Pandering to the rich is what 'lifestyle' jobs offer
PANDERING to the rich is nothing new, it's just that more people are getting in on the act. There are now "lifestyle management'' companies in Cornwall which do nothing more than carry out simple tasks for well-off people who apparently do not have the time or inclination to do them themselves.
I saw one advertising their services in Fowey the other day, with a notice pinned to what looked like an expensive holiday home.
The lifestyle companies will do most things for a fee. They are happy to do other people's food shopping, or organise a dinner party for them. They will find and book a holiday for a client, or search for a birthday present and even organise Christmas for someone who can't be bothered to do it for themselves.
I've not made this up. These are some services advertised on the website of a lifestyle management company in Cornwall.
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There must be enough wealthy people out there who take advantage of these services, otherwise these management companies wouldn't survive; indeed they seem to be flourishing.
Walking through Fowey the other day, there were quite a few homes being renovated. It was obvious no one lived in them all year round.
Fowey has always been a place where rich people like to spend a few weeks of the year, and where they have bought holiday homes so that they can kid themselves they can involve themselves with the community to some extent.
It's the same in Padstow and Port Isaac, or any other scenic coastal retreat, but over the past 20 years, as the rich have got even richer, there are a lot more second homes in Cornwall.
Bankers are still getting huge bonuses of over £1 million a year. No one needs that sort of money to live on, so they buy houses they don't need either.
In Cornwall, there are thousands of working people who need a home they can afford.
Our local authority has agreed to allocate enough land to build 42,000 of them by 2030, although 19,000 have either been built or are already in the pipeline.
The group called Our Cornwall believe that is far too many and had campaigned for far fewer to be built.
The group have stated that Cornwall's population has already increased by nearly 60 per cent since the 1960s and the prospect of an ever-increasing population will seriously damage the environment and community life.
This argument does not hold water on a number of levels and is a blinkered view taken by people who have no real regard for the needs of thousands of people in Cornwall who actually want to remain and bring up their families in the county, but could be forced to move away because they cannot afford present house prices.
There is always an environment cost to be paid when building homes.
But people need a roof over their heads and are not prepared to live in a tent.
How many of the planned 42,000 homes will be affordable to local people is anyone's guess.
Ordinary Cornish working people have their own lifestyle management to consider, and the priority for most is their own home.