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.

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


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.”