Thursday, 11 December 2008

A Sign of the Times

So our Woolies (Woolworths) is going the way of all the others. Sadly, the writing has been on the wall for many years for certain businesses where their product is either too expensive or is no longer wanted. Why should I travel into town in my car, pay a high price for parking and enjoy the traffic congestion that inevitably comes with a trip into town. Then to dodge even more traffic once in town, put up with their noise and air pollution, the foul mouthed utterings of all ages of people, etc. When what I could simply do is (as so many people are increasingly doing) get onto the internet and do my shopping that way. We hear cries of concern about Woolworths closing or the latest of our pubs that find they can no longer afford to trade. Of course it is sad when shops or pubs close but it is a symptom of the times. People don't want broken biscuits any more. Messrs Sainsbury/Tesco/Asda sell beer at a fraction of the cost of a pint of beer in the pub and Sky telly provides the entertainment at home. Until our borough council wake up to the fact that they are driving people away from the shops by their failure to offer free car parking or a Park and Ride or a traffic free town centre, then things are going to get worse and worse until we are all voting with our feet, staying at home and shopping by the internet. In 20 years time, Colchester will have become a very depressing place, unless something positive is done to reverse the trend. What do you think?

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

It wasn't me!

The public bloodhounds are homing in on exactly who it was who agreed a contract without an agreed price to build the VAF. We now learn that the price that we thought had been agreed has turned out to be over £7 million more than thought. We are slowly learning too, exactly who wasn't responsible.

Who has to pay this amount? It looks as if you an me will have to pay for it, presumably through yet more cuts in services and sale of assets - such as our school land. All I have to do is put in a low starting price, start the work, get a few stage payments, stop work, and then ask for more money. It's a breeze. All supported by the good old Colchester taxpayer.

What I would like to know is who I should apply to to do work for Colchester Borough Council at a price that I can name at a later date. Presumably, my firm will not have to go through the tendering process, as has clearly been the case with Banana Holdings. Presumably I will have to join some old boys club to get the work - but it will be worth it, if it means I can name my price.

Perfick! Early retirement. Here I come.