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Friday, March 31, 2006
CABE to work on identity of the Thames Gateway?
We all love CABE, in the same way as we all love Marks and Spencer. It's aims are laudable and its full of some lovely people, but inside we all know its slightly ineffectual, hung up on due process and lacking flair.

But when Yvette Cooper announces that she's asked CABE to "carry out a review on the identity of the Thames Gateway to provide a starting point for developing a strategic approach to design" I'm afraid we do all heave a sigh. To be honest, this is simply not CABE's job. CABE is good at design review, reasonable at some forms of training, and its good practice publications are often quite nice if a bit safe (in the M&S knickers way) and have a tendency to pile up on the desks of local authority officers who think that they don't offer enough specific advice (especially in rural areas). But vision? identity? I think not.

But then, seeing as she thinks that The Bridge, Dartford " will encapsulate what the Thames Gateway is about - creating the sort of places where we all want to live and work with the right infrastructure to support them." - maybe we shouldn't be surprised that the really visionary ideas about the identity of the TG fall on stony ground.

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