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John Harrington

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Everything posted by John Harrington

  1. Hi Colin and gang, the proposals put forward were not submitted by the Council but by the Hereford Sustainable Transport Group to the DfT and were in a response to the government's 'call for evidence'. This group put forward a detailed plan after some discussions with Jesse Norman MP. The Council is happy to consider the results when they come back to the HSTG because like Colin I think we should look at the possibility of ultra-light rail. So it's not a Council project or pitch yet but we may become involved. I did in my statement thank all groups that had pushed for this - meaning Col and Hereford Voice as well as others. Hereford Voice has done a huge amount in raising the profile of this idea and can and will be definitely get credit if things progress. Thanks Col and gang for all your graft on this!
  2. Bobby, you know I adore you, despite your truth bombs. The allusion to your enormous girth revolves around us never having met but someone telling me that you looked a bit like me, What they meant was you had a beard. What I took from that was your were fat too. As fat as me, probably even fatter. Fingers crossed for May 2nd Mon brave, keep up the good work, your comments are much enjoyed.
  3. Bobby darling, you inconsistent, contradictory, fatally overweight and yet surprisingly agile Hollywood Lothario, it's not a case of being 'not far from the truth' sunshine, those are exactly the words that came out of Phil Edwards's pinched mouth. Regards me and Adrian popping up with our tuppence's worth on HV, not only did Colin make me aware of this post and ask me to comment but Shared Space is something I and Colin and others are determined to bring to trial in Hereford City. Adrian has consistently been pushing for investment in 21st century solutions to our congestion and in particular has pushed hard for reinvestment in public transport and new rail links for the county. I admire him and his integrity hugely for it, And yes, elections are soon upon us (thanks for reminding me you rotund tart, as if I haven't been having sleepless nights already) and poorly paid Councillors (like most of the IOC and Greens and some Indies on 600 quid a month for 60 hours plus a week) will be girding their loins and resisting people like me's heavy sweating advances (that make yours on unsuspecting and confused young bar maids seems almost gallant) as I try to persuade them to stand again - and then try and firm up the resolve of those that have been persuaded to stand afresh. And when they say, why should I go all through this for 4 years I'll say "because you have to, because you know if you don't no one else will and we'll have another 4 years of a Conservative Council and even more irreparable damage will be inflicted upon us, we just must keep fighting". And also, I'll say to them, as they look at the ground defeated and pensive - "and also if you don't, you be like that fat, hairy, sweating tub, King Bobby. He of the extraordinary long pockets, who apart from being in a band once that had an absolutely mesmerizing, enthralling and extraordinary routine, where they nailed their (willing?) drummer to a cross, just sits there now at some bar plank, a look that may briefly mimic intelligence fleeting across his much admired visage as tries to gather his cognitive wits together sufficiently for the upcoming task, narrows his eyes in on the small pool of golden ale he once again manages to lift towards his doleful mug, with an almost admirable, turgid, cross eyed, determination, before he takes another greedy sup and places the sleeve down gently once more on the varnish with the pride of a young boy's first steps. Whereupon, with that pride and recent sense of achievement spurring him on, he resumes sprouting pure impotent horseshit about he how he was once going to change the world himself - by making making a donation of time or money to IOC or the Greens or the Indies - but then discovered it took effort and time and sacrifice and would mean getting off his ample arse. And there may not be money or time then for that extra packet pork scratchings.....so that was that then. However he was still able to offer the occasional snide remark to help the revolution on it's way.
  4. K.Butt, the Highways England chap with overall responsibility for this road was a very sensible, thoughtful and accommodating civil servant and manager, Andrew Butterfield. At the meeting at the Town Hall in Dec 2013 with Colin, Martin Cassini and members of The Hereford Transport Forum, he offered, wholeheartedly supported by Jesse Norman, to fund a micro-simulation trial of a 'lights out' scenario for both roundabouts and the bridge junction (Barton road). His only stipulation was that there had to be 'political will', explaining that although they did have the authority to act unilaterally on roads they were responsible for (the A49 is a trunk road and part of Highways England's Strategic Network) we really needed to get the support of Herefordshire Council. Can you see where things fell down? After many many e-mails and only after getting dear old Olwyn Barnett involved (in her role as Chairman she rose above party politics and as per her role, she gave her fellow Conservative Philip Price one hell of a roasting for tardiness - oh I so would have loved to have seen his face as he received the blow dryer treatment) did we get a reply from the Cabinet via Cllr Price telling us they could not support this idea. It is quite staggering that that was their position, it was an offer of a free trial, what was there to lose? Oh, except perhaps the possibility that it may work and be so much cheaper and effective than the building of more roads. I hear what you say about Phil Edwards, he is apparently a good parish Cllr but he seems to fail to grasp the bigger ideas and opportunities presented at county level. I remember being in a meeting where the Indies and IOC were being lobbied by the prospective independent police commissioner for West Mercia and IOC and many Indies were asking question of some depth, relating to the structure and effectiveness of this relatively new and politicised positions and if it was any better than the old police boards that were apolitical and Phil Edwards spoke up when Barry seemed a bit flustered, unable to provide adequate responses to some of the more probing questions, and said, "I like Barry, he helped me buy a new lawnmower for the community in Newton farm, I'm voting for him". Fair enough Phil, keep it simple.
  5. Oh dear oh dear, poor old Paul. The problem with adopting the confident "I'm a good old boy, I know everything, trust in me" casual posture whilst listening adoringly to the sound of one's own voice is you do need to at least know something. And to know something you need to do a little more than half skimming and misremembering your Google search - it will come to many Kiwis as somewhat of a shock that Invercargill lost 48000 odd residents overnight. God, Paul made Cllr Bruce Baker look intelligent with his idiotic ramblings on Shared Space and or variations of Shared Space, a term coined by Ben Hamilton-Baillie, which was meant to be descriptive of intent, not specific in description - ie/ you can adjust it to suit your town/city's circumstances. Turning off traffic lights does not mean throwing the elderly, young and visually impaired into the road - crossings, even signal controlled, can and are often still used Trials by micro-simulation would be done first before any live trials The Highways Agency, now Highways England, offered to fund the micro-simulation Jesse Norman MP offered to help secure funding Poynton, a Conservative controlled town in Cheshire has adopted a Shared space road redesign scheme with great success The heavily congested Cab Stands junction in Portishead has had it's lights removed with a reduction in congestion and accidents Accident rates always go down when traffic lights are removed Council or corporate liability is almost nil when lights are removed - ie/ 'accidents are up to you guv and your own actions' Cllr Rone is not an expert in road design nor do we seek or care for his open crisp packet, elbows on the edge of the bar opinions Cllr Rone and the public do not care for my keyboard warrior opinions If there is a political and public will it is the duty of Cllr Rone and myself and others to explore the possibility of experts giving us their expert opinion Amey and or Balfour Beatty, will suffer a considerable reduction in budgetary income if lights are removed The Belmont (Asda) junction was a non traffic controlled roundabout years ago with more traffic using the road than there is now Likewise for the Steels Westgate (Tesco) roundabout This Conservative Cabinet has authorised the spending of over 5 million on trying to prove the case for a Western by Pass That's not provable because the Council officers can't actually produce documents to show if and how that overspend was authorised, I believe As a river crossing won't be completed for nearly a decade, let's crack on with easier and cheaper ways of getting the city moving
  6. If he has, technically he's 'Director for economy, communities and corporate' not 'Economy and Place' (although this could be yet another rebrand we're not yet aware of) I'm not so sure he's had enough AV as seen, perhaps, the writing on the wall - like the impending bankruptcy of HCC (joining Northampton and Torbay and many more to come if central goverment funding does come to an end in 2020). Perhaps he's worked out with no council assets left to get that dear old self-interested halfwit Harry Bramer to sign of sales on, he may have clicked that the end, financially, is coming quicker than he and some of his associates may have planned for and his almost personal ambition (alongside dear old Roger Boy) of a Western By-pass may not only not come to pass but may fail scrutiny by the Secretary of State very shortly, with serious repercussions for him and his senior colleagues - who have wasted an inordinate and obscene amount of the local public purse in trying to get depairing consultants WSP to prove a sufficent case for? Maybe he just got fed up of constantly telling officers and consultants not 'to put anything in writing because it will be subject to FOI requests'. Or maybe he actually hasn't had enough as the head of his non-statutory department (140 grand per annum plus), which is why he's apparently touting for business already as a private advisor to Welsh councils. Whatever the case I hope the rumour is true (or is it Richard Ball). He leaves in September apparently and the Secretary of State call inspection begins in Oct. Perhaps the cabinet can get him back on a consultancy basis if things start to look decidedly wobbly under the eye of an objective and experienced goverment inspector.
  7. Evening all, The comments Liz made in the Ledbury Town meeting are not IOC policy.And she didn't for a moment claim they were.They have also been taken out of context. She did not try to 'ban bunting' etc etc, she expressed her own views on the best colours to go for. Liz has apologised for any offence caused. John Harrington (Chairman, It's Our County)
  8. Colin and Hereford Voicers, just to let you know that at our last Exec meeting before shutdown for the elections It's Our County agreed to make a exploring the viability of a tram across the Great Western Way a policy commitment. If elected as the administration in May we will be looking at this. If anyone thinks this is a shameless piece of electioneering, you're right. It is obvious from the sheer numbers and variety of responses from all corners that this idea has huge support. We would be fools not to commit to exploring making it a reality. It ties in with our sustainable 21st Century transport ideas and our preference for better alternatives to more tarmac and more housing estates to pay for it. We will encourage Hereford to grow organically and tram is an excellent transport solution to help support that. So, yes, we are shamelessly jumping on the tramwagon. The difference between us and some well meaning Independents is we have the capability to implement our policies. Well done Colin for taking this fully into the public's eyeline. This is a great idea, could work and should have been trialled years ago. The fact that it hasn't is another damming indictment of the lack of intelligent and open minded Councils we've had to suffer under for the last decade plus.
  9. @Gridknocker and dippyhippy. We are scrabbling around at the last minute on a lot of things guys but we will be at that party! I am more than happy with our local candidates having a free vote on this until we can include it in our manifesto. It is an entirely sensible idea. I note the sounds of caution from some councillors and the repeated refrain that there will be problems associated with putting the tracks and infrastructure in place. Of course there will be. The difference after May 2015 is we will make it work if a professional independent feasibility study says it will. I always chuckle when some politicians and civil servants say relatively small scale projects like adapting an existing network won't work but don't query dumping hundreds of thousands of tonnes on hundreds of acres of farmland at 7-10 times the cost! In life, priorities change. Our priorities will be sensible, cheaper and more 21st Century solutions to transport in our City and County. Where there is a will, there is a way. And the response to Colin's excellent suggestion proves the will is strong. We would be fools not to take note of that.
  10. Colin, this is a very sensible idea and something that should have been properly considered years ago. To effectively have 90 odd percent of the required infrastructure in place already and not put forward a viability study at any stage is a pretty poor reflection on past administrations. Of course houses would not be built alongside it so that may have dented the enthusiasm of some. This is an idea that could and should work. It would allow large numbers to travel directly to the North and West of the City without battling through traffic in the centre. I will ask our executive to consider this for inclusion in our manifesto as a policy promise ie/ commit to a feasibility study asap. Will get back to you. Of course when you and I asked asked Cllr Phillip Price about this last year he said the problem with having to look at new ideas like this was "they have been already thought about sometime ago or they will be too far in the future to be considered".
  11. It's a brilliant and very sensible idea dippy. Watch this space.
  12. Aylestone, our ball park is for all housing in the county up to 2031 is under 14200, which is in line with the lastest government downwards revision for the county (which is down by 2200 from the figure the Council is still aiming for,depsite the revision). Of that we would want at least 35% to be affordable housing. We hope this will help people already living in the county get onto the property ladder and will encourage inward migration to the county for the economically active. No drawbridge. We value our retired population as highly as new entrants. It is simply that we will concentrate encouraging housing matched to jobs and not build houses first and then hope the jobs follow. Ragwert, we'd keep it in the pot if we are allowed to and look to incorporate it into our transport plan. Greenknight, Mark has seen it all before but he said these last two applications, passed against the officers' advice and with the use of the casting vote was just too much to bear. Obviously he may have really wanted to stress this point now so it was fresh in the mind of the electorate. As I understand it, behind the scenes, this is not the end of the matter.
  13. Thank you Bobby. If I crept up your drainpipe it wouldn't stay attached to your wall for very long. Rest assured and without fear of tin foil and yoghurt pots on your pillow. It's not a perfect document, it's very hard for it to be but I hope it shows our intent. We have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
  14. Bramer, Morgan, Price, Philips etc al, they are all standing again dippy. I think it was a case of them having no other choice, for lots of reasons . Even the good guys like Mayo are having to stand again (on tip toes perhaps, like when your arm is being twisted behind your back).
  15. No Aylestone, can't do that yet. With the Core Strategy 4 years overdue and affordable housing provision not large enough in our opinion, these are the very first issues we will tackle in May (hopefully). We will tell the government are priority is ensuring adequate housing for all people already living in the county. If they don't like that, they don't like that. Our housing strategy will not be led by developers, although we recognise their role to play in the process. It will be led by the Council.
  16. Please read and give us feedback guys. (Colin will be happy because we have committed to asking the Highways Agency to trial traffic light removal where appropriate, i.e./ Belmont/Asda and Steels/Tesco). http://www.itsourcounty.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/IOC-Manifesto.pdf
  17. Yes, doesn't seem quite right. The one lady was very seriously injured. I personally would love to see the return of a dog licence system. Too many people who have dogs, simply are not fit to look after them.
  18. I think this is a great idea guys. I can say, almost genuinely, that I don't care who votes for whom as long as they make the effort. The present incumbents have relied on indifference and apathy to allow them to slip into and hang onto governance in Herefordshire for too long. This year, more than any other, it is time for us to take our right to vote seriously and to make the effort to contribute towards change. I didn't vote at the last local elections and I have cussed myself quite considerably over the last two years for allowing myself to have slept walked for so whilst busy little inadequates went about irreversibly damaging the county and home I love. Not this time.
  19. I'd be really interested to see the results of that questionnaire.
  20. AV. Yes, we believe in massive investment in public transport and fact based research on where to put a relief road if we can't tackle the problem by using the existing road network to it's most efficient capacity (including looking at removing traffic lights where possible). Some of us believe if we do need a bypass an Eastern route would be more cost effective and more sensible as it would serve the Enterprise Zone better and cement links to the Midlands and the capital. We cannot simply keep building more roads to allow more 400-1000 unit plus housing estates being dumped in one spot. The traffic problem in Hereford could be tackled by better public transport and investment in making sure children walk, cycle or get a bus to school. This is my take on our developing plans and not official IOC policy as yet but our manifesto will be ready soon. What are your views/ideas on tackling traffic AV? We want all the feedback we can get. We have no hidden agenda, we are not in the employ or asking for money from national housebuilders, we simply want the facts properly duscussed. If a bypass is found to be the most effective solution, I could live with that decision. It's a decision that needs to be taken by as many of the county's residents as possible, not by 7 councillors and unelected executive officers.
  21. Cheers twowheels. I realised once I'd posted!
  22. I sincerely doubt this will go through Ragwert. As already pointed out it's an old application which was put on the back burner because it was likely to be refused. Now, with the Cabinet believing their backing of the Southern Link Relief Road is tantamount to permission for this Southern Link (SC2) this part of their equation (effectively a northern link road) has come back into focus. The idea being you will then have two halves of a road and the Western Bypass will be a fait accompli. It ain't going to happen. Herefordshire's future and road management will not be decided by only 7 cllrs, unelected senior council executives and national house builders. No matter how hard they push (and there is a lot backed up in the pipeline) in an effort to get things pushed through by May, they are already out of time. Next year we can all look sensibly at the options for affordable housing for Herefordshire families (built by firms from Herefordshire and it's surrounds) and we will look at intelligent evidence based solutions for our chronic peak time congestion. The latter will revolve around huge investments in public transport and provisions for cycling and will leave the roads into the city free for those stuck in the sticks who need to use their cars. You are witnessing the death throes of a dinosaur, the old collaboration of big business and weak or corrupt politicians is soon to be over.At least in Herefordshire.
  23. This guy is moron isn't he (if it's him on the dog and bone getting himself into a right 2 and 8)? I don't know about Cockney Rebel, more Cockney Retard. If it's him he's just made the phone call that will cost him the club, snatch van or no snatch van. Cor Blimey, you couldn't make it up Guv.
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