5 - Questions from Glenn Vowles

Sustainability - Core Strategy

Q. The current draft version of the recently developed BDF Core Strategy contains this
statement, ‘ambitious and sustainable economic growth…maintaining the economic growth of Bristol above the regional and national level…’

1. Would the member recognise that this statement requires very heavy qualification to
make it remotely logical or possible on into the future given environmental, social
and indeed economic realities?

2. Would he agree with me that this statement should be qualified using the
concepts: efficiency; environmental limits; renewability; both local and global justice,
now and on into the future; health, wellbeing and quality of life, given that these are
the key features of development that makes it sustainable?

3. Would he agree with me that unless we make full and proper use of the term
sustainable in key documents, especially when paired with economic growth, the
way is open for ‘business as usual’ developments which will maintain or worsen
environmental and social sustainability here and around the globe?

A. The Core Strategy contains 11 Objectives to deliver the Council's spatial vision
for Bristol in 2026. The statement identified in the question is taken from Objective 3
of the Core Strategy. The first of these objectives is 'Ensuring a sustainable future
for Bristol'. The objectives, and the policies of the Core Strategy, are designed to
work together to bring the spatial vision into reality.

Sustainable development encompasses the community's social, economic and
environmental well being. The Core Strategy is right to aim for ambitious and
sustainable economic growth which will provide jobs and opportunity for our
residents. The Core Strategy is also right to promote health and well-being and to
make Bristol a leader in mitigating and adapting to climate change, implementing
low-carbon approaches to development.

The Core Strategy sets out bold aspirations for the city and will be a key driver of
sustainable development. Its policies will deliver flexible and adaptable new
buildings and a pattern of development which makes efficient use of resources. It
will also help to facilitate the growth and development of Bristol's diverse economic
sectors, including the new environmental technology sectors which will be at the
heart of tomorrow's economy.

This is not business as usual. The Core Strategy is a positive response to local and
global issues which will help bring about beneficial change.

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