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Author Topic: Social Affairs and Welfare Committee  (Read 1847 times)
Sibboleth
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« on: August 08, 2011, 11:21:56 am »
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Mr Iorwerth Roberts in the Chair.

This Committee is concerned, essentially, with those parts of the Welfare State that are not under the oversight of the Health and Education Committee. We look into benefits, pensions, housing and all other related issues. Over the past two decades this Committee has also spent a great deal of its time looking into the issue of 'regeneration', and we have always, always, produced detailed and accurate reports into the state of the nation.

Could all members of the committee sign themselves in, via the usual procedures.
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afleitch
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« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2011, 12:43:12 pm »
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x MacPherson
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Vazdul (Formerly Chairman of the Communist Party of Ontario)
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« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2011, 01:26:08 pm »
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x Johannes Overgaard, MP
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Senator Cynic
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« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2011, 05:25:54 pm »
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xDavid Valentine
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Sibboleth
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« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2011, 03:33:18 pm »
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First item on the agenda is the crisis at the DRC. As you know, the Docklands Redevelopment Corporation was set up a few years ago in order to redevelop the old docks in the Castle and Darside boroughs of St Marks. Developments in the shipping industry over the past half century rendered those docks totally obsolete, and they were replaced by the new docks in Northcoates borough and at South Barwood just outside the city. This was nearly twenty five years ago. The old docks became urban wastelands in the heart of our capital and were, or so I am told, not good PR for Antillia. Pressure for change came, as it does, and six years ago the Docklands Redevelopment Corporation was founded, with government support and special planning powers (including an element of immunity from the oversight of the CPT Committee and total immunity from any oversight from St Marks City Council). The DRC was based on the LDDC in London and the idea was to use private - and in practice foreign - capital in order to regenerate the old docks and the area around them, and to create in place of wasteland, a dynamic new district dominated by the financial services, media and leisure industries. Then, as we all know, the world economy crashed with certain inevitable consequences for the DRC's master plan. Very little has been done at the old docks since the end of 2008 and the only big project in the works that has been announced in public is the proposal to build a new stadium in the Castle Dock basin. A proposal that is by no means certain of success.

This committee does not look into planning issues, but it does look into regeneration. And the DRC is responsible for running one of the biggest regeneration projects in the country. The question for this committee is whether they are, to use an awful cliche, fit for purpose. Over the coming weeks this committee will investigate the issue and will produce some recommendations to the Minister to follow, if he so chooses.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2011, 03:35:08 pm by Sibboleth »Logged

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afleitch
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« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2011, 03:53:51 pm »
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Anders MacPherson

My concern is that the remit of the DRC was far too large. Freezing St Mark's City Council out of any influence or oversight of the area covered by the DRC was an oversight. Furthermore, the footfall in the area; the number of people attracted to what little has been constructed is poor and the area is desolate after 6pm. I think a significant parcel of the land should be passed back to the city council for housing use, but I still think the DRC was the right idea; it was just overtaken by events.
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lilTommy
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« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2011, 08:50:59 am »
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Bastian De Wilde

Agreed, the DRC was the right idea but the city has a vital role to play. I will use the experience we had in Kristiana. Our port was decaying decades before St. Marks; smaller, overshadowed by the capitals port, its prominence as a shipping port collapsed and it too became a wasteland of sorts. Under the council i led, what was done was a complete rethink of the portlands; the eastern half was purchased by the city to be redeveloped as a community while the western half would undergo a "refocus" as the buzz word of the day. This was done in partnership with the government of the day.
The Western half was refocused into the primary port of call for tourist cruise liners and ferries (the primary maintenance and building yards).  It also became the focus of the city's already established industrial complex, this was done in conjunction with a citywide rezoning (light industrial areas in the north were moved to the south). The area became the central focus area for the cities push towards new jobs in preserved industries (garment, distilleries, mills) and in green industries (windmill, solar manufacturing). Housing was already in existence in the northern fringes of the western ports, but these were militantly working class and fought gentrification, as a stronghold for the left, we worked to appease their concerns and let the development in Bomullham and Millhaven be direct by the Agnesham council.
The Eastern portion became Portlandston; a new mixed retail/residential/tourist community. Large portions of the land, in particular around Aegir Point and along the shore were reclaimed into parklands with trails. Kristiana, like St. Mark's built a Hockey arena in this new area, but also relocated and built cultural attractions in Portlandston like the National Theatre Company who perform open air summer performances.  Another success was to extended an existing pedestrian promenade from The Villages community into Portlandston, this allowed for ease in access from a busy popular area into the new community. One area of regret was that too much focus was placed on market value housing, the dominance of condos out priced many low/low-middle class and there are very few rental units.
In both areas historic buildings like the customs house (Portlandston) and the Ferry Terminal (New Port) were preserved and continue to be utilized.
My Point with this example is that it was a success, and lessons learned should be looked at by St. Marks, but this success was a unique success to Kristiana. St. Marks is a much larger port, and will continue to be used and the nations primary shipping centre. To look at what would work best for Castle and Darside, the DRC will 1) need to work with the city to develop a plan (and yes planning will be instrumental) The DRC alone has failed and only in a partnership (three way with the city and private developers) can it succeed. 2) Local consultation is vital, as is diversification. As mentioned above, the Kristiana redevelopment went in many directions and both New Port and Portlandston were utilized to address needs the city had to fill
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Sibboleth
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« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2011, 09:00:12 am »
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I think, then, that most of us would agree that it was an error to model the DRC so closely on the LDDC? I am thinking especially of the freezing out of local government.
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afleitch
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« Reply #8 on: August 12, 2011, 10:35:43 am »
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I think, then, that most of us would agree that it was an error to model the DRC so closely on the LDDC? I am thinking especially of the freezing out of local government.

Precisely. It was too grand an ambition for too small an area.
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Vazdul (Formerly Chairman of the Communist Party of Ontario)
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« Reply #9 on: August 12, 2011, 11:46:45 am »
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I think, then, that most of us would agree that it was an error to model the DRC so closely on the LDDC? I am thinking especially of the freezing out of local government.

"Indeed. I share Mr. MacPherson's sentiments on this issue."
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Sibboleth
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« Reply #10 on: September 17, 2011, 09:29:16 am »
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Which is an especially important point given that the LDDC itself was a very controversial project in the United Kingdom and it is questionable whether it can truly be regarded as an example of successful regeneration.

I am tempted to bring this matter to a vote. Does anyone object to that?
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"I have become entangled in my own data, and my conclusion stands in direct contradiction to the initial idea from which I started. Proceeding from unlimited freedom, I end with unlimited despotism. I will add, however, that there can be no solution of the social formula except mine."
Vazdul (Formerly Chairman of the Communist Party of Ontario)
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« Reply #11 on: September 17, 2011, 02:50:57 pm »
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No objection, Mr. Chairman.
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Sibboleth
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« Reply #12 on: September 18, 2011, 11:00:38 am »
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The vote is on the following motion:

This committee finds that the Docklands Redevelopment Corporation (hereafter referred to as the 'DRC') is unfit for purpose and on the verge of a catastrophic collapse that would damage the reputation of both the City of St Marks and the entire nation of Antillia. It has concluded that it was a fundamental error to model the DRC on the London Docklands Redevelopment Corporation, given both the questionable nature of that body's redevelopment work and the obvious differences between the economic structures of St Marks and London. It has not found that it is wrong to use private finance and private experience in major regeneration projects, but it has found that great care must be taken when doing so. Moreover, it has also concluded that never again should local government be so comprehensively cut out from major regeneration projects. The Committee has also has uncovered evidence of gross mismanagement and of the abuse of public money. It recommends the immediate dismissal of the DRC's entire Board of Directors and of its senior management (including its Chief Executive, Mr John Galdeford), and calls for the DRC to be temporarily managed by St Marks City Council until the conclusion of a Royal Commission on the DRC, which it believes that the Secretary of State for Social Affairs and Welfare must implement immediately.

Members of the Committee shall, in the time honoured fashion, vote Aye or Nay.
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"I have become entangled in my own data, and my conclusion stands in direct contradiction to the initial idea from which I started. Proceeding from unlimited freedom, I end with unlimited despotism. I will add, however, that there can be no solution of the social formula except mine."
Vazdul (Formerly Chairman of the Communist Party of Ontario)
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« Reply #13 on: September 18, 2011, 01:21:16 pm »
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The vote is on the following motion:

This committee finds that the Docklands Redevelopment Corporation (hereafter referred to as the 'DRC') is unfit for purpose and on the verge of a catastrophic collapse that would damage the reputation of both the City of St Marks and the entire nation of Antillia. It has concluded that it was a fundamental error to model the DRC on the London Docklands Redevelopment Corporation, given both the questionable nature of that body's redevelopment work and the obvious differences between the economic structures of St Marks and London. It has not found that it is wrong to use private finance and private experience in major regeneration projects, but it has found that great care must be taken when doing so. Moreover, it has also concluded that never again should local government be so comprehensively cut out from major regeneration projects. The Committee has also has uncovered evidence of gross mismanagement and of the abuse of public money. It recommends the immediate dismissal of the DRC's entire Board of Directors and of its senior management (including its Chief Executive, Mr John Galdeford), and calls for the DRC to be temporarily managed by St Marks City Council until the conclusion of a Royal Commission on the DRC, which it believes that the Secretary of State for Social Affairs and Welfare must implement immediately.

Members of the Committee shall, in the time honoured fashion, vote Aye or Nay.

Aye.
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Senator Cynic
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« Reply #14 on: September 18, 2011, 10:05:28 pm »
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Aye
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lilTommy
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« Reply #15 on: September 19, 2011, 07:33:42 am »
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Aye
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