Local statistics: fight fire with fire

Anyone needing local statistics need look no further than


For example. putting in a postcode, choosing “Local Authority” and then the subset ” Environment” gives the most recent available data for:

Physical Environment
Key figures for Physical Environment
Commercial and Industrial Floorspace and Rateable Value Statistics (1998 – 2008)
Commercial and Industrial Property Vacancy Statistics (1998 – 2005)
Domestic Energy Consumption (2005 – 2011)
Land Use Statistics (Generalised Land Use Database) (2001 – 2005)
Land Use Statistics (Previously-Developed Land) (2004 – 2010)

Filming, tweeting and photographing council meetings legal from 6 August 2014

Democracy is dead (EDDC has voted to curtail public speaking at theit meetings) long live democracy (new laws allow public more opportunities to inform rhe public about such meetings):

The regulations state that members of the public may film, take photographs, or make audio recordings of meetings; provide oral or written commentary on a meeting as it takes place; and use any other methods to enable people not at the meeting to follow proceedings, either as they take place or afterwards.


Another developer’s appeal refused in an AONB despite no Local Plan

… “The inspector also concurred that the fields formed part of the setting for the area of outstanding natural beauty (AONB) celebrated in Laurie Lee’s memoir Cider with Rosie, and was therefore valued landscape that the government’s National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) should protect.

As in many areas the lack of a local plan had left the land exposed under the NPPF’s presumption in favour of sustainable development. Yet the inspector’s decision establishes that land can be a valued landscape even without official designation, and that the lack of a local plan for meeting housing targets did not necessarily undermine the protection that our countryside merits.”


Developers allowed by High Court to see secret contract documents

So why not electors? We shall see on 28 August 2014 at Exeter Magistrates Court perhaps:

A Deputy High Court judge has ordered a local authority to make early specific disclosure to a leisure services provider bringing a claim over a recent £120m concession procurement.

The ex tempore ruling was made in Wealden Leisure Limited v Mid-Sussex District Council HC14F01304 (16 July 2014) by Andrew Hochauser QC, sitting in the Chancery Division.

Wealden, the claimant, was the incumbent provider but lost out to Places for People Leisure.

According to 11KBW, one of whose barristers (Joseph Barrett) is acting for the company, Wealden launched proceedings after being told that Mid Sussex’s preferred bid was in the region of 20% cheaper than its own proposal.
The claimant has expressed concern that the preferred bid was “abnormally low, unsustainable and non-compliant”.

Wealden’s concerns “were heightened when it discovered that the council had permitted the preferred bidder to make significant changes to its pricing submission after final tenders were opened”, the chambers said. “The council admitted that it had allowed the preferred bidder to increase its stated costs figures by more than £200,000 per annum.”

Mid Sussex refused a request for early specific disclosure of the final tenders it received.

Wealden, which had previously proposed that disclosure would be restricted to a confidentiality ring of its lawyers and an independent expert, applied to the High Court.

It argued that it needed the information to allow it to properly plead its case that the preferred bid was abnormally low.

The Deputy High Court judge ordered the council to disclose the entirety of the final tenders, 11KBW said.

Mid Sussex also agreed – following a suggestion made by the judge – to disclose the evaluation documents evidencing what, if any, investigation it had conducted regarding the sustainability of the preferred bid.
The council was ordered to pay the claimant’s costs in full.
Tom Clark, Solicitor to Mid Sussex, said the authority would be vigorously defending the claim.

He added: “The council conducted the procurement exercise fairly and properly in accordance with its obligations. At the end of the process, it awarded the contract to Places for People Leisure a competitor of Wealden, having been satisfied that their bid was sustainable and viable and that it would provide the best and most effective service.

“On 1 July 2014, the council entered into a contract with PfPL, who have been operating the leisure facilities within the Mid Sussex since that date.”


Skypark: modern architectural gem? Er ….


It will be interesting to see how EDDC’s consultants “compliment” the first building to be completed at Skypark. But maybe the parcel depot will scoop the architectural prize!