EternalOptimist

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  • in reply to: Unnecessary work. #73242

    Caergwrle MOT centre only do MOT’s, no repairs, and is a good alternative to the council centre. I used them last year and no problems. They do charge a bit more than some (£40), but you then have two weeks for a free re-test, and as mentioned, they have no incentive to fail you other than for genuine safety-related reasons.

    Also, bit of a myth that you cannot do any work on modern cars, especially basic servicing and maintenance. Brakes pads and discs haven’t really changed, an oil filter is an oil filter, ditto fuel filter, air filter, spark plugs/glow plugs, all simple to do. The internal combustion engine still works in the same way.

    It also amazes me how many people waste money by routinely taking their cars only to main stealers (sorry, dealers) for servicing. You might as well throw your money away, shocking what they can charge for nothing more than a change of oil.

    Recently had no choice but to take my mrs car to a main dealer (just off the A483, and not Ford or Peugeot) as I was working away. They diagnosed the problem (after having the car for two days) as a faulty auxiliary tensioner, and replaced it at £170. Two days later, the problem re-surfaced, she took it back, they again had it for 2 days, and said the replacement part itself was faulty, and installed another new part. A week later, the problem comes back, and it took me less than an hour, with the aid of google and youtube, to find out what the true problem was (not enough lubricant in the air conditioning system). Then got an independent garage to re-gas for a few quid.

    How come the highly trained dealership guys have the car for 4 days in total, and replace a part (twice!) that didn’t even need replacing, and it takes me an hour on the internet to find the real problem? Always use a good independent garage if you can.

    in reply to: Wrexham’ poor road infrastructure #73154

    I agree with the first post, in that Wrexham certainly has it’s fair share of bottlenecks, which get gridlocked at certain times of the day. Some areas are indeed a bit of a mess, especially the Dunhelm area.

    However, a bit of perspective. I work all over the UK, and I can tell you that this problem is not unique to Wrexham. Pretty much every town and city I have worked in (and that’s a lot over the years), has similar problems. I would say that Wigan and Crewe stand out as being much worse than Wrexham. Huddersfield is ten times worse. And don’t get me started on Warrington.

    I think the problem lies with the fact that towns in the Uk have been around a lot longer than cars, and where never meant to accommodate everyone owning a car. It’s OK for large cities, as they have the space, and funds, to improve things. But for towns, your always going to struggle, unless you flatten the town and re-design it around cars.

    That being said, I’m sure the area around Dunhelm could have been designed much better.

    With regards to Stansty road, I have been using it for 12 years, and never once had a problem, and never once thought that it is dangerous. A bit awkward sometimes, yes, but dangerous, no. The best solution would be to simply replace the bridge. Expensive, yes, but it’s a routine project. Dozens of bridge replacements are happening across the North West as part of the Northern Hub project, and I have worked on bridge replacement projects, and they are fairly routine. The best alternative would indeed be the pedestrian footbridge. That would involve steps to climb though! Or ramps ins tea dog steps for disabled access. It would be Network Rail who would have to carry out these projects though, as they own all the rail infrastructure including bridges.

    in reply to: Wrexham Prison job opportunities #72008

    @metalhead 18463 wrote:

    Yes a crash in house prices would indeed be disastrous for some, yet sadly it’s a very real possibility as highlighted in another thread. Not everyone is sitting on property that only owes them a fraction of today’s current market prices, some of us bought in the last 5 years or so and have to work damn hard to keep up the repayments on our family homes.

    I feel your pain here and I am in the same boat more or less. But, if we weren’t in the middle of the largest house price bubble in history, if house prices were at the long term average of 3 x average wage, we wouldn’t have had to overstretch just to provide a modest family home.

    The only people who defend high house prices are economically illiterate people, people who think that just because the BBC says high house prices are great, that must be true, and people who had the benefit of buying outside the bubble, before 2000. They naturally don’t want to lose any of their unearned paper profit, as they are vested interests, and that unfortunately includes most of the media, and politicians are all in BTL up to their noses.

    Again though, is it sustainable for house prices to continually rise (have they discovered perpetual motion too?), when wages haven’t budged since mid nineties? Not for one minute, and the only thing holding them up high are artificially government props, which cannot remain in place forever.

    in reply to: Wrexham Prison job opportunities #72007

    @maureen Gray 18490 wrote:

    Why you no mention the FISH. Have they not got a voice?

    Have you been watching too much ‘Finding Nemo’ Maureen?

    in reply to: Wrexham Prison job opportunities #72006

    @alunh 18462 wrote:

    High house prices in Wrexham would be a welcome sign that things were on the move. Low house prices exist in, say, Merthyr because there is little economic activity. Conversely, where there are pressures on house prices brought about by lots of jobs in an area, demand will increase. As Mrs Crewe has argued, it is not all rosy, but the fact of positive capital stock in a town is better than none, especially to beat back the scourge of negative equity.

    I agree Alun, that at local/regional level, there will always be variations in house prices. Certain areas, will have higher demand, and higher than average prices. I understand the laws of supply and demand very well. Areas of economic activity will always command a higher than average price.

    However, I am talking about the average house price. The cost of housing overall. If house prices crashed, prime areas would still be more expensive etc.

    Over the last century or so, house prices have always been sustainable at around 3 x average income. There have been bubbles, and then crashes, but the price always comes back to the long term sustainable trend. Since the bubble began in 2000, prices now equal 5-7 x average salary, even higher in some areas. Wages have remained still, yet people think house prices can magically continue to rise forever? If you know anything about economics, you will now that by definition, an asset bubble is unsustainable, and therefore must collapse at some point, although it’s impossible to predict the timing. The 2008 collapse was surprisingly well predicted, and all signs pointed to a collapse, it was just the timing could not be predicted.

    As said in an earlier post, this bubble did indeed pop in 2008, but was fixed with a sticking plaster. Now, absolutely nothing has changed since 2008. In fact, all of the economic signs at the moment are frighteningly similar to those leading up to 2008 i.e house prices reaching ridiculous highs, stock markets at historic highs. The only thing supporting house prices (because as mentioned, wages haven’t really moved since 2000), are the government’s props of QE, and low interest rates and help to buy.

    in reply to: Wrexham Prison job opportunities #72005

    It’s more than a very real possibility I’m afraid. And I say this as someone who also bought in the last 5 years. The mother of all property bubbles started in 2000, deliberately stoked by government policy of low interest rates in order to disguise the economic problems at the time.

    As with every single bubble in history, it popped in 2008, and would have gone the way of Ireland, the US, (>75% wiped off average prices), but the government managed to stick a plaster on it by implementing 300 year low emergency interest rates, and printing vast amounts of money (Hmm, what could go wrong with that?). However, at some point, either by choice or out of necessity, the government will have to raise rates back to normal levels, 3-5%, and will have to stop printing money. This could be next month, next year, or in 5 years, but once the props are removed, the housing market bubble will pop. It’s not question of if, but when. All the current measures (QE, negative interest rates, Help to Buy), are merely kicking the can down the road, delaying the inevitable. That is why the markets throw a wobbler every time the government mentions raising rates and stopping the money printing. The US has already started to taper their QE, which is one of the reasons why oil has dropped off a cliff, because QE on such a massive scale causes bubbles in all asset classes and commodities. Once the US raise their rates, my guess would be that not long afterwards the UK will be forced to do similar.

    The only other likely outcome I guess, is that we go the way of Japan, and suffer a two decade long collapse in house prices. In Japan, house prices no longer rise, people don’t really save, their economy has been stagnant for two decades.

    in reply to: Wrexham Prison job opportunities #72004

    On the whole, I agree with some of the posts above, in that the prison, both during construction and once operational will produce some economic benefits. Indeed, it’s on an industrial estate, on the site of a former factory, and there is nothing to lose from having the prison there.

    However (slightly off topic so I apologise in advance, but I’ll say it anyway), I take issue with describing ‘bolstered house prices’ as an economic benefit. I would love someone to list exactly what ‘economic benefits’ high/increased house prices bring. I’ll give you a clue. None.

    – Increases in food prices = Bad
    – Increase in water prices = Bad
    – Increase in fuel = Bad
    – Increase in just about anything = Bad
    – Increase in housing (a basic human need along with water and food) = Good?? Hmm

    High house prices may have given baby boomers massive amounts of paper profit, and unearned wealth, and an economic feel good factor (no co-incidence that politicians pump up house prices before elections), but the damage to the economy caused by high housing costs are untold. High house prices ultimately lead to demand for higher wages, which ends up inflating the costs of almost everything one way or another, and then due to the high cost of living, we wonder why we have lost 95% of our production jobs to cheaper overseas locations.

    in reply to: Question Time from Wrexham #71847

    Awful programme

    in reply to: A483 Pinchpoint Chester/Wrexham #71784

    This is off the HA website:

    “What are the benefits?
    As part of the pinch point programme, this scheme aims to:

    – help reduce daily congestion FAIL
    – reduce journey times for the travelling public FAIL
    – boost the economy FAIL
    – improve safety. Unsafe in the first place?

    What a load of crap. “Boost the economy”? laughable. Although, saying that, due to our crazy economic system, any kind of activity creates ‘growth’, and GDP goes up. If you employed 50% of the population to dig random holes, and then the other 50% to fill them back in, just like magic GDP would go up, and hey presto, ‘growth!’.

    “improve safety”. How, exactly? I’ve been using that route for over 10 years every day, and never felt ‘unsafe’.

    Anyway, rant over. Not much point, the post house roundabout has always been a nightmare at rush hour, and will remain so. So no change, other than the national debt increased by 5.2m. Might be worth emailing them though (ha_info@highways.gsi.gov.uk), to enquire about how they calculated the ‘benefits’ above.

    in reply to: A483 Pinchpoint Chester/Wrexham #71783

    No issue with road works causing temporary pain, IF the final outcome improves the problem. In this case, seems a lot of temporary pain for almost certainly no benefit afterwards. I’m no highways engineer, but I just cannot see how three sets of traffic lights in place of one set, will improve the ‘pinch point’. Surely the whole point of the works was to mitigate the pinch point? Seems bizarre.

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