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About yokel

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  1. How about one of the `outdoor' type shops. There are too many all selling the same brands. Millets, Blacks, Cotswold, Mountain Warehouse etc and also independents, often all close together in towns that are nowhere near walking/climbing areas and with Go Outdoors being the out of town, free parking, discounting, competition. Unless everyone needs a £200 down jacket for walking the dog.
  2. Good comments but looking at the NE for example, what I see is FTBs being `helped' to borrow a total of £144k on average, in an area where average house prices are around £120k. With an average number of bedrooms of >3, quite a few FTBs are buying 4 beds. The big assumption as well is that the developers can't be allowed to make a loss on their speculative purchase of land. If they are to have a go-slow on building and releasing, then another option would be to tax them on the value of the land or of the proposed houses. Make building and selling at the going rate the lease worst op
  3. It would be good if someone asked May etc why they rejected the Dilnot report recommendations - he had done a careful review of the overall situation and seemed to have a cohesive, non political way of tackling the problem. His big thing was to pool part of the risk (the first 70 - 120k ish) of costs through private insurance or a charge on the house, with the govt paying above that. A kind of `excess' on an insurance policy. As I see it, what the tories are proposing is that there will be a massive financial hit on house owning families who are unfortunate enough to have a member need
  4. As I understand it, diesel was encouraged because it produces less CO2 per km travelled (my own diesel gets 60 - 70 miles per gallon) on a rural A road most of the time. Diesels rather than petrol helps the UK meet climate change carbon targets. Diesels vehicles (but not necessarily engines) emit more NOx and that is the main problem. Most newer diesels vehicles now have particle filters so that is a declining problem. Petrol vehicles have catalytic converters which decrease NOx and CO (by converting the CO into CO2). What I don't know - does anyone here know, is: Are
  5. Thanks Breowan - it's good to have some arguments up our sleeves. y
  6. Its been a while since I asked advice on here but hope someone can help. A relative took a room in a shared house. There is a lead tenant and one more fairly recent one. The relative moved in, paid the outgoing tenant their share of the deposit and the tds scheme records were amended. This was all in advance of any contracts being signed by the relative or the ll or la. When the contract was sent to be signed it was with a very out of date inventory (over 3 years) - and it didn't reflect the current state of the property. My relative amended the inventory to bring it up to date and signed
  7. What has irritated me more than the substance is the way he has hidden. It is the No.10 machine in operation rather than having the confidence o deal with it himself. It is always a "source" or a spokesperson. Or when he is allowed to speak the questions are carefully controlled and the answers rehearsed (only 1 question from a designated reporter, from Sky, was allowed when he was at PwC). I know he is always kept away from real interviews ad questions due to his poor engagement with issues but it had been very stark this week.
  8. There's an education `White Paper' today. Obviously the main things are to have a PR slogan as a title `Educational Excellence Everywhere'. It also reminded me of that character in the Reginald Perrin series - lots of use of the word `great'; great schools, great leaders etc etc. Hidden in it is the plan to measure primary school children's progress from the age of 7 to the age of 11. Last year the big government thing was to measure the progress from the age of 4 to 11 - it caused a big fuss, but was put in place, money spent, lots of time was spent developing and rolling out the asse
  9. On this universal academisation issue. After the Victoria Climbie tragedy there were major shifts to force council social service and education departments to co-ordinate or merge. The idea was to make communication on child protection easier and more likely. They also made social, health, police and education work under a common framework called "Every child matters". This included educational progress but also safety and prosperity. A data base to keep track was set up and wad being developed. There was also a programme called "extended schools" to stretch the school day. In came Gove et
  10. Eric's elephant in the room has another aspect. Teachers (and I am one) look mostly on the Times Educational Supplement website for job vacancies. As a snapshot today, well over 10% of the jobs advertised are overseas. Many would provide subsidised accommodation. Many are in locations that would be very attractive to, particularly, young teachers. One of today's jobs, in Jeddah, for a maths teacher advertises: So, in the language of Cameron, there is a significant `pull factor'. This is in addition to the push factors described in this thread. Many of the schools are also run by r
  11. Agreed. Mrs Y was a public sector worker an union member. A smallish, mainly management and `professionals` union. When she lost her job (believed to be due to previous whistle blowing`, the union didn't want to know. The senior managers involved were also in the union and when she complained she was told to `send us your evidence and we will look at it`. Luckily our household insurance included legal cover, including employment. They looked at the evidence, decided there was a probability of success and funded an employment tribunal process including solicitor costs. Mrs Y won compen
  12. Your Ledbury library in the `Masters House' and my Ross on Wye library are both under threat of closure though - even though lots of money has been spent on building operations to put them in the same building as other council services. I like the way that a lack of staff is presented as a good thing in the council press release about Ledbury: Is there anyone to enforce quietness? Y
  13. I heard Priti Patel questioned on R4 by Humphries yesterday - just kept parroting that it was "the right thing to do". Also, when questioned about the funding levels having already been fixed, said that there would be a "review" to get it right. They are in a mess on this one - the current 15 hours "free" is funded at less than cost so the nurseries etc subsidise it by charging more outside of those 15 hours. They also match the numbers of children with their physical space and their staffing matches the numbers of children. In most cases there is not the physical space to give children 3
  14. Just to say thanks WICAO As last year - fascinating. I live in Herefordshire - highest house prices and lowest income in the West Midlands. I suspect that the house prices are strongly influenced by the Escape to the Country type large rural houses which have quite a high turnover driven by outside money, whilst the settled local population stays put in their ordinary small houses in the city and towns so the ordinary small houses don't appear in the stats proportionately to their actual numbers. Certainly, rightmove never reflects the overall mix of houses with a disproportionate number o
  15. 2009: David Miliband not challenging Gordon Brown 2010: The unions choosing Ed; focusing on who runs the labour party, rather than on who runs the country 2011: Campaigning against electoral reform believing that the Conservatives would be too unpopular to re-elect 2014: Not having a clue what the GE fallout would be of a No vote in Scotland. 2015: The campaign strategy being almost exclusively Ed Miliband being on TV. Blair won with a recognisable team (Straw, Brown, Short, Mowlem, Cook, Mandelson etc, with Campbell cracking the whip). Oh, and not having a way of developing policies bas
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