Relocation rolls on…

..and the money rolls out, thanks to a District Council which (as Seaton Cllr Peter Burrows put it) “may not be in existence when the loan expires.”
Yet no-one knows whether Pegasus Life Ltd will offer EDDC for the Knowle a figure nearer £7million or nearer £8million (the rough price-range agreed). But with no Heads of Terms yet fixed, councillors’ vote tonight to go ahead with relocation nonetheless, puts the ball firmly in Pegasus Life’s court.

As usual, questions from the public went unanswered.

Extracts from the meeting will be available on YouTube soon. The link, and more on tonight’s Extra Ordinary meeting, will be posted on EDWatch in due course.

Wainhomes: end of the road in Feniton – maybe …

From a local correspondent:

As Cllr Susie Bond has reported in her blog —

— Wainhomes’ efforts to sneak in 31 more houses onto its estate in Feniton have been kicked into the long grass -at least for now and hopefully for ever.

Notwithstanding really compelling arguments by the developer – e.g. it was just filling in some gaps and it would help tidy up the boundary of the estate as a result.

Yeah, right etc — East Devon District Council threw out their most recent proposal on the wholly reasonable grounds that this latest unwanted addition to Feniton represented unsustainable development, and that further building would impact adversely on the landscape.

It will be remembered that in 2011 Wainhomes wanted to build 150 houses on arable land outside the village; that was reduced to 50 (for which permission was given in 2012); then they applied for another 83; that was turned down; and then they applied for another 31, which has now been turned down also.

Fight for Feniton confidently predicts that Wainhomes – memorably described as “morally bankrupt” by Cllr Bond on BBC TV when it was discovered that the developer had conveniently forgotten to install attenuation tanks, as it was required to do on its site, to prevent yet further flooding in the village – will return.

Time this developer accepted the inevitable and tried building somewhere else. Such as on brownfield sites in towns where the jobs are.

Wainhomes in Feniton. Not wanted, not needed, not trusted.

Hugo Swire hospitalty benefits

In case you miss a comment posted below, it is repeated here:

In Hugo Swire’s Register of Interests, you can see that he, and his wife whom he employs at our expense, has declared benefits in the form of free tickets to several Black and White Balls paid for by IPLG Ltd. IPLG Ltd is connected to Michael Spencer.

A report dated June 2011,Conservative Party Interests Relating to the Insurance Industry* says this of Mr Swire and other IPLG beneficiaries:

IPGL – IPGL is a private holding company controlled by businessman Michael Spencer and it appears several times in this report. Among a diverse and changing investment portfolio it wholly owns the insurance company Insurance Capital Partners and partly owns an insurance brokerage called Oxygen.

Since 2005 IPGL and Micheal Spencer’s donations to the Central Conservative Party and constituencies have totaled £3,929,892.52. IPGL has also given
hospitality in the form of private helicopter and plane journeys,international visits and tickets to Conservative Party social functions to several Members of Parliament since 2007. The following Members of Parliament have received such hospitality:

MP David Cameron
MP Mark Francis
MP Andrew Mitchell
MP George Osborne
MP Hugo Swire

Mr Spencer’s other financial interests are reported to have included a spread betting concern. Wonder what odds they are giving Hugo now?


District Councillors may be left wondering what happened to “cost neutral?”

Rush, rush, rush! Councillors will have barely had time to read through and fully digest the minutes of the Special Development Management Committee meeting (on Monday 23 March), which have just been sent to them, before they are required to make a ‘final decision’ on relocation at this evening’s 6.30pm meeting.
Will all have opened their e-mails straightaway? And how many will have been able to collect well in time, the paper copy of the minutes available from their pigeon holes from 4pm today?

In a whirlwind week of Extra Ordinary meetings, some Councillors might be hardpressed to sufficiently absorb the latest information on a whole raft of extremely important decisions with long-term consequences. They are being inexplicably and unreasonably squeezed into a decision on the sale of Knowle, AND proposed changes to the revised Local Plan, in the same short period of time.

The links received (hopefully) by Councillors are:
> enda-local-plan.pdf
The previously circulated Special Development Management Committee
> agenda papers:
> Agenda –
> a.pdf
> Draft schedule of proposed changes –
> -local-plan-v3-march-15.pdf
Addendum report with proposed changes –
> em-5.pdf
Revised Draft New East Devon Local Plan with tracked changes:
> nges-for-post-hearing-consultation-ver-04-march-2015.pdf

Councillors have a lot on their shoulders. The public speaking this evening would clearly like to share the load.

“We’re treating soil like dirt”

… The government’s deregulation bill, which has now almost completed its passage through parliament, will force regulators – including those charged with protecting the fabric of the land – to “have regard to the desirability of promoting economic growth”. But short-term growth at the expense of public protection compromises long-term survival. This “unambiguously pro-business agenda” is deregulating us to death.

There’s no longer even an appetite for studying the problem. Just one university – Aberdeen – now offers a degree in soil science. All the rest have been closed down.

This is what topples civilisations. War and pestilence might kill large numbers of people, but in most cases the population recovers. But lose the soil and everything goes with it.”

Hugo “foot in mouth” Swire makes it into today’s London Evening Standard

“The only blessing was that this offered distraction from the truly toxic Afzal Amin, who may well have cost the Tories a crucial seat in the Midlands after he was accused of a deal with the far-Right English Defence League so improbable, stupid and cynical that it sounded like the plot of a satirical television drama.

Lest we think this was just idiocy from a rookie newcomer to politics, consider Hugo Swire, a Cameron ally and Brahmin of a banking dynasty. Representing a party which has to conduct difficult welfare reforms while being accused of being led by heartless toffs, he made jokes about people on benefits being able to afford £60,000 in auction prizes at a fundraiser. Swire is also a minister of state — a Cameron appointment — so the task of diplomacy without shooting his foot should not be entirely beyond him.”

Real Zorro: RIP Knowle

The thing to remember is that it was not ALL councillors who wanted to move – this was engineered only by Conservative councillors and by its Honiton-centric Cabinet in an atmosphere of secrecy and disdain for the East Devon public.

Knowle Relocation …Will tonight’s ‘final decision’ leave poison chalice for East Devon?

Display 3What’s at stake tonight’s Extra Ordinary Council meeting? No less than our big money (a 20 year Council debt is proposed), and the re-shaping of one of East Devon’s loveliest towns.

So,once again, the public gallery will be full. Once again, Councillors may be seen to be pulled by the nose into making a huge decision, with possibly incomplete information at their disposal. EDDC may be obliged to release further ‘sensitive’ documents in just a few days’ time.

The meeting starts at 6.30pm this evening, at Knowle Council Chamber. Agenda on EDDC website, under ‘ Councillors and Democracy’.

Come early to get a seat..and enjoy a stroll in the whole park, while you still can!