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A night of mixed messages

"A mixed night for Labour" was the commentary as media pundits digested last week’s parliamentary by-election results. To be blunt however, it's something of an understatement. Jeremy Corbyn saw his party’s vote drop in Stoke and pretty much evaporate in Copeland. That doesn’t usually happen to oppositions – even to those lagging by 18 percentage points in the polls – which is why experts have been researching comparable instances. Senior Labour figures argue local factors lay behind a party of government winning a by-election for the first time since 1982. But special circumstances will always apply at such times and that’s what makes them notoriously unreliable weathervanes. What’s undenia

Is the car market about to crash?

Having spent a few decades working in the industry, my eye is naturally drawn to media stories about the automotive business. However, alongside the headline news that General Motors is considering selling off its Vauxhall brand to France’s PSA Group was another item that caught my attention. In essence, it appears that a growing number of market analysts are pondering whether cheap car loans could be the driver behind the next financial crash. I’d normally put the prediction down to scaremongering were it not for the fact that a few reputable outfits are drawing parallels with events that preceded the 2008 meltdown. British households borrowed a record amounts for car purchases, according t

How green is my Kingsway?

I find myself quite taken with the greening proposals for Kingsway. Maybe that’s because what’s on offer looks a lot like - dare I say it - what most of us would call a boulevard. Naming it “Central Park” is probably a spin job too far but what’s in a name anyway. Call it what you like; it’s the substance that matters. Kingsway has traditionally been an east-west connection for city centre through-traffic and a link to handy off-street parking. All that changed when the Metro scheme arrived and navigating your way around town became a nightmare. It's time to move on from the yah-boo stuff about the Bendy Bus and all that followed. Whatever the genuine intention lay behind the plans, they nev

Making the right impression

I’ve heard it said from time to time that Swansea is a city of artist’s impressions. I understand where that expression comes from but it’s wrong to say that plans never leave the drawing board. I recently drove into the city with an associate from Gloucester who had not visited Swansea for around 10 years or more. As we travelled in along Fabian Way he voiced approval for the new university campus, the SA1 development and even the boulevard. For me, the journey was a timely reminder of our piecemeal approach to development. We rarely appreciate ourselves how things have changed over time and that provokes a sense of frustration. As far as the city centre is concerned, we’ve seen successive

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