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megilleland
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1st August 2014 in News Hereford Times

 
THE leader of Herefordshire Council has accused this paper of not supporting a company set-up by the council to save it money.
 
A cabinet discussion yesterday about joint venture firm Hoople, which itself needs to find savings of more than £1 million, turned into an attack on the Hereford Times for being too negative in its coverage of the company.
 
The council's own communications department was also told by one backbench councillor, who is also a Hoople board member, that its press releases could be more positive.
 
"If the Hereford Times sees the value of Hoople it would be great," said Cllr Attwood, the Independent member for Hope End.
 
He said there were currently "too many question marks" in this paper's coverage which yesterday ran a story saying Hoople could split in two.
 
Council leader Tony Johnson agreed saying; "A positive from the Hereford Times. That would be a first."
 
The future for Hoople is seen as two entities - one delivering specific services directly to the council and the other delivering a range of commercial services to the market.
 
Cabinet members agreed to back the council drawing up a business case and 'implementation plan' with Hoople and its board that allows the split.
 
The council's deputy leader Cllr Philip Price said Hoople has saved the council significant sums of money since it was established in 2011.
 

 

 

It appears the Council appear unhappy that the local media isn't putting the right spin on their activities. Well done the Times and Bill Tanner. Lets hope there is more serious delving into the way this Cabinet system works and arrives at its decisions. Long live the free press!

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Bloody Hoople! If it lived, bled and drew bloody breath I'd take that entity, drag it to a lake and I'd throttle it and drown the beast of burden.

What's more, I'd howl with laughter as it gurgled, squealed and wriggled as I dispatched it to a place that didn't require me to help fund its madness.

My God! To think that they've got the bloody neck to ask the media to celebrate the vast haemorraging of public funds by this dog of a arrangement.

If it were up to me, and lets face it, it'll be highly unlikely, I'd visit their premises, tell all the front line services to return to Plough Lane and go about their work unhindered by these fools who claim that the existence of Hoople is saving us millions. As for the suits and the many tiers of command that suck the life out of our public services, well they'd be kicked by me out of the building and onto Job Seekers Allowance.

Sadly, because our entire democratic service has been undermined by them and Common Purpose, gently and quietly without any fuss the Reporting Staff at Hereford Times will do as they're told and begin to write wonderful things about this horrid Arms Length Company that's been created to divert public funds away from our critical gaze.

It'll happen. Mark my words it'll happen and it'll happen sooner than any of you think. We are bloody doomed! Beggared and hamstrung by a bureaucratic beast that needs bloody feeding more than I'd like it to be fed. Bloody Hoople!!!!

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And I'll tell you something else, if ever they put this 'piece' on the readers section I'm going back 'home' and Im going to be telling folk exactly what I think of Hoople. I'll be damned if I sit back, open my mouth and swallow whatever it is Im required to swallow.

Never! Im going to start my own Society that'll be called, 'Why The Mad Barstard Hates Hoople'. That'll upset the apple cart. That'll make them mutter, 'Good Lord. The fool means business'.

I ain't having it. I know what I'll have, what I won't have and what I might have to have if ever Im forced into a corner and I'll be bloody damned if I have this. Never I say! Not while I've still got the ability to string together a coherent thought and say, 'I hate Hoople' and anyone who even dares to disagree with me has been convinced that the whole rotten package has saved you millions and they ain't no friend of mine. There! I've said it.

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Well done Megilleland you don't miss a trick!

 

The mighty Hoople have saved Herefordshire Council so much money they choose to hide it from Public Scrutiny!

 

I hear Plough Lane staff have recently vacated the top floor of Plough Lane to make way for Hoople ! Council staff are hot desking around the remaining Council buildings, it would be funny if it weren't so tragic!

 

Picture this scenario, I arrive at Plough Lane at 8:30 to commence work at 9:00 but all the desks are taken, so I gather up my belongings and race to the Nelson Building only to find that all the desks have gone! I then high tail it down the road to Franklin Barnes it's now 9:15 and I'm exhausted the sweat is pouring off me and I almost dropped my laptop twice! I'm now ensconced in the smallest office you've ever seen and it's like a bl.oody oven!! Dam!! I've left some confidential papers on someone's desk in Plough Lane so will need to go and collect them at lunch time but first I need to ring someone in the building and get them to go on a covert mission to find those papers!! It's now 9:45 and I'm struggling to log in to this bloody computer and my feet are killing me!! I'm getting paid to run around Council Office buildings I'm behind with my workload my stress levels are through the roof and I'm deeply concerned the vulnerable adults I'm supposed to be working to protect are at risk! And if one more person asks me if I'm using this desk all day I swear I will scream!!

 

Yes Hoople are doing a wonderful job, but then so would I if I wasn't running around looking for a desk!!

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The thing is, we have long suspected that various members of the ruling elite, have tried to influence what is and isn't reported in The Hereford Times.

 

Now, we pretty much have it confirmed.

 

As with Hereford Futures, we aren't meant to find out what goes on -  "transparency" is a dirty word -  but we will!!

 

As Denise points out, it will be interesting to see how long this story remains online - and if comments will be allowed for much longer!

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I do not know what man management experience Mr Johnson has had. I know he was employed by Lloyds or TSB for many many years but whether he managed people I do not know.  Perhaps he is one of these people who truly believes what he is told.  When his minions report to him that that everything on the homefront is just fine and dandy he says well done lads/lasses you're doing a good job.  When he travels from A to B for meetings I would imagine there is a quick trim and tidy up on the route so he gets the right impression.  I doubt he trucks around the county walks around town mingles with us lesser mortals going about our business.  As for the HT does he read it or is it just reported back to him from the viewpoint of the person relaying the information.  Who knows what goes on behind closed doors!  NO I am not defending him he should mingle and talk to the people who pay his expenses.

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Of course, what Johnson & Co really want is for the HT to read like the risible 'Herefordshire Munters' that we were forced to pay for, until it was laughed out of town. That is never going to happen, and Bill Tanner's reports seem to me to be very balanced - they're just reporting the facts, albeit ones which take some digging to find, but facts nonetheless, and ones which I am sure are checked by the HT's lawyers before going to press. Keep it up Bill - they don't like it up 'em.

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'A positive from the Hereford Times.  That would be a first (sic).' 

 

Apart from your mangled grammar Councillor Johnson, it would also be nice if you told us precisely what you have done in support of the poor Butter Market traders, whose future you announced last September (at the HSC meeting at the Asda Kindle Centre) that you intended to have settled within 'a three-month window.' 

 

So what's happening Councillor I'm-Now-A-Minority-Leader Johnson?  Telling the Hereford public via the Hereford Times: now that would be a first!

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Good evening Grid Knocker, I heard a strange thing on Saturday when I was buying my haddock in the butter market. It would appear that there were talks about the Council kicking out the traders and moving in the Councillors! Have you ever heard anything so ridiculous?

 

That's another question for the Councillors that frequent these pages but prefer not to comment.... Is there any truth in this rumour? Because if there is I'm certain that will be the straw that broke the camels back!

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@ Flamboyant:  You mean even before they've finished refurbishing the Shire Hall for their own use (having also upgraded Plough Lane's Lubyanka), they've now got their eyes focussed on yet another monument to re-gild for their greater glorification?  Wouldn't surprise me in the least. 

 

Could Glenda shed any light on this murky subject?

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At a recent meeting of the City Council it came to light that the mayor from last year Cllr Phil Edwards wanted to take over the Butter Market and move the city council from the Town Hall into the Butter Market. It is common knowledge that the present mayor Len Tawn and his deputy Charles Nicholls(both IOC councillors) want to sell the market, how do I know the Butter Market committee members told me earlier this year.This from the political group (IOC) who was formed to save the city and it's historic core!!!. I am right behind the market traders taking over the butter market themselves.

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Glenda - again - I'm not a shill for IOC - but do we have the finances to get the BM back to its former glory? Or the funds to take the building forwards - to modernise?

 

The answer to both is no.

 

If the traders themselves took it over - do these highly successful business people have the knowledge on repairs/maintenance/referb to make it a going concern?

 

no - sadly they don't.

 

I believe that both the mayor and deputy mayor have love for the BM, have both have had business' in there at one time or another and I believe Len was the chair of the BM traders association at one point?

 

sometimes - if you love something - you have to let it go so it can flourish for the town once again.

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I do not share your views,considering as you say the mayor and his deputy love the butter market, then they should support it not go round everyone in the market trying to get them to sell! where is their loyalty to their fellow traders? You seem to have some knowledge of the situation why don't you come out from behind your avatar and say who you really are?

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Morning Glenda!

 

Many of us post anonymously - for various reasons, and this shouldn't be criticized.

 

Some, work for the council, or have  another position, where there could be repercussions for airing their views. It doesn't make those views any the less valid, or worth hearing.

 

To be honest, if all those who posted anonymously didn't comment, there would be very little activity upon these pages!!

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Sorry Dippy, when this forum was Belmontvoice and for the people of South Wye we all would post but in our own names, I admire people who want to comment but at the same time not afraid to let people know who they really are, its called" standing up and be counted". As a councillor I am known to say what I think both here and in the press as well, and I have had some nasty comments back, but it still doesn't deter me from speaking the truth. I also note if anyone wants any confirmation to posts they inevitably ask me to find out. Flamboyant has done so today in a previous post.

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That's all fine and dandy Glenda. However when your employers take an extremely dim view of any criticism - constructive or otherwise - people do need to be careful. There have been many, many issues raised on these pages which would never had been aired if it weren't for the fact posters can comment anonymously - or should we all keep our heads down and say nothing about what we know is happening??

 

Perhaps that would be best.

 

You are quite right, you are one of the few councillors who respond to the many queries - however, even you dodge some of the more contentious issues.....what has been happening at Barrs Court for example.

 

Some of us may choose to remain anonymous.....but on the whole, councillors choose -and rather carefully in my humble opinion - precisely which topics they will and will not engage with.

 

I suppose the point I'm trying to make, is that it is neither right nor wrong whether you choose to post anonymously.....just as I respect the fact that you post under your name, I would ask that you respect the reasons that some of us have for posting anonymously!

 

I have given you a green press, to show there are no hard feelings!

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Hey Glenda

 

I would love to post under my name and job title, but sadly - I cant - I really cant.

 

As we had a "to do" on another thread, I do have respect for you and even though we have only met once, I do get the impression that you really do what you feel is best for the area you serve. That is commendable.

 

Now - back to my question.

 

Do you feel that the BM traders have :

1 ) The money

2 ) The knowledge

3 ) The expertise 

4 ) The vision

5 ) The strength to see the project through

6 ) The time to do it - whilst running their stalls?

 

Sadly Glenda - there are many things that I would love to happen in this town, but I have to admit that there are things that are not possible.

I would love the council, city or county - to invest - from memory the £30 million required to bring it into the 2015!

 

But - as we know - we dont have that kind of money.

 

So - leave it to die a slow death - ie do nothing. And - that death may be quicker if some of the repairs arnt done.

 

OR - sell it to another enterprise and get it back to glory.

 

What would YOU prefer Glenda?

 

Only 2 options.

Unless of course - you have any other workable, realistic solution?

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I totally agree with Dippy about anonymity, hopefully the following link will explain why many people remain anonymous

 

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/aug/01/public-service-whistleblowers-treated-shockingly

 

I have been here and I'm still suffering the repercussions. I would never ever admonish someone for hiding behind anonymity, nor would I ever encourage them to forgo that protection. For speaking out your character will be assassinated, you will be labelled a liar and a trouble causer, your friends will abandon you because they fear they too will be targeted. They will guarantee your protection but then they will try every trick at their disposal because they want you out. In truth your life becomes a living nightmare because you tried to do the right thing.

 

You are well respected Cllr Powell and have always responded to my questions when asked and I hope if I ever step on your toes you will come out fighting! I have no allegiance to any party or any Councillor and I won't think twice about attacking from behind my cloak. The cloak I was forced to don by the current administration...

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Well, as much as I care for and admire our Glenda, I'll be damned if I ever let go of this whole Bobby Fortyseven thing. In fact, I've become Bobby Fortyseven. I am Bobby Fortyseven and the real me was left behind a long time ago. Not because I chose anonymity deliberately. I didn't. I simply plucked a name out of the air, registered on the Hereford Times and now I am where I am now. The King of Cra.p!

And in any case, what good would it do me if now, after all the rubbish I've shoveled out I suddenly decided to change my handle and provided my enemies with my real name.

First thing that would happen, some fool would present a Regulatory Investigative Powers Act application form claiming that I was a subversive sort intent upon disrupting Council business. They'd dress it's up, present it to Bill Norman who'd happily sanction intrusive surveillance on me by the Council's little surveillance team who are tasked with carrying out both foot and mobile surveillance on those they consider a threat to local democracy.

Then, the R.I.P.A application would authorize the Council Officers to monitor the electronic traffic created by my tap, tap, tapping on this keyboard, my mobile and landline phone numbers would be under scrutiny revealing who I knew, who I spoke and who I did business with and then, finally, when I was out fishing for Barbel on the banks of the Wye, two blokes in a van would tip up at my abode, slither up my drive, pop the ladder up, drill a few holes and install cameras to watch me in my home.

You think I'm paranoid? Really! Mark my words this form of intrusive surveillance is going on every single day of the week. The Council have the authority to do it if they can show their actions are proportionate and you'd all do well not to think that my words are the rumblings of a paranoid idiot.

No! Call me old fashioned. I much prefer Bobby Fortyseven thank you very much. Do you trust the Council to properly use the Provisions of R.I.P.Act 2000? I know I don't!

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Stupidfrusration: I was not aware we have met, to answer your question and it is my opinion no one elses no at the moment we have not got the money to answer 2,3,4,5,6, my answer is yes to all simply because the traders have said yes to your questions.

 

Flamboyant - from your response I have a feeling you are an employee of the administration, so I do understand why you post under this name.

 

Dippy- like Flam I think you are also an employee, I may be wrong only you can tell me that. In regard to Barrscourt I am asking my own questions and when I get an answer you will be the first to know.

 

Bobby - I do know who you really are, because we met to have a chat.

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Actually Glenda,I am the secret love child of one of the members of the cabinet......that is why I cherish my anonymity.........it would be highly embarrassing on so many levels, for so many people!

 

Any information you get regarding BC would be most welcome.....there are enough questions on that thread that really need answering!

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Ok Glenda - we can respectfully disagree.

 

Their webiste http://www.thebuttermarket.net/  hasnt been updated since 2003.

 

I only searched on it just now to find out how old the building actually was.

 

The BM was created in 1860 apparently - so - if they have the skills and expertise to revamp it for "now" - fair play.

 

I will watch with bated breath and wish them all the best, although I dont personally see how they can do it.

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Ok Glenda - we can respectfully disagree.

 

Their webiste http://www.thebuttermarket.net/  hasnt been updated since 2003.

 

I only searched on it just now to find out how old the building actually was.

 

The BM was created in 1860 apparently - so - if they have the skills and expertise to revamp it for "now" - fair play.

 

I will watch with bated breath and wish them all the best, although I dont personally see how they can do it.

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Sorry Dippy, when this forum was Belmontvoice and for the people of South Wye we all would post but in our own names, I admire people who want to comment but at the same time not afraid to let people know who they really are, its called" standing up and be counted". As a councillor I am known to say what I think both here and in the press as well, and I have had some nasty comments back, but it still doesn't deter me from speaking the truth. I also note if anyone wants any confirmation to posts they inevitably ask me to find out. Flamboyant has done so today in a previous post.

 

I actually agree with you there ... From day 1 I have always disclosed my real name ... Not just here but all over the place. That has previously led me to being 'called into the Office' to explain myself ... 

 

But I have very real empathy/sympathy with why people go under pseudo names ... Too much grief is a very real reality for a fair few people over Net comments! Not just talking about MI5 or Special Branch here! If Asda get a sniff of some bad mouthing on the internet you might get a P45 from the shelf stacking! 

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