The Prime Minister must now look back on the days of late 2011, with its associated pesky NPPF wrangling, and general Big Society malaise with misty eyes. Those were the days. The easy days when the Rt Hon Member for Tunbridge Wells could be dispatched with his affable charm and the frustrations of the electorate would fall away.
If only the political chaos of these torrentially rainy days of "spring" 2012 could be quite so simply mitigated. Now we don't just face the real risk of flooding, but we're reluctantly dipping ourselves back into the recessionary bath. It is cold and it makes us all rather grumpy. We're bored and tired of this "great recession." It seems to have lasted forever and we all long for the days when we can once again splash out on a treat and not feel consumer guilt.
News today from IPD that property values remain 35 per cent below 2007 levels add some empirical clout to the anecdotal sense that all is not well in our economy. The announcement late last month of the double dip came as a disappointment. Today's IPD report further compounds this.
Today's report shows that outside of central London, the property situation remains bleak. Property values continue to decline. When London is taken out of the dataset, values have now been declining for three consecutive quarters.
This news will add to the reluctance of investors to back new developments which, in turn, reduces demand for construction. The cranes stay on the ground, and we look set to remain in our economic slump. We are all in serious trouble.
The IPD's role is to release the data and hope that the decision makers respond to it by pulling the appropriate policy levers.
David Cameron and his team have already pulled the lever marked "planning reform". Unfortunately, it will be months (if not years) before we are able to know if this has made any difference.
We need more immediate measures. BCSC has long advocated the rapid introduction of TIF, first promised by the DPM is September 2010 yet still to materialise. We have championed a more pragmatic approach to business rate setting. This year's 5.6% increase demonstrating the true absurdity of basing the rate on only one month's figures. Going forward, we'll continue to call for these measures to be addressed with a greater sense of urgency than the Government has previously been willing to provide.
Now is the time for urgent action - the waters are rising, and the voters are rebelling.