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twowheelsgood

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Everything posted by twowheelsgood

  1. Seven candidates pitching for this - given the 2019 election garnered less than 1000 votes, they'll be spread very thin this time. Newton_Farm_Ward_SPN.docx.pdf
  2. I quickly gave up on YH and had completely forgotten about it - provocative click bait and little of substance.
  3. Publication of statement as to persons nominated is this Friday, 9 April, not later than 4pm. It can be interesting to see who is nominating and supporting.
  4. In Central Ward all we are voting for is a Police Commissioner and I'm certainly not risking my health to go and tick that box. If ever there was a waste of time and money, etc. I have to agree regarding the present Council (and their subservient relationship BBLP) - I had great hopes two years ago, but they have failed to deliver. Here we have a ruling party elected on a green travel and transport manifesto, with walking and cycling prominent in that and yet a high profile cycling facility in St Owens Street, that has been over 20 years in the making, instigated and driven by a clear community desire, has been quietly abandoned. As to BBLP - I am told by a Councillor that they have the Council ‘held over a barrel’.
  5. That's the nub isn't it - no one is in charge, at least from the Client side, charged with 'best use' of our money. Plenty of chiefs mind you, with their fancy job titles, it's just that they're not very good at their £100k pa jobs, they don't care, they get paid anyway, no one will sack them, jobs a good 'un for them. We're two years into the present Council's incumbency and still no sign of the election pledge to review BBLP's contract - if ever there was a reason, this must be it.
  6. I've been told today that this has once again been abandoned as the costs are 'way beyond' the £300k allocation. Why has the cost risen £70k+ in 2 years when nothing has happened, if anything the specification has been reduced? After 21 years of 'community engagement', meetings, survey, more meetings, designs, outsourced pretty (unrealistic) drawings from Latvia, it's all come to nothing. Again. Under a Green Council committed to green travel with cycling at the top of it. Appalling.
  7. Perhaps we'll get an absurdly over engineered, inappropriate and expensive concrete wall like this £2.6m one at Fownhope, in the middle of an AONB. I've already been told 'lessons will be learned' from this fiasco, but they never are and certainly never will be whilst the tail is wagging the dog.
  8. I had a look from the Mordiford side yesterday - they're taking it to the wire it seems ... I've asked several Green/Independent Councillors what is happening about the review of the BBLP contract, as pledged in their election manifesto - none have replied.
  9. To be fair, that does say they were one of three tenders. They're working at the Shire Hall (again!) and I did see them working at the traveller site on Watery Lane the other day. They were at the end of a long line of sub-contracts for Blueschool House, doing the actual work. They did of course do the most recent multi-million pound refurbishment of the Blackfriars St uni. There may be more.
  10. That seems like a huge portfolio! What progress is being made on the election pledge to review the Balfour Beatty Living Places contract? In the light of the Link Road overspend and the ongoing debacle that is the Fownhope repair, the need has never been more urgent. The contract claims to offer 'value for money, facilitated by process improvement and transparency through open book accounting' - what is this 'open book' and who is independently monitoring it? When BBLP are a private business with profit from ratepayers going to shareholders, how is this better value than direct labour? Why is filling the same pothole week after week after week value for money rather than doing it once properly? When will we get an explanation of what went so drastically wrong with the Blueschool House project? Who has been brought to account for a 100% overspend? Please don't say 'lessons have been learned!". Why is it that the same local builder seems to be working more or less permanently on Council projects - what is the tendering procedure? What is the the Council’s 'new project management system' used on Marlbrook school?
  11. Perhaps they're working to the now established 'Fownhope' method - expect a very large bill and an open ended timetable to finish the work.
  12. Define ‘sustainable’ when no mention of what has been done to merit this. The approved budget was £5.17m - why is it now £6m, when it is 'on budget’? MSC are a national group and the Cardiff office is hardly local. C J Bayliss, for instance, are a local company, MSC are not. I've no issue with what's been done (except it is horrendously ugly) but the Council press releases need to be clearer and not include buzz words and claims without them standing up to scrutiny.
  13. Wow, look at those rent and rates and service charges! How does anyone make a living in retail? £145k for the Chimi unit. Rates alone on the Burton/Dorothy Perkins unit £113k. Post Covid, there has to be a fundamental review of business rates surely.
  14. I have the drawings for the Link Road - there were never separate cycles lanes, so they were not removed. They always showed a shared footway/cycleway along the north side. It was never going to work.
  15. Presumably the Starting Gate work was done by Highways Agency as it's the A49T. Local work, BBLP can't be bothered, they freely admit they work on a reactive basis - until there is a volume of complaints, they'll ignore it.
  16. Yes, agree to all that. The link road 'cycle route' is badly and confusingly signed and dangerous to use. I think it's actually safer (and much quicker) just to ride on the road, although I appreciate many cyclists are not confident enough to do that. The whole link road is just a massive and expensive mess, remotely designed using out of date software. Councillors responsible may be gone, but officers are not - they are clearly not doing their (very well paid) job very well. With them, Balfour Beatty Living Places and WBP (?) all still I'm place, how on earth are things going to improve?
  17. What progress is being made on the election pledge to 'fundamentally' review the Balfour Beatty Living Places contract? In the light of the Link Road overspend and the ongoing debacle that is the Fownhope repair, the need has never been more urgent. At a more macro level, why is the quality of repairs to potholes and pavements by them so bad and why is it allowed to continue? As a construction professional, I see work every day by BBLP that I just would not accept - who on the Council side is checking and signing off this work, and why? There is a place for the old fashioned 'Clerk of Works' if outsourcing is to continue.
  18. Actually I've just re-read and see it is the City Council not Herefordshire Council, so very unlikely anything will happen ...
  19. It's just PR fluff, written by someone who no doubt has 'passionate' on their cv. It might be a long term project, but this Council only has just over 2 years left in its present make up to stop waffling and start delivering on some of its election promises. Cancelling the western bypass yesterday was a good move. With that out of the way, lets see some real action at a local level - Harrington referred to turning off traffic lights in the meeting yesterday - just get on and do it!
  20. I’d question the long term visual appearance (and life) of so much boarding where in a relatively shadowed position. I'm pleased to see they've added some brickwork to revised elevations to break it up. Timber cladding relies on high quality workmanship which is hard to come by, as is control of the timber quality itself.
  21. I think you should send this link to the new £155k pa* CEO - let's see how "passionate" he really is "about shaping and delivering better outcomes and outstanding public services for residents, businesses and visitors". *near enough the same as the PM at £158k!
  22. Of course he's "passionate about shaping and delivering better outcomes and outstanding public services for residents, businesses and visitors". Maybe that even includes sweeping the pavements occasionally. £155k plus pension plus NI and all the other employment costs - probably looking at £200k pa, plus no doubt a huge fee to a recruitment 'consultant'. Has the outgoing CEO really made a difference or even added value to his 8 years of salary (say £1.2m)? If he has, it's hard to see where.
  23. If people won't give you 1m, let alone 2m, how on earth is 3m going to work?
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