Letters to the editor - 24/07 - Commuter towns, Internet publishing, Best of Twitter

Commuter towns

[Re: We must urgently fix Britain’s horribly broken housing market, Friday]

A good piece. With population exploding, demand is rising inexorably in the South East, and new supply is coming from private landlords relentlessly subdividing houses into smaller flats. This is a problem, and is worsening people’s quality of life. We need a massive programme of housebuilding in the South East. Tower blocks are fine if designed well, but people want to live in houses with gardens – like their parents. So we either have to relax restrictions on the Green Belt, or allow commuter towns like St Albans to expand.

Barry Moore

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Internet publishing

[Re: JK Rowling’s pseudonymous success is a triumph for democratic publishing, Friday]

Publishing might be becoming more democratic, but it’s worth noting that JK Rowling and her pseudonym shared the same agent, editor and publisher. That her new book was published at all probably had something to do with her previous success. The only traditional gatekeepers in publishing that seem to have lost influence are the critics – as their reviews didn’t translate into good sales. While I hope that books can become cheaper, and we can all have more influence over what gets published, it’s not happened yet.

Hattie Whitaker

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BEST OF TWITTER

Help to Buy: if you boost demand when supply is so inelastic, you get higher prices not more houses.
@GraemeLeachEcon

86 per cent of Unite members back a benefit cap. £26,000 is a lot of money.
@nickfaith82

Births of Princes Charles and William followed by 25 years of strong growth. Can new baby do the same?
@asentance

UK employees are number one at claiming sick leave, with four times the global average of days off work.
@ianbremmer