London Midland: staffing reductions (via Marco Longhi)

Conservative Councillor for Pelsall Marco Longhi has recently made the welcome decision to re-enter the online community, joining in with twitter and recommencing blogging. I salute Marco for this, and although we have our differences, I respect any Councillor that like him, Mike Flower and Ian Shires are prepared to do engage with the public in this manner. It’s a pity more of Walsall’s Councillors – particularly those of the Labour Group who seem to be in hiding – can’t follow the example.

There’s no better demonstration of the usefulness of this means of communication than events of this afternoon, when Councillor Longhi tweeted about the performance and attitude of local train operating company London Midland, who seem utterly incapable lately of providing the service they’re contracted to deliver. Of prime concern is their proposal to close manned ticket facilities and remove customer facing staff from Walsall Station amongst others. Following the interest of myself and others, Marco has blogged on the subject, posting up relevant documents for our perusal.

If you care about the local train service, please read Marco’s post. We are being poorly served by a company that apparently feels no compulsion to serve the public or to provide the service we pay for. Pressure needs to be exerted to ensure that London Midland sort out their industrial relations and realise that they can’t just duck out of the commitment we expect from a public service organisation.

As this is rightly attracting interest I thought I’d try to make it available to as many people as possible – as quickly as possible. I believe that London Midland have a contract with the people of the West Midlands (through the franchise agreed with the former Sec of State) and that they should keep to it. LM were aware of the service levels and commercial terms and staffing levels when they signed the franchise. To try and change this now is t … Read More

via Marco Longhi

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2 Responses to London Midland: staffing reductions (via Marco Longhi)

  1. martin says:

    Ummmm, yes, all well and good, but I don’t see him applying this sort of pressure to SERCO, who are equally incapable of ‘… providing the service they’re contracted to deliver’

    A well-run train service linking us to the outside world is a ‘nice-to-have’; decent schools are a ‘must have’ and Marco and his chums should get the basics and essentials right first.

    Anyway, I suspect he’s only reappeared on the blogscape because there’s an election looming and he wants to look like he’s doing something.

    • Marco Longhi says:

      Actually, Martin, I never have, and never will, rely on social media to contest an election; those who know me locally (or regionally) know me for the work I do. You obviously do not, and it may be that you are represented by a better Cllr than me.

      You are ill informed about my views on Serco. I can however tell you that I have done as much as I can to hold them to account while I do not sit on any education related committee; neither am I the cabinet member for education who does have executive powers in this regard.

      At the last but on Council meeting I spoke about this very issue commenting on Walsall’s poor education attainment performance. You obviously were not there.

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