SHEDNOTES 66: How to save millions

Politicians could clearly do with some suggestions for things they could stop spending money on and most of us would not mind too much.
The Shed would like to suggest Visitor Centres.
Visitor Centres qualify as fairly unobjectionable rural development and have therefore been a favourite way, over the past decade or so, of convincing people that the EU is good value by supplying stone-built and slated tourist attractions which appear to cost nothing, but which, of course, you and The Shed are eventually paying for.
Almost everybody now seems to have one, from – and no doubt including – Land’s End to John O’Groats. And almost nobody goes into most of them, except the nice middle-aged ladies who run them and the nice middle-class families who end up there, paying over the odds for coffee and quiche.
They are generally extravagantly built, in the name of restoration of some old working building or development sympathetic to the local landscape, and they all supply some temporary work for good craftsmen. But after that, The Shed suspects, they mainly deliver very little in terms of employment for investment.
The Shed would rather see the money go into the re-opening of old quarries.
We are currently shelling out for a worktop made of granite from Italy, imported to Plymouth, which sits between two enormous lumps of British granite, which cannot be got for love nor money. Most natural roofing slate and building stone also comes in from abroad, while our own quarries lie abandoned, along with the shipping facilities which served them.
Start them up, using labour-intensive processes, and in return for the investment in honest hard work, we would get products which would never go out of fashion and never rot. All we would have to do is store them somewhere until they were worth moving – possibly after the next oil crisis.
The Shed would quite like to visit one and would be happy to support a caravan selling tea and bacon sarnies, which would no doubt arrive there without any grant being necessary.
thatsitfornow

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