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Frank Hovis

"Eco" money wasting part twenty three

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This was part of the much vaunted EU "investment" in Cornwall that cost millions and enriched some consultants but did sweet FA for anyone actually living in Cornwall.

It was termed the opaque "wave hub" and was a plug in socket on the sea bed twelve miles off Hayle.  It didn't actually do anything of itself but if anyone wanted to test some energy generator out in that bit of sea they could plug it into that socket.

And yes it did seem a pointless waste of money at the time.

Wave Hub, based at Hayle in north Cornwall, said the wave energy business was "unfortunately taking longer to develop" than anticipated so it was "diversifying" and exploring options for testing floating wind turbines.

The scheme was financed by the South West of England Regional Development Agency (£12.5m), the European Regional Development Fund Convergence Programme (£20m) and the UK Government (£9.5m).

The authorities said at the time that it could generate £76m over 25 years for the regional economy.

A total of four developers can connect a number of devices into the Wave Hub via the seabed socket, which then supply energy to the national grid.

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cornwall-40294158

It has generated: nothing.

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SWERDA was particularly shocking; they threw money around left right and centre. Centre being themselves; I knew a junior member of staff there and she was shocked by the huge expenses the senior staff ran up on lunches and hotels.

I expect most of these big budget quangos are just as bad.

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54 minutes ago, Frank Hovis said:

SWERDA was particularly shocking; they threw money around left right and centre. Centre being themselves; I knew a junior member of staff there and she was shocked by the huge expenses the senior staff ran up on lunches and hotels.

I expect most of these big budget quangos are just as bad.

They are.

They are gravy trains for people who for some reason get lauded as sages but who are generally, amongst those in the know, seen as failures at anything other than spinning a good self-serving yarn. This extends from wave energy research to English Nature.

Those who can, do, those who can't end up on committees and spray resources around ineffectively so that those who could do no longer can.

The UK is overwhelmed by useless fekkers that in the NHS would be referred to as bed blockers.

I don't know why we can't be like Taiwan when it comes to marine energy research.

Edited by Hopeful

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There's a private firm trying to get money to build a barrage across Swansea Bay. They need a huge public grant to do so. It will generate electricity for the locals but it will be very expensive electricity.

Some local politicians and local mandarins in the Council seem to back it.

It has no value-add for the people of Swansea. The bay will be altered with a barrage. It will cost a load of public money. The electricity will be expensive.

But some people involved in the company will presumably make a lot of money.

The local paper is full of constant whinging by the vested interests arguing that it is green, good for the environment, etc, etc. I don't see any benefit in it at all.

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1 hour ago, One percent said:

We have opened everything up to spivs and snake oil salesmen. No one appears to do anything anymore for the greater good. 

Agreed

I spend a lot of time working in Scotland. By comparison Scotland is civilised. The difference is really noticeable. You don't get stressed parking at hospitals. You don't worry about prescription costs. Your kids don't finish education with massive debts. The roads are in excellent order and relatively empty. Car parking mostly free.

The list goes on and on.

When I return to England I can only describe it as 'eating itself up'.  Everything privatised and those shites out to screw you over every time you step outside the front door.

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8 minutes ago, The Masked Tulip said:

There's a private firm trying to get money to build a barrage across Swansea Bay. They need a huge public grant to do so. It will generate electricity for the locals but it will be very expensive electricity.

Some local politicians and local mandarins in the Council seem to back it.

It has no value-add for the people of Swansea. The bay will be altered with a barrage. It will cost a load of public money. The electricity will be expensive.

But some people involved in the company will presumably make a lot of money.

The local paper is full of constant whinging by the vested interests arguing that it is green, good for the environment, etc, etc. I don't see any benefit in it at all.

That area is an Internationally recognised wetland habitat with rare birds.

Those cnuts will devastate it.

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Just now, Wahoo said:

That area is an Internationally recognised wetland habitat with rare birds.

Those cnuts will devastate it.

 

Yep. I think the people behind the firm who want this, from what I have heard, are Cornish. One of them allegedly owns a quarry that apparently will supply the rocks. Heck of a plan eh?

You do wonder, if the above is true, what best interests, if any, they would have in a Welsh wetland habitat?

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8 minutes ago, Wahoo said:

That area is an Internationally recognised wetland habitat with rare birds.

Those cnuts will devastate it.

Are you thinking of the Severn Barrage ?

Swansea bay does have wildlife, but not that important. The lagoon is daft for other reasons, not least because, like all natural lakes, it will be ephemeral because it will fill up with mud.

Edited by Hopeful

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1 minute ago, The Masked Tulip said:

 

Yep. I think the people behind the firm who want this, from what I have heard, are Cornish. One of them allegedly owns a quarry that apparently will supply the rocks. Heck of a plan eh?

You do wonder, if the above is true, what best interests, if any, they would have in a Welsh wetland habitat?

Oh, now that is interesting.

The legal wrangle over re-opening that quarry (on the Lizard) has been chuntering on but it has not been mentioned that it is owned by one of the barrage mob or that the firm is based here.

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Just now, Hopeful said:

Are you thinking of the Severn Barrage ?

Swansea bay does have wildlife, but not tht important. The lagoon is daft for other reasons, not least because like all lakes, it will be ephemeral because it will fill up with mud.

 

No, Swansea barrage - being promoted as the first of its kind in the UK.

I think parts of the Bay do have importantish wildlife. WelshWildLife:

Quote

We submitted a written representation to the Public Inquiry in which we raised a number of concerns:

  1. Loss of intertidal habitat
    The development will lead to a loss of intertidal habitat, specifically having an adverse impact on the protected features Sabellaria reefs, hydroid rockpools and intertidal mudflat and sandflat.  TLP are using an innovative design on the lagoon wall to create artificial rocky reef-style habitat, but obviously this creates a new habitat type, and does not mitigate for the habitat lost.  We didn’t feel sufficient mitigation for lost habitats had been proposed.  Sabellaria reefs are to be translocated, but the results are unproven and therefore need monitoring in the long-term.  Related to the loss of mudflat and sandflat habitat is the impact this may have on birds which forage there. There may be a temporal increase in foraging opportunities due to tidal lag and artificial lighting, but there is no indication as to whether this is adequate to mitigate for the spatial loss of foraging opportunities.TLP will be creating 5ha saltmarsh, 3ha coastal maritime grassland and 5.5ha sand dunes, which is a good enhancement, but again doesn’t mitigate for the habitat that will be lost, because it is a different type of habitat.
  2. Impact on subtidal ecology and related species eg Great Crested Grebe 
    We have concerns as to loss of the subtidal sands and gravels (protected features), assessed as a ‘ major adverse significant impact’.  With the new-style rocky reef habitat on the lagoon wall, there is also no indication of whether the resulting change in biodiversity, through colonisation of the seawall, will have impacts on the natural assemblages in the area. In particular this has consequences for the suitability of the area as herring spawning habitat and potential impact on the foraging opportunities for nationally important numbers of Great Crested Grebe (GCB), should mitigation not prove successful.  Monthly winter counts from Swansea Bay over the last 4 years shows a maximum number of 569 GCB in December 2016.  This puts Swansea Bay in the top 20 sites for wintering Great Crested Grebes in the UK (source – British Trust for Ornithology BTO).Again, mitigation relies on an unproven practice of introducing new spawning material via the rocky reef walls.  Also, no detail was given as to what this new ‘spawning material’ would actually be and any potential impacts.
  3. Invasive non native species 
    Whilst there is understanding of the current non native species whose introduction into the bay may be facilitated by the seawall, it cannot be predicted what new species may be a threat in the future – another reason that long-term monitoring is essential.
  4. Impact on designated sites 
    We have ongoing concerns as to the moderate/minor adverse significant impact predicted on the sand habitat of the Blackpill SSSI, especially related to the reduction in sand accretion and the impact this may have on ringed plover and sanderling.  There will be some monitoring, but no mitigation proposed, other than the consideration of potential beach replenishment. We had concerns about cabling through Crymlyn Burrows SSSI, but the plans changed so that the cabling would run beside the road instead.
  5. Impact on marine mammals 
    We were disappointed as to the lack of site specific marine mammal surveys and the consequences this has on the robustness of the assessment of impacts, especially given the regularity of harbour porpoise sightings in the bay and likely hotspot around Mumbles.   Additional noise in the marine environment (during construction and operation of the tidal lagoon) can interfere with communication between marine mammals and alter migration patterns of potential prey species ultimately leading to evasive behaviour or displacement. Our concerns helped to encourage TLP to plan the use of installation methods which will produce the least amount of underwater noise, and to opt for variable speed turbines which reduces the risk of fish mortality by around 11%.

Since we input to the planning inquiry, our concerns have grown:

 

3 minutes ago, Frank Hovis said:

Oh, now that is interesting.

The legal wrangle over re-opening that quarry (on the Lizard) has been chuntering on but it has not been mentioned that it is owned by one of the barrage mob or that the firm is based here.

 

I am not 100% sure about that. The only reason I mentioned it because I have seen it mentioned in comments below the local newspaper articles about the barrage.

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6 minutes ago, Frank Hovis said:

Oh, now that is interesting.

The legal wrangle over re-opening that quarry (on the Lizard) has been chuntering on but it has not been mentioned that it is owned by one of the barrage mob or that the firm is based here.

 

This Telegraph article pretty much proves the link between the quarry firm and the tidal barrage firm.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/earth/energy/11412996/Cornish-villagers-fear-devastation-over-quarry-for-green-energy-scheme.html

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9 minutes ago, The Masked Tulip said:

 

No, Swansea barrage - being promoted as the first of its kind in the UK.

I think parts of the Bay do have importantish wildlife. WelshWildLife:

 

 

I am not 100% sure about that. The only reason I mentioned it because I have seen it mentioned in comments below the local newspaper articles about the barrage.

Importantish, bit not 'internationally' like the Severn

It's to create a lagoon isn't it ? http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-south-west-wales-42659742

I'd have thought that it'll fill up with mud. Each time it fills the tide will bring in sediment that will settle out. I'd imagine that dredging costs will be enormous over the years, or it'll be ephemeral and eventually demolished with a lot of TNT.

 

 

Edited by Hopeful

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5 minutes ago, The Masked Tulip said:

 

This Telegraph article pretty much proves the link between the quarry firm and the tidal barrage firm.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/earth/energy/11412996/Cornish-villagers-fear-devastation-over-quarry-for-green-energy-scheme.html

Cheers, that makes it look like the quarrying for that barrage (and others) is the main source of profits for the whole lot which I hadn't realised; I thought it was a minor aspect.

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41 minutes ago, Hopeful said:

They are.

They are gravy trains for people who for some reason get lauded as sages but who are generally, amongst those in the know, seen as failures at anything other than spinning a good self-serving yarn. This extends from wave energy research to English Nature.

Those who can, do, those who can't end up on committees and spray resources around ineffectively so that those who could do no longer can.

The UK is overwhelmed by useless fekkers that in the NHS would be referred to as bed blockers.

I don't know why we can't be like Taiwan when it comes to marine energy research.

I see this everyday. I guess most people also see it in terms of management. 

My guess is that the main reason is that expertise is no longer valued. It seems that ‘being able to manage’ is far more important than actually knowing the job and it’s processes. 

Spectacular fuck ups and money wasting ensue. 

23 minutes ago, The Masked Tulip said:

 

Yep. I think the people behind the firm who want this, from what I have heard, are Cornish. One of them allegedly owns a quarry that apparently will supply the rocks. Heck of a plan eh?

You do wonder, if the above is true, what best interests, if any, they would have in a Welsh wetland habitat?

It’s not @Frank Hovis is it?  o.O

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I'm no longer surprised by anything like this. The London 'Garden Bridge' did that for me.

I'm still trying to work out why anyone who was involved in that, isn't swinging from a fucking gibbet under London Bridge. It was FIFA levels of dodgyness.

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6 minutes ago, One percent said:

I see this everyday. I guess most people also see it in terms of management. 

My guess is that the main reason is that expertise is no longer valued. It seems that ‘being able to manage’ is far more important than actually knowing the job and it’s processes. 

Spectacular fuck ups and money wasting ensue. 

 

 

We abdicate the duty

We prefer to get on and do stuff rather than just talking about doing stuff

So, we get managers who don't like doing stuff but like talking about doing stuff

We get lousy politicians for the same reason

In effect, through our abdication, we get what we deserve.

 

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This is the UK today though isn't it? Someone spots something that with a big enough public grant will make themselves a load of money. So thy go get some local politicians or council officials on baord if they can, put together some slick brochures, powerpoints, etc, and cross their fingers that they will get a big wad of public cash for whatever scheme they have come up with.

I see it a lot with the Arts in Wales - we hear so many bizarre ideas. Most never happen but plenty do and often you see the same old names on the various QUANGO's or bodies overseeing them. One friend told me years ago about several people who, in his opinion, just made a living out of moving from one public-sector Welsh Arts' 'idea' to the other.

Let's face, who on earth thouught that spending vast sums on a Welsh Hollywood studio complex would be a winner? Or how about the plans to build a F1 track in the Valleys?

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19 minutes ago, Hopeful said:

Importantish, bit not 'internationally' like the Severn

It's to create a lagoon isn't it ? http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-south-west-wales-42659742

I'd have thought that it'll fill up with mud. Each time it fills the tide will bring in sediment that will settle out. I'd imagine that dredging costs will be enormous over the years, or it'll be ephemeral and eventually demolished with a lot of TNT.

 

 

That is what happened with Cardiff Bay's lagoon when it was first built. I believe they dredge it regularly now.

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10 minutes ago, The Masked Tulip said:

That is what happened with Cardiff Bay's lagoon when it was first built. I believe they dredge it regularly now.

All ponds and lakes, which is what this is essentially, are ephemeral because they fill up with sediment over time.

It's a stupid idea that is nothing more than a vanity project.

There are far better options to harness wave and tidal power that we could and should be exploring.

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3 minutes ago, sarahbell said:


I think it's probably generated some very nice income for some people and some very nice cars and houses.

True.

Thinking about that Swansea barrage project they must have the worst PR department in the world.

In Swansea it is seen as a money making project by a Cornish quarry company that will devastate the offshore environment.

In Cornwall it is seen as a money making project by a Welsh barrage company that will either devastate the marine environment beside the quarry or the whole surrounding area by using lorries.

It's pretty impressive to have marketed that so badly!

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1 hour ago, Frank Hovis said:

It's pretty impressive to have marketed that so badly!


You're missing the point about how well marketing is doing its job spending money.
Someone is profiting nicely from whatever hasn't been built yet. The longer the process before it's built the more money that sucks up.

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4 hours ago, Hopeful said:

Are you thinking of the Severn Barrage ?

Swansea bay does have wildlife, but not that important. The lagoon is daft for other reasons, not least because, like all natural lakes, it will be ephemeral because it will fill up with mud.

I would be happy to see more run of river micro generation for local communities - Wales has an abundance of suitable sites. It wouldn’t benefit big business so there will never be any funding for it.

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