F**k off Stormont!

25 10 2008

How f*****g dreadful is our local Executive?

Well, check out this tee up question and endless, desperate answer. Who is buying any of this crap? Seriously, who?

Mr Newton asked the Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister for its assessment of the role of the Strategic Investment Board in delivering major infrastructure projects. (AQO 568/09)

The First Minister and deputy First Minister: The Executive’s Investment Strategy approved by the Assembly in January, is the largest ever commitment to infrastructure development in Northern Ireland. By 2018 we plan to invest approaching £20bn to tackle the legacy of decades of under-investment we inherited.

This determined action will put in place the assets required to support high quality public service, regenerate communities, and enhance the economic competitiveness essential to sustain jobs and prosperity.

Just over 5 years ago infrastructure investment was less than £1bn per annum. Last year it amounted to almost £1.4bn and it is planned to reach £2bn per annum by the end of this Budget period. This is the measure of recent success and our ambition to go further.

But delivering the Investment Strategy involves more that simply spending the money. Our key commitments must be delivered on time, to a high quality standard, and at value for money. It also means investing in projects that offer a good return.

Expectations are high but we must not underestimate the challenges. We are now facing global financial and economic difficulties. Our local construction industry in particular is looking to our investment programme to support local jobs through difficult times ahead – and provide opportunities for more apprenticeships and training. We are determined to ensure that the Investment Strategy helps meet these calls.

SIB performs a vital role in the development, monitoring and communication of our Investment Strategy and in moving forward our key infrastructure investment programmes. It is helping departments to deliver major projects across the full spectrum of services including health care, the environment, schools and colleges, roads, water, waste and public administration.

SIB provides expert commercial, legal and project delivery advice to departments – drawing on advisers’ extensive experience of major infrastructure procurements. This advice is helping us to ensure that the best deal is obtained for the public purse and that risks are identified and appropriately managed.

We recently met with SIB’s Chairman and Chief Executive to discuss the progress being made in implementing the Investment Strategy and to consider what additional steps could be taken to bring forward capital projects. We will continue to meet with SIB regularly and we will direct it to work with departments to address concerns being expressed about the pace of delivery.
At present, SIB is actively supporting 26 departmental programmes and projects with an estimated capital value in excess of £3bn. These include:

  • advising on the procurement and delivery of the new acute hospital in the South West;
  • helping to implement the BELB Strategic Partnership to redevelop our school buildings in Belfast, and with the wider Schools Modernisation programme.
  • advising on the best procurement strategy to deliver the A5 and A8 major roads schemes on time and to budget;
  • progressing the Workplace 2010 initiative, as part of the wider NICS reform;
  • developing proposals for a first class tourism product in the Titanic Quarter;
  • evaluating how best to take forward the recommendations from the Capital Realisations Taskforce to improve asset management across the public sector.

SIB also performs a valuable role in liaising with private sector, in particular with the construction industry and CBI, and we expect this to continue.

We believe that SIB’s contribution to helping the Executive is essential in delivering infrastructure investment to improve public services, and supporting the local economy.

If you made it as far as this, you will surely agree that politics has become irrelevant. No other answer come across has made Staff at Bobballs more uinhappy at the lacklustre display of our politicians.

In the present climate, this answer has no legitimacy. F**k off Stormont!

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