How the abuse inflicted on Arthur, and other innocent children, go unnoticed by families and the authorities in the 21st century is difficult to understand. Sadly, Arthur is a casualty of a ‘sickness’ which has crept through modern Britain, where people do not wish to get involved, closing their eyes and ears.
Boris says he will leave no stone unturned to find out what happened. It is however clear that social workers are overwhelmed by our ‘broken’ society with its low morals, lack of respect for authority, and little support from the very communities which should be looking out for their own.
The challenge for Boris and his ministers, and for that matter every one of us, is to get involved, raise the profile and importance of ‘traditional families’, family values and communities. To instil in everyone just how vital it is for children and future generations, to get involved, leave no family or stone unturned and create a more caring world where children are cherished and safe.
The Government should be applauded in its ambition to reach Net Zero by 2050. However, although we all wish to ‘save the planet’, and of course ensure our children and grandchildren have a safe world to live in, it should be recognised that things cannot change or be banned overnight, including oil & LPG by 2026, or mains gas by 2035.
It will be illegal to install or replace modern, affordable, efficient oil and gas fired boilers in our properties. Instead, we will be made to fit expensive, less efficient ground or air sourced heating systems, powered by electricity.
These we know can work, and probably quite well in new build homes designed for this technology. The alternative is to retro fit expensive underfloor heating, cladding and lagging outside and in, and instal larger radiators.
Those living in pre 1930 properties, can be sure we could never, without pulling them apart, achieve a state where we could live comfortably and economically.
There is a village in Sussex where there were plans to heat 50 per cent of the homes along the high street, by District Heating (DH) laying Pipework from a central biomass boiler. The properties are old, many built hundreds of years ago, and it soon became obvious that any pre 1930s, could not be adapted to this type of heating.
It was then decided to scrap the DH system and adapt only post 1930s properties to a system of ground sourced heat pumps, drilled deep into back gardens. This too was discarded when recognised as far too expensive and inadequate, as they would not heat the homes sufficiently despite considerable insulation costs.
The final attempt to win round the residents and the landlord was, once removing existing oil tanks, (there is no mains gas in the village), to install individual air sourced electric heat pumps.
Fortunately, once all the implications, including costs, were considered, the scheme has been abandoned, for now.
Last week the Daily Mail reported the story of a similar scheme which has been planned in Swaffham Park, Cambridgeshire. Here the local council has spent over £12 million, plus a £3.2 million Government grant – on a community heating system, powered by a ground sourced heat pump.
It was meant to be a test bed for how all properties could be heated. However, only a limited number of households signed up, so it has so far ended up costing more than £250,000 per house. As Ross Clark said, that is as much as some of these homes are worth. I rest my case.