How does that work then?

! This post hasn't been updated in over a year. A lot can change in a year including my opinion and the amount of naughty words I use. There's a good chance that there's something in what's written below that someone will find objectionable. That's fine, if I tried to please everybody all of the time then I'd be a Lib Dem (remember them?) and I'm certainly not one of those. The point is, I'm not the kind of person to try and alter history in case I said something in the past that someone can use against me in the future but just remember that the person I was then isn't the person I am now nor the person I'll be in a year's time.

Telford & Wrekin Council set up a private limited company with the Advantage West Midlands, the unelected regional development agency, called Transforming Telford.

The company spent over £1m last year whilst running as a “shadow company” (ie. not doing anything).  Only 2 of the board members are elected councillors, the rest being representatives from regional quangos and private companies.

When the Conservative opposition booted the Labour administration out for the first time in the history of the borough earlier this year, they launched an investigation of Transforming Telford.  I have it on good authority that financial irregularities were one of the reasons that the company is being investigated.  However, for some unknown reason the new Leader of the council has decided to appoint a councillor that runs regeneration consultation meetings on behalf of Transforming Telford to carry out the investigation.  Not that there’s likely to be a conflict of interests there.

Meanwhile, a local resident has decided to take Transforming Telford to court over a land-grab that the Spaniards would be proud of.  One of the old housing estates is currently undergoing multi-million pound regeneration.  The project was run by the aforementioned Advantage West Midlands until recently when Transforming Telford took it over.  Using Advantage West Midlands’ powers, the resident has seen part of his garden given to his neighbour as compensation for losing part of his garden.  The reason why his neighbour has lost part of his garden, though, is because the garage he bought years ago is being demolished and as compensation for losing his garage he is having two garages and a hard-standing area built on his garden free of charge!

Now, you’d expect this kind of thing to be taken up by the intrepid reporters at the local newspaper, the Shropshire Star, right?  Strangely, they don’t seem too keen on stories about this quango recently and I’m sure this is nothing to do with the Chief Executive of Midlands News Association – the owner of the Shropshire Star – having a seat on the board.

These companies are cropping up all over the country under the banner of “regeneration and investment” and are usually conceived in secret with the help of the local regional development agency and quietly announced in the local press.  They are taxpayer funded and immune from the Freedom of Information Act.  I’d be interested to know of anyone elses experiences of these companies elsewhere in the country.

One comment

  1. alfie (28 comments) says:

    Expect this to happen more and more as project ‘Fuck up England’ – the plan to build 3 million houses plus infrastructure, nuke power stations etc on her verdant sward gathers pace.

    Mark my words, when the new planning laws are passed (applicable in England only, naturally) but obviously nodded through with the help of Scots and Welsh MPs – anything will go, and all in the name of progress. That bitch, Mrs Balls (Yvette Cooper) is one of the contributors of the bill so it’s bound to be a dog.

    The goldrush is on, soon Councillors with their own building and fulfillment companies will be pitching for the work or getting villas in Spain as a pay off ofr giving the contract to the guy down at the golf club or his mate in the Masons. , T Dan Smith and John Poulson, names from the ’60’s that were bywords for corrupt Town Hall practices will look like petty criminals in comparison to the coucillor Mr Bigs’ in their Jags and suede car coats..

    Greed and the puffed up self importance of little local Hitlers is the new black in council chambers. – it was always there, but kept in check by the planning rules. Those rules are about to be made redundant. The city state of England – along with hundreds od square miles of concrete is now soon to be realised.

    The citizens who thought up the green belt and the about-to-be chucked in the bin planning laws – far-sighted people that the current lot are not fit to lick the boots of must be turning in their graves – but don’t worry, their gravestones will be ripped up and crushed to make road ballast and their coffins will soon be dug up and chucked to make way for that ‘much needed’ housing estate…..

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