Wednesday, 13 April 2016

If only the council had some money to invest!

Derby used to have an events venue called the Assembly Rooms which was closed after a fire in the attached car park and so Derby now lacks a suitable venue for theatre and music because the council claimed the venue needed to much work doing to it after the fire. This has been the subject of great debate since the fire. The council proposes to replace the venue but is not able to say when due to lack of funds.
The local newspaper the Derby Telegraph ran this story on the venues closure and proposed replacement.
 
IF ONLY THE CITY HAD SOME MONEY TO INVEST!
 
Derby used to have two large swimming venues open to the public and supporting local aquatic clubs allowing them to compete at local and international level.
Sadly due to suggested government cuts this has led to the council closing the Moorways swimming facility - a corner stone of local swimming provision dating back decades. The pool closed to the public at the end of March 2016 and residents are now struggling to continue their swimming as the cities other main venue has a faulty roof.
The local newspaper the Derby Telegraph ran this story on the pools closure
 
IF ONLY THE CITY HAD SOME MONEY TO INVEST!

The city of Derby is slowly collapsing due to claimed government cuts forcing the council to reduce its budget to make savings. Money has to come out of specific pots to fund things which is regularly pointed out by the council.

IF ONLY THE CITY HAD SOME MONEY TO INVEST!

Well the reality is the council WOULD have money to invest in either of the projects if it had not jumped in with both feet with the Sinfin waste incineration plant project which first raised its head in public circles in late 2008.
A joint contract between the city and Derbyshire County Council will see Derby hosting the plant AND paying £25 MILLION towards the plants construction - which is 50% of the council build cost.
Now is it fair that the cities residents have to host the controversial plant AND pay 50% of the council payment for construction?
But it gets worse as the city does not collect enough residual waste to provide 50% of the plants feedstock and as recycling increases that in turn stops the city from being able to provide 50% of the feedstock.
You can read one of my previous blog posts to learn more about that situation by following this link

http://derby-waste-a-rubbish-blog.blogspot.co.uk/2016/01/derby-city-council-public-are-being.html

But what does it actually mean to us in the city? what it means is at the time the proposal was born the council - and so whoever was in charge sold the residents down the river by agreeing a joint contract that was in the County Councils favour and this continued up until the councils signed the full contracts - meaning that political parties of various colours in the city have played a part.
Someone in power somewhere was told city waste would spiral upwards and it would be good value for the city. At the same time the council was potentially in a better financial position than it is now but clearly potential changes in waste prediction or council finances were not considered carefully enough leading to the position we are now in.

SO WHAT ABOUT THE MONEY?

Derby is paying £25 million for a 25 year contract period at the start of the waste incineration plants operation which is a payment towards the plants construction. That's obviously £1 million per year for the processing of 95,000 tonnes of waste - 50% of the plants through put if you consider Derby is paying 50% of the build payment.
Based on 2014/15 data from DEFRA the city only collected 79,320 tonnes of residual waste leaving the city 15,680 tonnes short. At a rate of £10.53 (£1,000,000 divided by 95,000 tonnes) we as a city are paying £165,110.40 per year to much for the project - or £4,127,760 over the 25 year investment.

SO LETS GO BACK TO THE BEGINNING!

We need a new performance venue and we need a new swimming pool but the city has no money!

WELL WE COULD HAVE HAD £4.1 MILLION TO INVEST WITH BETTER PLANNING AND NEGOTIATIONS.

In an example of why we are in the mess that we are in in the city I attended the Derby City Council Full Council meeting on March 2nd 2016 to ask Cllr Asaf Afzal specific questions on the unfair share the city is paying. Even when the £4 million over payment was highlighted to Cllr Afzal he still considered that it was good value for the council - ignoring the fact that we share those claimed savings with Derbyshire County Council we are STILL over £4 million worse off.

WITH A COUNCIL WITH ITS HEAD IN THE SAND ON THE ISSUE THERE IS LITTLE WONDER WE ARE PAYING AN UNFAIR SHARE AND SO LITTLE WONDER WE HAVE NO MONEY FOR EVENTS VENUES AND SWIMMING POOLS!

©SIMON BACON 2016

3 comments:

  1. Simon This seems to be the typical council way of working, Give people what they do not want. Well the elections are coming, but whom ever is in they will make a mess of it. Any way Do the people of Derby wish to have entertainment venues, sports facilities, personally I would prefer that option than the one we are getting. Pete Sinfin

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  2. I believe emission of carbon dioxide happens in burning of trash as well as burning of traditional energy sources (coal and oil) to supply energy. I also highly doubt burning trash produces more CO2 than say mining coal, ship it to the reactor, and burning it, all of which end up in more CO2 emission.

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    1. Incineration of waste requires a feedstock - made up of rubbish. Rubbish is commonly recycled - 70% or more can be recycled. The CO2 saving by recycling is better than the inefficient incineration for energy.

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