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Everything posted by grey_man

  1. And they're going to decimalise the number of days in a year which will lead to a massive increase in life expectancy.
  2. Nobody could have predicted that putting politicians in charge of the police would lead to this. 🙄
  3. An interesting exercise to try is to ask Russ Bowden directly the cost of the new offices and the original budget. Maybe Gary could try it. Perfectly straightforward question with a perfectly straightforward answer obviously and one to which the people paying for it are perfectly entitled. I've tried it myself a few times. The council 'spokesman' used to say 'there isn't one' because there's only one cost for the whole project, which is an obvious lie. Now Russ says he can't say what it is because if he does, it will breach commercial confidentiality on the rest of the project, which is utter bullshit. If I spend £30 on shopping, I can tell you what the bananas cost without you knowing the price of the beans. And don't even bother to ask about the business case for the offices or the alternatives considered. Where it gets really interesting is what Russ does after he's pushed. First he'll have some sort of rant based on the idea that he's above this sort of thing and you don't understand and it's all the Tories' fault anyway, then he'll vanish. Works every time. Doesn't even have to be about the costs of his new offices. Works with Redwood, the council's accounts, Steven Broomhead's directorship of Together Energy, Charlotte Nichol's home address, the switching on of Christmas lights. He never wavers from his MO.
  4. You still waiting? Looks good to me and I think everybody hopes it's a great success.
  5. Or vote for neither. It only encourages them.
  6. It's Cathy Mitchell's house. Charlotte Nichols is registered on the electoral roll in Islington so the question is why she gave the Deputy Leader's address as her home address on the nomination form. That may be the breach of the law. I think there are two possibilities. The most generous and likely interpretation is that they're rattled about the backlash to her being parachuted into a safe seat so have pretended she lives in the Borough for the credulous to see on their ballot papers. The other possibility is they've done that and committed electoral fraud at the same time, all under the watchful gaze of the agent and proposer, a Mr R Bowden, the seconder, a Ms C Mitchell, and the returning officer, a Mr S Broomhead. BTW, watch how Russ deals with this sort of stuff. He has a standard MO. He first will make an aggressive assertion about 'mischief' and ignorance of some issue - classically people not knowing the difference between revenue and capital budgets or some stuff about the Tories - then when asked for a supporting detail for his assertion - let's say whether interest paid on capital spending comes out of revenue budgets, the cost of the council's offices, Redwood Bank, why the candidate for North Warrington is registered in Islington but has given her home address as somebody else's, and so on... ...he disappears. It obviously frustrates him that the people of Warrington won't just be told and pipe down. I assume he doesn't respond to the police and the Electoral Commission in the same hectoring tone.
  7. Usual caveat about the source of this story but ... https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7724983/Labour-election-candidate-probed-police-shes-accused-giving-false-address.html
  8. grey_man

    Bus Company

    I get the feeling a lot of the whinging will have been based on past experiences and frankly inadequate management. They certainly seem to be more forward looking and positive recently. More power to them.
  9. Personally, I think the obsession with speed is nothing more than an obsession with speed from an industry that likes the idea coupled to a bottomless money pit. The design flaws of the project are so obvious, inevitable and a dead giveaway that the solution was developed for reasons other than functionality. Certainly Lord Adonis likes this kind of awful project. Not that we have a lot of choice in the matter now it has got this far. I still suspect it may never get past Birmingham or Crewe and that we'll see smarter solutions that serve the rest of the UK better.
  10. Your last point and the dog's dinner in the East Midlands proves my point. Somebody currently taking one train from Nottingham will now have to take three. Or drive to a parkway and take two. It is obviously the project's obsession with speed that means it has to bypass cities and airports. As does the bit about Stoke and other cities being harmed economically. What sort of national project is that? Eddington's report was at least an integrated strategy. HS2 is just what I said. An expensive mess that creates almost as many problems as it solves. And that's even before you get to the final cost which clearly will be massively higher than the original budget.
  11. And yet the Eddington Report explicitly stated that high speed rail of this type is not needed in a country with the UK's geography. We should invest in infrastructure and have an integrated transport strategy as set out in the report. Instead we've put all our eggs in one massively expensive, badly designed but glossy basket. The capacity issues it sets out to solve are primarily south of Rugby and experts have argued that HS2 classic compatible trains might even reduce capacity on parts of the network including North of Warrington. That's even before you get to the issue of how HS2 will actively harm the economies of cities like Stoke. HS2 does very little in terms of the rest of the country's transport issues which are related to connectivity rather than capacity. And then you have its ludicrous design flaws necessitated by the need for speed such as bypassing East Midlands airport to stop in Toton so that it serves both Derby and Nottingham which will require the construction of new lines so that people can use it. These lines are not in the budget of course and you have to wonder about the advantages of having to travel from these cities to even use it. It doesn't link to HS1 and the Northern Line can't cope with it at Euston. And of course it's massively environmentally damaging with a great deal of that damage a consequence of the need for it to be unnecessarily fast. It's a boondoggle and not surprisingly a favourite of Lord Adonis who has a love of such things for London including the Garden Bridge and The Tulip.
  12. If councillors are as dim as confused52 says, maybe they get their bungs in sacks with the word SWAG on the side.
  13. There's an interesting contrast with the local council here who have also just built themselves a new office. The cost of that has always been in the public domain so they've dealt with that part. They haven't dug a hole for themselves on that score. But it has been a problem in other regards. The construction was beset with hold ups. But the main issue is they didn't have a proper plan for the old offices which are now empty, rotting and sucking up money a couple of hundred yards away. Obviously this wasn't part of the business case so that's gone out of the window. They're not the only council to have found themselves in that position. Such behaviour would be a huge problem for a private sector organisation. It could even see them face financial problems. Heads would likely roll. I can't comment on the business case for Broomhead Towers because WBC is pulling its usual trick of keeping people in the dark then whinging about the speculation. Maybe I shouldn't expect quite so much from councillors, but again you know more of them than I do. I for one couldn't bear to work as a councillor.
  14. I actually still have interests in Warrington otherwise I'd keep my nose out. There's a feedback loop in comment sections sometimes that leads to a downward spiral. The personal abuse is unnecessary and I'm not sure why it's tolerated. They should ban a couple of obvious trolls. I then think people who are perhaps more reasoned end up being part of a melee so any valid points they make just seem to be part of the general racket. Then there's the underlying nonsense about 'brown envelopes' when it comes to councillors. Having said all of that, the council really doesn't help itself. A councillor turning up to vote on the most controversial planning decision in years without even knowing where it is? Then senior people in the council clam up about that while issuing lengthy statements about another councillor expressing her unease at how the meeting had been handled? That just plays into the narrative. They have a habit of trying to control information when they shouldn't and instead generate mistrust and misinformation. They can't deal with issues like Redwood, the Local Plan, their investments and the costs of the new offices in the way they have without expecting a backlash. As it happens I also think that developers have too much say in council decisions. I have very little time for Steven Broomhead. I know his sort. I think he's the main source of this influence and I suspect he's a little too easily impressed with genuine fat cats at organisations like Peel. If he's taking Judith Wheeler to task, he should double up on Brian Maher. Andy Farrall is another dubious character. He's an obvious philistine and is only interested in a narrow range of objectives. I know he's supposed to be leaving the council although that is dragging on. It will be interesting to see if he pitches up anywhere after leaving. But I think Russ Bowden seems like a decent guy doing the best he can in difficult circumstances which is probably true for most of the people in the council. I don't agree with all they do, especially with the risks they are taking on behalf of the town in the property market, but the main thing is they need to just be more straightforward about things and stop trying to control them quite so much. That's obviously not working. Just my opinion.
  15. I know Steven Broomhead has already had a go at her publicly for saying what she said. I'm sure he'll follow it up with the same level of criticism for Brian Maher for admitting he had absolutely no idea about the most basic detail of the massive project he was voting in favour of. 😈
  16. I see Judith Wheeler is now complaining of coming under pressure from officers to approve the project. The council has got itself into a huge mess with this, whatever else is involved.
  17. It's clear that the development of Peel Hall would be a terrible idea. As for the South, development seems inevitable so my fear would be that they create somewhere crap, which seems far more likely than not. Even if it were a true Garden City as they originally tried to sell the idea, there are many problems with that as a concept. Instead I think what they're looking at is Birchwood including the dreaded 'centre'. I can't see it all decreasing reliance on cars either.
  18. OK. I need to bow to your greater knowledge and experience of these things. I just found it unbelievable that just before the vote, the councillor seconding the motion to approve admitted in front of everybody that he didn't know where the site was and maybe hadn't even picked up it was on the green belt. Apart from the stupidity of the question itself, there's the stupidity of asking it in that forum. There's some additional context to this provided by Ryan Bate's comments. Obviously he was there so heard the comment more clearly. There was also the predictably idiotic comment from Peter Carey (I believe) about it being the South's 'turn' as if that either matters or helps to address the endless to and fro in the town on this specific issue and the more general issue underlying it. The only thing I'd say is it's a dead giveaway about the mindset of this particular councillor and probably many others. It seems pretty obvious that one of the things in favour of the Local Plan and this application from their point of view is where things like this are happening. Russ Bowden's never going to get support from the South of Warrington for this plan if his own councillors keep letting the cat out of the bag in this way. If I was being conspiratorial I would also wonder whether they see it as a chance to change the electoral makeup of the wards. May not be gerrymandering as such, but it might be a consideration. Finally, the council needs to buy some microphones. Ideally they should have created a new space for these things at the new offices but for some reason haven't.
  19. What did you make of the fact that one of the councillors voting in favour didn't even know where the site was and that it wasn't brownfield?
  20. They've previously and recently shipped dissident booksellers to the mainland never to be heard of again. I was talking to somebody from Hong Kong this week, where I have some business, and they suspect that the government will let the eyes of the world turn away from this latest sign of dissent, then people will start disappearing. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/03/magazine/the-case-of-hong-kongs-missing-booksellers.html
  21. Nothing could keep him quiet. No doubt* once this list is complete he can start naming the victims at London Bridge, Westminster and Manchester Arena. * Lots of doubt
  22. I suspect it's not just apathy that deters people from involving themselves but cynicism too. On that last score the council is to blame. But I agree. People should be fighting this tooth and nail.
  23. I think one of the issues with the CPS failures was an unwillingness to disclose evidence even when the police and CPS knew it was there. This is what happens when you set people target rates for prosecutions and invert the presumption of innocence to make it easier to hit them.
  24. That was my point :-). If you're going to virtue signal, be prepared to do it for the actions of all ideological nutjobs
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