Get Transport Moving, Darling

In the wake of Stephen Byers long overdue resignation, Alistair Darling has been appointed the new Transport Minister.

Byers’ successor needs to get transport policy moving in the right direction, and moving quickly. Road and rail users want to see a sensible transport strategy that delivers long-term improvements not piecemeal measures and knee-jerk reactions.

The new Transport Secretary must get Britain moving again. To help Mr Darling, the Conservatives have published the top five priorities for transport policy:

To adopt a serious transport strategy: In recent weeks the Transport Select Committee, the Commission for Integrated Transport, and the Social Exclusion Unit have all attacked Labour’s Ten-Year Transport Plan. The Transport Select Committee called it ‘incomprehensible’. This must be addressed.

To address the problems on the rail network: Stephen Byers’ decision to place Railtrack into administration had a disastrous effect on the rail network. Delays and cancellations are up, while the cost to the taxpayer of keeping the company in administration is around £1 million a day (The Times, 20 December 2001).

To reverse the worsening congestion levels in our towns and cities: Five years ago, Labour’s first Transport Secretary, John Prescott, said: ‘I will have failed if in five years time there are not far fewer journeys by car’ (The Guardian, 6 May 1997). Since then, congestion has increased on all roads, despite the fact that running a car is now the most expensive item in a households’ budget.

To work constructively to deliver a secure future for the London Underground: Labour have spent considerably less on the Tube than the Conservatives, and performance has got worse. Now, they need to rethink their botched public-private partnership proposals, and work with others to secure a good future for the Tube.

To take action to restore the air traffic control system to good health: In opposition, Labour promised that our air was not for sale, but we are now paying the price for their botched part-privatisation of air traffic control. Failures in the air traffic control system are becoming increasingly common, resulting in delays and cancellations. Labour ignored expert opinion and pushed ahead with their plans. Now they have to take action to restore the system to good health.

Speaking about Byers’ resignation, Shadow Cabinet minister Damien Green said:

“His long overdue departure will do nothing for our crumbling transport system. The real scandal of the Byers era has been the failure of the government to implement a sensible plan for improving our railways and easing congestion on the roads”.

New Labour, New Strike Action

This week’s local government strike by public sector unions is disrupting council services across Swindon. This strike will not help improve public services. It can only hurt Swindon residents, and particularly the vulnerable, who rely on those services.

Swindon’s council workers provide important services to the community, from street sweeping to caring for the elderly and disabled. However, public sector pay has not kept pace with the reality of the local economy. Many council workers are priced out of Swindon’s housing and rental markets. This contributes to the council’s problems of staff retention and recruitment.

If the local government pay offer does increase, whether by strike or by negotiation, the council faces the problem of financing that increase. Local government staff have been offered a pay increase of 3%. The unions’ demand for an across-the-board pay increase of 6% is unrealistic and would add over Ł2 million to the agreed budget for this year. This is money Swindon Borough Council simply can not afford, and would represent a further 5% increase in council tax.

Whilst Labour’s waste and mismanagement of Swindon Borough Council’s finances has not helped the situation, some blame must lie with the Labour government that has starved this council of resources. Local authorities of all political persuasions are aware of the problems facing key workers, but this Labour government has hit them hard and will not listen.

Labour’s failures locally and nationally mean that Swindon Borough Council has insufficient resources to address the problems our key workers face.

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Stiga Advantage vs Joola Inside: Which Table Tennis Table Should You Buy

In the world of ping pong, the Stiga Advantage vs Joola Inside comparison remains quite a popular one. This is because a search for superior quality and affordable ping pong tables ends with these two brands. Undoubtedly, people look for quality tables for their home’s man-cave or family room.

As with other sporting activities, the table helps to share fun times with friends and family. Furthermore, Stiga and Joola stand as two of the most respected and best table-tennis equipment brands. These two companies manufacture a number of ping pong tables for different table-tennis experience.

At the competitive level, they make very expensive tables of thickness ranging from 19mm and beyond. However, for non-competitive playing, they have the more affordable 16mm tables which offer maximum bounce for leisure play. Indeed, these two tables fall under the $400 price tag and will become compared in a bit.

Without further ado, let us get to the comparison of these two quality ping-pong tables.

Stiga Advantage vs Joola Inside Comparison

Many a time, people are in a fix as to which of these two tables to buy. Largely because these two ping pong tables remain two of the best indoor tables available in the market. Making a decision as to which table to buy doesn’t come easy.

However, in a bid to help we give you the Stiga Advantage vs Joola Inside comparison. Therefore, let us take a look at what separates these two tables and help you make the best purchase decision.

Table Top

Probably the most important part of a ping pong table, let’s differentiate between the two table-tops. Unfortunately, there exists no difference because both feature a 15mm MDF playing surface. The table top provides sufficient bounce for leisure play but at a slower speed tan thicker tables.

Since both the Joola Inside and Stiga advantage have identical; table top, you cannot use this as a deal breaker. Furthermore, it means both table types have consistent results while playing on them.

Undercarriage

As with the table top, both tables have similar 1.5-inch powder coated steel legs. Furthermore, they can both split into 2 halves in order to store properly. Remember, the typical ping pong table build uses a net to connect both halves and these two tables do not neglect this build design.

If you want solo play, these tables both offer a playback feature and also come with locking caster wheels. These wheels help to hold the table in place in order to enjoy the game.  Another feature important feature: the leg levelers is seen on both table types for uneven playing surfaces.

In addition, you can set this up in under 10 minutes without any difficulty. Although they have a number of similar features, they differ in shipping weight. The Joola Inside and Stiga Advantage have shipping weights of 196 and 190 pounds respectively.

The Joola inside comes with a 2-inch caster wheel which helps to move the table from storage to assembly. Furthermore, the Stiga advantage features a zero-gravity technology, another unique difference between the two brands. This helps to support the weight of the table during storage or when assembling.

The Net System

The Net system helps to keep the game of table tennis defined, you can call it the life of the game. The Joola Inside features a patented clamp net system easy and quick to assemble. It makes storage and assemblage easy and will definitely make any player happy.

On the other hand, the Stiga Advantage sports a professional-grade clamp on net. Remember it’s the net that makes the table and both table types come with the high-end quality net system.

Durability

Remember, both tables come with thin MDF tops. The MDF table tops remain perfect for indoor use and cannot stand moisture or extreme changes in surrounding temperature. Although durability for these tables depends on the user and when stored in a cool and dry area you will use the table for a long time. The only noticeable difference here revolves around the shade of blue used on the table tops.

Design

The two table types have blue tops and offer the playback feature for solo play. In addition, you will have caster wheels and nets which holds the two pieces together during play. What now separates these two table types? Visually, they look alike, so we leave the answer to you.

The Price Tag

Just like the differences noticed in these table types, you can easily neglect the variation in their prices. Both the Stiga Advantage costs and the Joola inside go for less than $400.

Conclusion

Having listed a name of distinguishing feature and made the Stiga Advantage vs Joola Inside comparison, the power to make the right decision lies with you. What table to buy? The answer to this question is totally up to you.

However, you should note that the two tables have almost everything in common with little observable differences or none at all. Lastly, if you need a budget table for leisure gaming, you can invest in either of these two. In fact, purchasing one of these as a ping pong fan comes as a decision you wouldn’t regret a single bit.

What is Table Tennis Or Ping Pong? All About It

Table tennis or ping pong is one sport that has been around for more than a hundred years. Though the people who played this game only did it for fun to pass the time indoors or outdoor, this will later become an Olympic sport.

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Smaller tournaments are held in other venues that sometimes feature the best players from Europe and Asia. The individual should check the television for the schedule of the tournament or watch it live if ever there is one coming to town.

People who want to play this game for recreation or competitively should follow the rules.

1. Players who in table tennis should first have a racket or paddle. This should be made of wood and coated with rubber.

There are no rules stating how big or small it will be. It should just be colored black on one side and red on the other. The person is not allowed to hit the ball if that side does not have rubber on it.

In major tournaments, the umpire will inspect the racket used by the player before each match. If there are tears or any damage that will not affect the results in the competition, this can be used but the decision may be different when checked by another official.

Players who start the match with the inspected racket are not allowed to change this in between sets. There are exceptions to the rule should it be damaged during the match and the only way for the game to continue will be to use another one which will also be inspection prior to usage.

2. The table tennis table should measure 9 feet in length and 5 feet in width. This is made of timber which has white lines painted on the green surface. Players should follow these markers in serving and receiving. Those who fail will just give the opponent another point in the scoreboard.

3. The net should measure 15. 25 cm. This is usually hooked from one end of the table to the other. The players can check this using a ruler or having the one officiating it check the height before starting a match.

4. People who play the game should keep not move the table, touch the net or put the hands of the table when the ball is in play. This is to ensure the match is played fairly and the victor will be decided on the skill of the player.

5. Scoring in the tournament can be a race to 11 or to 21 points. Again, this will depend on the rules set before the match. Normally, a person will become the winner after winning 2 out of 3 sets.

6. Most matches start with a referee flipping a coin. The one who wins in the coin toss will decide on which end of the table to stay in and who will serve. It is only after the player scores 5 points that the other person can be the one to act as the server.

Table tennis can be played with another person or in pairs. The rules in both are similar except for serving.

Table tennis is one exciting sport to play or watch. Knowing the rules and the other details of the game will keep one abreast with who is winning or losing in the match.