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Got something to say? / Re: Time for a radical change in local leadership
« Last post by Number 6 on December 12, 2017, 11:52:53 am »
Good to see there is a radical reformist in you Old Goat - I was starting to worry that we had all been sedated by the 'Newbury Vision ' .
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Got something to say? / Re: Time for a radical change in local leadership
« Last post by Old Goat on December 12, 2017, 08:11:00 am »
Yes, there are more choices than Reading - that any other option would be better is indictment enough on what we have locally.

I also know there are serious whinges about local government in almost all areas of the UK which suggests the whole thing is ripe for radical reform.  The system that has served us since 1880 is now totally out of line and time expired. 

With today's expectations, you can't combine the operational management of schools, refuse collection, planning, etc. under one head, simply because they service people living in the same geographic location.

Similarly, with modern communications and needs, organising the whole as a big  number of self managed authorities makes little sense.  What other industry is organised in that way?  In service delivery terms at least, the population wants equality; wherever the service is provided. Thus, it's not just 'Men of Kent' wanting Grammar Schools. 

As service delivery in a good many authorities has been devolved to contractors, would it not be far more effective and efficient to do that at a national level, by 'service' stream?  No more arguing about people from Burghfield using Reading's tip. 

Set up properly, this could leave a small local 'council' simply to act as a channel of communication for complaints and guidance and with no other powers or revenue raising authority.  All the money needed would then need to come from national taxation, eliminating at a stroke, the problems associated with 'the rates'.
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Got something to say? / Re: Time for a radical change in local leadership
« Last post by Number 6 on December 08, 2017, 09:12:12 pm »
What we have now is certainly not up to scratch. Swindon, Oxford, Reading, Basingstoke and Winchester all have thriving commercial economies yet West Berkshire seems destined to never reach any such heights. This can only be laid at the door of the council who seem to want, as you say, a territory made in their own image. Time for change for sure, but Reading ? Must be better choices available?
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Got something to say? / Re: Time for a radical change in local leadership
« Last post by Old Goat on December 08, 2017, 05:14:13 pm »
Ironic that, because it's actually happening now.  The last demographics I saw, showed that Newbury's age profile dips for age around 20 plus, then grows again about 30 plus before the inevitable drop beyond. I suppose it's obvious, because we've no University level establishment in the vicinity, so Newbury youth inevitably moves away for their degrees.  As we now have few firms in the area offering graduate entry career opportunities, they stay away.  Even Vodafone HO us back in London. A few come back, once they are in established profession and want a family home. Invetiably commuters, or working elsewhere.  Thus fitting the implication of the Vision - commuter dormatory / retirement suburb.  So, do we really need WBC which essentially does little more than manage outsourced service contracts?  It would be much more efficient and so economic to run it all from Reading. 
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Got something to say? / Re: Time for a radical change in local leadership
« Last post by Number 6 on December 07, 2017, 11:36:30 am »
I rather suspect the net result of such a drift would be that the young will seek their opportunities elsewhere leaving a community of the aged with no-one to look after and sustain them. That's the thing about being young - they vote with their feet.
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Got something to say? / Re: Time for a radical change in local leadership
« Last post by Old Goat on December 07, 2017, 08:20:34 am »
Yes, Newbury's future is out of its hands; it will become simply a commuter dormitory / retirement suburb for Thames Valley.  Nothing wrong with that and it could be quite pleasant. 

In some respects, the collapse (for such as it is) of WBC is an unintended but good consequence of its creation.  Too small a management unit to be economically effective or to attract top flight staff it was necessarily obliged to contract out all of its services. This should make absorbtion into a bigger better 'authority' like Reading so much cheaper and easier. It's almost as if that is deliberate policy!

This would leave the District with its parish level councils.  In reality, these are no more than up market residents associations.  Again, their present bizzare antics mean that leaving them with jobs too small for a properly effective authority to do; swabbing down the WCs, mowing the village green etc.  will have been done - without any imposed external change.

Will it come to that?  Well, it's implicit even in our MPs thinking.  Newbury soon won't even feature as a Magistrates Court. This, one of the bedrock foundations of local governance will be centred on Reading. It was sold as a cost and efficiency change?    In reality, the cost of a physical presence is minimal.  In spite of his huffing and puffing - it's still going!

All we need do, is simply sit back and wait.
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Got something to say? / Re: Time for a radical change in local leadership
« Last post by Number 6 on December 06, 2017, 10:31:22 pm »
You sound like you have accepted that a decline in everything is inevitable Old Goat ? The fly in the ointment is of course the younger generation who are much more ambitious for themselves and the locality. It really is time for the tired old men and women to move aside as their only interest is the size of their pension pot rather than the wellbeing of the community. The social mobility report condemning West Berkshire illustrates how self serving to a very narrow slice of  the population it has become.
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This fits the vision our elected representatives have agreed for Newbury.  Being the end point of the newly electrified railway together with the residential re development of the Town Centre will support us as a commuter dormatory/retirement suburb for the Thames Valley.  So there is no real need to attract or retain business.  All we actually need is effectively a semi skilled maintenance workforce; well within the training capability of our local FE College.  Could be quite nice really.
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Got something to say? / Re: Time for a radical change in local leadership
« Last post by Old Goat on December 06, 2017, 05:39:02 pm »

This is what the people in West Berkshire voted for and it's exactly what they've got. No one is really complaining and experience says they'll vote the same way next time they get the opportunity.

A few crocodile tears here and there, but that's all.  As for the opposition, it's them behind the vanity projects. 

Why worry; nothing is going to change?
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Got something to say? / Re: Time for a radical change in local leadership
« Last post by Number 6 on November 27, 2017, 05:40:30 pm »
Continuing failure is something that is a given when the same people stay in control year after year. A commercial organisation would have had to refresh it's leadership in such a situation.

https://www.newburytoday.co.uk/news/home/22961/west-berkshire-council-needs-to-save-10m-next-year.html
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