In my capacity as Professor of Seasideology at the Ramsgate Institute of Coastscape Studies, I've been giving a lot of thought to the way forward for our septic isle. Also I haven't had a job for weeks, so it passes the time.
Now, do we really want our lovely lump of chalk concreted over willy-nilly under the battle cry 'JOBS!'? It ain't necessarily so. Sheringham, a quaint seaside town in Norfolk, finally saw off a Tesco mega-barn yesterday after their district council opposed the development and stood up to the retailer that accounts for one in every eight pounds spent in this country. The planning inspector said: 'While the store would have some benefits for the town, they were outweighed by irreparable damage it could do to existing traders and the character of the lively resort.' Sound familiar?
On the other side of the coin, idle hands generally make friends with Mr Swan and Mr Vesta. It never ceases to amaze me how easily things burst into flames in towns that are surrounded by water! Only today, Fleetwood's historic pier went up in a suspected arson attack after being bought recently by a businessman who wanted to turn it into flats, against the wishes of the locals. Sound familiar?
Maybe there's a third way. Maybe a strong council, which put our coastal, rural and built environment top of its list, and stood up for sustainable and sympathetic development to create jobs, would get your electoral juices flowing. That's why, dear reader, I've added another of my 7 day polls to the sidebar on the right!
Click here to read Sheringham story in North Norfolk News
Click here to read Fleetwood Pier story on BBC website