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Steve Parish

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Everything posted by Steve Parish

  1. I think you may be confusing the Sunday School building with the industrial school, which is still there. The Council had refused permission for any redevelopment of the Cabinet Works which did not retain the tower though I became in favour of demolition several years ago as I thought the risk to the public outweighed the remote chance of any viable scheme to retain the buildings. None of the buildings was a designated "listed building" (so powers to compel the owner to do anything were limited). It was only with the vandalism and deterioration of the tower (a distinct lean at high level as the steel work of the tank corroded into the masonry) that any chance of saving it disappeared. Personally, and given the evident aesthetic doubts about the tower when it was first built (1906), I think it's not a bad thing that the town clock is now once again the most prominent feature on the skyline in the conservation area. On the "local list", it's entirely optional for a council to maintain such a list - many councils don't because it causes confusion between a "designated heritage asset" (on the national list) and an "undesignated heritage asset" (e.g. one on a local list but it can include any building that may have local interest not worth national designation). Undesignated heritage assets have much less protection than those on the national list. I think the only buildings on the national list that we've lost in Warrington in the last 30 years are the old villa opposite the Kings Head (next to Greenwoods), and the Bay Horse, demolished "by mistake" (at least that's what the magistrates believed when they fined the developers a mere £16,000).
  2. Steve Parish

    Bus Lanes?

    http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/removal-liverpool-bus-lanes-journeys-7977836 The whole point of bus lanes is to allow buses to beat queues - but the other traffic merges at traffic lights and gets through the next junction at much the same time, so buses gain hugely but individual cars are delayed only slightly. Opposition comes from car drivers who don't see why it's to their benefit to improve bus journey times and get more cars off the road so their journey is quicker anyway. The Liverpool report showed that in many cases journey times for buses and cars had increased.
  3. Anyone know when the first Warrington transporter bridge was dismantled? (Or at least remember how far back it wasn't there!)
  4. Here we go again with the leftys blaming the employers again. I can tell you from 19 years of running my own business Steve that many employees DO take the p**s when it comes to shirking. When we set up our company, we set it up to be a company we would like to work for ourselves. Brand new vans, all workwear provided, all tools provided, when working out of town, we paid for hotels, food and a couple of drinks for the lads. We paid full pay if lads were off sick, we gave them fuel cards and a float so they never had to be out of pocket waiting for expenses to be paid back.... with a few exceptions, all of our employees came from Warrington; from Bewsey, Orford and Dallam. Our offices were in Bewsey, we contributed locally, we contract hired our vans from a Warrington company. We bought our uniforms from VC on Lovely Lane, any supplier we could use from Warrington we did.... we couldn't do any more for the local economy and local businesses.... and how were we repaid? lads calling in (supposedly) sick on a Friday and Monday after nights in the cheap beer pubs in town sanctioned by your councils lax licensing laws. We gave the warnings of taking the mickey but no one listened. We were losing an average of a whole month for two men per month in sickness claims; because they knew they wouldn't lose any money and end up on SSP. So in the end we stopped the paid sickness.... and guess what, sickness levels suddenly dropped to a few days a month across the whole workforce!! Then you have business rates, fuel charges and heaven help you if you happened to be a few days late paying your tax/NI or VAT payments... HMRC are down on the small businesses like a ton of bricks. We were late (by one day each time) in filing our VAT returns and paying the VAT we owed; 10% surcharge was instantly applied and we had to pay it there and then. Big businesses in the town have probably paid less over the 19 years than we have. Every quarter for 19 years we have paid VAT, never had a refund, never had a tax refund. There are all sorts of incentives for businesses to employ people, but at the end of the day, sometimes it's just too costly to employ people... the average salary for me and my business partner is less than £25k a year and we have had one bonus of £5k each about 10 years ago, but we have had companies go bust on a Friday owing us in excess of £40k and then they open up again on Monday morning and we get nothing, we don't even get the option to give them a good kicking... My car is 10 years old.... my business partner doesn't even have a car So next time, when you start blaming bosses for exploiting the poor downtrodden worker and applying your lefty principles of how bosses use their workforce like slaves, it may benefit you to actually speak to local small businesses for once I'm baffled, Baz, baffled. There are employers, and there are employers. There's Sir Philip Green, and there's you. In a business where margins are low, and directors are not taking salaries many times the average pay in their company, what would actually be wrong with paying the "living wage" if the difference between that and what the business could sustain could be claimed back (either in reduced tax or rates)?
  5. In an ideal world.... but see how employers complain (and exaggerate how many jobs will be lost by increasing minimum wage). I warm to the idea that every employee should be paid the living wage (the proper one, not Osborne's version) - and if the employers can't afford it, the employer should be the one to claim benefit (i.e. show the accounts, show the business is on the margin, and check for directors paying themselves too much).
  6. Don't watch the TV programmes then. They (and the Tory papers) find bad and untypical cases just to annoy you! Most benefits go not to the unemployed but on in-work benefits. And your NI contributions were paying for the last generation of pensioners who didn't live 20 years after retirement. I'm talking about (like those articles) who's going to pay for the pensions of people living way past their actuarial deadline... That's the problem, really. Why is the welfare state (and the NHS) in crisis? Because we're all living longer. Why are we living longer? Because of the welfare state and the NHS.
  7. I'm sure you're right. But (as the SNP made clear in Scotland, where they voted Remain) we may need more immigration. The economic forecasts for the North West say that if the economy grows, then there will be a shortfall of people to do the jobs. And if no-one fills the jobs, then we have an ageing population sustained by fewer people in work and paying taxes. In short, immigrants are paying the taxes that pay for pensions. http://www.maturetimes.co.uk/whos-going-pay/ http://www.economicshelp.org/blog/20759/economics/fiscal-impact-of-immigration/ Of course, feel free to ignore the experts.
  8. If you're going to play silly games ... Your last post implied that only "total" control of immigration would meet the requirements. That might meet your requirements but other than leaving the EU, I repeat, "What requirements"? I know what the requirements were of a Remain vote - the status quo. Suppose the eventual deal is leave the EU but stay in the single market, with freedom of movement within the EU, and pay the EU for the privilege without having any say in future EU policy - that would satisfy my requirements and would clearly fulfil the requirement of the question on the ballot paper. Just because the Leave campaign made all sorts of (false) promises doesn't make any of them requirements.
  9. What requirements? Nothing on the ballot paper about requirements.
  10. We saw our favourite Irish comic at the Edinburgh Fringe and he was just baffled by Brexit. "We voted the wrong way, realised what we'd done, and just did it again" (with added expletives). And pointed out that their referendum was under EU rules about truthful claims - and the UK had opted out of the EU rules on referenda! Then came up with a host of illustrations where the UK does things different from the rest of the EU (so the idea that we were "controlled" was nonsense). Most of his act is more domestic stuff! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iIEHv9CBPsI At a stage near you, 18 Sept: http://www.epsteinliverpool.co.uk/whats-on/jarlath-regan---arseways.aspx
  11. Breaking news... outline application received 1,200 homes, a new local centre, employment uses, land for a primary school, open space, sports pitches with ancillary facilities, means of access and supporting infrastructure. I'm not commenting in case I end up on plans committee when it's decided, but the legal judgment will obviously be central to the officers' recommendation.
  12. Sorry but I'm not changing the subject onto the whole business of the "invest to save" schemes like Bridge Street where we look for a commercial return - and I did provide an answer weeks ago on the cost of the offices, from published committee papers (even if there is now some reluctance to put a firm figure on it prior to going to tender). Re funding, the only Conservation Area Regeneration scheme I know about is the Scottish one. I'd had a conversation a long time ago with English Heritage re funding but understood repairing an unlisted building in private hands was not going to attract any grant. HLF schemes might offer a glimmer (especially with the relatively recent industrial heritage emphasis) but it's still in private hands and it has to be a non-profit organisation making the running. That could be a council, but resources are stretched and I wouldn't want to commit officers' time to trying to make it happen (not now). If all of you who want to save the Cabinet Works had formed a Friends of the Cabinet Works years ago, something might have been done (I might have joined). And if HLF had to choose an industrial heritage project in Warrington, then frankly I would not want to have them try and save the Cabinet Works if that meant prejudicing the chance of funding for the Transporter Bridge.
  13. We do seem to be going over old ground. Baths and grammar school were not listed and therefore little chance of getting grants for restoration. I'm not quite sure how to answer the last question. The only building I'd like to see bulldozed is New Town House (and think even that could be reclad to look good).
  14. Do you ever have the feeling that someone isn't quite listening to what you're saying?
  15. Well, there you go - spot the difference with the Cabinet Works! No hammerbeam roof for a start. https://twitter.com/PlaceFirstLtd/status/709431394934595585/photo/1 Similarity: "The building has been vandalised and allowed to deteriorate " (from one of the urban explorer sites) NB the baths were in control of the local council - Tameside not Manchester - but it sounds from the Evening News report that a developer acquired them and did nothing (see Manchester Fire Station as another example). Difference: "The £3m project is being funded in part by Tameside council and the English Regional Development Fund. PlaceFirst is working in partnership with the council on a Stage 2 Heritage Lottery Funding bid." It's a much finer building than the Cabinet Works, is listed, so got lottery funding for restoration - and that of course should be the European Regional Development Fund - so that's EU money helped save it. They are funding sources just not available for the Cabinet Works.
  16. The Ashton baths renovation is complete. Easier to get money for that.
  17. I said it would get silly. 1. I wasn't a councillor then. 2. Bewsey Old Hall isn't in Bewsey ward (and if it was, would certainly not have been the most significant and important building in the ward). 3. It wasn't owned by the Council. I'd have to check but I'm not sure the wall paintings were damaged in the fire.
  18. Supported the Urban Splash application to restore it to private residential use, ensuring a sustainable long-term use for a listed building. Others would have had it left derelict waiting for some hypothetical community use.
  19. I thought I'd steer well clear of this thread as it would get silly but I still get my name taken in vain. I was vicar for two parishes that cover a large part of Bewsey ward, so what do you want to know, Baz? Did you know the vicar of St Paul's Bewsey exchanged his living with the vicar from St Paul's, Derby, in 1863, as his family's health had suffered in Warrington? He and his wife took one son when they left Warrington but they'd had one child stillborn and another son who died at 14 days. I don't claim to have much influence as a councillor but at least I stopped them calling the new estate on the George Howard scrapyard site "Jockey Bridge Close" (officers thought the bridge nearby was called Jockey Bridge rather than the skew bridge across Winwick Road where the Jockey pub used to stand). Oh, and as one of the early landlords of the Jockey was called Kerfoot, was that coincidence or was Kerfoot Street named after him? And while it's not my ward, I did get the gate pillars to the old Orford Hall put back in their original positions after UU installed new sewage overflow tanks in the park (the original plan had them being put back staggered so not in line with each other). More?
  20. I think the drone survey (which was shown privately to the Civic Society) may have eventually to be in the public domain but it's for the owners to apply for consent to demolish and it's not their survey, so (I'm guessing here) for the Council to release it might be seen as prejudging an application that hasn't yet been made. Given the other possibility of court action, I think I'll leave that a guess rather than give a definitive answer from our officers and legal team.
  21. I'll not say too much about the selection process (as you couldn't make it up) but I do live in the new Chapelford & Old Hall ward.
  22. That was then, based on a ridiculously optimistic consultant's "masterplan" that (1) couldn't even get the dates of the buildings right and (2) never addressed the viability of converting the existing buildings. Contrary to the general impression on here, they told councillors what they thought they wanted to hear, that all the buildings could be saved. Dizzy will be pleased to know that the industrial school didn't have to be demolished to get at the chimney that needed to be taken down. Whether it's just a temporary reprieve is another matter. http://www.warrington-worldwide.co.uk/2016/02/15/council-praised-and-urged-to-preserve-historic-cabinet-works/ It was a bit odd as I'm in the photo and everyone else wants to save it (well, I would, but just think it's unrealistic and it's too dangerous to wait for some unlikely financial package of rescue).
  23. I've amended the post about process above as there may be some use of the dangerous building provisions of the 1984 Building Act. That would mean that, while not technically "sub judice", I probably should refrain from saying more to avoid any sense of prejudging a case that may go to court. So - unless there's something non-prejudicial to say - I'll "go silent", after telling Dizzy - yes I'm afraid the industrial school is still the route to where urgent repairs are needed. That would have been the only building on the site that I'd now want to save (for its history as much as its appearance) but there's not much left of the interior.
  24. Grey_man, so long as you're accepting that there's no evidence for any wrongdoing by developer or council over the Ship Inn, I'll accept the obvious that the Council hasn't always protected the town's heritage (e.g. someone else can tell us what Golden Square lost in terms of heritage assets, it's long before my time in Warrington). But the Ship Inn is actually a good example of the current process. It was a non-designated heritage asset. It didn't have the protection of being statutorily listed, so the legal presumption is that it could be pulled down - to retain it, you'd have to do the exercise that "a balanced judgement will be required having regard to the scale of any harm or loss and the significance of the heritage asset" and conclude that its significance is enough to refuse demolition and to sustain that at appeal. In this case, there seems to have been no problem getting the developer to retain it and convert it to dwellings. But accidents do happen, and empty buildings are obviously at risk of damage and arson and simple deterioration. http://www.wigantoday.net/news/local/historic-building-destroyed-in-arson-attack-1-6999430. The comments look vaguely familiar.... And I have to say that secrecy and even misdirection become quite attractive when full disclosure just leads to people picking up on tiny details... This would have been a short thread without my mission to explain, so here goes with some more: Dizzy, PTS have spent a lot of money trying to stop people getting in, but I'm not asking for a list. It's possible they could have done more, but when the urban explorers talk about the "Tomb Raider" way of getting in, and trespassers are risking injury or death to get in, and erecting their own ladders to get past the broken stairwell in the tower, I'm afraid "boarding up" doesn't quite cut it - and the government guidance is that urgent repairs should not involve the owner in great expense, and ultimately it comes back to the Government in the person of the Secretary of State. If the Council used its powers (for a listed building, and the Cabinet Works is not listed) the Council could spend your money doing repairs and then claim off the owner but: "The owner may challenge the cost claimed by writing to the Secretary of State. The grounds of challenge may be that: Some or all of the works were unnecessary for the preservation of the building. Temporary support and shelter measures have continued for an unreasonable length of time. The amount reclaimed is unreasonable. Recovery of the amount claimed would cause the owner hardship." The Sec of State could declare that the urgent works provisions also apply to an unlisted building in a conservation area (the tower maybe, not the whole works) "if the preservation of the building is important for maintaining the character or appearance of the conservation area". My understanding is that would usually mean that without the building, it might not be worth having a conservation area. In short, the developer could refuse to do urgent works, then the Council could do it, and spend a lot of money (with no guarantee that it solves the problem) and not get it back. Bottom line is how much of council tax money is it "reasonable" to spend on temporary repair of a building that, even without the recent deliberate destruction, would struggle to get a viable alternative use. EDITED: it may be that the legislation for dealing with any dangerous building (not just listed buildings) is more appropriate (Building Act 1984) but then it will be the court deciding what happens, not the Council.
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