Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Answering Peter Thornton in the Gazette

Peter Thornton's soliloquy from your podium showed all the naivete´, only capable by a politician. Yes, we all agree, "More homes are required for our young families". However the new land allocations that are proposed will instead create misery for us all.

Four monsters are determined that this will happen.

The greed of Big Business is the most menacing. Housing represents huge amounts of money. Those handling it are extremely powerful. They can corrupt the second monster: a weak system  of government. SLDCs Planning department are grossly understaffed and under-resourced, led by a chief executive who is an office desk bureaucrat making "Dangerous Pots in the Park", Health and Safety decisions this paper highlighted recently. Only half of the planning staff are appointed and councillors believe they cannot make good decisions because their council cannot afford the legal team needed to fight Big Business at appeal. At County level the highways department has a history of incompetent decisions illustrated by the expenditure on Ulverston's cobbled main street which if properly managed should have cost nothing. Further exemplified by the lack of a roundabout on the A590 at North Lonsdale Road when Persimmons build the Lund Farm estate. Many believe corruption is rife.

The third monster of our antiquated road structure in our old towns built for the horse and cart, will lead to unsafe and chaotic road traffic when the new housing estates are accessed. Very narrow bottlenecks with hazardous visibility will be the consequence of poor overall planning.

Lastly the monster of massive house prices faces these same young families. It lurks down the dark alleys to kidnap the unthinking in order to get them into shouldering costs close to ten times their combined yearly income whilst bring up two children. This creates massive emotional strain in an uncertain job market. The ridiculous prices ten times those paid by my generation are propped up by corrupt policies that ensure this stress is maintained for fear that the banking system will once again collapse if the house price soap bubble pops. In practice very few young families will occupy these desirable but poorly built houses: clever conniving brash people will make sure of that.

No Peter Thornton, think again, you live in cloud cuckoo land: here we cope with fierce marauding monsters. Very few land allocations for housing are justified in the present economic climate where poor decisions can be made by officers, politicians and the highly pressured young families in question.

Address The Coach House, Union Lane, Ulverston Cumbria LA12 7BU tel 01229 480347


Anonymous said...

Bribery? Corruption? Many people believe this to be the case? cobbles could have been done for free?

Where is the evidence for these, and other, slurs? Again you accuse but don't back it up with facts. You are allegedly a scientist. A thesis is never acceptable without the requirement of documentary support, you should know that. Where is yours? Without it your rants are inconsequential, potentially libeless and almost amount to tilting at windmills! Proof with truth and people may well listen. People listen and you may well become electable. Elected, you could be on these committees and change things. Rant and you will always appear needlesly objectional for its own sake and even bitter that the public have never returned you to an official office.

Geoff Dellow said...

I'll gladly pass on some firm evidence which has already been published several times on this blog. But will it make any difference?
There are people who refuse to believe evidence no matter how strong it is. For many years all authorities in the church believed the sun went round the earth which if you look at the evidence is very plausible. People who said otherwise were killed. Further back still we all believed the world was flat and we could fall off the edge.

Personally I think you are a wind up merchant, living in your own personal bubble.

If I present evidence - fool proof evidence - what do you promise to do. Tell me you don't believe it? Surprise surprise.

You don't believe in Global warming do you?

Geoff Dellow said...

Evidence for the former incompetence of CCC Highways Department:

Under the former administration of Nick Raymond, United Utilities authorised over ten holes in the cobbled Market Street using Balfour Beatty as contractor. These holes were backfilled and the cobbles replaced in an unacceptable manner leading to subsidence and irregular replacement of the cobbles. When the contractor undertakes the work he agrees to make good so that the surface is a good as found, he can be called back to correct poor work withing two years. Thus with the nature of cobbles the surface should never deteriorate as long as contrators are held to account.

On checking with Highways Engineer Mr Rhodes at Preston borough he wrote to tell me they are very strict in checking all work on their cobbles in the city of Preston Not here.

When I contacted the United Utilities area manager at Penrith he told me that he had received no complaint from CCC Highways and he came to check the work done by Balfour Beatty EVEN THOUGH THE WORK HAD NOW BEEN DONE BEYOND THE TWO YEAR CONTRACT. He subsequently wrote and admitted that the work was poor and agreed to have it redone. A cheque for £25 accompamied the letter. In subsequent work down Market Street by United Utilities the work was done to an impeccable standard and I thanked him - see this blog.

Thus in the case of cobbles (more precisely , granite setts) if the contractor is made to do the work well then there will never need to be repairs as the granite will wear for hundreds of years - with rubber tyres. Sadly in the case of the cobbles done recently Market Street many people with building experience have noticed that the sett spacing is so great (so as to get the job done quickly)that there is as much concrete as granite sett. Thus the setts at the bottom of the street will deteriorate faster than at the top on Market Square because of the large gap filling of concrete.

Two things go wrong in the present system: the CCC Highways where incompetent in not supervising contractors work. Secondly Cllrs covering the centre of town notably our county councillors, over this period, Hornby and before him Kolbe never complained EFFECTIVELY about the standards of the CCC Highways. However it is minuted that Town Councillor Norman Bishop-Rowe did in fact complain at the time but was totally ignored by CCC much to the annoyance of the Town Council.

Lesson :Contractors are far more responsible than councils. The former have a reputation they wish to preserve. The CCC in the past couldn't care less. You never know - things may have changed. As Graham of Smith and Harrison advises- pigs might fly.

A further lesson is that if a member of the public politely approaches a company about work done on their behalf they could well respond and correct their work because they are concerned about their reputation. Not true the local authority or have things changed. Many knowledgable people in the town aren't convinced. Hence my assertions. Human nature being what it is - if no face to face checks are made by our councillors what can we expect. The question I have is: when did County Councillor James Airey last ask probing questions face to face at the desk of Andrew Moss of Highways about the decisions relating to the blind junction of Union Lane and Stanley St for instance?

Geoff Dellow said...

And again. As well as raising the issue of the cobbles here, I contacted every rural and town council in South Lakes regarding the record of Nick Raymond with them, getting a few replies. Subsequently he was first moved to assist in work near Carlisle and is currently working for Barrow Borough Council. I believe Andrew Moss is now in charge of this area.

Geoff Dellow said...

As I suspected. Not satisfied!

Dr Havelock Ellis said...

I thought Global Warming was made up to give Guardian readers something to kvetch about.
all joking to one side,it is there to stay,one cannot put the genie back in the bottle.
People no longer think,a new I Phone out next week,the mindless will be lining up en masse to buy it.
In a just world Apple Inc would be nationalized for the betterment of everybody,however it will never be that way.
on a lighter note,Cloris Leachman is barking outside my bedroon window,I am scared.

Geoff Dellow said...

Well said Havelock. You gave yourself away with "In a just world" Justice - What's that?