Author Topic: Councillor Roderick Bluh's 'Budget Challenge'  (Read 4271 times)

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Offline itspavagain

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Re: Councillor Roderick Bluh's 'Budget Challenge'
« Reply #20 on: August 19, 2010, 01:41:58 pm »
Re-generation is now little more than a pipe dream. We've missed the boat and must now admit that it won't happen for at least another five years.

What desperately does have to happen though is some kind of scheme to "re-open" the existing town centre, which currently resembles downtown Baghdad. Fleet Street and Bridge Street have more premises boarded up than open - and the ones which are open are now charity shops. I would love to know how much the likes of Sue Ryder are paying for the old TKMaxx, or British Heart Foundation for the old Peacocks.

Much better is Tobes' idea of offering these empty premises on peppercorn rents to local people who want to open new businesses. Maybe offering them at a substantial discount for the first year, 50% off the for second year and commercial rates in the third year?

Offline Steve Wakefield

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Re: Councillor Roderick Bluh's 'Budget Challenge'
« Reply #21 on: August 19, 2010, 01:52:09 pm »
Re-generation is now little more than a pipe dream. We've missed the boat and must now admit that it won't happen for at least another five years.

What desperately does have to happen though is some kind of scheme to "re-open" the existing town centre, which currently resembles downtown Baghdad. Fleet Street and Bridge Street have more premises boarded up than open - and the ones which are open are now charity shops. I would love to know how much the likes of Sue Ryder are paying for the old TKMaxx, or British Heart Foundation for the old Peacocks.

Much better is Tobes' idea of offering these empty premises on peppercorn rents to local people who want to open new businesses. Maybe offering them at a substantial discount for the first year, 50% off the for second year and commercial rates in the third year?

Surely renting the shops to people who are not local on the same terms Tobes describes would achieve the same as renting them to local people? The fact is the business rates are a very high barrier to climb over, and the council has no say over business rates, are set by the government (Another Thatcher idea). The council has to collect them on their behalf I wonder if Pickles is listening to that one?
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Offline itspavagain

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Re: Councillor Roderick Bluh's 'Budget Challenge'
« Reply #22 on: August 19, 2010, 02:01:03 pm »
Sorry, I was referring to rent, rather than rates!

You're right, anyone will do, but who not try to bring some local, independent traders into the town centre? It's not as if there isn't any space!

Offline Mellon

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Re: Councillor Roderick Bluh's 'Budget Challenge'
« Reply #23 on: August 19, 2010, 02:56:58 pm »
Quote
Mellon

I disagree with regeneration in this current 'climate' or whatever its called now simply because taht money could be far better spent keeping people employed and the economy going, the job market has slowed down very rapidly and its getting very difficult to find work. With more and more people being booted out the door because money is becoming scarse regenerating will cause huge problems for swindons job market and economy.

its too late to prepare now..........where is 200k going? and how is it being lost?

regeneration is not the answer for me anyway, its a silly idea as people will be walking through town seeing new shiny council things and developing a deep hatred for anyone related to the council chamber. in short were buggered

Mellon as ever good point. What is regeneration? For me it is more than shining new council buildings. There is a need for new employment facilities, roads and railways etc.  I was pointing out that massive infrastructure projects like TVP etc are an option  to provide jobs and circulate money in the economy. It will not be the council that regenerates anything, it usually is the private sector that spends its own money regenerating. The council should be making Swindon a place  to use its own words the place to do business. It is no good just saying that we have to do it.

Maybe Mellon on reflection of your points for some it would be good if Swindon had someone as shy and retiring, but as talented as the like of Michael O'leary of Ryan Air taking us forward.  ;)

TVP?

in this current time, which companies are going to re-locate to swindon after everything is being slashed and hacked at?

As you say its the private sector that spends the money regenerating but i can assure you for massive infrastructure projects they will not use local workforce they will be outsourced from an pre-approved business that gives them a cheaper deal. It wont provide jobs, it wont improve the economy it will do sweet F/A to benefit Swindon and its residents. The higher ups in the council have just shown they could'nt care less about people in swindon by sacking a couple of thousand employees without fighting for them.

The council cant make Swindon a place of business as i thought it was the private sector that regenerated??

i dont get the O'leary reference........means bugger all to me

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Offline Richard Symonds

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Re: Councillor Roderick Bluh's 'Budget Challenge'
« Reply #24 on: August 19, 2010, 03:25:28 pm »
Re-generation is now little more than a pipe dream. We've missed the boat and must now admit that it won't happen for at least another five years.

What desperately does have to happen though is some kind of scheme to "re-open" the existing town centre, which currently resembles downtown Baghdad. Fleet Street and Bridge Street have more premises boarded up than open - and the ones which are open are now charity shops. I would love to know how much the likes of Sue Ryder are paying for the old TKMaxx, or British Heart Foundation for the old Peacocks.

Much better is Tobes' idea of offering these empty premises on peppercorn rents to local people who want to open new businesses. Maybe offering them at a substantial discount for the first year, 50% off the for second year and commercial rates in the third year?

and how much are the Canal Trust paying in Theatre Square?  Do I feel an FOI coming on?

After all the previous occupants 'Collectables' were only offered a monthly lease which obviously they couldn't accept.  Convenient wasn't it?

Offline Richard Symonds

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Re: Councillor Roderick Bluh's 'Budget Challenge'
« Reply #25 on: August 19, 2010, 03:33:31 pm »
Now if the Forward Swindon or Swindon wotsit lot were to have any validity they would do something to stimulate an interest in all those shops in Regents Street which are currently vacant.  Mind you who would be interested in an ongoing building site?

After all it is their job isn't it?  Otherwise they and the Economic Development Unit should top the list for redundancies? 

And which £100k Director is responsible for this lot?

Offline itspavagain

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Re: Councillor Roderick Bluh's 'Budget Challenge'
« Reply #26 on: August 19, 2010, 04:13:31 pm »
That's an interesting question Richard. Are Forward Swindon responsible for trying to encourage people in to the existing empty properties in Fleet St, Bridge St, Regent St and Brunel Centre, or are they supposed to focus purely on "re-generation" whatever that may mean?

In the Adver recently they quotes someone from inSwindon, who are apparently the town centre management company. Is this a private company or are they funded by the council? Is it their responsibility to find tenants for the above?

It's like an onion!

Offline moley

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Re: Councillor Roderick Bluh's 'Budget Challenge'
« Reply #27 on: August 19, 2010, 06:05:39 pm »
That's an interesting question Richard. Are Forward Swindon responsible for trying to encourage people in to the existing empty properties in Fleet St, Bridge St, Regent St and Brunel Centre, or are they supposed to focus purely on "re-generation" whatever that may mean?

In the Adver recently they quotes someone from inSwindon, who are apparently the town centre management company. Is this a private company or are they funded by the council? Is it their responsibility to find tenants for the above?

It's like an onion!

Are the 2 things exclusive?  I thought in retail footfall was everything - so getting more people into the town centre would increase the likelihood of someone wanting to invest in regeneration programs.

Even before the Oracle was built I remember Reading being a better/more interesting  shopping centre than Swindon is now....  (same with Bristol / Bath / Oxford).

Moley

Offline Tea Boy

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Re: Councillor Roderick Bluh's 'Budget Challenge'
« Reply #28 on: August 19, 2010, 06:24:10 pm »
If things have GOT to be saved, lets stop doing things like
  • mowing roundabouts,
(I saw a team of five people this morning with a ride on mower doing this today)


Hmmm, that wouldn't be a sponsored roundabout would it, I've heard the council are upping the sponsorship rates and need to to improve a few to sell the sponsorship . The sponsors don't want to be associated with crappy landscaping. Not that i was there of course, not that that was the only one done that day, not of course that there's strimming, litter picking or any of the other faceless activities that won't be going on for much longer Swindon...

As long as the sponsorship is greater than the cost of maintenance the councils quids in...
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Offline Muggins

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Re: Councillor Roderick Bluh's 'Budget Challenge'
« Reply #29 on: August 19, 2010, 06:44:22 pm »
One of my mates works for a landscaping firm that has the contract to look after several areas - nothing (as far as I know) to do with the council.  He does things like keep hedgerows from overhanging places and trimming etc.  Look for the Logo's!   

Can you get five people on a ride-on mower?  If so I want one and/or a go on it!  That would be a big beast.

Come to think of it Teaboy, soon the only roundabout's that will be mown will be those sponsored one's. 

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Offline Tea Boy

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Re: Councillor Roderick Bluh's 'Budget Challenge'
« Reply #30 on: August 19, 2010, 08:58:06 pm »
   

Can you get five people on a ride-on mower?  If so I want one and/or a go on it!  That would be a big beast.

Come to think of it Teaboy, soon the only roundabout's that will be mown will be those sponsored one's.

You can but only when Health and safety aren't looking  :2funny: ask your son i am sure it could be arranged

Your so spot on about the roundabouts though, it may come down to the doing only the sponsored ones

Cameron and Cleggs Britian, worth being proud of?

Only if you like the grass 3ft high and full of litter
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Offline Monkey Boy

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Re: Councillor Roderick Bluh's 'Budget Challenge'
« Reply #31 on: August 19, 2010, 10:05:33 pm »

In the Adver recently they quotes someone from inSwindon, who are apparently the town centre management company. Is this a private company or are they funded by the council?


InSwindon are what's known as a Business Improvement District company.  The businesses in the area vote as to whether they wish to pay an extra levy on their business rates to fund activity/improvement in the area (I think its an extra 1%) and this is ring-fenced for the BID company.  I believe the Council contribute the amount it would ordinarily spend on the town centre management function into the company (a figure of £130k probably wouldn't be too far off out of a total budget of maybe £500k?!?!).  The BID company is run by an appointed board (appointed by the businesses in the area), and is made up of representatives from those businesses who decide how the money is spent.  I believe the Council have always held, and still do, hold a seat on the Board although I may be wrong.

They aren't responsible for letting the properties - clearly their activities are to make the Town Centre more attractive for businesses to locate there so they have a role to play, and in turn having occupied shops will make their job easier in "creating a better town centre environment".

Offline Geoff Reid

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Re: Councillor Roderick Bluh's 'Budget Challenge'
« Reply #32 on: August 20, 2010, 04:07:14 pm »

Separate topic really, but.....

Is it not the case that it is members of the BID, (Business Improvement District), who are intent on removing street traders from Swindon and the Council is now carrying out the wishes of a business cartel and ignoring the council tax paying electorate of the town ?

The minutes of meetings at which the eviction of street traders has been discussed make interesting, contradictory and confusing reading.  Councillors don't out of them looking good.


Offline Outoftowner

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Re: Councillor Roderick Bluh's 'Budget Challenge'
« Reply #33 on: August 22, 2010, 01:39:47 pm »
The leisure facilities figures are interesting. A 10% increase in revenue would half the net running costs and a 25% increase would see them running at a profit. I wonder how much spare capacity is in the system? Very often when I go to play squash there is no one on before me or after me.

I took my friend's son to The Link ice rink yesterday and he really enjoyed it. Like the Oasis, it could do with a lick of paint so what will SBC do? Have a 25% increase in admittance, which is easily affordable and thus run them at a profit with money for refurbishment or say that the facilities need money sepending on them so sell them to (friends) the private sector at a low price. The private sector then give them a lick of paint and treble the price to get in! Watch out Swindon taxpayers, you are going to have your assets stripped! That's right. You own them, so make sure that you keep them.


Offline Mart

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Re: Councillor Roderick Bluh's 'Budget Challenge'
« Reply #34 on: August 22, 2010, 02:44:25 pm »
The leisure facilities figures are interesting. A 10% increase in revenue would half the net running costs and a 25% increase would see them running at a profit. I wonder how much spare capacity is in the system? Very often when I go to play squash there is no one on before me or after me.

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