As the nation and the world sway between various crises, the effects become all the more evident locally.

Just as a new school is provided to cater for the fast-growing population, it emerges that the need for it is greater than that of the climate emergency. Which begs all kinds of questions.

It seems it’s an ‘emergency’ that can wait for a bit while we try to relieve a problem, which is never described as an emergency, but which is much closer to home. More people means we need more of everything.

While the need for school places grows, the need for youth provision, transport and ultimately jobs will grow too. But Reading is pretty much out of land.

Those who remember the building of the stadium, formerly known as the Madejski, will remember the vast swathes of land around it. Most of it is now built on.

Yet, while numbers of people grow, the Green Belt wraps around each town and city like a gastric band, not allowing for expansion. Only high-rise is a possible solution but that drives anger and dismay at the destruction and wholesale rebuilding of areas that were designed for fewer people.

While there’s much talk about targets, there remains little debate about the fact that the demand for more and better housing, schools, hospitals, roads and public transport are never likely to be met. There seems growing chaos in terms of hospital waiting lists, house prices (and shortages), school places etc, while little is being solved. We can’t even make the planning system simpler.

Inevitably, like everything else nowadays, it involves politics. But, as is often said, many of the current crop of MPs appear to have few discernible talents, little creativity and lack principles. Many could happily operate on behalf of either of the main parties which, for all their apparent public discord, have become remarkably similar.

Perhaps local residents should, once a year, offer their Parliamentary representatives a guided tour of their constituencies to see the effects their actions or inactions have on the places they live or work in.

But for now we’ll have to wait until they have, at least, decided who should be in charge.

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