Job opportunity with the Jurassic Coast Trust.

Coincidentally, after EDWatch’s recent post ‘Marketing the Jurassic Coast’, this relevant job advertisement has today been circulated.

31 March 2015
Are you an experienced administrator who can make a big difference to the Jurassic Coast?

The Jurassic Coast Trust funds and inspires education and conservation projects along the 95 miles of World Heritage Coastline. We’re looking for someone to help us make sure we run our projects and activities more efficiently, to keep an eye on the details and to provide support to our growing numbers of volunteers.

From organising events to keeping tabs on the finances, we need a friendly and professional all-rounder with great communication skills who can work as part of our small team and help us do the very best job we can.

The position is part-time (15 hours per week), based in Dorchester, and paying circa £7.50/hour. A full job description can be downloaded from our website.

To apply, please submit a CV and a covering letter, explaining how your skills and experience match the role profile for this job, to Alexandra O’Dwyer at the Trust –

The closing date for applications is Friday 10th April 2015.

Yours sincerely


Guy Kerr
Community Coordinator
Jurassic Coast Trust
077 6611 2724

From the archives – 2 – Sidford employment land

Here is where our CEO said in July 2013 that you can’t change the Local Plan – and then did just that by adding Knowle redevelopment and then in Februart 2015 allowing 5 new business parks to be listed in the most recent draft Local Plan:

“It would be straightforward to remove the Sidford allocation from the Local Plan: failure to do so would risk the rejection of the whole plan by the Inspector. He seconded Cllr Troman’s motion that it should be deleted.

Chief Executive Mark Williams then advised that this would not be possible legally as it was not a minor amendment.

This provoked an extraordinary attack on Mr Williams by Cllr Allen. His advice was a “biased” view which showed ignorance of the NPPF. He did not have a “grip” on the legal situation, and had not taken account of all the legal considerations.
Tory Whip, Phil Twiss, jumped up to defend the CEO who must be right “because he is a solicitor” and Cllr Allen wasn’t!

Allen, who, in his day job is the Officer Responsible for Regeneration at South Somerset District Council, calmly replied that he had a considerable legal authority on his side – the NPPF.

A rather shell-shocked Council then proceeded to vote on the motion to delete Sidford. It was rejected.”

The Tory majority – immune to argument- went on to approve all the “minor amendments” to the Local Plan which approves the Knowle and Sidford proposals.

Marketing the Jurassic Coast…

….is a complicated business.
Latest aerial views keep us up to date with what’s happening, with EDDC planners’ approval:

And bodies such as the Environment Agency alert us to some of the problems..Has this one been solved?? :

Exeter City Council unanimously rejects Topsham Care Home scheme with similarities to Knowl plans

Planning committee member, Cllr Rob Newby, represents Topsham on the city council and said: “I have issues with the county council’s decision as the highways authority that the access to this scheme from Exeter Road would be suitable.

“At one point the rugby club wanted to form a hub there but the highways refused it because of access and yet there would have been less traffic than with this scheme.

“Topsham already has an over-burdened medical system; there are two surgeries serving more than 10,000 people and this development could cause an imbalance in the population.”

Fellow committee member, Cllr Kevin Mitchell, said: “Topsham has its own unique identity and I very much hope that we can keep the gap between Exeter and Topsham as long as we can.”

Cllr Mitchell added that he thought a neighbourhood plan for Topsham, as has been done for St James’, would be beneficial for the town.

New guidance on paying people off to cover up scandals and opening senior officer performance to scrutiny

Use of severance agreements
The Government has recently put in place new guidelines for central government departments and their Arms Length Bodies on the appropriate use of severance agreements. These guidelines establish important and clear principles including that agreements cannot be used to cover up examples of individual or organisational failure.

Performance appraisal of senior staff
It is more important than ever that local authorities can demonstrate to their communities that they have strong and effective arrangements in place for managing performance of their senior staff. Better performance management can make it easier to tackle performance issues quicker, which will improve services and can help avoid costly exit deals. Authorities should open up their performance appraisal arrangements to scrutiny and give the public the opportunity to have their say on the way the authority and its most senior staff are performing.

Click to access Gudiance_on_Use_of_Severance_Agreements_and_Off_Payroll_Arrangements__Final_150327.pdf

More on balanced growth

Balanced Growth

Definition of Balanced Growth:

“Balanced Growth refers to a specific type of economic growth that is sustainable in the long term. Balanced growth is opposed to the boom and bust nature of economic cycles.”

It was felt the UK had balanced growth between 1993 and 2007 – a long period of economic expansion and low inflation.

However, the credit crunch of 2007, showed the growth wasn’t as balanced as previously thought. Despite low inflation, there was a boom in bank lending and growth of credit. There was also a boom in house prices which got reversed from 2007.

So, why has EDDC chosen “economic growth” which is highly susceptible to boom and bust, particularly in the housing market, where a change in mortgage interest rates could lead many people into negative equity?

Wainhomes: not only Feniton unhappy …

“Employment sites” – 5 new sites sneak into the Local Plan

Employment Sites

Sites included in this report are both existing employment sites and those proposed as employment sites in the new Local Plan. Each site has been given a reference number. Five new sites have been added to the assessment this year:

Woodbury Business Park

Addlepool Business Centre

Lodge Trading Estate

Hungry Fox Estate


Click to access employment-land-review-2014.pdf

Anyone recall CEO Mark Williams saying at the Local Plan DMC meeting that you couldn’t change the Local Plan by taking sites out? Apparently, it’s OK to put them in!

And just where are some of these sites: the names seem somewhat misleading.

Addlepool is in Clyst St George
Lodge Trading Estate is at Broadclyst
Hungry Fox is also Broadclyst
McBains is presumably the site at Exeter Airport

Creeping industrialisation of villages in the West End …?

From the archives 1 “Clean, green and seen” promise East Devon Tories in 2011

Below are parts of the speech made by Paul Diviani made when he was elected Leader of East Devon District Council in May 2011 :

“My experience has always been to ensure the business is based on economic fundamentals; for example, borrow only to create future wealth without overstretching your resource.

“Recessions do pass and our responsibility will be to help our many small businesses survive and prosper; our High Streets to retain or revert to smaller and unique outlets in the interests of local diversity; our youth to have the opportunity to live and work here; our many senior citizens to enjoy a quality of life they have earned; for the vulnerable to be protected; and for you as councillors to have the satisfaction of knowing you are part of that; and, more widely, for the people of East Devon to have the confidence that our aspirations are in harmony. Truly sustainable places are about happy communities, living and working together in wonderful locations. The future may not be orange, but it is bright.”

Some call it safe, clean and green – to which I would add seen.

“Safe comes through good design at the planning stage, through working with the police, fire and rescue and all the other services that deal with our society’s well-being, with particular emphasis on the vulnerable of whatever age.

“Clean is the public realm – paths and pavements on which we travel, the quality of our parks and pleasure grounds, efficient and convenient services, such as waste recycling and collection.

“Green will come as no surprise! Two-thirds of our district is nationally designated as Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, which makes East Devon such a fabulous place to live, work and play.

“Seen is about perception and reality and is all about effective communication. All too often we read that EDDC doesn’t listen, doesn’t care, sits in an ivory tower – the list goes on. The cynical view of the last government – decide, consult, do it all anyway – is not my approach.”

“Obviously, we [EDDC councillors] won’t all agree on everything but my path is one of consensus and inclusivity. I hope you will agree that we have a quite different looking Cabinet to align with the Officer responsibilities. We want to align talent and experience with positions rather than through patronage.”

District council election candidates – deadline 9 April to register

You have until 4 pm on Thursday 9 April to register as a district council election candidate.

If you wish to stand as an East Devon Alliance independent candidate, please get in touch with them via their website:

Information about being a councillor:

“Economic growth” (EDDC choice) or “Balanced growth” (Mid Devon choice) for Local Plans

Based on the same reports from the same consultants, East Devon District Council has chosen “Economic Growth” but Mid Devon has chosen “Balancec Growth” . Here, in their Core Strategy, is why Mid Devon made its choice:

Economic growth strategy alternative:

5.7 Economic development would be the main priority for this strategy option, with social and environmental objectives set at a lower level of importance.

· High housing and employment growth, with sites chosen largely for economic viability.

· Limited affordable housing provision.

· Housing concentrated at Tiverton and Cullompton

· Employment to be promoted at locations such as motorway junctions.

· Employment provision in the rural areas strongly encouraged.

· Efforts to attract major tourist attractions.

· Retail development promoted in the three Area Centres.

· No limitations on car use.

5.8 This strategy is in many ways the converse of the environmental protection strategy and the Sustainability Appraisal found that its costs and benefits to sustainability are therefore largely a mirror image. It would involve the greatest use of Greenfield land for development for both housing and employment, with inevitable landscape impacts arising. Notably, the location of development, with its emphasis on car – based access, will lead to greater travel overall than the other strategies, with much worse impact on climate change.
Balanced growth strategy alternative

5.9 The Balanced Growth strategy option would seek to minimise the conflict between social, environmental and economic objectives, and promote the balanced achievement of sustainable development. It was an evolution of the current strategy and policies set out in the Mid Devon Local Plan First Alteration.

· Development of new housing concentrated on the Area Centres, particularly Tiverton.

· Housing density generally higher than in the past but based on design – led solutions.

· Smaller dwellings provided, with maximum affordable housing provision.

· Rural housing generally limited to local need.

· Employment close to housing, encouraging town centre provision

and homeworking.

· Small scale employment and tourist provision encouraged throughout the rural areas.

· Promotion of a significant retail provision in Crediton.

· Some increased control over design, particularly in historic areas,

with targeted environmental enhancements continuing.

· Renewable energy schemes encouraged, together with low energy development.

· Car restraint, and provision of alternatives to the car, to concentrate on the Area Centres.

5.10 This strategy is the most sustainable of the strategies proposed, being positive in the majority of the factors, and negative in none. It would provide for both housing and economic development in locations which minimise traffic generation, allowing for small rural economic diversification. For these reasons, it formed the initial basis for the Core Strategy policies.

Relocation approval rushed through “in indecent haste, at the fag end of an administration” that may soon disappear”

Richard Thurlow’s speech, at the Extra Ordinary Meeting of Full Council last week, explains :

Don’t trust party political “independence”

The independence of chief inspectors in areas like prisons and the border force could be threatened by the way they are selected and budgets are set, MPs say.

Administration of the five inspectorates in the justice and home affairs sectors is done by ministers in charge of those areas.

The Public Accounts Committee said there was a risk government departments “could use these controls… as levers to influence” the inspectorates.
It wants a review of the arrangements. …

… It said the Ministry of Justice “mishandled an entirely foreseeable conflict of interest” by appointing former Chief Inspector of Probation Paul McDowell in February 2014, because his wife held a senior post in a private provider which later successfully bid for six contracts.

A MoJ spokesman said: “At the time of his appointment, Mr McDowell’s position was fully reasonable with all the appropriate pre-appointment processes properly followed.”

He said the MoJ would liaise with the Justice Select Committee about the arrangements for the appointment of a new chief inspector of probation.
The PAC report questioned a January 2014 change allowing the home secretary to decide when to issue the border inspector reports, saying this undermined the inspectorate’s independence and had resulted in publication delays.