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Everything posted by megilleland

  1. We have just had a local person here in Hereford win £71 million pounds and this of course has generated a lot of comment in the local press and local radio. Obviously other than the way money will change their life there are other problems facing them on how they will live their life in the future. Many years ago in the 1970s, I purchased a book in a junk shop - EF Schumacher's "Small is Beautiful". ironically his book came out on the eve of the vote on the European Common Market in 1975 – but he believed such scale led to a dehumanisation of people and the economic systems that ordered their lives. You don't come much bigger than the flatulated EU. Many of the issues Schumacher raises we are still wrestling with. He questioned the shibboleth of economic growth as the central preoccupation of politics; he talked of resource constraints on economic development. Above all, he insisted again and again that human happiness would not be achieved through material wealth. Its such a shame that many of our national and european politicians only seek to increase their own material wealth to the detriment of those around them. What Schumacher wanted was a people-centred economics because that would, in his view, enable environmental and human sustainability. (extracts from the article below published 2011 The Guardian) It was a radical challenge which, like many of the ideas of the late 60s and early 70s (feminism is another example), were gradually adopted and distorted by the ongoing voracious expansion of consumer capitalism. Niche brands such as The Body Shop in the UK or Ben & Jerry's ice-cream in the US attempted to build a "small is beautiful" model of economic enterprise that put relationship, craft and environment at the heart of their way of working. They were later snaffled up by corporate giants. Small became cool but only as part of a branding strategy which masked the ongoing concentration of political and economic power. Gigantism has triumphed. But his point is still valid as the wellbeing debate today demonstrates; despite our increased wealth since the 70s, we are no happier. Schumacher warned against exactly the issues we are now dealing with as levels of mental illness – depression, anxiety, panic attacks, stress – rise and the World Health Organisation predicts that depression will be the second most common health problem in western developed nations by 2020. This was what Schumacher feared, and his answer was "small is beautiful". Go back to the human scale: human needs and human relationships, and from that springs the ethical response of stewardship to the environment. The EU needs breaking up - its just too big to care.
  2. Can't seem to post on here either!
  3. I can't seem to post a comment on this topic in the Hereford Times today. I am not sure what it is that the HT do not like so I am posting the comment on here. They have posted comments I have made concerning the above.
  4. Its not the knives it's the morons behind them. These people need identifying. With nothing worthwhile to do with their life these individuals will always take the risks and opportunities to make a quick buck.
  5. Italy IGNORES EU warnings over China’s ‘colonisation of Europe’ to sign Beijing deal ITALY is likely to risk the European Union’s wrath by signing up to China’s monumental global investment plan when President Xi Jinping visits Rome later this week, as Brussels braces itself for rebellion among frustrated member states which feel let down by years of the bloc’s austerity. Mr Salvini said: “If it is a matter of helping Italian companies to invest abroad, we’re ready to talk to anyone. “We’re absolutely not going to let foreign companies colonize Italy.” Antonio Tajani, president of the European Parliament, added his fears over Italy’s cosying up to China: “We cannot become a new colony of the Chinese empire.” But it's alright for us to become a region of the EU and not a sovereign state. The EU don't like it up them. Pity our politicians don't have any balls. As one person commented: Gosh, a trading relationship that doesn't demand that you surrender your national sovereignty, pay money simply to TRADE, nor demand that you allow unfettered immigration. No wonder the EU is wetting itself at what CHINA is offering, this sound suspiciously like FREE TRADE without domination by the stronger party!
  6. Is this why the EU don't publish any accounts on where our money is going?
  7. Agree all the present parties we have are as bad as one another. The electoral system is constructed so that we have a pendulum effect which results in an extreme swing to the opposite side of the political spectrum or as we have seen a coalition government of all the parties getting their own hobby horse on the statute books - mainly to the detriment of the average citizen. We end up with no decent politicians who can create a caring and fair society to get this country back on its feet. Twenty-two million votes were “wasted” in June's 2017 general election and had no impact on the result, a study by The Electoral Reform Society revealed. The ERS also blasts Britain's first-past-the-post system, which is designed to avoid hung parliaments – but, for the second time in three general elections, left no party with a majority. Chief executive Darren Hughes said: “The vast majority of votes are going to waste, with millions still stuck in the electoral black hole of winner-takes-all - a diverse and shifting public having to work around a broken two-party system. A Government spokeswoman said at the time: “We are pleased the Electoral Commission's report into the 2017 General Election found the elections were well run. First-past-the-post is a voting system that offers a robust method of electing MPs. "A referendum on changing the voting system for general elections was held in 2011 and the public voted overwhelmingly in favour of keeping the first-past-the-post system. This Government has no plans to change that position." Alternative Voting may be the only way of saving the nation from itself as there are now two camps which may not be fully reflecting public opinion. A broad coalition reflecting a mainstream view of various opinions of right and left will never surface, because both main parties are in the pockets of the EU. A lot of people are saying that they are not going to vote in the next General Election - exactly what the present lot politicians want us to do. With Brexit they have already discounted the referendum result and carry on with their own agendas. As a sovereign nation, the people in the UK are witnessing a form of treason by their own Parliament and Government. Perhaps that is because most in those institutions do not consider the UK to be sovereign, just a region of the EU and want it to stay that way for their personal benefit. All European countries within the EU have a stark choice to make. Lose your nation status and become a region of the EU, fundamentally reform the EU to be a group of cooperating nations, or leave, like the UK are trying to do.
  8. From The Slog 15th March 2019: BRUSSELS BOMBSHELL: No extension without Second Referendum or Softer Brexit DID ANYONE SERIOUSLY EXPECT ANYTHING ELSE? Blair “advice” to the EU fingered by Brussels source Welcome to life as a vassal captive of the European Union. According to The Times this morning, the European Council will veto the spineless British demand for an Article 50 extension unless we agree either to a Second Referendum or an even worse Withdrawal Agreement than the one we’ve got. (Which was, until 24 hours ago, a closed and sacred book which must not be opened otherwise a plague of anthrax-riddled scorpions would surely emerge). It is an entirely predictable bullies’ power grab that vindicates every last British vote to Leave this coven of witches. Immediately following the Times story’s appearance, I rang The Slog’s Commission mole. This was the response. “The story doesn’t surprise anyone here. It has the fingerprints of Guy Verhofstadt and Tony Blair all over it. It’s what they do, it’s the way they work. The UK side’s best hope is to lobby very hard among the 27 to have the strings removed”. Some simple observations: A clear Parliamentary majority has twice rejected the existing WA – by massive majorities – as being a capitulation even Remainers can’t stomach. But the Commission is quite happy to ignore that, and make it worse for the UK. An even bigger Commons majority yesterday rejected the idea of a Second Referendum; indeed, the Prime Minister Theresa May has staked what little remains of her reputation on never contemplating such a thing. But the Commission has no respect for that either. The bad-cop line being adopted is bound to persuade large numbers of Remainer Tory MPs to accept the May Deal: there is now a real possibility that illegal threats from a foreign power will drag the corpse across her final Red Line. Don’t imagine that any of the Brussels mobsters will lose a second’s sleep about it. The only sensible, loyal and decent Sovereign act left open to this disgrace of a Westminster corporate State is to call an emergency debate once the demands are confirmed, and vote to leave without a deal on 29th March. But our “representatives” won’t do that of course. They will whine and dither and then “with great regret” and “under extreme duress” vote for the WA signed by the Prime Minister and dictated by Angela Merkel….under the treasonous direction of Anthony St John Lynton Blair. For once, I am lost for further words this morning, beyond two: General Election. What's Jesse going to do about this - sod all!
  9. Artist Taxi Driver sums up the situation following the pantomine in House of Commons last night. General Election around the corner?
  10. Letter in Hereford Times - 12th March 2019: Built into ordinary people (the majority of us) is a set of principles. These prevent us from committing criminal acts. We need neither fear of being caught nor of retribution as a deterrent. We acquire these principles, as well as self discipline, in childhood in a normal family. Very regrettably, our society in the last 40 years has systematically derided and attempted to destroy the normal family, advocating its replacement by a ‘menage’ of various sorts in which children grow unsupervised and with no examples set for them. We revel in the misfortune of having no father in the house, which may sometimes be chaotic and drug ridden. We now reap the harvest of our folly. We have managed to produce a generation including a proportion of undisciplined, selfish, knife-carrying individuals, totally lacking in self control. They will thieve, or murder as the urge takes them. More policing will help, but will not deal with the root of the problem. Nor can we expect the schools to solve this problem for us. Bring back the responsible father and mother in the home and give them the means to survive on adequate wages for a good day’s work, together with the time and space to bring up our children. Hubert Porte Madley Bang on Hubert thoroughly agree.
  11. 01/03/2019 - Hereford City Centre Improvements - St Owens Street - Recommendations Approved Following extended informal consultation with residents, businesses and other stakeholders,this report seeks authorisation to propose Traffic Regulation Orders (TRO’s) and other measures subject to formal consultation/notification, for a scheme to improve cycle access to Hereford city centre from the east via St Owen Street. The following regulations and measures are proposed: * To introduce a One way street except cycles south-eastbound on St Peter’s Square (west arm) and St Owen Street from Union Street to Bath Street. * To introduce a One way street except cycles on Mill Street southbound from its junction with St Owen Street to its junction with Cantilupe Street * To introduce an updated Bus only restriction on the eastern arm of St Peter’s Square from its junction with Union Street to its junction with St Owen Street * A rearrangement of the waiting, parking and loading restrictions on the north-west section of St Owen Street and around its junction with Cantilupe Street and Mill Street. * To install vertical traffic calming in the form of two flat top tables as informal crossings on St Owen Street and a raised table at the junction of St Owen Street with Cantilupe Street/St Ethelbert Street. * To designate a section of footway as shared use on the north-western side of the junction of St Owen Street and Mill Street. Also as part of the extended footway design, to redesign the traffic signal controlled crossing approaching the junction with Bath Street south-eastwards from St Owen Street, to include a pedestrian call and display. Decision Maker: Acting Assistant Director for Highways and Transport Decision published: 01/03/2019 Effective from: 08/03/2019 Decision: That: (a) the advertising of a Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) proposing movement restriction changes in St Owen Street, St Peter’s Square, Mill Street and Green Street (as shown on the TRO Plan at Appendix 2) be approved; (b) the proposing of a TRO to advertise new arrangements of waiting, loading and parking restrictions in Cantilupe Street, St Owen Street, St Peter’s Square and Mill Street (as shown on the TRO Plan at Appendix 3) be approved; (c) notification and consultation over the provision of vertical traffic calming measures, in St Owen Street and at its junction with Cantilupe Street / Ethelbert Street (as shown on the Traffic Calming Plan at Appendix 4) be approved; (d) notification and consultation over the shared footway designation with a proposed change to the pedestrian crossing facility at the junction of Bath Street, Mill Street and St Owen Street (see Appendix 2) be approved; and (e) in the absence of any unresolved objections, the making of the Traffic Orders be approved; and (f) subject to recommendation e above being implemented installation and/or amendment of traffic signs (including road markings) and associated engineering measures up to a value of £235,000 be approved. Wards affected: (All Wards); Lead officer: Mairead Lane
  12. Council Friday 8 March 2019 10.00 am Agenda item no. 6 - Questions from members of the council Question Number: MQ 1 Questioner Councillor PJ Edwards, Newton Farm Question In the absence of an accurate response to my question put to Council meeting 12th October 2018 regards the BBLP contract and selling of Grounds Equipment, please may all Members be informed of vehicles and machines which Herefordshire Council own in relation to the BBLP contract? Question to Cabinet member transport and regulatory services Response: The query that you raised in relation to the Leader’s report to Council in October did not receive an inaccurate response. Your query, as recorded in the minutes, was whether Balfour Beatty Living Places (BBLP) would be able to deliver their responsibilities to maintain the council’s open spaces and verges given that it was understood that they had sold the equipment they owned required for these tasks and would therefore be reliant on third party contractors. The response confirmed that BBLP remained contracted to deliver this work, which is the case. A further query requested confirmation of the amount of money raised from the sale of equipment; this information was provided on 29 October 2018 (for ease of reference the amount was £21,548.40). As you will appreciate there is a significant amount of machinery and vehicles the council owns in relation to the BBLP contract; rather than produce a lengthy list here I would ask any member wishing to inspect the relevant asset register to email Laura.Lloyd@herefordshire.gov.uk who will be able to assist. Be interesting to see who is cutting what grass - BBLP, Council. Hereford Housing and/or private contractors. We get all of these in Muir Close during the year.
  13. 07/03/2019 - Corporate Fleet Replacement Recommendations Approved (subject to call-in) This proposal is to replace the council’s operational fleet of 34 vehicles with 30 new vehicles on an invest-to-save basis. The existing fleet as a whole is reaching a significant age and vehicles are failing and beyond repair. This has adversely affected service delivery where vehicles are unreliable and have broken down. This is increasing pressure on maintenance budgets and has resulted in the need to use short-term leases to cover vehicle downtime and to ensure service delivery. This proposal will address these risks in addition to reducing future running costs. This invest to save proposal seeks to utilise the annual revenue savings generated by this proposal to fund the capital repayments. Decision Maker: Cabinet member finance and corporate services Decision published: 07/03/2019 Effective from: 14/03/2019 Decision: That: Subject to approval in the 2019/20 capital programme that the procurement and use of up to 30 new vehicles at a cost of no more than £737,582 be approved. Wards affected: (All Wards); Lead officer: Richard Vaughan £24,586 per vehicle. Will they be replacing vehicles as they break down which must be cheaper or blow the whole budget in one go?
  14. Letter in Hereford Times - 8th March 2019 Jonathan Gammond is kind to praise my "intelligent views and independence of mind". But he's wrong to think they ended in 2015, still less that I have taken a vow of silence. It is true that I have always fought against the division, tribalism, shouting and rudeness associated with so much of the Brexit debate, on all sides. What we need are decency, courtesy, warmth and a positive outlook. That has always been my approach as an MP, and it always will be. On Brexit: if people want to catch up on the latest news, there are plenty of national newspapers and media outlets they can turn to. Local papers are, mainly, for local issues. That's why I have always tended to keep my columns in the Hereford Times and other local papers to local issues, such as our recent campaign to save the Broadleys pub in South Wye from closure. But at key moments in the Brexit debate, I have set out my views for Herefordians. So I have written columns on the EU Referendum, on the High Court ruling, on triggering Article 50, on the EU Withdrawal Bill, and on the threat to the constitution posed by some of the Speaker's actions. Anyone wanting to know more has only to spend a couple of minutes online to see that I am on my feet in the House of Commons every week discussing Brexit and taking new laws to prepare for Brexit through the House of Commons; laws without which Herefordshire - and the country - would be ill-prepared indeed. Or they can come to one of my surgeries. Or call me. Or drop me an email, as Mr Gammond has done on many occasions over the past decade, much to my benefit. Jesse Norman MP So he is voting to remain.
  15. Letter in Hereford Times - 10th March 2019 ON a recent visit to the County Hospital I was surprised find half of the main car park covered with portable medical units. After waiting a while for a space to park my car, I managed to arrive for my appointment on time. I guess that part of this problem is due to the demolition of the old huts to make room for the new building. But is the hospital going to be able to cope in the future with the population increasing due to the building of hundreds of new homes, which many could be people retiring, and wishing to settle in our beautiful county? Who can blame them? And they in many instances in become involved. with local activities. In order to earmark land should the hospital need it, the land that comes to mind is the bus station. Move the bus station to next to the rail station. The new Group Surgery could occupy part of what has been the bus station. The proposed new university could be built at Rotherwas with a rail link to the main line which is close by and students would be able to travel to Barry Court Station. This may even help people travelling on the A49 who wish to get to the Aylestone side of the city park and ride, and. arrive at Barrs Court and then complete their journey on foot or by bus. This is just a thought, our leaders will do their best for our city we hope. Ed Thompson
  16. County lines gangs: how drug-running is fuelling knife crime The Guardian have run an article today supporting my views on knife crime, except that they don't go further up the line, where I believe it starts, with illegal immigration and open borders.
  17. With all the news at the moment highlighting knife crime and shootings how does it come to this? My theory is that organised high level crime is where it starts well before it gets to the kids on the street. I believe it is linked to illegal immigration. Imagine you want to get into the UK - unless you are a good swimmer or forger of documents you will be tempted to use a trafficking group who for thousands of pounds will get you across the channel. Arriving and secreted somewhere in the UK your traffickers know your illegal and say to you that in order to earn money to survive and pay them back for their services you carry drugs for them. Seems a good idea until you stray into someone else's patch. The health and safety advice is you need to protect yourself and the recommended form of defence is a knife. You are now have an established source of income and you like to spread the message so everyone can be enticed into have a piece of the cake. By getting children on board and setting up the county lines of distribution is when trouble at the local end begins. Kids involved talking to their friends on how easy it is to get a nice handout for introducing substances to the playground result in arguments and jealously. Jimmy Smith appears to be doing very well at the tuck shop and using a brand new smart phone in the playground. Soon our illegal immigrant is a human resources manager creating his own little empire. Arguments years ago at school revolved around bullying with name calling and the rare fisty cuffs when the gathered spectators would call out "fight fight", until a teacher appeared to bring the situation under control and the offenders marched off to the head teacher for a good flogging. Nowadays matters are sorted out after school hours on the street corner or in the local park with devastating consequences. No policemen to investigate who is involved, no community policemen looking after their patch, no Neighbourhood Watch operating - you are better off asking the local postman what is going on. Everyone is now on their own including the general public. All this can be reduced with proper border controls and we don't want the military helping out or it is going to be machine guns all round. The real problem is we have no idea who is actually here in the UK.
  18. While we are in contracts some big numbers here: Contract Title Public Realm Service Contract Brief Description of Contract Highway management services, Highways maintenance and improvement works, traffic management, street lighting, street cleaning, public rights of way, land drainage and flood risk management, associated professional services, parks and open spaces, fleet management, public realm asset management, customer support services, public realm ICT solutions. Supplier Balfour Beatty Living Places Company and/or Charity Registration Number 2067112 Estimated Contract Value £400,000,000 Estimated Annual Value £20,000,000 Start Date 01/09/2013 End Date 31/08/2023 Review Date 31/08/2020 Option to Extend Yes Extension End Date 31/08/2033 Quotation or Tender Tender Funding Source Council funded Register Entry Comments The Public Realm Contract has a minimum term of 120 months (10 years) and a maximum term of 240 months (20 years) if all available extension options are taken. The value of the contract is estimated at between £200,000,000 and £1,000,000,000. The lower estimate is based on £20,000,000 per annum over the first 10 years of the contract period for the core services. On this basis the Contracting Authority’s spend over the maximum term of the contract is broadly but realistically estimated to be £400,000,000. An additional allowance of £100,000,000 has been included for the commissioning of any Non-Core services and any increase in spend for reasons which cannot be accurately predicted at this time. Plus a further allowance of £500,000,000 has been included to cover any usage by Contracting Authorities.
  19. From the Council's 2019 contract register Jacobs Court scaffolding Reference Number: N/A Contract Title: Jacobs Court scaffolding Directorate: Economy and Place Department: Building control Brief Description of Contract: No entry Supplier: Lyndon Scaffolding PLC Supplier Status SME / VCS: N/A Company and/or Charity Registration Number: 934513 Estimated Contract Value: £52,800 Estimated Annual Value: £4,800 VAT not recoverable: N/A Start Date: 22/05/2015 End Date: 31/08/2020 Review Date: 31/08/2019 Option to Extend: Yes Extension End Date: TBC Quotation or Tender: Quotation Nature of Contract: Services Funding Source: Council funded Sector Type: Private Register Entry Comments: This is an on-going maintenance contract for a scaffold to support Jacobs Court that has been determined to be in a dangerous condition. The scaffold was initially erected to make the building safe, and requires monthly maintenance in line with the HSE guidelines.
  20. I have been travelling from Hereford to Bristol daily by car and the amount of litter alongside the highway edges beggars belief - is no one going to pick it up? My route takes me along the A465, A49, A4137, A40, A449, M4 and M32. I also travel down the Wye Valley on A466 and M48. As mentioned every year these routes are gateways for tourists to our English and Welsh countryside and to be greeted by the amount of waste and debris shows a complete lack of respect for it. Once again the verges will be cut and all this litter shredded into the environment to save time and laziness. Parish councils where these roads pass through should try and organise a litter pick to shame those local authorities who appear to do nothing. Obviously the public cannot clear the motorways, so cone off the inside lane until its tidied up. Once the motoring public realise their action of chucking their waste out of the car window and dumping items in lay-bys delays them maybe they will take their litter home - but I doubt it.
  21. Notice that there is spray can carrying **** making his mark in the Newton Farm area on fence posts and garage walls. With the council, housing associations and the police not acting the blight continues. If it comes off this easy maybe the council should have a unit to deal with this common nuisance. And if they catch anyone they can also give them a good hosing down.
  22. Another good piece from The Slog: The Slog digs up the roots of Britain’s population explosion to find the entire political class guilty of dissembling dereliction and reality rejection. Top of the list of miscreants is Tony Blair….but the contemporary Labour/Islam alliance follows the appalling example he set. (extract) Tesco have repeated their calculation that the real UK population is close to 80 million. Will we ever find out the true number?
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