Monday, 25 August 2014

Ely Mill lies & fails to deliver social housing

ELY MILL development lies - Cardiff Labour council has yet again deceived the people of Cardiff promising, with great panache to provide social and affordable housing - Dumballs Road is only offering 12% affordable housing and now the Ely Mill development promises go down the pan, as you can see in the section 106 agreement signed 28th July 2014  The Active Travel guidance offered Ely Mill as a good example...however in contrast to the flowery Great blurb  on the Ely Mill website 
...With plans for up to 800 homes, large expanses of green communal spaces, a neighbourhood hub and a pleasant riverside park, the £100 million development will breathe new life into this previously neglected plot of land.
  Made possible through a partnership between the Welsh Government and Principality Building Society, with support from Cardiff Council, the development will deliver good quality, well managed, affordable housing to the city, with as many 60% of the homes expected to be available at below-market level rents.    
The Mill will also provide a much needed stimulus to the local construction industry through its commitment to using skilled workers from the local community to complete the work. In fact, initial indications suggest the development should create over 200 jobs during each of the five years it will take to construct. 
Our board of directors and executive team includes some of the most accomplished and experienced individuals from the built environment field. Among them are leading experts in urban design, funding, construction, property surveying, law and social housing management.
  In total we aim to generate £100 million of investment in the site, delivering much-needed homes for the city, improving the environment and creating many new construction and maintenance jobs for local people.
  See The Mill Neighbourhood section for full information on what to expect... 

The Mill will represent a new brand of city living that will combine high-quality affordable accommodation with a green, pleasant and community-focused neighbourhood on the banks of the River Ely. 
The development boasts a number of features that are sure to make The Mill one of the most desirable residential developments in South Wales.  

·         Green Neighbourhood  Without the promised cycle and pedestrian infrastructure and with grave concerns from the Cardiff cycling campaign addressed  - NO 
·         Up to 800 affordable family homes - Turns out to be 200 total 
·         High quality environment – riverside park, cycle trail, community facilities - No bridge to Trelai Park as promised but into Dyfrig Road whose residents are against 
·         Improved transport links to city No
·         Sustainable community Priority given to unneeded new road junction not to cycling and walking 
·         New neighbourhood centre offering employment opportunities and community facilities. 

The site will be affordable properties available for rent or rent-to-buy. The remainder will be for sale on the open market. Once complete, the neighbourhood will include homes ranging from one-bedroom apartments to four-bedroom detached houses, all set within an appealing environment that includes a riverside park, cycle paths and extensive community facilities.
 The diversity of housing types, and imaginative, well-planned public facilities, will make The Mill one of Cardiff’s most distinctive, pleasant and sustainable communities. The character of the neighbourhood will benefit from the range of different properties, including apartments, bungalows, terraces, semis and detached dwellings and there will be a strong emphasis on green living throughout. We’ll be giving priority to homes with gardens and there’ll be extensive planting throughout the area.

Among other features that will make this a great place to live, will be a striking waterfront park, special cycle paths, a riverside walk, footbridges (a footbridge within 6 years)  across the River Ely and the nearby railway line and a well-equipped community centre. Another important part of the development will be the completion of the Ely Trail. - Whoops another porkie!
 In the 106 agreement the following words will have the following meanings:  
 “Ely Trail Works” a pedestrian cycle way and associated landscaping through the riverside park with an additional spur connecting to the proposed cycle network at Treganna School 
Planning permission for the site was granted in February 2014.



Thursday, 21 August 2014

Phil Bale @PhilBale labour leader of Cardiff council boasts about 'exciting plans for the regeneration of Central Square following the announcement that BBC Cymru Wales WILL be relocating their headquarters to the site of the existing bus station, by June 2015. now seeking your views on the location of the new bus interchange next to Cardiff Central train station, which will be located either to the north or south of the station. A public consultation survey was launched online on Friday 8th August here'    It simply asks  Would you prefer the new facilities to be north (city side) or south (bay side) of Central Station?
 What Phil Bale and his 'consultation' doesn't ask                                                                              Surprise!! This lousy consultation doesn't ask about the actual options that are listed in this report. And we were never asked if we wanted to sell off the bus station. There is no longer any mention of the promised  INTEGRATED TRANSPORT HUB
• Like for like replacement of Bus Station somewhere north of the Station;
• 22 stands north of the station;
• Reduced provision north of the station (18-22 stands) with some provision to the south
• All provision on the south side;
• Satellites around the city centre on a) a temporary basis; and, b) a 
permanent basis. 
At present there are 34 bus stands on the site - there is no mention of coaches 
There is NO question on the arrangements that are proposed to be implemented whilst the bus station is closed although this is very important to us all and particularly the elderly and disabled .
The above  scenarios for the potential bus station relocation options will be assessed as part of the Transport and Traffic Chapter of the ES:
Central Square, Cardiff : EIA Scoping Report    AECOM  August 2014  nlpplanning.com
The Scoping Report on behalf of Rightacres Limited who have agreed that EIA will be undertaken, to allow the necessary survey and technical assessment work to be undertaken in advance of the submission of a planning application in October 2014.  EIA requires public consultation feedback and consideration…  the time scale has to be built into the proposals… yet planning applications in October!! No time for any proper consultation
There is  NO MENTION  of transport interchange, or integrated, or hub

Central Square EIA Scoping Report

Phil Bale @PhilBale labour leader of Cardiff council boasts about 'exciting plans for the regeneration of Central Square following the announcement that BBC Cymru Wales WILL be relocating their headquarters to the site of the existing bus station, by June 2015. now seeking your views on the location of the new bus interchange next to Cardiff Central train station, which will be located either to the north or south of the station. A public consultation survey was launched online on Friday 8th August here'    It simply asks  Would you prefer the new facilities to be north (city side) or south (bay side) of Central Station?
 What Phil Bale and his 'consultation' doesn't ask                                                                              Surprise!! This lousy consultation doesn't ask about the actual options that are listed in this report. And we were never asked if we wanted to sell off the bus station. There is no longer any mention of the promised  INTEGRATED TRANSPORT HUB
• Like for like replacement of Bus Station somewhere north of the Station;
• 22 stands north of the station;
• Reduced provision north of the station (18-22 stands) with some provision to the south
• All provision on the south side;
• Satellites around the city centre on a) a temporary basis; and, b) a 
permanent basis. 
At present there are 34 bus stands on the site - there is no mention of coaches 
There is NO question on the arrangements that are proposed to be implemented whilst the bus station is closed although this is very important to us all and particularly the elderly and disabled .
The above  scenarios for the potential bus station relocation options will be assessed as part of the Transport and Traffic Chapter of the ES:
Central Square, Cardiff : EIA Scoping Report    AECOM  August 2014  nlpplanning.com
The Scoping Report on behalf of Rightacres Limited who have agreed that EIA will be undertaken, to allow the necessary survey and technical assessment work to be undertaken in advance of the submission of a planning application in October 2014.  EIA requires public consultation feedback and consideration…  the time scale has to be built into the proposals… yet planning applications in October!! No time for any proper consultation
There is  NO MENTION  of transport interchange, or integrated, or hub
4.9 An important component of the planning application will be the delivery of a high quality public realm, with a central plaza between Central Station and the new BBC building, as well as two pedestrianised boulevards between Central Station and Wood Street, one to the east of BBC, and one providing a link towards the Millennium Stadium.
4.10 The public realm detail from Wood Street southwards will form part of the full planning application, and a hard and soft landscaping strategy will be included within the Masterplan for the wider area.
Alternatives
4.20 Schedule 4 of the 1999 Regulations requires a consideration of the main alternatives for the development which have been studied by the applicant and the main reasons for the choice that has been made, taking account of the environmental effects.
4.21 The site is a key gateway to the city centre and it is important that any redevelopment makes best use of the site with use suitable to a city centre location.
BUT… NO COSIDERATION OF ALTERNATIVE LOCATIONS for the BBC BUILDING
4.23 In addition, a key component of the EIA will be the testing of alternative locations/arrangements for the bus station and taxi ranks and public realm works on Network Rail land in front of Central Station.
4.24 The proposed development is the second phase of a wider redevelopment area of 4.92 hectares comprising the land between Central Station, the River Taff, Park Street and Great Western Lane.
4.25 In order to plan for the development of this area in a design-led and comprehensive manner, a Masterplan is being prepared by Foster and Partners of the area identified in blue in Appendix 1.
Appendix 1 Illustrative Masterplan and Site Location Plan (Maximum Development Extent)
ABSENT  Appendix 2 Plot Plan ALSO ABSENT
5.9 The proposals will require the relocation of the existing bus station - a number of potential location options will be considered and the potential impact on traffic conditions of each option reviewed as part of the Traffic and Transport Chapter of the ES.
NO IMPACT ON BUS OPERATION??
5.10 The Baseline Conditions section will summarise the site’s accessibility, gain understanding of existing traffic flow and the operation of the bus station…
Survey data from the city Council
Bus station operation July 2014; Bus station passenger interviews July 2014; City centre passenger interviews Feb 2012
The wider commission will also look at the proposals to relocate the bus 
station. A number of relocated bus station ‘options’ will be presented including 
bus service movements. 
5.21 The following scenarios for the potential bus station relocation options will be assessed as part of the Transport and Traffic Chapter of the ES:
• Like for like replacement of Bus Station somewhere north of the Station;
• 22 stands north of the station;
• Reduced provision north of the station (18-22 stands) with some provision to the south
• All provision on the south side;
• Satellites around the city centre on a) a temporary basis; and, b) a 
permanent basis. 
At present there are 34 bus stands on the site - there is no mention of coaches 

Transport Assessment    REPEATS much of earlier material
Interim Construction Stage
This section of the TA will describe the arrangements that will be implemented during the construction period, including the access arrangements and local highway network modifications that will be required. This will include consideration of the arrangements that are proposed to be implemented whilst the bus station is closed.
Assessment of TIS
This section will assess the five bus station options (listed in Development Proposals above AND 5.21).
The Appraisal Framework will follow the ‘Mini WelTAG’ assessment framework AECOM has previously developed for bus station options.   NOT full WelTAG for the full development??
Stakeholder Engagement

Throughout the process, AECOM will engage with a range of key stakeholders. This will help shape our proposals and by gaining buy-in from interest groups, will enable a smoother route through the planning process. Some of the main stakeholders will include the Client team, Cardiff Council, bus operators, Network Rail and Train Operating Companies, vulnerable mode user groups, and our wider project team comprising master-planners, planners, urban designers, cost consultants and engineers.       NO TIME/PROCEDURE  FOR THIS ENGAGEMENT

Monday, 18 August 2014

Recycle Ralph Cook Cardiff labour group genitalia spokesperson

You have got to laugh or weep in despair! Sue Lent (described as left wing for some not obvious reason) was elected as Cardiff council’s Labour group deputy leader, ousting the group’s former leader Ralph Cook so sour grapes from Ralphie! The B team win! Even Labour party members are writing to the paper about the misogyny in the labour party ruling group.  Gretta Marshall hasn't come out to support Siobhan but shes in the wrong tribe! Cardiff councillor resigns from 'vicious' and 'divided' Labour group

Members should stop being so tribal
I read the articles arising from the resignation from the council of Siobhan Corria with some dismay.
Firstly, I am not surprised by Siobhan’s resignation as I soon reached the conclusion that she was not in accord with the Labour Party on a range of issues, nor very comfortable with the Cardiff-wide responsibilities of a county councillor. I will refrain from character assassination, except to say that I quite like her as a person because I saw in her energy and attitudes (not her politics) some of myself when I was in my early twenties, when I naively thought I could change the world for the better every day.
What bothers me is that the Labour Party seems to have taken seriously some of the unspecified issues raised by Siobhan. It has apparently informed the Echo that it has agreed to “implement two over-arching interventions to address the range of issues presented by Siobhan Corria, namely the production of an equality impact assessment on custom and practice in Cardiff council’s Labour group and the rolling out of equalities training for all Cardiff Labour councillors. These two measures were taken on by Cardiff Labour group officers for consideration as part of a wider review of group reform led by Councillor Phil Bale.”
This is the first I have heard of it and I object strongly to the implied criticism of those within the Cardiff Labour group, whom Siobhan had disputes with. The Labour Party has not canvassed my opinions and had it done so I would have had plenty to say. If the Cardiff Labour group needs any help it is to ensure that all group members are reminded in the strongest possible terms of their responsibilities. This has nothing to do with equalities and everything to do with the fact that prominent people in one part of the group set out to undermine the previous cabinet with the intention of replacing them.
Siobhan Corria said: “I have been unhappy for a long time in the Labour Party. It is nothing to do with the Labour group or the leadership.” She claims she spoke to Welsh Labour’s general secretary David Hagendyk several times on issues over the “culture, attitude and sexism within the Labour Party” but he had “failed to act”. She said there was now “too much internal politics” within the party. 
If this is true I fail to see why the Labour Party has put the focus on the Cardiff Labour Group. If they think there is merit in Siobhan’s arguments surely it is the structures and culture of the wider party that need an examination. I think the only thing that will rescue the Labour group from its internal problems is when members understand they need to stop acting tribally. They need to listen to everyone else carefully, be open and transparent and make decisions they individually think are right. It would also be helpful if some of the newer members respected the experience of longstanding members. At the moment, part of the group just regard the other part (as if we are all peas in a pod) as “right-wing”, or ascribe some other equally stupid label to them.
Councillor Ralph Cook Trowbridge, Cardiff

4 hrs · 
Sir,
I wish to commend Cllr Ralph Cook for his excellent letter on tribalism within the Labour Party and the resignation of Cllr Siobhan Corria (South Wales Echo 16th August 2014). He has hit the nail on the head when he reveals that the internal problems of the Labour Party are caused by people such as Cllr Corria, who - despite her "energy and attitudes", some of which many of us in the Party also had when we too were in our early twenties when we naively thought we could change the world for the better every day - are simply far too young, inexperienced, and female to ever be comfortable with the Cardiff-wide responsibilities of a county councillor.
Rather than face up to her inherent unsuitability to be a councillor (specifically, her youth and lack of a penis) Cllr Corria instead blames her resignation on the "culture of sexism and bullying" within the Labour Party. Like Cllr Cook, I too am dismayed that the Labour Party has taken these concerns seriously and plans to produce an equality impact assessment on custom and practice in Cardiff council’s Labour group, and force equalities training on all Cardiff Labour councillors! I fully agree with Cllr Cook that there is absolutely no need for this: Cllr Cook, despite his considerable experience of being a woman in the Labour Party, has no experience himself of a culture of sexism and bullying in the Labour Party. It follows logically, therefore, that there is no culture of sexism and bullying in the Labour Party.
Furthermore, I fully agree with Cllr Cook all the problems within the Labour Party would disappear if only young people (without penises) with no experience and without the maturity to understand a county councillor's responsibilities would simply listen to - and defer to - those older and wiser than themselves (and in possession of a penis) such as Cllr Cook, and not disagree with them on matters of policy or the running of a city; areas very much outside of their capabilities and experience (owing to their extreme youth and lack of a penis). I, too, think the only thing that will rescue the Labour group from its internal problems is when members "listen to everyone else carefully", and "if some of the newer members respected the experience of longstanding members" (particularly if they have the misfortune to not have a penis).
In fact, it would be so much better for the Labour Party, and the City of Cardiff, if lovely young things like Siobhan would leave the management and carrying out of important things like a county councillor's responsibilities to those who know what they're doing. There are plenty of useful and essential tasks within the Labour Party that young people without penises can do, such as leafletting, telephone canvassing, and baking for the Party's summer parties.
Life would be so much less stressful for people like Cllr Corria - and so much easier for the rest of us - if only they would not worry their pretty little heads with complicated things like holding public office and carrying out the responsibilities thereof, as such tasks require an understanding of responsibilities that can only be achieved with the wisdom and experience of age, and having a penis.
Dr Liza van Zyl, D.Phil. (Oxon)
Butetown
UnlikeUnlike ·  · 
  • You and 21 others like this.

  • Vivienne Jenkins There's always stuffing envelopes to keep these young penis-less people busy, too.
    3 hrs · Like · 2
  • Sean Legge Pmsl!
    3 hrs · Like · 2
  • Liza Van Zyl Cllr Ralph Cook's letter in the Echo is a masterpiece of sexism and is one of the most patronising communications I've ever seen. If people ever doubted there's a culture of sexism in Welsh Labour, that doubt will be completely cleared up on reading his letter.
    2 hrs · Like · 7
  • Terence Canning That's brilliant. I think I may have just laughed my penis off.
    2 hrs · Like · 3
  • Liza Van Zyl I'm not sure the Echo's going to publish my letter. I don't know what their policy is on the multiple use of the word penis. But given they're happy to publish letters from Cllr Cook who's such a perfect specimen of a quality knob-end, they can't reasonably object to my letter I'd have thought.
    2 hrs · Like · 3
  • Geraint Hopkins Do you happen to have a link to Cllr Cook's letter?
    2 hrs · Like
  • Geraint Hopkins I'm astonished you are all having this spat on the letters page of the Echo.
    1 hr · Like
  • Sean Legge Gordon Allports scale of prejudice is a good reference and worth a browse.
    1 hr · Like
  • Liza Van Zyl Geraint, while it is unbecoming to have a spat on the pages of the Echo, Ralph Cook's letter was so extraordinary sexist and patronizing, it simply could not be left without challenge. The issue here is whether there is a culture of sexism in the Labou...See More
    1 hr · Like · 3

  • 1 hr · Like · 3
  • Alternately, we could just keep quiet for decorum's sake, and allow this culture of sexism and bullying within our party to remain unchallenged.
  • Anne Greagsby I was surprised that Gretta Marshall hasn't come out to support Siobhan but shes in the wrong tribe! Cardiff councillor resigns from 'vicious' and 'divided' Labour group http://bit.ly/1BusIM2

    www.walesonline.co.uk
    The councillor said she will continue representing Splott, Tremorfa and Pengam Green until the next election but will not stand again
  • Anne Greagsby "Political leaders must drag politics into the 21st century and ensure it is not a boy's brigade" Cardiff ex councillor Siobhan Corria 
    Siobhan Corria http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Ex-Cabinet+councillor+in...


    www.thefreelibrary.com
    Free Online Library: Ex-Cabinet councillor in blast at the attitudes of politica...See More
  • Ceri Phillips Love this!
    14 hrs · Like · 1
  • Liza Van Zyl Lis Burnett, have you seen Cllr Cook's extraordinarily sexist letter in the Echo?
    2 hrs · Like
  • Terence Canning Your letter is in....with one or two minor edits 
    2 hrs · Like · 2
  • Debra Allen Liza, what an inspired letter!
    2 hrs · Like · 1
  • Lis Burnett I did and I think Ralph would be fully aware of my thoughts on it. The problem with such attacks is that they escalate. You just have to look at this thread and see a woman being attacked and by another woman. I'm fortunate as I serve within a gender balanced group in the Vale and Penarth Council but that doesn't mean there isn't inappropriate language used some times or disagreement. You talk about keeping quiet for decorum's sake. I don't see it as that and feel that everyone has a right to speak. Labour remains the most diverse party and is committed to equality but public spats create the perception that we are not and that we are divided as a party, which we are not. This makes us open to attack from parties much less diverse than us. You are a member of Cardiff South and Penarth there are mechanisms through which you could bring motion to the constituency. If you'd like to do that I'd be happy to help.
    1 hr · Like · 1
  • Liza Van Zyl Thanks Lis, I would like to take this to the constituency, but I didn't have any idea how. I do appreciate the points you make. But I feel strongly that Cook's letter was so blatantly sexist, and so completely unacceptable from a Labour Councillor, a robust response was needed. I'd be grateful for your advice as to how to take this through the correct channels, and to learn generally the most effective ways to address issues within the Party. Perhaps you could message me your availability so we could meet up? Thanks! x
    1 hr · Like

  • Siobhan Corria I think you should definitely take a motion to Cardiff South and Penarth and I will take one to Cardiff North. But I have already met with the general secretary of Welsh Labour and as Ralph Cook says in his letter to the echo, he knew nothing of the recommendations following that meeting and he was deputy leader.
    1 hr · Like · 1
  • Ralph Cook What an extraordinarily daft letter this is. I am not at all sexist, far from it nor did I demand other members do as experienced members said. I merely asked that they respect the views of more experienced members - do you feel  that people should not respect the views of people with greater experience than them? Siobhan's complaint about sexism was reportedly made against the wider Labour Party not the Cardiff Labour Group of which I am a member as I understand it, so your attack is way off beam.What an extraordinarily daft letter this is. I am not at all sexist, far from it nor did I demand other members do as experienced members said. I merely asked that they respect the views of more experienced members 
  • Ralph Cook Having flicked down your page, I see you claim to oppose discrimination and prejudice, I don't think I recognise that having read your letter about me. You do not know me and you have misinterpreted my letter. You have discriminated against me apparently because of my genitalia.
    1 hr · Like
  • Siobhan Corria I think you should just step away from the keyboard.
    1 hr · Like · 1
  • Liza Van Zyl Ralph, your letter is extraordinarly sexist and is one of the most patronising utterances I have ever seen - and as a woman research scientist for many years, I have seen plenty. Your letter is completely unacceptable from a member of the Labour Party,...See More
    45 mins · Edited · Like
  • Liza Van Zyl Furthermore, Ralph, your comments about Siobhan not understanding the "responsibilities" of her job plainly insinuate she is incompetent, and are libellous. You have further undermined David Hagendyk's office by disputing the decision to do an equality impact assessment of the Labour group's customs and practices and giving equality training to Councillors.
  • Liza Van Zyl Ralph, the comments and attitudes expressed in your letter demonstrate *very* clearly that there is indeed a culture of sexism in the Labour Party. You have brought the Labour Party and Cardiff Council into disrepute. I certainly hope whip Cllr Chris Davis and Deputy Leader Sue Lent deal very firmly with you, because in all honestly, you should resign.
  • Liza Van Zyl PS: Ralph, I have just purchased a copy of the Echo, and you will be pleased to note that, while they have published my letter in full, they have removed all references to genitalia.
  • Anne Greagsby Ralph cook displays the incivility, bullying and narcissism that he deplores in others. Feelings of inadequacy trigger individuals to lash out at others especially those prone to exaggerate their accomplishments and downplay the contributions of others creating toxic environments.
    3 mins · Like


    • Anne Greagsby I recall Ralph Cook saying Cllrs finding it too dangerous to use the bus at night and have to have taxis "most of the claims were made by lone women in their later years. He said: “To expect them to stand at a bus stop late at night is not right, I think the council has a duty of care. If a councillor is raped or murdered by a bus stop at night, what are the first questions going to be?” such understanding!
      21 hrs · Like · 2
    • Ralph Cook I'm sorry if I've upset you but I can't be bothered to argue as I have more important things to deal with than analysing and defending the contents of my letter which stands on its own as far as I am concerned. My final comments on this subject are that I live in a democracy and if that is how I feel, I have a perfect right to say so regardless of whether it upsets people with a different world view - or possibly a deliberate intention to misinterpret my thoughts. However, I think you must have lead a very sheltered existence if my letter is "one of the most patronising utterances I have ever seen" and I maintain you must be reading words that are not there if you think my "letter is extraordinarly sexist".
      21 hrs · Like
    • Siobhan Corria You even think you should have the last word. Have a great day Ralph.
      21 hrs · Unlike · 1
    • Sue Fortune Hmmm - ok if someone's raped by a bus stop at night as long as they're not a councillor? Make the scumbags use public transport (foc on expenses natch) and we'll soon see its safety and punctuality improve, what ever city we're talkin about.
      21 hrs · Like · 3
    • Keith Parry There is a better party in town! Its called Plaid Cymru. Dont waste your time in this Tory Party run by Ed Balls.
      18 hrs · Unlike · 4
    • Liza Van Zyl Cllr Cook, as well as being incredibly patronizing and demonstrating to the entire readership of the Echo that there is indeed a culture of sexism in Welsh Labour, your letter shows a staggering lack of professionalism. When I wrote my letter to the Echo yesterday, I had no idea that you were deputy leader of the cabinet on which Siobhan served! If you feel that she was so incompetent that she failed to understand her duties and responsibilities as a councillor, then the very LAST place to voice these concerns is the pages of a newspaper! If this were an employment situation, your action would constitute gross misconduct and Siobhan would have grounds for a claim of constructive dismissal before an employment tribunal. If you're quick, there is still time to have another letter published in tomorrow's Echo: only a full apology to Siobhan, and to the Labour Party and Council for bringing them into disrepute, can have any chance of saving your political career.
      18 hrs · Unlike · 3
    • Liza Van Zyl Finally: you ask me, Cllr Cook, whether I "feel that people should not respect the views of people with greater experience than them". If you feel that Siobhan did not respect your views, then, frankly, given the spectacular lack of judgement you display in your letter in Saturday's Echo, it would seem to me that Siobhan would have been eminently sensible to reject your views.
      17 hrs · Unlike · 2
    • Ralph Cook I believe Liza that you read into my words things that are not there. Nowhere in my letter did I suggest that Siobhan did not respect my views. If you think differently please cut and paste that part of my letter into any reply you might post. You have read into my words sexism which isn't there, I make no reference to Siobhan's gender and certainly do nothing to imply any perceived short-comings are due to her being female - that is a suggestion that you have simply invented. All I asked for was for Members to respect the views of people who are more experienced than them - I think that is a perfectly reasonable request. Obviously, we should respect all views but it was clear to me that the views of some experienced members were treated with blatant skepticism and were dismissed out of hand. I always respected Siobhan's sincerely held views, whilst disagreeing with a few of them. My concerns about whether Members fully understood their responsibilities also had nothing to do with their genders either. Are you one of those people who lets their own prejudices get in the way of their analysis of what they hear and see? If my comments come across as rather patronising, I apologise for that but it's no great crime after having sat through two years of what I consider to be frequently uncomradely, naive and sometimes frankly foolish behaviour from some colleagues I feel perfectly within my rights to express my own frustration.
      17 hrs · Edited · Like
    • Liza Van Zyl Cllr Cook, if my understanding of your letter to the Echo is incorrect, then (judging by the very large number of Labour councillors who have contacted me to express their disgust at your letter and appreciation of my response), it is a misunderstanding that is widely shared by Labour folk of both genders. The number of people who assert that your letter is not sexist, patronizing, insinuating of incompetence and potentially libellous against Siobhan, and completely unacceptable from a Labour councillor, currently stands at 1.
      15 hrs · Unlike · 1
    • Ralph Cook I cannot help it if people choose to misinterpret my words, to add concepts to the text that were neither in my mind at the time of writing, nor entered into the text. It says more about them than it does the author. Fortunately, we have moved on from the days when women (and some men) were drowned, hung or burnt at the stake because a number of prejudiced people came together and decided they were witches. I will say that several Councillors have contacted me to express their view that they agree with me. This discourse between us is now at an end.
      15 hrs · Like
    • Liza Van Zyl Cllr Cook, I agree that this correspondence between us, enjoyable though it has been, must now come to an end. I had never heard of you before I read your letter in the Echo, but I have since been informed that, despite the evidence of your letter and ...See More
      14 hrs · Like
    • Siobhan Corria The experience debate is an interesting one. Is decision making and policy setting dependent on the length of time served in the same position or a rich mix of diverse backgrounds? I guess people can make up their own minds!
      14 hrs · Unlike · 5
    • Ralph Cook The answer to your question Siobhan is clearly "No" decision making should not be based on the length of time served alone. I do believe, however, that experience should be taken into account when a person is offering advice on a way forward. The value of listening to people with experience and heeding their advice - or at least giving it considerable weight - lies in the fact that experienced people have at least seen it all before. Hopefully they may have learned from their experience - though as our Group demonstrates, that cannot be relied upon - and if they have learned they will know which levers to pull and when, they should be able to spot issues and factors that may be unexpected by the less experienced but need to be taken into account. As an example, you know we went to the election pledging to include a Green Belt in the LDP. Less experienced Members than myself would have folded before the advice of officers - even I found it difficult to resist and I'm a stubborn, determined individual who is rarely willing to back down - that we could not have a Green Belt and that a lesser designation would do. As you know, I refuted this and fell back on my experience spending several weeks doing my own research, exploring the legislation and talking with various people in the know. We ended up with a Green Belt in the LDP, however, I am not utterly confident it will get through the Inspector. Very recently I am told an email informed Members that they would be charged £50 for pre-application discussion on planning issues. I am told this went past the Cabinet Member but was picked up by the Planning Committee Chair who got straight on to it and another email went out correcting the situation. I could provide lots of further examples but I'd rather not in public format.
      14 hrs · Unlike · 1
    • Gordon Gibson Stop! Please. There is little point in this interpersonal stuff. The value is in public debate about the issues and frankly I have lost interest in any discussion with the Cook current. Are you expecting to win him over? Despite the unfortunate prevalence of his like in both power and the Labour Party, it is the world out there we are interested in. There is very little life in the LP (Cook proves it) and we must always look outwards rather than into Cook's navel.
      13 hrs · Unlike · 4
    • Phil Martin Oh Ralph Cook, how I remember my first Labour Party ward meeting in Ely, how interesting it was to hear one senior Labour Party councillor say of another, "what a good job he'd done to keep the gypsies out of Cardiff". What a surprise it was for me, a naive and idealistic youth, who'd joined the party because I thought it was a socialist party and a bulwark against the National Front and other Nazis, although I do realise this was in the bad old days of "old labour" and not the glorious and modern "New" Labour Party but I'm glad that at the time I didn't "respect the views of more experienced members".
      12 hrs · Like · 6
    • Phil Martin This was in 1977, long before the current labour leadership was in power and the councilor in question is long dead but he did weild great power at the time.
      12 hrs · Like · 1
    • Liza Van Zyl Urgh. Looks like that equalities training Dave Hagendyk's office is organizing for councillors is well overdue...
      12 hrs · Like · 1
    • Anne Greagsby I was bullied so badly while working for Julie Morgan I tried to commit suicide and after agreeing with ACAS to pay for counselling then told me couldn't afford it. And she has an undeserved reputation for promoting womens rights. Sophie Howe, once leader of the labour group on Cardiff council, visited her father, bully Peter Howe, in Morgans office daily to pat him on the back at the time and she's now deputy police commissioner. So no amount of equality training will rectify the corruption and bullying at the top of the labour party.
      12 hrs · Like · 1
    • Ralph Cook Honestly! The trouble is I don't think anyone here is actually reading what is being said. I can't be more plain speaking. Phil Martin, in answer I refer you back to my comment: "The value of listening to people with experience and heeding their advice - or at least giving it considerable weight - lies in the fact that experienced people have at least seen it all before. Hopefully they MAY have learned from their experience - THOUGH as our Group demonstrates, THAT CANNOT BE RELIED UPON - and IF they have learned".... Clearly, contained within that passage is the caveat that experience may not always result in right thinking which is why I answered Siobhan's question the way I did. The issue you raised occurred in 1977 when I was 17 years old. Your esteemed Councillor came from a very different time when current standards of acceptable behaviour were far off. It really is unfair to dredge up examples from that long ago in a discussion about modern times. Nevertheless, notwithstanding his views on Gypsy's (and I am well known for being an advocate for Gypsy Travellers in Cardiff), your Councillor may have had some insights that would have been useful to new Councillors at the time.
      11 hrs · Like
    • Ralph Cook Liza, if by your comment you are referring to Phil Martin's example, I would ask you to consider whether Equalities Training should be required predicated on the attitude of a long-dead Labour Councillor from 1977. Perhaps you do not realise that all Councillors should already have undergone Equalities Training provided by the Council. I have been through it three times already.
      11 hrs · Like
    • Ralph Cook Anne, I can't comment on your points except to say that I know Sophie and I do not believe she would tolerate bullying. I do not know her father.
      11 hrs · Like
    • Siobhan Corria Good night all. I think we finally have closure on this subject.
      11 hrs · Like · 2
    • Ralph Cook Gordon Gibson, I agree with you that discussion of issues is more important than this interpersonal stuff but you do not know me, so I'd appreciate it if you did not think you can second guess me, especially when it seems clear to me that you have chosen not to understand what I have been saying.
      11 hrs · Like
    • Gordon Gibson Oh dear.
      11 hrs · Like · 1
    • Siobhan Corria Yes exactly. This is the same person who posted on FB (now removed) that my reason for resigning my seat was 'self serving nonsense'.
      11 hrs · Like
    • Ralph Cook Finally, I am reminded that most people believe they are above average drivers which of course isn't possible but it does mean large numbers of people are deluding themselves. We are all biased creatures, we humans look for evidence to confirm what we already believe, rather than critically examining our beliefs. Despite the fact that none of you know me, some of you want to believe that I'm an arrogant, sexist bigot of a person and you've all latched on to things you think I have written, or that you think are implied in my writing, parading these as evidence to support your contentions. When I have asked you to produce the evidence to back your assertions, you have changed tack or switched to a different criticism. I feel what you have all misunderstood is the true motivation behind my letter to the Echo - pure unadulterated frustration.
      11 hrs · Like
    • Liza Van Zyl Ralph, from what several councillors have told me today, this is not the first time you have used the letters pages of the Echo to attack a fellow councillor. Given that you appear to suffer the misfortune to be grievously misunderstood (by pretty much everyone), is it not perhaps inadvisable for you to raise internal matters of the Labour group through the medium of the Echo's letters pages?
      11 hrs · Like · 4
    • Rhys Hughes Nice to see labour has not changed in South Glamorgan, never got the diference between doing things right and doing the right thing, though of course Labour now feels a lot more comfortable being "right" than "left".
      11 hrs · Like
    • Ralph Cook You may be right Liza on your general point but may I gently remind you that you are only communicating with some Labour Councillors. Those not talking to you may have different perspectives. Some I know certainly do. I have written criticising only on...See More
      11 hrs · Like
    • Liza Van Zyl Ralph, I cannot help but be completely in awe of your persistence and perseverance in continuing to dig away in that hole you've dug for yourself. You must be very near Australia by now.
      10 hrs · Like · 2
    • Liza Van Zyl And to all the Plaid Cymru members who've contributed to this thread: you are all very very naughty. Can't you see this is a private internal Labour Party matter?
      10 hrs · Unlike · 5
    • Siobhan Corria No she didn't sign it as deputy leader. She actually signed it before she was deputy leader and it was published after she became deputy leader. 

      Just for a minute, consider you might actually be wrong in the way you communicate with others. 


      I may not have been a Cllr when you wrote to the echo but your letter and Facebook posts (now removed) were spiteful and personal. 

      Now, as an inexperienced but quite nice labour party member, I am advising you to stop posting on FB. Take a break.

      Nos da.
      10 hrs · Like · 2
    • Rhys Hughes indeed - no one from a syndicalist party should be allowed to contribute to a thread run by a neo liberal party. Let the rose wearing tories talk amonget themselves
      10 hrs · Unlike · 3
    • Ralph Cook Liza, you are very funny
      10 hrs · Like
    • Phil Martin Well despite the experience of my first ward meeting, and largely because I discovered a small coterie of dissident members who were able to give me the inspiration I desired, I did remain a member of the party, at least until the first Gulf War but by then I'd had enough. The rise of the Blairites confirmed my opinion of the party and for a long time I couldn't even vote Labour, let alone support it. I have only recently resumed a tentative support for the party in election, due to the appalling nature of the lib/con government and because of the existence of principled councillors such as Siobhan Corria and Sue Lent, I could never support a party of Russell Goodway acolytes and I for one am very disappointed that Siobhan has felt the need to resign.
      3 hrs · Edited · Like

  • Anne Greagsby Sue Lent is not tacking the corrupt malaise in the labour party leading to Councillors leaving. The labour party policy is to continue to support austerity and cuts. The Labour party in Wales blindly accepts instructions from London. Already we have seen a debacle over selections and candidates parachuted in as the NEC decrees. The labour party opposes independence for Scotland and Wales solely too keep its MPs in Westminster. Nobody with 'principles' could support Labour.
    1 hr · Like
  • Phil Martin I suspect that the "independence" debate is slightly more complex than worrying about keeping labour mps in Westminster.
    1 hr · Like



  • Anne Greagsby Doubt it - that's the crux of the matter. Lol..Enlightened Labour MP Austin Mitchell Says Women Shy Away From 'Big Issues'http://huff.to/1Bx2Lf4

    www.huffingtonpost.co.uk
    Labour MP Austin Mitchell has suggested that women prefer to discuss family and ...See More
  • Phil Martin Yes but Anne, you really should ensure that people realise that you are speaking as a member of the Green Party and I was talking about the independence debate, not sexism in the labour party.
    50 mins · Edited · Like
  • Ralph Cook Siobhan Corria, I am blunt, to the point and everyone knows where they stand with me. I like you and have done since we first met but politically we are in a different carriage but on the same train. You are probably right that Sue Lent's status was added by someone else to that letter on NATO but I couldn't possibly have known that and anyway the point stands, it appeared she was speaking on behalf of the Council's ruling group and the Council itself. I received worried calls from constituents and others and that is why I wrote my letter. If as you say my communication behaviour upsets people, I would ask you to consider that I am not the only person to whom that applies. I would suggest you put yourself in the shoes of some of the people you have upset - I can think of an email to Gretta Marshal about supporting the previous Leader for example. I just think we should all develop thicker skins, accept critical comments from colleagues as their point of view whether we agree or not. If critical comments are made though, the commentator should be prepared to defend them if required. Robust discourse about the important issues of the day will always arouse issues about how we relate to each other and what we think of each other's positions and this is perfectly acceptable to me. You don't see me getting all upset when people slag me off because I think this or that, I come back at them if I disagree with their perspective asking for evidence and clarification. Now and again I have accepted other people's perspectives on my faults and made changes to my behaviour.
    18 mins · Edited · Like
  • Siobhan Corria You could have asked Sue Lent rather than writing to the echo. I thi k you've said enough to be honest. I'm surprised nobody from the Labour Party is asking you to stop posting internal group matters. 

    Please stop posting, for your own sake and the sake of the party and the group.
    13 mins · Like · 2
  • Phil Martin "Now and again I have accepted other people's perspectives. ." Hmmm! 

    May I suggest you accept my perspective and stop digging a hole for yourself, unless you desire a career in Australian politics. Just a suggestion.
    10 mins · Like · 2


    • Sue Fortune Pigs squabbling over a trough only amuses for a certain length of time - it's more fun watching labr canvassers run like fck when the gingerbitch hears them.
      8 hrs · Like · 1
    • Liza Van Zyl I've grown fond of you Sue Fortune, but I am glad indeed that I ain't one of the Labour pigs unfortunate enough to have to canvass in your ward 
      8 hrs · Like · 2
    • Phil Martin Correction, I've been informed that Anne Greagsby is not as I thought, a member of the Green Party and is instead a member of Plaid Cymru. A party I have voted for in the past, largely as a result of their opposition to Gulf War two but I soon realised...See More
      8 hrs · Edited · Like
    • Sue Fortune Me too pet - that gingerbitch will get me lock'd up one of these days - cos as you and me would agree, it's so easy to be beautiful (she says) - but so difficult to be good.
      8 hrs · Like · 1
    • Liza Van Zyl Folks, while this has all been hugely entertaining, I think it's time now that you all go play on someone else's Facebook thread. Thank you all for a lovely time, but I now declare this thread officially CLOSED. xxx
      8 hrs · Like · 4
    • Sue Lent I will refrain from commenting,despite the fact that a lot of the conversation seems to have been about me.However,I will take the opportunity to let people know that I went to see Ralph's ward colleague,the wonderful Cllr Monica Walsh last night.She is in good spirits despite her serious health problems and very interested in everything happening at County Hall and in the press and on Facebook ! It will be a long haul for Monica but she has a lovely family looking after her and has fantastic determination - a great Socialist and Trade Unionist !
      7 hrs · Like · 4



Ralphie always has plenty to say 


Cllr Ralph Cook's response to our letter in today's Echo suggests he is happy to dismiss a whole community's concerns http://t.co/jWxAW2QPpP
Your letters to the South Wales Echo
WALESONLINE.CO.UK
LikeLike ·  · 

I was surprised that Gretta Marshall hasn't come out to support Siobhan but shes in the wrong tribe! Cardiff councillor resigns from 'vicious' and 'divided' Labour group http://bit.ly/1BusIM2
The councillor said she will continue representing Splott, Tremorfa and Pengam Green until the next election but will not stand again


"Political leaders must drag politics into the 21st century and ensure it is not a boy's brigade" Cardiff ex councillor Siobhan Corria 

Our Friend Ralphies excellent record p the voice of experience !!

06 Apr 2014
A bus-lane would cause “gridlock” and similar hype was the resort of Cllr Ralph Cook, when defending. his Canton Bridge scheme against criticisms at the Scrutiny Committee (Echo 25 July: Holdups alert. as scheme for bikes ...
26 Jul 2013
Ralph Cook's half-baked scheme would cause traffic delays for up to 3 months, as a road-lane on the north side is taken out for rebuilding the high 'trief' kerb on the off-side of the existing cycleway. Cyclists will be blamed, ...
26 Nov 2013
Ralph Cook departed from Council policy in arguing for substandard width on the basis of what's allegedly accepted elsewhere (York). Any request that goes against policy should be presented with evidence through proper ...
27 Apr 2014
The cycling officer resigned when forced to put Cars first in Canton and forced to push through Ralph Cook's Cardiff Bridge scheme - she quit the Council in 2013. Jo Sachs reported to CCC's 2011AGM · Cardiff'sCycle Design ...

10 Jul 2013
Ralph Cook as Cabinet Member responsible, should now abandon his efforts to push through an expensive and substandard scheme, and go instead for creating a bus/cycling lane outbound, across the southside of the ...
15 Jul 2013
Cabinet Member Ralph Cook chose to denigrate the Cycling Campaign as a few meeting in a pub rather than engage with our arguments. So blundered on with a highly expensive scheme (£450 000) to divide the pavements ...
15 Jan 2014
Now off sick - Deputy leader Ralph Cook, who has until now driven forward the LDP, has a new role covering a range of responsibilities. This includes exploring new methods of delivering council services, human resources, ...
29 Mar 2010
Labour councillor Ralph Cook, said that most of the claims were made by lone women in their later years. He said: “To expect them to stand at a bus stop late at night is not right, I think the council has a duty of care.

11 May 2014
... Cardiff has to seek ways of addressing the escalating congestion problem. Why omit managing and restraining use of the car as the LDP consultants advised? [Omitted from the LDP which is surely an error (by Ralph Cook)] ...