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Cuts - the only saving grace is ...

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Mike H
London Ontario, Canada
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1 of 41  Sat 26th Jul 2014 5:01pm  
Member: Joined Apr 2012  Total posts:441

Job cuts in the council.

The only saving grace is that many councils are in the same boat, and not just in the UK either. Cities don't seem to hold the promise that they once did, but that is because maybe none of us do business the way we used to do.

Industry, Business and Work - Cuts - the only saving grace is ...
Mike H
London Ontario, Canada
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2 of 41  Sun 27th Jul 2014 2:02pm  
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CCC is looking to move into the new Friargate complex and will be the first in. If they cut back on staff now, it might be a possibility to stay where they are in the old building, thereby giving other business which would generate cash a better chance at doing so. Is there any evidence to suggest that Coventry is offering the right incentives to attract new and better business, especially in view of the fact that it has already picked the 'plum' spot in Friargate for itself?

Where I live, the city council is eager to show that it is offering incentives, but the land being offered is being turned down by potential business because the council has chosen to carve it up into units which are too small, and will not budge on the decision.

Industry, Business and Work - Cuts - the only saving grace is ...
pixrobin
Canley
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3 of 41  Sun 27th Jul 2014 7:21pm  
Off-topic / chat  

Mike H
London Ontario, Canada
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4 of 41  Sun 27th Jul 2014 8:12pm  
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Well, you know what they say. "Rome wasn't built in a day". Sad

It's going to be difficult for Coventry to get traction, and it is going to be more difficult for those of us who remember town/city centres, specifically the Precinct, as shopping haunts. As I understand, many are turning to the Internet for shopping, even for groceries, and using the bricks and mortar stores as showrooms where they can 'see before they buy elsewhere'. Personally, I like bricks and mortar stores for viewing and buying, but what do I know, being an old fool who resists change. Angry

It is not easy to see how city councils are going to get revenue from shops which can barely survive, but if the concept of shopping centres moves away from the city and town centres to plazas and malls, office based business, always better if it is packed into one area, will most likely be the saviour. Edited by member, 27th Jul 2014 9:27 pm

Industry, Business and Work - Cuts - the only saving grace is ...
pixrobin
Canley
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5 of 41  Sun 27th Jul 2014 8:26pm  
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Mike H
London Ontario, Canada
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6 of 41  Sun 27th Jul 2014 9:28pm  
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flapdoodle
Coventry
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7 of 41  Mon 28th Jul 2014 8:49pm  
Member: Joined Nov 2010  Total posts:844

There are plenty of thriving cities in the UK. Leeds & Manchester are doing very well, and Liverpool has undergone a huge renaissance. Birmingham's re-invented itself superbly since the 1980s. Cities like Nottingham, Leicester and Cardiff are performing well and Bristol is totally different these days to how it was when I first went there 20 years ago. Leicester has experienced strong growth over the last few years, and far outperforms Coventry. They all have far more 'life' than Coventry, which doesn't even have a decent city centre music venue that a local band that has done well can play (and The Enemy mentioned this on national TV once). Coventry was behind its peers in many ways - the lack of diverse local economy meant it suffered particularly badly during the 1980s when the mass manufacturing businesses closed down, and the local 'skills' base was not attractive to industries that experienced growth in the 1980s or the service sector. Warwick Science Park was built in this period to try to bring some skills (And has probably done well) but it was never going to compete with the M4 corridor and M11 corridor, for instance, although a 'technology triangle' in Coventry and Warwickshire was identified some years back, and the out of town business parks are host to a number of UK HQs of global firms, and firms that work in IT, Banking and services. Most of this went on the outskirts as they needed to attract workers who lived outside Coventry and had the skills they needed. Back in the 1980s it was known it was going to be difficult to 'turn' Coventry around. Poor economic management, a city centre that many people dislike didn't help and a inflexible workforce. I'm not sure how it can promote itself. It's not the concrete jungle it has the reputation of being, but is somewhat dull looking thanks to the boring squares and the city's streets are a total mess of gaps and awkwardly positioned buildings. Making it into a city in which people work & also want to live and play helps. At the moment it's none of those. When I moved here to work at GPT the workers from other sites ridiculed Coventry. This is where other cities have become a success. However, I think Friargate may see things to start to change, especially when people who arrive here by train find their first view of Coventry a green lined with old buildings on both sides. And smaller projects like Fargo are repairing some of the damage done by the planners. The same people are also trying to turn around the disastrous 'Priory Place'. I'm not sure the 'out of town' retail parks help, and supermarkets have decimated town centres. Most of the retail parks tended to be stuff you generally wouldn't go 'into town' for, but Coventry has some large ones that are 'comparable' to city centre shopping and this won't help. Shopping is just one part of city centres. Unfortunately, Coventry also suffers by lacking everything else, including decent public spaces. When you want to see a band, a large musical, go to a restaurant or anything else the answer always seems to be: go somewhere else. All IMHO.
Industry, Business and Work - Cuts - the only saving grace is ...
Mike H
London Ontario, Canada
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8 of 41  Mon 28th Jul 2014 11:47pm  
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This is some of what I have been saying all along. Coventry has never been an exciting place, and has never fully embraced all that it could be. It was the Detroit of the UK, and if something had wheels attached and a motor, there was a very good chance that it was made in Coventry, but who knew outside of the city? It took years longer than it should have to create a museum which showed off Coventry 'wheels' and when it was first created, the entrance was hidden alongside Mattersons. Prior to that, the only examples of Coventry's greatness were a small sample in the Herbert Museum and Gallery.

The aircraft museum at Baginton was a hotch potch of broken down stuff, more like a scrapyard than a museum, and yet within sight of the airport were hangers where bombers and fighters were put together, but who knew?

Ethnic culture in Coventry was greeted with 'Go Home' banners from day one, and has the situation improved? I don't know because I am not in Coventry anymore, but I suspect that it hasn't. Where is the equivalent of the Notting Hill festival or the Caribbean Carnival in Leicester or Birmingham's Hollywood Road Asian Indian stuff? Nowhere. Coventry folk want them all to get back to Clay Lane or further out if possible. Coventry may seem to be a friendly place to the locals, but to anybody coming in from outside, it is anything but friendly.

There is what I refer to as a 'sausage, egg and chips' mentality in Coventry. Anything different and they say "I'm not eating that foreign muck". I have seen this in my own family and many others over the years. There is a great resistance to anything different and new in general, and it does not serve Coventry well at all.

I found this website and Coventry does not get a mention. But when you look at the places which do, they are everything that Coventry isn't and seemingly hasn't wanted to be.

The council and the people need an attitude change if Coventry is to be a better place. Coventry planned and rebuilt for a future which, as it turns out, never came. While other ciites had eggs in multiple baskets, Coventry didn't and it has little to fall back on other than an illustrious history of motor manufacture. The new developments will hopefully inject new life into the place, and if there is enough of them and successful to boot, maybe then the city can turn its attention to the Precinct. I see that they partly started with redevelopment of West Orchard, but there is a way to go yet, and I hope that Coventry and its people rise to the occasion. Cheers

Industry, Business and Work - Cuts - the only saving grace is ...
morgana
the secret garden
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9 of 41  Tue 29th Jul 2014 10:30am  
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Mike H. CCC can give incentives to attract but it won't bring people into the city to spend who are on low wages or one parent/people in receipt of benefits with children having to live on very low money having to juggle to buy food replace household goods and pay out to clothe themselves and children, then on top pay into schools that are forever demanding money then bills which have risen. Then with the price of bus fares for those not living walking distance for their children to get into the city. Edited by member, 29th Jul 2014 10:35 am
Industry, Business and Work - Cuts - the only saving grace is ...
morgana
the secret garden
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10 of 41  Tue 29th Jul 2014 10:58am  
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Lol Mike H you do make me laugh about go home bit I rented a room in the 70s from Indians who lived in the same house and they never said they were told to go back home. You suspect Coventry people are the same now pushing back to Clay Lane immigrants. He he perhaps you should revisit Coventry now listen and look most say you wouldn't even know you were in the UK let alone Coventry. Big grin I do believe we had a Caribbean day here recently. As you continue to imply we are racist not sure what your tactics on this are. Indian culture don't like Pakistanis because of killings of their families back home which they have said to me also other cultures too etc. Edited by member, 29th Jul 2014 11:19 am
Industry, Business and Work - Cuts - the only saving grace is ...
Mike H
London Ontario, Canada
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11 of 41  Tue 29th Jul 2014 2:02pm  
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On 29th Jul 2014 10:30am, morgana said: CCC can give incentives to attract but it won't bring people into the city to spend who are on low wages or one parent/people in reciept of benefits.
The only way these people can ever improve their lives is to get work. When BL pulled out of the city, it was hoped by many that one of the Japanese car makers planning to set up in the UK would favour Coventry and replace the old guard. It didn't happen, but do you know why it didn't?

Low paid and the poor have the same problems wherever you go, and town or city in the UK and beyond.

Industry, Business and Work - Cuts - the only saving grace is ...
Mike H
London Ontario, Canada
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12 of 41  Tue 29th Jul 2014 4:10pm  
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On 29th Jul 2014 10:58am, morgana said: I do believe we had a Caribbean day here recently.
Oooooh, one Caribbean day. That's really pushing the boat out, eh. Did you look at the link I gave to Flapdoodle? Did you click on any of the cities in that link to see what they are doing, have done?

Did you know that news of the UK gets out to overseas places, that ex-pats like me can read the CET and a whole host of news about the UK? Did you know that we have the BBC on TV here, that UK events are reported here too?

Industry, Business and Work - Cuts - the only saving grace is ...
RogerN
Honiton Devon
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13 of 41  Thu 23rd Oct 2014 5:35pm  
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The Japanese were not prepared to take on any of the existing factories because of the Union restrictive practices/old Spanish customs. They went to greenfield sites eg Nissan/Sunderland, Toyota/Burnaston, Honda/Swindon. Accept the Japanese way - take it or leave it. When facing global competition one cannot have the industrial anarchy of the 50/60/70's and expect to survive. The Convenors/Stewards were rubbish as they put their members out of work when they should have kept them in work.
Industry, Business and Work - Cuts - the only saving grace is ...
Roger Turner
Torksey
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14 of 41  Thu 23rd Oct 2014 10:03pm  
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I fled from the City in 1975 and began a 20 year stint in and around Dundee Coventry was known as Boom Town at the time, it felt as though everyone (many) were only out for themselves and it did really feel like a rat race - but there was some form of `atmosphere` possibly because Coventry always was a pretty polyglot sort of community, different races and other incomers settling in together, even before WW2 there were Scots and Welsh incomers, and before that. Well it is obviously boom town no longer and perhaps the `easy` money has run down. Funnily enough it had some things in common with Dundee - mainly the physical heart had been taken out of it, historical buildings destroyed wholesale in the name of modern development - there was some sort of cash inducement element and political storm and an `atmosphere` was lost in recrimination, but by the time I left it seemed to have been somewhat restored - no idea why, but perhaps the political position changed - Mrs Thatcher took away council`s ability to spend on grandiose projects and finance them with borrowings on the open market.
Industry, Business and Work - Cuts - the only saving grace is ...
flapdoodle
Coventry
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15 of 41  Fri 24th Oct 2014 12:51am  
Member: Joined Nov 2010  Total posts:844

I read a paper in which government observers described Coventry (I think of the sixties) as being 'full of people earning a lot of money, but don't appear to know what to do with it.' Cities in crisis sometimes have an 'edge', and the 2-Tone music scene that came from Coventry is probably one of the best pop music scenes of the 20th century - intelligent pop music, diverse musical influences from Reggae, rock through to jazzy cinema soundtracks. I have a friend who lived through the 2-Tone scene as a teenager and thought it was exciting, even if the local industry was collapsing. The Specials did a song called 'rat race' and I've spoken to people who grew up in Coventry and hated the motor industry, and the fact that it was assumed that they would leave school and join one of the large manufacturing companies. (I know someone who told me that when he was made redundant from a car factory in the 1980s it was the best day of his life, as he could go off to University and do something he wanted to do.) Coventry was/is a diverse city - a few years back I read about a stall on the market that sold 'tripe'. It was closing down, but had been there to serve the people who'd moved down from Lancashire to work in industry. There was also a general feeling that because most of the workers in the city 'weren't from Coventry', they were quite relaxed about the destruction of the old city as it wasn't 'their' city. Maybe we're at a point now where we have generations who've grown up here and don't feel 'disconnected' from the place in a way their parents or grandparents did?
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