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Messages - Old Goat

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1
Got something to say? / Re: National Decline; signs and symptoms
« on: May 29, 2018, 08:10:09 pm »
Quite agree, but until such time as we have some real and effective leadership nationally and locally, I'm not putting my shoulder to the wheel; I'll just follow our national ethos; look after number one because no one else will.  Shoulder to the wheel might be the right and tried austerity exhortation though. Nonetheless, it smacks of another, which I suspect our politicians still don't get.  Went something like this - Your strength, your resolution, your courage, will bring us victory! 

2
Got something to say? / Re: National Decline; signs and symptoms
« on: May 26, 2018, 05:24:01 pm »
Number 6, can't argue with that!  Only trouble is, these days no one, no one at all will notice or listen. Many simply grumble, but don't do anything more.  Perhaps like me, they've found they are just banging their heads against a brick wall.  Yes, it really is nice when you stop!  So. For me, from now on, just let it happen, if it doesn't affect me, I don't want to know.  Just live and let live.

3
Yes, triples all round!

Given what they don't do now, makes you wonder what WBC needs all that money for.

4
Yes, totally agree!  Sainsburys this afternoon, walking through aisles, two shall we say economy sized ladies walking very slowly pushing a trolly side on, looking at stuff but not letting anyone pass.  Casual insolent rudeness; the me,me,me society.  Comprehensive education really works doesn't it.

5
Well, with headcount well down, if I was Chief Constable I'm not sure I'd concentrate on traffic.  It's hugely unpopular.  In my view, much bad driving is excaserbated by people who purchase high powered large cars they are actually scared of driving.  Boy racers are just a nusance.

6
Interesting this one.  Mr Cynic could be forgiven for thinking a major traffic issue would be beneficial, to the the long term plan at least.  What better reason could there be to connect the A339 at Newtown directly to the A34......


7
Got something to say? / Re: Headline News ? Not in the NWN
« on: February 14, 2018, 10:01:30 pm »
Would we notice any reduction in service if Reading took over the whole thing, retaining only the direct front line service staff for WBC and all the parish level councils. To keep up the pretence that local Councillors do have a role, doubtless Reading wouldn't object to say three or four new Councillors for West Berks joining their deliberations.  Job done and no one would even notice.

8
Got something to say? / Headline News ? Not in the NWN
« on: February 11, 2018, 09:10:47 am »
Sadly, the issue of West Berkshire's massive failure in local governance will be lost in the financial collapse of public service nationally.  The abject bankrupty of the Conservative party (and their yellow camp followers)  dogmatic adherence to 'free market economy' is now quite apparent and doing its worst.  It really is government for the few, the very few and not the many.

9
Got something to say? / Re: Headline News ? Not in the NWN
« on: January 27, 2018, 09:53:44 pm »
When the chips are down, NWN knows where it's loyalty lies!

10
Got something to say? / Re: Something odd about this
« on: January 27, 2018, 09:34:07 am »
Frankly, I'm beginning to think that this expensive and now institutionalised incompetence in our local government is quite acceptable to the Conservative leadership.  Its the tactic they are using for the NHS.  That is, keep the groans and complaints at high levels, agree the situation is dreadful and do very little apart from making empty promises.  That way, the population at large will be more than willing to accept the politically unpalatable solutions the Tory think tanks have been suggesting.  That is the total abolition of locally controlled services and, in the NHS case, an insured service similar to the German / French models. 

11
Yes, there were some pretty snide comments made by our local political 'worthies'.  Still, it's  fairly effective way of delivering the Council's real Vision for the District; to be a Dormitory / Retirement suburb.  It's not now a matter of if key firms move, more when.

12
Got something to say? / Re: Something odd about this
« on: January 07, 2018, 08:24:21 am »
Yes, really, really odd.  Theale Parish Council has a leading West Berkshire Councillor sitting on it!  This is an expensive and embarrassing mess. In any other organisation heads would roll.  Planning and design work, particularly to this level of detail, doesn't come cheap.  For me, it again shows up the desperate need for total reform. Yes, we need a total clear out.

13
Ironic really; we've had the usual flock of relatives with us over Christmas and the title of this thread was the response from one of them after a morning walking round the town. That started a general tirade from even the locals about the slow collapse of the market, Kennet Centre and the like.  Took the shine off what up 'till then had been a happy visit!

14
Unbelievable.  So, we keep the business rate, give up an equivalent in grants and any credit extra kept from this sleight of hand is given to a quango.  WBC; stiched up like a kipper!

15
Got something to say? / Re: Time for a radical change in local leadership
« 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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