Monday, 4 November 2013

It's a question of trust

Could local people trust Aggregate Industries if it were ever permitted to quarry Straitgate Farm? Trust it to act within its planning conditions? Trust it not to harm water supplies? Trust it not to harm ancient woodland or European Protected Species? Trust it to restore the site as agreed? Trust it not to attempt to get permission for something else, not sell it and walk away from its obligations? Local people would have to take a lot on trust.

What happened when the people of Boston trusted AI? It was an episode AI no doubt wants to forget. It was called the "Big Dig", and became the most expensive highway project in the US. AI was the main concrete contractor. AI didn't deliver what it promised it would. There's no need to reproduce all the salient facts here - the headlines are all over the internet for anybody who cares to look. Here are a few to give the gist of the story:

Boston's "Big Dig" ended up with leaks and lawsuits. How would a Big Dig in Ottery St Mary end up? Would you trust this multinational to look after Ottery, its inhabitants and its landscape? A multinational that supplied 5000 loads of defective concrete for tunnels and sea walls.