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> £90,000 well spent?
Jonno
post Jun 13 2014, 10:18 AM
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From the Newbury Weekly News - "Over the next three months, six travel advisors will visit 5,000 homes in south Newbury and Greenham to record residents’ current travel habits and suggest alternative ways of travel.
The project – ‘change the way you move’ – is costing £90,000 – with £52,000 coming from West Berkshire Council"

Given the budget cuts on children, the disabled and the elderly in these times of austerity, do people really think this is the best use of our money?
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Turin Machine
post Jun 13 2014, 10:44 AM
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Err, nope.


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motormad
post Jun 13 2014, 11:20 AM
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Absolutely not.


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Andy Capp
post Jun 13 2014, 11:39 AM
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I'd be interested to see how successful the initiative would be in the middle of winter! The sad fact is half of Newbury is on a steep hill and public transport is not what some would like to be. Not only that, people like owning and driving cars.

I wish they had an on-line form, I'd be happy to explain my routine!
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blackdog
post Jun 13 2014, 12:14 PM
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There does seem to be one useful element of this plan - which is lost in the middle of the article. They are going to collect information about residents travel habits - which should be really useful in the planning of future infrastucture changes.

But is it worth £52K of WBC cash? I'm not convinced.
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Andy Capp
post Jun 13 2014, 12:27 PM
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I like the reply when asked about Sandleford:

QUOTE
When asked if she thought that the project’s aim of reducing pollution proved campaigners’ point that Sandleford was not a suitable site for 2,000 houses, Mrs Cole said: “I have already expressed my views on Sandleford – that is another issue separate to the travel plan. The mitigation we are proposing for Sandleford is sufficient.”

A fob-off reply if there ever was one. The fact the survey is being undertaken undermines her statement.
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gel
post Jun 13 2014, 12:57 PM
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Cllr Cole has a poor history re listening to voters/ fooling voters eg introducing fortnightly bin collections with a shoddy survey with tiny % of electorate being included.
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Andy Capp
post Jun 13 2014, 01:41 PM
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Yes, in other words, we've got Sandleford coming up, so would you stop using your car please! tongue.gif
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MontyPython
post Jun 13 2014, 03:29 PM
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Looks like WBC is overstaffed and overfunded then - more cuts anyone!
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Lolly
post Jun 13 2014, 06:36 PM
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QUOTE (Jonno @ Jun 13 2014, 11:18 AM) *
From the Newbury Weekly News - "Over the next three months, six travel advisors will visit 5,000 homes in south Newbury and Greenham to record residents’ current travel habits and suggest alternative ways of travel.
The project – ‘change the way you move’ – is costing £90,000 – with £52,000 coming from West Berkshire Council"

Given the budget cuts on children, the disabled and the elderly in these times of austerity, do people really think this is the best use of our money?


Even without the budget cuts it would not imo be money well spent. How much would an online survey cost in comparison?

It also seems very intrusive - a bit like the chuggers who cold call.

As an aside I wonder how the Councillors who voted this idea through got to the Council meeting. Perhaps they should conduct a survey amongst themselves.
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blackdog
post Jun 13 2014, 07:05 PM
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QUOTE (Lolly @ Jun 13 2014, 07:36 PM) *
Even without the budget cuts it would not imo be money well spent. How much would an online survey cost in comparison?

An online survey would be cheap - but most residents would not fill it in, rendering it pointless. A postal survey might get better coverage but probably no more than 50%

QUOTE (Lolly @ Jun 13 2014, 07:36 PM) *
It also seems very intrusive - a bit like the chuggers who cold call.

To be fair the only way to get good coverage for a survey is to cold call (by phone or door knocker).


QUOTE (Lolly @ Jun 13 2014, 07:36 PM) *
As an aside I wonder how the Councillors who voted this idea through got to the Council meeting. Perhaps they should conduct a survey amongst themselves.

I very much doubt that any councillors voted this idea through - WBC doesn't work that way. Most councillors have pretty much nothing to do since they abolished all the committees that used to scrutinise ideas like this. Nowadays a council employee comes up with an idea, convinces his/her boss(es) and they then take it to the Executive Member responsible for their department (the only councillor involved in most cases) - if the Exec Member approves it then it goes ahead.
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On the edge
post Jun 13 2014, 07:16 PM
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QUOTE (Lolly @ Jun 13 2014, 07:36 PM) *
Even without the budget cuts it would not imo be money well spent. How much would an online survey cost in comparison?

It also seems very intrusive - a bit like the chuggers who cold call.

As an aside I wonder how the Councillors who voted this idea through got to the Council meeting. Perhaps they should conduct a survey amongst themselves.



I wonder how many legitimate sales people will start using that patter as part of their intro. script...'ding dong'. Hello madam, I expect you've seen in the local paper (holds copy of NWN out) that a survey is going on, have you a few minutes at the moment......

Oh well, let's just put it down to mid summer madness!


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MontyPython
post Jun 13 2014, 07:45 PM
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QUOTE (blackdog @ Jun 13 2014, 08:05 PM) *
I very much doubt that any councillors voted this idea through - WBC doesn't work that way. Most councillors have pretty much nothing to do since they abolished all the committees that used to scrutinise ideas like this. Nowadays a council employee comes up with an idea, convinces his/her boss(es) and they then take it to the Executive Member responsible for their department (the only councillor involved in most cases) - if the Exec Member approves it then it goes ahead.


So employee notices he and his chums are short of holiday money. Comes up with idea. It's OK chaps £90k in the overtime pot- job done!

Who says democracy is dead - only the paying public!
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Lolly
post Jun 13 2014, 07:49 PM
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QUOTE (blackdog @ Jun 13 2014, 08:05 PM) *
I very much doubt that any councillors voted this idea through - WBC doesn't work that way. Most councillors have pretty much nothing to do since they abolished all the committees that used to scrutinise ideas like this. Nowadays a council employee comes up with an idea, convinces his/her boss(es) and they then take it to the Executive Member responsible for their department (the only councillor involved in most cases) - if the Exec Member approves it then it goes ahead.


I stand corrected! If that is how 'democracy' works in West Berkshire it explains a lot. Are we to assume that Hilary Cole is the Exec Member responsible then? Perhaps she could survey her own transport choices? And remember that many West Berkshire residents don't work in central Newbury or locally ( within walking or cycling distance).
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Exhausted
post Jun 13 2014, 08:49 PM
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QUOTE (Lolly @ Jun 13 2014, 08:49 PM) *
I stand corrected! If that is how 'democracy' works in West Berkshire it explains a lot. Are we to assume that Hilary Cole is the Exec Member responsible then? Perhaps she could survey her own transport choices? And remember that many West Berkshire residents don't work in central Newbury or locally ( within walking or cycling distance).


I think that the hidden agenda which identifies what people's habits are is a bit disconcerting. As far as catching a bus or cycling, I doubt that is something I would want to do, it's so much easier to grab the keys and go when I want to go. There are no bus stops within miles of where I work (apart from the Vodafone busses of course which are up and down like a w....s drawers) so that's a non event for me.

Money badly spent employing part timers. Nice work if you can get it.

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Ron
post Jun 13 2014, 09:25 PM
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Quote: To be fair the only way to get good coverage for a survey is to cold call (by phone or door knocker).

I thought cold calling was illegal?
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On the edge
post Jun 13 2014, 09:31 PM
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I tried one of those Jet Black busses a couple of weeks back, incredible! Quite comfortable, but the journey! The roads down which it is required to travel are amost impossible. It ain't comfortable bumping about on road humps in a double decker. Neither are the lurches and twists as it inches it's way round housing estates. Then there is the new Hospital, even though the entrance to Turnpike Road had recently been redone, the bus still can't easily turn. Guess where the geniuses who design the roads and bus routes work? Little wonder no one uses buses, don't need a survey, just take a ride.

One good thing, I now have great respect for the drivers!

Strikes me that the survey money would be better spent on a staff education in communications!


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blackdog
post Jun 13 2014, 09:38 PM
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QUOTE (Lolly @ Jun 13 2014, 08:49 PM) *
I stand corrected! If that is how 'democracy' works in West Berkshire it explains a lot. Are we to assume that Hilary Cole is the Exec Member responsible then? Perhaps she could survey her own transport choices? And remember that many West Berkshire residents don't work in central Newbury or locally ( within walking or cycling distance).

Hilary Cole is an Exec Member and she's the one talking it up - so I'd guess she's the one who signed it off.

Reading also went over to the Executive style of governance when WBC did (councils were empowered to decide to adopt this new style or stick with the old committee based management system about 10 years ago). Last year they decided it was undemocratic and reverted to the committee system. Sadly WBC has shown no sign of doing the same.

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MontyPython
post Jun 14 2014, 12:04 AM
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If they are so keen to ensure people walk or cycle they should do away with free parking for council employees in the public car parks.

But that doesn't fit with the non- democratic approach that WBC adopts.
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Cognosco
post Jun 14 2014, 08:59 AM
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It just beggars belief that they want to spend £90 grand on a survey to tell them what everyone who doesn't work for WBC knows?
There are too many cars on the p**ss poor roads that they have done nothing about over the years and are still at a loss as to what to do about it! That there is very little public transport choice for the times and areas that people want to travel from and to! angry.gif


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