Jump to content
Geoffrey Settle

Pledge to Peace - will Warrington sign up?

Recommended Posts

Sha    112

I totally agree with what grey-man says.

Geoff, if Warrington want to 'pledge for peace' why does there have to be a song and dance about it? why can't they just do this without jumping on to a City for Culture, publicity bandwagon? 

Why would a 'pledge for peace' be included in a 'city for culture' bid anyway?

Is it because as grey-man says WBC are more interested in the word 'city' and CBA to put some effort in to promote 'culture'? 

Geoff, I really admire what you do for nature conservation - I think improving our natural open space would be a very positive contribution to a 'city of culture' bid but the 'peace' stuff is tired and worn and depressing. 

As Asperity says we don't have the sort of pride in our town as people in other towns do, we need something positive and optimistic and we need to enhance our culture and heritage not continually destroy it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sha    112
4 minutes ago, observer said:

Do we remember when Warrington announced itself as a "nuclear free zone" ?   Waste from Sellafield was still being transported through the Town, and I don't think anyone told the Russians to re-direct their ICBMs !     :D

 "nuclear free zone"  - how ironic that's proved to be!

You've really depressed me now Obs,  'Warrington-World-Waste-Land ......The Town that was bombed!'

I don't know why I bother - Warrington's had it!   My time would be better spent trawling Rightmove!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
observer    588

A comprehensive master plan might help (didn't we have a Local Plan?);  but it doesn't help when political expediency meant continually ignoring it.      :ph34r:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gosh you lot are really on a downer for Warrington aren't you - anyway Sha has highlighted the Rightmove for you guys so get your sale boards up and start the bidding process it might give you a bit of angst until the contracts are signed but you will be out of here and somewhere else.

It was little old me that sort of tied the Culture and Peace together as I was getting nowhere with the officers of the council - hence my question - I needed a way to sound out the ideas and start debate (healthy or otherwise). You never no how folk are going to react or what else will be thrown in the pot looks like it's gone nuclear now and even dragged in the local plan that I don't think has even been verified ye, why not add a few bridge options into the bargain with a sprinkling of Town Centre binge drinking and development? Then stir a few times and cast a spell from the wicked witch of the North. :wub: 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
asperity    266

Well you said it Geoff, if you can't get the council interested in promoting the town how do you expect the residents to show any interest?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
grey_man    172
3 hours ago, Geoffrey Settle said:

Gosh you lot are really on a downer for Warrington aren't you - anyway Sha has highlighted the Rightmove for you guys so get your sale boards up and start the bidding process it might give you a bit of angst until the contracts are signed but you will be out of here and somewhere else.

It was little old me that sort of tied the Culture and Peace together as I was getting nowhere with the officers of the council - hence my question - I needed a way to sound out the ideas and start debate (healthy or otherwise). You never no how folk are going to react or what else will be thrown in the pot looks like it's gone nuclear now and even dragged in the local plan that I don't think has even been verified ye, why not add a few bridge options into the bargain with a sprinkling of Town Centre binge drinking and development? Then stir a few times and cast a spell from the wicked witch of the North. :wub: 

I don't think we are Geoff. I think the council is. It's been bad enough with regards to culture and heritage, but if the council had its way there'd be no libraries and no Walton Hall either. Those things would have gone ahead if the people of the town hadn't prevented them. Do you recall how Andy Farrall described the decision not to sell off a facility that was gifted to the people of the town? "We are disappointed". Then again this is a man who has a long track record of cultural vandalism here and in Chester. So don't expect us to cheer on the likes of him and pretend the council has any interest in culture just so it can call itself a city. The real cynics are at WBC, not here. 

Look at the new town centre development. A real chance to reshape the town and introduce a major cultural shift, perhaps with a central cultural facility including a theatre and other features, and what does it do? Basically introduces an out of town retail park into the town centre and throws in some offices for itself so it can hide their cost. You know what happens to large office developments in town centres at night? Wasteland. Not culture. And when you ask how much the offices will cost and why the council isn't relocating its back office functions to a cheaper out of town site so it can use the space productively, what do you think you get? Lies, obfuscation and threats.     

Even you have admitted that asking the council to do something that seems a no-brainer is an impossible task. Most of the negativity stems from a council that would clearly bulldoze flat every piece of heritage and build on every green space if it makes money and gets to call itself a city at the end of it. I can tell you that I'm a Fellow of the RSA so have a real interest in culture, and what I see from Warrington Borough Council is shameful and the bid for City of Culture is - in some part - an attempt to deflect attention away from its horrendous track record on the issue, especially its disgraceful attempt to close the libraries. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Davy51    232

Tell me, is the real attraction of becoming a city to get the councillors & top "officers" more lucrative remuneration packages  or so the council get to keep,& reinvest, more of its locally generated wealth as "the city" prospers ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, asperity said:

Well you said it Geoff, if you can't get the council interested in promoting the town how do you expect the residents to show any interest?

The as always - hard work and not taking no for an answer :rolleyes:

 

1 hour ago, grey_man said:

I don't think we are Geoff. I think the council is. It's been bad enough with regards to culture and heritage, but if the council had its way there'd be no libraries and no Walton Hall either. Those things would have gone ahead if the people of the town hadn't prevented them. Do you recall how Andy Farrall described the decision not to sell off a facility that was gifted to the people of the town? "We are disappointed". Then again this is a man who has a long track record of cultural vandalism here and in Chester. So don't expect us to cheer on the likes of him and pretend the council has any interest in culture just so it can call itself a city. The real cynics are at WBC, not here. 

Look at the new town centre development. A real chance to reshape the town and introduce a major cultural shift, perhaps with a central cultural facility including a theatre and other features, and what does it do? Basically introduces an out of town retail park into the town centre and throws in some offices for itself so it can hide their cost. You know what happens to large office developments in town centres at night? Wasteland. Not culture. And when you ask how much the offices will cost and why the council isn't relocating its back office functions to a cheaper out of town site so it can use the space productively, what do you think you get? Lies, obfuscation and threats.     

Even you have admitted that asking the council to do something that seems a no-brainer is an impossible task. Most of the negativity stems from a council that would clearly bulldoze flat every piece of heritage and build on every green space if it makes money and gets to call itself a city at the end of it. I can tell you that I'm a Fellow of the RSA so have a real interest in culture, and what I see from Warrington Borough Council is shameful and the bid for City of Culture is - in some part - an attempt to deflect attention away from its horrendous track record on the issue, especially its disgraceful attempt to close the libraries. 

 Some reasons why I stepped down as a councillor I wanted to be at arms length and try and fight my own corners for things that I am passionate about which is proving very challenging when things don't go so well but very rewarding when things go well

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
grey_man    172

You're a man with convictions and there are a number of councillors I've respected and admired over the years, from all sides. You and they are not the problem. It's a council that is inward looking and is typical of the way many local authorities function these days. Normally this only involves the sorts of issues we're discussing here but the problems are really laid bare when things go dramatically wrong like with the Rotherham abuse scandal and Grenfell Tower disaster. That's when you really see how a council works, thinks and the quality of the people earning six figure salaries.    

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
observer    588

Perhaps if Councils concentrated on their core services, rather than embarking on civic initiatives that mean little or nothing to most rate payers; the basics could be dealt with properly ?      :ph34r:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
grey_man    172
6 hours ago, Geoffrey Settle said:

That's the path that they already are on.

What makes you say that Geoff? Have you any evidence for that assertion? For example, WBC has just withdrawn funding from Children's Services roughly equivalent to the cost of the City of Culture bid. And how will the creation of new offices in the town centre improve core services?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sha    112
On ‎29‎/‎06‎/‎2017 at 5:49 AM, Geoffrey Settle said:

Gosh you lot are really on a downer for Warrington aren't you - anyway Sha has highlighted the Rightmove for you guys so get your sale boards up and start the bidding process it might give you a bit of angst until the contracts are signed but you will be out of here and somewhere else.

It was little old me that sort of tied the Culture and Peace together as I was getting nowhere with the officers of the council - hence my question - I needed a way to sound out the ideas and start debate (healthy or otherwise). You never no how folk are going to react or what else will be thrown in the pot looks like it's gone nuclear now and even dragged in the local plan that I don't think has even been verified ye, why not add a few bridge options into the bargain with a sprinkling of Town Centre binge drinking and development? Then stir a few times and cast a spell from the wicked witch of the North. :wub: 

Typical Cllr type response , "if you don't like it shove off! We're going ahead anyway!"

Well Geoff, as you said, "You never no how folk are going to react or what else will be thrown in the pot"

If a town wide "WE DON'T WANT TO BE A CITY!" campaign were to be stirred up that would sour the soup somewhat wouldn't it?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Keep up with the times Sha, I stood down 12 months ago.

I don't think even then I was considered a typical councillor what ever that is - it means different things for different people?

None of what I am advocating is a City Bid - it's just the label the organisers put on it.

None City, Towns like Warrington can apply and are applying for their place to 'Pledge to Peace' and be  'City of Culture' but people like you - whoever and whatever you are can't accept this fact but need to see things you way or no way.

I'm just off to a Mersey Forest meeting in a few minutes - now you wouldn't call the Mersey Forest a traditional Forest would you more like a Virtual Forest - well guess what it's becoming part of the Northern Forest that will stretch from Delamere to the East Coast - 

A sort of Northern Power House Forest for Green Infrastructure.

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
grey_man    172
1 hour ago, Geoffrey Settle said:

Is that because it's on the rinse cycle and economy setting?

38 minutes ago, Geoffrey Settle said:

Keep up with the times Sha, I stood down 12 months ago.

I don't think even then I was considered a typical councillor what ever that is - it means different things for different people?

What it seems to mean in your case is that you've accepted that you can get more done by bypassing the council, something the active voters of Warrington (and at least one other councillor to my knowledge) realised a long time ago.  

Be good to hear why you think councils are moving towards a focus on core services. Everything I see from councils suggests that they are primarily interested in councils. As I said, you can see it in Warrington on relatively minor issues as discussed here, but it's also most apparent when you see Kensington and Chelsea where the council's main focus is clearly on damage limitation to its reputation and the preservation of senior jobs. It simply cares more about those things than the consequences of people burning to death in one of its buildings. That can only happen when an organisation has lost all moral sense.     

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sha    112

'typical councillor' = ignore public opinion & carry on regardless.

I think there are probably more people, who think like me, that both the 'city' bids as they stand, are a bad idea. Would you need thousands of signatures on a petition before you could see this?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 hours ago, Geoffrey Settle said:

That's the path that they already are on.

By that I mean - they are having to  do less because there is less money/resources being handed down from Central Government.

As for the budget if they go for business as usual then some budget lines i.e. services have to be reduced or scrapped and you must know my feeling on this as they have jettisoned the Warrington Nature Conservation Forum set up under agenda 21 - it cost very little to keep going and my members have picked this up and we are now doing better without the councils support.

The big one for me was when I was the Vice Chair of the Community Transport and their donation dropped by £75k but it shows where the WCT figures in their scheme of things. We had to halve the staff and vehicles and come up with a new model of working and go outside of WBC to secure a one off very generous donation of £23k with no strings attached. The WCT is going but faces a further £15k reduction for this financial year.

If you are concerned about services then I suggest that you start making your voices known as the budget process must be about to start very soon - in fact it may well have already started.

I have great concerns about the future of Charities in Warrington with two having already gone to the wall and others on the brink.

So I believe the writing maybe also on the wall for councils and their services - that is the path that some are currently on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Confused52    10

Geoff, It beggars belief that more cuts are going there (to WCT) when more than that is being spent of the unused (and possibly therefore useless) service from Burtonwood to M&S Gemini which is surely an O'Neill/Mitchell vanity project!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
grey_man    172
6 hours ago, Geoffrey Settle said:

By that I mean - they are having to  do less because there is less money/resources being handed down from Central Government.

As for the budget if they go for business as usual then some budget lines i.e. services have to be reduced or scrapped and you must know my feeling on this as they have jettisoned the Warrington Nature Conservation Forum set up under agenda 21 - it cost very little to keep going and my members have picked this up and we are now doing better without the councils support.

The big one for me was when I was the Vice Chair of the Community Transport and their donation dropped by £75k but it shows where the WCT figures in their scheme of things. We had to halve the staff and vehicles and come up with a new model of working and go outside of WBC to secure a one off very generous donation of £23k with no strings attached. The WCT is going but faces a further £15k reduction for this financial year.

If you are concerned about services then I suggest that you start making your voices known as the budget process must be about to start very soon - in fact it may well have already started.

I have great concerns about the future of Charities in Warrington with two having already gone to the wall and others on the brink.

So I believe the writing maybe also on the wall for councils and their services - that is the path that some are currently on.

What's the point in making our voices known? The council only respond to public humiliations. That is the route people should take if they want things to change. 

Not only that, the council withholds information from the public all the time and resorts to threats when people press them. What's the point contacting them about the budget when so much of it is either hidden or actively lied about? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 minutes ago, grey_man said:

What's the point in making our voices known? The council only respond to public humiliations. That is the route people should take if they want things to change. 

Not only that, the council withholds information from the public all the time and resorts to threats when people press them. What's the point contacting them about the budget when so much of it is either hidden or actively lied about? 

It's a bit like the police resources - if no one reports crime in their local are there is no evidence that crime exists in a locality - I was given Lymm as an example year's ago that the people of Lymm do report crime and therefore get a police presence. Other areas where crime - people do not and therefore the resources are not targeted there.

Okay that is a very broad statement but the analogy exists for the budget if no one participates and very few do because they ask what the point of the exercise is then those elements that do need the funding may not receive it. 

You have to let your councillors and officers know where you think that there is a need for money to be spent.

Very often those that scream the loudest get heard or acknowledged, use question to Full Council, Freedom of Information, if you are being lied to then expose the lies. All easy to say but very hard to do. But then if you feel strongly about something develop a strategy for change, why not start with the your local councillor and lobby in the tried and tested snail ways as well as modern social media. You can guarantee that if you are not championing your causes somebody elsewhere will be championing theirs. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
grey_man    172

I am championing it, but it's pointless doing it through the council. I can give you an example of a lie we have all been told by the council. Ask Russ Bowden what the budget for the council's offices and what will he tell you? 

"There is no separate budget".

This is his standard response when asked. Now this isn't your common or garden untruth. It's an uber-lie. It means one of two things. Either the council has no idea what its new offices will cost. Or it doesn't want to tell anybody and so is pretending the issue doesn't exist because they thought they'd get away with it by hiding the cost within the overall budget for the town centre development. Guess which option is more likely? It may be the first, which suggests the council is incompetent. Or it may be the second, in which case we might generously describe it as a lie of omission. 

Given that we've been told this by the man in charge of finance with regard to the council's flagship £100 million project (or whatever it is now - another secret), what is the bloody point trying to engage with him or anybody else about council budgets? Seriously. 

Don't even get me started on councillor David Keane and his fellow ward councillors.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Confused52 said:

Geoff, It beggars belief that more cuts are going there (to WCT) when more than that is being spent of the unused (and possibly therefore useless) service from Burtonwood to M&S Gemini which is surely an O'Neill/Mitchell vanity project!

Unfortunately the lack of funding and re-organisation has meant that the WCT can't get to the outer limits like Burtonwood and Appleton any more - even though there are people on the waiting list. It's a bit like the Warrington Visually Impaired People an organisation that I chair - we can only go so far with out pick ups. We receive no money from WBC and even run a contracted service for them of Home Visitors that actually costs us money. We also have to compete against the fund raising of the RNIB because we are a local charity and not part of the National network. So when you donate to the RNIB you are not donating to your locally based charity for the Visually Impaired.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×