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Girnhill Lane Archived News 4

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Author Topic: Girnhill Lane Archived News 4  (Read 3811 times)
yetion1
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« on: October 27, 2008, 08:20:57 pm »

By my reckoning its time for a number of past actions to come to fruition shortly. The first is Tuesday at the WMDC cabinet meeting where the new contractor for the Girnhill Estate will finally enounced. I believe the decision will not be out for a month, but you can sit in a public area and listen. If you can I will find out on Tuesday.
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Mr T
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« Reply #1 on: October 28, 2008, 03:26:16 pm »

I would like to show you how they secure empty properties now! The latest house which became vacant yesterday (Mon 27th) has been "Secured" today (Tue 28th). First of all, instead of obtaining the keys to the property (which are still in possession of the people who have just moved out...I will explain in a bit) they simply sledge hammered their way into the house via the back door! The bottom windows are boarded up as they should be (on the outside), but like on the last few they have done, they have boarded up the upstairs windows from the "Inside" and this time left the windows "open". My guess is that the handles prevent the sheet from being flush up to the window. So apart from the fact that the windows are inviting yobs to throw stones at them (which they have done recently), there is also the risk of someone climbing a ladder and shoving the sheeting off and gaining entry! Going back to what I was saying about the keys...the previous occupier still has the keys to the house and have been back today! The front door has been kindly left un-shuttered for them to gain access! Why on earth didn't they get the keys off them instead of smashing the door in? The houses used to be secured by "Orbis", but god knows who they use now! Anyway...here's the pictures!


THE BROKEN GLASS FROM THE BACK DOOR


THE FRONT UPSTAIRS "OPEN" WINDOWS SECURED FROM THE INSIDE.
(NOTE: THE HOUSE NEXT DOOR WAS DONE BY ORBIS)



THE BACK WINDOWS
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yetion1
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« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2008, 08:02:41 pm »

That’s bloody disgusting Mr T. I would go bloody spare if I saw my home in such a state. Yet again the bully’s are back. How can they get away with this?
Talking of the bully’s, people who have read this story will not be surprised that even the announcement of the contractor for the estate named today was handled un-correctly.
WMDC cabinet passed today “STRATA” as the winning developer of the Girnhill estate. Strata were the builder of the Capricorn development that went bust at Streethouse and whose homes flood. Normal procedure then dictates that a 10 day cooling off period is taken by both sides before any announcement. Guess who told me? The pont and cas. The first thing WMDC have done is go to press. So much for procedures. The word communist keeps springing to mind. Details of what will be on offer are not confirmed but a suggestion un-confirmed is that they will offer the valuation price plus £50k. Sounds too good to me.
It gets better. There are actual full plans of the development that have at no time been disgust with the people of local council. When some people see the plans they will go ballistic or just laugh. The private houses in front of the coal hoses look to be having 3 storeys on raised ground homes over looking them. The design shows a foot path running through the estate. It hits you in the face as a crime rat run. As soon as a copy is available I will post.
So loads of negatives yet I have a grin. What ever deal is to be offered looks like you will know soon. From here at least someone to talk to and negotiate with. WMDC and the contractor can claim all they wish. The residents are in the legal driving seat.
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Mr T
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« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2008, 05:10:22 pm »


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Forkhandles
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« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2008, 06:01:44 pm »

Talking to a mate today, he's decided to get out while the goings good, and take the current offer, the more people who do this just weakens the cause for those that stick it out(IMHO).
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Mr T
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« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2008, 08:21:02 pm »

It doesn't weaken our cause, it strengthens it. The going may appear good but it will have to get gooder before the rest of us budge! A developer being appointed doesn't mean it's over yet! The valuation of the house + £50,000 may sound good, but you'd be suprised what they are offering for the valuation!
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Forkhandles
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« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2008, 09:53:47 pm »

What i meant mr t, was strength in numbers, the less people there are the weaker they are, its a fact Grin
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yetion1
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« Reply #7 on: October 29, 2008, 10:07:32 pm »

The less peolpe left should mean a better chance of an all out buy out.

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Brian Potter
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« Reply #8 on: October 30, 2008, 12:21:25 pm »

Planning application to start building in 2010, only another 18 months of living in hell then Angry

Published in the papers yesterday that the average house price in Yorkshire currently stands at £160000.
Valuation + £50000 comes to roughly £120000 from what I gather, so that's £40000 short of buying an AVERAGE house. Still being ripped off I think. The letter mentions a relocation package but it doesn't state whether that is a loan or not, anyone want to bet it won't be a gift ?

As for the second paragraph stating the estate has suffered significant decline since the coal board declared the houses defective in the 1980's, again I don't think so. Many owners took out loans and mortgages to have the faults rectified and the estate started to look great, only one body didn't invest in their houses, guess who !!!!!! The estate declined after that due to non investment by the council.

I can't believe they have the gall to try to claim credit for solving something they started, ecpecially when they aren't really solving the problem, just sticking a plaster over a gaping wound. As home owners, why weren't these people consulted on the "preferred" (note the word preferred) contractor ? Surely these people have some right to be involved. Seems more like a dictatorship to me, and I thought we were a supposed democratic country.  Undecided
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Mr T
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« Reply #9 on: October 30, 2008, 04:32:18 pm »

WELL SAID BRIAN!!

P + C EXPRESS OCTOBER 30TH



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Mr T
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« Reply #10 on: October 31, 2008, 06:29:47 pm »

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yetion1
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« Reply #11 on: November 02, 2008, 07:15:04 pm »

20.08.2008

I have been asked to write to you on behalf of a resident regards a number of points,

 I informed you with my last letter that the 1st of July had come and gone and no meeting had been arranged as stated to announce the awarded contractor. Your reply was that you did not know. Over a month has passed. Could you please up-date on the situation with the date and time of the meeting?

There is a huge problem with the Girnhill substation and many service cables coming from it. The problems are as serious as,

1. Cutting power to homes for up to 3 days, leaving food defrosted and property without security.
2. Street lights are all most entirely unlit. This has been in part to vandalism. WMDC have been made aware that they should install anti-vandal fittings but have not. The main problem is that the contractors have damaged the supply cable in so many places that the cables have become high resistant and are now blowing the 100 amp fuse in the sub-station. YEDL with credit have turn out many times as cables are cut through. The resistance is now so high that YEDL have had no option other than to disconnect the street light so that some homes are not cut off daily. The result is a substandard luminal count on a public highway. I believe there is European law now adopted by England that should enforce repair. I would appreciate guidance to relevant legislation on road lighting volume and repair. The solution I see is that a full re-wire of the Girnhill estate is required immediately for the safety of its residents. This would be extremely costly. Is the contractor to pay or WMDC? A solution would be build brick secure storage units with a generator inside or even containers.
3. Power cables have been exposed and damaged all over the site. A solution to the coming power cuts needs to address now in readiness now. This could again be semi-portable. It should be a full re-wire. The residents would settle for an agreed plan but fear rightly that with winter coming that they will be left stranded. It is fair for the residents to hear by give you notice of the problem. If a solution is not offered then it would be fair to assume neglect.
4. A number of the roads around the estate have now pot holes that are huge in scale to anything found elsewhere in the WMDC district. They are dangerous, damaging to vehicles and a threat to life. Again notice is given that the problem exists and that if a claim is made then this date be used as testament.
5. Town and country planning notices have been posted last week around the estate. They list a number of properties that have been passed for demolition as from 1st September 2008. As you can see from the date of this letter we are still in August 2008. Most of the numbered houses listed have been demolished? Could you explain if they were demolished legally or illegally according to planning regulation? The houses that have not been demolished are in still occupied? As the tenants know nothing about giving in and moving out could you explain why they are listed and when they will be demolished? As this appears to be a planning passed application could you confirm what date the statutory planning notices were posted for this passed application as no notice are known off? A number of residents have contacted you as to the information publicly posted by WMDC. The explanation given from you and others within your department is that the legal public notice has a printing error and that it should be ignored as there is no significance towards the occupied homes. As this is a legal notice surely it should be correct as per planning law? If the notice is wrong then any start date of public notification should be void? As the start date as advertised for commencement of demolition is only 11 days away then is the planning application void and in need of re-submission as the appropriate notice time has not been given? As residents have been given this information a further question appears. If the public are being told to ignore the notice due to a printing error then it would be fair to ask how often this has happened with every planning notice in Featherstone for the past 5 years. If the public are reading incorrect notices then they can not see a fair depiction of the actual application. How many known printing errors should be public knowledge?

Your reply will be most welcome on the estate,

Regards


28.08.2008

Dear HuhHuh??
 
You have raised a large number of points in your e-mail, so I have forwarded it on to a number of colleagues across the departments concerned for a more detailed answer.  In respect of the 1st July meeting, this was a notional date suggested by Cllr Binnersley as a good opportunity to advise residents of the successful developer and convenient for Members also.  Once it became clear that further clarification would be needed this date was postponed.  Residents on the Estate have received a letter advising them of the delays in appointing the developer and the reasons why.  The clarification exercise is just coming to a close and the reports for Cabinet will be going in September.  Once the developer is appointed, we shall arrange a residents' event so that they can look at the submission in detail.  Once a date is known we shall write to residents again.
 
With respect to the demolition notices, only one person has contacted me and I have responded fully in writing.  You are correct that some of the properties have already been demolished.  This has been as a result of these properties being damaged as a result of arson attacks and in need of demolition more quickly.
 
Part 31 of The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995, section 31 states;

“A.2    Development is permitted by Class A subject to the following conditions—

(a)  where demolition is urgently necessary in the interests of safety or health and the measures immediately necessary in such interests are the demolition of the building the developer shall, as soon as reasonably practicable, give the local planning authority a written justification of the demolition”

Discussions with Planning colleagues took place and it was agreed that these properties should be demolished as soon as possible given their condition following the fires, and given that preliminary works to remove services had been done.  This action is in support of the Council’s commitment for the health and safety of the remaining residents as a key priority.  Although Planning had been given verbal notice of the demolitions, this notice forms the written justification and so they have been included in the new application. 

I would refute that I have told anyone that there are typing errors on the notice, and to ignore it.  I am advised that the notice is legally correct.  I have checked with colleagues who have confirmed that no calls have been received in respect of the demolitions in my absence.  I am concerned if this message has been conveyed and if you can provide any further information, I will investigate.  A property has been included on the demolition notice where residents are still living;  this is because this resident is moving very imminently to another property.  I discussed this with them, to ensure that they were not anxious when the notices were put up.  The notice merely allows us to make arrangements for the preparatory work prior to demolition, once they have gone.  I can state that no property will be demolished whilst residents are still living there.

I shall come back to you once I have received information in respect of points 1 - 4 in your e-mail.  Given that you are acting on behalf of a resident, it might be prudent to provide their details, and I will contact them direct as opposed to responding through a third party.

Janet Howley



02.011.2008

Dear Janet,
 
To start my letter with a reply to your last comment first. I act on behalf of a resident as they are scared to death of reprisals and bullying. Since my last letter I am now affected on a personal and trade level. As a member of the public it is dangerous to walk on the estate and harmful to vehicles delivering. I last wrote to you on the 20th August requesting immediate action on some points and investigation in to others. it is now the 2nd November and almost all the points quoted have been ignored. I am led to believe by my district council that WMDC should work to reply within 28 days. This has not been the case.
 
The situation I pointed out to you in points 1, 2, 3 and 4 are the humanitarianliest pressing as winter is approaching and the estate is in almost total darkness. The 4 points are of such significant health and safety concern that lives are being put at risk. As no action has been taken to provide any emergency measures that are within your power since I notified you of them I have no option but to call upon others to intervene. I request that you pass this correspondence to your supervisor and explain the extreme dangers that have been ignored. I have also been in contact with the local government ombudsman who I am now communicating with. I am informed that I should contact the Health and Safety Executive. They will be informed on Monday.
 
Your swift reply for the sake of the public will be welcome.
 

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yetion1
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« Reply #12 on: November 03, 2008, 06:58:38 pm »

 Reply from WMDC,

I have checked with colleagues re your previous e-mail - apologies for the lack of  follow up response.  It appears that there was a cross in communication, as I believed they were contacting you, and vice versa.  I have now collated the information from other departments in respect of the points raised in your previous e-mail.
 
Electricity supply and power cables.
 
I am not aware of supplies being disrupted in spite of regular contact with many residents on the Estate.  There were a small number of temporary disruptions during the removal of some services - this was in some cases as a result of an over-zealous contractor who did not appreciate that residents were still in situ.  Where problems were identified, immediate action was taken to remedy.  Following your previous e-mail I did visit the site with NPS and walked every demolished plot looking for live cables.  We did inspect a number of cables but all of these were extinct - we did not find any evidence of any live cables.  However, if you have more specific information in respect of your reported concerns I will forward this on to NPS for further investigation
 
Street lighting
 
Street lighting  have responded as follows:  Street lighting is maintained to occupied properties in accordance with the Private Finance Initiative (PFI) contract, but where faults are attributable to service cables provided by YEDL/CE-Electric there is no enforceable contract with them to regulate or force them to repair services.  Service cable  faults  are reported to YEDL/CE-Electric for resolution.  Faults not involving YEDL electricity supplies are recorded and are dealt with by Amey in the appropriate time and manner as soon as they are become aware of them. Amey are to request inspections by night scouts in the area but it have stated that it is difficult to identify lights that are not service faults.
 
Re anti-vandal streetlights such streetlighting is not available for mounting on a column.  Street lighting colleagues have clarified that the only anti-vandal light available is the type used in subways and these are mounted at the junction of the wall and ceiling.  Many of the problems associated with the vandalism of lighting columns is as a result of violent shaking, and in some instances, being shot at.  They have further added that there isn’t a lantern on the market that will withstand sustained impacts from a high powered air rifle. In the past trials of new equipment that was allegedly “vandal proof” with little or no noticeable improvement in performance for the increase in cost.
       
Street lighting colleagues have confirmed that the new lighting throughout WMDC area have in the main been installed to current EU standards and except for the demolition in this area these streetlights would have been upgraded to this standard.  However the new EU standard does include a reference to the old British Standard to which the existing streetlights were installed and in this situation it would be difficult to justify changing the lighting to meet the new standard. The lighting standard has no reference to the sustainability of the electric supply however this is achieved.
 
I am concerned that you are reporting that the estate is now in almost "total darkness" and shall ask Street lighting colleagues to again investigate  to clarify if columns are in fact faulty or being repeatedly targetted following repairs.   If this is the case, I am unsure as to what action can be taken to improve the level of lighting on the Estate, so would need to defer to lighting colleagues for further guidance.
 
Gullies
 
Highways have reported that the rubble used was a 'make safe' response in response to the theft of gully lide.  Generally, where there will ultimately be redevelopment, a new lid may not be fitted.  Instead, the pot may be filled with a single size dust free aggregate which would still allow drainage to take place.  Highways reported that they would check that these arrangements were working appropriately.
 
Re potholes, a range of works were identified following a tour in August.  Following your previous e-mail, a further visit was undertaken and further actionable defects were found.  There were issues for rectification and should have now been completed.  Regular safety surveys are continuint whilst ever the highway network remains adopted.
 
I trust that this full answers your previous enquiry.  I have copied in colleagues in Highways, Street Lighting and NPS for any further comments.  I am concerned in respect of your comments about a resident's fears of bullying and reprisals as this is certainly not the approach taken by Council Officers.  We have previously had contact with a number of residents who have had concerns about bullying and reprisals - sadly these concerns have been about some of their neighbours and our approach has been to carry out our contacts in such a way as to not attract attention and worsen the situation.  I would be obliged if you would pass this information on to your resident for any future enquiries.
 
Regards
 
Janet Howley
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Mr T
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« Reply #13 on: November 11, 2008, 04:08:59 pm »

Someone has been around today cutting the hedges back...*FAINTS*. As you would expect though, the first bit they have done is the area where there are no houses!  Grin
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eleanora
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« Reply #14 on: November 11, 2008, 05:07:34 pm »

Watchout Mr T,
that usually means V.I.P.'S  coming round, so i found when i lived there, it was the only time any kind of cleaning up was done,
must be someone important to be cutting hedges this time of year!!
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Mr T
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« Reply #15 on: November 13, 2008, 02:12:19 pm »

Once again, the paper's get fed information before the resident's! Why is this so? If this artist's impression "does" become the new Girnhill estate, it will put Lego land to shame!

P + C EXPRESS - THURSDAY 13TH NOVEMBER 2008
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« Reply #16 on: November 13, 2008, 08:20:55 pm »

“Developers say they will work with the council and WMDC to create a new neighbourhood.” You can now see a copy of the plan (email me and I will let you know who has a copy). As the statement reads the plan is done, WMDC will help and the public will buy. So much for consultation when the plan has been drawn!

Ah, the “master plan”. I have been waiting for this moment for over a year. Strata are looking forward to working with it and Denise Jefferies thinks it will “kick start Featherstone regeneration and is a part of the master plan”.
One small problem according to the letters I have and the facts that exist, WMDC shrunk the master plan area to only station lane as a final plan. This was because a certain political party and us the public had loads of great ideas that would help around the town. The original area was reduced in February 2007 to just station lane as a way of not including the great ideas. The Girnhill estate was never in the final master plan. I have a complaint still outstanding for this matter. As for regeneration, the whole reason the hell exists on the estate is that the government pay councils to demolish such areas and put more units on to meet there quotas . Talking of units, does the picture not look familiar? If you remember the first master plan that was thrown out by WMDC (because even they could not have developed such a bent plan) you will recall these same buildings.

Someone just wants Featherstone to become a series of ghetto hells. Take a good look at the style they offer as I believe it is to be the new cancer of Featherstone. No bloody way!

Yet again more labour press and no replies in print. The election is not until next year yet someone is hard at it. They can’t hide for ever. The meeting on the 4th should be very, very interesting.
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Kim685
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« Reply #17 on: November 13, 2008, 11:51:21 pm »

Looks like one of them open prisons, I don't like it at all  Sad Who thinks these up??
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eleanora
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« Reply #18 on: November 14, 2008, 03:46:46 pm »

 looks like lots of three storey houses there,
not good for elderly & disabled people Huh
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Paul
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« Reply #19 on: November 24, 2008, 07:53:33 pm »

Hi
 been reading the Girnhill story for months now. i would have liked to have commented.  i just wonted to say well done to the determination of the people there. the log is a good read. had a few tears. keep up the fight.
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