Home Accessibility Courses Twitter The Mouth Facebook Resources Site Map About Us Contact
 
Python and Tcl - public course schedule [here]
Private courses on your site - see [here]
Please ask about maintenance training for Perl, PHP, Lua, etc
 
An afternoon at a public enquiry

[Part of my report into that strange day - 26th June 2007 - index]

Enquiry in Public into the Regional Spatial Strategy

You'll probably look at that title and say "Eh?" and "WHAT?". The Regional Spatial Strategy has been prepared by the South West Regional Authority as a plan for where the part of the country from Swidndon to Penzance, and all points between, should be going for the next 20 years. With a wide variety of opinions, the Enquiry in Public is being held in Exeter, with a panel of 4 examiners taking inputs from pre-signed-up interested parties, the SWRA representative having a chance to come back at the end of each sub-section to comment.

The RSS document itself is a hefty tome, and appears to be so generalised as to be incomprehensible at times. But in fact it's full of tightly worded paragraphs which I have no doubt may be quoted back and referred to as policy in the coming decades ... as in "we can't do that because it's not allowed by the regional policy" to some sensible ideas. So distant, general and obtuse but perhaps worth some effort.

But what an expense and effort is the "EIP"! Some 100 people were in that room in the Poshest Hotel in the centre of Exeter. Around 30 were seated at the square table - the examiners across one end, and other bodies down the sides and across the opposite end. And rows of seats behind allowed other briefers to observer and talk to their representatives during sessions.

I was there at the invitation of the a group who are opposed to current plans for a bypass to the east of Westbury (their informaion) to answer a single question, worded as follows: "Does the draft RSS give adequate weight to the contribution that the existing rail network might make to the reduction in car travel, particularly in the Bristol area".

There were 7 such questions scheduled for the afternoon, and this was the third one. And the afternoon already started 20 minutes late after a morning over-run. Two questions had been discussed and there was just a few minutes left until what I had been assured would be the finishing time, but the session chair carried on never the less, asking everyone to be brief, and postponing the remaining questions to the following day.

How did I do? Frankly, I don't know. It's one of those scenarios where everyone is looking to score points with the inspectors. I do know that nearly everyone one who spoke - every single person but with one exception - stated that the RS draft did NOT make such adequate weight. How could it possible do so when three of the regions's railways (including that from Swindon via Melksham to Westbury) had been left off the maps? When talk of investment in the plan was non-explicit in transport modes and talked about improvements as if they were to be road only? But the technical / transport stuff is a subject for elsewhere. (draft of my comments)

I was struck by the organisaion and cost of the enquiry. This was just one afternoon on 10 weeks of public hearings - 50 days. So that's 5000 man-days. About a half of those were civil servants / public sector employes of some sort, paid for out of my taxes and yours. Few of them (if any) will live very close to the hotel in Exeter, so many are commuting long distances or staying over. Let's say that a civil servant "place" costs 200 pounds a day for his / her salary, plus a further 150 a day for hotel and subsistance or travel. So that's the best part of a million pounds for the civil servant part of the audience.

But that's only a tiny part of the cost, isn't it? The civil servants are all prepared and briefed, aren't they? I would guess at one day in their office / preparing for each day at "the show". And I would estimate that there's a further team member back at base, putiing in the same time, for each one on the stand.

I wonder how much that room costs to hire? I know I paid 1.50 for a cup of instant coffee during the afternoon break so it was NOT all a freebie (but I have no doubt that those present at public expense will claim back!). And looking wider, the drawing up, printing of the RSS and all the other activities probably make this EIP pale in cost into insignificance. I really hope it's worth it; I utterly appreciate the need for a strategy going forward, but I really wonder at the methodology.

Partial list of organistions attending ...

Government Office South West
Regional Development Authority
Highways Agency (but no rail equivalent noted)
South West Regional assembly
South East Strategic Authorities
North East Strategic Authorities
West of England Strategic Authorities
Somerset and Devon Strategic Authorities
Pensinsula Stratrgic Authorities
Confedearion of British Industry
Pegasus Planning
Poole Harbour Commissioners
Bristol Ports Authority
Campaign for the Protection of Rural England
Transport 2000
Friends of Suburban Bristol Railways
Westbury Bypass Alliance
Bristol Civic Society
Friends of the Earth
Natural Enland
SW Chamber of Rural Transport
Campaign against South Bristol Ringroad
(written 2007-06-27)

 
Associated topics are indexed as below, or enter http://melksh.am/nnnn for individual articles
Z300 - Politics and Religion
  [4737] Why you should vote for Lisa in Melksham Central - (2017-05-01)
  [4735] Revisiting - should I stand for Melksham Without Parish Council in May? - (2017-02-24)
  [4734] Thoughts on the new Blackmore Ward of Melksham Without Parish - (2017-02-22)
  [4729] The oldest part of Los Angeles - (2016-11-23)
  [4725] Writing Python 2 such that Python 3 is easy - (2016-11-06)
  [4720] Celebrating our diversity rather than discriminating for it - (2016-11-02)
  [4625] Where does Wiltshire bus subsidy money come from? - (2016-01-19)
  [4614] PC Plod - alive and scaremongering in Wiltshire? - (2016-01-04)
  [4597] Not standing as your local councillor - (2015-12-18)
  [4548] Melksham - two small townships, or one big one? - (2015-10-22)
  [4489] Election results - what if we had a party list system? - (2015-05-08)
  [4485] Misusing statistics? - the seedy side of election campaigning - (2015-05-04)
  [4476] Upcoming election - Chippenham Constituency - the major candidates compared - (2015-04-29)
  [4354] Wiltshire Police - assuming someone is guilty just on the say-so of a member of the public? - (2014-12-16)
  [4343] Politics and the railway the connects Wiltshire - (2014-12-06)
  [4286] Reaction in Radstock to new First bus prices - (2014-07-12)
  [4275] Eurpoean Elections, and other elections ahead. Some thoughts on campaigns and policies - (2014-05-08)
  [4223] Democracy - alive and well with the beauty pagent starting up again - (2013-12-16)
  [4079] Melksham Area - Unitary Council results, May 2013 - (2013-05-04)
  [3921] On rememberance, on war, and on preventing the war cycle - (2012-11-11)
  [3905] How should we choose our Wiltshire Police and Crime Commissioner? - (2012-10-27)
  [3845] Good cause giving - getting the charity beggars off the street - (2012-08-21)
  [3806] 2011 Census results - initial figures for Wiltshire. - (2012-07-17)
  [3676] Rising prices, changing habits and society - (2012-03-31)
  [3592] Are we one man, one vote? No, and we never have been. - (2012-01-26)
  [3438] Melksham to become a part of Trowbridge? - (2011-09-13)
  [3325] The Olympic Torch, and Melksham House - (2011-06-14)
  [3323] Is Melksham town centre dying? - (2011-06-11)
  [3313] What does our MP do on a Bank Holiday? - (2011-05-30)
  [3264] Alternative Vote (AV) - explaining and an example - (2011-04-25)
  [3051] Positively reforming the system - could it be done? - (2010-11-14)
  [2971] Should the public sector compete with businesses? and other deep questions - (2010-09-26)
  [2948] Melksham shamefully makes the national headlines - (2010-09-07)
  [2870] Old prices - what would the equivalent price have been in 1966? - (2010-07-14)
  [2864] Changing with weather and seasons - (2010-07-10)
  [2856] Two sides of the coin - (2010-07-06)
  [2824] A pint of Black Rat, and a lazy barman - (2010-06-25)
  [2792] Should Government compete with private industry? - (2010-06-03)
  [2757] Bodicea, Lincoln, and our new MP - (2010-05-09)
  [2752] Voting day - UK General Election - (2010-05-06)
  [2740] Melksham Hustings at George Ward School - (2010-04-26)
  [2712] A more informed decision than ever before - (2010-04-08)
  [2689] Can my dog eat potatoes? Doggie Dietary Research, and political sleaze! - (2010-03-23)
  [2640] How is your tax pound spent? - (2010-02-18)
  [2353] All change - Wiltshire Parliamentary - (2009-08-13)
  [2288] Wiltshire Community Area Partnerships - (2009-07-15)
  [2279] Understanding the new local government structure in Wiltshire - (2009-07-11)
  [2270] Wiltshire - a chance to improve life for everybody - (2009-07-05)
  [2257] Ramblings on church and state linkage in Melksham - (2009-06-25)
  [2206] Spot the odd one out - (2009-05-29)
  [2178] Melksham Candidates for Wiltshire Unitary Election - (2009-05-12)
  [2075] Supporting Parkinsons and Trains - (2009-03-11)
  [2028] Things people say on the phone - (2009-02-06)
  [2012] The Wiltshire Police - (2009-01-29)
  [1987] One Cheer for Local Democracy - Asda in Melksham - (2009-01-11)
  [1882] Wiltshire Council says - part 2 - (2008-11-14)
  [1881] Wiltshire Council says - part 1 - (2008-11-13)
  [1872] Barack Obama wins US Predidency - (2008-11-05)
  [1769] July child ponders on August children - (2008-08-23)
  [1729] Back from the future - (2008-07-30)
  [1579] Rome, and the faith of Rome - (2008-03-17)
  [1573] Budget tax increases hit vehicle market - (2008-03-14)
  [1526] Carers at work - court case changes - (2008-02-01)
  [1428] Travel Across Wiltshire - the game - (2007-11-11)
  [1386] New software product for warmblooded programmers - (2007-10-10)
  [1350] FSB (Federation of Small Businesses) Western Region - (2007-09-13)
  [1260] An inspirational business talk from one of our prospective MPs - (2007-07-06)
  [1175] Local elections - choosing who to vote for - (2007-05-03)
  [1135] Government pressure on me to shut up after I make the papers - (2007-04-05)
  [1109] False imprisonment - a contrast from the news - (2007-03-15)
  [1060] What a relief from the tax office. - (2007-02-01)
  [1003] Room at the Inn, Guy at the station - (2006-12-21)
  [967] Realistic on line shoot'em up - (2006-12-05)
  [875] Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones - (2006-09-22)
  [780] Separation and Integration - (2006-06-27)
  [750] Almost everyone loses - (2006-06-07)
  [696] Is than an uphill or downhill task? - (2006-04-23)
  [682] Iran has enriched uranium ... - (2006-04-12)
  [674] Wiltshire to get an extra MP - (2006-04-07)
  [671] Both ends of the animal - (2006-04-05)
  [607] On being British - (2006-02-14)
  [602] MP face to face - (2006-02-12)
  [539] rich and famous - (2005-12-23)
  [505] Would you steal ... petrol? ... a training course? - (2005-11-26)
  [469] Yesterday was Kiss and Ride - (2005-10-19)
  [415] Campaign Drift and efficiency. - (2005-08-15)
  [384] Managing conflict and disappointment - (2005-07-20)
  [377] A Strengthened City - (2005-07-14)
  [335] Sad priorities - (2005-06-03)
  [326] UK Tax payment totals and where the money is spent - (2005-05-27)
  [313] Making bona fide international marriages more difficult - (2005-05-16)
  [301] General Election day, UK - (2005-05-05)
  [289] MP for Devizes, Wiltshire - (2005-04-23)
  [280] Spotted - the local MP - (2005-04-15)
  [257] Politics gets nasty. Must be an election coming up. - (2005-03-25)
  [216] Cheap purchase - votes paid for with selfish promises - (2005-02-15)


Back to
An oddball day. Strange experiences!
Previous and next
or
Horse's mouth home
Forward to
How NOT to oversell a hotel
Some other Articles
Substitute operator / modifiers in Perl
Business speed networking - a place tonight!
Is this how to run a business for businesses?
How NOT to oversell a hotel
An afternoon at a public enquiry
An oddball day. Strange experiences!
Ensuring that our tutor answers YOUR questions
FolksFest Bristol - German beer, Bratwurst and music
Heavy duty hole punch
Speaking at St. Catherine's College, Oxford University
4759 posts, page by page
Link to page ... 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96 at 50 posts per page


This is a page archived from The Horse's Mouth at http://www.wellho.net/horse/ - the diary and writings of Graham Ellis. Every attempt was made to provide current information at the time the page was written, but things do move forward in our business - new software releases, price changes, new techniques. Please check back via our main site for current courses, prices, versions, etc - any mention of a price in "The Horse's Mouth" cannot be taken as an offer to supply at that price.

Link to Ezine home page (for reading).
Link to Blogging home page (to add comments).

You can Add a comment or ranking to this page

© WELL HOUSE CONSULTANTS LTD., 2019: 404 The Spa • Melksham, Wiltshire • United Kingdom • SN12 6QL
PH: 01225 708225 • EMAIL: info@wellho.net • WEB: http://www.wellho.net • SKYPE: wellho

PAGE: http://www.wellho.net/mouth/1247_An- ... quiry.html • PAGE BUILT: Sat May 27 16:49:10 2017 • BUILD SYSTEM: WomanWithCat