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Showing posts from December, 2003
I am given the news that a consultant paid by Centro has said at the public enquiry into transport that Electroliners (aka Trolley Coaches, aka Trolley buses) are not cost effective. This, of course, not news. News would be when a consultant paid by Centro said something that centro did not agree with. If someone is paid to write a report they generally write what they are asked to write. The payer of the piper may wave around the report saying "this report agrees with me", but that is generally meaningless. The other substantial issue that arose at the Cabinet Meeting was the PFI scheme into roads. The PFI scheme is essentially getting the roads improved on Hire Purchase. The headlines look quite good. The City Council gets a "PFI credit" of £379 Million (over 25 years). Indeed it might be good for the city. However, the city loses £175 Million of Local Transport Plan funding and also has to commit to paying out around £50 million a year (index link
The City Cabinet on Monday had a few interesting decisions. The demolition and redevelopment of North Newtown is a typically absurd decision by the Housing Department and Cabinet. This estate has a problem with crime. The Housing Department have plucked a figure out of the air that it would cost about £33,000 to improve each of the properties. By underestimating the cost of repurchasing the 35 private properties (which would not cost 33K to improve) they come out with specious figures indicating that it is cheaper to knock the properties down rather than improve them. This, of course, ignores the cost of rebuilding any properties. Meanwhile in the real world the drug dealing will continue. The people living on the estate will live on an estate that deteriorates dramatically whilst they wait to be cleared and fewer houses will exist for people to live in and as a consequence more people will live in crowded conditions. Meanwhile the Birmingham Trades Union Council have writt
Why a weblog For someone who established the first ecommerce site on the internet outside the USA it may seem odd that I have not so far established a web log. The logic is that people interested in the City Council in Birmingham or the constituency of Birmingham Yardley may wish to use the internet to find out a bit more about Liberal Democrat activity in those areas. (I am the Leader of the City Council Liberal Democrat Group and Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Birmingham (Yardley)). The most efficient way of keeping something like this up to date is by using a web log (as far as I can tell) hence this web log.