There’s spin and there’s Met Office spin

Wigan Council are not happy with the Met Office.  Council Officers are complaining that they were left in the dark by their weather forecast contractor about impending icy conditions and therefore did not grit roads in the borough.  As a result public transport services were affected and a number of road accidents occurred.

‘This year we awarded the contract to the Met Office. The council officer correctly acted in not treating the roads network from the information he had been provided with.

“When the weather starts to change from the forecast, we would expect a Met Office forecaster to ring us up and inform us of the pending changes, but this did not happen.”

It seems knowing what weather can be expected but not telling people is getting to be a bit of a habit for the Met Office.  As a result senior managers from the Met Office have been asked to attend the next Greater Manchester winter maintenance group meeting to discuss their level of service.

Despite this adverse publicity the department is happily spinning that no complaints have been received, all is well and they will be attending the meeting as they ‘are keen to work with our customers and make sure they receive accurate and good advice from us’.  Somehow I doubt this story will appear on this Met Office webpage.

15 Responses to “There’s spin and there’s Met Office spin”

  1. 1 MrT 27/01/2011 at 4:55 pm

    Could not(some of)those unfortunate people involved in accidents caused because of the non-gritting of roads, due to lack of information, have cause to pursue the Met Office through the courts?
    If I were the insurance company involved I’d certainly be looking into it.
    That would wake the little buggers up.

  2. 2 TimC 27/01/2011 at 5:02 pm

    Bournemoouth Council have also appointed a private met service as they were unhappy with the MoD’s Met Office offerings – see following:

  3. 3 bil 27/01/2011 at 5:25 pm

    Pie munching ‘gooners probably thought the snow was suet

  4. 4 john in cheshire 27/01/2011 at 5:54 pm

    The inference is that the Met Office will continue to provide the forecasts. Doesn’t anyone think that the contract should be taken from them and given to a body that can be trusted?

  5. 5 Tuppenceworth 27/01/2011 at 7:16 pm

    “…the Met Office (have) been asked to attend the next Greater Manchester winter maintenance group meeting to discuss their level of service.”

    Quality of Service, QoS.
    In the case of the Met Office, QoS = <0

  6. 6 Andyj 28/01/2011 at 1:51 am

    What gets me, instead of wasting money on some professional idiots to make a phone call over the obvious. Why didn’t Wigan council have a man pop over to the shops and buy one of those temp gauges with an alarm?

    Whats all this about talks? They failed! Deny them the business!

    I’ll give wigan council some free advice. AGW does not exist and its going to become icy again. Sometime soon.

    @Bil. You meant Wigan council, right?

  7. 7 Cassandra King 28/01/2011 at 5:52 am

    The met office contracts with local authorities is supposed to provide weather predictions right? Actually the met office services include advice about how to deal with the consequences of CAGW and planning for the effects of CAGW and how to communicate more effectively the need for awareness about CAGW right through all sectors and levels of local government. The met office provides detailed forecasts(based on modelling of course)to the next century apparently in order for elected officials to make strategic choices and plans for the year 2050-2100 etc.

    So the mission of the met office is a political one, its mission consists of raising awareness and promoting political change at local level and always this advice contains CAGW as its core motivation so when Greater Manchester authorities whine and whinge and seek to place blame elsewhere they should really ask themselves about their own insane cultist worship of CAGW. This is the reason they employed the met office in the first place when far cheaper and far more reliable alternatives were available.

    Greater Manchester and others didnt want just a forecaster they wanted a partner for the promotion of the CAGW fraud, they paid handsomely for CAGW propaganda and that is what they got so this pathetic squealing is about as genuine as a ten quid Rolex at the car booty. Councils are to blame for not bothering to do a performance and value for money evaluation before signing up with a known CAGW propaganda outfit, what they are trying to do is pass the buck and lay blame and evade responsibility because of all the complaints and insurance claims against it.

    Rats in a sack.

  8. 8 Cassandra King 28/01/2011 at 6:07 am

    Just an added note.

    How much did Greater Manchester spend in total on climate related propaganda last year?

    How many climate change related employees are employed by them?

    What was the value of the contract between the met office and the council and what was the best commercial forecasters quote for the same services?

    Who decided to choose the met office over the commercial competition and which forecasters were considered and then rejected?

    These simple questions will solve the puzzle.

  9. 9 NICK 28/01/2011 at 9:03 am

    Cassandra did you know that Manchester City Council employed Common Purpose to facilitate climate change workshops ?

  10. 10 Katabasis 28/01/2011 at 12:14 pm

    The national grid was left out of the loop too, also flying blind:

    Skip to page 7:

    National Grid winter outlook

    As a result, amongst other things, the predicted highest demand for the winter period was out by an eye-watering 4 Gigawatts:

    NETA (skip down to ‘indicative triad demand’).

    This is extremely serious, and people have definitely died and suffered as a result. An underestimate of 4GW could have led to a massive domestic outage and within a few years, it is a certainty that this will happen unless the directive to close the coal-fired stations is ignored in 2015.

    Now we have confirmation that the Met Office have lied, who is to be held responsible, where is our courageous, our amazing, our plucky British Mainstream Media?

  11. 11 Brownedoff 28/01/2011 at 3:35 pm

    28/01/2011 at 12:14 pm

    “………..the directive to close the coal-fired stations is ignored in 2015”

    Those power stations which are due to close by the end of 2015 were designed in the early 1960s with a specified design life of 35 years.

    They were constructed and commissioned in the late 1960s/early 1970s, consequently, at that time, they were expected to be retired during the first few years of the 21st century, certainly no later than about 2010.

    This was because the CEGB had a rolling programme of new construction as replacements for aging power plants, indeed power stations were retired well within the 35 year design life period. The CEGB was run by engineers who ensured that the fleet of power stations comprised aging plants with known retirement dates and younger plants which were there for replacement and also to meet the forecast rising demand.

    Fast forward to the point where businesses with shareholders are in charge of the power stations rather than the CEGB.

    When the EU regulations were introduced, the managers of businesses with shareholders who owned the power stations were faced with a choice of action, either keep control of the fate of the power stations based on their own commercial judgement or surrender to EU rules with restricted running hours and a retirement date of 2015.

    Therefore the businesses with shareholders had to work out which of the power stations were in such reasonable condition that is was worth spending some money on them so that the businesses remained in charge of how to operate that plant for ongoing profit and the decision to retire power stations would be totally within their control.

    Having selected plant in reasonable condition they were left with plants which were running beyond their design life and recognising that they were virtually knackered anyway, therefore just accept that these stations could stagger on within legally restricted running hours and then close by end of 2015 at the latest.

    Thus, for these knackered power stations, i.e. those which are still running, bearing in mind some of these plants may be taken out of service before 2015 on commercial grounds, are shut down, the ire if the public can be directed at the EU.

    Trebles all round!

    IMHO, anybody who thinks that the commencement of power cuts/brown-outs could be deferred by “ignoring EU regulations at the end of 2015” is living in cloud cuckoo land because the plants affected by those regulations will be completely knackered/unservicable by that time.

  12. 12 Katabasis 28/01/2011 at 4:22 pm


    I take all your points.

    The essential point in my post however had nothing to do with what the reasons are, or are not, for the power stations being closed down.

    Looking at the publicly available data on which stations are to be retired, and the new stations built to replace them there looks to be a clear shortfall of approximately 2.5 GW.

    My point is – and I *think* from your post you would agree – that we are facing a critical shortage in energy very soon, which the government has done nothing to address and further, is dangerously exacerbated by the continuing warmist bias at the Met Office.

  13. 13 Brownedoff 29/01/2011 at 1:57 pm

    Katabasis 28/01/2011 at 4:22 pm

    It is very likely that power shortages will materialise from 2015 and could last for many years.

    Have you seen these documents from National Grid:

    Click to access GoneGreenfor2021.pdf

    If these are new to you, then prepare to be gobsmacked.

  14. 14 Katabasis 29/01/2011 at 2:32 pm

    I hadn’t seen those documents Brownedoff, thanks.

    Gobsmacked isn’t the word. I had to rub my eyes in disbelief – proposed 13.4 to 29.1 GW of energy from windpower from 2020. WTF.

  15. 15 Brownedoff 29/01/2011 at 4:42 pm

    Katabasis 29/01/2011 at 2:32 pm

    Indeed, even OMG, WTF!

    Note the first document is authored by the “UK Communications Adviser at National Grid”. See document properties + google.

    From another document, it appears that NG are “expecting” the following:

    “This vision is based on a scenario which would meet the 2020 UK climate change and renewable energy targets and sets out the requirement to:

    • connect c.32GW of wind by 2020;

    • account for an unprecedented churn in the generation fleet due to the closure of old fossil fuel and nuclear generation; and

    • the expected connection of 12 GW of new gas-fired generation in the same timescales.”


    Scottish and Southern Energy commented about the “expected” 12GW of new gas-fired generation as follows:

    “Given the importance of new gas plant build in providing sufficient flexibility and overall capacity in 2020, proposals to require new CCGTs to be ‘capture-ready’ are a major
    concern. If built, there is a risk that they will be less flexible. More significantly, the risk involved in developing capture-ready gas plant is likely to delay or postpone the build of new capacity. Therefore SSE believes that the proposed Carbon Capture Readiness regulations should not apply to new gas fired generation.”


    Therefore, if those imbeciles in Westminster actually do change the current rules so that new gas-fired generation has to be capture ready, then NG can kiss goodbye to 12GW of new generation!

    It really is worse than we thought!

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