Thursday, 30 July 2015

Manston Parkway farce and RTC and Most Wanted

Manston/Parkway station: even worse than I thought. The elaborate consultation for a station in an airport has concluded this month. The 200 pages of plans thus detail:

o This supposedly isn’t a consultation but details of a project KCC has decided to implement despite lack of any support at all beyond the corridors and cement mixers of County Hall

o An improvement of 6 minutes in train times between London and Kent – but these would be achieved by 2019 - and were planned even without a Parkway

o The Parkway if built would delay times by 2 minutes. I know. You couldn’t make it up. It would delay trains

o The Parkway would cost £11M – not far off the cost of the Turner Gallery in Margate for what would be a small unmanned station in the middle of nowhere but too near the other rail stations

o The supposed 6 minute time improvement would be for travel to London – but only 23% of the public use the train for London – the 77% of journeys are 30 minutes or less to Canterbury etc, so again any claimed improvements would not be achieved but actually made worse with a 2 minute delay

o The report also bizarrely details the potential for multi-storey carparks at Ramsgate station – but 3 months of lavish improvements to the car park (anyone know the cost?) are just drawing to a close so again it seems both foolish and wasteful

My overall point is that this is utter waste and as with the Road to Nowhere and Manston (you will have seen the ongoing shambles of Operation Stack again) utterly idiotic KCC planning relying on Grand Projects and Cement regardless of whether they are needed or viable. I hope the DofT claims the c.£20M back from KCC (and curbs future cement funding) although much of it seems to have been already wasted on this nonsense.

£20m spent on the town centres of East Kent would make a huge difference rather than on yet more tarmac for the dead duck of Manston and worsening the rail service(!).

With Operation Stack now descending into not just strikes/weather delays but migrants breaking into the Channel Tunnel and dying (9 so far!), what is wrong with calling out the Ghurkas for a few weeks to patrol the tunnels and extra checks? It was done for the 2012 Olympics when Serco fell apart. And the Ghurkas would simply be sat in their barracks nearby anyway.

As with the KCC-Highways Agency supposed master stroke of a contraflow we have layers and layers of organisations doing nothing on the rates. Then when there is a disaster it becomes a bureaucratic turf war to ensure inaction.

Increasingly I'm hearing of nonsense from RTC on what they actually do and the cost of it - have the UKIPPERs given up on holding councils to scrutiny?

More later no doubt although at KCC now TDC and RTC UKIP seem to have no idea on doing anything.

Perhaps that's for the best after the nonsense and corruption we've ben paying for.

Why aren't they calling for a police investigation and a tax rebate for corruption? We seem to be funding councils to pay themselves to do almost nothing of value.

And increasingly I think we've had fake elections that should be rerun. Not just the blatant illegality of the LibDem EU civil servant candidate but now election promises simply ditched within weeks. LocalCraig was simply parroting saving Manston with no intention of doing anything. Same with Gale and UKIP. Now with the Parliament recess nothing will be done for months.

They were simply lying to us. And ignoring the aquifer pollution.

Time for Change

Tim's Titbits:

* KORA and 2LB due shortly
* July Kent Public sector review underway
* KCC 2017 Leader manifesto underway
* Weird silence on 100Se Rd garden grabbing by Cllr Evans and Bambridge and TDC staff - they seem unable to explain how or why this has gone ahead beyond corruption or cockup and now just silence...
* Kent Police Most Wanted: curiouser and curiouser - they've updated their website now since my last post(see below) and reduced the 4 Most Wanted to 3 since yesterday (wanted for c.2 years) - yet Crimestoppers shows over 30 Most Wanted in Kent including one of the previously Most Wanted by Kent Police and at least one Ramsgate chap who I see wandering around. Are the cops on top of this looking for criminals and arresting them business? Are there really just 3 Most Wanted in Kent?
* Thor still no sign of pollution reports - and Environment Agency even refusing EIR requests for Thor without a Public Interest Test ie it would be in the public's interest for it not to know despite the right of the public to know the pollution etc. Give them a call yourself.
* First PM visit to Vietnam as part of the ASEAN emphasis for UK in the future
* Bizarre review by Westminster of FOI - to make it more difficult to obtain public information. Many councils simply refuse so any legislation should be on enforcing release of information. Why would any information except national security be kept hidden from the public that fund it?

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