Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Is One Barnet Riddled too?

RAIL UNION RMT today demanded that the Government call a halt to the 18 month long saga of the Siemens/Thameslink fleet contract after it emerged from questions asked by Derby MP and RMT Parliamentary Group Member Chis Williamson that officials are now looking at an alternative as the deal is no closer to sign-off and is clearly riddled with serious contamination.
 In the answers to PQs that Chris Williamson tabled –below – it emerges that the DFT are actively “assessing options were it not possible to secure financial close”. RMT believes that the only alternative option is the UK train-building plant at Bombardier in Derby.
 The answers also suggest the timetable for the delivery of the rolling stock has slipped (the original ministerial statement last year said the first new train would be on the network by the start of 2015 and the “order complete by the middle of 2017”).   The new answers say  “We expect the first trains to be delivered for testing on the network in summer 2015 and deployment of the full fleet to be completed towards the end of 2018.”
 As a result of the continuing chaos – which mirrors the West Coast fiasco and involves the same DFT officials - RMT is calling for the Thameslink contract, 18 months after it was awarded in principle to German outfit Siemens, to be handed to Bombardier in Derby, protecting the future of the last train builder in the nation that gave the railways to the world.
 The game is clearly up for this deal which is riddled with the same flaws as the West Coast main line fiasco.  But what lessons will Barnet Tories learn from this and other contracts that have faced the same defects? What will they learn from other councils that have put the brakes or completely stopped their outsourcing as they saw the dangers in time?
I sadly think nothing.  Central office had to step in at the last minute to suspend their wayward councillor, maybe they will have to on One Barnet

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Were we deceived

Were we deceived or were we just
blinded by the facts we were told.

We were told at many a meeting, public and otherwise, that we would have a landmark library in North Finchley. The fine people of Friern Barnet were told they had to see the greater good.  That the closure of their beloved library was part of a bigger and better plan.

We were led to believe that this landmark library, the merger of North Finchley and Friern Barnet at the artsdepot, would be an event, marking an important stage a turning point into something big and shiny.

Today we heard that this is not to be. The merger of both libraries into a landmark provision in the Theatre will not be happening. Now there are many definitions of a merger one would be the absorption of a lesser estate into a greater one or the consolidation of two corporations into a better one. Sadly it appears what we have is a blend of something that will become indistinguishable from what it was and what we were promised.

At times we outgrow acquaintances, principles and even our libraries even before they have worn out. But worst before we even have new ones. In this casw we appear to have nothing.

Is it any wonder people feel mislead and deceived.

What now for our libraries? When will the so called improvements happen at North Finchley Library? What will be the cost? AND what has been the cost to date of this omnishambles to the tax payer and our children?

'Tis well to borrow from the good and great;
'Tis wise to learn; 'tis God-like to create!

The Library

John Godfrey SAXE (1816-1887)