To advertise on this site

Author Topic: Local elections  (Read 51970 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Dave

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2795
Re: Local elections
« Reply #140 on: June 25, 2014, 07:55:37 AM »
Some dodgy stuff there from Duke, with facts 'bent', as usual, to fit his ideological position.

Under GNER, ECML started running Eurostar trains which were great - never considered under state control
Nothing to do with 'state control' - the ex-Eurostar trains stopped running on the East Coast Mainline when GNER lost the contract to National Express in 2005.

Now under state control, the trains are back to the 125 & 225 fleet, it now runs the oldest fleet of the inter-city lines when it was the pride of the express lines.
No it doesn't.  Most East Coast Trains are electric InterCity 225s which date from around 1990.  The oldest fleet on former inter-city lines is that of privatised First Great Western, whose Inter City 125s date back to the 1970s..

The subsidy is now lower in real terms than under state control.
No it isn't.  We now subsidise UK rail services to the tune of about £4 billion.  The equivalent sum at privatisation, adjusted for inflation, was about £1.5 billion. 

Duke Fame

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1674
Re: Local elections
« Reply #139 on: June 24, 2014, 11:32:15 PM »
I can't speak for the trade unions, but I can assure Franz that anyone who has travelled on the East Coast Main Line over the past five years could not have failed to notice that renationalisation has been a huge success!  This took place in 2009 after National Express defaulted on its contract and handed the keys back to the Department for Transport. 

There was a great deal wrong with British Rail, and I agree that privatisation had some beneficial effects.  But a great deal went wrong too.  Railtrack went spectacularly bankrupt.  The franchising process is a shambles, as no-one could have failed to notice.  And there have been big increases in subsidies, as the rail companies cream off profits from the taxpayer-subsidised rail companies.    Have a look at this site: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/rail-subsidy-per-passenger-mile

It shows that our own dear Northern Rail, with the most rubbish rolling stock in the entire country, as Barbara rightly points out, is also the most heavily subsidised, with 40p per passenger mile coming from us taxpayers.  Although ironically you could say that Northern is not privatised any more, as it is now back in public ownership - it's just that it's part-owned by the Dutch public, not the British!  And the same goes for several other rail companies, which are now wholly or partly owned by European governments, who are basically picking the pockets of the UK taxpayer! 

And if Franz takes another look at that site, he'll see that the publicly owned East Coast Main Line receives one of the lowest subsidies, of just 0.5p per passenger mile. 

Ed Miliband is quite right, IMO, to say there's no going back to old-style British Rail.  But similarly, we have learned a lot of lessons from rail privatisation over the past 20 years, and one of them is that public ownership, if it is properly set up, can work very well. 


Hmmm, I used ECML either side of privatisation, the GNER service compared to BR was an amazing transformation. All of a sudden, the coaches were clean, the staff were polite and on board food improved no end. Also, off peak, prices fell. Newcastle station has become a pleasant place to be, as has Leeds & York.

Under GNER, ECML started running Eurostar trains which were great - never considered under state control and since dropped. Now under state control, the trains are back to the 125 & 225 fleet, it now runs the oldest fleet of the inter-city lines when it was the pride of the express lines. I'll give you that National Express were not too good, I think this in part was down to a shorter franchise meaning no incentive to invest.

The problem for me is that the Tocs do not own the tracks, back in the day sof the LNER, GWR, LMS etc, they put down the tracks and if they wanted more capacity, they just added it. 


Duke Fame

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1674
Re: Local elections
« Reply #138 on: June 24, 2014, 11:11:41 PM »
I am interested in this groundswell of public opinion supporting the renationalising of the railways . Perhaps it is based on the YouGov poll which reflects the views of 1905 adults of whom 974 supported the renationalisation of the railways. Of these fewer than half thought that fares would go down, that timekeeping would improve, that it would be more cost effective, that customer service would improve, that trains would be cleaner or more comfortable, or that rail workers conditions would improve. I also wonder how many of the voters had experience of the nationalised railway. Do they remember the days when BR was so underfunded that we had to look forward to a new train comprising a Leyland  or Walter Alexander bus body mounted on underframes suitable for freight wagons?

Or is it a reference to the petition organised by “Bring Back British Rail”, "the collective voice of passengers and employees”,  which has garnered 24,000 signatures, similar to the population of Marple, in five years? Passenger journeys per day approach 3 million and if we assume that each passenger makes two journeys a day it represents 1.5 million passengers so there are 1,476,000 who have not yet signed up.

Since 1997 passenger journeys have doubled despite fare increases but my wife and myself can still get to London and back for £33 for the two of us with our senior railcards (which cost nothing with a Tesco Clubcard voucher) and that is with a wide choice of trains and dates and on one of the best Inter City services in Europe.

With regard to the increase in fares, the Department for Transport indicates that rail fares increased by just over 40% between 1999 and 2009, the latest figures I can find. During the same period the cost of travelling by car increased by 50% and by bus and coach by 58%.

There is, of course, a powerful faction which is committed to renationalisation. Unite, RMT, TSSA, ASLEF, speak with one voice. Not surprising since, given a Labour government and renationalisation,  their leaders would consider that they had arrived at the Pearly Gates but from all their strike polls etc it seems unlikely that they represent their own members, let alone the population as a whole. Meanwhile most of the population would soon realise that they had just crossed the Styx.

So where are these advocates to turn to find the political will? Certainly not the Labour Party which pledged prior to the 1997 election to renationalise the railways but didn’t. Ed Milliband has already said that he will not “go back to old-style British Rail” and that he wishes to retain the “benefits you can have sometimes from competition”. So it looks as if the Green party might be their best bet, even though one car can use 50% of the energy of a whole High Speed Train. How “green” is that?


I think you have to ask what a public transport system is supposed to achieve. For me, it's moving more people in the most efficient way possible.

You also have to ask why the likes of Unite, RMT, TSSA, ASLEF, speak with one voice in favour of renationalisation? Is it because they want a more efficient system, lower costs, a service that is reliable and one customers can be assured that when customers plan their journey, customers know the whole service will not be threatened by industrial action.

Rail may be seen as the least successful privatisation but we currently have more passenger miles than any time under state control, more now than any time since 1939. The subsidy is now lower in real terms than under state control. We have fewer strike days than anytime since 1949. On a more qualitative point, the trains are now clean, food is better, stations are nice to be in and vandalism is almost non-existent.

The rail co's now fight to put on new services, the nationalised service were never enterprising enough to do that.

When BR attempted to bring in the tilting APT, the unions forbade their members to get in the cab for development as the set up was for one driver not the union agreed two drivers. This two driver arrangement was in place right up to privatisation, despite the 2nd driver having no role in getting the train to it's destination.

My answer is NO! I remember the service in those days.

Dave

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2795
Re: Local elections
« Reply #137 on: June 24, 2014, 06:10:29 PM »
I am interested in this groundswell of public opinion supporting the renationalising of the railways . Perhaps it is based on the YouGov poll which reflects the views of 1905 adults of whom 974 supported the renationalisation of the railways.     There is, of course, a powerful faction which is committed to renationalisation. Unite, RMT, TSSA, ASLEF, speak with one voice.

I can't speak for the trade unions, but I can assure Franz that anyone who has travelled on the East Coast Main Line over the past five years could not have failed to notice that renationalisation has been a huge success!  This took place in 2009 after National Express defaulted on its contract and handed the keys back to the Department for Transport. 

There was a great deal wrong with British Rail, and I agree that privatisation had some beneficial effects.  But a great deal went wrong too.  Railtrack went spectacularly bankrupt.  The franchising process is a shambles, as no-one could have failed to notice.  And there have been big increases in subsidies, as the rail companies cream off profits from the taxpayer-subsidised rail companies.    Have a look at this site: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/rail-subsidy-per-passenger-mile

It shows that our own dear Northern Rail, with the most rubbish rolling stock in the entire country, as Barbara rightly points out, is also the most heavily subsidised, with 40p per passenger mile coming from us taxpayers.  Although ironically you could say that Northern is not privatised any more, as it is now back in public ownership - it's just that it's part-owned by the Dutch public, not the British!  And the same goes for several other rail companies, which are now wholly or partly owned by European governments, who are basically picking the pockets of the UK taxpayer! 

And if Franz takes another look at that site, he'll see that the publicly owned East Coast Main Line receives one of the lowest subsidies, of just 0.5p per passenger mile. 

Ed Miliband is quite right, IMO, to say there's no going back to old-style British Rail.  But similarly, we have learned a lot of lessons from rail privatisation over the past 20 years, and one of them is that public ownership, if it is properly set up, can work very well. 

Barbara

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 562
Re: Local elections
« Reply #136 on: June 24, 2014, 05:27:05 PM »
Manchester to London is one thing - and I agree with Franz that we 'oldies' do very well with those fares.  But please, please can we have some decent rolling stock on the local services to get us to Manchester in the first place!  >:(

Franz

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 108
Re: Local elections
« Reply #135 on: June 24, 2014, 04:27:19 PM »
There is a ground-swell of opinion to re-integrate and bring back into public ownership the railways
I am interested in this groundswell of public opinion supporting the renationalising of the railways . Perhaps it is based on the YouGov poll which reflects the views of 1905 adults of whom 974 supported the renationalisation of the railways. Of these fewer than half thought that fares would go down, that timekeeping would improve, that it would be more cost effective, that customer service would improve, that trains would be cleaner or more comfortable, or that rail workers conditions would improve. I also wonder how many of the voters had experience of the nationalised railway. Do they remember the days when BR was so underfunded that we had to look forward to a new train comprising a Leyland  or Walter Alexander bus body mounted on underframes suitable for freight wagons?

Or is it a reference to the petition organised by “Bring Back British Rail”, "the collective voice of passengers and employees”,  which has garnered 24,000 signatures, similar to the population of Marple, in five years? Passenger journeys per day approach 3 million and if we assume that each passenger makes two journeys a day it represents 1.5 million passengers so there are 1,476,000 who have not yet signed up.

Since 1997 passenger journeys have doubled despite fare increases but my wife and myself can still get to London and back for £33 for the two of us with our senior railcards (which cost nothing with a Tesco Clubcard voucher) and that is with a wide choice of trains and dates and on one of the best Inter City services in Europe.

With regard to the increase in fares, the Department for Transport indicates that rail fares increased by just over 40% between 1999 and 2009, the latest figures I can find. During the same period the cost of travelling by car increased by 50% and by bus and coach by 58%.

There is, of course, a powerful faction which is committed to renationalisation. Unite, RMT, TSSA, ASLEF, speak with one voice. Not surprising since, given a Labour government and renationalisation,  their leaders would consider that they had arrived at the Pearly Gates but from all their strike polls etc it seems unlikely that they represent their own members, let alone the population as a whole. Meanwhile most of the population would soon realise that they had just crossed the Styx.

So where are these advocates to turn to find the political will? Certainly not the Labour Party which pledged prior to the 1997 election to renationalise the railways but didn’t. Ed Milliband has already said that he will not “go back to old-style British Rail” and that he wishes to retain the “benefits you can have sometimes from competition”. So it looks as if the Green party might be their best bet, even though one car can use 50% of the energy of a whole High Speed Train. How “green” is that?

Dave

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2795
Re: Local elections
« Reply #134 on: June 24, 2014, 11:52:01 AM »
Urbis and Bridgewater hall could easily be privatised and / or operated by a private company with expertise & the advantage of economies of scale that comes with specialisation.

The Bridgewater Hall is a fantastic asset for the city, so the City Council understandably maintains a very close relationship with it, in all sorts of ways.  But it is already privately owned and run, for the very reasons given by Duke.  And I believe it's the only concert hall of its type in the country which does not receive any revenue subsidy from a local authority.  That's a remarkable achievement by the City Council though I don't expect Duke to give them any credit for it.   :-\

Duke Fame

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1674
Re: Local elections
« Reply #133 on: June 24, 2014, 10:51:14 AM »
So managing the Neighbourhood Renewal Fund is 'keeping the middle classes entertained' is it   ???


As I said, it's touch and go or boaderline. Managing the renewal fund is a relatively small part of the department (this is not one role) and could easily be done elsewhere. Urbis and Bridgewater hall could easily be privatised and / or operated by a private company with expertise & the advantage of economies of scale that comes with specialisation.

Dave

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2795
Re: Local elections
« Reply #132 on: June 24, 2014, 09:36:19 AM »
I think it's touch and go, I'd certainly look to prioritise library services and lollipop ladies above keeping the middle classes entertained.

So managing the Neighbourhood Renewal Fund is 'keeping the middle classes entertained' is it   ???

wheels

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1436
Re: Local elections
« Reply #131 on: June 23, 2014, 08:22:52 PM »
Absolutely, it's so easy for idealogical right-wingers to slag off Councils for progressive policies they don't happen to agree with.  Manchester is indeed a city to be proud of (and with a fine radical history). It's now a Tory and Liberal-free Council too. Hurrah!  

What's so great about a Local Authority with no opposition whatsoever. Childish. That really is old Labour od the 70s


Duke Fame

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1674
Re: Local elections
« Reply #130 on: June 23, 2014, 07:33:10 PM »
Indeed - but it was the City Council that got the Commonwealth Games to Manchester. 

However, let's just take a closer look at just one of the supposedly 'hey-nonny-nonny' jobs in Duke's long list, Cultural Regeneration Officer.  A quick search on the City Council website produces this summary of what the Council's Cultural Strategy Team actually does: 

Manchester's Cultural Strategy Team
The Cultural Strategy Team was set up in April 2003, to provide a centralised focus for the implementation and development of Manchester's Cultural Strategy.

The team works very closely with internal (MCC) and external partners delivering cultural services. The team's work is directed towards the twin goals of increasing participation in culture by the people of Manchester and using culture as a means to improve the profile of the city with the aim of attracting people to live, work and play in Manchester.

The team coordinates the work of the Cultural Partnership including the delivery of Neighbourhood Renewal Fund programmes, monitoring revenue grants to arts organisations and coordinating the Manchester Youth Arts Network. In addition, the team has responsibility for the Bridgewater Hall, the Zion Centre and Urbis and promote a technical advice service for capital cultural projects.

Work is conducted with internal and external partners seeking to maximise opportunities and benefits, share best practice and help new projects and policies to be developed. As part of the wider Cultural Services department, the team works closely with Leisure, Events, Galleries and Museums, Libraries and Theatres and increasingly with Children's Services.


As Duke will know, these are tasks that have to be done.  For example the Neighbourhood Renewal Fund is a pot of government money which is allocated to the UK's most deprived areas  Somebody has to oversee the allocation and monitoring of it.  Imagine what the likes of Duke would say if it were discovered that government grants to the City Council were being left unused, or, even worse, were being spent without any monitoring or audit!  Similarly, the Bridgewater Hall and Urbis are fantastic assets, but they have to be managed.  Funds are granted to arts organisations, and those have to be monitored and audited etc etc etc.  The Manchester Youth Arts Network keeps kids meaningfully occupied, off the streets, and hopefully out of jail.  All of which has contributing to the successful achievement of 'attracting people to live, work and play in Manchester.' 

That sounds like pretty worthwhile work to me, and a lot less hey-nonny-nonny than selling knickers.   ;)

I think it's touch and go, I'd certainly look to prioritise library services and lollipop ladies above keeping the middle classes entertained.

Dave

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2795
Re: Local elections
« Reply #129 on: June 23, 2014, 04:55:57 PM »
i do agree that Manchester has enjoyed a recovery when compared with say Liverpool or Birmingham. Like all real cities, Manchester was built on trade and it's success is all down to trade and capitalism, it's failure and decline, caused in no small part by Marxism which pushed trade away. In some cases, the local authority has been helpful in this but I suspect it's recovery is more down to the two football clubs and the commonwealth games rather than much else.

Indeed - but it was the City Council that got the Commonwealth Games to Manchester. 

However, let's just take a closer look at just one of the supposedly 'hey-nonny-nonny' jobs in Duke's long list, Cultural Regeneration Officer.  A quick search on the City Council website produces this summary of what the Council's Cultural Strategy Team actually does: 

Manchester's Cultural Strategy Team
The Cultural Strategy Team was set up in April 2003, to provide a centralised focus for the implementation and development of Manchester's Cultural Strategy.

The team works very closely with internal (MCC) and external partners delivering cultural services. The team's work is directed towards the twin goals of increasing participation in culture by the people of Manchester and using culture as a means to improve the profile of the city with the aim of attracting people to live, work and play in Manchester.

The team coordinates the work of the Cultural Partnership including the delivery of Neighbourhood Renewal Fund programmes, monitoring revenue grants to arts organisations and coordinating the Manchester Youth Arts Network. In addition, the team has responsibility for the Bridgewater Hall, the Zion Centre and Urbis and promote a technical advice service for capital cultural projects.

Work is conducted with internal and external partners seeking to maximise opportunities and benefits, share best practice and help new projects and policies to be developed. As part of the wider Cultural Services department, the team works closely with Leisure, Events, Galleries and Museums, Libraries and Theatres and increasingly with Children's Services.


As Duke will know, these are tasks that have to be done.  For example the Neighbourhood Renewal Fund is a pot of government money which is allocated to the UK's most deprived areas  Somebody has to oversee the allocation and monitoring of it.  Imagine what the likes of Duke would say if it were discovered that government grants to the City Council were being left unused, or, even worse, were being spent without any monitoring or audit!  Similarly, the Bridgewater Hall and Urbis are fantastic assets, but they have to be managed.  Funds are granted to arts organisations, and those have to be monitored and audited etc etc etc.  The Manchester Youth Arts Network keeps kids meaningfully occupied, off the streets, and hopefully out of jail.  All of which has contributing to the successful achievement of 'attracting people to live, work and play in Manchester.' 

That sounds like pretty worthwhile work to me, and a lot less hey-nonny-nonny than selling knickers.   ;)

Duke Fame

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1674
Re: Local elections
« Reply #128 on: June 23, 2014, 03:24:14 PM »
It's unfair to compare Manchester with wealthy towns in the south-east that have totally histories and circumstances.

The likes of Manchester should have had a head start over those towns that have excelled over the last 40 years. It hasn;t,

tigerman

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 118
Re: Local elections
« Reply #127 on: June 23, 2014, 03:18:09 PM »
I'm not aware of any idealogical right-wingers slagging anyone off.

As mentioned to Dave, it's telling that successful towns do not have entrenched Labour councils, the ones that do - Manchester, Liverpool, Newcastle have lagged behind the likes of Basingstoke, Wokingham, Oxford, Cambridge etc
It's unfair to compare Manchester with wealthy towns in the south-east that have totally histories and circumstances.

Duke Fame

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1674
Re: Local elections
« Reply #126 on: June 23, 2014, 01:46:39 PM »
Absolutely, it's so easy for idealogical right-wingers to slag off Councils for progressive policies they don't happen to agree with.  Manchester is indeed a city to be proud of (and with a fine radical history). It's now a Tory and Liberal-free Council too. Hurrah! 

I'm not aware of any idealogical right-wingers slagging anyone off.

As mentioned to Dave, it's telling that successful towns do not have entrenched Labour councils, the ones that do - Manchester, Liverpool, Newcastle have lagged behind the likes of Basingstoke, Wokingham, Oxford, Cambridge etc