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boris1066

WBC to become a bank ??

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Slightly off topic but still about WBC spending.....

Earlier today I read on the WG that WBC have invested in a new Real-Time Passenger Information App which they are quoted as saying 'will makes it easier for people to use our bus service network' blah blah blah

I thought WBC had nothing to do with the bus service now and it was all in the hands of Network Warrington so why are WBC investing/paying for it?

It does seem that WBC has an awful lot of spare money to invest and spend at the moment on things like this and buying up land and buildings too....but not enough to empty peoples green bins without charging, to support places like the YMCA and Libraries etc etc.....

All very confusing to say the least....I understand there are different pots of money ie revenue and capital etc etc and different amounts are allocated to specific spending types but maybe the whole 'money pots' situation needs simplifying so money can be spent where it IS needed right now not for 30 years down the line.


 

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I noticed the other day that the super duper information box that they put up in my local stop some years ago at great expense, and which stopped working shortly after, had finally been removed.

I must nip down there to marvel at the new one.

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I already have a free app on my phone called TRACKR FREE, which gives the times of all buses of all operators at bus stops near to your present location. It also has a journey planner which includes train times as well. There are loads of similar apps so I don't know why WBC would want to fund another one.

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This just proves all the points above.

 

The council has spent money, perhaps unnecessarily, on a business it keeps telling us is an independent concern. It puts out a press statement that omits one key piece of information - how much? Remember this is public money spent on behalf of a private business at a time the council keeps telling us it can't afford to provide some basic services.

 

Now, suppose I ask Cllr Mundry how much. What will be the answer? Let's find out.

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If memory serves, WBC stated at the time that the cash, the exact amount of which was said to be 'commercially sensitive' but was believed to be hundreds of thousands of pounds, was a loan.

Almost 4 years on, it would be interesting to know if the repayments (if any) are on track, though I suspect that information might be commercially sensitive too.

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If memory serves, WBC stated at the time that the cash, the exact amount of which was said to be 'commercially sensitive' but was believed to be hundreds of thousands of pounds, was a loan.

Almost 4 years on, it would be interesting to know if the repayments (if any) are on track, though I suspect that information might be commercially sensitive too.

 

Are you talking about the loan to WBT some years back?

 

If so there is a complication about WBT that doesn't get mentioned, as they were created following the 1985 Transport Act there is a requirement that loans can only be obtained from their sole shareholder which is WBC. The amount of the loan and its payment is actually visible in the WBT Accounts which are available on the Companies House site for free. WBC claim confidentiality for many things they shouldn't and information that will be put in the public domain is not a reason for confidentiality. Given that WBC are the only share holder it had no effect on the market value of the company and there was no actual need for confidentiality. It looks like the repayments were on track as of last year.

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The council has spent money, perhaps unnecessarily, on a business it keeps telling us is an independent concern. It puts out a press statement that omits one key piece of information - how much? Remember this is public money spent on behalf of a private business at a time the council keeps telling us it can't afford to provide some basic services.

 

The council has a duty to provide information about bus services under the Transport Act 2000. It applies to all bus operators not just Network Warrington/WBT. It also part funds Traveline and Mobibuses as part of that duty. It isn't a payment to WBT, rather it is them finally performing a duty they are legally obliged to do but have mostly ignored for years.

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The council has a duty to provide information about bus services under the Transport Act 2000. It applies to all bus operators not just Network Warrington/WBT. It also part funds Traveline and Mobibuses as part of that duty. It isn't a payment to WBT, rather it is them finally performing a duty they are legally obliged to do but have mostly ignored for years.

 

Thanks for clearing that up. 

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The council has a duty to provide information about bus services under the Transport Act 2000. It applies to all bus operators not just Network Warrington/WBT. It also part funds Traveline and Mobibuses as part of that duty. It isn't a payment to WBT, rather it is them finally performing a duty they are legally obliged to do but have mostly ignored for years.

Thanks for the info :D  Just wondering though....Network Warrington have all their timetables on line and you can get paper copies too.   There are also timetables in each bus stop showing the service number and times of busses stopping there.  Is that not sufficient?  Does it have to be Real-Time and an APP  according to the rules of the Transport Act 2000?

 

Also Asperity posted earlier that he has a APP called TRACKR FREE that gives all the times too and that shows ALL Operators in your area too, could they not just have pointed people in the direction of an existing APP like that one ?  I suppose if that APP gave incorrect info though WBC / NWW would get the backlash so maybe not. 

 

I wonder if WBC's new one will show all operators like the one ASP's mentioned.  Only reason I ask is that I actually used two busses this week,

 

One was Monday from the main bus station in town to Stockton Heath village and it cost me £2.20.  It was a Network Warrington bus.

 

On Friday I did the same journey but in reverse from Stockton Heath village to the bus station but that cost me £2.00 .... 20p cheaper.  That was a Halton Council bus but same route.  That one doesn;t seem to be listed on the timetables I just looked at on NWW's website.

 

Reminder to myself....always use the Halton busses that pass through and not the Network Warrington ones :D

 

And a message to myself....this topic was about WBC becoming a 'bank'....oops I seem to have hijacked the topic.

 

Back to banking then ................ :D

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 ................................There are also timetables in each bus stop showing the service number and times of busses stopping there............... 

 

Did you look at the dates on the timetables at your bus stop Diz?  The timetables at the bus stop nearest to me are a couple of years out of date and thus useless! 

A lot of the electronic signs at bus stops don't work or worse, are displaying outdated information and are still using up electricity. When they are working they give info on buses due but they cut off at the 'due time' whether the bus has gone or not. They don't give info such as "already gone early", "running 15 mins late" or "been cut off - not going to turn up at all".  

Re the Halton buses - yes they are cheaper and seem to run on time more often than Network Warrington.

 

One thing I think that is really unfair and needs changing is that Runcorn folk can get a family day out to Walton Park far cheaper than those from say Orford or Longford. The Runcorn people can just buy a Halton bus family day rover but Orford people would need to buy a family day rover from Network Warrington to get them to town centre then a Halton family day rover to get them from town centre to the Walton Arms.  It would be easy enough for Network Warrington to have 'an arrangement' with Halton so that only one ticket need be purchased - other Authorities operate this type of cross boundary agreement so why can't Warrington?   

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Thanks for the info :D  Just wondering though....Network Warrington have all their timetables on line and you can get paper copies too.   There are also timetables in each bus stop showing the service number and times of busses stopping there.  Is that not sufficient?  Does it have to be Real-Time and an APP  according to the rules of the Transport Act 2000?

 

Also Asperity posted earlier that he has a APP called TRACKR FREE that gives all the times too and that shows ALL Operators in your area too, could they not just have pointed people in the direction of an existing APP like that one ?  I suppose if that APP gave incorrect info though WBC / NWW would get the backlash so maybe not. 

 

I wonder if WBC's new one will show all operators like the one ASP's mentioned.  Only reason I ask is that I actually used two busses this week,

 

One was Monday from the main bus station in town to Stockton Heath village and it cost me £2.20.  It was a Network Warrington bus.

 

On Friday I did the same journey but in reverse from Stockton Heath village to the bus station but that cost me £2.00 .... 20p cheaper.  That was a Halton Council bus but same route.  That one doesn;t seem to be listed on the timetables I just looked at on NWW's website.

 

Reminder to myself....always use the Halton busses that pass through and not the Network Warrington ones :D

 

And a message to myself....this topic was about WBC becoming a 'bank'....oops I seem to have hijacked the topic.

 

Back to banking then ................ :D

 

You are, of course right that it does not have to be an app. The Council have a duty to provide information and it is them, not WBT, who put the timetables in the bus stops. They also are responsible for putting the times up on traveline which is a national database with the whole country on it.

 

The News release from WBC actually said "As well as the ‘at stop’ displays bus users will be able to get real time information via apps and web sites (such as Traveline and NextBuses) for the more than 1,300 stops across the borough." So the apps are third party like the one ASP mentioned. Traveline put real-time into their app at the end of last year, see http://www.traveline.info/about-traveline/traveline-services/ . So you are quite right they could have, and presumably will one day, point to someone elses app. In this case one that they part paid for through Traveline. Their news stories are as confusing as their policies!

 

Network Warrington's site shows only their own buses, as does the Arrivabus, Halton Transport and Stagecoach sites. Some councils such as Derbyshire put timetables on their sites but warrington doesn't.

 

I don't think Warrington will have it's own App and what it looks like is that they have upgraded some of the old non-updated displays to work with live data from the operators. Maybe someone knows the whole story.

 

Meanwhile back to Banks......

 

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Confused52, I only read the info on the Guardian page, they did not mention any News Release from WBC so I will go and look for that in a sec as maybe it says more.  Thanks for that info and the other info too :D

I just clicked on the Traveline link you posted and from a quick read it seems people, depending on area etc, are  charge for SMS/texts they send and receive for bus info.  So would I pay extra to get SMS type'real time info' on top of what I would have to pay to travel on a bus.....well NO I wouldn't but then again I don't have to use busses often (thankfully as they are so expensive)

I wonder if people will be charged for the new APP the council are implementing too  a bit like the new pay by phone to park  APP they have just introduced for Stockton Heath Forge car park and Lymm too.  Why would anyone want to use them when it costs more.  Of course there are people who will though....how daft these people are eh :lol:8)

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Perhaps the idea of the bank is to lend money to the people who develop applications for use on smart phones for dumb people.

 

The pay by app for parking does charge for using it. (if you go to their website it gives info on how much that is).

 

As for the bus time table app, why do we need it again? Standing at a bus stop for thirty minutes waiting for the bus that is supposed to turn up every fifteen minutes could be a big clue that the bus is running late, but it can't be late because my phone says it is on time. (also not much use if you do not have a smart phone, like me) and to be honest does it matter if the bus is running late due to (insert excuse here). If you are using the bus then you are not in that much of a hurry, if you were you would be using a car/bike/ shanks pony rather than the bus.

 

Just another feather in cap/box ticking exercise by the council to show what that they care about the people, They must do look at all they are doing for them b y way of apps.

 

funny the older i get the more of a Luddite i seem to be becoming.

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..and back to banks again (oops)

 

It had better make some money because LiveWire seems to be soaking up an awful lot of public money at the moment. An awful lot.

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i know what you mean. out to tender again due to being over budget on dallam hub and i also believe that the other two are over budget and they have not even put a spade to ground yet.

 

still they have to spend the 5% sorry 4.98% council tax rise on something other than offices, gyms and car parks. :roll::rolleyes:B)

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i know what you mean. out to tender again due to being over budget on dallam hub and i also believe that the other two are over budget and they have not even put a spade to ground yet.

 

still they have to spend the 5% sorry 4.98% council tax rise on something other than offices, gyms and car parks. :roll::rolleyes:B)

 

The Sankey Hub was given £4.3 million extra on top of the £6 million budget to deliver the project early. That money appears to have disappeared. Your challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to get somebody at the council to tell you where it is.

 

For your bonus question - what's the budget for the new council office and who is making sure that doesn't go over that budget and sticks to its business plan like these schemes haven't?   

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so was it completed early?

 

as for the money that one is easy, any councillor will tell you that it was spent on completing the project early, The hard part is getting them to tell you what it was actually spent on.

 

The budget for the new council offices does not exist as it is part of the overall budget to improve services to the people of warrington as a whole and as such does not warrant a separate budget. Bewaring that in mind there is nobody specifically assigned to oversee any phase of the new office development personnel being assigned on an as needed basis, The business plan is just that a plan and as such is a dynamic process that will change to meet the current financial status as always.

 

see simple when you know isn't it. :lol: :lol: :lol:

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The Sankey project is going to be late from what I can tell. Another thing where we know things have screwed up but we'll never know any more than that. They've got more bodies buried than the Wests.

 

I'm fascinated with the process they've dreamt up about the offices. If you are to take it all at face value, they know an office is being created but, beyond that, they know as much about it as the rest of us. All they've done is throw £110 million at a developer and are eagerly awaiting what they come up with.

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It does seem unlikely that an organisation which observes the fall of every financial sparrow when it comes to the rest of us, can suddenly forget how many beans make five when it comes to the amount of money it spends on itself.

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Interesting point raised there Boris ...... quite worrying really but surely he doesn't have the only say in pushing the proposal though....or does he ?

This guy's face appears whenever fiscal wizadry hits the front page of local rags or WBC once again pass out the begging bowl to squeeze more cash for less from the rate payers.

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Maybe a face willing to be used as a scapegoat like the face of Tim Warren that was forever being splashed in the press and fronting public consultation meetings at the time of Stockton Heath's old Edwardian School demolition plans and farsical costs put forward against renovation.

Odd how he suddenly 'went' to pastures new though...some say he was 'allegedly' passed on to a new role with another council/organisation after his 'use' here had expired and to save face because the new school building cost WAY more than they said it would thus meaning renovation of the old would have been cheaper after all.  I'd love to know just how much over budget it all went and how much extra has been spent on repairs to the new one since it first opened.  Inside info says there has already been a lot of repairs due to the cheap nature of the new build.  Oh and John Groves head of planning at that time who was front face also 'moved' on to pastures new but I think that was more to do with the farce over the destrucion of the councils planning records.    I wonder who gives these people references to gain similar employment with other councils or do they perhaps just have a special handshake and rolling staff pool between them all where they swap front face staff when things or queations get a little too close for comfort.......

Makes fun reading googling some of them though.... :wink:

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It does seem unlikely that an organisation which observes the fall of every financial sparrow when it comes to the rest of us, can suddenly forget how many beans make five when it comes to the amount of money it spends on itself.

I have emailed Russ Bowden to make exactly this point. He got het up about my claim that it's a lie to say that there 'is no budget' for the council's offices. To be fair that is so ludicrous an idea that the word 'lie' doesn't really do it justice.

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Maybe a face willing to be used as a scapegoat like the face of Tim Warren that was forever being splashed in the press and fronting public consultation meetings at the time of Stockton Heath's old Edwardian School demolition plans and farsical costs put forward against renovation.

 

Odd how he suddenly 'went' to pastures new though...some say he was 'allegedly' passed on to a new role with another council/organisation after his 'use' here had expired and to save face because the new school building cost WAY more than they said it would thus meaning renovation of the old would have been cheaper after all. I'd love to know just how much over budget it all went and how much extra has been spent on repairs to the new one since it first opened. Inside info says there has already been a lot of repairs due to the cheap nature of the new build. Oh and John Groves head of planning at that time who was front face also 'moved' on to pastures new but I think that was more to do with the farce over the destrucion of the councils planning records. I wonder who gives these people references to gain similar employment with other councils or do they perhaps just have a special handshake and rolling staff pool between them all where they swap front face staff when things or queations get a little too close for comfort.......

 

Makes fun reading googling some of them though.... :wink:

Well you can now add Jan Souness and Diana Terris to the list. Failure and even law breaking is very lucrative in local government.

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