EAST DEVON WATCH
Shining a light into the darkest corners of East Devon
“Nothing about us, without us, is for us”
“Greetings, KONP supporters in the South West!
Important information from Keep Our NHS Public on…
Integrated Care Providers
The Government likes to bury its plans to defund, break-up and privatise the NHS in jargon. KONP are producing a series of videos to help you understand what’s going on…
NHS England is consulting on the contract for a new model of health and social care provision that threatens the break-up of the NHS into units run by less accountable ‘Integrated Care Providers’ – or ‘ICPs’. Each of these ‘business units’ would control spend and rationing of healthcare for populations of up to 500,000. These huge contracts will be eminently open to the private sector to compete for.
The ICPs will deliver the dangerous new restructuring plans of government which could see fragments of the NHS managed by non-NHS, non-statutory and therefore less accountable bodies. They are the embodiment of government plans to disperse the NHS and its staff, drive down public funding, promote private contracts and put cost limits and profit before patient safety.
Integrated Care Provider contracts:
Dis-integrate the NHS;
Give control to non-NHS bodies potentially beyond scrutiny;
Threaten public accountability;
Hand over control to these non-NHS bodies for 10-15 years;
Manage multi-billion-pound contracts for blocks of 500,000 population;
Open the door to private companies winning these contracts.
Please watch the video above and share on social media to help spread the word about the Government’s deliberate and insidious privatisation plans.
You can also visit our website:
and our Facebook Page:
for more information, videos and links.
For a written explanation of ICPs and what the represent for the NHS please read and share this briefing (broken link) by HCT co-chair and KONP campaigner Louise Irvine.
How can you help?
1. Along with our friends at We Own It
and Health Campaigns Together
we have created a petition
calling on the Government to;
a) Abandon the Integrated Care Provider contract model:
b) Guarantee that any Integrated Care Provider organisations will be statutory organisations i.e. NHS bodies, not private providers.
c) Focus health improvement efforts on pressing the government for:
o Sufficient funding and staffing for health and social care.
o Social care to be brought into public provision, free at point of use
o Legislation to end the failed NHS contracting system and to renationalise the NHS: the only sound basis for service integration.
SIGN THE PETITION
2. NHS England have launched a 12 week consultation on contracting arrangements for Integrated Care Providers. You can read the full consultation document here
Please let them know what you think by submitting a response before the consultation closes on the 26 October. You can do this online. HCT have created a document of a sample response
in case you wish to take some guidance from KONP and HCTs position.
You can also see a comprehensive written response:
to the proposed changes from the JR4NHS team who, along with the late Stephen Hawking, took Jeremy Hunt and ACOs to Judicial Review this year.
3. Share the KONP video, HCT and KONP briefing and the JR4NHS response to the NHSE consulation around your networks and on social media.
Say NO To Sidford Business Park Campaign
Press Release – 16 October 2018
The Campaign is relieved for local residents that the District Council has, for the second time in as many years, refused a planning application to build a Business Park on agricultural AONB land at Sidford.
We are pleased that the views of local residents have been listened to once again. Over 250 residents submitted letters of objection, and 1,400 residents signed this Campaign’s petition objecting to the proposed Business Park.
The proposed Business Park is the wrong thing in the wrong place, and we urge the applicants to end the years of uncertainty and concern that has hung over local residents, particularly those in the immediate vicinity to the site, by publicly stating that they will not pursue this matter to appeal.
Whilst we are pleased that the District Council has refused to give planning permission for a Business Park we are disappointed that the Council has only done so on highways concerns. We believe that the refusal could, and should have been more wide ranging.
Until the applicants end their attempts to build a Business Park on this site the Campaign will continue to do all it can to reflect the clear views of local residents.
Owl says: Well, in Christine Keeler’s famous words [corrected by slap on talons to Mandy Rice Davies!] “Well, they would do, wouldn’t they”!
“East Devon District Council Website – 16 October 2018
Sidford employment site outline planning application refused on highway safety grounds
When this content has been created
16 October 2018
Local planning authority’s concerns over a potentially lethal combination of narrow roads and increased heavy goods vehicle usage has resulted in refusal of Sidford business park planning application
East Devon District Council has today (16 October 2018), refused an application for outline planning permission for the Sidford employment site ( – Land East of Two Bridges, Sidford – on the grounds of harm to highway safety, relating to increased heavy goods vehicle (HGVs) usage of the area’s narrow roads. The decision was made by officers with the Chairman of Development Management Committee in accordance with the Council’s Constitution. The meeting was attended by ward members, Cllr David Barrett and Cllr Stuart Hughes.
Details of the application can be viewed on the online applications page of the East Devon website – insert application reference 18/1094/MOUT.
The site is allocated in the adopted East Devon Local Plan and is acceptable in principle, but the allocation is primarily for light industrial uses. The applicants included a significant amount of warehouse space in their application, which would be reliant on HGVs to deliver goods to the site and then distribute them from there. Devon County Council, as Highway Authority, objected to the application based on the number of HGVs likely to be generated by the proposal, which significantly exceeds the figure envisaged when the site was allocated. East Devon District Council has agreed that the numbers of HGVs combined with the narrow roads, both in the vicinity of the site and through Sidbury, would lead to conflict between vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians to the detriment of highway safety, and it was on this basis that the application was turned down.
The planning application has generated comments from 369 people and organisations, of which 255 were objecting to the proposal. A petition of 1,398 residents of the Sidford area and over 200 signatures from the wider area was also received. There were a wide range of objections raised to the application, including concerns regarding flood risk, visual impact, impact upon listed buildings, impact on the area of outstanding natural beauty, light and noise pollution and questions over the need for the business park, which the council considered in detail – many of them having also been considered through the Local Plan examination.
However, the council concluded that the application is acceptable in terms of these matters, with only highways safety amounting to a reason for refusal. In order to progress the development, the applicant now has the choice of appealing against the council’s decision or submitting a revised application to address the concerns raised. Any appeal or further application will be publicised in the usual way and there will be a further opportunity for comments to be made and considered by the council or a Planning Inspector in the case of a an appeal.
Councillor Mike Howe, Chairman of East Devon’s Development Management Committee, said:
I recognise that there is a lot of local opposition to the provision of a business park on this site, but its inclusion in the Local Plan follows an examination by an independent Planning Inspector and the suitability of the site was confirmed by him. Sidmouth needs space to support local businesses and provide jobs and this site is the best location to do that. There were many varied objections to this application but it is only the high level of HGVs that would be drawn to the site, which justifies its refusal.”
“East Devon District Council (EDDC) announced the news today (Tuesday) that the site would be a ‘detriment to highway safety’ due to the increase of HGV traffic it would bring to inadequate road.
Therefore the controversial plans will not go before its development management committee, as previously expected.
Last week, more than 100 people attended a campaign meeting objecting to the proposed plans for 8,445sqm of employment floor space at the Two Bridges site. …”
Disgracefully, the newspaper then allows two councillors who played very little part in public protest (and one of whom allowed the hasty decision to include it in the Local Plan) and no mention or comment from Independent Councillors (particularly East Devon Alliance councillor Marianne Rixon) who have been constantly doing all the hard work and (at least in this article) none of the recognition.
“Coles gift shop, in the High Street, will close on Saturday, October 27, and The Rendezvous, in Fore Street, won’t be far behind.
The two businesses have joined a fast-growing list of shops which have left or have plans to because of rising costs and ‘unfair’ business rates. Since February Carinas, Hospiscare, NatWest and Sweet Temptations have closed.
New Look will cease trading on Saturday, October 20, Barclays on Friday, November 16, and Pure Indulgence will close April 2019 along with Govier’s of Sidmouth – which has gone online only. …”
“A Labour MP who voted against a probe into allegations of bullying by Speaker John Bercow has been elected as chair of the Commons standards committee.
Kate Green was one of three MPs to oppose an inquiry by the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards into claims against Mr Bercow, which he denies.
She was elected unopposed to the body after no other candidate came forward.” …
“How often have you heard private developers and their allies say they can’t build more homes because planning rules have created a shortage of land?
Kate Andrews of the Institute for Economic Affairs (IEA) summed up this view in The Daily Telegraph, saying: “There is only one way to solve the housing crisis and bring down the extortionate cost of homes: liberalise the planning system and build more houses. A bold but pragmatic policy would be to release greenbelt land – just a small fraction of which would be enough to build the million homes needed to address supply.”
A million more homes? That’s a tantalising prospect. So is there any basis for her argument that the only way to solve this problem is to liberalise (or deregulate) planning?
A little digging into the latest financial reports of the top 10 housebuilders reveals a very different story. Between them, they have a staggering 632,785 building plots on their books, of which more than half have planning permission. At the same time, these 10 companies reported building a total of just 79,704 homes – which means they have, on average, eight-years’ worth of plots in their land banks at the current rate of construction.
Among the top 10, there is a wide variation. At the upper end, Berkeley and Taylor Wimpey are hoarding 15 and 13 years’ worth of land respectively. At the lower end, McCarthy & Stone and Bellway have land banks equivalent to four years’ current output. The difference is mainly in what are known as the ‘strategic’ land banks – reserves that have not yet gained planning permission. All ten have ample land with consent, ranging from three to five years’ worth of output.
The top 10 builders accounted for about half of the 159,510 homes completed by the private sector in 2017.
It is often the case that the stories an industry feeds to the media are at odds with the trading information individual companies give shareholders via regulated stock market announcements. A classic example of this is car insurance where the industry body complained of an “epidemic of fraud” while the major providers told the market that claims volumes were falling.
In the case of housing, the market reports of the top 10 builders are brimming with confidence about future trading. You might expect Bellway, for example, to be feeling the pinch from a supposedly burdensome planning system because of its smaller-than-average land bank. But its trading update in August said that it had detailed planning permission on all its 2019 building plots and had increased land acquisition by 12 per cent to an annual level 30 per cent higher than its output. “The land market remains favourable and continues to provide attractive opportunities,” the company said.
The top 10 builders accounted for about half of the 159,510 homes completed by the private sector in 2017. So, what about the other players? Information is patchy because many are private companies, but random checks on those that are publicly listed suggest that smaller housebuilders also hold enough land to keep them going for years.
And then there are the companies that combine building homes with developing sites to sell on to other builders. The latest trading update from Inland Homes, for example, said that in the first six months of this year it has built 357 units and sold 837 plots to other housebuilders but still has 6,808 in its land bank – nearly six times as many as it built on or sold.
The pattern is clear: across the private housebuilding sector big land banks are the norm. If the top 10 companies – equating to half the market – are hoarding 600,000-plus plots, it is safe to assume that well over a million plots are in the land banks of the sector as a whole. Far from needing greenbelt land, the builders already have enough plots to deliver a step-change.
But will they? The IEA believes ‘markets’ solve economic and social problems, but the last 30 years have shown that is certainly not the case with housebuilding. When Margaret Thatcher slashed funding for council housing in the 1980s, the idea was that the private sector would fill the gap. But it didn’t happen: while the number of homes built by councils slumped from 110,170 in 1978 to 1,740 in 1996, private sector output stayed at much the same level as it was under Labour in the 1970s. With housing association output also virtually unchanged, total housebuilding has halved from more than 300,000 annually under Jim Callaghan to an average of 154,000 since 2010.
This situation suits housebuilders nicely. Constrained supply has helped push up the average price of a new house by 38 per cent since 2010, against an average of 30 per cent for all houses. And booming prices have in turn generated record-breaking profits and dividends. Taylor Wimpey, for example, cleared a £52,947 profit on each of the 6,497 houses it sold (at an average price of £295,000) in the first six months of 2018 and was able to promise shareholders that it would pay out £600m in dividends in 2019, a 20 per cent increase on 2018.
The government has responded to growing anger about land banks by setting up a review under Tory MP Oliver Letwin to “explain” why the “build-out rate” on land with planning permission is so slow. Letwin’s interim report has already admitted that housebuilders complete homes at a pace “designed to protect their profits”. His final report is due in time for the Autumn Budget, but don’t expect anything radical: he has made clear that his recommendations won’t “impair” the housebuilders.
Labour, meanwhile, has published a wide-ranging green paper promising “the biggest council housebuilding programme for over 30 years” delivering more than 100,000 “genuinely affordable” homes annually. To achieve this, Labour would use existing public land, such as sites owned by the NHS and the Ministry of Defence, and set up a Sovereign Land Trust to work with local authorities in England to help them acquire land at lower prices. Taking inspiration from the 1945 Labour government, it would also legislate to create another generation of new towns and garden cities.
Labour’s policy would, in effect, draw a line under the Thatcher era by restoring to the public sector the proactive role it played in providing housing prior to the 1980s. In doing so, it would limit the scope for the big housebuilders to hoover up nearly all the available sites and hoard them in order to drive up prices and profits. As for planning, far from being the cause of the housing crisis, it would be a means of solving it.
Steve Howell is a journalist and author of Game Changer, the story of Labour’s 2017 election campaign.”