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RSSAndy Boddington

Andy is a freelance writer and campaigner. He lives in Shropshire and writes on planning and the environment when he should be busy writing history. He is a Lib Dem preparing to stand in the 2013 local elections. He writes here on a wide range of issues representing no one in particular but himself. 

Blog posts by Andy Boddington

The bedroom tax undermines families and communities

April 1st, 2013 by Andy Boddington

People find personal security in a lot of different ways, but chief among the rocks they rely on are their family, their home, their friends and money in the bank. It is easy to dismiss money as a poor substitute for family and home. When you are struggling to find somewhere decent to live, it quite ...

Second homes – good or bad for the countryside?

March 31st, 2013 by Andy Boddington

Sir Andrew Motion, the president of the Campaign to Protect Rural England has caused something of stir this weekend by launching a salvo against second home owners in the Times. I wriggle with discomfort at his words. Take for the example the pejorative phrase: “They're townies in the countrys...

Lyveden New Bield: a heritage victory to celebrate

March 8th, 2013 by Andy Boddington

There is great news today for heritage. It is truly a cause for celebration. The setting of Lyveden New Bield, an unfinished Elizabethan lodge by Sir Thomas Tresham, has been saved. A year ago, a planning inspector drew howls of horror from local communities and heritage experts when he approved a f...

HMV is dead – long live the High Street

January 15th, 2013 by Andy Boddington

It is a curious thing, but the demise of HMV and chain stores of its genre may just be the saving of many high streets. Over four decades, the character of far too many high streets has been eroded by identikit chain shops and cavernous shopping centres lined with yet more chain shops. But many of t...

Legal action against the Rutland Three has scary implications for democracy

January 11th, 2013 by Andy Boddington

Rutland is a small and beautiful county caught up in a big and ugly row. Council leaders and officers have been facing vocal and persistent opposition from three independent councillors who style themselves the Rutland Anti-Corruption Group. The council has had enough and has turned to its lawyers. It is the task of lawyers to find ways of protecting the interests of its clients and Rutland’s legal advisers have com...

Ludlow in poverty: If not the churches, who?

November 30th, 2012 by Andy Boddington

If it’s not the state – and national government and many local councils seem increasingly disinterested – if it’s not charities – and many are stretched beyond the limits of their resources – then who will take up the cause for those that are poor, jobless, old or...

The new stalking law must not be used to clamp down on protest

November 27th, 2012 by Andy Boddington

The legal changes introduced on Sunday that have made stalking a specific offence are welcome and necessary. It will be less welcome if these laws, which are designed to tackle domestic harassment and violence, are used to clamp down on environmental and political protest. The new laws define monitor...

In praise of Didcot's cooling towers

November 18th, 2012 by Andy Boddington

For too many years I worked out of offices on the outskirts on Oxford. For what seemed like too many centuries, I crawled bumper to bumper along the city’s Western Bypass. On bad days, and they were frequent, the traffic southwards would not start to free flow until Abingdon. Only then could I r...

Heseltine: not a recipe for economic prowess – a summons to bureaucratic paralysis

November 1st, 2012 by Andy Boddington

Here we go again. Just as councils are getting used to the National Planning Policy Framework, introduced last March, and the measures of the Localism Act, along come proposals that will disrupt the entire process. Eric Pickles and planning minister Nick Boles have already signalled that council planning ...

Who is in line for a thrashing under muscular localism?

October 23rd, 2012 by Andy Boddington

The new planning minister, Nick Boles, was in an ebullient mood when he appeared before the commons select committee hearing last week. As the MPs explored how the measures in the Growth and Infrastructure Bill will work, its chairman Clive Betts inquired after the state of localism: “We started out with localism. Then we got moved onto som...