wylie, whats with the south bashing? I've lived in chichester, guildford, birmingham and spent a lot of time in fife. But the place I found with the most bizarre attitude to southerners was leeds, or anywhere in Yorkshire really.
Always rambling on about them being a bunch of wet fish, afraid of hard graft, born with silver spoon, better health care, better schools, better transport, better everything.
I can safely say its not true, brum had one of the best public transport systems and left me with a lot more "spare" cash because living costs were so much cheaper. Again the schools had fewer pupils per class and hospitals stayed open.
Chichester and Guildford, different story, large council tax bills, hugely expensive public transport which really doesn't run that often when you venture even slightly out of the towns. Local hospitals, A & E departments, mental institutions, rehab clinics (mobility), no local police stations, no dentists, long waiting times, closing establishments all over the shop because of poor funding.
What is amazing is the size of the establishments that are closing. I know a few people who would not be alive today without the large A & E dept at the Royal Surrey, I know several people who have been treated with various forms of cancer. The numbers are staggering, the've treated something like 2m cancer patients in the last 10 years.
If the plans go ahead it means a catchment area increasing from 25miles to 60miles. How is that going to save lives?
The main problem is very simply its a blue area on the whole, labour have very few options to make inroads into the voting behaviour.
When taxes are collected they are punted into central gov coffers and councils recieve money back in the form of grants and credits. Essentially this means, if you live in a true blue area and labour are in power, dont expect your public services to improve any time soon. They know that they won't win votes, and votes are all that matters, so the redistribution of taxes is heavily weighted in labour areas favour.
As an example, the councils only get to keep 30% of what is collected, 70% gets redistributed across labour seats to secure the votes as people see real public investment and change. I know this because I designed the system that one authority uses to get a base estimate put together for 4 year projections.
The irony being, if local people swallowed their pride and voted labour on the next election, they would probably see a lot of increased investment in the initial years to retain the seat.
Like anywhere the south has good/bad points and people.
I think, therefore I compile