Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Good, The Bad & The Boring

Monday brought some good news following on from the Wastes Management review carried out earlier this year. The officers concerned have worked so enthusiastically on ways to implement the recommendations that the action plan is ready ahead of schedule so the recommendations will begin to be implemented sooner than we'd thought. Watch this space!
It seems also that the plans for Billingham Town Centre are coming on nicely so I look forward to seeing some detail in them. It seems likely to include a new medical centre and perhaps a customer contact centre for Stockton Council.
The insulation of Municipal Buildings cavity walls was cracking on, noisily but efficiently. However, the sun was so hot that I suspect staff working in some of the rooms had ventilation on their minds rather than insulation. It's a difficult building to improve with its lovely big windows - hot in sunny weather and cold in winter though the insulation should help with the latter. One day perhaps we'll get a nice energy efficient office building, but not yet!
Less good is all the public consultation starting about the new hospital for North of the Tees. The idea is that there's to be a lot more care in the community including some procedures that are done at hospital at present. This means that new medical centres need to be built and old ones refurbished but there's no clarity from the PCT about where these facilities will be nor what exactly will be available in each one. But without knowing this people are being asked to say which site they prefer for the hospital! Both sites are out of town, not readily accessible by public transport and no guarantee that they ever will be. The NHS seems to have decided that they can't please everyone so they're better to please no-one. There doesn't seem to be any sense to their choice of sites other than the fact that the land is likely to be cheaper and more readily available than some of the other sites which have been suggested.
The afternoon saw a further meeting of the Environment Select committee to review the Customer First Programme of Stockton council. Whilst I agree that it's important to give customers the best possible service I still am utterly unconvinced that there's going to be any useful outcome of this scrutiny. Maybe I'll be proved wrong?

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