HBHS Eco building and unemployment

Haydon Bridge High School had a major presentation of their new Eco-School scheme this evening. It was absolutely fascinating. The students have been studying all aspects of sustainable energy and sustainable building and have laid out the parameters for a new block for the school. The new block will have extremely high levels of insulation, a wind turbine and large passive solar gain. Not only that, it looks good too.
John Dowler, the energetic headmaster, showed me where the new block is to be – the site is currently occupied by the old green houses. This is almost central to the school.
A £1million grant has been won to build the new block and substantially upgrade the energy performance of the existing 60’s style system build campus.
One wonders if the replacement of existing school buildings that was mentioned by the Labour administration will survive the coming spending cuts. Haydon Bridge deserves a brand new school campus. It serves an immense catchment area and has done so very well for many years.
Unemployment is now 2.38 million – the largest quarterly increase since comparable records began in 1971. Will politicians wake up to the need for stable long term economic planning? Will the need for diversity in the economy be recognised and acted upon? Will the limits to globalisation be acknowledged and the social and environmental costs be factored in to the economic planning process? This latest bulge in unemployment is a direct consequence of the banking crisis and associated chaos in the money markets and is itself a direct consequence of the failure of the Anglo-American unregulated free-market model of global capitalism – unleashed by Reagan and Thatcher and accelerated by Blain and Brown. It’s definitely time for a change but both of the largest players are equally guilty – time for Independent candidates to leaven the mix in parliament.


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