The owl returns …..

EAST DEVON WATCH

Shining a light into the darkest corners of East Devon

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Hernandez friend, now Deputy PCC, revers Mrs Thatcher, adores the Queen and calls Mrs May “Mother Theresa May”!

The Chief Constable must be loving this!

Devon’s newly revealed deputy police and crime commissioner is a “staunch” Conservative who once chained himself to a set of railings to protest about the downfall of his hero, Margaret Thatcher.

Mark Kingscote has now been officially revealed by crime czar Alison Hernandez as her second-in-command, a role which will come with an estimated salary of £30,000.

The 55-year-old NHS mental health support worker is a close ally of Ms Hernandez from the days the pair were jointly-elected Torbay councillors for Shiphay with the Willows.

Ms Hernandez faced criticism during her election campaign that she would politicise the role, including from predecessor Tony Hogg, who quit the Tories in protest at the end of his office.

However, she has opted to recruit a fellow party member from her home town, prizing his track record in mental health and diversity in an appointment which has been criticised as “smacking of nepotism”.

A brief glance at Twitter shows her deputy is a loyal Conservative who reveres Mrs Thatcher, adores the Queen and even refers to the current prime minister as “Mother Theresa” May.

Deputy police and crime commissioner Mark Kingscote once chained himself to railings in protest at Tory plot to depose Margaret Thatcher

Devon’s newly revealed deputy police and crime commissioner is a “staunch” Conservative who once chained himself to a set of railings to protest about the downfall of his hero, Margaret Thatcher.

Mark Kingscote has now been officially revealed by crime czar Alison Hernandez as her second-in-command, a role which will come with an estimated salary of £30,000.

The 55-year-old NHS mental health support worker is a close ally of Ms Hernandez from the days the pair were jointly-elected Torbay councillors for Shiphay with the Willows.

Ms Hernandez faced criticism during her election campaign that she would politicise the role, including from predecessor Tony Hogg, who quit the Tories in protest at the end of his office.

However, she has opted to recruit a fellow party member from her home town, prizing his track record in mental health and diversity in an appointment which has been criticised as “smacking of nepotism”.

A brief glance at Twitter shows her deputy is a loyal Conservative who reveres Mrs Thatcher, adores the Queen and even refers to the current prime minister as “Mother Theresa” May.

Councillor Kingscote insists his views do not prevent him from looking and thinking “outside the box” and he will not bring party politics into policing.

But he does nothing to conceal or play down his deep admiration for Mrs Thatcher and her “special aura”.

He staked out Brighton’s Grand Hotel in 1987, the first time the Tories had stayed there since the IRA bomb of 1984 which nearly killed the then prime minister, bearing a bouquet of flowers.

Three years later, he was so furious at Michael Heseltine for launching a leadership challenge that he chained himself to the railings outside the Tory MP’s Mayfair home.

“I am more of a Thatcherite than a Conservative – she was a great inspiration to me,” he told Devon Live.

“That is based on the free market, deregulation and giving people the tools to get on with their own life. I believe in giving people a hand up not a hand-out and give people a chance to make something of their life.

“People have short memories but I remember how sad and desperate Britain was before she came to power: the three-day week, public sector strikes…Britain was on its knees.”

Mr Kingscote said he received many hundreds of letters of support from around the country for his demonstration, which saw him moved on by police.

“I went to Michael Heseltine’s house and we chained ourselves to the railings – the police came along and said, ‘Behave yourselves and get on your way’.

“Later we went to Downing Street and were greeted by rapturous applause.”

Mr Kingscote also reveals how his floral tribute to the so-called Iron Lady also began on a whim in his hometown, Torbay.

“I met Mrs Thatcher on many occasions, the most memorable being the Tory party conference of 1987,” he recalled.

“I said to my friend Vera ‘its Margaret’s birthday tomorrow I want to get her some flowers’.

“We went to Brighton and bumped into Michael Heseltine around 7am. He said, ‘You had better check with the heavy mob’ as security was tight.

“It was all cordoned off so we went upstairs and waited and waited while she was having a cabinet meeting.

“All of a sudden the door opened and I saw the outline and said ‘it’s Maggie’ and she said ‘you had better come in’ – we said we had come to wish her happy birthday to show how much we loved her.

She looked at the flowers and said ‘oh, red, white and blue – the colours of freedom and democracy in our country. May we never betray these colours’.

“We were in there for 15 to 20 minutes. It is amazing when you think how powerful she was in the 80s – there were ambassadors and heads of state waiting – she didn’t have to do that.

“There are only two people who have ever made me feel nervous in their presence: one was Maggie – she had a huge aura about her – and the other was the Queen.

“The dress, the hair, the make-up – everything about her was powerful and she used it all to maximum effect.”

The post of deputy police and crime commissioner was first raised on the campaign trail by Ms Hernandez, who toyed with the idea of campaigning for office alongside a running mate.

She eventually stood alone on the Tory ticket and was elected in her own right.

But last month, Devon Live revealed that she was considering appointing Mr Kingscote to share the workload, including increased scrutiny.

On Friday, he was formally announced before being presented to a meeting of the Police and Crime Panel next week.

His knowledge of mental health during 25 years in the NHS, his experience as Torbay’s planning committee, and a councillor since 2000, persuaded Ms Hernandez to offer him the role.

Cllr Kingscote is passionate about promoting diversity and this area will be key to Ms Hernandez’s plans to include marginalised communities in policing decisions.

He says, as a gay man, he has never experienced any prejudice, but will “speak up on behalf” of those whose views may not receive sufficient attention.

“I have never in my life experienced any prejudice but that might just be because of the person I am,” he added.

“In this day and age sexuality is not really relevant. I am also a committed member of the Church of England but you have got to have a broad outlook on life.

“You don’t have to be part of a particular group to want the best for them.”

He says his “staunch” Conservatism will be channelled into getting value for money in policing for taxpayers in Devon and Cornwall.

Asked about the recent row over Ms Hernandez’s comments over armed citizens, Cllr Kingscote feels his new boss has been harshly criticised.

He says her suggestion that allowing registered firearm users to combat terrorists was simply stimulating debate.

“Sometimes you need to debate things to know if it is a good policy or not,” he added.

“Both Alison and myself have strong views. I am not frightened to challenge my views or to challenge hers: that’s what makes a good team to challenge and influence policy

“Of course I am a Conservative and my belief in Conservative values will never change but you have got to look at the bigger picture.

“My three principles are freedom, democracy and the rule of law.”

http://www.devonlive.com/deputy-crime-czar-on-debate-diversity-and-his-love-for-margaret-thatcher/story-30411987-detail/story.html#2zwRxTOuwUIUiKWr.99

Properties sold and future disposals by NHS Property Services

Make sure you check the second tab of “Future Disposals” which goes not yet include East Devon community hospitals – but you can bet it soon will.

http://www.property.nhs.uk/wpdm-package/disposals-2017/?wpdmdl=11292

“Labour slams ‘stupid and dangerous’ Tory crime czar as ‘unfit’ for office”

Owl says: at last someone prepared to say that this particular Empress has no professional clothes!

“Labour has called for the sacking of the Tory crime czar after her comments about armed citizens taking on terrorist attackers.

A group of Plymouth councillors have said Devon and Cornwall’s Police and Crime Commissioner should be removed from her role for making “stupid and dangerous” comments about guns.

The group is pushing for a vote of no confidence in Alison Hernandez, saying they are “extremely alarmed” at her stance on how to tackle terrorists.

Earlier this month Ms Hernandez said vigilantes with guns could be part of the “solution” – but later insisted the interview had been misinterpreted.

Labour is preparing to table a motion at next week’s council meeting calling for action.

“Ms Hernandez’s statement that she would ‘really be interested’ in the suggestion shows she is unfit and unsuitable for office,” a spokesman said.

“We endorse Deputy Chief Constable Paul Netherton’s view that it would be ‘definitely an emphatic no’ to non-police officers taking up arms.

“A proposal to utilise domestically owned firearms is a crass and inadequate response to mounting concerns about police cuts.

“In particular it is an inadequate response to the previously reported removal of a large number of armed officers. This in turn is exacerbated by the removal of the ‘eyes and ears of the force’, the PCSOs and beat officers.”

READ MORE: Machete wielding man in gas mask wrestled to ground by brave neighbours after spate of fires

The motion calls for the council’s chief executive to write to the Home Secretary asking her to “remove Ms Hernandez from office, allowing Devon and Cornwall Police to continue the fight against crime, including terrorist threats, without these stupid and dangerous comments being made.”

The councillors also want to write to the Devon and Cornwall Police and Crime Panel Chair requesting he tables an urgent vote of no confidence in Ms Hernandez at their next full meeting.

A spokesman for Ms Hernandez’ office said: “There has been no official notification of any Plymouth City Council motion concerning the Police and Crime Commissioner.

“Should a motion be tabled, any response from the commissioner will be made through the appropriate channels.”

http://www.devonlive.com/labour-slams-stupid-and-dangerous-tory-crime-czar-as-unfit-for-office/story-30411471-detail/story.html

DUP will be back for more

Meanwhile the West Country deteriorates.

The Democratic Unionist Party’s £1 billion deal to prop up the Conservative government may end up costing the country far more because the DUP will be “back for more”, it emerged last night.

The Tories finally sealed a historic deal with the Northern Irish party which guarantees its 10 MPs will vote with the Government on key legislation, in return for which cash will go to Belfast for infrastructure, broadband, schools and hospitals.

But the £1billion payment – the equivalent of £33 for every taxpayer in the UK – could be only the start after DUP sources hinted that they will ask for more cash when the deal is “reviewed” in two years’ time. …”

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/06/26/dup-deal-prop-minority-tory-government-set-cost-billions-party/

“Doctors’ union accuses government of privatising NHS”

Doctors have accused the government of “consciously” creating the crisis in NHS hospitals in order to pave the way for a private sector takeover.

Delegates at the British Medical Association’s annual representative meeting in Bournemouth voted overwhelmingly in favour of a motion that they were told amounted to a verdict of conspiracy rather than incompetence.

It has prompted a row with the Department of Health, who said in an official statement that the motion had “no relationship with reality”.

Doctors agreed that “the crisis in NHS hospitals has been consciously created by the government, in order to accelerate its transformation plans for private sector takeover of healthcare in England”.

Proposing the motion, Dr Chaand Nagpaul, the incoming chairman of the union, said that quality and safety in the NHS were threatened by demands for efficiency savings. He said: “NHS costs are rising at 4 per cent per annum but with only a 2 per cent annual uplift to the NHS budget in coming years something has to give and the reality is clear to doctors, patients, the public and indeed everyone except government.

“The general election was a wake-up call, rejecting the political pretence of trying to squeeze a quart into a pint. In the name of safety and quality, austerity and savage cuts have to stop. We are a rich nation, we are a civilised society, the public deserve a safe, civilised health service. We cannot and must not accept anything less.”

Dr Nagpaul said that legislation that forced health service commissioners to tender services, or GPs to send their patients to private treatment centres, proved “this is deliberate and it does need to be challenged”.

Dr Grant Ingrams, opposing the motion, asked the meeting: “Do you really believe this and preceding governments would be capable of such clear thinking?”

He said: “The current parlous state of the NHS has not been due to political conspiracy, but is due to political cock-ups.”

Dr Mark Porter, the outgoing chairman, said that while there was evidence of more use of private services within the NHS, albeit from a low base, “there is not the same evidence that this is a deliberate conspiracy”.

A BMA spokeswoman said: “The rise in the number of private providers has led to the fragmentation of care, which makes the delivery of high-quality care more difficult.

“Politicians need to urgently address the funding and staffing crisis in our NHS, otherwise services simply won’t be able to cope with rising demand.”

A Department of Health spokeswoman said: “This motion sadly has no relationship with reality — while, of course, there are pressures on the frontline, the government is now spending more than any in history on the NHS, has left doctors themselves to decide on use of the private sector, and public satisfaction is now the highest it has been in all but three of the last 20 years.”

Separately, doctors expressed concern that patients were increasingly turning to crowdfunding to get appropriate wheelchairs.

Dr Hannah Barham-Brown, a 29-year-old junior doctor from London, had to fund her own chair after being diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome two years ago.

She said: “The guidelines for getting chairs now are so strict, wheelchair services across the country are being privatised and it’s just getting harder and harder to get access.”

She said the standard NHS chair weighed around 20kg and she would have needed to be pushed everywhere. Her own £2,000 chair, towards which the NHS offered only £140 voucher, allows her to work full-time and independently.”

Source: The Times (paywall)