Thursday, 8 November 2012

Brown Review - Same old, same old. Official

Good news from today's RDG Second Industry Forum!

According to the man himself, the Richard Brown Review aims to deliver a "minimum fix" to ensure that the three, currently stalled, franchises can be got out the door as quickly as possible, with a vague promise of further reforms down the line...

So those hoping that the Brown Review might actually explore a range of options to ensure that the provision of passenger services deliver actual Value for Money, to both tax and fare payer, are doomed to disappointment.

No matter.

In happier news Richard confirmed today that he had already asked the views of half the people he wanted to consult as part of his Review.

Judging from the blank looks amongst the great and good assembled today at the appropriately named Pullman Hotel on the Euston Road this must be a very select group indeed!

No doubt as part of its commitment to transparency the DfT will be publishing these exalted names ere long?

Two MPs threaten to derail Metal Theft bill

This from the Local Government Association...

On the eve of Remembrance Sunday, local authorities are pressing for urgent action to be taken to tackle a crime which has seen memorials desecrated, caused transport chaos and costs the country hundreds of millions of pounds every year.

The Local Government Association, which represents more than 370 councils in England and Wales, is warning that a long overdue overhaul of scrap metal legislation will fail to materialise if the report stage of Richard Ottaway MP's Private Members Bill ends in deadlock on Friday.

Cllr Mehboob Khan, Chairman of the LGA's Safer and Stronger Communities Board, said:

"MPs owe it to their constituencies to do everything in their power to turn the tide on this mindless crime which is spiralling out of control.

"Scrap metal thefts have caused transport chaos, closed down churches and schools, and caused heartache for families who have seen memorials to loved ones plundered for scrap.

"To steal at all puts public safety at risk but to take cherished memorial plaques is a heartless and offensive crime

"The legislation for regulating the scrap metal industry has long ceased to be fit for purpose and we can't afford for Parliament to stall any longer on bringing it up to date.

"It will be a devastating blow to the millions of people who have been inconvenienced, injured or distressed by the metal theft epidemic if this opportunity to make a stand against metal thieves and rogue scrapyards is squandered."

According to the Daily Telegraph, Ottoway's bill is likely to be derailed by Christopher Chope, a former minister and Philip Davies MP for Shipley who have tabled more than 100 amendments.

In a tweet earlier today @PhilipDaviesMP said: I have met with people in the scrap metal business and am doing so again tomorrow. Feel free to email me with any points

Philip Davies email is: and Christopher Chope MP can be contacted at

As ever, Eye readers are encouraged to vote both early and often, but politely putting the case for the Ottoway bill!

UPDATE: For those interested...

The Scrap Metal Dealers Bill: Committee Stage Report can be found here

Pointless signs - LUL Liverpool Street