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  • Eddy Shah interview on the FSB's Mind Your Own Business: June 23, 2011

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Offline Emma Faramarzi

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Eddy Shah interview
« on: June 06, 2011, 10:13:18 AM »
Topics to be discussed:

The Messenger Group
Fighting the Unions
Save Lyneham Campaign


Swindon 105.5 6-7pm on the FSB's Mind Your Own Business show.



Offline Tobes

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Re: Eddy Shah interview
« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2011, 11:11:26 AM »
For younger TS readers  :wink:
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Selim Jehan Shah (born 20 January 1944), commonly known as Eddy Shah or Eddie Shah, is a Manchester-based businessman, the founder of the then technologically-advanced UK newspaper Today in 1986, and of the extremely short-lived tabloid The Post, and current owner of the Messenger Group.[1]
Shah was born in Cambridge of an English mother with Spanish and Irish blood, and a father of Persian origin, but brought up in India. Shah was educated at a Scottish co-educational independent boarding school, Gordonstoun, and at both Haywards Heath Grammar School and Haywards Heath Secondary Modern School, at Haywards Heath in Sussex. He then attended a Brighton crammer, where he obtained seven GCE 'O' Levels.
He confronted the trade unions at his Warrington print works and Manchester news offices in 1983. As the owner of six local newspapers, he defeated the print unions after national strikes that went on for seven months - despite receiving death threats. He was the first person to invoke Margaret Thatcher's Anti-Union Laws to force the unions to the bargaining table. The Wapping dispute followed three years later.
Shah is also the author of several novels including The Lucy Ghosts (1991), Ring of Red Roses (1992), Manchester Blue (1993), and Fallen Angels (1994). After a break from writing, he returned in 2008 with a thriller entitled Second World.
He now owns and runs golf courses, leisure centres and hotels, including the Wiltshire Golf and Country Club, Wootton Bassett. He is building 44 holiday homes with his wife, actress Jennifer White Shah with whom he has three children.

I'd love to see Lyneham used as a regional airport using the Bristol or Bournemouth model. That really WOULD be a 'fresh' approach which would benefit the local economy. Does the SBC cabinet or FS have a spare £500k to help fund a feasibility study?.... ::)
I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it - [attributed to] Voltaire... 'Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessita' - William of Occam.... 'You have a right to feel offended, but just cos you are offended doesn't mean you are right'

Offline the gorgon

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Re: Eddy Shah interview
« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2011, 01:04:06 PM »
For younger TS readers  :wink:
Quote
Selim Jehan Shah (born 20 January 1944), commonly known as Eddy Shah or Eddie Shah, is a Manchester-based businessman, the founder of the then technologically-advanced UK newspaper Today in 1986, and of the extremely short-lived tabloid The Post, and current owner of the Messenger Group.[1]
....
He now owns and runs golf courses, leisure centres and hotels, including the Wiltshire Golf and Country Club, Wootton Bassett. He is building 44 holiday homes with his wife, actress Jennifer White Shah with whom he has three children.

I'd love to see Lyneham used as a regional airport using the Bristol or Bournemouth model. That really WOULD be a 'fresh' approach which would benefit the local economy. Does the SBC cabinet or FS have a spare £500k to help fund a feasibility study?.... ::)

Hasn't the airport plan been ruled out for several reasons?  Didn't a feasibilty study (which probably took place during the aviation boom of the last decade) say it wasn't suitable?  Then there is also the government report that more or less said that West Country airport exansion should be focussed at airports like Bristol and Exeter.

I'm no expert on airports but I think geography could also be a problem, roughly an hours drive is probably the natural catchment area for an airport (well for me it is anyway).  Swindon falls into the area overlapped by Bristol (for easyjet and ryanair budget flights) and Heathrow (for everywhere in the world practically) and the drives to Southampton and Birmingham aren't that much more. 

It's similar to the problem I talked about for concert venues in Swindon - bums on seats.  Who is going to travel to Swindon (the population of Swindon isn't enough to sustain a serious airport) when they may have an airport that takes less or the same time to get to?  If this had been done in the 90's the airport things could have been very different.

So a nice idea when you first look at it but if we're not careful we'll fall into the Swindon trap of being "ambitious but rubbish".  I'm sure free WiFi sounded good at the time...

Offline Outoftowner

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Re: Eddy Shah interview
« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2011, 01:14:45 PM »
Quote from Gorgon
Quote
Hasn't the airport plan been ruled out for several reasons?  Didn't a feasibilty study (which probably took place during the aviation boom of the last decade) say it wasn't suitable?  Then there is also the government report that more or less said that West Country airport expansion should be focussed at airports like Bristol and Exeter.

You are quite correct Gorgon.

The same report also eliminated Filton as a possible airport, despite it's proximity to the main M4/ M5 junction and the main north south / east west railway lines and the fact that it had a full instrument landing system installed and a long runway, something that Lulsgate (Bristol Airport) didn't have at the time.
Someone had built houses on the approach to the runway to Filton so that was that. :'(
What's it all about?

Offline Emma Faramarzi

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Re: Eddy Shah interview
« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2011, 01:47:10 PM »

There are two Schools of thought. The best plan would be to get the Army to use the site but this is looking unlikely now. Plan B is discussed here:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/daveharvey/2011/03/labour_of_hercules_what_next_f.html

The key is for everyone to lobby their local MP's to get a decision made by government as quickly as possible.

In answer to your question Tobes I am pretty sure ( but dont quote me on it ) that SBC are supportive of Eddy's plans but the area comes under Wiltshire Council. What has become clear during Eddy's planning and research is that junction 16 of the M4 is already 20% over capacity so another junction , say 16a will eventually have to be built to support the site.

A good video here:

http://www.swindonweb.com/?m=2&s=1603&ss=1680&c=9363&t=RAF+Lyneham+-+Plan+B

The Swindon 105.5 show should be a good one.

Offline Geoff Reid

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Re: Eddy Shah interview
« Reply #5 on: June 06, 2011, 02:42:55 PM »
What has become clear during Eddy's planning and research is that junction 16 of the M4 is already 20% over capacity so another junction , say 16a will eventually have to be built to support the site.

I've been hearing that said consistently for a long while so I'm glad to hear it finally acknowledged by a Cllr. thanks :)

I won't divert this thread apart from pointing out one obvious point:  The Wichelstowe Southern relief road recently had its signage erected. M4 West traffic is pointed, via Rushy Platt and that god-awful 3-way junction at the Mannington railway bridge, towards J16 via the morning misery of the Mannington Road roundabout and the subsequent crawl to the already 20% over-capacity Junction 16.

Time is upon us when we actually need a J15a - the time to install it was when ground was broken at Wichelstowe, not 10 years after the last house has been built.

Offline the gorgon

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Re: Eddy Shah interview
« Reply #6 on: June 06, 2011, 03:29:18 PM »
What has become clear during Eddy's planning and research is that junction 16 of the M4 is already 20% over capacity so another junction , say 16a will eventually have to be built to support the site.

I've been hearing that said consistently for a long while so I'm glad to hear it finally acknowledged by a Cllr. thanks :)

I won't divert this thread apart from pointing out one obvious point:  The Wichelstowe Southern relief road recently had its signage erected. M4 West traffic is pointed, via Rushy Platt and that god-awful 3-way junction at the Mannington railway bridge, towards J16 via the morning misery of the Mannington Road roundabout and the subsequent crawl to the already 20% over-capacity Junction 16.

Time is upon us when we actually need a J15a - the time to install it was when ground was broken at Wichelstowe, not 10 years after the last house has been built.

???

I thought that road was going to go through a tunnel under the M4 to link upto Hay Lane / Wharf Road.

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Re: Eddy Shah interview
« Reply #7 on: June 06, 2011, 03:30:01 PM »
I said on another thread that I felt traffic in Swindon was gridlocked, and a few people disgareed. That said, draw a triangle linking Mannington Roundabout, J 16 and Mead way and the traffic within it isn't moving that quickly most mornings or evenings.

The Wichelstowe junction on to WB way looks like it could cause one or two issues and may increase the number of lost lorries that ram into the bridge, too.


Anyhow, has anyone else heard the theme park for Lyneham idea?


Offline Tobes

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Re: Eddy Shah interview
« Reply #8 on: June 06, 2011, 03:41:06 PM »
Hmmm.

I'm not sure I agree with the anti-airport logic - looks false to me. After all, how far is Stanstead from anywhere else? How close are Heathrow Gatwick and Stanstead? The point is not where customers are coming from so much as where the flights are going to. Bristols list of destinations is really quite limited.

As for Eddy's 'plan B' - you could ascribe exactly the same list of objects to its location as to the airport. It also has the de-ja-vu ring of 'back of a fag packet' thinking to it. Maybe I'm being unfair, but where's the detail?

- Is he proposing to fund it?
- Is there a realistic potential customer base for a 'theme park'?
- Is the commercial operation and the rather vacuous sounding 'greenification' aspects there as soft-soap to get the HOUSING (the bit he'll make his money on) nodded through? Looks like spin to me.

Given the construction costs of building an airfield and its associated infrastructure are impossibly huge, given that we have under capacity with our existing airports, doing anything else with the place other than flying aircraft out of it seems stoopidly wasteful to me:

- Locals are already used to the air traffic (probably more numerous and noisy as military traffic than the commercial would ever likely be)
- It's located very close to the M4 (an advantage NOT shared by Bristol or Bournemouth airports). In fact, its '1 hour from Bristol, Birmingham or London' is an ADVANTAGE as it could draw custom from any one of the three locations
- Its relatively close to a main railway link
- We'd finally have some viable custom for all of the bloody hotels springing up like toadstools across the town

If anyone really cares about the environment, re-using the site for aviation actually makes more sense than sticking up ticky-tack houses or seeing more air traffic and runways shoe-horned into some existing site.




« Last Edit: June 06, 2011, 04:15:10 PM by Tobes »
I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it - [attributed to] Voltaire... 'Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessita' - William of Occam.... 'You have a right to feel offended, but just cos you are offended doesn't mean you are right'

Offline the gorgon

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Re: Eddy Shah interview
« Reply #9 on: June 06, 2011, 04:46:32 PM »
Hmmm.

I'm not sure I agree with the anti-airport logic - looks false to me. After all, how far is Stanstead from anywhere else? How close are Heathrow Gatwick and Stanstead? The point is not where customers are coming from so much as where the flights are going to. Bristols list of destinations is really quite limited.

Trouble is the airlines won't go anywhere until they are sure that customers will come.  Stanstead is 40miles from the centre of London, Lyneham is 90miles, if it takes an hour to get to Stanstead it'll take 2 to get to Lyneham.

I'm more anti-another thing people will laugh at Swindon for than anything else (I'm also perhaps rather too cynical).  As I said if this had been done 15 years ago it could have been a winner.
 

Quote
As for Eddy's 'plan B' - you could ascribe exactly the same list of objects to its location as to the airport. It also has the de-ja-vu ring of 'back of a fag packet' thinking to it. Maybe I'm being unfair, but where's the detail?

- Is he proposing to fund it?
- Is there a realistic potential customer base for a 'theme park'?
- Is the commercial operation and the rather vacuous sounding 'greenification' aspects there as soft-soap to get the HOUSING (the bit he'll make his money on) nodded through? Looks like spin to me.

I agree. Thing is Wiltshire council has to get houses built somewhere, ideally close to Swindon and they get to decide if Lyneham should be earmarked for housing or not in their local development plan.  Housing could cause them short-term pain, but in the long term people will forget (how many remember the battles over the front garden development in Swindon).

Quote
Given the construction costs of building an airfield and its associated infrastructure are impossibly huge, given that we have under capacity with our existing airports, doing anything else with the place other than flying aircraft out of it seems stoopidly wasteful to me:

- Locals are already used to the air traffic (probably more numerous and noisy as military traffic than the commercial)
- It's located very close to the M4 (an advantage NOT shared by Bristol or Bournemouth airports). In fact, its '1 hour from Bristol, Birmingham or London' is an ADVANTAGE as it could draw custom from any one of the three locations
- Its relatively close to a main railway link
- We'd finally have some viable custom for all of the bloody hotels springing up like toadstools across the town

You still need to build a terminal, which costs £££ and no-one knows how big the potential market will be.  Inertia is a powerful force, especially if there is no good reason to go elsewhere. There must be some good reasons why this feasibility study I've heard about said Lyneham was unsuitable.

Locals will put-up with a lot more from the military (logistical support for our brave troops in Afghanistan) than they would from civilians (creme de la creme of British society off to Ibiza). 

The minute an airport is proposed I would expect to see massive protests against it, far more than for housing etc. The complaints would go on for years and years as people would have to put up with the noise for years and years - just look at Redlands airfield. As I said earlier Wiltshire council are a big player here and they don't care if Swindonians would like an airport.  They care if the people of Wootton Bassett, Calne, Chippenham etc. are going to complain about aircraft noise and increased traffic.

Quote
If anyone really cares about the environment, re-using the site for aviation actually makes more sense than sticking up ticky-tack houses or seeing more air traffic and runways shoe-horned into some existing site.

Trouble is these existing airports are a known quanity, so less risk for the airlines and airport operators.

If a company like BAA came along wanting to develop Lyneham, I'd be a lot less cynical.  However, my fear is someone like our great mate Rikki will come along (which is why the 'holiday resort' plans bother me) set-up a company call AviationCity, get a load of money off Wiltshire council and get nowhere.

Feel free to call me cynical - maybe it's what comes from being a born and bred Swindonian. :wink:

Offline moley

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Re: Eddy Shah interview
« Reply #10 on: June 06, 2011, 06:46:32 PM »
I'm also not convinced.... from here Heathrow, Bristol, Southampton and Birmingham are all very accessible (also "London Oxford"..... but I'm not sure who (outside Swindon residents would use an airport at Lyneham.  Heathrow is more convenient for Reading and Oxford... Bristol for Bath and Bristol, Birmingham for Cheltenham and Gloucester.

I can't see the catchment being big enough to attract sufficient routes.

(Someone commented about Stanstead - but one of the things they have sorted out is fairly good rail links to Liverpool Street which might not be easy to do for Lyneham).  Plus the policies on airline tax are not likely to encourage speculative new routes (if the tax is payable per flight it makes it expensive to open a new route unless you are certain that your plane would be full).

I would use an airport if one was there - but only if there were flights to the right destination (with me I pick my destination and then work out where to fly from, not the other way round).  It's also not clear that there are the right employers in the Swindon area to generate traffic (e.g. flights from Bristol to Bremen and Madrid are usually full of Airbus employees).

Moley


Offline Mart

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Re: Eddy Shah interview
« Reply #11 on: June 06, 2011, 07:50:59 PM »
It could be a bustling seaport, just need a canal to link it to the sea.

Maybe a spaceport....

Solar panel farm

Or left to return to nature while people bicker over it, pr'raps we should invest in a vibrate feature cos that's what people want. Apparently.

Invest in your military and you generate jobs, cut your military and it's not just the uniformed that suffer.

Tricky one, how big is it anyway?
Sometimes I think you have to march right in and demand your rights, even if you don’t know what your rights are, or who the person is you’re talking to. Then, on the way out, slam the door.

Offline moley

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Re: Eddy Shah interview
« Reply #12 on: June 06, 2011, 08:00:37 PM »

Solar panel farm



Saw this article today and thought it was a great idea.. how to put in solar panels in a way that minimizes the land wasted...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/jun/06/tunnel-solar-belgium-rail

Offline Mart

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Re: Eddy Shah interview
« Reply #13 on: June 06, 2011, 08:14:26 PM »
O that very subject I have got a couple of flyers offering free solar panels where I enjoy the much reduced tariff and the supplier gets to flog the surplus (I may install 42 immersion heaters)

Anyone got any experience in such matters, seems a bit too good to be true for a somewhat jaded chap like meself.

I like it in every way but is it really that straightforward?
Sometimes I think you have to march right in and demand your rights, even if you don’t know what your rights are, or who the person is you’re talking to. Then, on the way out, slam the door.

Offline Emma Faramarzi

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Re: Eddy Shah interview
« Reply #14 on: June 06, 2011, 09:10:25 PM »
Full plan:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/daveharvey/2011/03/30/LynehamPropoalsEddyShah.pdf

Just to get rid of the concrete on the site to even let it return back to nature would cost £100 million.

Offline Chav

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Re: Eddy Shah interview
« Reply #15 on: June 06, 2011, 09:37:41 PM »
It could be a bustling seaport, just need a canal to link it to the sea.

Maybe a spaceport....

Solar panel farm

Or left to return to nature while people bicker over it, pr'raps we should invest in a vibrate feature cos that's what people want. Apparently.

Invest in your military and you generate jobs, cut your military and it's not just the uniformed that suffer.

Tricky one, how big is it anyway?


Here you go Mart

http://www.tecg.co.uk/solar-panels-landing.aspx?_$ja=tsid:28647&subID=CD4315&al3=emi003&utm_source=IntellaEmail&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=Q1testplan
"Politics is the skilled use of blunt objects." -- Lester B. Pearson.

Offline concerned_of_Old_Town

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Re: Eddy Shah interview
« Reply #16 on: June 06, 2011, 09:54:14 PM »
Only just seen the thread.  Is the show repeated or is there an equivalent of iplayer?

Offline Des Morgan

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Re: Eddy Shah interview
« Reply #17 on: June 06, 2011, 10:02:41 PM »
Quote
On that very subject I have got a couple of flyers offering free solar panels where I enjoy the much reduced tariff and the supplier gets to flog the surplus (I may install 42 immersion heaters)

Unless you have a predominantly SOUTH facing roof - and i really do mean at least 75% of your roof will be exposed to sunlight for the greater part of the day - you really should stop and think whether this is for you.

Offline Des Morgan

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Re: Eddy Shah interview
« Reply #18 on: June 06, 2011, 10:06:43 PM »
Quote
Just to get rid of the concrete on the site to even let it return back to nature would cost £100 million

Emma - just imagine what the environmental clean up costs would be?  Seventy plus years of chemicals leaching into the soil, fuel oil and other contaminants too numerous too mention which will require an intensive remediation plan - i suspect the costs would be at least equal to if not higher than the cost of removing the concrete.

Offline Tobes

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Re: Eddy Shah interview
« Reply #19 on: June 06, 2011, 10:23:39 PM »
Why not just simply turn the place into a huge piece of public amenity land, a la Greenham common? Make it a wildlife haven. A real resource for the WHOLE community and a potential tourist draw?
I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it - [attributed to] Voltaire... 'Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessita' - William of Occam.... 'You have a right to feel offended, but just cos you are offended doesn't mean you are right'