Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Villiers vignettes - Promotion surely beckons?

This from Our Man at 222 Marylebone Road...

Additional portable loos and catering supplies are being rushed to Marsham Street to accommodate this sudden influx of hostages to fortune.

Theresa Villiers (Minister of State (Rail and Aviation), Transport; Chipping Barnet, Conservative):

Planned and actual delivery dates for departmental commitments are published in the DFT Strategic Business Plan, available on the Department's website and updated monthly.

The Department expects to publish shortly a Command Paper on Rail, which will include proposals on the structure of Network Rail.

The Department and Office of Rail Regulation are currently consulting jointly on the role of the regulator, and the consultation is due to close on 2 March 2012.

The High Level Output Specification is due to be published by July 2012, and delivery remains on track.

The new Intercity West Coast franchise is due to be awarded in the summer, and to commence in December 2012.

The Department is planning to reach financial close for both IEP and Thameslink in the spring of this year.

Cruella must be hoping that the mini-reshuffle, expected if the Energy Secretary is summoned by the CPS, happens soon...

Gideon parades with upside down Union Flag

Evidently the Japanese Ambassador's throne has moved from Marsham Street to Horse Guards!

According to today's Northern Echo:

CHANCELLOR George Osborne tonight confirmed that plans to bring a high-speed train manufacturing plant to County Durham were on track.

Mr Osborne's comments, made during a visit to Japan, came after concerns were raised last month that the plans for the factory in Newton Aycliffe could be in jeopardy.

Eye understands that Gideon was welcomed on arrival in Japan with a song from Tokyo Rose and then invited into a newly built recreation facility by the traditional summons Tenko, Tenko, Tenko! (Is this right? Ed)

Once he emerged from the sweat box the considerably thinner Chancellor said:

"I am here in Japan seeing for myself the technology that is behind the new trains that will be built in Britain.

"The opening of the new factory that will build them with the investment and jobs it will bring is good news for people in the North East and good news for people using our railways.

"It is also good news for the wider economy, and evidence of a new, more balanced economy in Britain that will help deliver sustainable growth in the years to come."

After the celebrations Mr Osborne was invited to work on refurbishing the former British built railway linking Thailand and Burma. (You're fired! Ed)