Friday, February 17, 2017

Top Ten Things Overheard On Swindon's Buses Last Week ; 355

Click here for the original at this brilliant idea, here's our own version for Swindon's buses from last week.

10. If you get this wrong everyone will blame you.

9. There's not enough solicitors in the world to stop it.

8. It's coming right towards you, look.

7. Personally Sarah has had her chips lots of times.

6. I'm not a medical professional you know.

5. No they're playing at home after the shambles of last time.

4. Just get it done and choose the bulgar wheat.

3. He's not elected, he's a lazy tosser.

2. It got sold, to Stagecoach I think.

And the number one overheard phrase on Swindon's buses from last week is...

1. Keep thinking you're as good looking as you believe and we'll all pretend to go along with it.

Overheard something we've missed? Then let us know.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Top Ten Things Overheard On Swindon's Buses Last Week ; 354

Click here for the original at this brilliant idea, here's our own version for Swindon's buses from last week.

10. They're going to sell them and convert them into shops.

9. He spent 15 minutes reading out loud the email he'd written making sure it sounded okay.

8. Oh babes, I really don't care.

7. Some things are best left unsaid.

6. She keeps all her packets and tins in alphabetical order.

5. He thought that there was an East Korea.

4. They're selling it today, so sad, they should have let them do a management buy out in the 1980s like they asked.

3. No, there's a burst pipe, you'll have to go right round past the roundabout.

2. That exposes the whole thing of how you communicate enthusiasm.

And the number one overheard phrase on Swindon's buses from last week is...

1. I drink goats milk, but only on a Thursday.

Overheard something we've missed? Then let us know.

Thursday, February 02, 2017

Thamesdown Sold - Go Ahead and dump Dayriders & Travelpasses?

The deafening silence from Swindon Borough Council on the sale of Thamesdown Transport was bound to break and it has. The company has, or is about to be today or tomorrow, sold to the Go-Ahead Group

It's a pretty poor show on SBC's part, as it essentially means SBC staff (but at arms length as Thamesdown), have been caught up in a quick sale to the private sector.

Go-Ahead are far better than some of the other big national bus companies, with a history of keeping local company names (will Thamesdown live on?).

But nothing, not a whisper, has been made to the most important people in all of this, the passengers.

Firm assurances are now needed from SBC and Go Ahead on whether DayRiders and TravelPasses will remain inter-available.

Otherwise, SBC may have just doubled the price (at the least) of bus travel for the poorest in Swindon on top of the loss of routes due to SBC cutting investment/subsidies in social necessary services.

Lets hope they didn't use the words 'innovate ' and 'vibrant' in the discussions with Go-Ahead, otherwise we are all doomed.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

New Swindon Parish can't set it's tax level as Borough gives it wrong numbers

Yes, that's right, as if the Swindon Rotten Parishes story couldn't get worse, Chris Humphreys reports a new gem.

The new Central Swindon North Parish will not be able to set it's parish precept by the Swindon Borough Council deadline due to SBC providing it with incorrect information.

This can only be the tip of the iceberg, especially as the Borough needs to provide as vast amount of information to all the new and existing parishes as services are foisted upon them. The Borough also need to provided them each with an asset transfer register, now considering that the department that is due to carry out this work is due to be slashed to two officers in the near future, well, you can imagine, it'a almost as if the parishes are being set up to fail.

Surely not?

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Top Ten Things Overheard On Swindon's Buses Last (Last) Week ; 353

Click here for the original at this brilliant idea, here's our own version for Swindon's buses from last week.

10. How will it be divided up?

9. None of this is your fault you know?

8. He got trapped and I had to grab his legs.

7. It's meant to happen in three months if you're to believe the packet.

6. They want to wrestle control of the board of directors then they can sell it.

5. It sounds just marvellous.

4. You heard about this, it was all the man who visited from Birmingham was brought up for?

3. There were loads of charred bits so I had to cover it with the gravy.

2. I only knew him for two weeks, but he thinks I'm his best mate.

And the number one overheard phrase on Swindon's buses from last week is...

1. I was going to apply for a visa but I'm thinking twice and reckon on New Zealand instead.

Overheard something we've missed? Then let us know.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Throwing Employees Under the Bus

Swindon Centric has just learnt that the employee conditions for the rumoured buyer for Swindon's Thamesdown Transport are markedly worse than those that currently apply.

These include less than 20 days holiday a year, reduced sick pay and less tolerance of employees who may have recurring sickness.

If Thamesdown is to be sold, then, what you can consider a Swindon Borough Council 'arms length' company, will see it's 'arms length' Council employees given worse conditions than presently enjoyed.

And as for the future of service quality to passengers, will multi-operator tickets (DayRiders and TravelPasses), got the same way.

Still no comment from SBC or Thamesdown on the rumours of a sale.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Feckless & Cowardly Conservative Councillors Hang Parishes Out To Die

There's an awful lot of skulking happening around Swindon's Civic Offices at present and with good reason.

The biggest transfer of power at local government level in Swindon since the creation of the Borough in 1997 is currently afoot with the foisting upon of Borough responsibilities to current parishes and the newly (yet to properly be created) ones.

As a result of this, there's a scramble to set the parish precept (the amount with the annual council tax bill that covers the services carried out by the parish within your area) with all these newly foisted upon services suddenly having to be taken into account. This is quite a shock administratively and politically as many simply cut the grass until recently.

Haydon Wick has voted a 50% increase in tax.

Stratton has voted a 27% increase in tax.

Wroughton has voted a 16.5% increase for a band D property.

Meanwhile the Borough Council has not raised council tax in Swindon since 2007, teetered on the brink of service-provision oblivion, dumped said services into the laps of parishes (and where they've not existed, just forced their undemocratic creation), and seen them have no choice but to raise tax to eye-watering levels.

Other authorities have and are doing it differently. Surrey County Council is proposing a 15% council tax increase, it, like Swindon, is Conservative-run and has had enough of government nationally sticking it's fingers in it's ears and thinking if it can't hear, everything's fine.

Swindon Borough Council's ruling Tories have done nothing of the sort, they have axed, cut and closed services while they could have been lobbying parliament nationally with the help of their Conservative MPs and putting their heads above the parapet and fighting for the people of Swindon.

But they've not. They've done nothing.

Swindon Borough Council's Conservatives are feckless, cowardly and irresponsible with the future of the Borough.

But I'm sure in the next financial year those three talents will be devolved to parishes.

Welcome to the Rotten Borough (now with 50% more parish for 50% more money).