Devon Clinical Care Commissioning – explaining the deficit – some questions councillors might ask

Devon CCG says that community hospitals must be closed because they are in deficit.

A look at their annual report for 2014 is illuminating. Whereas salaries appear reasonable (e.g. Chief Executive £130-135,000 per year when perks are added in it is a different story (see page 29 of cited report)

Chief Executive: salary £130,000 – £135,000
With pension etc £275,000 – £280,000

Chairman: salary £80,000 – £85,000
With benefits: £200,000 – £205,000

Locality Managing Directors: salary £100,000 – £105,000
With benefits: £145,000 – £150,000

In a world where most employees get minimal contributions towards their pensions how on earth can doubling up on salary be justified?

Using the government’s own workplace pension contribution calculator a salary of £135,000 shows an employer contribution of £36,000.

Newton Poppleford planning decisions “contradictory”

Yes, most of us have realised that. Why was it ok for one developer and not for another?

Of course, a re-convening of the EDDC wokring group that was supposed to look into the relationship between the council and the East Devon Business Forum might well have answered such questions ….. yet another reason why it remains in the long grass …

Hugo Swire votes against sacking MPs

Here’s the e-mail sent on Tuesday this week (27 October), to an EDA correspondent, from the 38 degrees team:

‘Last night (Monday 27 Oct) your MP, Hugo Swire voted the wrong way. [1]

Yesterday, MPs voted on whether to give voters the power to sack misbehaving MPs. [2] The majority voted no, choosing to stick with the government’s recall law that takes this power out of our hands.

Days like these can be pretty disheartening. They remind us there’s a huge gap between the political system we want and the political system we have.

This won’t be the last opportunity MPs have to vote on this. It could technically be possible to get the changes we want. But, to be honest, it’s pretty unlikely. Not enough MPs are convinced that voters should decide when and why an MP gets sacked.

If you’d like to email your MP, Hugo Swire, and ask him why he voted against giving voters more power, please click here:

If you email your MP, you’ll notice that the candidates standing against them at the next election (if they have any yet!) will be copied in. This is important because it’ll show them the sort of things that voters in your area care about.

There are several options for next steps on our campaign. But for today, it feels right to pause and take stock of how far we’ve come. Together, we’ve convinced a huge chunk of MPs that voters should have the power over whether to sack MPs. Sadly, this time it wasn’t enough.

We’ve come along way on this campaign. But if there’s one thing this vote shows us, it’s that we’ve got a hell of a job to do! Although it’s an uphill struggle sometimes, this one vote isn’t enough to stop us.’

PS: If you’d like to read more about the vote, and take part in the discussions about what 38degrees does next, please click here:

‘I have never experienced a stranger council than EDDC!’

In a long letter in today’s edition of Pullman’s View from Sidmouth , an Axminster resident, berates EDDC for the strange way in which it operates. In a phrase echoing one by Clive Aslet in his Daily Telegraph article ‘Sidmouth Mans the Barricades, the author of the letter, Michael Blagrove, says, “I am glad that I am not alone in detecting a nasty smell emanating from The Knowle… the unmistakable whiff of aloofness and unaccountability.” Mr Blagrove goes on to explain why in his experience, “the officers of the council seem to be under the impression that they are rather too grand to act as “public servants” in the accepted manner..” He is particularly scathing about the Chief Executive’s dual role in South Somerset and East Devon, commenting that ” He may well consider himself to be a jack of all trades, but clearly he is master of none.”
The letter can be viewed in full at http://www.viewfromonline, Tues Oct 28th 2014.
Clive Aslet, Editor-at-Large of Country Life, made some similar observations after a visit to Sidmouth two years ago. See final paragraph of his report at this link