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Paul Kennedy

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Posts posted by Paul Kennedy

  1. The bus lane on Wilderspool  Causeway is rarely used...given the reduction in bus services, coupled to which, for a section of it you can legally park a car in it, meaning that the few buses that do use it have to pull out in to the main traffic flow. Waste of time and should be done away with.

    • Upvote 2
  2. :lol:  Think you've been baking that one for some time Paul.  :lol:

    Guilty as charged.

     

    Back on to the substantive issue of the topic....at today's PMQ's, Peter Bone asked the question what contribution would the EU be making to the UK so that the 27 can have access to our market....now there's a thought.

  3. 'library's?'

     

    Exactly why we need them. I understand this is not your mistake Paul but a cut and paste?

     

    As for the cuts, we all know the council is having to make difficult decisions. Like choosing the sorts of desks, chairs and artworks they'd like for their new offices? 

    I have duly edited my original cut and paste post....with a bit of Latin. 

  4. I'm sure WBC will try to blame it on government cuts, but as they are spending money on their pet projects like it was going out of fashion, I don't think any excuses will wash, do you?

    and true to form, they did....not sure that the petition was welcomed really:  

     

    "In response Councillor Anthony Higgins said that the council would take time to fully digest, process and understand fully the findings of the report and only then would they make it openly available.

    He added that he welcomed the petition and thanked the organisers and those who had signed the petitions for giving the cause heart. He assured them he was himself an advocate for library’s (sic) but that they should understand that the proposals were exactly that and not a done deal.

    He added that all authorities were struggling to cope with the unprecedented cuts the Government had imposed upon them".

  5. and at the next election, they will all be voted back in again, regardless

    Ay....and as is often said, we have elections and the Council/Government always wins....by that it means the establishment....in its various forms wins....eventually......so as with Brexit, where the establishment doesn't initially win, it fights back....and eventually gets its way.

  6. Around here they elect the rosette not the candidate, the 'if they were good enough for my granddad' factor.

    Well, that spell is due to break. 

    It already has, Brexit being a local example where a majority of those who voted in Warrington, voted to leave, Mr Trump and the Italian Referendum being the two international examples.......

  7. The only thing WBC will be doing at Monday's meeting is making a list of the points of objection which they can then form counter arguments to.

    The best thing to do now is to let them forge ahead with their plans putting both feet well and truly in.

    They can then find out the hard way the real meaning of "lessons have been learned"!

    Or more likely is that WBC's current administration will blame the current government for cuts........

  8. The Remoaners are determined to block or delay Brexit, with a continued carping on about the "single market". The people voted to exit the EU primarily to end unfettered immigration, and that means no free movement = no single market. Some economists are now predicting a banking crisis (like 2008) in the EU, with Greece, Portugal and Spain at the leading edge; so the EU has more to worry about than we do.

    .....they also voted to leave the EU because they were totally and utterly fed up with the "establishment"....and many probably took the view that leaving the EU wouldn't make their lives any worse than they are at the moment....and with a Referendum their vote would count and maybe for once they could be heard...and what shocks me is that the "establishment didn't realise that....and most of them still don't.

    • Upvote 3
  9. The Remoaners are determined to block or delay Brexit, with a continued carping on about the "single market". The people voted to exit the EU primarily to end unfettered immigration, and that means no free movement = no single market. Some economists are now predicting a banking crisis (like 2008) in the EU, with Greece, Portugal and Spain at the leading edge; so the EU has more to worry about than we do.

    Italian banks are, I understand, the most in crisis...as is its economy. Its Government could fall if next month's Referendum there doesn't go the way their Government want...and given the mood of voters in Western democracies....it might well fall.....mind you that is nothing new in Italy....they regularly used to have a change of Government annually....indeed at its worst a couple of Governments a year.  

  10. PS With regards to the new Council offices, there absolutely was a fully costed business plan to justify the additional capital cost which then became an integral part of the overall budget for the Times Square regeneration project. Here's a controversial thought, why not make the new Council offices the new Town Hall.......and sell off the current one...to the company who wanted to develop Walton Hall...and who have successfully developed in co-operation with Wigan MBC, Haigh Hall in Wigan.   http://www.haighhallhotel.co.uk/ and on one of the opening pictures is a former WBC Councillor and now a Wigan MBC Councillor joining in the keys handover photo call.

  11. The analogy with boilers doesn't stack up. Around 40 percent of new commercial property doesn't meet its designed performance targets and other councils have discovered to their cost that you can't just assume you'll be able to find buyers for vacated properties when you consolidate a portfolio. Then again, the offices may go over budget, not that we know what that is. It may all go to Plan A, of course. In which case, great. But it may not and we'll never know because there is no scrutiny and no public awareness of the business case. I get the impression that most councillors are in the dark about what is happening. We don't even know how the offices are being financed which is pertinent because it may be that the fit-out - or part of it - is coming from revenue. It wouldn't look good on the council if it was removing services and charging for others while spending x million on office furniture from the revenue budget, would it?  

     

    The council is relying on complacency from the electorate on this issue. It thinks it can get away with just dismissing people who moan about the offices when the problem is actually more complex and involves the likes of Russ Bowden openly lying to residents in saying 'there is no separate budget'. Well, of course there is. The council just doesn't want anybody to know what it is, especially if the plan falls apart.  

     

    Then there is the question of opportunity cost. If this land is revenue generating and the council's offices aren't, shouldn't it have been used for something else?? Then the council could base its core functions in a much less expensive building elsewhere, perhaps on one of the many business parks in the borough, set up a counter in the town centre for residents to use and saved a lot of money while increasing their income from the development. Was this considered or any other alternatives?  Again, we've got no way of knowing because the council flat out refuses to set out its business case and the alternatives.   

    My analogy to boilers relates to "other capital projects" rather than the town centre regeneration....street lighting could be an example. 

  12. There is a lot of creep going on with this sort of thing. I feel as if councils - not just WBC - now see their tax income as primarily being the money that pays for the council itself. Everything else is prone to be outsourced to residents themselves. They're becoming self perpetuating bureaucracies.

    Given that Council Tax is about £80 million per annum, that is probably factually correct......indeed salaries, employers NI and pension contributions might well exceed that figure.

  13. £30 a year seems reasonable when you think how much time and effort it takes just loading up the car and queuing at the tip. 

    It's not that bad at the moment but all those who choose not to pay will make the queue situation worse but it's their choice.

     

     

    Bill :)

    I will be paying the £30, as in my circumstances it seems the best option...not least because often when I go to the tip....I end up with a nail or screw in my tyres.  Charging has been on the cards for sometime as are other potential changes...it is just easier politically to introduce changes when there are no elections until 2020.

  14. Where does the money come from to repay the loans and the low-interest when it is due?

    The theory is that most capital projects are self financing, so for example the Times Square project (£110 million) the rent earned by letting out properties and the savings made by housing all council staff in the new office building...and disposing of the unused offices... etc generates enough income to both repay the loan and its interest...and if not the development itself can be sold off...with the assumption that it will have increased in value....as did Golden Square. Now if the theory doesn't go to plan, interest will be paid out of revenue expenditure...possibly to the detriment of other services, and the capital of the loan will have to be financed by taking out an additional loan or extending the existing loan. Other capital projects are based on the business case that the long term cost is less than the costs incurred if nothing is done....a very simple analogy is that people upgrade their heating boiler to the latest model that costs less to run and repair, so over time the cost of the new version is less than the cost of continuing to run the old model. In the case of loans to registered social landlords, it is a simple numbers game whereby the social landlords pay to WBC more than WBC borrowed and the "profit" becomes income that WBC can then use to pay for services...WBC's secures the loan against property owned by the social landlord.  

  15. Charging for the bin collection will mean that a lot of people will not buy the service making the service more expensive (per bin emptied) and so I expect a further increase in years to come. Also is the composting of the green waste is it not sold on, reduced quantity means less revenue

     

    I did not ask for the green bin yet the council is banning garden waste from its black bins. This move will increase traffic, tipping, fires and the waste taken to the tip, does the council not need to pay to get that disposed of?

     

    Now onto my hobby horse, a council that has enough money to demolish building then build parks (I am talking about the Crown Chamber Buildings) and commission brand new offices should have enough money to provide bin collections.

    Different category of money Milky.........demolishing things and then rebuilding is capital expenditure.......of which WBC can borrow plenty at historically low interest rates, whilst emptying bins is revenue expenditure (day to day spending) which comes from income such as Council Tax, charges, fees, government grants etc. In the last financial year WBC had Gross Revenue Expenditure of about £470 million...and Council Tax income was about £80 million....local authorities cannot borrow money to pay for day to day expenditure....and currently are limited by how much they can increase council tax by. WBC had borrowings of about £260 million and investments of about £50 million.

  16. I'll reserve judgement on the Nissan "deal", until we know if HMG have had to bribe them to stay, with tax-payer's money. Keep hearing about this so-called "single market", but it doesn't stop S/Korean cars, Chilean wines, or Madagascan prawns reaching our shops (NB we're still in the EU single market). The fact is, that the EU has set itself up as a continental protection racket; but forgets that trade is a two way street. If they want to apply WTO tariffs (10% for cars), so can we; we can have a global trade war, and the EU will find they are in the minority. 500million customers are a lot less than the 6 and a half billion elsewhere.

    Interestingly Observer, I understand that at least one Korean manufacturer, Kia makes its cars in the EU...Slovakia.

  17. A rather sad day for democracy when a wealthy individual can go to Court and convince Judges ( who most likely voted remain) to frustrate/nullify the result of the Referendum. I post as someone who voted to Remain....but never wanted a Referendum in the first place. If I was Mrs May....and if it is possible, I would put a Motion to Parliament along the lines, "that this House accepts the Referendum result to leave the EU and in so doing instructs HM Government to enact Article 50 and commence negotiating the UK's exit from the EU".....and let us see who of those who say they accept the result actually do.

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  18. Doh, but I think the figure exceeds ten - and they're not telling us what it is; and this is just the "illegals"..  Seems we have a conspiracy of silence by HMG and the media. according to ONS, the estimated figure for illegals in the UK is 450,000; but they admit that they haven't really got a clue, due to the fact that they disappear off their radar.  Hence the need to detain them when caught and for their processing to be tracked, so the public can be assured that they are being deported.

    Just recently, I have heard the figure of 1 million being quoted, from what as I recall was a reputable source, it of course might be the best estimate for the core illegals number i.e. those who are well established in the UK is around the 450,000 mark, with the addition being a rolling number of those who overstay their permits for a while, then go home. The reality is, whatever the number, it is not a good situation and just fuels animosity and suspicion.

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