What’s in 138 pages of the contract between Merseytravel and Stadler Bussnang AG for new trains that caused the strike?

What’s in 138 pages of the contract between Merseytravel and Stadler Bussnang AG for new trains that caused the strike?

136 Contract PRG CON16 MSA Page 123

What’s in 138 pages of the contract between Merseytravel and Stadler Bussnang AG for new trains that caused the strike?

                                               

1 Letter from Merseytravel to John Brace 18th August 2017
1 Letter from Merseytravel to John Brace 18th August 2017

As detailed on this blog in the stories Why are there 3 further days of strike action on the Merseyrail network this month? and What did Cllr Gordon Friel answer when asked about guards and the Merseyrail strike? today is one of three days of strike action this week on the Merseyrail network.

The strike action stems from a contract for new rolling stock agreed by politicians in December 2016 and signed in February 2017.

I requested a copy of this contract once the 16-17 financial year had ended during the 30 working day inspection period. Unfortunately Merseytravel both supplied it late outside the 30 working day inspection period and insisted that various parts of it should be withheld on grounds of commercial confidentiality.

I had requested it be supplied electronically as they had done the year before with various contracts and invoices including the contract with Merseyrail. This request was denied and it was supplied in paper form.

Roughly the first half of what I was sent is below (as I’ve just got around to having the time to scan it in). Some is blacked out and the entire specification is withheld on grounds of commercial confidentiality (something I have disputed with Merseytravel to no avail).

Hopefully it’ll help with the ongoing public debate about the new trains.

Merseytravel and the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority have a legal duty to make environmental information (such as this contract) available to the public by electronic means.

2 Cover Page Merseytravel Rolling Stock Programme ID CON16 MSA Contract PART A
2 Cover Page Merseytravel Rolling Stock Programme ID CON16 MSA Contract PART A
3 Manufacture and Supply Agreement electric rolling stock 16th February 2017 Stadler Bussnang AG Merseytravel
3 Manufacture and Supply Agreement electric rolling stock 16th February 2017 Stadler Bussnang AG Merseytravel
4 Preliminary PRG CON16 MSA Page 1
4 Preliminary PRG CON16 MSA Page 1
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Author: John Brace

New media journalist from Birkenhead, England who writes about Wirral Council. Published and promoted by John Brace, 134 Boundary Road, Bidston, CH43 7PH. Printed by UK Webhosting Ltd t/a Tsohost, 113-114 Buckingham Avenue, Slough, Berkshire, England, SL1 4PF.

8 thoughts on “What’s in 138 pages of the contract between Merseytravel and Stadler Bussnang AG for new trains that caused the strike?”

  1. So they’ve broken the law by not supplying it electronically. Can you take steps?

    I suppose you could inform the Regional Mayor Steve Rotheram, but you probably won’t get very far as the working class ex-brickie has somehow been tempted across to sympathising with and nuzzling up close to the MiseryRail Management and the Miserytravel Councillor hairy sphincter.

    Personally, I can’t see the attraction myself. Perhaps there are unseen benefits involved that passed across under the desk at meetings, that make such sordid conduct easier to bear?

    Who knows?

    1. If you’re interested Paul, regulation 6 on the form and format of information can be read here.

      As Merseytravel’s Monitoring Officer has already done the equivalent of an EIR reconsideration (which I received in October 2017), my only recourse next would be:-

      a) appeal to ICO for a decision notice (free) or
      b) as it’s a document in a court case apply to the court for a copy (at I think a cost of 50p a page + application fee).

      I mean strictly speaking under EU law (b) should be “free or inexpensive” but as the judiciary appears to make decisions that domestic legislation overrides EU law and decisions of the European Court of Justice (rather than the other way round) I don’t hold out much hope!

      However her (the Monitoring Officer’s) reply was that I shouldn’t confuse two different information access regimes.

  2. Really appreciate your help with that John.

    So the public are basically stuffed again, despite the hollow promises that we have recourse to the law. And they have indeed got us all ends up.

    We’re dealing with an aggressive, scabby, putrid, noisome beast with running sores, hidden beneath a shiny, luxuriant coat. Twas ever thus.

    Why am I not surprised?

  3. Politicians control the flow of information to the public for political ends.
    The media controls the flow of information to the public for commercial ends.

    In the end the public interest is sometimes forgotten by people acting by what is convenient rather than acting with a conscience for the wider consequences on society.

    This 1955 article on the establishment sums it up but these day the establishment is quite different to that which it was in 1955. Power however isn’t exercised during filmed public meetings but in the 1,001 conversations between people who know each other well.

    These days there are insufficient checks and balances on the establishment. Hence why as demonstrated by this story, the wishes of the trade unions can be overridden in an exercise of power.

    The press should maintain some oversight of the system, but unfortunately to often are told to report on disasters when they happen but not the 101 rather more mundane events that lead to them.

  4. Yes, and as far as press editors and board members go, they’d better stay absolutely squeaky clean in their private lives. Because if the wrong information gets into the wrong hands, they can be held to ransom and blackmailed by councillors who may also be members on boards such as Merseytravel.

    Then the true price of acting beyond any sense of conscience or the public interest is exacted from whoever the unlucky newspaper person is. The sudden shift of behaviour in both Liverpool Echo and Wirral Globe, behaving like appreciative little puppy dogs indicates that “all is not well”.

    I’m not suggesting there is blackmail going on but there needs to be some explanation for the sudden divergence – off in a completely different direction – of editorial behaviour and content.

    It’s possibly commercial pressure brought by the likes of Wirral View, which if they don’t behave themselves, is now ready to step up and carry all ££lucrative mandatory material – tedious formal notices, etc. – PREVIOUSLY carried by the Globe and the Echo.

    The cutting adrift of these two (alleged) newspapers would be an extremely expensive business and could put them under.

    But who suffers the most? YOU AND I.

    1. Thanks for your comment Paul.

      You may be interested in this press release issued by the RMT union today that includes a letter from Merseyrail to the guards.

      However the press release also is critical of the Metro Mayor.

      It states in a quote from RMT Regional Organiser John Tilley, “The Metro Mayor and the City Region Authority have tried to present themselves as innocent bystanders and honest brokers, but it is their own untenable decision to support the removal of guards that needs to be reversed.”

  5. Thanks John. Saw that yesterday on Facebook.

    As stated above, Rotheram’s been kissing management sphincter and deserves these BRICKbats. No pun intended to the former hod carrier and timeserved tradesperson who quickly forgot his roots (good, valuable working class origins that were conveniently broadcast to all and sundry during his Metro Mayor election campaign) then went and clambered into bed with proven liars who are married to alleged racists like Elaine Foulkes and / or willing enablers of selfish, Tory government / ongoing neo-Liberal oppression and strife originating in the EU capitalist powerhouse.

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