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Old March 6th, 2007, 09:27 PM   #41
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The full report can be downloaded here:
http://80.86.36.120/vault/XDDocStore...n%20Report.pdf

The council document on taking the report forward to DCLG
http://80.86.36.120/vault/XDDocStore...Masterplan.pdf

DCLG consultation on Development Companies which the council document is refering to and taking the outcomes of Prof Parkinsons report
http://80.86.36.120/vault/XDDocStore...ty-Regions.pdf

Cabinet report on QUARTERLY PERFORMANCE MONITORING – APRIL TO DECEMBER 2006, which goes nicely with above documents.
http://80.86.36.120/vault/XDDocStore...3%20Report.pdf
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Old March 6th, 2007, 11:10 PM   #42
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ok I am reading this now from the paper, I have agreed with everything so far until this..

1. 'urging Brummies to adopt the "Scouse swagger" and believe in themselves'

erm, pardon me for pointing this out and I mean no offence to Scousers but the Scouse swagger (if such thing exists?) is possibly one of the worst traits people think of about Liverpool, its constantly taken the piss out of in sitcoms, comedy etc etc along with tight perms and trackies (I know that's stereotyping but that is what the article suggests), Scousers often feature along side Brummies at the bottom of national polls for accents etc etc.

This guy has been in the city a few months and all I can think is he hasn't met many true Brummies, most of my mates FROM ALL OVER are very proud to be from Brum as are people here it is a common misconception that we are self depreciating, as I have said before many times, maybe people that locate in the city are that way inclined and so give genuine Brummies a bad press or maybe people mistake our ability not to take life so seriously as a weakness.. I'm not sure, anyway we ARE confident and we DO NOT need to adopt any swagger just to appease and outside audience and I stand by what I say in thinking the guy is an utter **** for coming out with that statement even if the rest of it is bang on, I've been to other cities, I've been to other clubs, I met other people that think they are "COOL" and to my mind Brum has plenty of confidence, style and pride in that something this guy obviously has little experience of.

2. 'Birmingham has fewer employees in the high value added, knowledge based innovative and creative sectors than other cities.. etc etc' 'Net levels of VAT registration, depicting business start ups, are lower in Birmingham than any other comparator city.' 'Birmingham has the highest unemployment of any of the UK core cities.

Well there's a surprise, any idiot can tell you that Birmingham traditionally has been a manufacturing industrial based city, this is evaporating before our eyes, for whatever reasons, cheaper skilled labour abroad or lack of investment here, many reasons but the unemployment WILL be high because of the rapid loss of the traditional employment, the financial services seem to be Birmingham's saviour which is its saving grace but again this isn't really building a skilled workforce, its mainly call centres and office workers, what is the council and government doing to replace the skilled workforce that is being lost each day? what is happening to the great science corridor that was mooted a while back for replacement of Longbridge?

The lack of innovative business start ups could be down to several reasons, the cost to rent a premises or shop is extortionate as was highlighted a while back when that retro shop has to close and relocate from the Custard Factory, what is the council doing to help small business get off the ground? I read a report some time ago that pointed out that Advantage West Midlands were in danger of having millions upon millions of pounds withdrawn to the European pot simply because they weren't using it and then they came under fire for buying hundreds of people broad band in Aston or somewhere close by, I also read that the area to have the least lottery money allocated in the UK by a long shot was south Birmingham mainly Northfield. All these things add up and I simply do not believe that Birmingham has a smaller amount of people who want to set up businesses in the city than other cities in the UK.

3. The idea to become closer to London in travelling times etc etc is great, as I have already pointed out, this has been going on for many years, Birmingham has tried to sell itself which includes getting down its hands and knees to London for more integration and in all honesty I just do not see how we will get more than what we achieve already, what does Birmingham have that London doesn't? nothing! London has it all apart from they do suffer more violence and much worse traffic congestion.

I don't disagree with what the articles say on the whole other than what I have pointed out but why has it taken someone else to point these things out to our council? are they really that blind?

In my opinion these are the things we should concentrate on.

1. Get a strong leader for the city as a matter of priority as the council seem a bit overwhelmed at present.

2. NEW ST NEW ST NEW ST... knock it down and don't accept anything else, enhance the other stations or do whatever but New Street must go and sooner rather than later.

3. Concentrate on getting one or two more central Metro lines.

4. Create a solid team for marketing Birmingham even if it means poaching people from elsewhere, make sure there some person for each area like Music and the Arts, Sport, Architecture, Events, Media, Outside promotion, Food etc and make them all answerable to the leader of the city in a weekly meeting.

5. Concentrate on Digbeth as a media and arts hub, improve the Jewellery Quarter, concentrate on building a couple of World class museums to attract people to the cit from across the world, concentrate on the things Brum has given the world that are unique to our city, things that would drag people up from London when they visit like our music heritage such as Ozzy Osbourne, Traffic, UB40, Duran Duran, Robert Plant, John Bonham etc etc, then our vast industrial heritage with a working steam engine ride as the birth place of the industrial revolution from the construction of the first roller spinning machine to the advances in metal working, plastics, celluloid, steam engine, gas lighting, radar, the atom bomb, flight, cars, boats have a waxworks museum with all these great people, JR Tolkien and so on.. make a building that covers it all that you could spend a whole week looking around, remind Brummies of their identity and heritage to give hope for the future.

6. Create a couple of unique world class city wide events, maybe Bring back the superprix around the streets of the city to show off the new developments every other year, what about a city wide rock festival or expand the Moseley folk fest.

You don't need a degree to think up these things I admit but obviously they require money which is where reports like this could come in.
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Old March 6th, 2007, 11:31 PM   #43
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Yeah you dont need a degree to think these things but sometimes it takes someone who is respected before people sit up and listen.

Agree with all those ideas Elizabeth but just two things, we wont get Super prix back, thats dead - not least for some of the changes to roads. And also lets celebrate music heritage but as someone said we have The Twang amongst new bands and need to project a bit of Madchester in that we have new vibrant music. We need to sell history and future together.
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Old March 7th, 2007, 12:07 AM   #44
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I found this website recently www.myspace.com/brumbeat and was amazed at the many bands that Brum and surrounding area have at the mo and there seems to be a great buzz, the Twang are quite good as well I agree but I think Madchester is a bit of a cheesy thing to aspire to in the noughties, time has moved on and we have some great talent in the city, I wonder what the council are doing to capitalise on this? I'd wager not a fat lot, the difference I will admit is that if Manchester or Liverpool were to have as rich a reggae heritage as Brum they would have a museum to celebrate it, the councils would be pushing these bands from the rooftops but Brum seems almost unmarketable and I can only put that down to size and a lack of cohesion between council and the people of the city which possibly was proved in the embarrassingly piss poor capital of culture bid.
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Old March 7th, 2007, 04:56 AM   #45
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Brum tried to do Madchester really badly back in the early 1990s as it was - courtesy of Ocean Colour Scene. Not a lot of people realise that, before they tried sucking up to Paul Weller and becoming renowned for being a "mod-influenced" band of dull worthy dad-rockers endorsed by the execrable Chris Evans and his TFI Wankfest, they were also baggy wannabes who just couldn't pull it off - no wonder they sought a new bandwagon on which to jump!
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Old March 7th, 2007, 11:23 AM   #46
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The Twang would be very upset if they heard you call them "Madchester"!! They were a bit uppity about that in a recent interview.

EK - your recommendations coincide with Prof Parkinsons.

I don't see what you have got against the bloke. He was employed to come in and tell it like he is, how he sees it. He has done that and now it is down to the council to take up some, none or all of his recommendations.

Re: the "Scouse swagger" - he used that as a reference as he is 'one of them' and lives/works up there so sees it a lot. He has obviously noticed a lack of self confidence in Birmingham and has pointed it out. If ours is more subtle, then so be it, but if we don't have much and kid ourselves we do, we will not get anywhere.

You also have a pop for pointing out low skills, low business startups etc etc. It's not his fault and he doesn't care about the reasons. He knows that Brum has a proud history of manufacturing, and we used to have the highest concentration of companies in the country, but not anymore. So he has pointed out a problem, and suggested a remedy - what is wrong with that? Why get hysterical about the reasons for the problem?

And finally - he has been in touch with lots of "true" Brummies, people who put the city's interests first and that he how he has managed to write a succinct, sharp and sometimes painful report. He credits many people, including some 'for going the extra mile' (such as Glenn Howells).

We ignore this at our peril.
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Old March 7th, 2007, 02:21 PM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Biosonic View Post
The Twang would be very upset if they heard you call them "Madchester"!! They were a bit uppity about that in a recent interview.

EK - your recommendations coincide with Prof Parkinsons.

I don't see what you have got against the bloke. He was employed to come in and tell it like he is, how he sees it. He has done that and now it is down to the council to take up some, none or all of his recommendations.

Re: the "Scouse swagger" - he used that as a reference as he is 'one of them' and lives/works up there so sees it a lot. He has obviously noticed a lack of self confidence in Birmingham and has pointed it out. If ours is more subtle, then so be it, but if we don't have much and kid ourselves we do, we will not get anywhere.

You also have a pop for pointing out low skills, low business start ups etc etc. It's not his fault and he doesn't care about the reasons. He knows that Brum has a proud history of manufacturing, and we used to have the highest concentration of companies in the country, but not anymore. So he has pointed out a problem, and suggested a remedy - what is wrong with that? Why get hysterical about the reasons for the problem?

And finally - he has been in touch with lots of "true" Brummies, people who put the city's interests first and that he how he has managed to write a succinct, sharp and sometimes painful report. He credits many people, including some 'for going the extra mile' (such as Glenn Howells).

We ignore this at our peril.
Bio,

I stand mostly by what I say, the reason my points coincide with his would be the same reason that endless other peoples points coincide with the article which is what makes my so annoyed, I have had similar letters printed in the post some time back then later on the council website for which I had a reply from a member of the council, I even wrote to Albert Bore some time ago with a list of ideas to push the city forward which were very similar but actually more extensive (excluding the funding mechanism) to this report, maybe we should look at the same point but from a different angle, ok I shall rephrase to make this easier for you.

Putting aside the idiotic remarks about how Brummies should act like a hybrid between Scousers and Cockneys (regardles sof what you or he says, he has been here a few months), my problem is not with the professor, my problem is that it has taken someone else with a title behind him to make the Birmingham Post and senior members of Birmingham's council to clap like a room full of moronic dimwits at many of his suggestions, if the leading council members do not already realise what should be done to improve on the already great achievements of this city then they are not up to the job IMO, or more to the bloody point.. they have been ignoring the demands of the people they are employed to serve FOR MANY YEARS (or possibly playing dumb to appease onlookers).

Obviously we are all pro Brum but don't these kind of reports some how give you slight feelings of deja vu? they do me and I have been reading the post for many years.
Birmingham rumbles along in stops and starts, at the moment we have picked up pace but what is needed more than this report is a strong leader to champion the people of the city and bring about a level of coherence into the wider city, I personally have felt as though Brum is a great ship without a captain for some time now, not much direction. Maybe Its me, maybe I am completely insane and I am missing the point, obviously this must be the case as I am fighting my own corner here.
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Old March 7th, 2007, 02:45 PM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin G View Post
Brum tried to do Madchester really badly back in the early 1990s as it was - courtesy of Ocean Colour Scene. Not a lot of people realise that, before they tried sucking up to Paul Weller and becoming renowned for being a "mod-influenced" band of dull worthy dad-rockers endorsed by the execrable Chris Evans and his TFI Wankfest, they were also baggy wannabes who just couldn't pull it off - no wonder they sought a new bandwagon on which to jump!
Sway was a wicked song, besides we helped create Madchester, the west mids lent them the Charlatans.
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Old March 7th, 2007, 03:13 PM   #49
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Quote:
Putting aside the idiotic remarks about how Brummies should act like a hybrid between Scousers and Cockneys
I think you have latched unfairly on to this. He is not suggesting for one minute that we become one, the other or both, but everybody (including cities) should aspire, and if that involves identifying characteristics of others that we could use, then we should consider using them.

Quote:
my problem is not with the professor, my problem is that it has taken someone else with a title behind him to make the Birmingham Post and senior members of Birmingham's council to clap like a room full of moronic dimwits at many of his suggestions.... they have been ignoring the demands of the people they are employed to serve FOR MANY YEARS (or possibly playing dumb to appease onlookers).
EK, you are a wise man, and you know that us plebs are not worth a bean. Of course if you are an outsider with a title, who can absolve councillors of their responsibility (if anything goes wrong, they can point fingers), then they will use you. Seriously though - one benefit is that this report is pretty apolitical.

Quote:
what is needed more than this report is a strong leader to champion the people of the city and bring about a level of coherence into the wider city
I agree 100%, but in the absence of one, this is the next best thing. A manifesto for the city that has (or should get) the support of all political parties, business, faith and community groups, and with a bit of luck and a prevailing wind, the government.

All in all, I don't care who writes it, who administers it and who gets the credit, as long as we get there
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Old March 7th, 2007, 03:44 PM   #50
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I am right in thinking that this is basically the introduction to the actual masterplan, yes? So essentially this is the Prof (would that make Whitby the Guv?) just laying out the basis for the masterplan.

I think the Scouse swagger comment may have been taken too literally. As I read it he meant more we need to promote ourselves like other cities do. That goes from Marketing Birmingham down to normal Brummies - encouraging people to be proud (which we are) and to be vocal too - something that we do lack (that's been mentioned on here numerous times).

I also think so much stock can be put into this report because it's outside. It's independent. He's not from here so has no pre-conceived ideas or influences. And he's backed up everything that we always thought. Of course everyone knew it aready, but that it's been confirmed by someone external and by an expert in the field adds real credence.

We also mustn't be under the impression that this is news to the council. Of course they're already aware of it. This reinforces the issues to them, which will be especially important when looking for funding and external support.
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Old March 7th, 2007, 03:54 PM   #51
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Yup - the actual masterplan will now be put out to tender AFAIK
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Old March 7th, 2007, 04:12 PM   #52
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Birmingham's art quarter needs to be from Hurst street to Digbeth, I should imagine the rents of small shops would be cheaper here and could encourage smaller independents to set up but within close proximity to the Bu;;ring
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Old March 7th, 2007, 04:15 PM   #53
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plus it would make more sense of Custard factory and Irish Quater
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Old March 28th, 2007, 10:35 AM   #54
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Quote:
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Selling Birmingham as a suburb of London is a clever idea and one based on realism and not fantasy. The fantasy is that Birmingham can somehow compete with London. It can't. No other city in the UK can. In fact, no other city in Europe can, except perhaps Paris. Luckily most Brummies recognise this (although it wasn't always so).

...

What Parkinson is saying is that London is London, and its success, stature, size and wealth grow unrelentingly, like an unstoppable train. It's pointless for any other city to try and match it, so why not try and benefit from its success instead? Turn the proximity to London into an advantage. I believe this is sometimes known as 'thinking outside the box'...
Can't compete in what way?

Birmingham's obviously not about to overtake London for size or alpha-world-cityness, but there's nothing magic about the M25 that means that everything outside it is doomed to be less good than it's equivalent inside it. Far from meaning that it shouldn't compete with London, Birmingham's proximity to London means that it has to compete with it in many ways.

I also think Professor Parkinson agrees. Look at his "Scouse swagger" point again...

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The old joke is worth repeating. When asked which is the second most important city in the UK, Glaswegians say Glasgow, Mancunians say Manchester, Brummies can’t decide. But Liverpudlians say London. If Birmingham does not believe and push its own case - why should anyone else?
Ignoring the irrelevant issue of whether his stereotypes are accurate or not, note that it's the "Scouse" attitude he's advocating, not the "Glaswegian" or the "Mancunian". He's not saying Birmingham should claim second place, he's saying it should refuse to accept being the poor relation of anywhere.

This obviously doesn't mean that Birmingham should try to turn into London. London may be on a bit of a roll at the moment, and Birmingham if it is canny can learn from that, but London represents only one model of a successful urban area - there are plenty of others.

It's worth pointing out, for example, that despite the "unstoppable juggernaut" mythology London isn't even the most economically successful city in the UK - Edinburgh is. Now obviously Birmingham shouldn't try to turn into Edinburgh either, but it does suggest that the idea that everywhere else is fated just to bob about in London's wake is a bit of a myth.

Knowing its place and accepting second-best is the last thing Birmingham should be doing. Where something in Birmingham isn't as good as something in London, or anywhere else for that matter, then the response shouldn't be to go "oh well, we're only a provincial city after all", it should refuse to accept it, get up off its arse and do everything it can to sort it out. Anything else is selling itself short.
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Old March 28th, 2007, 10:54 AM   #55
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Old March 30th, 2007, 03:10 PM   #56
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Can't compete in what way?

Birmingham's obviously not about to overtake London for size or alpha-world-cityness, but there's nothing magic about the M25 that means that everything outside it is doomed to be less good than it's equivalent inside it. Far from meaning that it shouldn't compete with London, Birmingham's proximity to London means that it has to compete with it in many ways.

I also think Professor Parkinson agrees. Look at his "Scouse swagger" point again...



Ignoring the irrelevant issue of whether his stereotypes are accurate or not, note that it's the "Scouse" attitude he's advocating, not the "Glaswegian" or the "Mancunian". He's not saying Birmingham should claim second place, he's saying it should refuse to accept being the poor relation of anywhere.

This obviously doesn't mean that Birmingham should try to turn into London. London may be on a bit of a roll at the moment, and Birmingham if it is canny can learn from that, but London represents only one model of a successful urban area - there are plenty of others.

It's worth pointing out, for example, that despite the "unstoppable juggernaut" mythology London isn't even the most economically successful city in the UK - Edinburgh is. Now obviously Birmingham shouldn't try to turn into Edinburgh either, but it does suggest that the idea that everywhere else is fated just to bob about in London's wake is a bit of a myth.

Knowing its place and accepting second-best is the last thing Birmingham should be doing. Where something in Birmingham isn't as good as something in London, or anywhere else for that matter, then the response shouldn't be to go "oh well, we're only a provincial city after all", it should refuse to accept it, get up off its arse and do everything it can to sort it out. Anything else is selling itself short.
Well said!
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Old March 30th, 2007, 03:20 PM   #57
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Brummie Mail is having some kind of push to get the Government to back a vote on Birmingham having it's own mayor I read today, Mike Whitby doesn't want this stating that he doesn't think the people of Birmingham want an elected Mayor??? WTF what do people think here? I personally think it is exactly what the city needs and could take some pressure of people like Whitby leaving them to concentrate on other matters?
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Old March 30th, 2007, 03:52 PM   #58
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If you get The Mail there is a petition which you can sign. Once they get over 35 000 signatories, they force a referendum, and THEN we can decide whether we want one or not.

I can understand why Whitby is against it (he thinks the people will want a DE mayor and will then lose power) but he is facing mounting opposition and would do better climbing-down and agreeing to a referendum, and then campaigning against it.

I have signed it btw
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Old March 30th, 2007, 03:53 PM   #59
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Brummie Mail is having some kind of push to get the Government to back a vote on Birmingham having it's own mayor I read today, Mike Whitby doesn't want this stating that he doesn't think the people of Birmingham want an elected Mayor??? WTF what do people think here? I personally think it is exactly what the city needs and could take some pressure of people like Whitby leaving them to concentrate on other matters?
Whitby, like all politicians, has an ego, and this is what this is all about, he wants to create his legacy, like Bore tried to do. An elected mayor would stop this. Bore failed to gain a legacy, and so will Whitby.

We do need a referendum on an elected mayor, but only if it is a mayor that has a full range of powers, and not some puppet leader that has to have direction from westminster, which is basically the status quo.
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Old March 30th, 2007, 04:16 PM   #60
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If you get The Mail there is a petition which you can sign. Once they get over 35 000 signatories, they force a referendum, and THEN we can decide whether we want one or not.
Why not go for one of the petitions on 10 Downing Street's website, and get the Mail/Post to promote this?
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