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Everything posted by twowheelsgood

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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 The whole link road is just a massive and expensive mess, remotely designed using out of date software.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?
  6. 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' i
  7. Actually I've just re-read and see it is the City Council not Herefordshire Council, so very unlikely anything will happen ...
  8. 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!
  9. 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.
  10. 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!
  11. 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.
  12. If people won't give you 1m, let alone 2m, how on earth is 3m going to work?
  13. Not quite - the population of Herefordshire is about 192 000, the population of the City about 56 000. But a great story nonetheless.
  14. Epitomises everything that's wrong with Herefordshire Council and Balfour Beatty Living Places - all too busy playing internal politics and climbing the greasy pole to get their hands dirty with actual work. You can see this level of neglect and apathy all over the City and the County. I doubt it can ever get pulled back, especially as people's behaviour becomes increasingly self-centred. Maybe Mr Hunt's successor will pick up the challenge, but who would want to be a councillor?
  15. There are currently over 1900 planning applications being held undetermined at Herefordshire Council because of the phosphate issue affecting water courses to the whole of the north of the County, much of it flowing in from Powys. Some of the applications are a year or more old. Meetings are being held by all the controlling bodies (and there are a lot of em) ... but little headway is being made to resolve the issue. Meanwhile, the construction industry, much of it locally based, is being crippled by something that is not only not their fault, but completely outside their control.
  16. 18 months in power and not a single traffic light turned off. Really disappointing. The whole traffic light thing needs some serious investigation - once they're installed, they need maintenance, which means a contract with a third party, which means a steady flow of money out of the Council coffers into private pockets. Not hard to see where things can go awry.
  17. Ah, the great Edgar Street Grid Masterplan, where did it all go wrong? The Link Road cost £34m (that we know of) for 850m of road. That's almost exactly half a mile in old money, so £68m a mile - surely the most expensive road ever built? And yet, no planting? The approved planning permission 'Public Realm Masterplan' shows lots of planting, trees, benches, and yet 10 years since approval, none of it has been done. I'm not taking away from what the group have done, but Balfour Beatty Living Places and their contractors were legally contracted to do it and haven't. Why isn't this being pursued?
  18. 2nd December, but what's a day when BJ has dithered for weeks.
  19. With the BBLP Contract Review presented to cabinet last month, it's pretty obvious why this is taking place - no accountability, no competitive tendering for jobs under £250k, Officers unable or unwilling to question or manage etc, etc - all obvious to the public for years.
  20. It's a very damning report on both the Council's management of the contract and of BBLP's performance. It's astonishing that, for instance, "Stakeholders within the Council confirm that projects related to building maintenance below £250,000 are commissioned to Balfour Beatty without an open tender" despite this being a requirement of the Contract. It seems to be an open secret within the Council (and it's flipping obvious to the man in the potholed street) that the Contract is being widely abused. Is it worth asking what the 'Director of Economy and Place' is doing for his £125k salary?
  21. Were they not aware of the pending Bank Holiday when they issued the press release then?
  22. They're still there, despite the statement from the Council that they would be removed by the end of the month. There's an interesting theory about this whole debacle and that is that it's deliberate malfeasance by senior officers who don't agree with the ruling political allegiances, who of course take the flak, whilst officers remain hidden.
  23. I had though about responding to Mr Jrtb's comments, but they were just an anti-cycling rants and, in the spirit of Colin's message that we should all be nice to each other, decided to leave it. However, as a cyclist and a motorist, I'm clear that I see far, far more bad and illegal driving than I do cycling, the social and physical cost of which is immense. As for compulsory insurance, it's never going to happen, it would be impossible to implement. I do however carry insurance as a cyclist for my own protection from the terrible driving I encounter and which potentially endangers my life on
  24. Well, we've had the inevitable U turn, a daily feature in modern politics it seems, and much of this very ill-considered scheme is to be scrapped. So, that begs the question who is to pay? Do we have to repay the Govt the £20k because ewe haven't done it? Do we also pay for the lines and signs to be removed? Do we also pay for BBLP's time to deliver a frankly appalling and unworkable set of proposals? When will they be called to account for their service in general, as this Council promised to do at the last election? Seems to me they're the only winners - paid twice, no less. For sure, this d
  25. Just the latest in a seemingly endless stream of sites that have been trumpeted, but absolutely no action. £15m handed over so far and really not much to show for it, except the 14 bed Miller Court (guide price £1.85m). G and D are part of Jewsons, but the restricted Canal Road access is ridiculous for what is a distribution centre for heavy building goods. They both should have been encouraged to the edge of town.
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