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megilleland

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Everything posted by megilleland

  1. megilleland

    Cllr. Paul Rone 'Seek Before You Speak'

    Some more videos to watch while waiting at the lights! Rush Hour with No Traffic Lights: Spontaneous Order in Action Want Less Car Accidents? Remove Traffic Signals and Road Signs Lots of Cars and Trucks, No Traffic Signs or Lights: Chaos or Calm? Ford imagines a future without traffic lights or stop signs This Dutch town has traffic lights on the ground because people are staring at their phones
  2. megilleland

    Brexit Is Finished.

    Another piece by John Ward spelling it out what is going on regarding Brexit and the continual disregard they have for the electorate of our country. The People Come Last From The Slog Feb 15, 2019John Ward A threader at The Slog yesterday recommended action by Parliament (or whoever) to kill every tenth Remainer. This struck me as a little extreme, albeit potentially enjoyable. The goings-on at Westminster, on the other hand, were unendurably painful. _ The pain came from various directions: watching the midget bombast John Bercow, listening to SNP rentagobs, enduring Labour hypocrisy, hearing the assertions of third-rate Tory backbenchers and so forth. But primarily, the upsetting part of watching the British political “system” in action these days involves the sheer chaos of it all. Brexit as a crisis has found this out as never before: but if we’re being honest here, the archaic nature of the process at times beggars belief. The interventions, the giving way and the feigned politesse really do rankle in a Parliament more divided than at any time since Cromwell – and (as opposed to the mid 17th century) unable to choose civil war as an option. But the complications we’re seeing on Brexit could only have been created by the Whitehall mind. Just as with Rail privatisation in Britain, a negotiation conducted by bureaucrats (without recourse to Parliament) has produced a stream of illogical mayhem. The architect of this farrago, Oliver Robbins, can sit back and mouth off in Belgian bars: unlike MPs, he will not be ejected from his job. Unlike most workers, he has been paid a whopping bonus for negotiating capitulation to a foreign power – itself in the midst of an existential fiscal and economic crisis. Unlike 1950s born female State pensioners, he can look forward to a gold-plated, index-linked pension. He is the unaccountable authoritarian sociopath predicted by Franz Kafka over a century ago: above the Law, and beneath contempt. But the anarchy he and the Remoaners have unleashed permeated everything yesterday in the Commons. Backstops, alternatives as yet undefined to backstops, No Deals on and off tables, extensions ruled out and factored in, Customs Unions to be left or embraced, Labour factions, Tory factions, potty SNP amendments, Government amendments, Remain amendments, mass abstentions and redoubled efforts by a Theresa May who didn’t even bother to turn up, and gave precious few clues as to what exactly her next effort will be, redoubled or otherwise. How many voters in the UK have the time, motivation, discernment and intelligence to extract something from this palace of gasbags? For myself, I can only offer these observations on the day’s proceedings: * The Corbyn amendment demanding a meaningful vote by February 27th at the latest was defeated. It was important for the élites to do this, because success for Corbyn would’ve made it easier to stop the May/Robbins drift into an Article 50 extension. * A predictable defeat for the Government requesting a majority to retain confidence in Mother Theresa’s current search for a backstop breakthrough. While not legally binding, this does pave the way for Parliament to stop the May/Robbins drift into an Article 50 extension. * If these two outcomes strike you as contradictory, congratulations – you are sane and awake. Beyond this comedy of manners, there is a very real possibility that Robbins and his German ladyfriend in Brussels have concocted a pre-agreed plan (of which May and Hammond will be aware) for an 11.59 pm deal to be revealed some time in mid March. But knowing the European Commission as I do, I am fairly sure there will be a bitter pill to swallow with it, designed to save their already overly crispy bacon. So on the basis that this too will founder, the Remaindeer majority in Parliament will take control away from the Executive, legislate to take No Deal off the table, and mandate the Government to ask for an Article 50 extension. Very, very few people in Britain grasp the profound and potentially calamitous consequences of the Commons seizing power in this way. It could well be that, come March 30th, we will all be citizens of a country where the bureaucrats are engaged in a battle with elected politicians, and elected backbenchers (plus a bent Speaker) are in turn trying to wrest power from the Executive. This would make us easy meat for the vassal-creators in Brussels. Meanwhile, The People are nowhere to be seen in this nightmare landscape.
  3. megilleland

    Herefordshire Council Contracts

    Not the only council spending council taxpayers' money recklessly. 'Utterly brainless' councillors lavish millions on new deluxe town hall HQs The building boom is putting councillors from Durham to Devon into swish civic centres where they can sit in state-of-the-art comfort while deciding which services to slash. And the cash-splashing comes as council tax payers in parts of the country face an eye-watering hike of nearly 12 percent this year. Wales' Conwy Council has a new £38.5million HQ in Colwyn Bay for its 760 staff - having axed bin collections to just once a month because of a £15.2million hole in its budget. Later this month it is expected to rubber stamp an 11.6 percent hike in council tax. While the authority didn't pay for its new HQ, council chiefs have signed a 40-year lease and will pay £1.5million a year in rent, bringing a total bill of £60million - which could rise as the rent is linked to the retail price index. And astonishingly, it will be the council, not the building's owners, who pay for any repairs. The area's Tory MP Guto Bebb has slammed the deal saying residents would find the deal "bewildering, inexplicable and even reckless". Conwy Council insists it got value for money. A spokesman said: "Conwy County Borough Council is renting a purpose-built office on a 40-year lease with an option to buy for £1 at the end of the term." In County Durham residents are taking their council to court in a bid to stop the authority demolishing its existing HQ to build a new £50million office on a riverside plot in the city centre, close to its World Heritage site. So far more than 800 locals have written letters of objection. In one a resident said: "I can see no justification other than vanity for building in this location. This is an utterly brainless plan." Durham County Council, which has axed more than 2,700 staff since 2011, needs to slash its spending by £40million over the next four years. The council's director of transformation and partnerships Lorraine O'Donnell said: "This will also enable the council to redevelop what is prime land for a business park at Aykley Heads which will create up to 6,000 new jobs and result in a £400million boost to the county's economy." Last May Cambridgeshire County Council told taxpayers its plan to ditch its current HQ in Cambridge for a new building at Alconbury, 24 miles away. It said it would open in 2020, and save £45million in just 30 years. Last Christmas almost 2,000 staff were told they would have to take three days unpaid leave to save the hard-pressed authority £900,000 in wages as it battled to slash spending by more than £14million. A council spokesman said: "Moving the council's HQ from six acres of prime real estate in central Cambridge, even after the costs of the new and smaller building are taken into account, represents a saving in the region of £46million over the next 30 years, all of which will be re-invested in our frontline services." Councillors in East Devon will begin settling into their new £8.7million HQ in Honiton tomorrow in what they claim will be a move that saves taxpayers' up to £6million over 20 years - because their old base in Sidmouth needed huge sums for repairs and running costs. One of the first decisions to be made in the gleaming new council chamber will be to rubber stamp a planned hefty 3.7 percent rise in council tax. In a statement the council said: "Our new headquarters, less than half the size of our old HQ, will save us significant sums in energy and other utility usage and help fund our capital programme." Bet Herefordshire Council will be dreaming up some ivory towers before long. These councils seem hellbent on spending any money they can get their hands on even if it means emptying the coffers.
  4. The latest National Audit Office report concludes planning system in England is ‘not working well’ (extracts from The Guardian article today) Targets for new homes are likely to be missed by half of England’s local authorities, according to a damning assessment of the government’s housing strategy, while increasingly profitable building companies are getting away with paying less for infrastructure and more than half of councils have failed to draw up adequate plans to solve the housing crisis. The National Audit Office (NAO) concludes that the planning system in England is “not working well” and says councils are struggling to negotiate successfully with developers, leaving swaths of the country vulnerable to either housing shortages or situations where the wrong homes are built in the wrong places. Since 2010 there has been an almost 40% real-terms cut in spending on planners, according to the public spending watchdog. Government figures show that while the average contributions agreed with developers for public infrastructure such as schools, health centres, roads and social housing remained at about £19,000 per new home between 2012 and 2017, average house prices increased by 31% in that period. The top five developers’ average operating profit margin increased from about 12% to 21%. Planning for new homes Background to the report This report assesses how effectively the Department supports the planning regime to provide the right homes in the right places. More facts and figures of financial sustainability of local authorities 2018 with visualisations from NAO. Information on: Revenue Spending Power Service Spending (net current expenditure) Social Care Reserves Budget vs Outturn (service spending)
  5. megilleland

    Herefordshire Council Contracts

    NEWS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Thursday 7th Feb 2019 COUNTY COUNCIL CEO IN COVER-UP CONSPIRACY Gloucestershire environmental group uncovers long-hidden ‘conspiracy’ to influence County Council scrutiny vote on controversial £600M Javelin Park incinerator contract. CEO of Gloucestershire County Council Peter Bungard may be subject to a charge of ‘misconduct in public office’ after secretly influencing a key scrutiny vote that has led to possibly the most expensive county council waste contract per tonne ever signed in the UK, according to Community R4C, a group campaigning for a circular economy in Gloucestershire. Mr Bungard urgently requested a private meeting on the evening of 19th November 2015 with Scrutiny Committee chair Brian Oosthuysen (aged 77 at the time). Having sworn Mr Oosthuysen to secrecy, Bungard insisted that he must use his casting vote on the committee to prevent scrutiny by the full council of revisions to the highly controversial Javelin Park incinerator contract, “or else it will cost the Council £100M”. Because of the lack of scrutiny, the revised and much increased contract went ahead unquestioned – and is now to cost Gloucestershire taxpayers an astonishing additional 30% (approx £150M) at a time when cuts are being made to essential social services. Bungard received a pension windfall of approx £195K from GCC that same year, awarded by the very same council Cabinet pushing forward the huge contract, and making Bungard the highest paid Council executive in the South West in 2015/16. Mr Oosthuysen went on to become Chair of the Council’s Audit Committee. The matter is now thought to be under investigation by Gloucestershire Constabulary’s Anti-Corruption squad. Community R4C, who have led local campaigns against the incinerator contract on grounds of cost and environmental impact says this latest reported incident is only part of a wider cover up. Legal challenges are now in hand or under consideration against the Council for breaching procurement law and misfeasance in public office. A recent request by locals for an independent public inquiry has been officially rejected by Mr Bungard who claims it would be a waste of the Council’s resources. The original incinerator contract was vigorously opposed by Gloucestershire residents but key financial details were withheld by the Council for several years until, after costly appeals by the council funded by taxpayers, disclosure was forced by an Information Tribunal. The delay allowed Urbaser Balfour Beatty to start work at the incinerator site from July 2016. The Council then tried to keep the £150 million cost increase secret but finally released details just before Christmas 2018 once construction was virtually complete. “The Council has been so very secretive that we did wonder what they were trying to hide, and we were really shocked when we found out about the astronomical increase,” says Sue Oppenheimer, one of Community R4C’s directors. “But the idea that a county council CEO, the most senior local civil servant, would pervert democracy in this way is just appalling. We need an independent inquiry to get to the bottom of this huge waste of public funds and the whole flawed and probably illegal process involved. If not, this could happen again, anywhere in the UK.” Ms Oppenheimer was first to hear the story from Mr Oosthuysen. “I gather he is now in communication with the police about the incident, and rightly so,” she says.“Brian Oosthuysen, now 80, is the most senior elected member of the County Council and commands huge local respect. It seems he has been misled and mis-used by Mr Bungard. Had he and his Scrutiny Committee known then what we know now, taxpayers might not be saddled with a £600M ‘waste elephant’ that discourages recycling, that the public never wanted and the council’s own planning committee refused.” Councillor Oosthuysen was unable to comment due to the police investigation being under way, but expressed outrage at the recently disclosed contract figures and what they imply: “What I can say is that I am very angry that both committees of which I have been chair were deprived of the information necessary to fully carry out their duties.” The Javelin Park contract with Urbaser Balfour Beatty has been surrounded in controversy from the outset with mass protests and even a hunger strike. At a “gate fee” of £189/tonne of waste, local taxpayers are now set to foot a bill of around twice the market rate for incineration, and three times the rate charged to private customers at the same facility. Community R4C has recently filed a High Court claim against Gloucestershire County Council, asserting the council has breached procurement law. Directors say the difference between the original contract and the revised one is so great that it should have been publicly re-tendered, allowing cheaper, more environmentally friendly solutions to be considered. Ms Oppenheimer added: “It may not be too late for the council to salvage something from this mess. If our High Court case finds that the council unlawfully favoured one supplier above market rate, developer Urbaser Balfour Beatty may be obliged to return the difference to the public purse under state aid rules. The contract would then have to be re-examined, and at that point some open discussion about what would really benefit the county can take place. That’s what we want to see. We hope these investigations, both civil and criminal, can help to achieve a better environmental and financial outcome for the people of Gloucestershire, and ensure this awful situation doesn’t arise anywhere else. You honestly couldn’t make it up.” ****ENDS**** EDITORS NOTES: Community R4C’s High Court claim (Details and papers can be found here), alongside calls for an Independent Inquiry, were sparked by the release on 20th December 2018 of documents following a long FOI process (in which GCC had appealed against an ICO notice to disclose). These documents revealed the details of cost increases that had been withheld from Councillors when they were asked to vote on the project in November 2015. Documents available on the Community R4C website show the planned incinerator is very inefficient, environmentally damaging and expensive. Community R4C Ltd is a Community Benefit Society based in Stroud, Gloucestershire registered with the FCA. Set up in 2015 to work towards a waste solution which would serve the community and protect the environment, Community R4C raised almost £100,000 in a groundbreaking Community Share Scheme to facilitate its aims and the building of an alternative waste resource recovery plant – the R4C plant – in cooperation with investors and partners. Community R4C has widespread support, both within and outside Gloucestershire including from well known campaigners for sustainability – among them Jeremy Irons and Jonathon Porritt. The society currently seeks a commitment from the council to work closely with Community R4C to ensure that changes are made to the incinerator contract, including: * removing the mechanism that gives incentives to recycle less and waste more; * ensuring that third party gate fees are equal to those paid by the Council taxpayers; * encouraging greater recycling and waste avoidance; * pre-sorting waste to remove recyclable material; * decommissioning or re-purposing the Incinerator as soon as it is economic to do so. Allegations of criminal misconduct were originally filed with the police in 2017 by local campaigner Jojo Mehta, alleging that public, press and many councillors had been actively misled by a small group of Cabinet members and council officers with regard to key figures in the controversial contract – information which it took a court tribunal to force the council to finally reveal. At the time Ms Mehta was told by the Inspector in charge that while he could see that the contract was severely front-loaded and problematic, there was not sufficient evidence for a criminal investigation, but that she should come back if further evidence emerged. The incident related here was submitted as further evidence, and in December 2018 police confirmed the investigation was being taken on by the local anti-corruption squad. Audit investigation re incinerator contract: In 2017, Community R4C raised a formal complaint about the value for money of the incinerator contract with the council’s external auditor Grant Thornton. Grant Thornton’s investigation remains incomplete, with the council’s audits for 2017 and 2018 still not signed off, and GT also failed to inform the Council’s Audit Committee of the procurement process and the £150 million contract cost increase.
  6. megilleland

    Brexit Is Finished.

    Link to above. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CY_BgnZdwko
  7. megilleland

    Brexit Is Finished.

    This Sceptic Isle - Peter Hitchens Well worth a watch considering the BBC are always brain washing us to remain in.
  8. megilleland

    Making ends meet

    The Slog - 31st January 2019 (extract) New figures out this morning confirm what The Slog has long predicted: around the world, Sovereign debt, neoliberal economics, QE, wild consumer borrowing and State-sponsored wage suppression have produced consumers who can no longer consume, and governments that can no longer protect them. We are well on the way along the outer spiral of a mortally vicious debt circle that will change everything, and destroy the fabric of our societies. The facts laid out below make things look very grim indeed for UK Waspi/2020 women and other vulnerable groups. The research I feature today shows that the fiscal shortfalls, increased utility services costs and personal debt levels ‘push-to-shove’ moment is coming ever-closer…..and at a frightening rate of acceleration. The Research from FairMoney.com unearths truly startling realities about the ‘strong’ economy Theresa May claims to have created. Starting with the costs of getting through this winter, The average winter fuel bill is £288.40 The average Brit needs an extra £73.60 per month The average December credit card bill was £486.10 The average debt value excluding a mortgage is £640.90 Don’t forget, these are only averages: for anyone old, vulnerable, on a fixed income or waiting for State pensions stolen from them under SPA “reforms”, they represent an impossible overheads structure. Happy times ahead courtesy of Conservative policies.
  9. megilleland

    The Genius Of The EU and Stupidity Of People.

    The Slog - 30th January 2019 The communications and hitech worlds are so malign now – the truth so ethereally difficult to lasso – that everyone tends to get shoved into the same pigeon hole as (variously) fearmonger, hate spreader, non-violent extremist, Remainer, Leaver, goldbug, fascist and all the rest of the twisted linguistics that tell us we shall be crashing out, or sailing forth in fine weather. Far from lessening the ageless (and probably insoluble) problem of bigotry and stereotyping, the destruction of Truth via instant comms technology has added to it. You can smear anyone and anything today, but the chances of it being revealed as perniciously mendacious are hugely outnumbered by the hordes of deadheads out there who will tweet, email, bookface, brief, leak, message, Gram instantly and YouTube to turn a jet black lie into an angelically white beacon of light. Up is indeed down, out is in, left is right, right is wrong, huge is miniscule and Brexit is Remain in 2019.
  10. megilleland

    Not another one

    In The Guardian today: Ministers are facing renewed pressure to reform business rates to bolster the UK’s high streets, with calls for a “complete review” from the Conservative mayor of the West Midlands. Andy Street, who ran John Lewis before his election in 2017 as the mayor of the UK’s second-biggest urban economy, said the current system of business rates on commercial properties was no longer representative of modern Britain. Amazon recently confirmed it paid UK business rates of only £63.4m, almost £40m less than Next, despite the US company recording more than double the sales in the UK of the clothing and home retailer. In The Retail Gazette The chances of the government introducing an online sales tax has hit a major snag after the finance minister’s office confirmed it would be illegal under EU rules. It comes several months after Chancellor Philip Hammond first said he was considering the introduction of an “Amazon tax”, in an apparent attempt to level the playing field as physical retailers are slugged with rising business rates. According to business rates specialists at Altus Group, Amazon paid £63 million last year in business rates while raking in £8 billion of revenue in the UK. However, Debenhams and Next each paid £80 million in business rates last year on UK revenues of £2.3 billion and £4.1 billion respectively. Another reason for getting out of the EU.
  11. Notice Balfour Beatty's name popping up in the rise of this company. Rings true that where there is muck there is money. In 1998 Mercia Waste Management Ltd (a joint venture in which Urbaser Ltd is a 50% partner) entered into an initial 25 year integrated waste management PFI contract with Worcestershire County Council and Herefordshire Council, marking Urbaser Ltd’s first environmental services contract in the UK. Operations commenced on EnviroSort, a 105,000 tonne per year materials recycling facility as part of the 25 year integrated waste management PFI contract with Worcestershire County Council and Herefordshire Council. Urbaser Ltd and its partner Balfour Beatty entered into a residual waste treatment PFI contract with Essex County Council and Southend-on-Sea Borough Council for the design, construction, commissioning and 25 year operation of a mechanical biological treatment facility in Basildon. Urbaser Ltd and its partner Balfour Beatty entered into a residual waste treatment PFI contract with Gloucestershire County Council for the design, construction and commissioning, and 25 year operation of an energy-from-waste facility in Haresfield, Gloucestershire. Urbaser Ltd Balfour Beatty have begun construction of Gloucestershire’s Javelin Park energy-from-waste facility. The facility will generate around 14.5 MW of electricity for export, which is enough to power 25,000 homes and is expected to be fully operational in late 2019. UKUrbaser Ltd is proud to be celebrating its 20-year anniversary of operating in the UK, having first registered its name with Companies House on 14th December 1998. with the 25-year integrated waste management PFI contract with Worcestershire County Council and Herefordshire County Council. This contract has seen the construction of the EnviroSort Materials Recycling Facility, which processes 105,000 tonnes of materials per year; the EnviRecover Energy from Waste Facility, which processes recovers energy from 200,000 tonnes of waste per year; and, the management of Household Waste Recycling Centres, Waste Transfer Stations, Landfills and Composting Facilities.
  12. megilleland

    The Genius Of The EU and Stupidity Of People.

    Two quotes by Juncker which shows his mindset. (Wikipedia): "We decide on something, leave it lying around and wait and see what happens. If no one kicks up a fuss, because most people don't understand what has been decided, we continue step by step until there is no turning back". Jean-Claude Juncker, quoted by von Koch, Dirk (27 December 1999). "Die Brüsseler Republik" (in German). Quoted again by Eder, Florian (21 January 2013). "Junckers Tricks in den langen Brüsseler Nächten" (in German). If it's a Yes, we will say 'on we go', and if it's a No we will say 'we continue'. On the 2005 French referendum on the Lisbon Treaty Seems he believes in democracy as long as he gets his way!
  13. megilleland

    The Genius Of The EU and Stupidity Of People.

    From The Slog today. Made me laugh. On and off since late 2018, Mother Theresa has been insisting to her opponents – that is, pretty much everyone else but her and a few Whitehall gargoyles – that “there is My Deal or there is No Deal”. The problem with Her Deal is that it bears all the hallmarks of a price struck by the dim banker’s wife with Harry Enfield in his memorable sketch series I Saw You Coming:
  14. megilleland

    First University academic building plans

    Travelling to Bristol Frenchay Hospital the bus I use passes through the University of the West of England (UWE). Although the numbers of students is far greater in Bristol than proposed in Hereford it is immediately apparent that what is needed is a campus which has an identity to promote itself. A Victorian building, the Robert Owen School, up a side street doesn't convey an image of cutting edge technology and engineering for the future. It is obvious that the piece meal approach to creating a university isn't going to work. Build a proper campus at Rotherwas and put it on a proper footing to attract potential students and provide facilities to match.
  15. megilleland

    The Genius Of The EU and Stupidity Of People.

    Came across The Slog blog 6 months ago and together with Robert Reich website following since 2008, the two of them seem to hit the nail on the head about our past, present and future crisis. Whatever happens in the USA tends to follow over here. Do you agree? Two good blogs to follow on our present crisis. I keep on about them, but they are two commentators that I believe in - common sense and facts - together with humour in these dark times.
  16. megilleland

    Money for public parks

    Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government, is inviting applications from community groups interested in establishing a new pocket park or refurbishing an existing one. The government has unfortunately given a very tight deadline of 5pm on Friday 25 January for applications but, if you would like to make one, please visit the government's website for full details and an application form. Ellen Froggatt (Mrs) Office Manager Open Spaces Society 25a Bell Street Henley-on-Thames RG9 2BA Tel: 01491 573535 Email: ellenfroggatt@oss.org.uk Website: www.oss.org.uk
  17. parliamentlive.tv - House of Commons Thursday 10 January 2019 Meeting started at 9.33am Better than anything on TV at the moment. See our MP performing in this empty vaccum of a chamber where it would difficult to put together a Parliamentary football team.
  18. megilleland

    Brexit Is Finished.

    More humour on a serious matter: From The Slog - 7th January 2019 I thought we needed some light relief from our inept politicians who will sink this country at the end of March.
  19. megilleland

    Could fewer bins mean less litter?

    Black bins emptied today after Christmas. Quite a few black bags left behind and not collected as a result of the extended holiday period - sticker on bags said it was too much and should be in black bin. Maybe the council thought we only had an austerity Christmas. Meanwhile the recycling company Veolia has been accused of refusing to adapt a 30-year contract to allow Brighton and Hove council to collect more plastic waste as local authorities struggle to meet a national target of 50%. Brighton and Hove council have a 30-year PFI contract with Veolia. They are refusing to change the contract so that a wide range of plastics can be recycled. The council doesn’t have the £1m for the required machinery at the Veolia plant to enable a wide range of plastic to be recycled.
  20. megilleland

    Could fewer bins mean less litter?

    More rubbish from the council and BB trying to do less again, but continually pocketing the cash. I sent a request concerning land ownership of a grass verge on the 9th October 2018 followed by two reminders and I am still waiting for a reply. Every Sunday morning for one hour I fill two bins of litter found lying in the street, shoved in hedges and dog poo chucked up in trees. I have yet to see anyone else living in the area do a litter pick and we have three council bins to use. Complete folly to take any of these away and you don't need consultants and studies to tell you the obvious.
  21. megilleland

    NHS DOCTORS APPOINTMENTS

    A friend rang up Moorfields Surgery to get an appointment today. He was 49th in the queue and held on for 30 minutes. I was advised to use an online booking system last November, but this has few available dates and is usually empty. Also I never see my doctor available on this site. I see Mrs May wants us to Skype the doctor/hospital in the future with a third of hospital appointments, 30,000 in total, to be replaced by Skype ­consultations by 2028. I can't wait till I see a robot (AI) - hope he has warm hands!
  22. megilleland

    Change at the Council

    From Hereford Times 1st January 2019 They say that the planning department is under a lot of pressure to handle the workload. Considering that the council have grand plans for regeneration and development it looks as if it will be left to their private partners and consultants to push their plans through.
  23. megilleland

    Happy New Year 2019

    Happy New Year to all on Hereford Voice. It's going to be interesting for the next three months.
  24. megilleland

    Could fewer bins mean less litter?

    Another week to go before the bins are emptied (Jan 5th). All three in our street (2 in Muir Close and 1 outside shop, Brampton Road/Kilpeck Avenue stuffed and overflowing. Some residents have started depositing their Christmas packaging outside their homes and this is already blowing around the streets. Why they can't keep their waste on their property till bin collection day?
  25. megilleland

    Argyll Rise Open Space under threat again - is yours?

    Herefordshire Council News - Friday, 14th December 2018 New grant will benefit public green spaces Town and Parish Councils are being encouraged to apply for a grant to improve their local environment. Herefordshire Council has relaunched the Public Green Spaces Community Grant scheme, with a deadline for applications of 25 January 2019. The one-off limited fund will provide Town and Parish Councils in Herefordshire with the opportunity to demonstrate that they have the ability to maintain and enhance a local green space with the view to a long term asset transfer. The scheme supports projects that have community involvement and impact, and where a Lengthsman scheme is in place this grant will provide a complementary opportunity. Cllr Barry Durkin, cabinet member transport and regulatory services, said: “We are delighted to relaunch the Public Green Spaces Community scheme to complement the successful Parish Lengthsman scheme and offer Town and Parish Councils the opportunity to undertake grounds maintenance activities to improve their local environment. “A similar scheme has operated in the past across the county and has demonstrated that a small amount of funding has yielded extremely beneficial outcomes throughout Herefordshire. “The council is keen to support local communities who wish to get involved in the provision of local services, and I would encourage Town and Parish Councils to contact us without delay to take advantage of this wonderful opportunity.” The Public Green Spaces grant was first introduced in 2015 and over £10,000 was awarded to 10 community groups. This proposed grant of up to £10,000 would enable larger scale projects with potentially enhanced or longer term maintenance agreements. All Town and Parish Councils will be sent information about the scheme and how to apply. Don't bother applying if you are a potential building site.
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