A quick round up of the week’s events.

On Wednesday (26th Feb) the EDDC council voted to push ahead with the relocation, probably to a SkyPark site (pending yet more consultation!), with costs of close to £1,000,000 approved for the purchase of land for the newbuild offices.
For a fuller report, please see following link…http://saveoursidmouth.com/2014/02/27/knowle-sale-and-skypark-spend-voted-through-under-veil-of-cabinet-minutes/

On Thursday morning (27th Feb) Cllr. Claire Wright was interviewed on Radio Devon about the motion to have an independent survey of the Knowle Buildings done – Cllr. Diviani declined to make any comment

For Full story – http://saveoursidmouth.com/2014/02/27/knowle-sell-off-diviani-declines-radio-devons-invitation-to-be-interviewed-this-morning/

For Radio Interview – http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p01r46tb Claire Wright Interview on BBC Radio Devon – from 40.10 mins

Last week Devon County Council (DCC) voted 32-23 against letting members of the Youth Service speak for 3 minutes about the proposed £970,000 cuts to their budget, on the grounds they had not sought permission within the deadline and to allow them to do so would set a bad precedent.

They failed to mention the deadline for submission was Friday 14th February, 7 days before the meeting, but news of the cuts was only released “accidentally” on Thursday 13th February, so leaving the Youth Service very little time to organise. The organisers contacted the council requesting permission to speak during the week in the run-up to the meeting, which confirms the council were fully aware of their request days beforehand, so could easily have avoided this shameful episode. For webcast of the DCC decision, see following link from 20.20 mins onwards.

Webcast of DCC Decision – http://www.devoncc.public-i.tv/core/portal/webcast_interactive/118409

And for Cllr. Moulding’s written justification of the decision, please see DCC Reply- http://www.claire-wright.org/index.php/post/why_devon_county_council_tories_voted_against_against_allowing_young_people

To sign the Youth Service petition please follow the link… http://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/john-hart-protect-our-youth-services-from-budget-cuts

For latest news on the Local Plan Examination Hearings, please see recent posts on this EDA website.

An Inspector Calls – on Climate Change Policy at EDDC.

An observer has sent us this report of Thursday’s hearing (27th February) in the Examination in Public (EiP), on the Local Plan policy on Climate Change:

An interesting 90 minutes at the Knowle yesterday. The admirable Mr Thickett calmly and powerfully demolished the EDDC policies and procedures. “This policy is so unspecific that it has no likelihood of being implemented.”

I suspect a new set of Building Regulations may emerge in due course.

The Green Party and Tesco had reserved places but failed to put in an appearance. There seemed to be no consideration of food security, water storage and drainage.

The Inspector unpicked the vague, inadequate or non-existent documentation on environmental impact, and sustainable design and construction – “The sustainable construction policy is more a ‘don’t annoy the neighbours’ policy.”

He advised them to rewrite a policy which suggests that the only low energy and renewable energy projects to be considered in East Devon would be as part of a building project, not as stand-alone developments.

The CPRE made a convoluted and unconvincing argument against wind and solar energy projects – but at least they agreed with AD, biomass and hydro. Nobody promoted fracking… EDDC expert advisers said that “CHP and other low carbon solutions are generally not viable”. The Inspector was dubious.

The Inspector probed the justification for inconsistency in the codes to be applied in different parts of the District. A representative for Cranbrook developers drew attention to the unfair treatment they get from the unequal rules for developments elsewhere.

In view of the high levels of mistrust generated among the public over the past two years of manoeuvring by EDDC I feel we need to ask why the documentation was so poor. Is it because

a) the officers are incompetent
b) the ruling group are indifferent
c) the residents of East Devon do not care
d) there is a conspiracy between senior officers, councillors, private developers and landowners – often the same people in different roles – to permit widespread under-regulated highly profitable piecemeal development all over the east of the District while getting brownie points for the fig-leaf of higher standards of compliance and comprehensive low carbon infrastructure within the eco-town of Cranbrook-on-flood plain.