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RobertT

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« Reply #11670 on: Wednesday, October 6, 2021, 16:17:10 »

They have had that option for years and there may be plenty of opportunities for the Hybrid approach - work from home, dip into a space if you need/want a face to face, or even a few days away from the home environment?  Some people will not have the right facilities at home, especially in the short term.

Telling people to just go back to work simply reverts us back in time.  Offices didn't even exist as we know them until the 50's/60's really.
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RobertT

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« Reply #11671 on: Wednesday, October 6, 2021, 16:21:28 »

And my point is more focused on how a Government could/should focus on what it can do to support it's stated Policies and how society develops.  This genie is already out of the bottle, like the way Retail has been upended by online.  Surely it would be better to focus on how to deliver against stated Policy and better to begin working on the infrastructure to support that, than start pushing against it and trying to go back in time?
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Nemo
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« Reply #11672 on: Wednesday, October 6, 2021, 16:36:05 »

Isn't there a massive danger to the future workforce in that? If your job can be done at home, then how long before cheapskate employers work out it can be done much cheaper in a home in India, or somewhere else massively cheaper. Brexit may have changed the supply of cheap labour, but if employers get the option of another route to cheap labour you can guarantee some will take it.

I work fully online these days (did slightly before the pandemic, as it happens). Just about every employer has this thought once, not many of them have it twice.

Genuinely good international employees will often cost you a wage not far off what you'd pay here these days, in tech at least. You can still get relatively cheap (nowhere near as cheap as it once was though!) offshore development, but it won't be great - either quality wise or in terms of communication/commitment.

With lots of companies now hiring fully remote, there's sometimes even an opportunity for UK based folk to work for organisations who are based in traditionally higher wage places such as San Francisco.

Not for one second suggesting there aren't people out there who could do my job cheaper and better, and it's definitely not for everyone, but I was surprised how easy I found it to find fully remote work pre and post-pandemic.
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horlock07

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« Reply #11673 on: Wednesday, October 6, 2021, 17:08:18 »

And my point is more focused on how a Government could/should focus on what it can do to support it's stated Policies and how society develops.  This genie is already out of the bottle, like the way Retail has been upended by online.  Surely it would be better to focus on how to deliver against stated Policy and better to begin working on the infrastructure to support that, than start pushing against it and trying to go back in time?

But what is the governments stated policy, they don't seem to do policy just sound bites.

Looking at this weeks favourite 'Levelling Up' what does that actually mean? It's never going to be viable in any society as there will always be those well paid and those less so, always those accessible to service and those less so etc etc etc. Its like when Gove started banging on about upping/levelling things in education it just doesn't work on basic maths.

In some ways remote working offers a great opportunity for levelling up as us northern monkeys could work for companies based down south remotely and earn equivalent wages (what I have actually done for the last 6 years), but basic market economics means instead that it will possibly be used to drop wages for the same jobs whilst keeping them UK based. Likewise as a large number of Tory donors are individuals/companies with large commercial property portfolio's we immediately have the conflict of interest as they obviously are pushing for people to get back into the office to keep their tenants.

Likewise the High Street, this was dying on its arse for years (way way before COVID) hence why the government had introduced permitted development rights to allow offices and commercial premises to be converted to residential uses without PP, thus the possible renaissance for town centres is to go back to broadly residential uses with certain pockets of leisure to service, however, once again this is not a popular policy with the chattering classes and thus the government is trying to spin multiple plates whereby its core support will not tolerate what the government (to their credit) accept need to be done.

Again its the same with housing, again to their credit the government can see there is a massive problem with the housing market and is disproportionately skewed against the young, so one solution is to build more houses (there is plenty of evidence to support this). But where to build them, no one wants them in their back yard so again we have Councils having to allocate land fighting those who are lucky enough to already own and then the absurd situation where allocated sites are being refused planning permission by Councillors meaning a) planning appeals costing the Councils a fortune that they rarely win and b) developers being able to apply in all manner of unallocated areas as national policy brings extra weight to applications which may be contrary to policy if the Council cannot show a 5 year supply of land.

This from a top Planning QC illustrates how the whole thing is a nonsense devoid of any ideas of any political hue. https://www.planoraks.com/posts-1/levelling-down-notes-from-the-party-conferences
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jevs

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« Reply #11674 on: Wednesday, October 6, 2021, 17:53:19 »

They have had that option for years and there may be plenty of opportunities for the Hybrid approach - work from home, dip into a space if you need/want a face to face, or even a few days away from the home environment?  Some people will not have the right facilities at home, especially in the short term.

Telling people to just go back to work simply reverts us back in time.  Offices didn't even exist as we know them until the 50's/60's really.

True of course, and this generation may well have a skills and specialism advantage that insulates them from this danger, but will the next? We're already seen huge tranches of call centre and customer service work outsourced overseas. The next generations will be competing with kids who get a free education..

Personally I think it's amusing hearing everyone argue how much better it is that they're working from when every single company I have personally dealt with is offering substantially worse service for it. Obviously I'm not saying that's every job, I've had a few that benefit from peace and quiet. The Mrs works from home bar one day a week, but that was her arrangement long before covid.

Levelling up is obvious cliched b******s, a nonsense catch phrase to justify idiot policy like HS2 which will be a fabulous cash cow for all the governments favourite donors.
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RobertT

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« Reply #11675 on: Wednesday, October 6, 2021, 18:08:35 »

I have no doubt some work will go - jobs as we know them go extinct every day, let alone shipped abroad.  Pining for jobs that aren't here is not the answer though, planning for the change is.

What you describe around Customer Service and how that feels to a customer is also my point around "not everyone" - that's where the medium term planning comes into from Govt.  How do we provide the right infrastructure to support a shift in work locations that ensures companies get what they need as well.  It's also why this won't be an all or nothing - BUT, it absolutely should change how office space is built and designed for use today.

The worry about losing jobs is an interesting one as well - in reality, work as we know it (employment, people owning their own business etc.) generally has a habit of filling the available capacity, or close to, over time.  So, we have more jobs now than ever before and it keeps progressing as thus - they are just different.  The majority of people want something to do.  The issue is the shift, when it occurs, is painful for individuals at that time.  Again - Govt's should be focused on that.  In a capitalist society, business will eventually fill the gap with new jobs/opportunities to make money, BUT, it needs a backstop to make the transition far more sustainable for those who get shifted.
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RobertT

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« Reply #11676 on: Wednesday, October 6, 2021, 18:14:23 »

Also, a comment from someone quite senior in a major bank here got my goat today, suggesting they were against Virtual working because it was bad for the employees.  What utter tosh.  Offices exist today because they took the working practices of the factories and leveraged years of effort supporting efficiency and control.  We are approaching the end of a 400 year old cycle of sorts.  Factories were born from the Cottages, a means to control production and push mass industrialised efficiency.  Offices simply copied what we knew.

A fair number of office based jobs should have gone back to the home as soon as reliable Broadband appeared.  It's taken a seismic event to shake it up, but there is no way paying for huge infrastructure that enables offices to work is the right solution anymore.  Far more efficient to get it back to the cottages - however, the worry is all about CONTROL.
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jevs

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« Reply #11677 on: Wednesday, October 6, 2021, 18:47:20 »

Also, a comment from someone quite senior in a major bank here got my goat today, suggesting they were against Virtual working because it was bad for the employees.  What utter tosh.  Offices exist today because they took the working practices of the factories and leveraged years of effort supporting efficiency and control.  We are approaching the end of a 400 year old cycle of sorts.  Factories were born from the Cottages, a means to control production and push mass industrialised efficiency.  Offices simply copied what we knew.

A fair number of office based jobs should have gone back to the home as soon as reliable Broadband appeared.  It's taken a seismic event to shake it up, but there is no way paying for huge infrastructure that enables offices to work is the right solution anymore.  Far more efficient to get it back to the cottages - however, the worry is all about CONTROL.


To be fair, in some cases that is true. I'm guessing that you're not socially isolated? One of my former colleagues committed suicide during the first lockdown period. I doubt that would have happened with the social interactions with colleagues that a workplace brings. I've heard plenty of accounts of people who live alone who are very keen to get back amongst company. Maybe for future generations virtual interractions will be sufficient, but I doubt it.

I'm in no way pining for lost jobs, no point walking down that road. We should give some thought to what we're likely to create going forward. Every person I hear arguing for home working seems to be speaking from self interest (I've cut child care costs/commuting etc - fair enough!). For established workers, and people with families, sure it's better, but that's not everyone.
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RobertT

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« Reply #11678 on: Wednesday, October 6, 2021, 23:18:52 »

Hence my points about not for everyone, hybrid and needing to plan for how to support the "new".  Just as the demise of the Coal & Steel industries have decimated communities, as could this.
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jevs

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« Reply #11679 on: Thursday, October 7, 2021, 09:40:28 »

Hence my points about not for everyone, hybrid and needing to plan for how to support the "new".  Just as the demise of the Coal & Steel industries have decimated communities, as could this.

Fair enough, I don't disagree with you in some respects. Adapt or be destroyed and all that. It will be interesting to see whether some of the changes stick, or businesses revert to type once this is over - any permanent change to flexible home working will undoubtedly be inspired by lower costs for business. I'm not aware of much long term change by the last major pandemic, but the nature of work has massively changed obviously.

I do maintain though, that I've heard hundreds of people argue that it's so much better/they're so much more efficient but I've yet to see any improvement in any business I interact with, yet loads are using covid/home working as a reason for worse service provision. As a small example how behind are the DVSA currently - some will be staff absence granted, a lot will be home working civil servants.
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« Reply #11680 on: Thursday, October 7, 2021, 10:35:46 »

Hence my points about not for everyone, hybrid and needing to plan for how to support the "new".  Just as the demise of the Coal & Steel industries have decimated communities, as could this.

The exact process we are going through at work.
Hybrid suits me fine. Home work feels normal but I don't get out much. Give me one or two days in the office a week. Perfect.

We found productivity went up with home working.

DVLA/DVSA: Nearly 3 months waiting for my son's provisional to come through.
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RedRag

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« Reply #11681 on: Thursday, October 7, 2021, 11:50:10 »

But what is the governments stated policy, they don't seem to do policy just sound bites.

Looking at this weeks favourite 'Levelling Up' what does that actually mean? It's never going to be viable in any society as there will always be those well paid and those less so, always those accessible to service and those less so etc etc etc. Its like when Gove started banging on about upping/levelling things in education it just doesn't work on basic maths.

In some ways remote working offers a great opportunity for levelling up as us northern monkeys could work for companies based down south remotely and earn equivalent wages (what I have actually done for the last 6 years), but basic market economics means instead that it will possibly be used to drop wages for the same jobs whilst keeping them UK based. Likewise as a large number of Tory donors are individuals/companies with large commercial property portfolio's we immediately have the conflict of interest as they obviously are pushing for people to get back into the office to keep their tenants.

Likewise the High Street, this was dying on its arse for years (way way before COVID) hence why the government had introduced permitted development rights to allow offices and commercial premises to be converted to residential uses without PP, thus the possible renaissance for town centres is to go back to broadly residential uses with certain pockets of leisure to service, however, once again this is not a popular policy with the chattering classes and thus the government is trying to spin multiple plates whereby its core support will not tolerate what the government (to their credit) accept need to be done.

Again its the same with housing, again to their credit the government can see there is a massive problem with the housing market and is disproportionately skewed against the young, so one solution is to build more houses (there is plenty of evidence to support this). But where to build them, no one wants them in their back yard so again we have Councils having to allocate land fighting those who are lucky enough to already own and then the absurd situation where allocated sites are being refused planning permission by Councillors meaning a) planning appeals costing the Councils a fortune that they rarely win and b) developers being able to apply in all manner of unallocated areas as national policy brings extra weight to applications which may be contrary to policy if the Council cannot show a 5 year supply of land.

This from a top Planning QC illustrates how the whole thing is a nonsense devoid of any ideas of any political hue. https://www.planoraks.com/posts-1/levelling-down-notes-from-the-party-conferences
As a Home Counties, Nimby, boomer, I see two phenomena that are really annoying me:

The Government getting behind Local Authority approvals for oil drilling in the beautiful, Surrey Hills (where half of London loves to cycle every weekend).  This seems contrary to Climate Change Policy and to trash precious Green Belt/AONB

The mushrooming of easy build, large scale new residential development in and around Wantage with (I believe) FA meaningful developer input to the broader town centre infrastructure or road networks in the area.

I'm Lib Dem inclined and boy were they opportunist in Amersham and Chesham but quite a few in the better off, true blue Home Counties are uncomfortable with recent housing and other development (not to mention their taxes being applied to fund vote-seeking levelling up projects for Northerners like you!))
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horlock07

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« Reply #11682 on: Thursday, October 7, 2021, 13:24:17 »

The Government getting behind Local Authority approvals for oil drilling in the beautiful, Surrey Hills (where half of London loves to cycle every weekend).  This seems contrary to Climate Change Policy and to trash precious Green Belt/AONB


Setting aside the emotive language I know nothing of the case you mention. However planning policy v.climate policy is a complete mess, round here we have all the hoohaa about the West Cumbrian Mine that the County Council approved last October (as it is broadly planning policy compliant) the government then decide not to call in, then due to changes in the governments carbon budgets the Council got cold feet that it would get JR'ed due to not taking note of this part of government policy and overturned their own decision, it has now gone to planning inquiry and still sits in abeyance.

The mushrooming of easy build, large scale new residential development in and around Wantage with (I believe) FA meaningful developer input to the broader town centre infrastructure or road networks in the area.

Is Wantage VoWH Council, if so they have CIL in place and thus developers will be contributing to infrastructure through that, whether the Council chooses to spend it is another matter entirely.

I'm Lib Dem inclined and boy were they opportunist in Amersham and Chesham but quite a few in the better off, true blue Home Counties are uncomfortable with recent housing and other development (not to mention their taxes being applied to fund vote-seeking levelling up projects for Northerners like you!))

The fact that the LD's got it so right in Amersham and Chesham is entirely an indication of why the shit show continue. The Tories get a pasting there for planning reasons, they are getting a fair few kickings in locals in the south east (polling also suggests that a fair few cabinet members, including the PM may be in danger of losing their seats in the GE if nothing changes) for the same reasons, so the balancing act continues, build the houses and development the county needs where it (at present) needs it and piss off the home counties faithful, or roll down the shutters and alienate future generations of voters.

FWIW despite living in the provinces for over 50% of my life, I will never be considered a northerner, even my missus still refers to me as posh! Again though its a case in point politically, the regional media up here is full of stories already of much disquiet about rhetoric not being back up by actions or investment, that the 'Red Wall' is rapidly drifting away from blue, not to red for now but who knows what the future holds wherever your taxes are going they are not being spent round here as yet.

Ultimately as with all governments the present incumbents need to do some quite serious maths as to who they can piss off whilst losing the least seats, the gerrymandering will help them round here at least (assuming the present resentment in Barrow is sorted sharpish) but (and this is why levelling up will never work) ultimately the aims and objectives of those in different regions are extremely different and one size does not fit all. In the past we had regional planning which helped draw regions together but Cameron abolished that.
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RedRag

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« Reply #11683 on: Thursday, October 7, 2021, 17:55:00 »

Setting aside the emotive language I know nothing of the case you mention. However planning policy v.climate policy is a complete mess, round here we have all the hoohaa about the West Cumbrian Mine that the County Council approved last October (as it is broadly planning policy compliant) the government then decide not to call in, then due to changes in the governments carbon budgets the Council got cold feet that it would get JR'ed due to not taking note of this part of government policy and overturned their own decision, it has now gone to planning inquiry and still sits in abeyance.

Is Wantage VoWH Council, if so they have CIL in place and thus developers will be contributing to infrastructure through that, whether the Council chooses to spend it is another matter entirely.

The fact that the LD's got it so right in Amersham and Chesham is entirely an indication of why the shit show continue. The Tories get a pasting there for planning reasons, they are getting a fair few kickings in locals in the south east (polling also suggests that a fair few cabinet members, including the PM may be in danger of losing their seats in the GE if nothing changes) for the same reasons, so the balancing act continues, build the houses and development the county needs where it (at present) needs it and piss off the home counties faithful, or roll down the shutters and alienate future generations of voters.

FWIW despite living in the provinces for over 50% of my life, I will never be considered a northerner, even my missus still refers to me as posh! Again though its a case in point politically, the regional media up here is full of stories already of much disquiet about rhetoric not being back up by actions or investment, that the 'Red Wall' is rapidly drifting away from blue, not to red for now but who knows what the future holds wherever your taxes are going they are not being spent round here as yet.

Ultimately as with all governments the present incumbents need to do some quite serious maths as to who they can piss off whilst losing the least seats, the gerrymandering will help them round here at least (assuming the present resentment in Barrow is sorted sharpish) but (and this is why levelling up will never work) ultimately the aims and objectives of those in different regions are extremely different and one size does not fit all. In the past we had regional planning which helped draw regions together but Cameron abolished that.
Always appreciate your planning input.

It's helpful to pit my uninformed opinions against a little expertise.  So thanks for your thoughts.

Wantage is where my mother lives.  It is indeed VOWH.  I had to look up CIL (Community Infrastructure Levy).  Local authorities are so stretched fulfilling their core statutory duties, I do wonder where any CIL receipts will end up.  I'd have hoped they can't simply be switched to dealing with burgeoning social care demands - which need addressing in their own right.  

It just seems like quite substantial housing estates are being put up in agricultural fields left, right and centre - and a number of them not even contiguous to the town itself.

Wantage was something of a backwater town (for me, fortuitously so), not quite on any of the main routes between Swindon, Oxford and Newbury, but distinctive and pleasant enough.  The actual centre is not really suited to any serious expansion, though I presume  more retail outlet space can be found.

It sometimes seems to me that building large estates in fields is the "easy" way to hit targets.  Selfishly, no doubt, I'd prefer a more resourceful and blended approach of using space already there in town centres.

Wherever we may be, we are the boys from the west country, each Saturday anyway. Wink



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