Monday, May 22, 2017

Swindon Election : Town Tories Silent on Honda Accord for Brexit

'Strong and stable' may be Theresa's mantra, but for Swindon's incumbent MPs 'silent and still' would suit on the Honda Brexit elephant in the room.

The government has promised Sunderland's Nissan something (but has not admitted it), no doubt officials from Honda UK have been keen to get similar treatment, but nothing has been revealed in public.

But never mind our MPs since June last year, who have gone into the election campaign without a word about the 3,500 workforce's future outside the EU, or those many thousands locally in the supply chain for the South Marston plant that will depend on whatever deal is eventually struck on exiting the EU.

The industrial backbone (along with at least 3,500 voters) of Swindon deserves better treatment from it's local incumbent Tory candidates.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Top Ten Things Overheard On Swindon's Buses Last Week ; 367

Click here for the original at this brilliant idea, here's our own version for Swindon's buses from last week.

10. There's so much product placement.

9. He's got a button for that on his desk.

8. It got so dark I had to feel my way to the door when he rang.

7. I'm talking about decorating and why are you mentioning chicken?

6. They're going to be brightly coloured and as fast as anything.

5. Every time I read something by him it's got a hectoring tone.

4. There's a Chinese supermarket now.

3. The 17 is changing numbers, I think it's going higher, or possibly lower.

2. He's got a coach now, who's meant to help him with other people's anger.

And the number one overheard phrase on Swindon's buses from last week is...

1. There's breadsticks, but I'm not in the mood for anything of that length now.

Overheard something we've missed? Then let us know.

1. Standing on top of stuff, that's my main thing at the moment.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Top Ten Things Overheard On Swindon's Buses Last Week ; 366

Click here for the original at this brilliant idea, here's our own version for Swindon's buses from last week.

10. It's like a business transaction these days.

9. There's no excuse for not knowing what you should be doing.

8. It's an alien concept to many.

7. One of his fantasies is really quite boring.

6. What are you going to do? Invade Ramleaze?

5. Mary has many objections to those trousers.

4. That's a bit stark don't you think?

3. It's not pink, it's a jolly red.

2. Donald Trump should try appearing less nutty on odd occasions.

And the number one overheard phrase on Swindon's buses from last week is...

1. I'm basically a one-man-band at this point.

Overheard something we've missed? Then let us know.

1. Standing on top of stuff, that's my main thing at the moment.

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Out-of-Town Tomlinson Plays Sim City, Badly

Justin Tomlinson's attitude to his own party's council-owned Forward Swindon seems tied to political opportunities as they come along.

He recently slagged off Forward Swindon for 'stubbornness' with regard to the old carriage works on London Street and why they hadn't just let developers get their hands on them like the buildings north of the railway that he toured with a fellow minister on a visit.

Tomlinson's argument is as shallow as his depth of knowledge on his own town's history, and, oddly, the way government processes work. The reason the Historic England offices (along with the Outlet, Steam, the Test Chain flats development and the Bottelino's restaurant) are as high quality developments as they are is because all the buildings were hurriedly listed when it became clear the developers of the works site wanted to pull down, or heavily alter, most of what was there. As a result of the listings, the developers of the works have had to meet high levels of sympathetic development.

Private developers don't retain nice old fittings just because they're nice, but because they legally have to if the building is given a Grade Listing.

He also suggests that developers have been chomping at the bit to get their hands on the old carriage works buildings, hardly, they've been mostly empty for over 10 years!

Tomlinson isn't adverse to riding on the coat tails of Forward Swindon and others when there's publicity for the asking, such as when TNT praised the organisation's help in getting them to South Marston.

It says much that Tomlinson's office is now in a brand new glass carbuncle at the Orbital and not in one of the empty 1980s/1990s units at one of the many business parks across North Swindon.

Tomlinson has remained quiet on the Swindon Gateway development that was criticised by many of his own residents, labelled 'bland' and 'uninspiring architecturally' by a Swindon Borough Council planning officer (listed under 'Urban Design Comments - 26-05-16'), officially objected to by the owners of Regent Circus and The Parade and was part of an intense lobbying (listed under numerous 'objection comments') campaign against it from the inSwindon BID organisation. Plus according to Forward Swindon, the development rides roughshod (listed under 'Email from Forward Swindon Re Kimmerfields') over rules for available land for the same development closer to the town centre.

So is he on the side of unrestricted privately-led development, or partnership working between Forward Swindon and developers? It must depend on the level of publicity available.


Friday, May 05, 2017

Top Ten Things Overheard On Swindon's Buses Last Week ; 365

Click here for the original at this brilliant idea, here's our own version for Swindon's buses from last week.

10. May, no, it's June, isn't it?

9. What I'll be seeing will be different to what you see.

8. I was going to go round for dinner, but she was serving peas.

7. You've had way too much, I'm making a cup of tea for you when we get in.

6. No, it only goes out of town, there's no one's back today.

5. The police came round the corner and instantly we all felt guilty, but we actually were guilty.

4. Where did I put my fags? In your pocket?

3. He just hangs around in town, trying to exude coolness.

2. What does she see in him, I mean, he doesn't even claim JSA.

And the number one overheard phrase on Swindon's buses from last week is...

1. You know Swindon's on the up when there's couscous spilt on the bus floor.

Overheard something we've missed? Then let us know.

1. Standing on top of stuff, that's my main thing at the moment.

Swindon Elections : Welcome to your Rotten Parish

The hopes of the new Swindon parishes being a haven from traditional party politics were dashed, as the usual battles were fought last night.

The only things to note :

- The uncontesting of many wards by the Tories, are they afraid of Labour in their traditional strongholds?

- The number of independents that ran and won.

- The level of 'gotta get a double seat' by candidates who now have the bizarre, but self-inflicted situation of representing the same ward as a local Borough councillor and now as a Parish councillor, surely a conflict of interest and pointless ultimately. Are they going to disagree with themselves?

- The return of the previously politically dead former local Borough councillors that were persuaded by HQ to return as a parish councillor as they can do it while they sleep the sleep of the undead.

- The very unwelcome return of the disgraced former Mayor.

- The family affair of many candidates, often in the same seats, husbands and wives, mothers and sons, partners, you can imagine it must be a riot in those households of an evening.

So parishing has done exactly what people feared, created an entirely unwanted and unnecessary new layer of administration, with, mostly, the same people in charge of the biggest parts of the town (bar the independents) and a lack of imagination, especially from the Tories, with the wheeling out of undead former councillors to fill the gaps.

Onto the general.

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Swindon Elections : The Truth, In Shadow Parish Form

When is a a Tory election leaflet not a Tory election leaflet?


When it's accurate and honest!

No change with Swindon's Tories and their election leaflets, even for the imposed and unwanted parish council elections tomorrow it seems.

The leaflet for the new West Swindon Parish is one simple case in point. It makes two claims that are blindingly wrong on a list of achievements the shadow parish has already completed.

Claim number 1 :

- Contributed 16 more hours for the West Swindon library. 

Misleading, as the library, was, until the start of April, open 50 hours a week, which the Tory Borough Council (which includes all the shadow parish councillors as they are all Borough councillors too) cut to 15 hours a week and the West Swindon Parish chose to divert money from the closing of toilets at West Swindon District Centre to pay for an additional 16 hours, bringing it down to 31 hours. So an accurate achievement would have been :

- Cut library hours from 50 to 31 (we're only paying for 16) and cut West Swindon's only public toilets.

Claim number 2 :

- Created a local services hub by using the library for the Parish Council office. 

This is wrong, there is no parish council office in West Swindon Library.

So one misleading claim and one untrue. What other hideous gems are there out there?

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Top Ten Things Overheard On Swindon's Buses Last Week ; 364

Click here for the original at this brilliant idea, here's our own version for Swindon's buses from last week.

10. People were there from all over.

9. You didn't clean the loo did you?

8. I suspect he's lying, but I just can't prove it.

7. I'm not putting him on the guest list.

6. Those pants were on offer, I can always return them after the weekend.

5. Keep all those in that bag and I'll put the knives in this one.

4. I've got vodka, alway helps me get over a Monday.

3. You've not thought it through if you think I'm going with you.

2. I'm not shamed, not at all, I know I'm in the right.

And the number one overheard phrase on Swindon's buses from last week is...

1. What does she see in him, I mean, he doesn't even claim JSA.

Overheard something we've missed? Then let us know.