The Chair of “Voice” had a letter published in the Gazette on 17 July 2015, which draws attention to an important omission in the name of Malvern For All. The text of the letter can be found here: http://www.malverngazette.co.uk/news/letters/13417601.Cable_car_group_has_financial_aims/
What has been missing from the name of a company, directed by 2 (previously 3) Malvern businessmen? The word “Limited”. What, you may ask, is the significance of Companies House’s insistence that Malvern For All change its name to Malvern For All Ltd? Does the brand name now sound as sweet? Indeed not. Instead of being a social or charitable enterprise, the Articles of Association of the limited company that is Malvern For All Ltd, reveal the strictly commercial nature of this endeavour. Furthermore, by choosing to create a limited company, the original 3 directors of MFA Ltd chose to limit their liability to the grand sum of £1.00 each. This is exactly the same sum of money that members have paid to join Voice of the Malvern Hills. Given the time of year, you might be able to grab a bargain at Lidl and purchase a punnet of strawberries for this princely sum. Maybe you could pick up a small loaf of bread from Colston’s? How far could you stretch a £1.00? It may come as a surprise to many, to learn that if MFA Ltd went bust at any time during the construction of a cable car to the Worcestershire Beacon, that its 3 directors would only forfeit £1.00. How many £1.00’s of taxpayers’ money would it take in order for Malvern Hills District Council to complete or remove a half-finished project? How many homes would those millions build? How many schools? How many day-care facilities? What number and size of grants to local charities who undertake valuable work in the community?
These are the questions we need to be asking ourselves when we consider the merits of permitting MFA Ltd to construct a cable car on the hills. Will MFA Ltd be able to deliver on its promises when spm many other organisations have failed to do so? The fate of the London cable car, Boris Johnson’s much feted vision for Transport for London, cost more than double the original estimate. Half of the cost of the cable car was funded out of the budget of Transport for London. Imagine how many lifts in how many underground and overground stations could have been installed with that money? How many more elderly and disabled passengers, how many more parents pushing pushchairs and tourists wielding suitcases could have been given access to how many stations across Transport for London’s network?
Even if someone may be in favour of a cable car in principle, they can still be highly critical when staring the hard facts and figures in the face. Voice of the Malvern Hills is opposed to any taxpayers’ money paying for a cable car on the Malvern Hills. We believe that far greater access to the hills could be provided to those with limited mobility if MFA Ltd banded together with the Malvern Hills Conservators and the District Council and provided a number of off road mobility scooters for members of the public to hire. Those familiar with Shopmobility schemes found in towns, other than Malvern, will understand the model we favour. Thus, in addition to a Shopmobility scheme in Malvern, which the town is currently lacking, Voice would like to see a “Hillability” scheme. I think that that is something that we would all be happy to spend at least £1.00 each towards.