Margaret Thatcher was reelected for her third term in 1987. One of the changes she promised to implement was to levy a flat tax that she called a “Community Charge,” although it became popularly known as the poll tax. A flat tax means that everybody, regardless of wealth, has to pay the same amount. The tax was to be set in the 1989-1990 financial year in Scotland, and in the 1990-1991 financial year in England. However, it was unpopular from the moment she proposed it, and she met resistance from both the people and her party.
By 1986, Australian Rupert Murdoch was already well on his way to becoming the head of what would be the world’s largest news conglomerate, News International. His meteoric rise to the top, however, clashed with a centuries-old printing tradition in the United Kingdom, where he owned four of the company’s largest papers. The Fleet Street area of London, England had served as the iconic home to the nation’s printmaking industry since as far back as the 15th century. As Murdoch saw it, however, this history represented a method of printmaking that had long since passed its peak.
Twyford Down, a small area in southern England, was the site of the Department of Transport's (DoT) plans to extend the M3 highway from London to Southampton Port in 1990. The DoT had used economic analysis to determine that the time saved from this more direct route, as well as the increased business in the cities connected by the motorway, made up for any lost economic value to the sites damaged by the extension. Winchester College, the town's public school, sold the land needed for the highway to the DoT for £300,000.
The London Heathrow Airport was of the busiest airports in the world when the English government began to contemplate expansion in 2002. Considered to be one of the premier airports in the world, the English government wanted to preserve the airport’s place among the best airports by improving its efficiency through expansion, including a third runway.
Environmental Activists prevent construction of coal-fired power plant in Kingsnorth, England, 2007-2010
In December of 2006, Eon, an energy company, submitted an application to the Medway council in Kent, England to build coal-fired generating units, the first to be built in England since 1974. The plant would emit more carbon dioxide than the world’s thirty lowest emitting countries combined. Within a few months, two other companies were proposing similar projects, with even more to follow. Eon planned to implement Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS), as per the government’s request.
Greenham Commons outside Newbury, England was purchased in 1939 by the Newbury District Council for the public use of Newbury inhabitants, including the collection of firewood. In 1941 this area was requisitioned by the Air Ministry for an airfield, which was later decommissioned. Despite the decommissioning of the airfield, public ownership of the land was not fully restored. Then in 1979 NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization ) bought the land from the British government for the building of a military base that would house 96 Tomahawk Ground Launched Cruise Missiles (GLCMs).