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twowheelsgood

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Everything posted by twowheelsgood

  1. Not quite - the population of Herefordshire is about 192 000, the population of the City about 56 000. But a great story nonetheless.
  2. 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?
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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?
  6. 2nd December, but what's a day when BJ has dithered for weeks.
  7. 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.
  8. 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? I watched the Council Cabinet debate this report - only Cllr Liz Harvey was willing to get stuck in, few if any other councillors had much to say. The recommendations in the report were accepted - it's going to take a very strong team to sort it out and I'm not holding my breath.
  9. Were they not aware of the pending Bank Holiday when they issued the press release then?
  10. 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.
  11. 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 every ride.
  12. 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 debacle has done the present Council a lot of harm. And of course we have tranche 2 money on the way (if approved) - that's up to £160k for bigger, better and dafter ways to really mess things up.
  13. 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.
  14. The money isn't coming from Bellwin because it didn't flood and it's not coming from Government because Mr Wiggin didn't follow through on his promise. It's coming directly from our pockets. I looked at the site last week - it's all tarmaced and finished but the road is still closed because there are now ground investigation works 100m up the road - get's what's coming next ...
  15. If Debenhams goes, it's not the Council's problem - its the owners, British Land. They'll put in there whoever they want to, providing they can pay the rent, and there ain't a lot the Council can do. I suspect BL will make it into smaller units, no one the size of Debenhams is going in there - these names are dinosaurs, rapidly approaching extinction - look at the flagship John Lewis Grand Central in Birmingham New Street - permanently closed now after only 5 years and £35m to build.
  16. That Medical Centre sign is big enough for Cummings to use for testing his eyesight. The one on the gable facing the Station is even bigger. It's worth noting (or perhaps not) that none of the signs have planning permission/advertising consent.
  17. Here is her response to the usual mis-informed and abusive chatter on facebook after the event; "Just for clarification I was already in tenby. My husband, budgie and I came away on Friday. I took time out of my holiday to attend the meeting ( smallest violin in the world I'm sure youre all saying). I wish I could say that I've had loads of days off due to covid but given that I am chair of staff side (head of the joint trade unions)at WVT I haven't had a day off since December including weekends. I put every working hour into the good of herefordshire in my professional role at WVT and my councillor role. I'm leading the project to get more local business into the council via our crazy procurement process. The debate today (which wasn't a debate) was theatre of local politics, something that could have been done by everyone sitting down and discussing it. I asked for the question to be put on the motion as the motion asked for a simple yes or no answer to allowing a debate. Had I not have asked that we could've been faced with another hour of debate before agreeing to debate which is absolutely crazy. The tenby comment was put in because a number of people talked about key workers and the importance of looking after them and i pointed out that this key worker was on her first break since the beginning of covid. I genuinely apologise if it caused offence, if wasnt intended"
  18. Councillor Gemma Davies, Saxon Gate Ward, Cabinet Member - Commissioning, Procurement and Assets, no less. To be fair to her, she was arguing the protocol - it was a badly worded motion that suggested a vote for a discussion, not to then enter into the discussion itself at that point. It was poor chairmanship.
  19. Council meeting - well, that's 3 hours of my life I'll never get back - what tedium. Motion debated by some who even admitted to not knowing Hereford, Central Ward councillor didn't speak and it was ultimately withdrawn.
  20. Yes, I was hoping for a mass storming of the Shire Hall by the proletariat, demanding the heads of the 7 on spikes (metaphorically speaking) for this latest omnishambles, but presumably it will be a zoom meeting and the common sense of the masses will not be given a digital voice.
  21. I'll bet there's a 100 cyclists going the wrong way up St Owen's St for every 1 you'll see on Newmarket St - as AV says, you have to negotiate the Edgar Street roundabout and not many cyclists with a will to live want to do that - I cycle '000's of miles a year, but will go out of my way to avoid it. There's more of this nonsense to come - cycle lanes in both directions on Commercial Road and one on Ledbury Road ('uphill' it says, presumably eastbound). The full horror is listed in the first post. I know everyone's rightly complaining that this is a Council decision, and it is, but it was designed by BBLP, who should be called to account in no short order, likewise the Officers that signed it off.
  22. Or a bus. From discussions with the Central Ward Councillor, it's pretty obvious that BBLP are now running the show - they weren't interested in any input from anyone. The result is that the Govt considered it such a poorly designed proposal they only offered 50% of the £40k claimed. Guess who's paying the rest?
  23. It beggars belief that we now learn the cost for this minor repair is £2.65m - is any of BBLP's work independently audited and if not why not? Are we really getting 'best value'?
  24. Tremendous gesture - I didn't even know this course existed! Where is it?
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