Sunday, 29 January 2023

The biggest & longest running scandal in the history of the UK ...

Constant building, demolition, rebuilding ... of Centenary Sq, Brum ring road, tram network and W Midlands railway network.

Centenary Square in the first two decades of this century was rebuilt three times!

Brum inner ring road built and then demolished in two places within 20 years.

The tram network obliterated in the 50s;
the urban railway network from the 60s onwards.

In the 80s, the Metro tram network began to be rebuilt on the railway network, of all things, not yet used for roads and buildings. 

In the 2020s, we find TWO mainline railways have been wrecked by Metro. The most recent is the 120 Kms Black Country Mainline Railway "of national strategic significance"!!

This second tramline ALSO destroys the only public open space, nature, housing land and my guerrilla garden - at Merry Hill Shopping Centre!

Tim Weller 0791 380 4363

Well intentioned IAN WARD WANTS HS2, Metro, Sprint and his funding bids granted

Dear friends

Our indignant Ian wants wants everything going, despite what this woman on Desert Island Discs says:

£ = lb weight of greenhouse gases - NOT good news!

Tim Weller
PS bonus of 3 photos, 2 cartoons speak louder than a thousand sermons:

One TRAIN turns into 3 different kinds of TRAMS and one lie!!!

Cllr Carol Hyatt, City of Wolverhampton Council member on the WMCA’s transport delivery committee said: “Evidence tells us that a Transport Hub (for a number of different public transport modes - Tim) results in more people being able to use public transport more easily (with greater difficulty and delays from all the changes, Carol - Tim). I am proud that in Wolverhampton we have invested in our public transport creating a transport hub where train, bus and soon Metro (and very light rail trams, too and, possibly, even ultra light rail!) will all be available in the same place so people can go from one to the other with ease (instead of being able to stay on the one train between Worcester and Derby with NO changes between the one train and two or three kinds of trams - wot a joke!!).  AND WOT A LIE!

You have turned a 120 Kms principal mainline railway "of national strategic significance" between Worcester and Derby into, at best eventually, a train-tram-train railway with more changes and delays between the trains and trams at Walsall and Stourbridge, even if you do keep the tram on the railway down to Stourbridge.  All those greenhouse gas emissions to ruin our future could have been saved if only your party and council and your good self had finished the railway with the commuter and regional trains that had been so successful for 100 years!

The current WBHE, Phase 2 plan concretes over housing land, nature, public open space and my wonderful guerrilla garden at Merry Hill.  Not very clever, Carol!

Bus services are no way good enough or popular enough and are starved of funding because the money goes to building High Scam 2, Metro and Sprint extensions.  Go to Kiddi by bus, Carol and tell me what you think of their slum-looking, joke of a bus station!  Together with a dreadful, 'coffin rest'-looking bus shelter nearby, it is quite a giggle!


Wednesday, 25 January 2023

Kiddi's Slum Bus Station

Choc-a-bloc Tesco car park next to the near deserted, dreadful looking, missing roof panels, Kiddi Bus Station!

Your disgraceful slum bus station ​next to the full car park at Tesco ​is symptomatic of how Kiddi folk  - and everyone else - regard public transport. Private transport is paramount and is all that really matters - plus trams, of course. Very sad!

Thank you Adam for the email.  However, your disgraceful slum bus station, next to the full car park at Tesco is symptomatic of how Kiddi folk  - and everyone else - regard public transport. Private transport is paramount and is all that really matters - plus trams, of course for the few. Very sad!  Would you chase up Wharf Management, who own the site -  please?   Many thanks!   Tim Weller

Why such a very strange, eccentric looking, black (and wooden?) bus shelter that looks nothing like one?!Are you sure there is a timetable somewhere on the structure?  I don't remember seeing one.  The lady standing there in my photo did say it was a bus shelter, so I had to believe her.

Would your civic pride, Adam not want it brought up to date with a modern, conventional shelter that we have in Stourbridge and Halesowen?  This shelter of yours is not even attractive or, interesting as an historical artefact!

The two 20th century, more modern shelters round the corner on the way out of the town centre were also very poor with missing information and not like the TfWM ones in the W Midlands, next door.

Standards need to be urgently raised.  That disgraceful slum of a Kiddi Bus Station needs to be razed to the ground for something more respectable.  Are you not aware of the climate emergency, with the Secretary General of the United Nations saying at COP 27, two weeks ago, "We are on a highway to climate hell with our foot on the accelerator"?  One simple answer is to make bus use much more obvious, attractive and, indeed irresistible to those many wedded and welded to their cars.  You know what to do, Adam.

Best wishes for much higher standards of provision in future days - PLEASE!

29 Donegal Road, Bristol

Dear Autumn and Tom

I am so sorry but I am getting increasingly concerned about the welfare of the family at 29 Donegal Road.

I am a retired welfare officer and family social worker who is very concerned that many poorer families are struggling with paying food and energy bills in this cold winter of multiple crises.  On no account must my £25,000 be used to put any pressure on them to move out.

The nation is in an increasing housing crisis with, probably, more children and parents becoming badly housed as every year passes.

From their latest figures, the ONS told us that a million people came to the UK and half a million left.  A net gain of half a million, plus in one year, 44,000 desperate, small boat migrants - now living in hotels, boarding houses and, goodness knows where else.  This is really serious.  We all have a responsibility to live in our existing homes and not to take more than our fair share of land, housing and finite resources.  My wife and I live in a solar powered, mid-terrace, 3 storey town house - since 1976 in my case.

With the cost of living crisis and the climate  emergency, I think everyone's top priority must be to insulate and solar power their homes to save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  And, to tread more lightly, to live more humbly and less grandly on the planet.

Tom can use my £25,000 to retrofit and solar power 29 Donegal Road if he becomes the much better landlord than the current one.  But, certainly, not to put pressure on the family to move out against their will - and, perhaps, to even add to the shockingly bad homeless/badly housed UK statistics.

Tuesday, 24 January 2023

Damian Corfield

Dear Damian

Thinking about your comments on this subject, yesterday evening, I want to share my thoughts with you and with Rob Clinton, Mark Richards and Ros Partridge who also heard your comments and may want to correct or comment on what I am writing here.

My understanding is that any kind of burning releases carbon dioxide (CO2), one of the five main greenhouse gases.  The others are methane (even more potent than CO2 and is being released from the thawing permafrost), nitrous oxide, water vapour and ozone.  (Source -  We have to cut all greenhouse gases, urgently because climate scientists tell us that they are dangerously enhancing the natural greenhouse gas layer in the upper atmosphere that enables life on earth to survive.  It is called global warming or climate change/breakdown/crisis/emergency or, the greenhouse effect.

I think I am right in saying that hydrogen must be made by using energy or, as you told us last night, from burning metal (did you say aluminium foil, Damian?) that releases greenhouse gases even though it releases hydrogen that can be captured, unless the energy used comes from renewables.  In which case, it is more sensible and has less of an impact on climate breakdown, if the renewable electricity is used directly than to use it to make hydrogen.  Hence, the need to move from gas to electricity that can have less of a climate changing impact.  I don't think that using hydrogen in our gas cookers, heaters and boilers will help.  Energy efficiency and using less of everything will!

Making aluminium, ceramics, cement and steel is very energy intensive, I believe and so is bad news.  Hence, my opposition to replacing perfectly good, existing steel train tracks and trains with steel Metro tram tracks and the very large amounts of cement to make the concrete used for tram tracks much more than than for concrete sleepers (and continuously welded track) for the missing trains that I saw on our mainline railway at the bottom of Castle Hill as recently as the 2000s decade.  This is the mainline railway "of national strategic significance" ...​
​... now, part converted to light rail and very light rail, no less!!

But what do others think?

Sunday, 22 January 2023

Campaign against Climate Change

Dear Claire

When are climate jobs not climate jobs?  When they are VLR and LR trams!

I am very concerned about the scandalous greenwash scam that, in the West Midlands, means that bus routes and railway services are being turned into tramlines.

This foolish very expensive policy is:-

Diverting money from making bus services more popular and attractive.
Stops the extension of Fare-free Public Transport to all younger age groups. 
Continues to take funds from restoring our 100 Kms of railway lines without commuter and regional trains. 
Indeed, is breaking up the Black Country Railway "of national strategic significance" into heavy rail, light railway and very light rail - HR, LR, VLR.

While our wasted railway lines remain unused, unfinished without trains and stations, LR and VLR get top priority and  turn our second mainline railway into a train-tram-train railway between the 120 Kms Worcester, the Black Country and Derby. Complete idiocy and incompetence.

There is an obvious green point here that confirms my argument for trains back on the tracks and not trams.  Trams are ungreen because of the enormous expense that is directly correlated with the weight of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.  Very high energy use from making all the steel and concrete for the new tramlines means very high GHG emissions.

A social justice point that for reasons of levelling up the poor to the level of the wealthier, FFPT and bus priority measures must be done with the £100s of millions wasted going into totally unnecessary trams.  And give 'em help with food and energy bills not a "bus on rails" tram that is the second most expensive mode to construct after High Scam 2.

A common sense point that existing assets must be used instead of being wasted and even destroyed, as our West Midlands councillors and officers are so enthusiastic for!

The much vaunted, mult-modal public transport of bus, HR train, LR tram, VLR tram, ULR tram, so loved in the West Midlands, is NOT a good idea when it breaks up the UK's last, half-finished, half-used principal mainline railway!  More changes, delays and a slower journey.  Jump in the car then.

Best wishes

Wednesday, 18 January 2023

to Richard Worrall

Dear Richard

Lovely to hear from you.  And you were so decent in meeting me to view the threatened Dudley No 1 Canal embankment.

I spent hours on Sunday and Monday sending exactly the same but, personalised email to every one of the 72 councillors forming Dudley MBC and the same email, personally, to every single member of TDC.

My view is that, in theory, the electorate reads the election manifestos to help them decide how to vote.  The winning councillors then tell the officers to implement their winning party's manifesto.  Unfortunately, from my point of view, every single party, including the Green Party, has been desperate for trams everywhere, regardless of the expense and the scale of the destruction wreaked or, the irresponsible spending of massive amounts of taxpayers' money or, the vast weight of GHG emissions to worsen climate catastrophe/breakdown/emergency.

In my opinion, you councillors are meant to scrutinise, question and challenge what the officers get up to.  Obviously, you also have to work with them as you question, challenge and understand what they want or are doing.  Therefore, Richard I want all of you to be a check on their decisions and actions.  To hold them to account and to say, at times, "No way, my friend."  And they must obey you VIPs who are all members of the WMCA and who are ultimately responsible.

Is that fair enough, my lovely friend Richard who is such a good socialist and is a much better man than me in not having a car?  Remember, you are the POWER, not them!!

Very best wishes to you

Tuesday, 17 January 2023

Dudley Gp of NHS Foundation Trust

Dear Helen - online Board meetings are great for maximum attendance and cutting car use!

I don't think I've had a reply to my concerns over how the Trust seems to be quite relaxed over the climate emergency.  It does look as though it is carrying on with business as usual.  But fine documents have been produced, I believe.

It does look as though little is being done about promoting cycling for the health and well being of staff.  Quite apart from the urgent need to reduce road congestion and air pollution.  Your next door, 22 Kms Black Country Cycle-Walk Mudway transformed is just one way to cut GHG emissions and for more cycle commuting to be enjoyed by staff and able bodied patients, like me, attending the hospital.

Can the Trust take full control of car parking to use the profits to bring in the Fare-Free Public Transport that I have enjoyed in the region for fifteen years?  Can some way be found to use car parking profits to boost bus use by both staff and patients?  There must be some way of doing it!  Can better minds than mine whirr into action?

It does look as though no action is being taken on making the hospital more energy efficient with insulation measures and PV solar on the roof to help reduce our reliance on rather finite fossil fuels and their disastrous consequences for climate and life support systems.

I would be glad to be put right over the climate/resources measures the Board is quickly bringing in.

Best wishes

PS bonus of 3 photos, 2 cartoons

to Richard Body

Hi Richard - thanks so much for writing

In summary - read this and skip the rest!:
Labour is worse than the Tories over loving trams and advancing them on roads and railways.
Both parties and the LibDems have destroyed two mainline railways and 2.25 mainline stations for trams!
Both are spending £72 m more for VLR trams in Coventry and still going ahead with £15 billion to 2040 for 150 miles and 8 tram lines in Coventry and throughout the region.
Nearly 100 Kms of freight only or disused railway lines in the W Mids still await their commuter, regional and intercity trains!
All this idiocy is the exact opposite of sensible action to address the climate emergency.
In other words, both main parties are even more hypocritical than when they declared a climate emergency in 2020 (was it?)!

At the next council elections, it is very likely that Labour will regain power in Dudley.  Unfortunately, every political party, including the Green Party, have been equally enthusiastic for Metro trams taking over both railway lines and roads - and have been since 1981 when Wolverhampton Labour councillor, Phil Bateman was the first among the prime movers for re-building the tram network that they had only just obliterated twenty years earlier.

Labour and the Tories were at the heart of destroying the tram network in the 1950s.  Next, over subsequent decades, all parties set about obliterating about one third of the W Mids railway network .  In the 1980s, what railway lines remained as unused, like Snow Hill to Wolverhampton Low Level and the 120 Kms Black Country Railway began to be turned into tramlines.  Snow Hill to Wolverhampton by 1999 - NOT connected to either the bus station or railway station!  2019 in the case of our own railway "of national strategic significance" that was turned into heavy rail (HR), light rail Metro (LR) and very light rail (VLR) National Innovation Centre, exactly where our principal mainline Dudley station stood and was successful for 100 years.  What utter idiocy and incompetence by all our dear politicians!

Certainly, in the West Midlands and in Edinburgh, it is your party who is most enthusiastic for trams replacing or duplicating buses and trains.  The only support I have ever had in thirty years of campaigning for trains NOT trams on unused but existing railway lines were these emails from the Edinburgh Conservative group:

Your party and the green movement have always been the most enthusiastic for the return of trams, including train spotters/enthusiasts who want a bigger and better railway but will sacrifice all that for trams!

Anyway, how are things going with your ambitious and worthy plans for the summer?  Include me in your news and updates.

Monday, 16 January 2023

Cllr Linda Bigham of Coventry CC

I would like to make the point that it is members of the TDC who are directly responsible for what is so extraordinary and inexplicable and, indeed, tragic.  Councillors make the decisions for the officers to implement.  And I've been alerting PTA/Centro, then TfWM/WMCA to the perplexing behaviour of the experts and authority members since the 1990s!  However, nothing changes.  But you, Linda, can make all the difference and be my heroine!  I'll even treat you to coffee and cake if you would like to make a site visit to the mighty Dudley No 1 Canal embankment at my favourite Merry Hill Shopping Centre that I'm making merry heaven - with your help.

My contact details:

28 Hunnington Cres  HALESOWEN  B63 3DJ

0791 380 4363

Best wishes


Sunday, 15 January 2023


Dear Jim - and copied to other key players because you must all act together to stop this nonsense

I now read the W Mids Comedy Authority is spending more tens of millions of taxpayers' money and an equivalent weight of GHG emissions, in persisting with the £15 billion, 150 miles, 8 lines of Metro light rail throughout the W Midlands by 2040 but, also an expensive rollout of Very Light Rail trams in Coventry to vie with Metro LR trams in Coventry and the region.

"The funding (£72 m) will also be used to develop business cases for further Very Light Rail lines, and for links with the existing West Midlands Metro network."

Links cannot work.  Heavy-weight Metro light rail trams cannot possibly be run on VLR tracks but, in effect, this was what was put out in a press release from TfWM earlier this month that I read.  It is either a lie, a genuine mistake or incompetence.

It is also very misleading or a downright lie or incompetence for TfWM/WMCA to put it about that LR/VLR will reduce our GHG emissions because it is electric.  Cllr Jim O'Boyle said,  “Of course, Coventry Very Light Rail is just one way that the council is working to improve air quality and combat climate change."

You cannot combat climate catastrophe by turning buses and trains into electric LR and VLR trams when both are more expensive in cost and in GHG compared with ordinary, regular electric buses that do without the railway tracks.  And, it is more sensible, anyway to use regular trains on train/railway tracks and NOT what you have done on the UK's principal, mainline, 120 Kms Black Country Railway "of national strategic significance" with LR and VLR.  Complete idiocy has been perpetrated.  Another transport tragedy.

Please stick to getting buses and trains as popular and as good as, at least, the average on the mainland of Europe.  Ditch tram and Sprint extensions.  Fare-Free Public Transport for all in the region is vital and not just for my age group.  And bus priority measures over thoughtless, selfish car commuters are basic but, still not done!

THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT from all of us in the Climate Coalition for what you must do.  I did not write it, apart from the tenth point:

Best wishes

Saturday, 14 January 2023

An Almighty Big U-turn is Needed - and can be easily achieved!!

This is brilliant, Richard  - and, to get a reply!  Thanks so much.

Top priority for change, in my opinion: stopping, throughout the region, highly extravagant, very expensive, LR and VLR tram rollouts and the Sprint bus that thinks it's a tram.  All this should come before insulating and solar powering our leaky, energy hungry housing stock.  For, you then have the money and staff to work on it and, with no redundancies.

Really, what I am pleading for is a sensible set of priorities for us to campaign on.  Stop the wrong funding first and, then divert the staff and funds to the right, sensible priority and funding.
When our nice Emperor Andy has no clothes, tell him first.  Then, explain clothes are needed and must be bought!
Stop the ecocidal rush to the cliff edge, first.  Then start doing what Chris Skidmore MP advises in his over 300 pages report and do what Chris Stark, CEO and John Gummer of the Climate Change Committee wants.
Stop the insane business as usual destruction, demolition, rebuilding, re-demolition, rebuilding first.  Turn round and face in the opposite direction.  Next, spend our finite resources in cutting GHG in the medium to long term by doing our Nine Action Points.

The scandal I have exposed is the obvious destruction of two mainline railways and two and a quarter mainline stations for unnecessary "bus on rails" Metro trams.  I think this is wrong, foolish and incompetent.  Especially, when 106 Kms of double track mainline railways in our region are still without passenger trains and stations!  Do you agree, Richard that this is clear wrong doing, negligence and the most weird and wonderful, truly eccentric priorities that simply accelerate the climate emergency and failing life support systems?

This has gone on since 1981, too.  Actually, it is 70 years of tram and train destruction in the W Mids.  And, it continues to this day with the Dudley Tram (WBHE Phase 2) wrecking Nature, public open space, wasted housing land and my guerrilla garden.  It is a totally unnecessary spending of billions of pounds to speed climate breakdown and the exhaustion of finite resources.  All courtesy of W Mids Comedy Authority.  Do you agree, Richard?

Failing to build warmer homes and to upgrade the existing housing stock has gone on since 1982 when Paul Lewis published his plans.  This idiocy is negligence and folly but has not involved the enormous sums of money involved in deliberately acting to destroy first the tram network in the 50s, then one  third of the train network in subsequent decades with, from the 80s, rebuilding the tram network on what was left of the railway network.  Extraordinary madness from, supposedly, intelligent people!

This is just not unsustainable transport but the most idiotic unsustainable transport imaginable, that even a child could see and understand!  None of this is controversial, as you wrote, Richard, is it?  And getting rid of one HS2 extension and one Metro extension on the Kings Heath/Moseley railway were both achieved by us campaigners.  Stopping WBHE Phase 2 (Dudley Tram) is urgent and possible if only many more people would help me to kick up an almighty fuss.

It was brilliant to hear from you.  Thanks for replying with your thoughts.


On Fri, 13 Jan 2023 at 19:50, Richard Hatcher <> wrote:

Tim, in your latest email you have addressed 18 questions to me personally. Your method of haranguing is not the most effective way of inviting a discussion. 

I also think it bizarre that you have chosen to send your series of demands that I personally answer your questions to 3 of your local MPs. 

In answer to your question…”Stopping the funding of extensions of HS2 (we won in stopping the E arm to Leeds), Metro and Sprint is the FIRST and most BASIC step towards addressing the climate emergency and getting funding for insulation, retrofitting and solar powering homes.  Do you acknowledge that, Richard?  Why do you disagree? 

I agree with stopping the funding of HS2 and the Metro (I don’t know enough about the argument about Sprint). But I do not agree that we should link it in the way you do to retrofit as the method of solving the retrofit funding crisis, for two reasons. First, because support for a big increase in retrofit funding, which would be pretty well universal among the local communities if they were properly informed about it, should not be dependent on their support for your transport demands, which would be more controversial. Secondly, because getting rid of HS2 and the Metro is highly unlikely, and to make it a precondition for retrofit funding would in effect block a big increase in retrofit funding, which is urgently needed and more feasible to achieve. 

A final point. You say: 

Richard, do you believe in the power of persuasion?  Of a rational, cogent set of facts and arguments being put to someone in the hope that they might understand and then give their point of view in reply? 

Is political education part of your vocabulary?  Is dialogue and discussion to try and reach mutual understanding and consensus something you can go along with, Richard? 


Therefore, would you please join me in engaging in polite, pleasant conversation with senior officers and members of the seven constituent and non-constituent authorities of the CA?” 


I believe that engaging in what I’d hope is some sort of dialogue with those in power is a vital part of our strategic arsenal. In that I disagree with some currents in the climate movement. But unlike some others I recognise that local government is structured and constrained by the neoliberal policies of the Conservative government and the capitalist interests they serve, and mass popular pressure is needed to challenge those, not just argument, however rational and cogent. 



JUST STOP OIL/GHG from extensions to Metro and Sprint

JUST STOP OIL/GHG from extensions to Metro and Sprint

Thank you, Richard for all your excellent emails and enclosures.  All good stuff if funding and staff come from abandoned Metro/Sprint expansion programmes at 16 Summer Lane.  This must come first.  Do you agree, Richard?

There IS enough funding for ALL our Nine Action Points if others could join me in objecting to the billions going, and planned, into Metro and Sprint extensions

Where do you part company with us over this - anyone out there, including Richard?

Stopping the funding of extensions of HS2 (we won in stopping the E arm to Leeds), Metro and Sprint is the FIRST and most BASIC step towards addressing the climate emergency and getting funding for insulation, retrofitting and solar powering homes.  Do you acknowledge that, Richard?  Why do you disagree?

I am also anxious that we support the Chris Skidmore MP report on net zero in the national news this morning (Radio 4 'Today' programme at 0700 hrs this morning) and support and encourage Chris Stark, Chief Exec of the Climate Change Committee.  What do you think?

How have you been able to obtain everyone's email address?  Can I have your list please, Richard?

Is it me who is completely out of my mind in wanting an end to the 70 years of urban railway destruction that mean roads, buildings and trams take over the tracks and land?

Is it me who is stupid/misguided/dysfunctional in thinking that it was financial incompetence (in wasting taxpayers' money) and transport incompetence to destroy two mainline railways and two and a quarter mainline stations in the Black Country and Brum?  One mainline station is now a conference and events centre and the other is a National Innovation Centre for VLR.

Am I wrong in calling it incompetence?  What would you call it, Richard?  Or, anyone out there?

Are you in favour, Richard of railway lines and roads to be taken over by HR, LR, VLR, ULR* to make for the much vaunted and wonderful multi-modal, multi-mixed up public transport at the most enormous expense in price and weight of GHG emissions?  Even in favour when the staff might be redeployed and the funds diverted to insulation/retrofitting and solar powering the homes of the poorest in the region?

Do you accept, Richard that having a Tory Mayor does NOT mean the CA is a Tory led authority.  Four out of the seven are Labour led.  Admittedly, all are right of centre and nowhere near being eco-socialist.  WMCA and all member local authorities are one and the same.  All have to be covered.

Do you accept that under the current rules from HMG, our Andy has to work with the seven leaders, to represent them and not to lord it over them as though he is in charge and he, Andy makes all the decisions?  Andy is the PR person and the face of the W Mids.  Not the power behind the throne or the throne.

Do you accept that since 1981, when Metro started, every political party, even the Greens, have all been in agreement with replacing the tram network that had only just been obliterated by these same political parties and authorities only 20 years earlier?

Do you accept that since 1982, insulating the nation's 19th century and pre 1939 housing stock was recommended in a report to HMG by no less a person than author and broadcaster, Paul Lewis of Radio 4's 'Money Box'? 

Richard, do you believe in the power of persuasion?  Of a rational, cogent set of facts and arguments being put to someone in the hope that they might understand and then give their point of view in reply?

Is political education part of your vocabulary?  Is dialogue and discussion to try and reach mutual understanding and consensus something you can go along with, Richard?

Therefore, would you please join me in engaging in polite, pleasant conversation with senior officers and members of the seven constituent and non-constituent authorities of the CA?  These really can be had before meetings at 16 Summer Lane to build a positive relationship with these senior members and officers.

Would you, Richard, please join me in lobbying Ed Cox, Dan Essex, Laura Shoaf and Andy Street, for an item on the agenda of most/all WMCA meetings called 'Public Forum'?  This, to enable people like your good self and others to be allowed three minutes to talk or read out something of concern and of relevance to that public meeting.  My own authority, Dudley Council does this.

PLEASE REPLY!  This time.  And engage, discuss - for mutual enlightenment!

Best wishes

Friday, 13 January 2023

Positive, practical, helpful action to release staff and money for insulation/retro/solar

Hi Chris and Bob - thanks for the Chat sent.

Please could this go to everyone on our mailing list?

In my opinion, we each have a responsibility to stand up against what is clearly wrong and to stand up for how our money should be spent.

The WMCA, and all of their constituent authorities, are spending, literally BILLIONS of money and tonnes of GHG emitted on destroying railway lines and burying Nature under concrete, brick and tarmac.

The Black Country Railway "of national strategic significance" 

is still being destroyed with the WMCA intent on also destroying a brownfield housing site in part, trees/shrubs and my guerrilla garden on the 400 m long public open space at Merry Hill Shopping Centre.  A £100 m, GHG intensive, 400 m concrete and steel Metro tram viaduct is planned for the steep canal embankment that carries Dudley No 1 Canal with great views to the Clent Hills, Egghill/Frankley Beeches and Netherton Hill.  The tram must, now be kept to the mainline railway to Stourbridge Jct.

Up to 1,000 trees/shrubs must be felled for the Westside Metro extension to Bearwood on the westbound side of Hagley Road.
This is all part of the 2020 WMCA/TfWM plan to build 150 miles, 8 lines and 380 tram stops to extend Metro tram extensions for £15 BILLION to 2040.

The money must be diverted and the staff redeployed, after training, to work on ending fuel poverty by insulating and solar powering the homes of the poorest.  Called retrofitting that is our FIRST Action Point, as here:


Political education

Chris, please don't go against my request for circulation by assuming no-one would read it.

I read the more voluminous material, but excellent stuff, that Richard circulates.  Please do the same for me.  Or, give me the email addresses.  We are meant to be encouraging and supporting one another, as I do in helping Richard and you both, wherever I can.  I am still circulating our 'Nine Action Points' from you both, for example, at WMCA and LA meetings.  Another 100 printed tomorrow.

I think it is extremely important to please circulate my stuff, as you do with Richard's, to help understanding and to get others, like you and Bob to help me with the bleeding obvious!  And, to get our Nine Action Points more widely understood and implemented.

Political education of us all is vital and, from whatever source, e.g. Stuart Richardson whom Bob seems to have a problem with.  And Bob, what is your problem with me?  Please tell me!

You wrote, "We need more folks to take on roles in these meetings such as note taking, facilitation managing the tech and getting involved in things between meetings etc….etc etc…."
I am involved all the time in progressing, advancing our cause!  Honest!  But please help me as I am helping you in forwarding what I have asked you to forward to everyone in WMCC.  Bob, will you do it, please?

Stopping funding of extensions of Metro and Sprint is the FIRST and most BASIC step towards addressing the climate emergency and getting funding for retrofitting.  Why do you both not see that?

Keep up the good work - both of you.

Well said, Jules!

Jules:  "Another reason for transport focus is the huge overspend on tram projects. Tram investment swamps all other transport investment"   10.1.23

City Region Sustainable Transport Settlement

From jules Todd to Everyone 08:06 PM

this is public money being squandered. The WMCA has no visible viable programme governance structures and processes. If they do exist they should be public.

From Danni to Everyone 08:10 PM

Sharing this now in case anyone has any other ideas for what elements we include in the shared doc on transport: 

TRANSPORT (title); 1. What are the facts WM wide? re Current Provision &amp; Cosy, Access, Air quality, Links to racial inequality indexes, Route to Net Zero, anything else you can think of; 2. What has the WMCA already done? 3. What does the WMCA already have planned? 4. What

do we want?

from Chris Martin

From jules Todd to Everyone 08:25 PM

we have to be v careful about the unit cost of retrofit per house because the assumptions made make a huge difference to the cost. Also, need to be wary of vested interests in the construction sector affecting the scope and approach. Adaptation to extreme heat also needs to be taken into account - retrofit can't just be about insulation

From jules Todd to Everyone 08:28 PM

another issue with retrofit is whether / how local communities are engaged in the process. Civic Square in brum have done excellent work on this.

From jules Todd to Everyone 08:33 PM

From Brian to Everyone 08:34 PM

Is it time we sought legal advice from a public investment lawyer as the issue of retrofitting is relevant to the gov duty of care?

Money is no object when it comes to their rich people's priority that do the poor down - like prestige projects, flash buildings and getting people from all over the world to come to Brum. Vast amounts spent on armaments and warfare, too!

From Kate Gilbert XR to Everyone 08:47 PM

Do any of you have a contact with Retrofit Balsall Heath?

Recommend John Christophers, architect and owner of the Zero Carbon House, Birmingham.

From Brian to Everyone 08:47 PM

From Carol Hyatt to Everyone 08:50 PM

I would like s sustainable transport framework establishing key principles within which all decisions are made, all policies drawn up.