Recompense from Goodway?

Originally posted at insidecardiff.com

So, District Auditor Jane Jones’ full report on the shambolic actions of the previous administration in Cardiff County Council was finally released yesterday.

As expected, ex-Council leader Russell Goodway was condemned, as was Chief Executive, Byron Davies. Also, as expected, neither accept any blame whatsoever, and who would have expected them to? After all, this is the twosome that gave themselves a pay rises of 77% over three years. Surely we could not ever expect any honesty and integrity from them.

Neither will resign their current posts, Goodway as chief executive at the Cardiff Chamber of Commerce, Davies still chief executive of Cardiff Council.

So, with the publication of the report into the whole debacle which, inclusive of the costs that Mr Goodway and his leadership ran up contending the report in 2004, came to a figure of £4m, is, in Goodway’s own words, “closure of a very stressful period of my life”

Well, Mr Goodway, I’m glad that you think the matter is over.

If only we could solve all of our problems with a public enquiry which points out the faults, read it, throw it in the bin and carry on with our lives.

What consequences is Mr Goodway going to face, if any?

Surely recompense needs to be paid?

Over three years, Cardiff Councillors netted an extra £2.4m between them, and so far none of it has been repaid.

In fact, Councillors that have been asked about repayment have firmly refuted it.
Surely a person in a public position, receiving such enormous allowances, knowing that it has come from the public purse, must have questioned the legitimacy of said payments?

Is it naive to think that a person in such authority would realise that something was wrong and mention it at a council meeting, or dare I say even hand it back?

I propose this, Cardiff Councils plan to setup a “recovery committee” be continued, with the following action as first route against the offending councillors;

i) Work out a repayment plan through garnishing of future allowances and salary

ii) If the above cannot be agreed with the individual, attempt to explore other avenues or repayment

  • If none of the above can be agreed, the councillor should be asked for their resignation

Call me unsympathetic, but Cardiff Councillors have been having an easy ride for too long.

In central government, if Tony Blair had covertly increased his pay by 44-74%, would he not be accused of extortion, leading to a damning scandal?

My personal appeal to Russell Goodway is this;
Do the dignified thing and withdraw from public life.
As the once “highest paid councillor in the UK”, I’m sure he has enough of a nest egg other financial interests to continue comfortably in a more menial job.

If you really have the city’s best interests at heart, let Cardiff recover from your period in office and rise above your mistakes. Do not drag the relatively good name that has been made of our city through the mud any longer.

More new technology on its way

A year after pictures of a prototype phone that was being developed by Nokia were leaked to tech websites, the mobile phone that has promised to revolutionise what we carry in our pockets is about to be released.

It’s debut is in Europe, today, 24/04/06.
Which handset am I talking about? Surely I don’t need to tell you?

The Nokia N91Nokia n91

I have mine pre-ordered and according to the company I have ordered it from, it should be shipped on release day, today, to arrive on Tuesday.

The N91 was mentioned in a previous post on this site, but at the time the release date had not been confirmed.

Technical Specifications:


Operating frequency

EGSM/GPRS 900/1800/1900MHz + WCDMA, EDGE
Data transfer: WCDMA up to speed 384 kbps, EGPRS/GPRS (class B/multislot 10) up to 236.8 kbps

Quad band, so it can be used anywhere in the world..

Dimensions
Weight: 164 g
Length: 113.1 mm
Width (max): 55.2 mm
Thickness (max): 22 mm

OK, so it’s not so small. The handset is just a bit under the size of an iPod (classic), but, it’s functionality should make up for that

Display and User Interface
Color display (176 x 208, 262k color)
S60 software on Symbian OS

Symbian, great. We like Symbian. Standard Nokia S60 colour screen.

Audio formats (decoding)
MP3, AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, Real, WAV, WMA, M4A, AMR-WB, True Tones, AMR-NB

Excellent, not limited to any one music format.

Hi-Fi Quality Sound
Use the Nokia Music Headset HS-28 with remote control or use your own high quality headphone and connect directly to the 3.5mm audio jack on the Nokia N91
Connect the Nokia N91 to external speakers

Standard 3.5mm jack! Wow! First one I will have ever had on a mobile phone. No more using crappy bundled Nokia earphones, I can plug my nice shiny new Apple in-ear set in there.

Memory
Up to 4GB of internal dynamic memory for music content, multimedia messages, ringing tones, images, video clips, and applications

This is the deal decider. 4gb microdrive. The same size as my iPod mini, on which the battery is almost totally dead as a doornail. Will this see me ditch the iPod and walk with just a phone? I think it will…

Imaging and Video formats
Video playback: 3GPP H.263, MPEG4, RealVideo
Image viewers: JPEG, EXIF, GIF, BMP, PNG
Full-screen video playback on the phone to view downloaded, streamed or recorded video clips in larger size

Nice to see MPEG4 included as a codec, this was not previously available. All other codecs are standard.

Camera
2 Megapixel
Still Image resolutions: default 1600×1200, 640×480
Still Images file format: JPEG, YUV, RGB
Capture formats: H.263, MPEG-4 (video), AMR-NB, AAC (audio)
Advanced camera modes: still, burst, video and options for night, brightness adjustment, image quality, and self-timer.
Digital zoom 20x stepless

2 megapixel works for me. Apparently this camera is not so good indoors, but, the handset is being marketed as a music phone, rather than a camera phone. It lacks autofocus which is dissapointing, but, I none the less..

Connectivity
3G
Near broadband speeds for faster and more responsive downloads.
WLAN 802.11b/g
USB 2.0 full speed interface with mass storage profile (USB mini)
Connectivity with USB or Bluetooth wireless technology
Local synchronization of contacts, calendar and music files to a compatible PC using compatible connection
Synch contacts and calendar wirelessly over Bluetooth
Integrated Bluetooth wireless technology v.1.2

3G and WLAN. Nice. But, will it eat the battery? I expect so. WLAN is a nice feature, finally, a phone that isn’t a PDA but has alternatively connectivety sources off-network, and, it runs in G mode, which is a nice feature.

Power Management
Standby time: GSM up to 190 hours
WCDMA up to 170 hours
Talk time: GSM up to 3 – 4 hours
WCDMA up to 2.5 – 3 hours
Music Playback: up to 10 hours

10 hours of playback certainly will rival my 4gb 1st gen iPod mini which, after excessive use, barely gets 2 hours now. Be sure to do the full 16hour charge when you first get it though else this will severly degrade, I should expect, especially with WLAN.

Give it up Madge, you old money grabber

Seriously though, Madonna.

If you pay £80-160 or more (ie. from a tout) to see Madonna, then you are a total fruit loop.
You do realise this woman is a fake?
A product of the media?

She doesn’t even like you. You’re scum to her.
If you walk up to her the street you’re likely to be batted away like a fly by her hired goons.

Why on earth would you want to pay that much to see someone in concert who doesn’t even write her own songs, and will probably mime the ones she did have a small hand in writing?

Can someone explain to me, please, why ‘Pop’ music is so….popular?
It makes no sense to me. Honestly.
Or did I miss a meeting?

This years holiday destination

I’ve always wanted to visit a country of the former USSR.
Czech Republic was always my first choice, but, now that I have found something that has swung me towards the Ukraine. Now all I have to do is get Laura on-side and we can book.

The deciding factor is the ‘Chernobyl tour’ that is on offer.
For £120, you can spend a day in Chernobyl, Pripyat & the Red forest with a tour guide.

Pripyat, which is the town that was built by the soviets to house the workers at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant is totally deserted and has the most harrowing story behind it and my main purpose for going would be to get some amazing and emotive shots from the deserted streets, houses and schools.

A BBC News online journalist has taken the tour and posted their shots, here.
I could only hope to get some shots as good as these and be able to say, I’ve been to Chernobyl.

Itinerary for the day
We usually start at 9 a.m.

* Drive to Chernobyl with passing “Dytyatky” (on the border of the 30-km “Zone of Estrangement”).
* Arrival to Chernobyl. Meeting with the leadership of “Chernobylinterinform” Agency.
* On the way to Power Plant we pass 10-km border and check point
* Sightseeing of reactor # 4(from 100 m. distance).
* Visit to Pripyat. Sightseeing of “Dead town”.
* Stop near the “Red forest”.
* Return to Chernobyl. Lunch.
* Visit to the Scientific Centre (physical, radiochemical laboratories and others).
* Calling in “Opachychi” village, meeting with “resettlers”, people who have moved back to their villages after evacuation(optional).
* Passage to “Rossokha” village, cemetery of military machineries.
* Passage through Control Point “Dytyatky”. Measuring of radiation.
* Return to Kiev. (Back in Keiv around 6 p.m.)

The wrong boy

My new read arrived from Amazon this morning.

The wrong boy – by Willy Russell

I have enjoyed books by Willy in the past, in fact, you will have heard of some of them, Educating Rita & Blood brothers are probably the most famous.
So, when I stumbled upon this little gem, I knew it was a must-read.

The wrong boy tells the story of Raymond Marks, a normal boy from a normal family, from a normal northern town.
The whole story is from first person perspective, written entirely in letters to Morrissey.
A truly inspired method, if I may say so myself.

Here’s a short excerpt from the start;

16 June 1991
Birch Services,
M62 Motorway

Dear Morrissey,

I’m feeling dead depressed and down. Like a streetlamp without a bulb or a goose at the onset of a Christmas time. Anyroad, I thought I’d pen a few lines to someone who’d understand. I know you probably won’t answer this; I don’t know if it’ll even get to you. And, anywho, even if you wrong back which I know is highly dubious it wouldn’t get to me because I’ll have gone. The above address is just a service station I’m stopped at. I’ll probably not even post it. I’m writing this in the book I use for writing my lyrics and putting my ideas down. It’s sort of a journal, I suppose; although it makes it sound more important than it really is.

Click here to buy it at Amazon.co.uk
Amazon.com don’t seem to sell it. They do however sell a book by the same name by Carol Stanley, though, it isn’t the same one.