Friday 22 June 2012

Hey, I’ve Got A Much Better Idea!

Campaigners want the underpass under Eagle Way, in Shoebury, to be blocked-off, because it has become a beacon for antisocial behaviour.
Bosses at Southend Council have totted up the cost of the scheme and the possibility of installing a new crossing on the road the subway currently bypasses.
The cost? £100,000. Hey, it’s only taxpayer’s money!

And it’s not like they’ll just go somewhere else, is it?
Mike Assenheim, an independent councillor for Shoebury, who has led the campaign to close the subway, said that was not good enough.
No, it isn’t. But not for the reasons you suggest.

Here’s my alternative – spend £200,000 and block the subway up with the troublemaking chav youths inside..!


drsolly said...

I think that spamming is antisocial behaviour.

John Tee said...

Spend rather less and employ a PCSO to police the area.

Jim said...

The thing is I bet it doesn't actually cost £100K to physically do that work. Blocking up an underpass is pennies - couple of blokes with blocks and a cement mixer for a week. Fitting the pelican crossing is more expensive I'll give you but I bet in real world it could be done for £20K.

The rest is government legislation boll*cks, H&S, paperwork, the fact the work would be done by the local council contractors who work at glacial rates of progress etc etc.

All State spending buys about half to a third of what it really should.

Anonymous said...

JT, I don't know what the PCSOs are like around your way, but where I live, they're as much use as a chocolate teapot! Their role, as they are so keen on telling us, is to provide advice to those carrying out anti-social behaviour and reassurance for those who have been victims of crime. The money would be better spent hiring some of Gaddafi's ex-bodyguards (the black belt female killers, and have them walk through the underpass now and again in the evening. I would suggest the ASB would end within the week! Mind you, the A&E may become busier!

Anonymous said...

Very few councils employ "direct labour" now.
And you cannot just block up a pedestrian throughfare.
It wouldn't have been put there without a good reason.
Presumably people will complain when the speed limit is reduced, which will happen when a crossing is constructed. Planning permission will be needed, and since it is a highway one assumes that several departments and a few agencies will be involved. Oh and you cannot leave a void under a higway that cannot be inspected, so it will need to be completely backfilled. Welcome to the real world. I'd love planning rules to be ended, then I could build a bungalow in my back garden and rent it out. Presumably the maligned H&S can be ignored in your workplace, since mine involves heat, heavy-stuff and moving machinery I'll keep it thankyou.

JuliaM said...

"I think that spamming is antisocial behaviour."

Me too, whenever one slips through the spam trap!

"Spend rather less and employ a PCSO to police the area."

Ah, sadly, anon gives a good reason why that'd be a waste of time...

" cannot just block up a pedestrian throughfare.

It wouldn't have been put there without a good reason. "

No, indeed. As Jim points out, it's building the replacement that is going to take the major chunk of the quoted bill.

Jim said...

@Anon:"Very few councils employ "direct labour" now."

No, they have 'arms length' contracting divisions, which are nominally independent and have to tender for council work, but strangely manage to get most of the contracts.

Here's my local one:

Nominally private, but totally controlled and owned by the council. A sham really.

As for your other points - if you need to inspect the void, put a door in the blocked up end. Its not rocket science.

Planning rules and speed limits etc come under State regulations as I pointed out. They are paperwork, not actual physical problems. Thats where most of the money goes nowadays, getting all the paperwork in order, not physically building stuff, or making it. Its why stuff costs so much.