Tameside, the costs add up as receivers take-over

A source close to the levers of power at Tameside Council has told Northern Voices that ‘it’s a right mess’ in Tameside, since Carillion, a partner to Tameside MBC, suffered the indignity of falling into the hands of the receivers.

This contrasts with the official line put out by the Labour council that it’s ‘Business as usual’ and the crazy claim that Carillion are ‘carrying on as normal’ after the company imploded.

‘Normal business’ at Carillion with the company in receivership? This takes some believing in the present climate.

Up to last week there were 16 sub-contractors working on ‘Vision Tameside’ services employed by Carillion.

Northern Voices has had its spies watching the Carillion site in Ashton-under-Lyne town centre, and there’s very little movement to be seen. When NV tried to talk to a security guard he turned tail and ran.

If Tameside council or any of its ‘servants’ have occasion to want some advice from the receivers, Price Waterhouse Cooper, or make contact in any way, the council must pay a considerable fee for this privilege..

Last week, when the Tory Councillor John Bell asked ‘Did Carillion give value for money?’, he answered his own question by saying: ‘Well we’ll never know, because there has been no oversight or proper scrutiny’.

Yet in September 2011, Councillor David Sweeton, executive member for business and community, said: If we transfer workers and services to Carillion,’ this will ” protect jobs, services, and cut costs’ ..

Tameside MBC has made similar promises before. In the 1990s Tameside Council outsourced all their old peoples’ homes to Tameside Enterprises Ltd (TEL) originally formed in 1985 to provide local housing. In 1993 the company running the homes (TEL) went bust due to financial mismanagement owing £2.2m in debts. TMBC renegued on its promises to the care workers that they would be redeployed by TMBC if TEL went bust.

Tameside Council’s Mantra is ‘Vision Tameside’, but if this is ‘vision’ then perhaps, we should humbly suggest, they should go to ‘Spec Savers’.

In all this mess the one thing is clear, Councillor Kieran Quinn’s sense of timing in popping his cloggs last Christmas, was perfect.

Reproduced with kind permission of Northern Voices http://www.northernvoicesmag.blogspot.com

The Myth of Winston Churchill

With Gary Oldman’s career-defining portrayal of him in Darkest Hour, Winston Churchill is back. In Great Contemporaries, published in 1937, two years after he had called Hitler’s achievements “among the most remarkable in the whole history of the world”, Churchill wrote that: “Those who have met Herr Hitler face to face in public business or on social terms have found a highly competent, cool, well-informed functionary with an agreeable manner, a disarming smile, and few have been unaffected by a subtle personal magnetism.” That passage was not removed from the book’s reprint in 1941. In May 1940, Churchill had been all ready to give Gibraltar, Malta, Suez, Somaliland, Kenya and Uganda to Mussolini, whom he had called “the greatest living legislator”.

All sorts of things about Churchill are simply ignored. Gallipoli. The miners. The Suffragettes. The refusal to bomb the railway lines to Auschwitz. His dishonest and self-serving memoirs. The truth about the catastrophic humiliation at Dunkirk. The other one, at Singapore, for which Australians and New Zealanders have never forgiven Britain. The Lancastria. The men left behind in France. Both the fact and the sheer scale of his 1945 defeat while the War in the Far East was still going on, when Labour won half of his newly divided seat, and an Independent did very well in the other half after Labour and the Liberals had disgracefully refused to field candidates against him. His deselection by his local Conservative Association just before he died. And not least, his carve-up of Eastern Europe with Stalin, so very reminiscent of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. He borrowed the phrase “the Iron Curtain” from Goebbels and used it to mean exactly what Goebbels had meant by it. Broken by the War, the Soviet Union had neither the means nor the will to invade Western Europe, still less to cross either the Atlantic or the Pacific.

But the electorate was under no illusions while he was still alive. His image was booed and hissed when it appeared on newsreels. He led the Conservative Party into three General Elections, he lost the first two of them, and he only returned to office on the third occasion with the support of the National Liberals, having lost the popular vote. In the course of that Parliament, he had to be removed by his own party. It comfortably won the subsequent General Election. And we have not forgotten the truth about him in the old mining areas. Nor have they in the places that he signed away to Stalin, including the country for whose freedom the War was fought. It was Churchill who coined the nickname “Uncle Joe” for Stalin.

Churchill wanted to transport the Jews to Palestine, since he saw them as not really British. He presided over the famine in Bengal. His views on race shocked his younger colleagues even in the Conservative Party of the 1950s. The famous dipping of the cranes for his coffin occurred only because the London dockers, who despised him, had been paid to do it. The London dockers, who had been as heavily Blitzed as anyone, anywhere. As for Churchill’s having “saved Britain”, it will be interesting to see whether anyone could continue to hold a serious academic or journalistic position in 10 years’ time and come out with that one. More than 50 years after having said goodbye to him, we are finally saying goodbye to the cult of him. That cult seems to have begun only once he was dead, or at least so old as to have been politically as good as dead. It never translated into votes.

Foxy Is At It Again!

Liam the fox is being foxy again following on from his 2009 expenses scandal when he was as Shadow Cabinet minister he was found to have the largest over-claim on expenses and had to repay the most money and although he has twice stood for leadership of the Conservative Party he is obviously not foxy enough,

Be that as it may he is now he would like his department for international trade between the UK and the office of the US trade representative agreeing to mark exchanged information, papers and discussions as either “sensitive” or “confidential”, with both sides also agreeing to keep the information “held in confidence” for four years after the conclusion of the talks. Some transparency this is, secret talks with the TTIP experts of the world I don’t think so, foxy might well be trumped by the USA.

THE WORD Issue24

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Your NHS Today

Dr Rob Galloway – who works on the frontline in A&E – has written an open letter to journalists asking for their help in telling the story of the crisis in the NHS, and pleading with them not to ‘peddle propaganda’ from politicians.

The heartbreaking Facebook post has been shared over 10,000 times in under 24 hours.
Dr Galloway is clear what the problem is, and it’s not quite the same story that Tory Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt is telling.
Writing on Facebook, Galloway says:

Dear Journalists, as an A&E consultant I am writing to ask for your help.
Up and down the country our A&E departments are in melt down, our staff are at breaking point. Patients are being left in corridors because there are no ward beds for them to go to, staff are leaving shifts demoralised and exhausted and most importantly our patients are not getting the care they deserve.
We need the public to know about this, not to scaremoner, but for the truth to be out there – as the only way to get politicans to change – is by voters knowing the reality and prioritising the NHS at the ballot box.But without the public understanding what is going on, we will continue to have this crisis year after year after year. This is where we need your help. We need you to report the reality and not peddle the propaganda from our politicians.

The crisis is much worse than what you report. We all talk about the 4 hour target and that we get around 90%. But that includes all the patients who don’t need admission. But for the ones who need admission, the % who get admitted within 4 hours is so so so much lower than that. And for those patients, it is crucial for their well being, that they get admitted within four hours.
Why are you not asking for these figures? That would help reveal the truth.

Then you report 12 hour breaches. But in England (but not the rest of the UK) the clock starts ticking when a specialist senior has seen them. So they can be in A&E for 18 hours and not be a 12 hour breach.

Why are you not asking for the figures of patients who stay in A&E for more than 12 hours? That would help reveal the truth. And what about asking how many patients are spending time in corridors?

Because if you did reveal these figures – you would soon see the real extent of the crisis. And it is a crisis. One which will lead to a breaking point soon unless something changes.
The fault does not lie with the patients. Yes a few inappropriately attend – but they are not the problem; they can be quickly turned around and discharged. The fault is not with the staff. They are working tirelessly and doing an amazing job despite the conditions they are working in.The fault does not lie with managers and hospital executives. They are working relentlessly to make things work as well as they can. And despite what the government peddle it certainly is not the fault of the GPs. Although there is falling numbers of GP surgeries, they are doing an amazing job at reducing the number of A&E attendances. Most importantly, the fault does not lie with the ‘system’ of the NHS – a model of care which utilities its resources to maximal effect.
The fault lies with the government. Years of failed austerity depriving NHS and councils of vital monies and investment is taking its toll. A&Es are struggling because of the frail elderly who need a ward bed but cant get one. They can’t get one because there are not enough beds within our hospitals (we have one of the smallest numbers of bed per capita in the whole of Europe) and because those that need to get out of hospital can’t because of a lack of social care. In addition some money which has been spent on the NHS had been wasted on pointless reorganisations designed to start the process of NHS privatisation.

Please start reporting that. Please start reporting the truth. Please start reporting how close we are to melt down and please help get the public worked up about what is going on.
Because sadly our government don’t seem that bothered. They and their friends can afford private health care and therefore don’t rely on it. Even worse many would be happy to see our NHS privatised.

But for everyone else we need the NHS. The staff will battle on (and it is a battle at the moment). We will continue to do everything we can. We will continue to adapt, modernise and reform. We will continue to provide the most amazing possible care despite the conditions. But there is only so much our staff can take. And if we lose our staff we lose the NHS.
Journalists -we need your help. Please help.

And if you are not a journalist reading this, please share (publicly), or tweet it or send onto your friends in the hope that journalists will pick this up and start reporting the truth.
Rob Galloway A&E Consultant
@drrobgalloway

Please share as widely as possible

CLAWBACK? – Under the Insolvency Act 1986

This term has many meanings depending on the context in which it is used, including:

In relation to insolvent companies, the power of a liquidator or an administrator of a company to challenge transactions entered into by the company and recover company property under the Insolvency Act 1986 for example by applying to the court to set aside transactions at an undervalue or preferences.

In relation to executive pay and incentives, the compulsory repayment of cash, or transfer of shares or other assets, previously paid or delivered to an employee or director, especially in the form of a bonus or share incentive award. Clawback may be imposed because the supposedly good performance for which the original payment was made has been reassessed, the performance of the business has deteriorated severely after the payment, or the executive has misbehaved in some way. There are significant legal and practical obstacles to clawback of this kind.

 

Carillion Demise

Carillion contractor enters compulsory liquidation 20,000 employees affected and contracts for HS2, NHS, armed forces and thousands of supply chain companies and their workers,

Carillion was created in July 1999, by a demerger from Tarmac, which was founded in 1903; the new company included the former Tarmac Construction contracting business and Tarmac Professional Services.

In September 2001, Carillion acquired the 51% of GT Rail Maintenance it did not already own, thereby creating Carillion Rail.[4] In August 2002, Carillion bought Citex Management Services for £11.5 million[5] and, in March 2005, it acquired Planned Maintenance Group for circa £40 million.[6] After that, in February 2006, Carillion went on to acquire Mowlem, another United Kingdom support services firm, for circa £350 million[7] and in February 2008, it acquired Alfred McAlpine, yet another United Kingdom support services firm, for £572 million Then, in October 2008, Carillion bought Van Bots Construction in Canada for £14.3 million.

In April 2011, Carillion bought Eaga, an energy efficiency business, for £306 million,[10] and in December 2012, it acquired a 49% interest in The Bouchier Group, a company providing services in the Athabasca oil sands area, for £24m.[Then, in October 2013, the company bought the facilities management business of John Laing.

In August 2014, the company spent several weeks attempting a merger with rival Balfour Beatty. Three offers were made; the last bid, which valued Balfour Beatty at £2.1 billion, was unanimously rejected by the Balfour Beatty board on 19 August 2014. Balfour refused to allow an extension of time for negotiations which could have prompted a fourth bid. Carillion subsequently announced the same day it would no longer pursue a merger with its rival.

In December 2014, Carillion acquired a 60% stake in Rokstad Power Corporation, a Canadian transmission and distribution business, for £33 million.[14] Carillion acquired 100% of the Outland Group, a specialist supplier of camps and catering at remote locations in Canada, in May 2015 and a majority stake in Ask Real Estate, a Manchester based developer, in January 2016.[

In 2009, Carillion was revealed as a subscriber to an illegal construction industry blacklisting body, The Consulting Association (TCA), though its inclusion on the list was mainly due to its previous ownership of Crown House Engineering (acquired by Laing O’Rourke in 2004), and previous use of TCA within Mowlem (acquired by Carillion in 2006). Carillion made two voluntary submissions to the House of Commons’ Scottish Affairs Committee, one in September 2012 and another in March 2013, relating to its involvement with TCA.