"Out-of-county, out-of-date, inefficient and dirty”: Incinerator not worth another £40m debt for Herefordshire Council says It's Our County

Ledbury Reporter: "Out-of-county, out-of-date, inefficient and dirty” incinerator not worth another £40m debt for Herefordshire Council - It's Our County "Out-of-county, out-of-date, inefficient and dirty” incinerator not worth another £40m debt for Herefordshire Council - It's Our County

OPPOSITION group It’s Our County (IOC) says an “out-of-county, out-of-date, inefficient and dirty” incinerator is not worth plunging Herefordshire Council a further £40m into debt.

IOC has today pledged to continue its fight against the incinerator plan and its need for a £40m loan from the council to get the plant built.

The council’s cabinet unanimously backed the plan yesterday (Thurs) and authorised the securing of the £40m from the Public Works Loans Board.

IOC deputy leader called cabinet support for the plan and subsequent justification of adding another £40m to the council’s debt burden “deeply questionable.”

“All this, to enable Herefordshire to become the minority shareholder in an out-of-county and out-of-date, inefficient and dirty municipal waste incinerator which will continue to see us shipping all of the county’s household and business waste into Worcestershire for the next 30 years,” she said.

IOC sees an alternative in low cost, high efficiency, high recycling, treatment, gasification and heat pumping technologies now reaching commissioning and operation. The group has repeatedly made the case such technologies during waste strategy debates.

“If we chose to go our own way, these technologies would be coping more cheaply with all our waste, and supplying cheap heat and energy to local businesses, within 3 years. But this out of date administration don’t seem to be able to join us in the 21st century,” said IOC leader Councillor Anthony Powers.

Earlier this week the plan was passed by the council’s overview and scrutiny committee amid claims that the decision stood not stand as the make-up of the committee no longer reflected the 29-29 balance of the council.

Committee chairman councillor Alan Seldon called the council’s handling of the issue “cagey” saying that, under questioning, the council was unable to confirm that its own auditors thought the proposed Hartlebury incinerator was good value for money.

Comments (107)

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9:51am Fri 13 Dec 13

TIM BUCK-TOO says...

Well put IOC! I think Cllr Powers is going to be a force to be reckoned with.

Why not build a state-of-the-art unit at Rotherwas (if £8M can be magiced out of thin air to build an Archive, surely a similar sum could be found for something as eco-friendly as a biomass incinerator?) so that when these hi-tech factory units which Roger Phillips has been promising for the last two years eventually materialise, they'd be heated via energy diverted from the waste incinerator.
Well put IOC! I think Cllr Powers is going to be a force to be reckoned with. Why not build a state-of-the-art unit at Rotherwas (if £8M can be magiced out of thin air to build an Archive, surely a similar sum could be found for something as eco-friendly as a biomass incinerator?) so that when these hi-tech factory units which Roger Phillips has been promising for the last two years eventually materialise, they'd be heated via energy diverted from the waste incinerator. TIM BUCK-TOO

10:19am Fri 13 Dec 13

Herefordian07 says...

Our beloved Tory cabinet constantly tell us to look to the future (hence the awful OLM development which looks more like a prison than a shopping centre) yet they are investing £40 million pounds in an archaic incinerator! Sums them up really - arrogant hypocrites.
Our beloved Tory cabinet constantly tell us to look to the future (hence the awful OLM development which looks more like a prison than a shopping centre) yet they are investing £40 million pounds in an archaic incinerator! Sums them up really - arrogant hypocrites. Herefordian07

11:11am Fri 13 Dec 13

bobby47 says...

Bloody Council! Another kick in the testicals! Forty million quid and God knows how much more debt and still, even now, as we slide toward the icy waters of the bloody Lugg, they're still signing up to nonsensical drivel, dross and stuff we can't pay for. If ever they put me in charge, I'd gather the howling mob together and hurtle off toward the Town Hall to drag them screaming up to Haugh Woods where they'd be rolled around in nettles.
Mind, knowing our luck, they wouldn't be at the Town bloody Hall, they'd be up at Brockington.
Well that wouldn't stop me, I'd come out of the Town Hall and I'd say, 'bloody hell, they ain't here, we've gotta trudge all the way up bloody Hafod Hill'. And if the howling mob suddenly decided they'd lost interest, they wanted to go in the pub and put a ten quid each way on the three o'clock at Haydock? Well it wouldn't bother me. Not at all! I'd go up on my own and demand to fight each one of them. They don't scare me. Never have and never will. That's what we need. Buggar this strange sort of democracy that delivers us nothing but misery.
Bloody Hell! Forty million quid gone in the blink of an eye. Well if they'd all been rolled around in nettles for a couple of hours they'd think twice before delivering us more misery. I know I wouldn't appreciate it. I mean who would? If you'd been rolled around in nettles up Haugh Woods I wouldn't hear you say, 'goodness, I appreciated that'. Rubbish! Your more likely to scream, 'I resign. Take me home before I pass out'.
This Cabinet have gotta go !
Bloody Council! Another kick in the testicals! Forty million quid and God knows how much more debt and still, even now, as we slide toward the icy waters of the bloody Lugg, they're still signing up to nonsensical drivel, dross and stuff we can't pay for. If ever they put me in charge, I'd gather the howling mob together and hurtle off toward the Town Hall to drag them screaming up to Haugh Woods where they'd be rolled around in nettles. Mind, knowing our luck, they wouldn't be at the Town bloody Hall, they'd be up at Brockington. Well that wouldn't stop me, I'd come out of the Town Hall and I'd say, 'bloody hell, they ain't here, we've gotta trudge all the way up bloody Hafod Hill'. And if the howling mob suddenly decided they'd lost interest, they wanted to go in the pub and put a ten quid each way on the three o'clock at Haydock? Well it wouldn't bother me. Not at all! I'd go up on my own and demand to fight each one of them. They don't scare me. Never have and never will. That's what we need. Buggar this strange sort of democracy that delivers us nothing but misery. Bloody Hell! Forty million quid gone in the blink of an eye. Well if they'd all been rolled around in nettles for a couple of hours they'd think twice before delivering us more misery. I know I wouldn't appreciate it. I mean who would? If you'd been rolled around in nettles up Haugh Woods I wouldn't hear you say, 'goodness, I appreciated that'. Rubbish! Your more likely to scream, 'I resign. Take me home before I pass out'. This Cabinet have gotta go ! bobby47

11:18am Fri 13 Dec 13

Simon Brown says...

Despicable human scum. Sorry, I thought we were talking about North Korea. I'll get my coat.
Despicable human scum. Sorry, I thought we were talking about North Korea. I'll get my coat. Simon Brown

11:25am Fri 13 Dec 13

Woodbourne says...

cannot believe this has been passed. I am horrified. Surely the tax payers should have been consulted. What about the investigations by the Audit Commission? This is so wrong. John Herbert Smith you must be very ill informed to make your comment. Landfill is not the way forward but the council have not even looked into any alternative (and cheaper) methods as they are tied into a ridiculous contract. The councillors are voting on something they know nothing about and we are the ones paying for it. I feel let down, ignored and betrayed. I thought we lived in a democracy but clearly we live in a dictatorship headed by Anthony Blagg.
cannot believe this has been passed. I am horrified. Surely the tax payers should have been consulted. What about the investigations by the Audit Commission? This is so wrong. John Herbert Smith you must be very ill informed to make your comment. Landfill is not the way forward but the council have not even looked into any alternative (and cheaper) methods as they are tied into a ridiculous contract. The councillors are voting on something they know nothing about and we are the ones paying for it. I feel let down, ignored and betrayed. I thought we lived in a democracy but clearly we live in a dictatorship headed by Anthony Blagg. Woodbourne

3:41pm Fri 13 Dec 13

jarvis 2 says...

democracy is dead why was the a cabinet vote surley the minim was to go to a full concil vote
ahh it may have been lost
democracy is dead why was the a cabinet vote surley the minim was to go to a full concil vote ahh it may have been lost jarvis 2

4:27pm Fri 13 Dec 13

gedina says...

Ah I see that the ioc has started to shoot its mouth off already in a feeble attempt to establish a foothold with those who are easily swayed.
We are fully aware iof your game ioc, and it will not work, so disband now and do something worthwhile, such as voting for a real political party.
People of Hereford, do not waste your time or your vote on these political cowboys.
Ah I see that the ioc has started to shoot its mouth off already in a feeble attempt to establish a foothold with those who are easily swayed. We are fully aware iof your game ioc, and it will not work, so disband now and do something worthwhile, such as voting for a real political party. People of Hereford, do not waste your time or your vote on these political cowboys. gedina

5:05pm Fri 13 Dec 13

WYSIATI says...

I'be often heard of cheap, efficient, new tech, clean waste management systems.

So far not actually seen one that works. Seen plenty fail at great cost.

We need a solution not a pipe dream
I'be often heard of cheap, efficient, new tech, clean waste management systems. So far not actually seen one that works. Seen plenty fail at great cost. We need a solution not a pipe dream WYSIATI

5:33pm Fri 13 Dec 13

Mrfade says...

Not quite right. Higher recycling and using existing capacity , yep there are other technologies too. Much cheaper, but like you it seems that a small majority of your councillors can't be bothered to do their homework.
Seems to me IOC Independents actually understand the economics of the situation ,and are very well informed. That can be quite useful when the county is a breath away from financial disaster.
Not quite right. Higher recycling and using existing capacity , yep there are other technologies too. Much cheaper, but like you it seems that a small majority of your councillors can't be bothered to do their homework. Seems to me IOC Independents actually understand the economics of the situation ,and are very well informed. That can be quite useful when the county is a breath away from financial disaster. Mrfade

5:33pm Fri 13 Dec 13

redyoll says...

Rotherwas option might just bring a bit of much needed employment for Hereford resulting in money being spent in the area.
Rotherwas option might just bring a bit of much needed employment for Hereford resulting in money being spent in the area. redyoll

9:13pm Fri 13 Dec 13

saidflo says...

Ecological recycling levels are dire here in Hereford in comparison to close neighbouring counties!
The proposed Hartlebury incinerator, if built, will be redundant in a few years time, according to Friends of the Earth. The indications are that there will be too many incinerators countrywide and therefore will struggle to find waste to incinerate. Wiser to invest in a Rotherwas bio-digester to take some of the waste away from landfill.
WHO in their right mind would BORROW to invest £40million when on the verge of bankruptcy?
How do we put a stop to these leading councillors playing fast and loose with our precious County and OUR (borrowed) money?
Day to day it just gets worse!
A child could do better!!
Ecological recycling levels are dire here in Hereford in comparison to close neighbouring counties! The proposed Hartlebury incinerator, if built, will be redundant in a few years time, according to Friends of the Earth. The indications are that there will be too many incinerators countrywide and therefore will struggle to find waste to incinerate. Wiser to invest in a Rotherwas bio-digester to take some of the waste away from landfill. WHO in their right mind would BORROW to invest £40million when on the verge of bankruptcy? How do we put a stop to these leading councillors playing fast and loose with our precious County and OUR (borrowed) money? Day to day it just gets worse! A child could do better!! saidflo

11:21pm Fri 13 Dec 13

WYSIATI says...

It's a year or two since I earned my living on waste management but if you have serious ternatives you can propose and show they really stack up then I would love to hear about them. It's not enough to assert there's a better way. That does not deal with our rubbish.
It's a year or two since I earned my living on waste management but if you have serious ternatives you can propose and show they really stack up then I would love to hear about them. It's not enough to assert there's a better way. That does not deal with our rubbish. WYSIATI

6:48am Sat 14 Dec 13

TIM BUCK-TOO says...

Please may I pose a question for any HT blogger who has a detailed knowledge of Herefordshire Council's written constitution?

I believe that the principle of 'proportionality' (horrid New Labour word!) was enshrined in its requirement that all the council's standing committees must truly reflect the political make-up of the full council. So after Pontrilas, why was the make-up of the Overview & Scrutiny Committee not adjusted but, instead, remained heavily 'weighted' in favour of the Tories. I'm baffled.
Please may I pose a question for any HT blogger who has a detailed knowledge of Herefordshire Council's written constitution? I believe that the principle of 'proportionality' (horrid New Labour word!) was enshrined in its requirement that all the council's standing committees must truly reflect the political make-up of the full council. So after Pontrilas, why was the make-up of the Overview & Scrutiny Committee not adjusted but, instead, remained heavily 'weighted' in favour of the Tories. I'm baffled. TIM BUCK-TOO

6:48am Sat 14 Dec 13

B the B says...

WYSIATI wrote:
It's a year or two since I earned my living on waste management but if you have serious ternatives you can propose and show they really stack up then I would love to hear about them. It's not enough to assert there's a better way. That does not deal with our rubbish.
I agree, its ok slagging these things off but, what are the alternatives that work. The IOC had their opportunity to have a say but bottled it.
This is as I see it, The Tories **** it all up, IOC just say its all wrong while offering no alternative, Labour have vanished. If someone was to stand for what the people of Hereford really want they would do really well in the next elections.
We might as well face it "we're Dooooomed"
[quote][p][bold]WYSIATI[/bold] wrote: It's a year or two since I earned my living on waste management but if you have serious ternatives you can propose and show they really stack up then I would love to hear about them. It's not enough to assert there's a better way. That does not deal with our rubbish.[/p][/quote]I agree, its ok slagging these things off but, what are the alternatives that work. The IOC had their opportunity to have a say but bottled it. This is as I see it, The Tories **** it all up, IOC just say its all wrong while offering no alternative, Labour have vanished. If someone was to stand for what the people of Hereford really want they would do really well in the next elections. We might as well face it "we're Dooooomed" B the B

8:29am Sat 14 Dec 13

Mrfade says...

Well if you had seen the kind of costs involved , waste is one of the best ways to make money that ever there was. Terrify the councils into fear of mountains of waste, which to be fair in the past there was. No we can't keep landfilling.

HOWEVER THERE ARE SERVERAL ALTERANTIVES. High recycling is the first thing and was some councils are already at almost 70%, our recycling has not gone up for 3 years and there are no plans t increase it until forever, as it is proposed to stick at 45%. the LGA report Wealth from Waste says that councils are losing £3 billion pounds by not recycling more .YES THAT WAS BILLION NOT MILLION.

You can build your own MBT which recycles treats you organic waste with AD .and produce bio fertilizer bio fuel and bio gas. so 68% of the waste can be treated for £40 per tonne an most of the rest could pay us money back, One is being built in Wakefield, total over lifetime cost £785 million costs or £1.6 billion for a burner, You will be paying £123 per tonne when you could be paid anything from £9 to £900 per tonne for some of your recycling. Or you could treat most of your waste for less than £80 per tonne, or be paid.
Well if you had seen the kind of costs involved , waste is one of the best ways to make money that ever there was. Terrify the councils into fear of mountains of waste, which to be fair in the past there was. No we can't keep landfilling. HOWEVER THERE ARE SERVERAL ALTERANTIVES. High recycling is the first thing and was some councils are already at almost 70%, our recycling has not gone up for 3 years and there are no plans t increase it until forever, as it is proposed to stick at 45%. the LGA report Wealth from Waste says that councils are losing £3 billion pounds by not recycling more .YES THAT WAS BILLION NOT MILLION. You can build your own MBT which recycles treats you organic waste with AD .and produce bio fertilizer bio fuel and bio gas. so 68% of the waste can be treated for £40 per tonne an most of the rest could pay us money back, One is being built in Wakefield, total over lifetime cost £785 million costs or £1.6 billion for a burner, You will be paying £123 per tonne when you could be paid anything from £9 to £900 per tonne for some of your recycling. Or you could treat most of your waste for less than £80 per tonne, or be paid. Mrfade

8:50am Sat 14 Dec 13

Mrfade says...

Your apparently ill informed Tory councillors and their well paid advisors think it is a much better option to commit to paying £50 per tonne more than you need to for all your waste over 25 years, when it is quite likely that fast moving, and now up and running technology could make the plant obsolete in 5, years. You still have to pay.Or you will have to ban recycling and create waste. Waste minimisation is even cheaper as you don't have it in the first place. Look up Harrisburg incinerator in the USA.

Look up the problems in Sheffield, where the Government is now trying to arbitrate between the council and contractor coz charges are going up and waste is being shipped in from all over. Stoke paid £645,000 in compensation t their contractor. Shrewsbury are already saying they wish they hadn't signed the contract and it isn't even built yet. Costs have in creased by over £500 thousand this year I believe.
There is no risk assessment, other than under capacity. All incinerators have over capacity but we are told this is not the case.
WCC is the lead authority, look at the problems they are having with bridge repairs in Evesham. If they can't get that right what hope have we got when they take over the plant in 2023.
Your apparently ill informed Tory councillors and their well paid advisors think it is a much better option to commit to paying £50 per tonne more than you need to for all your waste over 25 years, when it is quite likely that fast moving, and now up and running technology could make the plant obsolete in 5, years. You still have to pay.Or you will have to ban recycling and create waste. Waste minimisation is even cheaper as you don't have it in the first place. Look up Harrisburg incinerator in the USA. Look up the problems in Sheffield, where the Government is now trying to arbitrate between the council and contractor coz charges are going up and waste is being shipped in from all over. Stoke paid £645,000 in compensation t their contractor. Shrewsbury are already saying they wish they hadn't signed the contract and it isn't even built yet. Costs have in creased by over £500 thousand this year I believe. There is no risk assessment, other than under capacity. All incinerators have over capacity but we are told this is not the case. WCC is the lead authority, look at the problems they are having with bridge repairs in Evesham. If they can't get that right what hope have we got when they take over the plant in 2023. Mrfade

9:30am Sat 14 Dec 13

WYSIATI says...

You can't quote figures for Wakefield and imply they would be the same for Hereford. Rural county with low population density. Collecting waste is very expensive. MBT interesting but hard to get clean product. AD sounds good but causes endless issues of pollution, particularly to water. Reclyed product prices notoriously fickle. If there was a simple, cheap, clean and easy solution you would see a lot of it. If you look aboad you see energy from waste, well run, heating and elec along with high recycling.
You can't quote figures for Wakefield and imply they would be the same for Hereford. Rural county with low population density. Collecting waste is very expensive. MBT interesting but hard to get clean product. AD sounds good but causes endless issues of pollution, particularly to water. Reclyed product prices notoriously fickle. If there was a simple, cheap, clean and easy solution you would see a lot of it. If you look aboad you see energy from waste, well run, heating and elec along with high recycling. WYSIATI

9:47am Sat 14 Dec 13

Cllr Liz Harvey says...

Apologies - long post alert … and no jokes or rants, but please persevere.

This is a complicated subject – but not a difficult one. Whilst it is not well suited to the sound-bite format of a press article, it is something which residents have the right to have explained to them in a straightforward manner. We all contribute to the creation of household waste, and we are all collectively responsible for the problem of its disposal … although it’s the council’s responsibility to see that this is actually done, day-in day-out, without fail. And this is the crux of it.

The council is 15 years into a 25 year PFI contract (ending 2023) for waste disposal jointly with Worcestershire, run by Mercia Waste, which is 50% owned by Urbaser, a well-thought-of Spanish company experienced in building and running waste incineration plants. The other half of Mercia are owned by the company which runs the two councils' waste collection contract which runs out in 2016 but could be extended to 2023 - so it's a complicated and somewhat incestuous situation.

The contract set out in 1998 requiring our waste to be disposed of by incineration (which disposes of 90%+ of our non-recyclable rubbish) so that our existing landfill sites would last for much longer. Since 1998 several attempts have been made to make this happen which for various reasons have been unsuccessful. Meanwhile, our landfill site has been being filled-up fast, energy prices have started to rocket and waste has started to become seen as an asset - a source of valuable materials rather than just a problem to be dealt with, a liability.

During the life of the contract, the rapidly increasing ‘value’ of household waste in terms of its recyclable elements and the energy (heat and electricity) which can be obtained from its disposal has encouraged investment in technology which significantly improves the sophistication with which different materials can be separated for recycling and composting. This investment has also improved the efficiency with which the heat and gases, generated when the remaining waste is burned, can be turned into electricity for the national grid and into heat for homes and businesses close to the power plant.

The dilemma facing both councils right now is whether this new technology is sufficiently reliable for the councils to RELY ON IT to dispose of our household rubbish, yours and mine, day-in day-out without fail for the next 20-30 years. Waste experts have been consulted, and have given their opinions – but most acknowledge that the newer technologies are improving very rapidly, but they are currently NOT PROVEN to the point where understandably cautious and naturally risk-averse councils can be CERTAIN they will deliver robust disposal solutions needed for household rubbish.

This picture is further complicated by the fact that the current PFI contractor builds power generating incinerators for a living and is understandably keen to be paid to build one under the current contract. This would also put them in a good place to bid for the next contract in 2023 to carry on using the still nearly new plant for the whole of its working life out to 2042 and beyond.

The decision to be made is not just about getting rid of our rubbish – it’s actually even more heavily influenced for the future by the money to be made from recycling the valuable metals and plastics in that rubbish and from generating what will be the VERY valuable power from burning what’s left. It’s Our County contends that the technological improvements increasing the money to be made from waste are moving so fast right now that it is sensible to give these the (relatively) short time they need to be PROVEN to the performance standards demanded by the councils.

As an example, just down the road in Bristol a (jargon alert) Mechanical and Biological Treatment and Pyrolysis & Gassification Energy from Waste plant has been built over the last 2 years to handle 250,000 tonnes p.a. of household waste and to generate 13 mega-Watt hrs of electricity, with space to double its energy-generating capacity on-site. Read more about the plant here: www.neattechnology.c
om

This plant is of the size and scale of that proposed by Herefordshire and Worcestershire and is built and working TODAY. It cost ~£60m to build – that’s a third of the price of the proposed incinerator at Hartlebury, and will generate more energy and reclaim more recyclable material from the waste it handles than the Hartlebury plant. In addition, the energy-generating part of the process doesn’t have to be done on the same site as the sorting, recycling, composting and shredding. Pyrolysis tubes can be located alongside business parks and employment sites, so that the heat and energy they generate can be used to provide cheap power to local businesses and homes. This is just one of a mix of full scale waste disposal options which are right on the edge of being demonstrated as robust solutions for the future.

With 10 years to run on the current PFI, It’s Our County is simply saying: Why use the site you have already earmarked by committing to an old and less efficient waste disposal solution today – albeit one which is favoured by the current contractor, when within 3 years the evidence will exist to factor into the decision-mix these more efficient next-generation technologies – opening up the possibility for residents of both counties to secure a 21st century solution to the disposal of their 21st century waste.

We have not been listened to so far, and have little hope that we can turn this decision around, as the administration seem determined to go with the single solution being pressed by Mercia Waste. Consequently, we are arguing that Herefordshire should have an exit option written into the agreement NOW with Worcestershire, which gives us the option to sell our quarter share of the incinerator plant in 2023 at the value it is currently predicted to have then. And that this option be binding on Worcestershire, should Herefordshire chose to exercise the option. That way, at least we can continue to monitor how the other technologies are evolving and can use the remaining 10 years of the PFI contract as time to design and build a plan-H for Herefordshire which can kick-in after 2023 and which we can pay for by the pegged price of our share in the incinerator.

We predict that by 2023 the incinerator will need expensive upgrades to enable it to meet future environmental and recycling targets. However, Worcestershire are so certain that this is a good idea that their scrutiny committee chairman boasted in the joint cabinet meeting on Thursday that he hasn’t even bothered to put the waste contract decision on the committee’s agenda for discussion.

We can’t secure a sensible outcome for Worcestershire, but we can do our best to mitigate the worst of the effects on Herefordshire; and try to keep the options open for the future even if minds are closed to the alternatives in front of us today.
Apologies - long post alert … and no jokes or rants, but please persevere. This is a complicated subject – but not a difficult one. Whilst it is not well suited to the sound-bite format of a press article, it is something which residents have the right to have explained to them in a straightforward manner. We all contribute to the creation of household waste, and we are all collectively responsible for the problem of its disposal … although it’s the council’s responsibility to see that this is actually done, day-in day-out, without fail. And this is the crux of it. The council is 15 years into a 25 year PFI contract (ending 2023) for waste disposal jointly with Worcestershire, run by Mercia Waste, which is 50% owned by Urbaser, a well-thought-of Spanish company experienced in building and running waste incineration plants. The other half of Mercia are owned by the company which runs the two councils' waste collection contract which runs out in 2016 but could be extended to 2023 - so it's a complicated and somewhat incestuous situation. The contract set out in 1998 requiring our waste to be disposed of by incineration (which disposes of 90%+ of our non-recyclable rubbish) so that our existing landfill sites would last for much longer. Since 1998 several attempts have been made to make this happen which for various reasons have been unsuccessful. Meanwhile, our landfill site has been being filled-up fast, energy prices have started to rocket and waste has started to become seen as an asset - a source of valuable materials rather than just a problem to be dealt with, a liability. During the life of the contract, the rapidly increasing ‘value’ of household waste in terms of its recyclable elements and the energy (heat and electricity) which can be obtained from its disposal has encouraged investment in technology which significantly improves the sophistication with which different materials can be separated for recycling and composting. This investment has also improved the efficiency with which the heat and gases, generated when the remaining waste is burned, can be turned into electricity for the national grid and into heat for homes and businesses close to the power plant. The dilemma facing both councils right now is whether this new technology is sufficiently reliable for the councils to RELY ON IT to dispose of our household rubbish, yours and mine, day-in day-out without fail for the next 20-30 years. Waste experts have been consulted, and have given their opinions – but most acknowledge that the newer technologies are improving very rapidly, but they are currently NOT PROVEN to the point where understandably cautious and naturally risk-averse councils can be CERTAIN they will deliver robust disposal solutions needed for household rubbish. This picture is further complicated by the fact that the current PFI contractor builds power generating incinerators for a living and is understandably keen to be paid to build one under the current contract. This would also put them in a good place to bid for the next contract in 2023 to carry on using the still nearly new plant for the whole of its working life out to 2042 and beyond. The decision to be made is not just about getting rid of our rubbish – it’s actually even more heavily influenced for the future by the money to be made from recycling the valuable metals and plastics in that rubbish and from generating what will be the VERY valuable power from burning what’s left. It’s Our County contends that the technological improvements increasing the money to be made from waste are moving so fast right now that it is sensible to give these the (relatively) short time they need to be PROVEN to the performance standards demanded by the councils. As an example, just down the road in Bristol a (jargon alert) Mechanical and Biological Treatment and Pyrolysis & Gassification Energy from Waste plant has been built over the last 2 years to handle 250,000 tonnes p.a. of household waste and to generate 13 mega-Watt hrs of electricity, with space to double its energy-generating capacity on-site. Read more about the plant here: www.neattechnology.c om This plant is of the size and scale of that proposed by Herefordshire and Worcestershire and is built and working TODAY. It cost ~£60m to build – that’s a third of the price of the proposed incinerator at Hartlebury, and will generate more energy and reclaim more recyclable material from the waste it handles than the Hartlebury plant. In addition, the energy-generating part of the process doesn’t have to be done on the same site as the sorting, recycling, composting and shredding. Pyrolysis tubes can be located alongside business parks and employment sites, so that the heat and energy they generate can be used to provide cheap power to local businesses and homes. This is just one of a mix of full scale waste disposal options which are right on the edge of being demonstrated as robust solutions for the future. With 10 years to run on the current PFI, It’s Our County is simply saying: Why use the site you have already earmarked by committing to an old and less efficient waste disposal solution today – albeit one which is favoured by the current contractor, when within 3 years the evidence will exist to factor into the decision-mix these more efficient next-generation technologies – opening up the possibility for residents of both counties to secure a 21st century solution to the disposal of their 21st century waste. We have not been listened to so far, and have little hope that we can turn this decision around, as the administration seem determined to go with the single solution being pressed by Mercia Waste. Consequently, we are arguing that Herefordshire should have an exit option written into the agreement NOW with Worcestershire, which gives us the option to sell our quarter share of the incinerator plant in 2023 at the value it is currently predicted to have then. And that this option be binding on Worcestershire, should Herefordshire chose to exercise the option. That way, at least we can continue to monitor how the other technologies are evolving and can use the remaining 10 years of the PFI contract as time to design and build a plan-H for Herefordshire which can kick-in after 2023 and which we can pay for by the pegged price of our share in the incinerator. We predict that by 2023 the incinerator will need expensive upgrades to enable it to meet future environmental and recycling targets. However, Worcestershire are so certain that this is a good idea that their scrutiny committee chairman boasted in the joint cabinet meeting on Thursday that he hasn’t even bothered to put the waste contract decision on the committee’s agenda for discussion. We can’t secure a sensible outcome for Worcestershire, but we can do our best to mitigate the worst of the effects on Herefordshire; and try to keep the options open for the future even if minds are closed to the alternatives in front of us today. Cllr Liz Harvey

10:00am Sat 14 Dec 13

WYSIATI says...

Very helpful Liz. Pyrolysis had a long and pretty messy history. Hope it works this time. Difficult to organise a contract at thus stage but clearly costs need to be properly controlled. And, as you say, we keep on producing the waste and time runs out on landfill.
Very helpful Liz. Pyrolysis had a long and pretty messy history. Hope it works this time. Difficult to organise a contract at thus stage but clearly costs need to be properly controlled. And, as you say, we keep on producing the waste and time runs out on landfill. WYSIATI

10:20am Sat 14 Dec 13

Cllr Liz Harvey says...

WYSIATI - you're right ... Wakefield is a different situation ... the point of mentioning Wakefield is that they have committed to a mix of solutions which together work for them ... a different mix would be needed to be optimum for Herefordshire and again for Worcestershire. The incinerator solution based in Worcestershire has Herefordshire's waste continuing to be transported out of county for the next 30 years, while fuel prices continue to increase making this a significant 'unknown' in the running cost modelling for the contract.
WYSIATI - you're right ... Wakefield is a different situation ... the point of mentioning Wakefield is that they have committed to a mix of solutions which together work for them ... a different mix would be needed to be optimum for Herefordshire and again for Worcestershire. The incinerator solution based in Worcestershire has Herefordshire's waste continuing to be transported out of county for the next 30 years, while fuel prices continue to increase making this a significant 'unknown' in the running cost modelling for the contract. Cllr Liz Harvey

10:32am Sat 14 Dec 13

WYSIATI says...

Assuming there is a transfer station getting to Worcestershire will be less of a problem than the initial collection. To a degree increased road fuel is likely to be offseet by increased elec revenue. Hereford is small for a standalone solution.

You should always consider what's best starting from where we are not where we were for sure. What doesn't change, unless Osborne waters down more green commitments, is the deadline for diverting biodegradable waste from landfill. If we miss that then the costs really go up.
Assuming there is a transfer station getting to Worcestershire will be less of a problem than the initial collection. To a degree increased road fuel is likely to be offseet by increased elec revenue. Hereford is small for a standalone solution. You should always consider what's best starting from where we are not where we were for sure. What doesn't change, unless Osborne waters down more green commitments, is the deadline for diverting biodegradable waste from landfill. If we miss that then the costs really go up. WYSIATI

11:13am Sat 14 Dec 13

denon says...

So save our county want an incinerator built in Herefordshire, hurrah so you can keep your filthy Herefordshire rubbish in Herefordshire, the sooner we Worcestershire residents stop subsidising you herfordians the better c
So save our county want an incinerator built in Herefordshire, hurrah so you can keep your filthy Herefordshire rubbish in Herefordshire, the sooner we Worcestershire residents stop subsidising you herfordians the better c denon

11:18am Sat 14 Dec 13

denon says...

For good measure too its time the Fire Service in Herefordshire stopped being proped up by Worcestershire..tax payers
For good measure too its time the Fire Service in Herefordshire stopped being proped up by Worcestershire..tax payers denon

2:35pm Sat 14 Dec 13

AylestoneVoice says...

Sorry "denon" we don't want our waste back until we have filled up all the holes in your county
Sorry "denon" we don't want our waste back until we have filled up all the holes in your county AylestoneVoice

3:34pm Sat 14 Dec 13

WYSIATI says...

Demon, if you keep being holier than thou we will keep sending our rubbish till the holes are full
Demon, if you keep being holier than thou we will keep sending our rubbish till the holes are full WYSIATI

5:19pm Sat 14 Dec 13

JollyJesterTwo says...

denon wrote:
So save our county want an incinerator built in Herefordshire, hurrah so you can keep your filthy Herefordshire rubbish in Herefordshire, the sooner we Worcestershire residents stop subsidising you herfordians the better c
I seem to remember that when we divorced Worcestershire they stole most of our assets so I'm more than happy to send them all our rubbish!
[quote][p][bold]denon[/bold] wrote: So save our county want an incinerator built in Herefordshire, hurrah so you can keep your filthy Herefordshire rubbish in Herefordshire, the sooner we Worcestershire residents stop subsidising you herfordians the better c[/p][/quote]I seem to remember that when we divorced Worcestershire they stole most of our assets so I'm more than happy to send them all our rubbish! JollyJesterTwo

6:04pm Sat 14 Dec 13

Cllr Liz Harvey says...

It's worth noting that we only generate a quarter of the rubbish handled on the contract, and that we're being charged more per tonne to have ours disposed of (excluding transportation costs) than are Worcestershire.

Ironically, this is because we generate less waste per head of population. So we sometimes talk it, but we don't dish it out! :-)
It's worth noting that we only generate a quarter of the rubbish handled on the contract, and that we're being charged more per tonne to have ours disposed of (excluding transportation costs) than are Worcestershire. Ironically, this is because we generate less waste per head of population. So we sometimes talk it, but we don't dish it out! :-) Cllr Liz Harvey

6:53pm Sat 14 Dec 13

jarvis 2 says...

redyoll wrote:
Rotherwas option might just bring a bit of much needed employment for Hereford resulting in money being spent in the area.
and a use for the road to nowhere
sorry being flipant
[quote][p][bold]redyoll[/bold] wrote: Rotherwas option might just bring a bit of much needed employment for Hereford resulting in money being spent in the area.[/p][/quote]and a use for the road to nowhere sorry being flipant jarvis 2

7:01pm Sat 14 Dec 13

jarvis 2 says...

JollyJesterTwo wrote:
denon wrote:
So save our county want an incinerator built in Herefordshire, hurrah so you can keep your filthy Herefordshire rubbish in Herefordshire, the sooner we Worcestershire residents stop subsidising you herfordians the better c
I seem to remember that when we divorced Worcestershire they stole most of our assets so I'm more than happy to send them all our rubbish!
they can have our council to thats a big pile of rubish gone
[quote][p][bold]JollyJesterTwo[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]denon[/bold] wrote: So save our county want an incinerator built in Herefordshire, hurrah so you can keep your filthy Herefordshire rubbish in Herefordshire, the sooner we Worcestershire residents stop subsidising you herfordians the better c[/p][/quote]I seem to remember that when we divorced Worcestershire they stole most of our assets so I'm more than happy to send them all our rubbish![/p][/quote]they can have our council to thats a big pile of rubish gone jarvis 2

9:26am Sun 15 Dec 13

probono says...

The Waste Plans go back to the beginnings of Herefordshire Council and the joint working with Worcestershire has some time still to run under the contract drawn up.
The alternative for us is to pay the heavy fines being imposed by central government for landfill waste disposal. The antis were out in force to scupper plans for a facilitly at Madley, so this time it is not within out green and pleasant county, so what is the objection now ? It does seem that Herefordshire is full of NIMBYs now, many imported from elsewhere in the country to enjoy the ambience to add to the few homebred ones.
The Waste Plans go back to the beginnings of Herefordshire Council and the joint working with Worcestershire has some time still to run under the contract drawn up. The alternative for us is to pay the heavy fines being imposed by central government for landfill waste disposal. The antis were out in force to scupper plans for a facilitly at Madley, so this time it is not within out green and pleasant county, so what is the objection now ? It does seem that Herefordshire is full of NIMBYs now, many imported from elsewhere in the country to enjoy the ambience to add to the few homebred ones. probono

3:25pm Sun 15 Dec 13

F Bloggs says...

The matters outlined below are central to the NAO investigation into DEFRA’s role in promoting value in this and other EFW projects and merit investigation and determination by DEFRA and Treasury before they ultimately sanction and allow this project to move forward. I would ask those with influence ensure this happens in order to safeguard tax payer value in the absence of any effective local independent scrutiny.

The basis upon which the proposed incinerator decision has been founded represents a failure to choose incineration on a value driven basis. This latest proposal has no sound basis for recommendation nor is suitable to enable Councillor’s to discharge their responsibility to assure best value to the tax payer.

Fundamentally this option was selected based upon a predominantly environmental ranking of several alternative options reviewed in the Council’s Annexe D report – insignificant of financial influence. The report’s author clearly directs the unsuitability of the Annexe D report for the purposes of a best solution choice. It was preliminary and meant only to identify relative merits of options considered.

The option study report should have undertaken, but did not, a comparative full life cycle cost benefit discounted cash flow analysis in accordance with Treasury Green Book principles (required for all publically funded schemes) of suitably and feasibly developed technological options to enable the best value solution to be identified. Consequently the incinerator option choice is not supportable on a value basis.

Though capital and operational costs were identified in Annexe D they excluded transportation and did not consider beneficial revenue. The analysis was unsuitable and therefore could not be used deliver a financial value based ranking suitable and upon which all public and private investment decisions are made.

Furthermore Annexe D did not look at option feasibility but instead used generic data and excluded some technologies without explanation such as those recycling possibilities value preferred by the LGA and considered others as unproven such as Advanced Thermal technologies which are now being utilised in commercial waste projects.

The latest submission to Council merely examines financing options for the preference of incineration and thus does not address the absence of a proper value driven option study investment appraisal enabling identifying the best value solution.

Inclusion of alternative options at this late stage based upon none specific technology including generic / notional future costs is unreliable and does not constitute a viable and specific option solution.

These core issues of value have been repeatedly been directed at both councils but remain to date unaddressed by them other than general statements of disagreement without substantiation effectively ignoring and disregarding their significance and seriousness.
The matters outlined below are central to the NAO investigation into DEFRA’s role in promoting value in this and other EFW projects and merit investigation and determination by DEFRA and Treasury before they ultimately sanction and allow this project to move forward. I would ask those with influence ensure this happens in order to safeguard tax payer value in the absence of any effective local independent scrutiny. The basis upon which the proposed incinerator decision has been founded represents a failure to choose incineration on a value driven basis. This latest proposal has no sound basis for recommendation nor is suitable to enable Councillor’s to discharge their responsibility to assure best value to the tax payer. Fundamentally this option was selected based upon a predominantly environmental ranking of several alternative options reviewed in the Council’s Annexe D report – insignificant of financial influence. The report’s author clearly directs the unsuitability of the Annexe D report for the purposes of a best solution choice. It was preliminary and meant only to identify relative merits of options considered. The option study report should have undertaken, but did not, a comparative full life cycle cost benefit discounted cash flow analysis in accordance with Treasury Green Book principles (required for all publically funded schemes) of suitably and feasibly developed technological options to enable the best value solution to be identified. Consequently the incinerator option choice is not supportable on a value basis. Though capital and operational costs were identified in Annexe D they excluded transportation and did not consider beneficial revenue. The analysis was unsuitable and therefore could not be used deliver a financial value based ranking suitable and upon which all public and private investment decisions are made. Furthermore Annexe D did not look at option feasibility but instead used generic data and excluded some technologies without explanation such as those recycling possibilities value preferred by the LGA and considered others as unproven such as Advanced Thermal technologies which are now being utilised in commercial waste projects. The latest submission to Council merely examines financing options for the preference of incineration and thus does not address the absence of a proper value driven option study investment appraisal enabling identifying the best value solution. Inclusion of alternative options at this late stage based upon none specific technology including generic / notional future costs is unreliable and does not constitute a viable and specific option solution. These core issues of value have been repeatedly been directed at both councils but remain to date unaddressed by them other than general statements of disagreement without substantiation effectively ignoring and disregarding their significance and seriousness. F Bloggs

8:44am Mon 16 Dec 13

Councillor Patricia Morgan says...

Cllr Patricia Morgan says
We are disappointed that IOC have chosen to use such inflammatory words to describe the latest Cabinet decision to provide a solution to the problem of how to dispose of the Counties waste in a responsible manner. This proposal is not out of date, inefficient or dirty. Many other authorities are using or will use this technology and it is fully approved by Defra and Environment Agency.

This proposal is the only deliverable solution available today and will deliver over £100m of savings to the Herefordshire and Worcestershire taxpayers over the lifetime of the plant. The technology is reliable and proven. All the necessary permissions and funding are in place. It has taken a many years and much money to get to this position.

The administration have listened to IOC and agree that In time there may well be other solutions but we do not know this and we do not know if it would be possible to get all the necessary permissions particularly planning. We do have some deadlines and when using taxpayer’s money we need to be prudent - Not taking this decision would have been irresponsible and arguably gambling with taxpayer’s money.
Cllr Patricia Morgan says We are disappointed that IOC have chosen to use such inflammatory words to describe the latest Cabinet decision to provide a solution to the problem of how to dispose of the Counties waste in a responsible manner. This proposal is not out of date, inefficient or dirty. Many other authorities are using or will use this technology and it is fully approved by Defra and Environment Agency. This proposal is the only deliverable solution available today and will deliver over £100m of savings to the Herefordshire and Worcestershire taxpayers over the lifetime of the plant. The technology is reliable and proven. All the necessary permissions and funding are in place. It has taken a many years and much money to get to this position. The administration have listened to IOC and agree that In time there may well be other solutions but we do not know this and we do not know if it would be possible to get all the necessary permissions particularly planning. We do have some deadlines and when using taxpayer’s money we need to be prudent - Not taking this decision would have been irresponsible and arguably gambling with taxpayer’s money. Councillor Patricia Morgan

11:42am Mon 16 Dec 13

bobby47 says...

Pat, I intend to roll you and your Cabinet colleagues around in nettles. That's my plan. Mind, given that I've said Im intent upon rolling you round in nettles and given, I hope you are a woman who's not keen to be rolled around in nettles, I do realise its unlikely ill ever hear anyone you scream, 'enough. Take me home. I resign', because of being rolled around in nettles.
My warmest regards to you and well done for coming on here. It's no easy thing girl. Well done.
Pat, I intend to roll you and your Cabinet colleagues around in nettles. That's my plan. Mind, given that I've said Im intent upon rolling you round in nettles and given, I hope you are a woman who's not keen to be rolled around in nettles, I do realise its unlikely ill ever hear anyone you scream, 'enough. Take me home. I resign', because of being rolled around in nettles. My warmest regards to you and well done for coming on here. It's no easy thing girl. Well done. bobby47

12:28pm Mon 16 Dec 13

TIM BUCK-TOO says...

"Cllr Patricia Morgan says"...a neatly-crafted missive for quarter-to-nine on a Monday morning, Mr Ben Proctor: you're earning your feed, mate!
"Cllr Patricia Morgan says"...a neatly-crafted missive for quarter-to-nine on a Monday morning, Mr Ben Proctor: you're earning your feed, mate! TIM BUCK-TOO

12:31pm Mon 16 Dec 13

bobby47 says...

And they won't be your mamby, pamby, mid winter nettles. These nettles will be your late July and early August variety that, when you stumble down the riverbank and get stung, you scream, 'sweet Jesus, I've been stung by a bloody nettle'.
That said, lets you and I set aside our clear differences on the whole being stung by a nettle thing. Tell me, in simple and straightforward terms why we are down to our last one hundred thousand, why Rockfield Road is now a Car Park and why High Town and the Butter Market have been left to rot.
Once again, my warmest regards to you Councillor.
And they won't be your mamby, pamby, mid winter nettles. These nettles will be your late July and early August variety that, when you stumble down the riverbank and get stung, you scream, 'sweet Jesus, I've been stung by a bloody nettle'. That said, lets you and I set aside our clear differences on the whole being stung by a nettle thing. Tell me, in simple and straightforward terms why we are down to our last one hundred thousand, why Rockfield Road is now a Car Park and why High Town and the Butter Market have been left to rot. Once again, my warmest regards to you Councillor. bobby47

1:21pm Mon 16 Dec 13

dippyhippy says...

Patricia, this is NOT the only solution.
This is an ill thought out scheme which will not only see our children, but our children's children paying for this costly mistake.
If you really believe this is "best value for money", I would suggest you do not really have a handle on this particular issue.
We do NOT have to rush headlong into this, there is time to look at other options.
Who, precisely, recommended this, and is there any truth in the rumour that the council officer who did, is leaving to work for the company who will get this contract??
To me - this stinks, to put it politely.
A response would be welcome.
Patricia, this is NOT the only solution. This is an ill thought out scheme which will not only see our children, but our children's children paying for this costly mistake. If you really believe this is "best value for money", I would suggest you do not really have a handle on this particular issue. We do NOT have to rush headlong into this, there is time to look at other options. Who, precisely, recommended this, and is there any truth in the rumour that the council officer who did, is leaving to work for the company who will get this contract?? To me - this stinks, to put it politely. A response would be welcome. dippyhippy

1:32pm Mon 16 Dec 13

TIM BUCK-TOO says...

@DippyHippy: well said, sir! With the honorable exceptions of IOC councillors Harvey and Hubbard (both regular visitors here), we have seen Cllr Powell once (very briefly) and today's proxy-visit from Cllr Morgan. Why is it that the current administration has such a lot to say behind closed doors or in papel-like enclaves, yet seems too frit to speak to the very electorate which put them in power?

A specific response to the troubling internet rumour about a former council officer defecting to Mercia would be especially helpful,Cllr Morgan.
@DippyHippy: well said, sir! With the honorable exceptions of IOC councillors Harvey and Hubbard (both regular visitors here), we have seen Cllr Powell once (very briefly) and today's proxy-visit from Cllr Morgan. Why is it that the current administration has such a lot to say behind closed doors or in papel-like enclaves, yet seems too frit to speak to the very electorate which put them in power? A specific response to the troubling internet rumour about a former council officer defecting to Mercia would be especially helpful,Cllr Morgan. TIM BUCK-TOO

1:46pm Mon 16 Dec 13

dippyhippy says...

Afternoon Tim!
I fear I may have a lengthy wait for a response, but if you don't ask, you don't get....and I am a very patient person!!
Afternoon Tim! I fear I may have a lengthy wait for a response, but if you don't ask, you don't get....and I am a very patient person!! dippyhippy

2:00pm Mon 16 Dec 13

JollyJesterTwo says...

Councillor Patricia Morgan wrote:
Cllr Patricia Morgan says
We are disappointed that IOC have chosen to use such inflammatory words to describe the latest Cabinet decision to provide a solution to the problem of how to dispose of the Counties waste in a responsible manner. This proposal is not out of date, inefficient or dirty. Many other authorities are using or will use this technology and it is fully approved by Defra and Environment Agency.

This proposal is the only deliverable solution available today and will deliver over £100m of savings to the Herefordshire and Worcestershire taxpayers over the lifetime of the plant. The technology is reliable and proven. All the necessary permissions and funding are in place. It has taken a many years and much money to get to this position.

The administration have listened to IOC and agree that In time there may well be other solutions but we do not know this and we do not know if it would be possible to get all the necessary permissions particularly planning. We do have some deadlines and when using taxpayer’s money we need to be prudent - Not taking this decision would have been irresponsible and arguably gambling with taxpayer’s money.
Enjoy your last few months in office Cllr Morgan, after that you and your ghastly Tory cronies will be on the political scrap heap.
[quote][p][bold]Councillor Patricia Morgan[/bold] wrote: Cllr Patricia Morgan says We are disappointed that IOC have chosen to use such inflammatory words to describe the latest Cabinet decision to provide a solution to the problem of how to dispose of the Counties waste in a responsible manner. This proposal is not out of date, inefficient or dirty. Many other authorities are using or will use this technology and it is fully approved by Defra and Environment Agency. This proposal is the only deliverable solution available today and will deliver over £100m of savings to the Herefordshire and Worcestershire taxpayers over the lifetime of the plant. The technology is reliable and proven. All the necessary permissions and funding are in place. It has taken a many years and much money to get to this position. The administration have listened to IOC and agree that In time there may well be other solutions but we do not know this and we do not know if it would be possible to get all the necessary permissions particularly planning. We do have some deadlines and when using taxpayer’s money we need to be prudent - Not taking this decision would have been irresponsible and arguably gambling with taxpayer’s money.[/p][/quote]Enjoy your last few months in office Cllr Morgan, after that you and your ghastly Tory cronies will be on the political scrap heap. JollyJesterTwo

2:09pm Mon 16 Dec 13

dippyhippy says...

C'mon Pat.... I'm waiting!!
You do realise that the longer you take to respond, the more I am going to suspect that it's not your own response - but one which has been carefully draughted,
Hell, I might even suspect that its not actually you tippy tapping away on your keyboard!!!
Fortunately for you, I am not the suspicious sort.....but many others may well wonder!
C'mon Pat.... I'm waiting!! You do realise that the longer you take to respond, the more I am going to suspect that it's not your own response - but one which has been carefully draughted, Hell, I might even suspect that its not actually you tippy tapping away on your keyboard!!! Fortunately for you, I am not the suspicious sort.....but many others may well wonder! dippyhippy

2:16pm Mon 16 Dec 13

dippyhippy says...

Ooops!
Should have been "drafted"
See? If I can acknowledge when I make a mistake, why do you lot find it so difficult??
There's nothing wrong Pat, with throwing your hands in the air and saying "Sorry, I haven't a clue about any of this, I am completely out of my depth"
I'd rather you did this, and hand it over to someone who has a grasp on this subject, than sign a multi million pound contract, because you're too embarrassed to own up to your own short comings!
Ooops! Should have been "drafted" See? If I can acknowledge when I make a mistake, why do you lot find it so difficult?? There's nothing wrong Pat, with throwing your hands in the air and saying "Sorry, I haven't a clue about any of this, I am completely out of my depth" I'd rather you did this, and hand it over to someone who has a grasp on this subject, than sign a multi million pound contract, because you're too embarrassed to own up to your own short comings! dippyhippy

3:20pm Mon 16 Dec 13

bobby47 says...

So Ben Proctor may have communicated this! Well I'll roll him around in nettles as well.
And there's no shortage of information upon the web that Ben has placed there himself celebrating his remarkable gifts in the area of communication. In fact, if its crisis communication you want then Ben's your fish. This lovely young man and judging by his photograph, he's clearly a lovely young man, he provides freelance training and consultancy in the field of 'crisis' communication.
Well, if ever I get to roll him around in nettles on the banks of the Wye in late July of 2014, you, me and anyone within earshot of the whole rolling round in the nettles thing, will be able to judge how good he is communicating a bloody crisis.
This is no master of crisis communication. This is yet another example of waste and paying a huge salary to someone who dares mention avoiding gambling and providing good value for money as though we are stupid.
I say, roll him round in nettles! That'll sort the whole mess out any anyone who says otherwise has never felt the lick of a stinging nettle on their ankle as they've attempted to rummage around in the undergrowth.
That's communication Ben and I want your job.!!!
So Ben Proctor may have communicated this! Well I'll roll him around in nettles as well. And there's no shortage of information upon the web that Ben has placed there himself celebrating his remarkable gifts in the area of communication. In fact, if its crisis communication you want then Ben's your fish. This lovely young man and judging by his photograph, he's clearly a lovely young man, he provides freelance training and consultancy in the field of 'crisis' communication. Well, if ever I get to roll him around in nettles on the banks of the Wye in late July of 2014, you, me and anyone within earshot of the whole rolling round in the nettles thing, will be able to judge how good he is communicating a bloody crisis. This is no master of crisis communication. This is yet another example of waste and paying a huge salary to someone who dares mention avoiding gambling and providing good value for money as though we are stupid. I say, roll him round in nettles! That'll sort the whole mess out any anyone who says otherwise has never felt the lick of a stinging nettle on their ankle as they've attempted to rummage around in the undergrowth. That's communication Ben and I want your job.!!! bobby47

3:27pm Mon 16 Dec 13

dippyhippy says...

Afternoon Bobby!
Here we are again - waiting for a response, that doesn't seem to be forthcoming!
Well....I am happy to wait whilst Patricia and Ben huddle together over a keyboard and decide what message they wish to transmit to us!!
Although I am not waiting too long - I shan't be sat here on Christmas Day, refusing to join the rest of the clan at the table for dinner, in case I miss Patricia and Ben's reply......that would just be too silly for words!
Afternoon Bobby! Here we are again - waiting for a response, that doesn't seem to be forthcoming! Well....I am happy to wait whilst Patricia and Ben huddle together over a keyboard and decide what message they wish to transmit to us!! Although I am not waiting too long - I shan't be sat here on Christmas Day, refusing to join the rest of the clan at the table for dinner, in case I miss Patricia and Ben's reply......that would just be too silly for words! dippyhippy

3:42pm Mon 16 Dec 13

Simon Brown says...

I know this is dangerous water, full of the reefs of pomp and petty minded dogma, to be avoided by the faint hearted, but fortune favours the bold so I will sail on and trust my compass. Most will say it is a small point and I am being pedantic, but it isn't and I'm not. Why should I trust the decision making ability of a councillor who is so ignorant and slapdash that she doesn't know the difference between “county's”, singular, possessive, and “counties”, the plural of “county”? She goes on to say “the administration have” which, again, is nonsense. The administration is singular, there is only one administration so it “has”, it does not “have”. Just because the administration consists of more than one person the word does not take on the properties of a plural noun. It's as ignorant as writing, “should of”. So, just how ignorant is Cllr Morgan?

Good written English is learned by reading. Those writing bad English demonstrate they have not read, they do not read, they are not in the habit of reading. That is not a crime, but it becomes a crime when you take on public responsibility. It becomes the crime of omission, the crime of not properly informing yourself in the subject upon which you are writing, or, in this case, upon which you are making a multi-million pound decision which affects every man, women and child of the county, and those yet unborn. So, just how ignorant is Cllr Morgan? Just how much does she read?

Cllr Morgan then goes on to agree with IOC that “in time there may well be other solutions”. She is admitting, there may be other solutions, but she follows that with the illogicality “but we don't know this”! She concedes there may soon be other solutions but immediately denies it. Bluster, fluster and balderdash of the type that signals the posturing of the embarrassed who have been caught with their knickers down in a public place. In the same sentence Cllr Morgan goes on to plead that “we do not know if it would be possible to get all the necessary permissions particularly planning.” (The comma is missing, but I'll let that slide.) Why don't you know? You are in charge, and the waste problem is not exactly a new problem. Why have you not been thinking and researching this subject for the last 15 years? Why do you infer it's all a bit of a surprise: that you have been caught unawares? It's obvious you have been so caught otherwise you wouldn't resort to this rather feeble posturing directed solely at the one party which has had the temerity to not only explain things honestly to the voting and paying public, but is also the party that walloped you failing Tories (plural) at the last by-election. So, just how ignorant is Cllr Morgan, and the rest of her Tory Council?

Cllr Morgan then admits to the necessity of prudence with taxpayer's (sic) money (it should be “ taxpayers' ” plural, possessive: there is, hopefully, more than one taxpayer still dolling out to HC). This is a memorable first! After the indulgences of gagging orders, generous redundancies for allegedly useless employees, failed IT projects, years of publishing the excrescence formerly know as “Hereford Matters”, the Plough Lane Xanadu, the shambles of the £7m car park, and many other howling examples of imprudence, coupled with the loss at Pontrilas, it seems the point may actually be getting through to this bunch of unpopular has-beens that, although they got away with playing fast and loose when the good times rolled, they can't get away with it now that things are heading south! So, just how ignorant is Cllr Morgan?

The best piece of fluster, bluster and posturing, though, is saved for the final sentence, which reads “Not taking this decision would have been irresponsible and arguably gambling with taxpayer’s money.” Not taking this decision? What does that mean? Take any old decision? Just do it, now, because we have a deadline (self imposed because we have been so insouciant it's come upon us as a bit of a shock, at the fifty-ninth minute of the eleventh hour, and now we must rush through a decision without giving ourselves enough time for proper consideration, or to inform everyone it might affect, like the voting public of the county), and since when has gambling with taxpayers' money ever been on the conscience of Tory controlled Herefordshire Council? Such an overt attempt to claim responsibility by flatly denying irresponsibility is naïve spin of a provincial class, and as hollow as an OLM unit. So, just how ignorant is Cllr Morgan?

No, Cllr Morgan, this very feeble apologia for yet another serious error does not cut any ice with me. Your cabinet has shown time and time again it is just not up to the job, either intellectually or in imagination. For proof of your low standards you only have to look at the horror of the Edgar Street Shed, that abysmal, non aspirational design nightmare you have inflicted on a sensitive site, a key, defining location in the approach to the ancient city where you have casually dumped a saw toothed monster that has Pevsner, Clifton-Taylor and Betjeman spinning in their graves. It is an abomination, an architectural insult of such depravity it will sit alongside Birmingham's late and unlamented Bull Ring Centre as a classic example of how not to develop an inner city. My only hope is it will not survive as long as did the Birmingham monster. Further proof of your low standards lies in your poor English: both yours, Cllr Morgan, and that of your colleagues and your officers.

However, now that they are rattled by the constant stream of criticism from every Tom, Dick or Harry with a computer, or a pen, the Tories have adopted a stance of moral outrage and demand critics should offer alternatives. Again, they are wrong. We don't have to offer an alternative, but I will. It is simply this: start thinking ahead: do your homework: base decisions on what is right for the 186,000 people not in your tiny little, vacuous cabinet: do what is right, not just the least painful or most politically expedient: own up when you get it wrong and be big enough to reverse bad decisions when they are obviously so: listen to your advisors, particularly when we have paid for that advice: listen to the opposition, especially Liz Harvey, who is experienced and knowledgeable, and not at all ignorant, but most of all, adopt a degree of modesty commensurate with your precarious majority.
I know this is dangerous water, full of the reefs of pomp and petty minded dogma, to be avoided by the faint hearted, but fortune favours the bold so I will sail on and trust my compass. Most will say it is a small point and I am being pedantic, but it isn't and I'm not. Why should I trust the decision making ability of a councillor who is so ignorant and slapdash that she doesn't know the difference between “county's”, singular, possessive, and “counties”, the plural of “county”? She goes on to say “the administration have” which, again, is nonsense. The administration is singular, there is only one administration so it “has”, it does not “have”. Just because the administration consists of more than one person the word does not take on the properties of a plural noun. It's as ignorant as writing, “should of”. So, just how ignorant is Cllr Morgan? Good written English is learned by reading. Those writing bad English demonstrate they have not read, they do not read, they are not in the habit of reading. That is not a crime, but it becomes a crime when you take on public responsibility. It becomes the crime of omission, the crime of not properly informing yourself in the subject upon which you are writing, or, in this case, upon which you are making a multi-million pound decision which affects every man, women and child of the county, and those yet unborn. So, just how ignorant is Cllr Morgan? Just how much does she read? Cllr Morgan then goes on to agree with IOC that “in time there may well be other solutions”. She is admitting, there may be other solutions, but she follows that with the illogicality “but we don't know this”! She concedes there may soon be other solutions but immediately denies it. Bluster, fluster and balderdash of the type that signals the posturing of the embarrassed who have been caught with their knickers down in a public place. In the same sentence Cllr Morgan goes on to plead that “we do not know if it would be possible to get all the necessary permissions particularly planning.” (The comma is missing, but I'll let that slide.) Why don't you know? You are in charge, and the waste problem is not exactly a new problem. Why have you not been thinking and researching this subject for the last 15 years? Why do you infer it's all a bit of a surprise: that you have been caught unawares? It's obvious you have been so caught otherwise you wouldn't resort to this rather feeble posturing directed solely at the one party which has had the temerity to not only explain things honestly to the voting and paying public, but is also the party that walloped you failing Tories (plural) at the last by-election. So, just how ignorant is Cllr Morgan, and the rest of her Tory Council? Cllr Morgan then admits to the necessity of prudence with taxpayer's (sic) money (it should be “ taxpayers' ” plural, possessive: there is, hopefully, more than one taxpayer still dolling out to HC). This is a memorable first! After the indulgences of gagging orders, generous redundancies for allegedly useless employees, failed IT projects, years of publishing the excrescence formerly know as “Hereford Matters”, the Plough Lane Xanadu, the shambles of the £7m car park, and many other howling examples of imprudence, coupled with the loss at Pontrilas, it seems the point may actually be getting through to this bunch of unpopular has-beens that, although they got away with playing fast and loose when the good times rolled, they can't get away with it now that things are heading south! So, just how ignorant is Cllr Morgan? The best piece of fluster, bluster and posturing, though, is saved for the final sentence, which reads “Not taking this decision would have been irresponsible and arguably gambling with taxpayer’s money.” Not taking this decision? What does that mean? Take any old decision? Just do it, now, because we have a deadline (self imposed because we have been so insouciant it's come upon us as a bit of a shock, at the fifty-ninth minute of the eleventh hour, and now we must rush through a decision without giving ourselves enough time for proper consideration, or to inform everyone it might affect, like the voting public of the county), and since when has gambling with taxpayers' money ever been on the conscience of Tory controlled Herefordshire Council? Such an overt attempt to claim responsibility by flatly denying irresponsibility is naïve spin of a provincial class, and as hollow as an OLM unit. So, just how ignorant is Cllr Morgan? No, Cllr Morgan, this very feeble apologia for yet another serious error does not cut any ice with me. Your cabinet has shown time and time again it is just not up to the job, either intellectually or in imagination. For proof of your low standards you only have to look at the horror of the Edgar Street Shed, that abysmal, non aspirational design nightmare you have inflicted on a sensitive site, a key, defining location in the approach to the ancient city where you have casually dumped a saw toothed monster that has Pevsner, Clifton-Taylor and Betjeman spinning in their graves. It is an abomination, an architectural insult of such depravity it will sit alongside Birmingham's late and unlamented Bull Ring Centre as a classic example of how not to develop an inner city. My only hope is it will not survive as long as did the Birmingham monster. Further proof of your low standards lies in your poor English: both yours, Cllr Morgan, and that of your colleagues and your officers. However, now that they are rattled by the constant stream of criticism from every Tom, Dick or Harry with a computer, or a pen, the Tories have adopted a stance of moral outrage and demand critics should offer alternatives. Again, they are wrong. We don't have to offer an alternative, but I will. It is simply this: start thinking ahead: do your homework: base decisions on what is right for the 186,000 people not in your tiny little, vacuous cabinet: do what is right, not just the least painful or most politically expedient: own up when you get it wrong and be big enough to reverse bad decisions when they are obviously so: listen to your advisors, particularly when we have paid for that advice: listen to the opposition, especially Liz Harvey, who is experienced and knowledgeable, and not at all ignorant, but most of all, adopt a degree of modesty commensurate with your precarious majority. Simon Brown

3:46pm Mon 16 Dec 13

bobby47 says...

Hello Dippy. It's of no concern to me old friend. I know they've read these threads and that's enough for me.
Mind, if I was in their shoes, and I wanted to manage a crisis in communication, I'd do a Graham Powell, respond, lighten the mood, threaten to kick my head in and leave the news thread with my head held high.
Mind, to do that, you've gotta have skills. An ability to communicate and deflect the barbs of our arrows. It's unlikely they possess these literary skills to combat out collective blogging skills and so I wouldn't hold your breath while you wait for a response.
My warmest regards mate.
Hello Dippy. It's of no concern to me old friend. I know they've read these threads and that's enough for me. Mind, if I was in their shoes, and I wanted to manage a crisis in communication, I'd do a Graham Powell, respond, lighten the mood, threaten to kick my head in and leave the news thread with my head held high. Mind, to do that, you've gotta have skills. An ability to communicate and deflect the barbs of our arrows. It's unlikely they possess these literary skills to combat out collective blogging skills and so I wouldn't hold your breath while you wait for a response. My warmest regards mate. bobby47

3:48pm Mon 16 Dec 13

dippyhippy says...

Simon Brown.....I salute you!
Fabulous!
Now get behind me, Bobby and Tim Buck-Too! We are ahead of you in the queue marked "waiting patiently for a response!"
Simon Brown.....I salute you! Fabulous! Now get behind me, Bobby and Tim Buck-Too! We are ahead of you in the queue marked "waiting patiently for a response!" dippyhippy

3:52pm Mon 16 Dec 13

dippyhippy says...

Bobby,they do not possess Our Grahams' skill in the area of communication - neither do they possess his rather lovely coat, and sense of style!!
Both rather unfortunate in there own way!
Bobby,they do not possess Our Grahams' skill in the area of communication - neither do they possess his rather lovely coat, and sense of style!! Both rather unfortunate in there own way! dippyhippy

3:53pm Mon 16 Dec 13

bobby47 says...

Brown, That my good friend is probably the best piece of written work I have ever read. Simply wonderful and cleverly crafted by an outstanding blogger.
Have no concerns Simon. She'll be reading it. I promise you they'll all be reading your masterful piece of work.
Outstanding!!!
Brown, That my good friend is probably the best piece of written work I have ever read. Simply wonderful and cleverly crafted by an outstanding blogger. Have no concerns Simon. She'll be reading it. I promise you they'll all be reading your masterful piece of work. Outstanding!!! bobby47

3:56pm Mon 16 Dec 13

Herefordian07 says...

Well said Simon Brown, let us see if that gets a response, I will not hold my breath though, I can just imagine the cabinet scurrying to the bunker to work on a new bunch of obfuscation to be served up to us. Merry Christmas
Well said Simon Brown, let us see if that gets a response, I will not hold my breath though, I can just imagine the cabinet scurrying to the bunker to work on a new bunch of obfuscation to be served up to us. Merry Christmas Herefordian07

3:58pm Mon 16 Dec 13

TIM BUCK-TOO says...

Hey up - it's five-to-four folks. The Plough Lane worker ants need to allow five minutes to get down in the lift and across the car park to the bike shed. So I don't think we'll be getting a compative response from Ben Proctor tonight.
Hey up - it's five-to-four folks. The Plough Lane worker ants need to allow five minutes to get down in the lift and across the car park to the bike shed. So I don't think we'll be getting a compative response from Ben Proctor tonight. TIM BUCK-TOO

4:02pm Mon 16 Dec 13

WYSIATI says...

Cllr Morgan - thank you for your post.

I went looking on the council website for some background information - including the 2009 and 2012 reviews of options for waste management. I couldn't find either.

Dippy - I hate to admit this but I started working on waste management in 1991. At that time the place was flooded with proposals for new thermal treatment and recycling plants - all promising low costs, breakthrough economics, fabulous waste derived products and all the bells and whistles. Since then there's been a lot of progress on recycling materials (though a lot goes abroad and the real benefits are questionable). What really strikes me is that the objections to investment in waste management infrastructure still sound exactly the same - the great new technology that processes that filthy mixed waste that's left over after pulling out the best recyclables from the bin will produce fabulous clean products all worth a fortune and all the while producing no pollution and lots of energy - just hang on while we prove the unbeatable concept.

Now that's not to say that there is not a better solution out there but it's hard work - mixed waste contains all sorts of things (and changes all the time), the quantities go up and down, over Christmas it's totally different waste than mid summer. In short it's waste and we chuck it out.

The big questions for me are contractual and to do with size of the plant (it's one area where size matters). Can it be built and run at reasonable cost? Are the risks properly shared? Can the project cope with changed volumes (more or less) and different proportions between Hereford and Worcester? Public services have a long and sorry history of being shafted by private companies in contract negotiations - let's not lengthen that history.
Cllr Morgan - thank you for your post. I went looking on the council website for some background information - including the 2009 and 2012 reviews of options for waste management. I couldn't find either. Dippy - I hate to admit this but I started working on waste management in 1991. At that time the place was flooded with proposals for new thermal treatment and recycling plants - all promising low costs, breakthrough economics, fabulous waste derived products and all the bells and whistles. Since then there's been a lot of progress on recycling materials (though a lot goes abroad and the real benefits are questionable). What really strikes me is that the objections to investment in waste management infrastructure still sound exactly the same - the great new technology that processes that filthy mixed waste that's left over after pulling out the best recyclables from the bin will produce fabulous clean products all worth a fortune and all the while producing no pollution and lots of energy - just hang on while we prove the unbeatable concept. Now that's not to say that there is not a better solution out there but it's hard work - mixed waste contains all sorts of things (and changes all the time), the quantities go up and down, over Christmas it's totally different waste than mid summer. In short it's waste and we chuck it out. The big questions for me are contractual and to do with size of the plant (it's one area where size matters). Can it be built and run at reasonable cost? Are the risks properly shared? Can the project cope with changed volumes (more or less) and different proportions between Hereford and Worcester? Public services have a long and sorry history of being shafted by private companies in contract negotiations - let's not lengthen that history. WYSIATI

4:09pm Mon 16 Dec 13

WYSIATI says...

Simon Brown - congratulations on the longest, most carefully written, bucket of bile I've read for a while.

That sort of long-winded personal insult should ensure that no councillors, still less Patricia Morgan, would want to grace these pages with their presence and who could blame them.
Simon Brown - congratulations on the longest, most carefully written, bucket of bile I've read for a while. That sort of long-winded personal insult should ensure that no councillors, still less Patricia Morgan, would want to grace these pages with their presence and who could blame them. WYSIATI

4:09pm Mon 16 Dec 13

dippyhippy says...

Wysiati ! Hello there!
Yes, I had gathered this from your earlier posts!

Big questions??? Yes, I absolutely agree these are the ones that need asking, what I'm not convinced of is this cabinets ability to ask them, or if they do, to actually understand the answers!

There is a lot of knowledge and expertise within this county - I would suggest that those with the know-how should have more in-put. To say that I am alarmed at the thought of a council officer recommending this scheme, then running off to work for the company benefitting from the contract, would be an under statement.
Wysiati ! Hello there! Yes, I had gathered this from your earlier posts! Big questions??? Yes, I absolutely agree these are the ones that need asking, what I'm not convinced of is this cabinets ability to ask them, or if they do, to actually understand the answers! There is a lot of knowledge and expertise within this county - I would suggest that those with the know-how should have more in-put. To say that I am alarmed at the thought of a council officer recommending this scheme, then running off to work for the company benefitting from the contract, would be an under statement. dippyhippy

4:21pm Mon 16 Dec 13

dippyhippy says...

TIM BUCK-TOO wrote:
Hey up - it's five-to-four folks. The Plough Lane worker ants need to allow five minutes to get down in the lift and across the car park to the bike shed. So I don't think we'll be getting a compative response from Ben Proctor tonight.
Tim, you may well be right - the window of opportunity for a response may well have closed for today - but hey, there's always tomorrow!
I am an optimistic soul, so I'll be back again to check in on progress!!
[quote][p][bold]TIM BUCK-TOO[/bold] wrote: Hey up - it's five-to-four folks. The Plough Lane worker ants need to allow five minutes to get down in the lift and across the car park to the bike shed. So I don't think we'll be getting a compative response from Ben Proctor tonight.[/p][/quote]Tim, you may well be right - the window of opportunity for a response may well have closed for today - but hey, there's always tomorrow! I am an optimistic soul, so I'll be back again to check in on progress!! dippyhippy

5:00pm Mon 16 Dec 13

Mrfade says...

Cllr Harvey has explained her point well. So an alternative like Avon mouth has a capitol cost of £100 million less, can take more waste and create as much energy.
Wakefield was simply being used as an example because it is vastly cheaper and some of the advisors on this project came to the planning inquiry and stated that Wakefield wouldn’t happen. It wasn't proven technology, These are some of the advisors employed by Mercia!! Interesting, but there are more being built than incinerators. Yes you would not compare Wakefield directly with Hereford, but this facility could treat the same or more waste than is being proposed. For half the price.

The energy issue is a bit of a mystery. No one can produce any evidence of how the electricity will be connected. The plan presented at the Public Inquiry has been withdrawn.
The heat cannot be used due to the rural location. Hereford council are relying on a fraction of the income from this estimated to be about £5 million per annum. A drop in the ocean compered to an overall cost of £1,6 billion.
This is the council who proposed to share running this project as a business! Sheffield is in dire straights with their incinerator contract. They don’t have enough waste and the contractor won’t reduce the penalties. Stoke had to pay £645 thousand pounds to their contractor for increasing recycling. Look up Harrisburg in the USA. Holland and Germany are crying out for waste they haven't got enough. If you can treat your waste for half the cost why wouldn’t you?
Cllr Harvey has explained her point well. So an alternative like Avon mouth has a capitol cost of £100 million less, can take more waste and create as much energy. Wakefield was simply being used as an example because it is vastly cheaper and some of the advisors on this project came to the planning inquiry and stated that Wakefield wouldn’t happen. It wasn't proven technology, These are some of the advisors employed by Mercia!! Interesting, but there are more being built than incinerators. Yes you would not compare Wakefield directly with Hereford, but this facility could treat the same or more waste than is being proposed. For half the price. The energy issue is a bit of a mystery. No one can produce any evidence of how the electricity will be connected. The plan presented at the Public Inquiry has been withdrawn. The heat cannot be used due to the rural location. Hereford council are relying on a fraction of the income from this estimated to be about £5 million per annum. A drop in the ocean compered to an overall cost of £1,6 billion. This is the council who proposed to share running this project as a business! Sheffield is in dire straights with their incinerator contract. They don’t have enough waste and the contractor won’t reduce the penalties. Stoke had to pay £645 thousand pounds to their contractor for increasing recycling. Look up Harrisburg in the USA. Holland and Germany are crying out for waste they haven't got enough. If you can treat your waste for half the cost why wouldn’t you? Mrfade

5:02pm Mon 16 Dec 13

Ben Proctor says...

Hello everyone

It's nice that bobby47 thinks I look young.

For better or worse I haven't been involved in crafting any comments to Hereford Times discussion threads apart from this one.

I do ride a bike.

I'd rather stay away from the nettles if that's alright with everyone.

Is there anything I can help with?
Hello everyone It's nice that bobby47 thinks I look young. For better or worse I haven't been involved in crafting any comments to Hereford Times discussion threads apart from this one. I do ride a bike. I'd rather stay away from the nettles if that's alright with everyone. Is there anything I can help with? Ben Proctor

5:09pm Mon 16 Dec 13

dippyhippy says...

Well Ben, if you can answer any of our queries, I am sure we would all be grateful!
Well Ben, if you can answer any of our queries, I am sure we would all be grateful! dippyhippy

5:14pm Mon 16 Dec 13

bobby47 says...

No, that's pretty much it Ben! Clearly you've got more in your weaponry than I've given you credit for. Good for you kiddo. By all means, feel free to type what you think, give me a tongue lashing and I'll accept it all, the entire humiliation, with good grace and humility.
My warmest regards.
No, that's pretty much it Ben! Clearly you've got more in your weaponry than I've given you credit for. Good for you kiddo. By all means, feel free to type what you think, give me a tongue lashing and I'll accept it all, the entire humiliation, with good grace and humility. My warmest regards. bobby47

7:11pm Mon 16 Dec 13

saidflo says...

I am in no hurry to thank Ben Proctor for offering to help. He's been graciously thanked by posters but has not yet given that help. He's conspicuous by his absence.

Cllr Morgan is attributed as the author of a nonsensical posturing justification for the recent actions of the tory cabinet in ridiculously agreeing to go ahead with the almost bankrupt council's plan to invest £40 million of our (borrowed) money in the proposed unpopular Hartlebury Incinerator project. Maybe an adviser was the author, maybe not, WHO CARES?
There are so many reasons that investment is a monumental error.

Simon Brown castigated Cllr Morgan's posting superbly! I can only applaud Simon and agree wholeheartedly.
Liz Harvey posted informative project facts, but I am not satisfied, as I am still in the dark about what the waste management future holds. I would like some reassurance that council leaders are acting in the interests of Herefordshire residents. Currently all evidence shows them to be acting against our best interests.

Ben, I presume you are a man who knows this project like the back of your hand. I base my assumption on your offer of help following mention of your name. Here are my questions :
1. What alternatives have been considered before the contract was signed, and why all were rejected, (in reasonable detail), please?
2. What safeguards are in place to monitor and ensure at all times that the project is proceeding efficiently, with value for money, due consideration for the environment, and prevention of pollution being of overall paramount importance?

It would be a real pleasure for us all to read published straightforward and simple explanations, designed to keep the public well informed and to ensure transparency in all the council's dealings!!

What a change it would be from cabinet's recent blathering, secret enclaves and decisions with smoke and mirror tactics.
I am in no hurry to thank Ben Proctor for offering to help. He's been graciously thanked by posters but has not yet given that help. He's conspicuous by his absence. Cllr Morgan is attributed as the author of a nonsensical posturing justification for the recent actions of the tory cabinet in ridiculously agreeing to go ahead with the almost bankrupt council's plan to invest £40 million of our (borrowed) money in the proposed unpopular Hartlebury Incinerator project. Maybe an adviser was the author, maybe not, WHO CARES? There are so many reasons that investment is a monumental error. Simon Brown castigated Cllr Morgan's posting superbly! I can only applaud Simon and agree wholeheartedly. Liz Harvey posted informative project facts, but I am not satisfied, as I am still in the dark about what the waste management future holds. I would like some reassurance that council leaders are acting in the interests of Herefordshire residents. Currently all evidence shows them to be acting against our best interests. Ben, I presume you are a man who knows this project like the back of your hand. I base my assumption on your offer of help following mention of your name. Here are my questions : 1. What alternatives have been considered before the contract was signed, and why all were rejected, (in reasonable detail), please? 2. What safeguards are in place to monitor and ensure at all times that the project is proceeding efficiently, with value for money, due consideration for the environment, and prevention of pollution being of overall paramount importance? It would be a real pleasure for us all to read published straightforward and simple explanations, designed to keep the public well informed and to ensure transparency in all the council's dealings!! What a change it would be from cabinet's recent blathering, secret enclaves and decisions with smoke and mirror tactics. saidflo

7:11pm Mon 16 Dec 13

Cllr Liz Harvey says...

WYSIATI - the review of options for the disposal of residual waste undertaken in 2009 is at the following location:
https://www.hereford
shire.gov.uk/media/7
293138/annex_d_resid
ual_options_appraisa
l.pdf

The 2012 update is here:
https://www.hereford
shire.gov.uk/media/7
196508/review_of_res
idual_options_apprai
sal2012.pdf

Last week I spoke to the partner who signed off on both reports at ERM, the firm of consultants used to undertake the reviews, and he agreed that performance in waste disposal technology is accelerating, but he wasn't able to give me a definition of 'proven technology' in the context of the (no)risk environment inhabited by local authorities. I'm sure a definition could be provided, given more notice of the question.

It will be useful to track what happens at Avonmouth, Wakefield and elsewhere over the next 2-3 years. A plan-H may yet be achievable.
WYSIATI - the review of options for the disposal of residual waste undertaken in 2009 is at the following location: https://www.hereford shire.gov.uk/media/7 293138/annex_d_resid ual_options_appraisa l.pdf The 2012 update is here: https://www.hereford shire.gov.uk/media/7 196508/review_of_res idual_options_apprai sal2012.pdf Last week I spoke to the partner who signed off on both reports at ERM, the firm of consultants used to undertake the reviews, and he agreed that performance in waste disposal technology is accelerating, but he wasn't able to give me a definition of 'proven technology' in the context of the (no)risk environment inhabited by local authorities. I'm sure a definition could be provided, given more notice of the question. It will be useful to track what happens at Avonmouth, Wakefield and elsewhere over the next 2-3 years. A plan-H may yet be achievable. Cllr Liz Harvey

7:35pm Mon 16 Dec 13

Mr.Herefordian says...

Who was the cabinet expert who led children's services to rock bottom, as it still is.
Who was the cabinet expert who led children's services to rock bottom, as it still is. Mr.Herefordian

7:53pm Mon 16 Dec 13

dippyhippy says...

Well done Liz, a useful and informative response to a posters question.
Patricia please take note. This is how communication works,it's a two way thing, a novel concept perhaps to you, but one which other councillors finds works quite well!
Well done Liz, a useful and informative response to a posters question. Patricia please take note. This is how communication works,it's a two way thing, a novel concept perhaps to you, but one which other councillors finds works quite well! dippyhippy

8:14pm Mon 16 Dec 13

Cllr Liz Harvey says...

saidflo - the reports in the post above give some descriptions of the technology options but, as the first report is at pains to point out (page IV):

"Option B (EfW+CHP Energy from waste with Combined Heat and Power plant) scores the best overall; however the criteria were not weighted, so no criteria are assumed to be more important than any others. Members of the Partnership highlighted cost, reliability and resource depletion as the most important criteria. With the exception of cost, option B scored well against these key criteria. If the potential income from the heat generated by option B is also taken into consideration, this option will also have a lower overall cost than assumed by this assessment.

There will be no CHP from Hartlebury for the foreseeable future … so what is being built is actually Option A (EfW) in the report. Pyrolysis & Gasification is referred to in the report as Advanced Thermal Treatment (ATT) and is recommended to be considered in combination with Mechanical & Biological Treatment (MBT) of the raw waste … so the closest option to the Avonmouth plant in the 2009/12 report is Option C – two MBT-Gasification plants.

It is also worth noting that the report states clearly: "The purpose of this report therefore is not to identify ‘the best option’ but to provide information on the advantages and disadvantages of various treatments to help guide and inform future strategic decisions regarding the treatment of residual MSW."

The report is correct at the time of writing to state: “Advanced Thermal Treatment (ATT) of untreated residual MSW has not been proven on a large scale in either the UK or Europe.” The rate of development of Pyro-Gas is such that the Avonmouth plant has been built and commissioned since the 2012 update was completed.

Consequently the summary table on page 29 of the report for the unweighted criteria on which Option C scores poorly bear little relation to the actual performance of the full-scale plant which the scrutiny team site visit had confirmed to councillors and officers present:
• The planning risk score is solely influenced by the assessment’s assumption that Option C would be a 2-site solution. Clearly this doesn’t need to be the case, as the Avonmouth plant is the required size on a single site, however 2-site solutions would reduce the transportation costs in future which could be significant.
• The score for end product liability is based solely on the assumption that the Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF) created by the MBT process would be transported off-site for burning elsewhere – something which just wouldn’t happen with a plant similar to Avonmouth where all the processes occur on a single site; or would be clearly understood if the H&W solution were to be a distributed network of Pyro-tubes adjacent to employment sites within county. If the exported fuel is removed from the assessment , the technology is ranked first – out-performing its nearest rival by 33%.
• The poor score for flexibility of waste composition is, again, penalised by the assumption that the RDF would be exported.
• The poor score for cost is the result of giving the option the highest score for operating costs over the lifetime of the plant of any of the options. This is supposed to be based on ‘publicly available data’ of which there must be very little, given all that’s been said about it’s unproven nature. The capital outlay for the plant is acknowledged to be half that of the EfW with CHP, which is what we are told will be the build spec for the Hartlebury plant despite there being no CHP opportunity.

If a properly weighted options analysis had been done on the technologies factoring into the assessment the actual site/s for such a facility I am confident that a very different outcome would have been reached.

It is for these reasons … and many others that IOC councillors have done our best to counsel that this decision is premature.
saidflo - the reports in the post above give some descriptions of the technology options but, as the first report is at pains to point out (page IV): "Option B (EfW+CHP Energy from waste with Combined Heat and Power plant) scores the best overall; however the criteria were not weighted, so no criteria are assumed to be more important than any others. Members of the Partnership highlighted cost, reliability and resource depletion as the most important criteria. With the exception of cost, option B scored well against these key criteria. If the potential income from the heat generated by option B is also taken into consideration, this option will also have a lower overall cost than assumed by this assessment. There will be no CHP from Hartlebury for the foreseeable future … so what is being built is actually Option A (EfW) in the report. Pyrolysis & Gasification is referred to in the report as Advanced Thermal Treatment (ATT) and is recommended to be considered in combination with Mechanical & Biological Treatment (MBT) of the raw waste … so the closest option to the Avonmouth plant in the 2009/12 report is Option C – two MBT-Gasification plants. It is also worth noting that the report states clearly: "The purpose of this report therefore is not to identify ‘the best option’ but to provide information on the advantages and disadvantages of various treatments to help guide and inform future strategic decisions regarding the treatment of residual MSW." The report is correct at the time of writing to state: “Advanced Thermal Treatment (ATT) of untreated residual MSW has not been proven on a large scale in either the UK or Europe.” The rate of development of Pyro-Gas is such that the Avonmouth plant has been built and commissioned since the 2012 update was completed. Consequently the summary table on page 29 of the report for the unweighted criteria on which Option C scores poorly bear little relation to the actual performance of the full-scale plant which the scrutiny team site visit had confirmed to councillors and officers present: • The planning risk score is solely influenced by the assessment’s assumption that Option C would be a 2-site solution. Clearly this doesn’t need to be the case, as the Avonmouth plant is the required size on a single site, however 2-site solutions would reduce the transportation costs in future which could be significant. • The score for end product liability is based solely on the assumption that the Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF) created by the MBT process would be transported off-site for burning elsewhere – something which just wouldn’t happen with a plant similar to Avonmouth where all the processes occur on a single site; or would be clearly understood if the H&W solution were to be a distributed network of Pyro-tubes adjacent to employment sites within county. If the exported fuel is removed from the assessment , the technology is ranked first – out-performing its nearest rival by 33%. • The poor score for flexibility of waste composition is, again, penalised by the assumption that the RDF would be exported. • The poor score for cost is the result of giving the option the highest score for operating costs over the lifetime of the plant of any of the options. This is supposed to be based on ‘publicly available data’ of which there must be very little, given all that’s been said about it’s unproven nature. The capital outlay for the plant is acknowledged to be half that of the EfW with CHP, which is what we are told will be the build spec for the Hartlebury plant despite there being no CHP opportunity. If a properly weighted options analysis had been done on the technologies factoring into the assessment the actual site/s for such a facility I am confident that a very different outcome would have been reached. It is for these reasons … and many others that IOC councillors have done our best to counsel that this decision is premature. Cllr Liz Harvey

9:07pm Mon 16 Dec 13

saidflo says...

Thanks for the information Liz.
Decision made and cabinet choice poor but clear -
Can we be confident proper safeguarding is in place on the project to ensure efficiency, environmental protection and value for money? (Serious question).
Thanks for the information Liz. Decision made and cabinet choice poor but clear - Can we be confident proper safeguarding is in place on the project to ensure efficiency, environmental protection and value for money? (Serious question). saidflo

9:49pm Mon 16 Dec 13

Cllr Liz Harvey says...

saidflo - sorry I can't confirm this.

The council's own auditors (KPMG) were not able to confirm this option was value for money for Herefordshire in their report to Cabinet last week. The option chosen has the worst score for ecotoxicity and second worst for global warming and acidification (without CHP) in the original options report.

I'm hoping the reality is significantly different - since this report is so inaccurate for the Pyro-gas technology. But I just don't know.
saidflo - sorry I can't confirm this. The council's own auditors (KPMG) were not able to confirm this option was value for money for Herefordshire in their report to Cabinet last week. The option chosen has the worst score for ecotoxicity and second worst for global warming and acidification (without CHP) in the original options report. I'm hoping the reality is significantly different - since this report is so inaccurate for the Pyro-gas technology. But I just don't know. Cllr Liz Harvey

10:15pm Mon 16 Dec 13

dippyhippy says...

Thanks Liz, for all the time and effort you have spent answering queries, and giving us facts and information. Much appreciated.

So there we have it folks, situation clarified.
Their own auditors are unable to confirm that this is value for money.

Up to our proverbials in debt for the next God knows how many years. It's enough to make me weep with despair.

And still no words of comfort from Patricia......I'm beginning to think she doesn't care.......
Thanks Liz, for all the time and effort you have spent answering queries, and giving us facts and information. Much appreciated. So there we have it folks, situation clarified. Their own auditors are unable to confirm that this is value for money. Up to our proverbials in debt for the next God knows how many years. It's enough to make me weep with despair. And still no words of comfort from Patricia......I'm beginning to think she doesn't care....... dippyhippy

10:18pm Mon 16 Dec 13

WYSIATI says...

Thanks Cllr Harvey, I'll see if I can take a look at those documents.

It seems quite appropriate that the advisers provide information for the officers and councillors to assess.

Might exercise a little caution with what appear to be some sort of LCA comparisons on impacts - very hard to compare like for like there so a considerable amount of judgement is required.

In terms of proven technology there is a need for a solution that has known and reliable costs, a long term track record of achieving the stated capacity and availability and will be there working for you with the waste that is coming in in 20 years time.

Burning waste is not easy and the extremely aggressive flue gases can cause a lot of wear and tear - I don't know why a pyrolysis plant would be any better for that so I'd want to see a good record - not a year or two.

As for the idea of pyro tubes remotely located - small scale waste burning has never worked to my knowledge - it's also never been welcomed by those living around it. Well-controlled central facilities on the other hand can be made to work and are far easier to monitor and control.
Thanks Cllr Harvey, I'll see if I can take a look at those documents. It seems quite appropriate that the advisers provide information for the officers and councillors to assess. Might exercise a little caution with what appear to be some sort of LCA comparisons on impacts - very hard to compare like for like there so a considerable amount of judgement is required. In terms of proven technology there is a need for a solution that has known and reliable costs, a long term track record of achieving the stated capacity and availability and will be there working for you with the waste that is coming in in 20 years time. Burning waste is not easy and the extremely aggressive flue gases can cause a lot of wear and tear - I don't know why a pyrolysis plant would be any better for that so I'd want to see a good record - not a year or two. As for the idea of pyro tubes remotely located - small scale waste burning has never worked to my knowledge - it's also never been welcomed by those living around it. Well-controlled central facilities on the other hand can be made to work and are far easier to monitor and control. WYSIATI

10:26pm Mon 16 Dec 13

dippyhippy says...

Wysiati, you obviously have a thorough, working knowledge of this area, you say a year or two is not enough of a proven record, from what I have gleaned I would agree.....but just how long, 5 years, 8 years??
I would welcome your opinion.
Wysiati, you obviously have a thorough, working knowledge of this area, you say a year or two is not enough of a proven record, from what I have gleaned I would agree.....but just how long, 5 years, 8 years?? I would welcome your opinion. dippyhippy

11:20pm Mon 16 Dec 13

WYSIATI says...

Hi Dippy, good question.many projects go wrong in the first couple of years, but you might not hear about it, lots of interests to keep it looking good. If it's still working well after five years and wearing as expected you may well be ok. But the contract is in the order of twenty years and you really need the thing working at the end. Any reduction in throughput, change in value of products or energy can wreak havoc, as will getting the waste volume wrong. But you have to do something, the waste keeps on coming......
Hi Dippy, good question.many projects go wrong in the first couple of years, but you might not hear about it, lots of interests to keep it looking good. If it's still working well after five years and wearing as expected you may well be ok. But the contract is in the order of twenty years and you really need the thing working at the end. Any reduction in throughput, change in value of products or energy can wreak havoc, as will getting the waste volume wrong. But you have to do something, the waste keeps on coming...... WYSIATI

11:46pm Mon 16 Dec 13

dippyhippy says...

Cheers for that Wysiati! I appreciate your speedy response!
And now, I really am turning this bloody thing off and getting some sleep!!
Take care!
Cheers for that Wysiati! I appreciate your speedy response! And now, I really am turning this bloody thing off and getting some sleep!! Take care! dippyhippy

7:57am Tue 17 Dec 13

WYSIATI says...

I've had a quick read of the supporting documents.

I am surprised that the cement kiln option does not come out higher (very well proven combustion systems that are very well controlled) - though it would have to be some way off and the contracts might need work (not having a tied plant).

I would be concerned about options that have poor flexibility for changing waste composition - waste has changed a lot in the past years and will probably change more looking forward with changes in what we buy, use and throw away. This changes amounts as well as composition.

Can't see how you can make a full assessment of costs without allowing for sales of products (materials and energy). Though you have to build in the fact that values for all tend to be pretty volatile and you would be brave to base decisions for managing wastes on sales of residual products.

I have had the pleasure of visiting a number of waste processing facilities including many energy from waste units and several gasification and pyrolysis units. I did go to a gasification plant at Avonmouth - which looked very nice. It was working but only processing clinical waste when I saw it as it was so expensive - as far as a I can see there's no connection with the plant that's in the process of commissioning at Avonmouth now. Will be very interesting to see how the new plant performs but it will be a good while before you'd see it as proven if it's just the one plant.

Note that the rankings for performance for each option depend to a very important degree on what it is that is being displaced - ie if you get energy from waste then what is it that you're not using - this drives the rankings for many options. I didn't see any sensitivity analysis on this - but I did not read every word.

I'd say that from the perspective of the council the key issues are reliability, cost and prospects for success. Any option would need to meet all the applicable environmental and health and safety regulations and these provide a high level of environmental protection. I would be very cautious of any unproven claims for very low capital costs and great sources of income from waste processing.
I've had a quick read of the supporting documents. I am surprised that the cement kiln option does not come out higher (very well proven combustion systems that are very well controlled) - though it would have to be some way off and the contracts might need work (not having a tied plant). I would be concerned about options that have poor flexibility for changing waste composition - waste has changed a lot in the past years and will probably change more looking forward with changes in what we buy, use and throw away. This changes amounts as well as composition. Can't see how you can make a full assessment of costs without allowing for sales of products (materials and energy). Though you have to build in the fact that values for all tend to be pretty volatile and you would be brave to base decisions for managing wastes on sales of residual products. I have had the pleasure of visiting a number of waste processing facilities including many energy from waste units and several gasification and pyrolysis units. I did go to a gasification plant at Avonmouth - which looked very nice. It was working but only processing clinical waste when I saw it as it was so expensive - as far as a I can see there's no connection with the plant that's in the process of commissioning at Avonmouth now. Will be very interesting to see how the new plant performs but it will be a good while before you'd see it as proven if it's just the one plant. Note that the rankings for performance for each option depend to a very important degree on what it is that is being displaced - ie if you get energy from waste then what is it that you're not using - this drives the rankings for many options. I didn't see any sensitivity analysis on this - but I did not read every word. I'd say that from the perspective of the council the key issues are reliability, cost and prospects for success. Any option would need to meet all the applicable environmental and health and safety regulations and these provide a high level of environmental protection. I would be very cautious of any unproven claims for very low capital costs and great sources of income from waste processing. WYSIATI

8:57am Tue 17 Dec 13

Ben Proctor says...

Apologies for my tardiness.

saidflo I'm afraid I do not know this project like the back of my hand but I will always try to help if I can.

Though for the moment it looks like Cllr Liz Harvey has answered the outstanding points.
Apologies for my tardiness. saidflo I'm afraid I do not know this project like the back of my hand but I will always try to help if I can. Though for the moment it looks like Cllr Liz Harvey has answered the outstanding points. Ben Proctor

9:36am Tue 17 Dec 13

probono says...

Don't abuse the Councillors who have the guts to come on here and respond or you will drive them away. This is a dialogue, somewhat onesided about an issue that causes concern. Thereford allow the HC members to respond without insults, hollow threats and political point scoring. it gets us nowhere at all. The officers of HC will not give straight answers to questions, FOI takes forever and often gets refused just to prolong the procedure. It is crisis time at HC and many authorities and while the fat cats at the top are secure, the lower minions are worried about theirjobs or no longer care.
It is not an easy time to be a Councillor; that is if you are a proper Councillor and actuall represent your area and its concerns properly, not just take' the money and attend a couple of meetings' type.
Meaning ful dialogue would be helpful, members of the public involved with the Scrutiny process and a lot more openness with help to raise public confidence.
Or Plan B, re marry Worcestershire ?
Don't abuse the Councillors who have the guts to come on here and respond or you will drive them away. This is a dialogue, somewhat onesided about an issue that causes concern. Thereford allow the HC members to respond without insults, hollow threats and political point scoring. it gets us nowhere at all. The officers of HC will not give straight answers to questions, FOI takes forever and often gets refused just to prolong the procedure. It is crisis time at HC and many authorities and while the fat cats at the top are secure, the lower minions are worried about theirjobs or no longer care. It is not an easy time to be a Councillor; that is if you are a proper Councillor and actuall represent your area and its concerns properly, not just take' the money and attend a couple of meetings' type. Meaning ful dialogue would be helpful, members of the public involved with the Scrutiny process and a lot more openness with help to raise public confidence. Or Plan B, re marry Worcestershire ? probono

8:58pm Tue 17 Dec 13

JollyJesterTwo says...

probono wrote:
Don't abuse the Councillors who have the guts to come on here and respond or you will drive them away. This is a dialogue, somewhat onesided about an issue that causes concern. Thereford allow the HC members to respond without insults, hollow threats and political point scoring. it gets us nowhere at all. The officers of HC will not give straight answers to questions, FOI takes forever and often gets refused just to prolong the procedure. It is crisis time at HC and many authorities and while the fat cats at the top are secure, the lower minions are worried about theirjobs or no longer care.
It is not an easy time to be a Councillor; that is if you are a proper Councillor and actuall represent your area and its concerns properly, not just take' the money and attend a couple of meetings' type.
Meaning ful dialogue would be helpful, members of the public involved with the Scrutiny process and a lot more openness with help to raise public confidence.
Or Plan B, re marry Worcestershire ?
Councillors constantly abuse the trust placed in them by the electorate and misuse the council tax. Don't tell us not abuse those that come on here like Cllr Morgan to publish their latest load of tripe and lies.
[quote][p][bold]probono[/bold] wrote: Don't abuse the Councillors who have the guts to come on here and respond or you will drive them away. This is a dialogue, somewhat onesided about an issue that causes concern. Thereford allow the HC members to respond without insults, hollow threats and political point scoring. it gets us nowhere at all. The officers of HC will not give straight answers to questions, FOI takes forever and often gets refused just to prolong the procedure. It is crisis time at HC and many authorities and while the fat cats at the top are secure, the lower minions are worried about theirjobs or no longer care. It is not an easy time to be a Councillor; that is if you are a proper Councillor and actuall represent your area and its concerns properly, not just take' the money and attend a couple of meetings' type. Meaning ful dialogue would be helpful, members of the public involved with the Scrutiny process and a lot more openness with help to raise public confidence. Or Plan B, re marry Worcestershire ?[/p][/quote]Councillors constantly abuse the trust placed in them by the electorate and misuse the council tax. Don't tell us not abuse those that come on here like Cllr Morgan to publish their latest load of tripe and lies. JollyJesterTwo

9:44pm Tue 17 Dec 13

IanMurray says...

WYSIATI wrote:
You can't quote figures for Wakefield and imply they would be the same for Hereford. Rural county with low population density. Collecting waste is very expensive. MBT interesting but hard to get clean product. AD sounds good but causes endless issues of pollution, particularly to water. Reclyed product prices notoriously fickle. If there was a simple, cheap, clean and easy solution you would see a lot of it. If you look aboad you see energy from waste, well run, heating and elec along with high recycling.
Collecting waste in a rural community might well be expensive, but must be a lot cheaper than trucking it ti Hartlebury,
[quote][p][bold]WYSIATI[/bold] wrote: You can't quote figures for Wakefield and imply they would be the same for Hereford. Rural county with low population density. Collecting waste is very expensive. MBT interesting but hard to get clean product. AD sounds good but causes endless issues of pollution, particularly to water. Reclyed product prices notoriously fickle. If there was a simple, cheap, clean and easy solution you would see a lot of it. If you look aboad you see energy from waste, well run, heating and elec along with high recycling.[/p][/quote]Collecting waste in a rural community might well be expensive, but must be a lot cheaper than trucking it ti Hartlebury, IanMurray

10:04pm Tue 17 Dec 13

WYSIATI says...

IanMurray wrote:
WYSIATI wrote:
You can't quote figures for Wakefield and imply they would be the same for Hereford. Rural county with low population density. Collecting waste is very expensive. MBT interesting but hard to get clean product. AD sounds good but causes endless issues of pollution, particularly to water. Reclyed product prices notoriously fickle. If there was a simple, cheap, clean and easy solution you would see a lot of it. If you look aboad you see energy from waste, well run, heating and elec along with high recycling.
Collecting waste in a rural community might well be expensive, but must be a lot cheaper than trucking it ti Hartlebury,
Not at all - you run a large number of waste trucks from base out to the villages picking up a few kilos at a time, driving on to the next, picking a few more kilos and so on till you have a truck load (a few tonnes). All the time driving a long way between houses and a long way to the villages.

Compare that to driving a big truck, full, on a single trip to Hartlebury.

I am sure they've run the numbers - but I don't know where they are!
[quote][p][bold]IanMurray[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]WYSIATI[/bold] wrote: You can't quote figures for Wakefield and imply they would be the same for Hereford. Rural county with low population density. Collecting waste is very expensive. MBT interesting but hard to get clean product. AD sounds good but causes endless issues of pollution, particularly to water. Reclyed product prices notoriously fickle. If there was a simple, cheap, clean and easy solution you would see a lot of it. If you look aboad you see energy from waste, well run, heating and elec along with high recycling.[/p][/quote]Collecting waste in a rural community might well be expensive, but must be a lot cheaper than trucking it ti Hartlebury,[/p][/quote]Not at all - you run a large number of waste trucks from base out to the villages picking up a few kilos at a time, driving on to the next, picking a few more kilos and so on till you have a truck load (a few tonnes). All the time driving a long way between houses and a long way to the villages. Compare that to driving a big truck, full, on a single trip to Hartlebury. I am sure they've run the numbers - but I don't know where they are! WYSIATI

11:23pm Tue 17 Dec 13

bobby47 says...

Councillor Morgan, this site together with all social media sites require a particular way in which to communicate.
It moreorless demands more of you than what was once expected. Years ago, you could get away with the way in which your message was constructed. Nowadays, much, much more of you is required. The message, which what your transmission is, is one that reads like a corporate document thrashed over by a bunch of politicuans in some back room until all around the table agree to its full content.
Now, because of the era of quick and direct communication, if you go onto a site like this, which is what you've done, you've gotta give more or yourself than you might wish to give. Simply, you've gotta communicate in a straightforward and easy to understand manner so that people will think they know you, perhaps like you and trust you. By posting your corporate message and then leaving the stage never to return, you do yourself political harm.
I know you'll read this. You have to. You must because you are no different to anyone with a sense of curiosity. You simply have to have a peep. It's only natural.
What you've gotta do is go back to the stage and answer the questions put to you. You made the decision to do this and now, having painted yourself into a corner, you've gotta get yourself out of this mini crisis that you've created for yourself.
Take a leaf out of Graham Powell's book, respond, throw a few punches, offer up some light humour and then clear off with your head held high.
Truly, I ain't attacking you. My advice is intended to help. If you do as I hope and return to address these questions you have my assurance that I'll put my nettle's away and behave myself.
Remember, none of this is personal, albeit, being rolled in nettles is very personal and very unforgivable. My warmest regards to you.
Councillor Morgan, this site together with all social media sites require a particular way in which to communicate. It moreorless demands more of you than what was once expected. Years ago, you could get away with the way in which your message was constructed. Nowadays, much, much more of you is required. The message, which what your transmission is, is one that reads like a corporate document thrashed over by a bunch of politicuans in some back room until all around the table agree to its full content. Now, because of the era of quick and direct communication, if you go onto a site like this, which is what you've done, you've gotta give more or yourself than you might wish to give. Simply, you've gotta communicate in a straightforward and easy to understand manner so that people will think they know you, perhaps like you and trust you. By posting your corporate message and then leaving the stage never to return, you do yourself political harm. I know you'll read this. You have to. You must because you are no different to anyone with a sense of curiosity. You simply have to have a peep. It's only natural. What you've gotta do is go back to the stage and answer the questions put to you. You made the decision to do this and now, having painted yourself into a corner, you've gotta get yourself out of this mini crisis that you've created for yourself. Take a leaf out of Graham Powell's book, respond, throw a few punches, offer up some light humour and then clear off with your head held high. Truly, I ain't attacking you. My advice is intended to help. If you do as I hope and return to address these questions you have my assurance that I'll put my nettle's away and behave myself. Remember, none of this is personal, albeit, being rolled in nettles is very personal and very unforgivable. My warmest regards to you. bobby47

7:23am Wed 18 Dec 13

TIM BUCK-TOO says...

Well said Bobby. Spare a thought for poor Dippy - still sat there at the keyboard, anxiously staring at the screen in the forlorn hope that a response will come from Cllr Morgan, to the very pertinent question posed about council officers. That was over two days ago. Either broadband is exceptionally slow in Herefordshire or the lot of a Deputy Leader is immensly burdensome.
Well said Bobby. Spare a thought for poor Dippy - still sat there at the keyboard, anxiously staring at the screen in the forlorn hope that a response will come from Cllr Morgan, to the very pertinent question posed about council officers. That was over two days ago. Either broadband is exceptionally slow in Herefordshire or the lot of a Deputy Leader is immensly burdensome. TIM BUCK-TOO

10:37am Wed 18 Dec 13

Herefordian07 says...

Simon Brown what an inspirational post - marvellous and puts a very fine and firm finger on this oligarchy and it's contempt for "We the People".
Simon Brown what an inspirational post - marvellous and puts a very fine and firm finger on this oligarchy and it's contempt for "We the People". Herefordian07

11:18am Wed 18 Dec 13

bobby47 says...

Any yet another masterpiece delivered by Simon. Mind, I got to be King because the readership yearned for tripe. They begged for it! 'Lighten our load', they cried, 'give us pigswill, codswallop and nonsensical drivel'.
So I did. I staggered up my shed, got my shovel and began hurling this deluge of rubbish out amongst the throng, or as they like to be called, The Howling Mob'. I did it because I could and I did it because they wanted it.
Not once did they say, 'we've taken a dislike to Olwyn Barnett'. If they'd said this then I would have quickly grown to dislike this woman and begun shovelling.
All Im saying is I'll be damned if I sit back and get usurped by Simon because I've had buggar all to say about Olwyn Barnett. There's nothing worse than getting usurped by a usurper who knows more than you do about Olwyn.
So therefore, I say to this gathering of fools, idiots and tappers of vowels and consonants, give me the chance to research Olwyn, get a hold of her photograph and learn to dislike her.
It's only fair and should I fail, then by all means tether me to a fixed object and thrash my bare buttocks with nettles. In the meantime, I say lets all learn to despise Olwyn and show her that we mean business and we've had enough of whatever it is she's doing to annoy Simon Briwn.
There, I've said it, I mean it and as soon as I find something to dislike about this woman I'll be back and I'll put an end to the entire usurping thingy!
Any yet another masterpiece delivered by Simon. Mind, I got to be King because the readership yearned for tripe. They begged for it! 'Lighten our load', they cried, 'give us pigswill, codswallop and nonsensical drivel'. So I did. I staggered up my shed, got my shovel and began hurling this deluge of rubbish out amongst the throng, or as they like to be called, The Howling Mob'. I did it because I could and I did it because they wanted it. Not once did they say, 'we've taken a dislike to Olwyn Barnett'. If they'd said this then I would have quickly grown to dislike this woman and begun shovelling. All Im saying is I'll be damned if I sit back and get usurped by Simon because I've had buggar all to say about Olwyn Barnett. There's nothing worse than getting usurped by a usurper who knows more than you do about Olwyn. So therefore, I say to this gathering of fools, idiots and tappers of vowels and consonants, give me the chance to research Olwyn, get a hold of her photograph and learn to dislike her. It's only fair and should I fail, then by all means tether me to a fixed object and thrash my bare buttocks with nettles. In the meantime, I say lets all learn to despise Olwyn and show her that we mean business and we've had enough of whatever it is she's doing to annoy Simon Briwn. There, I've said it, I mean it and as soon as I find something to dislike about this woman I'll be back and I'll put an end to the entire usurping thingy! bobby47

11:27am Wed 18 Dec 13

JollyJesterTwo says...

Simon Brown, I salute you sir. You might like to think about standing against one of these Tories inn2015.
Simon Brown, I salute you sir. You might like to think about standing against one of these Tories inn2015. JollyJesterTwo

12:29pm Wed 18 Dec 13

bobby47 says...

And I'd be sat in my office and they'd be a tap, tap, tap on the door. 'Who is it?', I'd say. ''Its me. Your eleven o'clock. It's Olwyn'. 'Goodness your punctual. Give me a moment to get dressed and tether these two hand reared ferrets to the table leg'.
'Come in my good lady, how nice to meet you. Please take a seat'. She'd enquire, 'why am I here. Have I done wrong?'and I'd respond saying,'I don't know what your doing but whatever it is I don't like it. Be a good woman and roll up your trouser leg. Im going to sting you with a nettle'.
Of course despite the protests I'd insist and once the fleshy parts of her leg were exposed I'd put on my rubber gauntlets, take out a leafy section of a nettle plant harvested in late July and I'd begin the gentle stroking of the nettle upon her flesh.
And Olwyn would scream, 'in Gods name why?' And I'd say, 'the nettle leaf is covered in millions of tiny hyperdermic type barbs that, when in contact with the flesh produce a sensation that you've just described as, 'bloody nettle stings' and that is why the nettle stings. 'No!', she'd howl, 'why are you doing this to me', to which I'd reply, 'because bloody Simon bloody Brown is after me crown.'
And I'd be sat in my office and they'd be a tap, tap, tap on the door. 'Who is it?', I'd say. ''Its me. Your eleven o'clock. It's Olwyn'. 'Goodness your punctual. Give me a moment to get dressed and tether these two hand reared ferrets to the table leg'. 'Come in my good lady, how nice to meet you. Please take a seat'. She'd enquire, 'why am I here. Have I done wrong?'and I'd respond saying,'I don't know what your doing but whatever it is I don't like it. Be a good woman and roll up your trouser leg. Im going to sting you with a nettle'. Of course despite the protests I'd insist and once the fleshy parts of her leg were exposed I'd put on my rubber gauntlets, take out a leafy section of a nettle plant harvested in late July and I'd begin the gentle stroking of the nettle upon her flesh. And Olwyn would scream, 'in Gods name why?' And I'd say, 'the nettle leaf is covered in millions of tiny hyperdermic type barbs that, when in contact with the flesh produce a sensation that you've just described as, 'bloody nettle stings' and that is why the nettle stings. 'No!', she'd howl, 'why are you doing this to me', to which I'd reply, 'because bloody Simon bloody Brown is after me crown.' bobby47

1:10pm Wed 18 Dec 13

Simon Brown says...

JollyJesterTwo wrote:
Simon Brown, I salute you sir. You might like to think about standing against one of these Tories inn2015.
JJT you flatter me, but at the age of 62 I consider myself too old. Being a councillor is a full time job involving masses of reading (if you want to do it properly), and travelling to Hereford from miles away up here is my idea of hell. I reckon I do better being a critic. It's just as valuable, if less popular, and I do upset a few people, but if they don't like it they can get out of the kitchen, or turn themselves into better cooks, or just retire. However, you should see what IOC has posted at https://www.facebook
.com/itsourcounty about Pickles wanting to stop all this kind of thing. I've never trusted him. He promised far too much, a "Greek bearing gifts".
[quote][p][bold]JollyJesterTwo[/bold] wrote: Simon Brown, I salute you sir. You might like to think about standing against one of these Tories inn2015.[/p][/quote]JJT you flatter me, but at the age of 62 I consider myself too old. Being a councillor is a full time job involving masses of reading (if you want to do it properly), and travelling to Hereford from miles away up here is my idea of hell. I reckon I do better being a critic. It's just as valuable, if less popular, and I do upset a few people, but if they don't like it they can get out of the kitchen, or turn themselves into better cooks, or just retire. However, you should see what IOC has posted at https://www.facebook .com/itsourcounty about Pickles wanting to stop all this kind of thing. I've never trusted him. He promised far too much, a "Greek bearing gifts". Simon Brown

1:29pm Wed 18 Dec 13

Herefordian07 says...

Of course Kim Jong Pickles would love to stop freedom of speech especially when it affects his party, unfortunately for him he hasn't read his history books, as long as there has been a ruling party there has been lampooners to reveal their failings. If the government try to stifle freedom of speech they will dishonour all those who have fought and died for this country in the name of freedom.
Of course Kim Jong Pickles would love to stop freedom of speech especially when it affects his party, unfortunately for him he hasn't read his history books, as long as there has been a ruling party there has been lampooners to reveal their failings. If the government try to stifle freedom of speech they will dishonour all those who have fought and died for this country in the name of freedom. Herefordian07

2:00pm Wed 18 Dec 13

Simon Brown says...

Is anyone watching the thumbing? I'll bet there is some thumbing down when they get back from lunch.
Is anyone watching the thumbing? I'll bet there is some thumbing down when they get back from lunch. Simon Brown

2:02pm Wed 18 Dec 13

Simon Brown says...

Herefordian07 wrote:
Of course Kim Jong Pickles would love to stop freedom of speech especially when it affects his party, unfortunately for him he hasn't read his history books, as long as there has been a ruling party there has been lampooners to reveal their failings. If the government try to stifle freedom of speech they will dishonour all those who have fought and died for this country in the name of freedom.
And then there's this http://blogs.telegra
ph.co.uk/news/brenda
noneill2/100250918/r
eddit-has-banned-cli
mate-change-deniers-
and-ripped-its-own-r
eputation-to-shreds/
[quote][p][bold]Herefordian07[/bold] wrote: Of course Kim Jong Pickles would love to stop freedom of speech especially when it affects his party, unfortunately for him he hasn't read his history books, as long as there has been a ruling party there has been lampooners to reveal their failings. If the government try to stifle freedom of speech they will dishonour all those who have fought and died for this country in the name of freedom.[/p][/quote]And then there's this http://blogs.telegra ph.co.uk/news/brenda noneill2/100250918/r eddit-has-banned-cli mate-change-deniers- and-ripped-its-own-r eputation-to-shreds/ Simon Brown

2:38pm Wed 18 Dec 13

dippyhippy says...

TIM BUCK-TOO wrote:
Well said Bobby. Spare a thought for poor Dippy - still sat there at the keyboard, anxiously staring at the screen in the forlorn hope that a response will come from Cllr Morgan, to the very pertinent question posed about council officers. That was over two days ago. Either broadband is exceptionally slow in Herefordshire or the lot of a Deputy Leader is immensly burdensome.
24 hours with no sleep - then I gave it up as a bad job, but thanks for the concern Tim!!

Simon, once again, truly impressive post, folk would do well to read this twice!
Bobby, I have given over an area of my allotment, specifically for the cultivation of nettles - I can promise you with some certainty, that when you need them, they'll be there!!
[quote][p][bold]TIM BUCK-TOO[/bold] wrote: Well said Bobby. Spare a thought for poor Dippy - still sat there at the keyboard, anxiously staring at the screen in the forlorn hope that a response will come from Cllr Morgan, to the very pertinent question posed about council officers. That was over two days ago. Either broadband is exceptionally slow in Herefordshire or the lot of a Deputy Leader is immensly burdensome.[/p][/quote]24 hours with no sleep - then I gave it up as a bad job, but thanks for the concern Tim!! Simon, once again, truly impressive post, folk would do well to read this twice! Bobby, I have given over an area of my allotment, specifically for the cultivation of nettles - I can promise you with some certainty, that when you need them, they'll be there!! dippyhippy

3:46pm Wed 18 Dec 13

Simon Brown says...

Simon Brown wrote:
Is anyone watching the thumbing? I'll bet there is some thumbing down when they get back from lunch.
Yep! Crashing like a Bitcoin.
[quote][p][bold]Simon Brown[/bold] wrote: Is anyone watching the thumbing? I'll bet there is some thumbing down when they get back from lunch.[/p][/quote]Yep! Crashing like a Bitcoin. Simon Brown

4:24pm Wed 18 Dec 13

dippyhippy says...

Honestly Simon, ignore the thumbs.
They are an evil and divisive tool, they add nothing to the debate, and are open to abuse.

But maybe that's the point of them.....???
Now there's a thought...!!!
Honestly Simon, ignore the thumbs. They are an evil and divisive tool, they add nothing to the debate, and are open to abuse. But maybe that's the point of them.....??? Now there's a thought...!!! dippyhippy

5:31pm Wed 18 Dec 13

Simon Brown says...

I have found the Barnett "comoonity" thing. I had a hard copy all the time. Go to http://broadernews.w
ordpress.com/ and look under "Barnett Archives".
I have found the Barnett "comoonity" thing. I had a hard copy all the time. Go to http://broadernews.w ordpress.com/ and look under "Barnett Archives". Simon Brown

10:40pm Wed 18 Dec 13

AdrianBridges says...

Rotherwas is the best alternative, we could put in the rail hub as the Independent Group has been fighting for. We can then do what Worcestershire is but use RAIL.

The line is now secured and we could then generate our own electricity.

The Rail Line plus a passenger station would cost £10million thus attracting employment to the area as Rotherwas is supposed to be for the creation of jobs but nothing is not happening in any lager amounts.

We would also not have another £40 million debt for Herefordshire to carry on for many generations.

VALUE FOR MONEY this is just to try and save the heads of the Conservatives who keep on wasting the public money.

RAIL brings other benefits spending money locally in the economy, for every £1 spent this generates £4-5 in returned local investment.

Lets use Rotherwas to our advantage take note the administration who most of you do not live in the locality.
Rotherwas is the best alternative, we could put in the rail hub as the Independent Group has been fighting for. We can then do what Worcestershire is but use RAIL. The line is now secured and we could then generate our own electricity. The Rail Line plus a passenger station would cost £10million thus attracting employment to the area as Rotherwas is supposed to be for the creation of jobs but nothing is not happening in any lager amounts. We would also not have another £40 million debt for Herefordshire to carry on for many generations. VALUE FOR MONEY this is just to try and save the heads of the Conservatives who keep on wasting the public money. RAIL brings other benefits spending money locally in the economy, for every £1 spent this generates £4-5 in returned local investment. Lets use Rotherwas to our advantage take note the administration who most of you do not live in the locality. AdrianBridges

8:04am Thu 19 Dec 13

WYSIATI says...

dippyhippy wrote:
Honestly Simon, ignore the thumbs.
They are an evil and divisive tool, they add nothing to the debate, and are open to abuse.

But maybe that's the point of them.....???
Now there's a thought...!!!
I think the thumbs are less abused than the councillors.

I do not understand the double standards where the bloggers are so touchy if there's anything remotely personal about another blogger (touching as it is) but the idea that the councillors can be abused, insulted, accused of being lazy, corrupt, ignorant and who knows what else. Surely they deserve at least the same treatment as those who post the odd comment?

Simon - your personal dislike and disgust with some (or all?) of the councillors is clear. I don't know the facts or circumstances but this much I do know: however bad the councillors are they were all elected. You may be smarter, better in every way than they are BUT you did not get elected to represent anyone. The system may be flawed and the crop of people who want electing may be poor but that is the system.

I can't see a new generation of geniuses lining up either to stand for the council nor to work as officers with the current rhetoric and the rewards anyone might get. The atmosphere of attack and abuse for people who, in the main, are dedicated to serving the public will guarantee that the those who want an easy life, a lot of money and some positive strokes will go elsewhere. It's obvious that the Govt has decided that systematically undermining public service serves its political purpose but it's much less obvious why we all seem to join in without any thought about where that path leads.
[quote][p][bold]dippyhippy[/bold] wrote: Honestly Simon, ignore the thumbs. They are an evil and divisive tool, they add nothing to the debate, and are open to abuse. But maybe that's the point of them.....??? Now there's a thought...!!![/p][/quote]I think the thumbs are less abused than the councillors. I do not understand the double standards where the bloggers are so touchy if there's anything remotely personal about another blogger (touching as it is) but the idea that the councillors can be abused, insulted, accused of being lazy, corrupt, ignorant and who knows what else. Surely they deserve at least the same treatment as those who post the odd comment? Simon - your personal dislike and disgust with some (or all?) of the councillors is clear. I don't know the facts or circumstances but this much I do know: however bad the councillors are they were all elected. You may be smarter, better in every way than they are BUT you did not get elected to represent anyone. The system may be flawed and the crop of people who want electing may be poor but that is the system. I can't see a new generation of geniuses lining up either to stand for the council nor to work as officers with the current rhetoric and the rewards anyone might get. The atmosphere of attack and abuse for people who, in the main, are dedicated to serving the public will guarantee that the those who want an easy life, a lot of money and some positive strokes will go elsewhere. It's obvious that the Govt has decided that systematically undermining public service serves its political purpose but it's much less obvious why we all seem to join in without any thought about where that path leads. WYSIATI

8:52am Thu 19 Dec 13

WYSIATI says...

The council consultation on the budget closes tomorrow - 20th.

https://www.hereford
shire.gov.uk/governm
ent-citizens-and-rig
hts/democracy/counci
l-finances/budget-co
nsultation/

I have to say that it's very hard to comment constructively - partly because you would really need the detail to know what is going to be cut away.

Seems pretty clear though that we'll see most things which are not children's services, adult social care for the most deprived and some road repairs being shut down.

The way those services is delivered will see a shift to more contracted out services delivered by private companies that employ people for less money and on poorer conditions (while paying more to the people at the top if usual practice is adhered to).

That leaves a lot of people currently accessing some services with little or nothing. Anything beyond the most basic legal requirements will be for the chop.

The place will be shabbier, many services we expect will shrink or go (Halo, Courtyard, Citizens' Advice, libraries), anything that can go up will go up - parking, council tax on empty properties, council tax for the poorest in the community (but chances are that general council tax will be capped at less than inflation - ie a cut).

It's mainly Mr Pickles' politics rather than anything else and a protest to the Govt might make more impact than a comment on the local budget.
The council consultation on the budget closes tomorrow - 20th. https://www.hereford shire.gov.uk/governm ent-citizens-and-rig hts/democracy/counci l-finances/budget-co nsultation/ I have to say that it's very hard to comment constructively - partly because you would really need the detail to know what is going to be cut away. Seems pretty clear though that we'll see most things which are not children's services, adult social care for the most deprived and some road repairs being shut down. The way those services is delivered will see a shift to more contracted out services delivered by private companies that employ people for less money and on poorer conditions (while paying more to the people at the top if usual practice is adhered to). That leaves a lot of people currently accessing some services with little or nothing. Anything beyond the most basic legal requirements will be for the chop. The place will be shabbier, many services we expect will shrink or go (Halo, Courtyard, Citizens' Advice, libraries), anything that can go up will go up - parking, council tax on empty properties, council tax for the poorest in the community (but chances are that general council tax will be capped at less than inflation - ie a cut). It's mainly Mr Pickles' politics rather than anything else and a protest to the Govt might make more impact than a comment on the local budget. WYSIATI

9:23am Thu 19 Dec 13

Cllr Liz Harvey says...

Wise words from WYSIATI. I could go all conspiracy theorist about why I think central government is hell-bent on strangling, starving and strafing local government – but I fear I’d look too darkly bonkers.

You have given Cllr Morgan a severe tongue-lashing, and reading her post … knowing where she’s coming from and her role in Cabinet, the comment she made is a measured articulation of the administration’s line. If the Conservatives are prepared to put the effort in to negotiate a get-out in 2023, so that a plan-H can be an option for the county at that point, then we could secure the perceived ‘safe’ way forward now with a better future solution for Herefordshire outside of the strictures of the present PFI, and without incurring penalty payments.

IOC have tried to engage with the electorate through social media from the get-go, but as I posted earlier, this forum is not an easy medium in which to have a debate about a complex subject … and everyone reading what’s been written seems to feel they are being spoken to personally (which is plainly impossible) and the rhetorical style of any post will never be everyone’s cup of tea.

Local politics needs intelligent, engaged, community-minded people to feel encouraged to step forward to be councillors and get stuck in. We have excellent professional officers working for the council who have public service at the heart of what motivates them to get out of bed in the morning, but we also have a few shockers … however, these are finding it harder to remain hidden as the cuts bite, the pace picks up and aim points are raised.

There are also already good councillors across all political groups – and again, there are some shockers … greater in proportion probably than in the officer cohort … but the diminishing number of people who do keep voting, keep voting for them because voters are not presented with qualified, credible, articulate alternatives … and round we go. When such alternatives are available, turn-out goes up and the good guys 'n' gals get in.

So, perhaps the people who should be coming forward are those who would rather stick a gun in their ear than be a councillor right now. People who are possessed of a large dollop of common sense, have rounded life experience, and have a feeling for and a connection with their own community. Hopefully these people can be persuaded by the true seriousness of the situation to put in the time and effort required to grapple with the issues, find innovative solutions, and secure the right mix of investment in services and infrastructure to keep Herefordshire on the rails.

Speaking of rails – Cllr Adrian Bridges has done great work in advocating the Rotherwas rail link. This is exactly the sort of infrastructure investment which will properly reward the investment required (unlike the Rockfield car park and the other stymied CPO negotiations) and will be key to the successful future operation of the business parks and Enterprise Zone.
Wise words from WYSIATI. I could go all conspiracy theorist about why I think central government is hell-bent on strangling, starving and strafing local government – but I fear I’d look too darkly bonkers. You have given Cllr Morgan a severe tongue-lashing, and reading her post … knowing where she’s coming from and her role in Cabinet, the comment she made is a measured articulation of the administration’s line. If the Conservatives are prepared to put the effort in to negotiate a get-out in 2023, so that a plan-H can be an option for the county at that point, then we could secure the perceived ‘safe’ way forward now with a better future solution for Herefordshire outside of the strictures of the present PFI, and without incurring penalty payments. IOC have tried to engage with the electorate through social media from the get-go, but as I posted earlier, this forum is not an easy medium in which to have a debate about a complex subject … and everyone reading what’s been written seems to feel they are being spoken to personally (which is plainly impossible) and the rhetorical style of any post will never be everyone’s cup of tea. [I’m now living in fear of an incorrectly positioned apostrophe showing me up to be an illiterate dolt!!!] Local politics needs intelligent, engaged, community-minded people to feel encouraged to step forward to be councillors and get stuck in. We have excellent professional officers working for the council who have public service at the heart of what motivates them to get out of bed in the morning, but we also have a few shockers … however, these are finding it harder to remain hidden as the cuts bite, the pace picks up and aim points are raised. There are also already good councillors across all political groups – and again, there are some shockers … greater in proportion probably than in the officer cohort … but the diminishing number of people who do keep voting, keep voting for them because voters are not presented with qualified, credible, articulate alternatives … and round we go. When such alternatives are available, turn-out goes up and the good guys 'n' gals get in. So, perhaps the people who should be coming forward are those who would rather stick a gun in their ear than be a councillor right now. People who are possessed of a large dollop of common sense, have rounded life experience, and have a feeling for and a connection with their own community. Hopefully these people can be persuaded by the true seriousness of the situation to put in the time and effort required to grapple with the issues, find innovative solutions, and secure the right mix of investment in services and infrastructure to keep Herefordshire on the rails. Speaking of rails – Cllr Adrian Bridges has done great work in advocating the Rotherwas rail link. This is exactly the sort of infrastructure investment which will properly reward the investment required (unlike the Rockfield car park and the other stymied CPO negotiations) and will be key to the successful future operation of the business parks and Enterprise Zone. Cllr Liz Harvey

9:26am Thu 19 Dec 13

Cllr Liz Harvey says...

On the budget consultation - do have a go at saying something - even if it's just about the bits you personally know about or care about. We have been assured that comments will be taken after 20th ... especially since they have only received 150 so far (0.08% response).
On the budget consultation - do have a go at saying something - even if it's just about the bits you personally know about or care about. We have been assured that comments will be taken after 20th ... especially since they have only received 150 so far (0.08% response). Cllr Liz Harvey

10:53am Thu 19 Dec 13

bobby47 says...

Wysiati, Dear old colleague. Cast your mind back to just a couple of years ago when you first started tapping out your thoughts upon these pages. You'll remember the secret democracy that was being served up to us and you may also recall that no Councillor ever posted this readership with any sort of response or view upon anything.
Now of course things have changed. Councillors regularly contribute to discussions which enables us to have a broader view of what is going on within our County, they write letters into the Hereford Times and better still, all the Cabinet of the current administration make a point of reading our offerings.
They do all these things not because we're particularly gifted and bright but because we've made this site and others like it a tool to hold them to account.
Why do the Cabinet read our views? For no other reason than they hate being mocked and laughed at. Nothing else! There is no other reason. Mocking and lampooning these people who've destroyed our County simply hate being laughed at. All politicuans hate it.
As clever and articulate as you are. And you are and I respect you. They ain't reading our collective views because of your thoughtful and measured missives. They slavishly trawl through our literary offerings to discover whether or not they are being lampooned. That's it. Nothing else. Your excellent posts are read but they only ever see the light of day because of the main ingredient to this lovely cake, which is us lampooning them.
Mind, I do agree with you on one point. We give it and we should be able to take it and if you had the opportunity to open up my in box on Facebook you'd quickly discover that I take it. In fact, I have to take more than I'd particularly wish to take it from people who honestly hold the view that Im a menace.
No, I make no appology for mocking some of our leaders. Lampooning has allowed you, me and all the other bloggers to read and get to know Liz Harvey and, if ever she starts piddling about when IOC get into power, I'll roll them around in nettles as well.
My very warmest regards to you.
Wysiati, Dear old colleague. Cast your mind back to just a couple of years ago when you first started tapping out your thoughts upon these pages. You'll remember the secret democracy that was being served up to us and you may also recall that no Councillor ever posted this readership with any sort of response or view upon anything. Now of course things have changed. Councillors regularly contribute to discussions which enables us to have a broader view of what is going on within our County, they write letters into the Hereford Times and better still, all the Cabinet of the current administration make a point of reading our offerings. They do all these things not because we're particularly gifted and bright but because we've made this site and others like it a tool to hold them to account. Why do the Cabinet read our views? For no other reason than they hate being mocked and laughed at. Nothing else! There is no other reason. Mocking and lampooning these people who've destroyed our County simply hate being laughed at. All politicuans hate it. As clever and articulate as you are. And you are and I respect you. They ain't reading our collective views because of your thoughtful and measured missives. They slavishly trawl through our literary offerings to discover whether or not they are being lampooned. That's it. Nothing else. Your excellent posts are read but they only ever see the light of day because of the main ingredient to this lovely cake, which is us lampooning them. Mind, I do agree with you on one point. We give it and we should be able to take it and if you had the opportunity to open up my in box on Facebook you'd quickly discover that I take it. In fact, I have to take more than I'd particularly wish to take it from people who honestly hold the view that Im a menace. No, I make no appology for mocking some of our leaders. Lampooning has allowed you, me and all the other bloggers to read and get to know Liz Harvey and, if ever she starts piddling about when IOC get into power, I'll roll them around in nettles as well. My very warmest regards to you. bobby47

12:12pm Thu 19 Dec 13

Simon Brown says...

@WYSIATI
I am not elected because I have never stood for election. Does that bar me from expressing an opinion? I do not pretend to represent anyone other than myself. What I post is purely my opinion. If you don't like it don't read it. If councillors don't like it they don't have to read it either, but perhaps I have given them food for thought. I hope that everything I have posted has been backed by evidence or reasoning, and I repeat, it is only my opinion. My beef is that those who are elected may have succeeded on a minority vote, so are not as representative as you credit all elected people, they then jealously guard their positions, go tribal as soon as they are elected, put up signs like the one shown on the Hereford Heckler site at http://herefordheckl
er.co.uk/ will not stand down when they are clearly past their sell-by date, somehow take on a view that because they have been elected they have suddenly become supermensch, infallible, something that you seem to fall for as well, at least you attach huge importance to the status of being elected as if it is the be all and end all badge of quality, (methinks you are wanting to be a councillor yourself but are shaken in your resolve by the tirade of comment that will be heading your way. Get used to it. It's the new political landscape, it's here to stay, and those that don't come to terms with it will be left behind.) and councillors who become deeply condescending, instantly dump their manifestos and generally start to behave in an undemocratic manner as soon as the results come in. Why you should feel that these very thick-skinned individuals should need your championing is beyond me. They are quite capable of making shift for themselves. We can't have shrinking violets in office, now can we?

However, the main failing of your post is that you are just as guilty of the “crimes” you ascribe to me! You post – not allowed in WYSIATIland unless you are elected or are somehow representative. You express an opinion – not allowed unless it is supportive of the Tory led council. You say you don't know the facts and yet you go on to pass judgement! I hope I have never done that. In fact, it is one of my main criticisms of duff councillors, that they don't bother to acquaint themselves with the facts. As for posters being touchy, I don't know what you mean. They seem to me to be as leathery as councillors. You say there is an atmosphere of attack. I only attack those who have attacked me, for no other reason than I challenged their muddle headed nonsense, and I am complimentary about those who I think are doing a good job. If they do show signs of being as dedicated as you say they are they will be applauded by me, regardless of party. BTW, I am not of any party, although I was in IOC.

So, WYSIATI, your post is really little more than partisan support for, well I can't really make that out. Who exactly are you protecting? Less than mediocre councillors who should have been seen off years ago? The position and status of councillor because you yearn to be one yourself? What's it all about? Is it that you just can't stand anyone holding and posting a robust opinion that doesn't coincide with yours? And, who are you anyway? At least I have the moral decency to operate under my real name. Are you elected? Are you some kind of God? Is your opinion any more valid than mine? What do you say to journalists who write a column you disagree with? Do you blast off at them too, for being disrespectful to an MP, or worse, a PM? Pity the poor fool who has a pop at the Royals then! How do you deal with the press, WYSIATI? Or is the press all OK with you because it is “legitimate”? What exactly is the difference between an acidic poster and a hard talking journalist, other than one is not paid?

My motives are clear. I post because I can, because it's still a free country and I believe it my moral and civic duty to engage in the best way I know how. I can see absolutely no reason whatever why I should pull my punches when “examining” local government. Your logic that we will be short of volunteers if people like me criticise too much, is weak. If the volunteers are any good they won't come in for a tongue lashing. Are you really suggesting that any councillor, of any standard, however low, is better than no councillor at all? I would rather see seats empty than have them occupied by semi-literate yes men and women, who can't think for themselves.

You smack of censorship and envy, WYSIATI.
@WYSIATI I am not elected because I have never stood for election. Does that bar me from expressing an opinion? I do not pretend to represent anyone other than myself. What I post is purely my opinion. If you don't like it don't read it. If councillors don't like it they don't have to read it either, but perhaps I have given them food for thought. I hope that everything I have posted has been backed by evidence or reasoning, and I repeat, it is only my opinion. My beef is that those who are elected may have succeeded on a minority vote, so are not as representative as you credit all elected people, they then jealously guard their positions, go tribal as soon as they are elected, put up signs like the one shown on the Hereford Heckler site at http://herefordheckl er.co.uk/ will not stand down when they are clearly past their sell-by date, somehow take on a view that because they have been elected they have suddenly become supermensch, infallible, something that you seem to fall for as well, at least you attach huge importance to the status of being elected as if it is the be all and end all badge of quality, (methinks you are wanting to be a councillor yourself but are shaken in your resolve by the tirade of comment that will be heading your way. Get used to it. It's the new political landscape, it's here to stay, and those that don't come to terms with it will be left behind.) and councillors who become deeply condescending, instantly dump their manifestos and generally start to behave in an undemocratic manner as soon as the results come in. Why you should feel that these very thick-skinned individuals should need your championing is beyond me. They are quite capable of making shift for themselves. We can't have shrinking violets in office, now can we? However, the main failing of your post is that you are just as guilty of the “crimes” you ascribe to me! You post – not allowed in WYSIATIland unless you are elected or are somehow representative. You express an opinion – not allowed unless it is supportive of the Tory led council. You say you don't know the facts and yet you go on to pass judgement! I hope I have never done that. In fact, it is one of my main criticisms of duff councillors, that they don't bother to acquaint themselves with the facts. As for posters being touchy, I don't know what you mean. They seem to me to be as leathery as councillors. You say there is an atmosphere of attack. I only attack those who have attacked me, for no other reason than I challenged their muddle headed nonsense, and I am complimentary about those who I think are doing a good job. If they do show signs of being as dedicated as you say they are they will be applauded by me, regardless of party. BTW, I am not of any party, although I was in IOC. So, WYSIATI, your post is really little more than partisan support for, well I can't really make that out. Who exactly are you protecting? Less than mediocre councillors who should have been seen off years ago? The position and status of councillor because you yearn to be one yourself? What's it all about? Is it that you just can't stand anyone holding and posting a robust opinion that doesn't coincide with yours? And, who are you anyway? At least I have the moral decency to operate under my real name. Are you elected? Are you some kind of God? Is your opinion any more valid than mine? What do you say to journalists who write a column you disagree with? Do you blast off at them too, for being disrespectful to an MP, or worse, a PM? Pity the poor fool who has a pop at the Royals then! How do you deal with the press, WYSIATI? Or is the press all OK with you because it is “legitimate”? What exactly is the difference between an acidic poster and a hard talking journalist, other than one is not paid? My motives are clear. I post because I can, because it's still a free country and I believe it my moral and civic duty to engage in the best way I know how. I can see absolutely no reason whatever why I should pull my punches when “examining” local government. Your logic that we will be short of volunteers if people like me criticise too much, is weak. If the volunteers are any good they won't come in for a tongue lashing. Are you really suggesting that any councillor, of any standard, however low, is better than no councillor at all? I would rather see seats empty than have them occupied by semi-literate yes men and women, who can't think for themselves. You smack of censorship and envy, WYSIATI. Simon Brown

12:59pm Thu 19 Dec 13

WYSIATI says...

Cllr Harvey - I think you're exactly right - there are mainly good officers and mainly good councillors and there are some of each who need to be better or replaced.

Bobby - I enjoy lampooning and satire as much as anyone and more than most. I am sure that you have a point about what people do and don't read. But I think we both know that you don't run the county or country by blogging or on twitter - or if you do the result will be something like the rule of the mob.

Simon - what to say? I will continue to try to be reasonable, measured and polite. I believe that what we need is competence in public service as much as private business. I have not and do not intend to support lazy, incompetent, dishonest or otherwise wrongheaded behaviour and practice anywhere. I believe that incompetence needs to be challenged. I do not believe in censorship and I do not envy you or the councillors. You know nothing of my politics and I have yet to stop laughing that you think I would want to be a councillor.

No one elected, appointed or otherwise in post has any right in my view to lord it over anyone else - and I've never said or implied anything else. My point was merely (and gently) that the councillors have stood for election and they have been elected. I don't think much of the system and I do think no one winning under the poor system we have should think they have an absolute mandate to do what they like (but I have to respect the fact that the country rejected a move to more proportional representation).

They should be held to account and there should be systems through which complaints can be registered and performance reviewed.

My apologies if I misled you - you ascribe all sorts of things to me that bear no relation to anything I have said or intended to say. Post away whatever you wish about me. My personal view is that spite the bile makes things less likely to get better not more.
Cllr Harvey - I think you're exactly right - there are mainly good officers and mainly good councillors and there are some of each who need to be better or replaced. Bobby - I enjoy lampooning and satire as much as anyone and more than most. I am sure that you have a point about what people do and don't read. But I think we both know that you don't run the county or country by blogging or on twitter - or if you do the result will be something like the rule of the mob. Simon - what to say? I will continue to try to be reasonable, measured and polite. I believe that what we need is competence in public service as much as private business. I have not and do not intend to support lazy, incompetent, dishonest or otherwise wrongheaded behaviour and practice anywhere. I believe that incompetence needs to be challenged. I do not believe in censorship and I do not envy you or the councillors. You know nothing of my politics and I have yet to stop laughing that you think I would want to be a councillor. No one elected, appointed or otherwise in post has any right in my view to lord it over anyone else - and I've never said or implied anything else. My point was merely (and gently) that the councillors have stood for election and they have been elected. I don't think much of the system and I do think no one winning under the poor system we have should think they have an absolute mandate to do what they like (but I have to respect the fact that the country rejected a move to more proportional representation). They should be held to account and there should be systems through which complaints can be registered and performance reviewed. My apologies if I misled you - you ascribe all sorts of things to me that bear no relation to anything I have said or intended to say. Post away whatever you wish about me. My personal view is that spite the bile makes things less likely to get better not more. WYSIATI

1:36pm Thu 19 Dec 13

bobby47 says...

Wysiati, Ok my friend. I understand. In fact, I've allways understood your position and I've no desire to convert you and your method of communication to the form that I use.
Today, I learned something. I should have known before but I didn't. During the 'secret' democracy period, during the reign of Mr Jarvis, the Council negotiated a leasing contract between themselves and the Developers of the new Edgar Street retail centre. Two hundred and fifty years. Nearly three centuries.
If we'd been as affective then as we are now, this wouldn't have happened. It happened because they could get away with it. It happened because we didn't matter. It happened because, back then, they took no notice of us. It wouldn't happen nowadays because our views matter, they are heard and we collectively are a great deal wiser.
Two hundred and fifty years! Our land handed over to asset strippers by people who I think have earned the right to be laughed at, ridiculed and lampooned.
My warmest regards.
Wysiati, Ok my friend. I understand. In fact, I've allways understood your position and I've no desire to convert you and your method of communication to the form that I use. Today, I learned something. I should have known before but I didn't. During the 'secret' democracy period, during the reign of Mr Jarvis, the Council negotiated a leasing contract between themselves and the Developers of the new Edgar Street retail centre. Two hundred and fifty years. Nearly three centuries. If we'd been as affective then as we are now, this wouldn't have happened. It happened because they could get away with it. It happened because we didn't matter. It happened because, back then, they took no notice of us. It wouldn't happen nowadays because our views matter, they are heard and we collectively are a great deal wiser. Two hundred and fifty years! Our land handed over to asset strippers by people who I think have earned the right to be laughed at, ridiculed and lampooned. My warmest regards. bobby47

2:33pm Thu 19 Dec 13

JollyJesterTwo says...

Wow, 99 posts and some quite lengthy too! Perhaps Cllr Morgan and her cronies will take note of the strength of feeling by the ordinary folk of Hereford.
Wow, 99 posts and some quite lengthy too! Perhaps Cllr Morgan and her cronies will take note of the strength of feeling by the ordinary folk of Hereford. JollyJesterTwo

4:06pm Thu 19 Dec 13

TwoWheelsGood says...

100 posts on probably the most important decision being taken on our behalf for some while, but interesting to note that this weeks HT has no poster contributions at all, together with a big council pr exercise on the cover.
100 posts on probably the most important decision being taken on our behalf for some while, but interesting to note that this weeks HT has no poster contributions at all, together with a big council pr exercise on the cover. TwoWheelsGood

3:28pm Fri 20 Dec 13

dippyhippy says...

I knew there was something missing.....
Simon Brown! You sir, have been deleted!
Your Olwyn Barnett post has gone the way of so many posts before.....it has fallen foul of the Deleter's Button!
I knew there was something missing..... Simon Brown! You sir, have been deleted! Your Olwyn Barnett post has gone the way of so many posts before.....it has fallen foul of the Deleter's Button! dippyhippy

4:24pm Fri 20 Dec 13

Herefordian07 says...

Don't worry dippy, I liked it so much I printed off a copy they cannot delete that!
Anyone want one?
Don't worry dippy, I liked it so much I printed off a copy they cannot delete that! Anyone want one? Herefordian07

5:10pm Fri 20 Dec 13

redyoll says...

Put it on the facebook HT site for the weekend!!
Put it on the facebook HT site for the weekend!! redyoll

5:30pm Fri 20 Dec 13

dippyhippy says...

TwoWheelsGood wrote:
100 posts on probably the most important decision being taken on our behalf for some while, but interesting to note that this weeks HT has no poster contributions at all, together with a big council pr exercise on the cover.
I fear we could be for the chop, Two Wheels.....although a couple of new letters have put in an appearance on the Your Say page. Perhaps this is just a small token, seeing as its Christmas!

Herefordian 07....Blimey! Did you see this coming??
[quote][p][bold]TwoWheelsGood[/bold] wrote: 100 posts on probably the most important decision being taken on our behalf for some while, but interesting to note that this weeks HT has no poster contributions at all, together with a big council pr exercise on the cover.[/p][/quote]I fear we could be for the chop, Two Wheels.....although a couple of new letters have put in an appearance on the Your Say page. Perhaps this is just a small token, seeing as its Christmas! Herefordian 07....Blimey! Did you see this coming?? dippyhippy

9:10am Sat 21 Dec 13

Simon Brown says...

dippyhippy wrote:
I knew there was something missing.....
Simon Brown! You sir, have been deleted!
Your Olwyn Barnett post has gone the way of so many posts before.....it has fallen foul of the Deleter's Button!
www.broadernews.word
press.com
[quote][p][bold]dippyhippy[/bold] wrote: I knew there was something missing..... Simon Brown! You sir, have been deleted! Your Olwyn Barnett post has gone the way of so many posts before.....it has fallen foul of the Deleter's Button![/p][/quote]www.broadernews.word press.com Simon Brown

12:09pm Sat 21 Dec 13

dippyhippy says...

Simon Brown wrote:
dippyhippy wrote:
I knew there was something missing.....
Simon Brown! You sir, have been deleted!
Your Olwyn Barnett post has gone the way of so many posts before.....it has fallen foul of the Deleter's Button!
www.broadernews.word

press.com
Cheers Simon!

I have just noticed that comments are no longer enabled on the letters page.

The irony of a page entitled "Your Say" that you cannot comment on, is not lost on me!
[quote][p][bold]Simon Brown[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]dippyhippy[/bold] wrote: I knew there was something missing..... Simon Brown! You sir, have been deleted! Your Olwyn Barnett post has gone the way of so many posts before.....it has fallen foul of the Deleter's Button![/p][/quote]www.broadernews.word press.com[/p][/quote]Cheers Simon! I have just noticed that comments are no longer enabled on the letters page. The irony of a page entitled "Your Say" that you cannot comment on, is not lost on me! dippyhippy

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