Monday, 21 December 2015

The end of BT Cornwall

BT Cornwall have lost the court case to retain their contract with Cornwall Council and the parting of the ways will now commence.

It is disappointing that Cornwall Council and BT have failed to make the BT Cornwall partnership work.

The main reasons for creating the partnership were to facilitate the integration of IT departments with the Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust (RCHT Treliske) and to provide the capacity  to handle a number of large IT projects (such as the conversion to Windows 7).    The provision of Telehealth and Telecare services in Cornwall were also a big part of the deal as was the expectant creation of significant numbers of jobs.

The alternative considered (and rejected) was to bring in external consultants at a multi million pound cost to assist the Council with these projects.

RCHT pulled out of the BT deal at the last minute and this decision now gives the Council and RCHT the opportunity to consider their options afresh.    It will be an essential component of the business case currently being written to integrate health and adult social care.

We have been urging the Council to prepare a Plan B for life after BT but we have seen no evidence of this so far.

The resultant return of staff to Cornwall Council and the unravelling of the partnership will result in significant cost which are unlikely to be fully recovered from BT Cornwall.   That burden will again fall on the Cornish taxpayer.

Friday, 4 December 2015

Another bus lane fiasco in Truro?

As a councillor who expressed concern years ago about the (then proposed) Tregolls bus lane, I would like to flag another part of the so called Truro Sustainable Transport Strategy that is causing me concern.

As recently as 2008 the junction with Newbridge Lane on the A390 into Truro was made into a 'semi roundabout' in a deliberate attempt to deprioritise traffic exiting from Newbridge Lane - and so keep the traffic on A390 running.  A bus lane was also created through this junction.

After many draft plans it is now proposed to scrap the scheme, which cost several hundred thousands pounds.   Instead the junction will have traffic lights and the end of Penwerris Road, which was closed off, will be reopened for traffic exiting Malabar.    This is to reprioritise Newbridge Lane and allow it to cope with additional development on the Dudman Estate (which goes to Strategic Planning Committee on 17th December).    This will cost more than £1 million.

Under the Labour Government's Regional Spatial Strategy in 2008 even more development was proposed for Truro than the current plan.

It is nonsense to tell us that we are not to worry as this will all be paid for by the Government and developers.   If we ask for money for this , it undoubtedly reduces what we can get for other things.

That bus lane is now considered unnecessary.   If small sections of bus lane are not necessary why was the small section on Tregolls Road (in and out of town) ever installed in the first place?

Please look out for the Council's consultation in January and make your views known.