Meanwhile, In The Money For Old Rope Club Of Northern Ireland…

Julian O’Neill’s been doing some digging around the Maze Long Kesh Development Corporation, where not much seems to be happening, at some considerable expense, courtesy of the masterly inactivity of the Office of the Executive…

The acting chief executive of the corporation has taken a £20,000 salary drop and gone to a four-day week.

Kyle Alexander is currently paid £83,000 a year, according to figures released to the BBC.

Staffing levels have also dropped from 14 to eight in order to make other savings.

None of which of course is the fault of the staff. Or the Board. Fresh start you say?

  • chrisjones2

    Why not just mothball all the rest of the site that is not in use. That will cut the costs to near zero. The Board could meet say twice a year or the Department could take ownership of the site and run it itself

    It could also be sold off for housing

  • murdockp

    So lets us recap the ridiculous place that is in Northern Ireland literlaly led by morons:-
    Project 1; Casement Park
    A full design and delivery team is in place including a main contractor for a project which has no planning permission in place and will only ever receive planning permission if the Assembly leans heavily on civil servants as building a stadium in a housing estate is in anyones language, bonkers.
    Project 1; The Maze
    The perfect site for a football stadium, but at present no one can decide what is going there so a team is in place in case the a project gets fastracked / approval / funding.
    So in conclusion, Northern Irealand the only place on earth where the government appoints two design teams for two projects that will never see the light of day if the law and good design practice is applied correctly.

    Common sense says build a large stadium of the size originally wanted by the GAA on the Long Kesh site with extensive car parking, desing it that the balmoral show can use it too, and get some light industrial and offices on it as well so it has a life rest of the year round.

    I would go one further and drag in the IRFU into this and start having alternating Irieland Rubgby home games Dublin / Belfast as well and this could pull in another £50m to allow a world class stadium with 60,000 capactiy to be built, it will also drage the rungby world cup into Ireland as well. A gaelic pitch is big enough to allow a temporarty running track as well, so athelitics grand prix events are also a possiblity.

    That way it gets planning permission immediarly and the casement site can be used to build much needs housing on and solve at a stroke the excessive traffic congestion expected on match day and get construction jobs on site ASAP.

  • Jollyraj

    Level it and plant trees all over the site. And let’s return to serious matters.

  • AntrimGael

    The reduction in the number of local councils was meant to make substantial savings. The Irish News reported last week that the overall cost and budget for the new ‘supercouncils’ has actually risen by some 20 million quid. You couldn’t make it up. The biggest problem in this place has been a self serving, largely unchecked middle and senior public sector management who look after their own interests. They are over promoted, out of their depth, are given millions in public money and spend it like Billy Bunter in a sweetshop. The wastage in the public sector has NEVER been at the coal face of nursing, lower administrative and supervisor grades etc; it is gross over-management and total mismanagement. The government auditor hasn’t signed off the accounts of the Social Security Agency for some 15 years because of concerns at how it’s been managed.

  • SDLP supporter

    I don’t think you should implicate the IRFU in this, PM. I’ve only been to Ravenhill once in my life but, as far as I can see, the IRFU entered into a commitment, got the money, and built a rather nice stadium for their sport. They did everything right and they’re not looking for anything more. I don’t know why they should be disrupted now.

  • murdockp

    I agree, 100%, they know what they are doing. I cannot see how it is fanancially viable to build a GAA stadium used to capacity four times a year, there has to be another dimension. Internarnational rugby which ravenhill cannot accomodate and athletics which are not popular in NI are the only other uses.
    Personally I think Casement should be scrapped, but it is is going to happen lets do it right.

  • On the fence!

    Well as a regular attendee both before and after revamp, I have to say you’ve summed it up just about perfectly.

  • Brian O’Neill

    Not to mention the legal aid bill went up last year dispute the supposed show down with Barristers and solicitors over fees. http://www.irishnews.com/news/2016/06/21/news/-106m-spent-on-legal-aid-in-northern-ireland-572126/
    Looks like the poor will get shafted the most with Brexit. What a surprise…

  • On the fence!

    Absolutely, I like trees, trees are good!

    Besides, Long Kesh Forest has a ring about it.

  • babyface finlayson

    Put a maze in it!

  • Thomas Barber

    No chance of it being sold off for housing Chris as the land is contaminated, thats another story however for the future when all those workers up there start dying off from various cancers like lots of prisoners who served their time there. We could just get rid of the board until such times as unionism gets its head out of the sand and stops pandering to the Orange order as theres also no chance the last remaining H Block will be demolished as its a listed building with little prospect of it being de-listed with the agreement of nationalists. They could always relocate the last remaining block to West Belfast if there was a site available.

  • Tochais Siorai

    You chaps do like a good plantation……….

  • On the fence!

    Best not mention it, might stop the planting!

  • babyface finlayson

    Gerry Kelly could be on hand to show people the way out!

  • On the fence!

    Ouch!

  • chrisjones2

    There is always a fire!!! Many listed buildings in NI that are blocking a development eventually seem to catch fire. Seems to be an immutable law of nature

  • chrisjones2

    What contaminated the land then?

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    That’s quite enough of that common-sense carry-on thank you very much, away with you.

  • Thomas Barber

    Im sure that happens to many listed buildings Chris but obviously you’ve never been in one of the H Blocks at the Maze or you’d know theres no chance of that happening, there is virtually nothing flammable in any of the blocks.

  • Jollyraj

    Hahaha good shout 🙂

  • Thomas Barber

    Thats a question you need to ask the British government Chris as it was they who paid loads of money to bury the contaminated soil deep below the surface long before Eikon moved in. A well known local engineering firm just up the road from the Mazze fabricated the machinery that was used to turn over the soil but im sure plenty of ex internees from both sides of the political divide could answer that for you.

    Heres a wee bit of info on it.

    http://www.coleman-remediation.co.uk/files/cms/36_Maze.pdf

  • Thomas Barber

    Murdockp they are upgrading a stadium thats been there for decades just like they are doing at Windsor which is also in a housing estate. The reality is if the full Maze project had of gone ahead there would be no upgrade of either Casement, Windsor park or Ravenhill so I agree with you about doing things right a good start would be by refusing to be blackmailed by people who refuse to acknowledge any other narrative about the past other than their own.

  • Brian O’Neill

    How interesting. Thanks for the link.

  • Thomas Barber

    And then theres the CS gas and other chemical substances the British government used on the internees.

    So do you still agree it should be sold off for housing Brian ?

  • On the fence!

    So all joking aside, it really SHOULD be planted with trees then!

  • Sherdy

    As there is no development allowed at this site what do the staff members of the Long Kesh Development Site do all day every day?

  • Jollyraj

    No names needed. Just ‘the forest’ will do nicely.

  • Brian O’Neill

    Minecraft?

  • Chris

    Today we have the financial controls over the Renewable Heat Initiative described as catastrophic by the audit office. Is this incompetence on the part of civil servants or civil servants running rings around glorified parish councillors?

  • Tochais Siorai

    I’m here all week.

  • On the fence!

    Blind leading the blind, simple as that!

  • doopa

    Is that 20million in line with inflation or a real increase?

  • Granni Trixie

    Why do you assume that it is the OO which has stymied placing a so called Peace Centre on the H blocks site? It is a perfectly valid POV to regard this as an own goal given it would firmly placing the HS at the centre of the narrative of the troubles.

  • Thomas Barber

    Was it not the Orange order who protested outside the gates of the Maze site that led to Peter Robinsons about turn on the project. Is it not true that Unionism has no-one other than themselves to blame for any financial losses regarding the lack of devolopment at the Maze.

  • Granni Trixie

    I did not know about the OO protest. Am I misremembering but did PR not end the project via a letter from his holiday abode?

    Aside from how it ended what really surprised me was that the DUP ever agreed to the SF project in first place – as I said above I consider it to have been an own goal. I seem to remember that some accused th DUP of having agreed originally in a side deal in the course of some larger deal (St Andrews agreement,was it? )

  • Thomas Barber

    Yes he did end the project with a letter after the protests by the orange order. Yes it was an another agreed deal that unionism once again reneged on. If your saying it was an own goal by nationalism expecting unionism to act in good faith by honouring the comittments they made then I agree with you totally Granni.

  • Granni Trixie

    Surely it was Republicans who were promoting the HBlocks project? But evrn though I do not support it myself I agree that the DUP did not act in good faith.

  • whatif1984true

    Concerts and open air events. The residents have a lot to look forward to. The case will be put forward that it is financially a necessity to have these events to support the cost of the project in the longterm.