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Re: Metro

PostThu Feb 12, 2015 8:25 pm

Parody maybe, but born in reality. You accept that there is no money yet we have this farce pretending the project is going to happen. It isn't as the city and region hasn't got the money for rail electrification and needs handouts from England to finance it so where is the money from the metro coming from? it would be better if our politicians were honest and focused on what they can achieve rather than a wish list that ain't going to happen. In the meantime taxpayers money is wasted on yet more needless bureaucracy that achieves the total sum of the square of fuck all


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Re: Metro

PostThu Feb 12, 2015 10:26 pm

The report says that it would qualify for European Structural Funds so handouts from Brussels rather than London this time.


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Re: Metro

PostThu Feb 12, 2015 11:20 pm

I don't think it is completely pointless, Jantra - and there may be money for it in the longer term.

Here are a few things such work could be good for:
1) Branding and 'the offer'. Even just marketing something as a city region may have a small +ve effect. Creditsafe, for instance, base their corporate staff in Cardiff Bay, and their UK sales staff in Caerphilly. Selling the region as integrated but with different niches in different areas may be helpful.
2) As a strategic guide to priorities as and when funding becomes available. I think here it is pretty weak - its pretty consensual, and non committal. I would have hoped they would have said what the priorities are for transport infrastructure. Is it M4 relief road? Is it improved metro rail? Which parts of the metro rail network? When investing in new infrastructure/services, is it cross-Valley, or North South to prioritise.
3) Setting a vision to help build the case for more funding to be made available in both the Welsh budget context, and negotiations around further development.
Transport capital spending has done relatively poorly in Wales, because they decided to protect capital spending on "development", "housing" and "health" relatively more than in England. Maybe this builds the case for shifting more to transport and connectivity if that's the key thing to boosting performance (not yet more grants to tidy up dying high streets, or boost social housing, where more innovative funding streams might becoming available).
And in negotiations with the UK government two things could happen. (1) is a boost to capital borrowing powers. Wales is currently being offered £500 million, compared to £2.3 billion for Scotland. Given parity on population we should get about £1.3 billion; on revenue perhaps £1.0 billion. And there is a debate about whether to devolve the network rail grant to Wales - if we had the same deal as Scotland, that would be a boost of a couple hundred million a year. Might then argue for a consequential for HS2 which definitely has no benefit for Wales!!
Having a plan of what to spend the money on can help bolster the case; and is there to go if the political negotiations are pulled off and Wales does see a bit more money coming its way.

And you talk about handouts from England. You could just as easily say every part of the UK has handouts from London and the South East. Or that people in the bottom 80% of the income distribution get handouts from those in the top 20% through tax and spending. Another way to put it is risk sharing and redistribution in a fiscal union. There is a question about how that union should be structured - how much is "needs based" versus how much is "own resource" or "contributions" based. But as always you oversimplify.


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Re: Metro

PostFri Feb 13, 2015 9:00 am

Jantra wrote: so where is the money from the metro coming from?

Probably from a "City Deal" between the local authorities, the Welsh Government and the UK Treasury. Glasgow recently negotiated such a deal - the first region in the devolved nations to do so. Talks are ongoing and it's 50:50 whether there'll be an announcement this side of the general election. Details of the Glasgow deal below.


Re: Metro

PostFri Feb 13, 2015 12:53 pm


Thanks for taking the time to respond. As always your arguments are well thought out, rational and to a certain extent I do agree with what you say although I say that in its loosest sense because I think the arguments you put forward are strong for a very weak case. However whereas you say I oversimplify matters I think the reciprocal is true in that you can over complicate the issue somewhat.

In four years we've had a lot of huff and puff with no actual delivery. You say it is important to have a framework that can be presented when funding does come up, but if that is all we have achieved in 4 years then there is something wrong with the process and I think I'm right to question whether it is value for money for the taxpayer. This sort of branding and feasibility could, with the right approach, be done in a matter of weeks not years.

you know my thoughts on the public sector and state - they never seem to spend money as if it is their own, waste permeates through from top to bottom. The mantra seems to be if there is a budget then it should be spent which is not the way it should be. Rather than give the project a trifle amount either fund it fully or scrap it. If it isn't funded correctly then all that happens is taxpayers money is passed to consultants with no end product and that benefits no one longer term.

The other issue for me is the competing interests within the state and that the main purpose that it exists - to serve the people - is often overlooked by those competing interests who are seem to forget the reason they exist - to serve the people. I've come up with a back of a fag packet solution - Leighton Andrews can order the reorganisation of the ten councils into one - but it won't happen. Why would we want such joined up simplified thinking when we can look at much more complicated ways to reinvent the wheel.

My hyperbole is borne out of frustration in that nothing seems to get done. There is a lot of talk about what we want but in the end it is all talk. Until I start seeing politicians from all parts of the spectrum making bold decisions about what our priorities are and how they will be funded (private sector anyone?) rather than adopt populist polices that get them elected at the next election i will take what they say with a large dose of salt.


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Re: Metro

PostFri Feb 13, 2015 9:36 pm



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Re: Metro

PostThu Mar 12, 2015 2:30 pm

Cardiff City Region Metro system needs body at arms length from Welsh Government, infrastructure expert tells MIPIM

Another article which says absolutely nothing new... Although it's worth reading just to see how bad editorial standards are slipping at WalesOnline!

"The Metro body must run across 10 local authorities of South East Wales and be able to compulsorily"

compulsorily what...?

Leader of Cardiff council, Phil Bale said that proposed Metro could benefit from the council's plans to drawn down, potentially around 900m from the UK Treasury in a City Deal.

Drawn down? or Draw down, also 900m what? A pound sign is missing here...

Mr Bale said; "We can help share the risk [on Metro] as a City Deal has the potential to bring money outside of the Barnett Formula, which will be of huge benefit."

City Deal? Barnett Formula?

Awful, awful!
Some days you are the pigeon and some days you are the statue...
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Re: Metro

PostThu Mar 12, 2015 6:59 pm

Is it me or do others get that sinking feeling every time this Metro thread gets updated,
nothing will ever become of it, move along now.
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Re: Metro

PostFri Mar 13, 2015 12:33 pm

I'm wondering if it's all election related. They need to take some responsibility from several local councils to give to a new city region body, who will in turn need to set-up a Transport for London like body to get this up and running. I wouldn't be shocked to see an announcement in May once the general election is sorted. I'm also curious about Roger Lewis handing his notice at the WRU, as if his current city region role is about to be turned into him running the set-up of a city region body with actual power. In the meantime feed the press with one bit of bullshit or another to keep things ticking over.

Or maybe bugger all will ever happen.


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Re: Metro

PostSat Mar 14, 2015 8:52 am

My money is on nothing physical happening - just a political statement and another Roger Lewis ego trip!

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