12 Comments
Nov 22, 2023Liked by Joshi Herrmann, The Dispatch

Appreciate you looking into these weird ads. Something seems off. This is what proper local journalism looks like. Good luck getting to 4k subscribers - and beyond!

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Nov 22, 2023Liked by The Dispatch

Great digging there, a really interesting read - thanks for the heads up about the online... achem... campaign. Plus the quote from Cllr Mackey is going to make me smile all morning - a good tonic after too much 'doomscrolling'.

Loving the Brum in Briefs too. Cracking work Kate/The Dispatch, keep it coming. Becoming a regular part of my mornings.

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Nov 22, 2023Liked by The Dispatch

FWIW I've added a community note on Twitter:

https://twitter.com/i/communitynotes/t/1724711283251957974

It'll need a few more votes before it is visible to everyone.

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Go to companies house, and you will find the registered business address for this company is in Nottingham! Look up Amey who previously ran the roads contract for Birmingham and hey Bingo they are exactly the same address, what is going on?

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While BCC hasn't covered itself in glory, the succesive governments of the last 13 years have gleefully pulled the rug out from under local authorities, including Birmingham. Their friends on the Council are creating a smokescreen for central government mendacity.

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Most ads on social media I ignore as usually there is a scam or “to good to be true” feeling about them and the same with time limited things asking to click to like with data harvesting. Therefore I ignore that ad when it came up in my Facebook feed. Maybe others have thought the same and ignored.

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Hi, you don't have the details of the contracts quite right. BCC's highway contract is still with the same company - Birmingham Highways Ltd (previously called Amey Birmingham Highways Ltd). The ownership of that company was largely Amey, however they bought themselves out of that company and it's now own by just the financiers. And actually the company that owns BHL is in administration. I suspect you are correct however that it's the financiers running these adverts - without government approval they will not recoup their investment and could be out of pocket £millions. This is actually a good example of PFI contracts though, where the financiers aims and those of the public are aligned!

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Yes I've seen the ads, no I've not signed. I have to know the important stuff before signing anything.

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It was more this bit:

"A contract between Birmingham City Council and Amey was brought to an end in 2019".

The contract didn't end. And the way written it sounded like BHL was set up after Amey left.

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I was amused to see the @ProtectourRoads account used a photo of the Birmingham *canals* in their tweets. Since they said they look after "2500km of roads, 5000km of footpaths", I asked if the contract included canal towpaths as well. The Canal & River Trust is keen for local authorities & road to contribute to the cost of towpaths, since they too are struggling for cash, and the towpaths are footways too, effectively commuting routes. CRT says no, Birmingham Highways don't contribute to towpaths at all (and CRT wished they did). I'm news editor of the main canals magazine, so I follow this subject.

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