Ah, yes, the money. Someone told me that …

Comment posted on Council suspends Helensburgh CHORD Colquhoun Square redesign by Stephen Mackenzie

Ah, yes, the money. Someone told me that the money was in fact a PFI style loan. Is there any truth to that?

And yes, another delay in a town that does nothing to delay, but you can only do CHORD once and it’s important that it’s done right, and concerned with more than appearances.

Stephen Mackenzie also commented

  • Well, actually, buses are a case in point. We have an opportunity to move the main bus stops to outside the station, to create what’s known in other places as a bus station, and fix the slightly unsafe “wrong way” taxi rank there. It’s this kind of detail that the CHORD plan didn’t seem to consider at all.
  • Thanks, George. Glad to see there’s no PFI involved.

Recent comments by Stephen Mackenzie

powered by SEO Super Comments

Share and Enjoy:
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
  • email
  • LinkedIn
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Ma.gnolia
  • NewsVine
  • StumbleUpon
  • SphereIt
  • Reddit
  • Slashdot
  • Print

14 Responses to Ah, yes, the money. Someone told me that …

  1. Ah, yes, the money. Someone told me that the money was in fact a PFI style loan. Is there any truth to that?

    And yes, another delay in a town that does nothing to delay, but you can only do CHORD once and it’s important that it’s done right, and concerned with more than appearances.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  2. Stephen, I can confirm that there is no PFI relating to the CHORD project. The funding is the same as any other capital project and the Council will have to borrow the money and repay it over the next 25 years.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  3. Councillor George Freeman: do you not mean The council will borrow the money and the tax payer will pay it back

    Governments and councils have no money except that gifted by the tax payer when will you people learn this? maybe if you did you might act responsibly with our money

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • I think you are maybe being a bit too critical regarding George’s use of words there (i.e. Council rather than taxpayer). In all my years working in and around councils I can say with some assurance that most, not all I will grant you, councillors are fully aware that they are charged with spending public money and they do take that responsibility seriously (and I should add that I include members of the current and former A&B administration in this).

      I think sometimes some councillors are not financially savvy enough to properly understand the implications of some decisions, especially when it comes to complex capital schemes and the long term impact of servicing debt however this is where Council officers need to provide good, and clear, advice.
      Specifically with reference to George (and James Robb) they are certainly councillors who need little advice when it comes to understanding the revenue streams of the Council and the financial aspects of policy decisions.

      Regarding the main story I am delighted to see there is going to be an opportunity for a rethink. The previous scheme was a bit of a monstrosity and, in my opinion, would not have been money well spent.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      • Integrity? Not in the CondemAll
        In the world of contracts “words” are very important
        Thanks for your reply, perhaps A&B council is not as bad as some English councils but time will tell. It will take time to learn about all the players within our new council, but I am sure the journey will be enjoyable

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  4. Let’s hope that the splendid Comet Lamp Standards will be kept where they were designed to be.. It would be an insult to Billie Petrie to see them removed as soon as he retired from the Council.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  5. Great start for the new administration and James Robb in particular. The previous proposal for Colquhoun Square was horrendous and would have made the place look like a deserted runway for much of the time. It was also a recipe for traffic and transport chaos.

    Good luck with the informal consultation. What is needed is a smartening up of what currently exists, most especially the awful and highly dangerous roads and pavements. Do keep the Comet lamps, but some of them need refurbished.

    When you have finished all that, make daytime enforcement of the parking regulations in lower John Street a priority.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  6. Glad to hear about this completely idiotic plan being chucked in the same bin as the school close proposals.

    That bin must be quite full now :)

    Yes, keep the comet lights – its little touches of character like this that make the place somewhere people would want to be. Other than that, a general spruce up, more and better seating and making the place more open and welcoming.

    Perhaps a special zone for stalls and the Farmer’s Market etc for when they are there and bring back Helensburgh’s Artisan feel.

    Just a few ideas, but well done to the new administration – so far, a LISTENING administration! :)

    Have a nice day everyone, don’t get too crispy!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  7. Let’s hope one of the options is ‘keep it simple’. Leave the green where it is but pedestrianise the Square – except for local busses. Pave all the existing roads and pavements to match the South side as closely as possible; install plenty of benches ∧ discreet litter bins and provide two really attractive bus shelters. Refurbish the Comet lamps (they are being rewired anyway)…. and remember to allocate a budget for maintenance and keeping it all spick & span.
    As for the rest of the CHORD scheme – a waste of public money and a recipe for traffic congestion – particularly as and when the pier head is developed. Leave the money in the bank until it’s needed for proper sea defences and a promenade that’s not washed away each winter.
    Finally – having fought for this second bite at the consultation cherry and voted in a democratic administration, let’s hope the citizens turn out in numbers and register their opinions.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • Well, actually, buses are a case in point. We have an opportunity to move the main bus stops to outside the station, to create what’s known in other places as a bus station, and fix the slightly unsafe “wrong way” taxi rank there. It’s this kind of detail that the CHORD plan didn’t seem to consider at all.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  8. For Keith McMillan: I thought that it would be fairly clear to everyone that, as has been the case for many years, any capital funding borrowed by any local authority (or by the Scottish Government / Westminster Government etc) has to be paid back via income from taxation. That is the norm in a democratic society.

    As is the case with Argyll & Bute and other local authorities, this is paid back from income received from central Government (80%) and from local taxation (20%).

    You need to learn that money is not gifted by the tax payer to Government. If it was, most of us would withhold that gift (gift = something that is bestowed voluntarily). I could be pedantic and start to highlight the other sources of income out with taxation generated by local authorities but I do not see the point.

    You state that “Governments and councils have no money except that gifted by the tax payer” and ask “when will you people learn this”? As your statement is incorrect, then I do not believe that there is anything for me to learn from it.

    Although I am no finacial expert and do not profess to be, I believe that I have a very good knowledge relating to local government finance issues. I am glad to note that Integrity confirms this in his comments above.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • To Councillor George Freeman
      I guess you’re just a novice politician or perhaps the rare breed “Honest” politician. Not yet the master of the polimagician magic box of spin (but your answer is a little reminiscent of Duncan MacIntyre response to a different subject)
      “Democratic Society” LOL I will leave this subject for today, just in case you are indeed that honest rare breed. (Just a thought I wonder what the democratic society would have chosen for the banks in 2008)
      “You need to learn that money is not gifted by the tax payer to Government. If it was, most of us would withhold that gift (gift = something that is bestowed voluntarily)”.
      One question for you Councillor Have you ever seen an actual Bill for Council tax or any other tax? I think not
      We receive a “notice” to pay! not a Bill. so why do the public pay on just a notice? It’s a gift (Notice =gift = something that is bestowed voluntarily)”. (Perhaps you would like to look up Birkenhead Judge arrested {lawful Rebellion})
      As for the Tax Laws or most of our new laws they are Statutes! wonder what the legal definition of a statute is? {Blacks law dictionary is a good place to look}
      I think as a libertarian with my “Notice of Intent”, registered with the cabinet office and your Queen. I have a fair understanding of the polimagician created abusive Tax system and the corporate society we are forced to live in.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  9. I would have been delighted to have been asked to provide a landscape design for the Square. Having said that I have no idea what has happened there over the last two years. As the designer of the Comet street lights I was and remain delighted to see that local reaction is good or, depending what has happened, was good. My original design concept was take things beyond the street lights and design the Christmas lights and benches and bollards and, indeed, everything in the Square but paying close attention to the history of the burgh and listening carefully to locals to hear what they were saying.

    regards to all,

    alex macgregor,
    architect.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


All the latest comments (including yours) straight to your mailbox, everyday! Click here to subscribe.