This is welcome news for everybody concerned, the members of the public and the people on probation themselves. I well remember the furore on Twitter some years ago when then members of the probation service were up in arms about the damage being done to their service.

Apparently this process started a year ago

It’s not the first time a Conservative Government have thought better of allowing a natural monopoly to be run by private companies. When Boris Johnson was Mayor of London he ended the Public Private Partnership, then in place for maintenance of London Underground, and hid his announcement by releasing it during a General Election campaign, but he did so nonetheless. You can read about it here:-

PPP abandoned – the last nail in the coffin for Brown

The only sensible thing I’ve seen written about the election result since the day it happened.

Taken from @Sheff_socialist with link at the end:-

A long thread about my own personal experiences during this election dealing with my Labour voting family deciding to out themselves as casual racists by voting Tory / Brexit Party in traditional Labour “Red Wall” heartlands

I come from a genuine working class family .

Grandparents were miners and domestic cleaning staff
Dad was butcher , mum was a cleaner and when she remarried after their divorce she married a miner .
I grew up in a two up two down terrace house that my parents rented from the local Co-op society and then moved into a council house in Kendray (Barnsley) when my mum remarried

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Public Works Loan Board – notes

November 23rd, 2016


Start here -> The_UK_Public_Works_Loans_Board.pdf

As Phillip Hammond outlines his Autumn statement in the HofC with some news on housing I continue to worry about how we (England) can dig ourselves out of the housing mess we’re in with a lack of housing for rent most people can afford. Some years ago I read about the PWLB which seemed to be a wonderful thing and I have thought ever since that this may be the answer if councils ever go back to building housing for rent on a large scale.

Unfortunately comes news that the PWLB is to be abolished and incorporated into the Treasury, further limiting the ability of councils to borrow cheaply.

Then this -> Analysis-claims-labour-councils-secure-worse-pwlb-rates

From -> Local Government Debt Report.pdf

From -> Debt Resistance UK

Now this -> PWLB be scrapped government confirms 15th November 2016

Some history here -> Public_works_loan_board_1817-76.pdf

The current situation here:-

Local Authority borrowing


June 10th, 2016

Since the Dan Cruickshank programme on flats, visits to my blog regarding scissor flats and dual aspect have shot up and these are the top ten at the of writing.

Screenshot at 2016-06-10 08-09-28

In the above image scissor flats are page 5595, crap flats page 884 and dual aspect page 5779.

Bankers and Blair

February 29th, 2016


Memo to Blair

Click image for larger version HT @michaellondonsf

Economics for the election

April 15th, 2015

Click image for article

If your head swims every time the word deficit or debt is mentioned you may like to follow Another Angry Voice and Ha-Joon Chang, the Cambridge economist who is able to put complex economic matters over in terms the layman like me can understand.

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Update 2017 Volunteers help preserve London’s parks as funding withdrawn


Tax the rich: an animated fairy tale

A while back when I was still on Twitter (yes I know) I came across this animated video about unrestrained neo-liberalism.  Despite retweeting it at the time it didn’t take off. I was surprised because to me it is an accurate graphic representation of what is and has been happening to our society in the UK since 1979.

It ties in with an analysis I did a while back of a Stuart Hall paper where he examines what will happen if neo-liberalism is allowed to continue to dictate policy in public life.

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UPDATE: For audio click photos:-

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This list prompted by Tom Dyckhoff @tomdyckhoff on Twitter

1) I wish every architectural and political campaigning organisation would find £50 to buy one of these and use it.


2) Royal Academy podcasts, some but not all -> RA-Architecture

3) History Spot, these are good ->

4) World Service Archive -> Housing podcast list

5) Politics of Architecture -> Jonathan Glancey

UPDATE: See this page for the programmes -> Programmes

The Architects Who Made London with Maxwell Hutchinson: Series 1

Inigo Jones, Sir Christopher Wren, Robert Adam, John Nash, Sir Charles Barry RA, Sir George Gilbert Scott RA

Architects who made London with Maxwell Hutchinson – Series One

Architects who made London – with Maxwell Hutchinson – Series One

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