Unlike Corby, no techno disco just techno won't go!
Don't worry folks, Neil is still walking despite the pause in activity on this page. This has been largely due to some technology hitches, which one of our more tecky-minded committee members checked out while on a visit to join Neil in Grantham.
Day 8 on 11th April was scheduled to be Grantham to Waddington with the walking day being eight hours (8am-4pm). Somewhere in the day Neil also has to find time to get his message across. This can include radio interviews, taking photographs, making mini films and meeting people to join the walk or talk about the runway proposals and issues in the local area, which often have a link with our fight against Heathrow expansion.
After doing this "work", Neil has to grapple with technology to send everything he's done. As an example of the problems, we had hoped to include some longer films that Neil had made (up to 3 minutes long) but they have proved impossible to send on the road.
It makes you realise how much we use internet technology these days and why many small businesses in Britain are calling for more investment in broadband infrastructure, particularly to help those in rural areas.
When we hear about infrastructure needed to build a stronger economy we are told about things like bridges, roads, rail and runways but broadband infrastructure also comes under that heading. Developing countries are well aware of the huge impact high-speed broadband can have on per capita income.
In the Budget, this March, the government announced £200 million for projects to leverage private-sector investment in super-fast fibre broadband networks; £16 million for a 5G hub and £270 million for robots research.
So the government understands the need for investment in this technology but it's peanuts compared with the money taxpayers will be putting into infrastructure to support a third runway at Heathrow - currently estimated at £17 BILLION. (Let alone all the hidden costs.) We also know from experience with Heathrow development, such as Terminal Five, that the final building cost is likely to be substantially higher.
Why is a polluting business like Heathrow airport being given priority for taxpayers' money when jobs in technology are likely to be far better for the country and need investment? It has been said that the 5G investment announced in the Budget won't come anywhere close to bridging the investment gap needed to deliver 5G across the UK.
Sending all the photos from Grantham was resolved by downloading them in the Heathrow villages - once our committee member got home.
While we talking about more productive uses of taxpayers' money than a third runway, did you know that the taxpayer will have to foot the bill for schools that have to be demolished to build a third runway? Some parents may find the additional noise and the disruption to their children's education too great to tolerate. Recently Heathrow provided Adobe huts in the playgrounds of some schools so that children could have a refuge outside. It's tragic. These works cost £85,000 at time! Is this a good use of anyone'
There is no doubt that state schools need more money. (Our government prefers to waste OUR money to chiefly benefit A FOREIGN-OWNED AIRPORT.) This March's budget prompted this comment from Kevin Courtney, general secretary of the National Union of Teachers: “This budget is a complete dereliction of duty to our children and young people. The Chancellor knows full well that schools and sixth form colleges up and down the country are on their knees struggling to make ends meet.”
Watching Neil's film (when it finally came through) showed a school where the children can enjoy the outdoors without excessive noise and pollution or adobe huts.