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our first witness is Shiv Malik

Shiv Malik

Shiv Malik is a journalist who writes on political issues affecting young people in particular

Shiv Malik

Shiv Malik co-wrote the book Jilted Generation: How Britain Bankrupted its Youth

Shiv Malik

the shortage of building land is wrecking the lives of our younger generation

Shiv Malik

young people are having a dreadful time

Shiv Malik

it's Shiv Malik's fault

Shiv Malik

we've really suffered in this country from a lack of imagination

Jane Fidge

also we've looked upon sort of the next generation as people who can basically be serfs, live in a lack of housing stock and basically pay rent to the point where they can't really enjoy their lives, where they can't even raise families

Jane Fidge

all of this sort of centers on us not building for the last thirty to forty years

Jane Fidge

the result is this, which is a generation worse off than their parents

Jane Fidge

it is the principal of the green belt or the way the policy's been applied that Shiv Malik'd say he objects to

it really comes down to the policy

Jane Fidge

we're not just talking about homes, we're talking about the infrastructure of the cities that we need to as a country both expand and absorb our growing population

Jane Fidge

if you don't do any of that, then yes, you have a problem with the policy, which is that the green belt is there to restrict already existing cities

Shiv Malik

the policy itself can be useful in saying "look, we don't want urban sprawl"

Shiv Malik

at the same time if you don't do anything else, then you're stuffing the next generation

Shiv Malik

Shiv Malik would say that nature just doesn't really have any value to him

nature has value

the green belt does not have to do anything or be staggeringly beautiful like the lake district to actually be preserved

Shiv Malik

of course nature has value

Shiv Malik

X is this green belt that we're talking about

a lot of the green belt is just sort of useless grass

Jane Fidge

one of the panelists has said that a lot of it's just sort of useless grass

Jane Fidge

it doesn't actually do much

Jane Fidge

it's in and around cities that already have existing infrastructure

Shiv Malik

that's not great that the green belt doesn't actually do much, and that it's in and around cities that already have existing infrastructure

at the same time, we're not talking about building over the lake district here

the green belt does\does not have to do something or be staggeringly beautiful like the lake district to actually be preserved

this is about balancing what we want in life

Shiv Malik

we want people to have, to enjoy their lives, and therefore not spending their working lives paying for their mortgage or paying for rent

Shiv Malik

then people can go out and enjoy their lives

Shiv Malik

actually the economy as a whole grows properly

Shiv Malik

people are able to raise children and have children

Shiv Malik

let us imagine weighing that against a field that we say "well look, we've siphoned this out, and forevermore no one should ever build on it"

if we look outside of the window here in Faversham, we can see all of this was once woodland if you want

Shiv Malik

we've as human beings worked with nature

Shiv Malik

in some senses we've got that horribly wrong

Shiv Malik

now we know more than ever about what we can do that's right, environmentally speaking

Shiv Malik

we should put that into practice

Shiv Malik

we should build

Shiv Malik

there are other options that we should explore first

Jane Fidge

the green belt is the easiest thing to do

Shiv Malik

we should not take that one just because it's easiest

Jane Fidge

the green belt is the easiest thing to do

in the midst of a crisis - which is where we are at the moment - then the green belt might be the way out

Shiv Malik

Shiv Malik is not suggesting that we simply build over the green belt

as it was mentioned before, the green belt sounds nice

Shiv Malik

as it was mentionned before, it is green

Shiv Malik

if you actually go and do a tour of the green belt, you'll find that most of it's sort of almost regarded as brownfield site in many regards

Shiv Malik

with 25 million empty bedrooms in the U.K. and lots of brownfield sites available, Shiv Malik is so fixated on the green belt by X

Jane Fidge

actually the green belt turns out to be a lot of brownfield site, too

we're subsidising most of this, too, through farming subsidies and the like

we should not take that one just because it's easiest

Shiv Malik