‘We need to evolve our model of the economy’

By Mike Emmerich | 18 June 2019

Owe the bank £1 and it’s your problem. Owe them £1m and the problem is the bank’s, or so the saying goes. The story of Elmbridge BC  is one of many whose end result is that local government ‘owes’ the nation millions of homes. Argue though the Government might, this isn’t fundamentally a council problem – local authorities have every incentive to grow their areas and most are doing so – but many are running out of options.

Our model is under strain. Longer commutes, long a fact of life seem, increasingly, to take a health toll. Faster trains are a theoretical remedy, but any commuter will tell you the reality is otherwise. Those who can afford to live in places like Elmbridge – and are lucky enough not to have to commute long distances – benefit. But if the Elmbridges of this world are bumping up against the limits of the possible, what do we do then?

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