Author Topic: The Mechanics Letter  (Read 3469 times)

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Offline Mellon

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The Mechanics Letter
« on: April 27, 2011, 12:32:21 PM »
I sent a letter to the advertiser the other day about the mechanics institute and the councils behaviour regarding the hasn't been published yet.

It seems that once again Swindon Borough Council is about to cost us even more
money because of its short-sighted and know-it-all attitude.

I am of course talking about The Mechanics Institute and the story recently
published on the Avertiser website called "Swindon tax payers may have to
shoulder £1m for Mechanics' Institute repairs" (Friday 8th April 2011).

For more than two decades The Mechanics Institute has been in a derelict state
and desperately needed life pumping back into it however, it is not a publicly
owned building and therefore not something that the local taxpayer should be
burdened with. Despite this, Swindon Borough Council has ploughed into the
Mechanics Institute debacle with open chequebooks and eyes squeezed tightly
shut, refusing to see what many in the town have been warning them to avoid..

English Heritage instructed and advised Swindon Borough Council on how to best
carry out the works to acceptable standards and also agreed to fund the work
provide the Council followed their advice, but their advice was ignored by the
leadership of the council which, as is becoming all too common these days,
decided to ignore expert advice and do exactly what it wanted. It ignored the
terms of the urgent works Notice, (originally issued in 2009), used contractors
who were not experienced in Heritage work and undertook non-approved or agreed
works which also invalidated the funding agreement with English Heritage. It
should also be noted that English Heritage agreed to fund the work as per the
original cost estimate given by the council, not the final bill which, at £1.2
million, appears to be almost £1 million more than the estimate it gave English
Heritage. You couldn't make it up, but perhaps they did?

Deputy Leader of Swindon Borough Council, Garry Perkins tried to excuse this
latest act of civic vandalism by asking: “How can we work to an agreed schedule
when the building is falling down around our necks?”. I'd point out that Perkins
isn't a surveyor or a builder and, if his Directorship of the Swindon WiFi
project is anything to go by we should take his opinions with a large pinch of
salt. If a collapse was as imminent as the Council claimed, why was there a gap
of so many months between the urgent works notice being issued and the work
being carried out?

What started as a fairly routine procedure for a Grade II* Listed buildings, is
quickly turning into yet another fiscal black hole for us, the taxpayers and the
council want's to ram yet another unneccessary bill down our throats.

We don’t own the building, we don't want to own the building and we're tired of
paying out for local politicians vanity projects. We've had Canals, Tabernacle
Stones, Radio Rod's Big-Spend Weekend, WiFi, the Highworth Rec Bailout, the
Council installing, (and us paying for), all the infrastructure at Wichelstowe.
All in all, our council has has squandered several £million on vanity projects
and legacy politics and has now run up debts of between £60 and £80 million.

Enough is enough and I want to know when they are going to stop wasting our money?

Ben Reid

3 Winchcombe Close

"Duct tape is like the force. It has a light side, a dark side, and it holds the world together."


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Re: The Mechanics Letter
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2011, 02:43:26 PM »
No time soon... look out for a summer of vanity projects with carefully hidden costs!

Offline Karsten

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Re: The Mechanics Letter
« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2011, 07:58:56 PM »
Enough is enough and I want to know when they are going to stop wasting our money?
Ben Reid

I complained about the Controlled Parking Zones being used as cash cow to the Council Ombudsman way back in 2006.
The reply was that it couldn't get involved as it applied to all councils and that ultimately the council is answerable to its stakeholders!

That is you, me and every other person eligible to vote.
Unfortunately most stakeholders couldn't care less and forget about voting.
In most places it doesn’t matter who you vote for.  The ‘seat’ is safe.
That’s why its always the same two parties that get in. 
Unless people do start to care and decide to vote differently and then a few others like the Lib Dems and the BNP get in.
Look at what sort of MEPs we have UKIP, GREEN, BNP???
All results of protests, but in House of Commons we have a load of career 'public' school boys.

So if you want SBC to stop wasting your money, vote for people that want to stop the people behind the council pulling the councils strings and making them perform as puppets.
The real villains in SBC are never elected in my opinion. They've worked there for yoinks and will do so until people inside the council open up the workings of the council to proper public scrutiny.
Why do you think SBC pay lots of people more than the Prime minister gets.

Only a few Councillors agreed the 450k loan to Digital City.  How many council employees were involved and advised?
What connections to Ricky Hunt/DC do they have?   

It's a case of Yes, Councillor.
On May 5th, you can at least try to stop the rot.