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Everything posted by Carlos

  1. New, optimised, AHS at Clickamin, no games hall but an outdoor all weather surface and using the Clickamin sports facilities to make those better value for money. Mareel on that site too as a linked but separate building providing music, media and assembly space during the day and able to run as a commercial cinema/music venue outside school hours. Compromises all round for sure, tight scheduling problems and some limitations on use, but an opportunity to save money overall. When people say "we should not be doing this but it is too late to change now" it is a sign they will be saying "we really should have changed it" in 10 years time...... If the School build, Clickamin running costs and Mareel are being kept as separate issues then we're arguing over pennies while burning pounds.
  2. Any costs on those? So at the moment we have Mareel looking like £9m, with £5m odd from the SIC. Suppose we upgrade the Garrison, new cinema hardware, new projection booth before it falls down, new seats....works to the floor to accomodate those? Is that £1m? Add new and expensive space to the AHS £0.5m? Purpose built music building....in Lerwick? Much bigger than Mareel? New site? Do it on the cheap? So say £3.5m vs £9m....... Then find that not much of that qualifies for external funding, and you've spent the £5m that Mareel would have cost the council on a collection of parts that will cost more to run, be less flexible, and might bring in less income. Now, my figures are just there to illustrate the point. I don't know how much those options would actually cost, but I would not be surprised if they are not too far from reality. The external funding is a big issue here, and should be considered carefully as part of any alternative ideas.
  3. Not quite that bad http://www.shetland.gov.uk/council/documents/sins2007.pdf
  4. Not sure. Under that kind of contract then potentially the contractor did not get 100% of the over-run...... but then it'd depend if it went over budget on the planned works, or if there were changes to the design, or if....... etc etc You can set up the risk/reward conditions any way you want, and then the contractor will do his sums accordingly....
  5. The AHS project had a contractor appointed at an early stage, so that their input could make the design easier to build. I'm not sure what exactly was involved in getting selected to the the contractor originally, but I would assume now that the build would be run under a shared risk/reward contract, where it's in everybody's interest to stop the final bill from rising.
  6. The case against them was lost, but they remain blocked as it's being appealed, so their case may have some legal merit. A lot of speculation on The Register about TPB members trying this stuff to see how just much they can outrage the music suits, but on the serious side it may concentrate some minds on the application of laws and the scale of damages applicable.
  7. I'd be interested to find a 'successful' company which doesn't adopt this practice. If you measure success by making money, then it'd be surprising if you found a "successful" one that did not make money....
  8. I think it should be clear that major spending decisions now need a wide review of all services to get the relative levels right. Again, let's see who votes for that, and carries it though.
  9. Certainly be interesting to see which councilors are willing to make a stand on the other areas of spending that need to be cut......
  10. I might be venturing where angels fear to tread here, but it's not come up so far...... With the Clickaminn leisure centre receiving a £1.3M annual subsidy for it's running costs, should that not be in the firing line before the hypothetical running costs of Mareel? I'd agree that the SIC's revenue spend is too high, but is the balance right? If we are spending far too much in other areas, that is not on it's own a justification for not spending a little on Mareel, better to share the spending/cuts/value for money between all "recreation" areas equally? The AHS...... you've all noticed the ~£10M item in the capital programme for the new hostel that was (I think) originally supposed to be included in the new school?
  11. A academic's proposal from 2004 outlined http://www.theregister.co.uk/2004/02/01/free_legal_downloads/ News that iTunes is maybe negotiating something like that http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/03/19/apple_itunes_unlimited/
  12. Am I reading it wrong? To me it seems to say between -0.2 and +0.2 mm per day, i.e. zilch! I took it to mean a maximum change of +-0.2mm x 365 days +-73mm over the 110 years, given the units on the graph it could mean something else..... but anyhow, yes that says the change could be zero. As I said though, we have 250mm change measured over the last 75 years on a very steady straight line climb. I was more interested that the predicted rate of change was smaller than those that had already been measured The SNIFFER report has a lot more data/projections for Scotland as a whole. That supports increasing intensity of rainfall, and has some not so solid data for increasing numbers of days of gales.
  13. Interesting...... that predicts about a 60mm rise in annual rainfall from the 1960-1990 figures...... Average annual rainfall in Shetland has grown steadily since the records start in 1932, and is now at 1250mm per year compared with around 1000mm back then. If you dig on the met office site you'll find monthly historical records for the Lerwick observatory. If that trend just continues, then rainfall will rise at over 1mm per day...... about 360mm over the next 110 years..... Quite a bit of detail here....... although I am not sure they agree with my numbers either http://www.sniffer.org.uk/climatehandbook/index.html
  14. The construction contract will be open for tenders remember, good chance for some profit for people who think they can do it cheaper
  15. There will be different types of break-even points financially, but I imagine we do need something "large" to be truly break-even, something that will pay back it's capital costs and give a good cash return in the future. Smaller scale wind power projects could be done on the basis that they cover a bit more than their revenue (running) costs and give us slightly cheaper power bills, but the VE proposals will give some idea of the MW per £ that are needed to look good to outside investors.
  16. While we've done well in facilities from oil money, there has been way too much added to the revenue spends to be sustainable with a lower population and lower council budgets. The capital programme can be controlled much easier, be raised and lowered year to year as it suits, as long as the long term revenue spends are addressed. At the moment we are happily spending more than we earn and covering it from savings..... the future is less income and less savings, so we need to start preparing for it, while we'd still have some money there to ease the tough changes a bit. The kinds of work that could be developed would also seem to be very different from what's there at the moment. Less well paid fixed hour salaried jobs and a lot more freelance/self employment with hours and income varying week to week. And none of that sounds very attractive if you are sitting comfortably at the moment, but it is what we would have to support politically for things not to be worse.........
  17. Wouldn't have been an Oil Industry consultant from Inverness would it? If it's who I'm thinking then they couldn't predict what the day after tomorrow is... No, it was some annual report from an US oil industry association of the major players. Of course you can wonder if it suited their interests to pitch it on the low side.... but I think it's safe to say it ended up a lot different than they expected.
  18. True, for the moment. But take away the oil industry and all the associated engineering companies and the charitable trust and everything which it subsidises (once the oil money runs out), the bloated (allegedly) council and there's not a lot left. I think this is really the root of the argument, and the most difficult thing to predict at the same time. If it were a choice between i) windmills and ii) everything stays as it is, then it's fairy easy to weigh possible income against possible environmental effects. Unfortunately the decision really needs to be between i) Shetland in 2035 with windmills vs ii) Shetland in 2035 without windmills. How will incomes, jobs, energy costs look in 2035? Hard to tell, but those are the essential factors. Been some changes here since 1980.... I found an "expert" oil industry prediction from 2004 that oil prices would be at worst $36 a barrel by 2020..... Oopps.
  19. As an expert of being outside my box? Nothing too specific..... One interesting thing with String Theory is that it gets round the problem of singularities, like black holes for example, as a black hole could be a string and contain as much energy as required from the infinite number of harmonics the string could be vibrating at. On the other hand, I don't think anybody has managed to get string theory down to the point of being more than a mathematic exercise so far (?) and it's still hard to tell if it is going anywhere or not. Although the "vibrations" aspect seems like a physical representation we are more used to, the detail takes us away to another area altogether......
  20. On the financial side I think we would need to know the full package proposed. If the proposal is to cut the Mareel funding as part of a reduction of the capital programme and a "bite the bullet" tapering back of the revenue spend to sustainable levels then fair enough, it is a price to pay. If the proposal is to cut the Mareel £5m and spend it on the next £5m worth of projects on the capital programme, and keep drawing more capital money to make up for revenue overspend, then that is a different situation. I actually do not see many projects on the capital programme that would benefit Shetland as a whole as much as Mareel would, particularly if it is really a case of contributing £5m and getting a £9m facility that is close to self financing. Somewhere in between those 2 we might have a proposals for a cut down facility, or something partly shared with the new AHS or whatever. A different option. What would the capital and revenue costs on that be? If they were £3m for £3m worth of project how does that stack against £5m for £9m worth? Are those figures good? Would reducing the range of areas the facility covered drop it's income so that it would not pay it's running costs? How much would those be? Lots of
  21. I'm not too keen on that figure either, but more for what it would mean. If you look to have Friday and Saturday nights "full", 300 people, then you are only at £9 on drinks per person for those 2 nights...... which would seem to be achievable if you set that as your main goal. As you say though that would not be the use I would prefer, but there are plenty of people on here who have the opposite view, and see that as it's main purpose. It would seem though that if it has to meet its running costs then here that means selling booze....
  22. Does £400k for seats/upgrading and maybe £150k for projector/screen/sound equipment, to have the Garrison as a better part time cinema, with little improvement for anything else, sound like value for money? I've no idea on seat costs, but I think they would need to be quite a bit cheaper than that to go that way.....
  23. I don't know if there is an equivalent here, but in the US (or maybe just some states, I forget) a jury can return a verdict of "not guilty" because they do not recognize the validity of the law.........
  24. I imagine that while a building with space for a 1000 ticket gig would be great to have 2 or 3 times a year, the compromises on fitting it into a space that is somewhere near break even in running costs through the year were too high. Seems to be 3 camps? Mareel is too big, Mareel is too small, Mareel is a decent compromise?
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