LETTER: Cost of life in our nanny state

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Referring to the article on page 26 of the WSCT dated October 3, ie that HDC has approved expenditure of around £600,000 to protect against a 1 in 10,000 year failure of the dam at Warnham Mill Pond.

Had the council been allowed to insure against the risk instead, probably at a premium of a few £1,000 pa, that capital might have been available to invest in a business park, or a car park (for example) yielding over £30,000 pa. So the Environment Agency’s approach could well cost HDC around £25,000 pa net, in lost revenue.

Since the requirement apparently applies to around 4,000 ponds across the country, the total cost to the UK council tax payer will run into many billion pounds and there will be a huge loss of open water habitat. Imagine how many affordable houses might be built with that money.

The matter was referred (by district councillor Roger Arthur) to Horsham MP Francis Maude who was quoted on page 2 of the Sunday Times dated 2nd June, as saying that his ‘mandarins’ need to be less risk averse, whilst Minister Owen Paterson responded that the work is proportionate to the risk involved.

Houses downstream of the mill pond will no doubt already have flood and life assurance (whose premiums have not apparently been inflated by the risk), but they along with other taxpayers will now have to pay more, whether they want it or not. Such is the nanny state that we now live in.

NEIL WHITEAR

Vice-chairman, UKIP Horsham Branch, Crawley Road, Horsham