Time for more women in politics? Maybe – if more women vote for them!

Given that our choice is between 4 middle-aged (or even rather older) men is it time for East Devon to have a (younger than all of them) MP?

It appears that East Devon has NEVER had a female MP – time for change?

This article makes interesting reading:

…one million fewer women than men are thought to have voted in the last election. …

… Stereotyping by the media and an almost relentless focus on clothing and appearance does little to encourage more women to stand for election: the panel observed that women are still held to a different standard and still portrayed in a different way. We are unlikely ever to see “Downing Street Catwalk” headlines scrutinising the fashion sense of newly appointed male cabinet ministers.

The broader treatment of females in the public eye doesn’t help. Even as a journalist, Kuenssberg commented, “you get a huge amount of stick about what you look like, what you wear, what you say, that male people on air just do not get. And some of it is really unpleasant, and some of it appears in august publications.” As Chakelian also observed, in happily giving front-page attention to Nigel Farage’s recent comments about breastfeeding and women’s pay, the media offered a loud voice to the kind of “straight-up sexism” we thought we’d left back in the ’80s.

It’s not just the newspapers that treat women unfairly. Kuenssberg pointed out that social media “amplifies the best and worst of human behaviour”, and women in the public eye are often the targets of vitriolic attack. For many women, the prospect of their family being scrutinised in the press is considered too high a price to pay for becoming an MP. The appalling abuse directed at Jenny Willott MP after she discussed the challenges of balancing parliamentary duties with parenthood on Inside the Commons was highlighted as a case in point.

[How well we recall Leader Paul Diviani patronisingly referring to Councillor Claire Wright as “young lady” One wonders if he would have enjoyed it if she had then referred to him as “old man”!]

The panel did, however, offer a glimmer of hope. The use of social media has changed since 2010 – with growing numbers of people using these channels to call out newspapers and online commentators on their portrayal of women. This challenge won’t necessarily change behaviour, but it does at least give these issues a thorough airing.”

http://www.instituteforgovernment.org.uk/blog/10829/women-uncovered-gender-imbalance-in-politics-and-the-media/

Those 100 business people supporting David Cameron

Those 100 businessmen supporting David Cameron – half of them have either had honours granted by David Cameron and/or are Conservative Party donors.

Definitely time for change!

” ... 20 signatories who were awarded honours, knighthoods or peerages while David Cameron has been Prime Minister are: John Ayton MBE, Baroness Brady CBE, Peter Cullum CBE, Annoushka Ducas MBE, Sir Charles Dunstone, Philip Green CBE, Michael Gutman OBE, Wendy Hallet MBE, Brent Hoberman CBE, Sir George Iacobescu CBE, Ray Kelvin CBE, Sir Dick Olver, Alan Parker CBE, Tony Bidgley CBE, Nick Robertson OBE, Lord Rose, Baroness Shields OBE, James Wates CBE, Sir Hossein Yassaie and Lord Bamford.

The Conservative donors on the list are Aidan Heavey, Alex Baldock, Sir Cameron Mackintosh, Cassie Hutchings, Sir Charles Dunstone, Charles Wigoder, Sir George Iacobescu, George Weston, James Wates, John Elliott, Julian Granville, Lord Bamford, Lord Karan Bilimoria, Malcolm Walker, Michael Gutman, Michael Turner, Moni Varma, Neil Clifford, Nick Jenkins, Nick Leslau, Sir Nigel Rudd, Oliver Hemsley, Paul Walsh, Peter Grauer, Peter Jackson, Ralph Findlay, Robert Walker, Steven Cohen, Tim Oliver, Tony Pidgley, Will Wyatt, Zameer Choudrey.

There is no suggestion of any wrongdoing on the part of any of the signatories.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/one-in-five-of-the-businessmen-who-signed-protory-letter-were-given-honours-by-david-cameron-and-one-third-are-tory-donors-10148897.html

First councillor to be convicted of pecuniary interest offence

“Detective Inspector Neil Devoto of Dorset Police said: “This was a meticulous and impartial investigation into allegations under section 31 and 34 of the Localism Act 2011 following a referral from the East Dorset District Council (EDDC) Monitoring Officer. The Localism Act 2011 is relatively new and I believe that this is one of the first offences brought to trial under this legislation.

“Dorset Police is duty bound to consider evidence and investigate all allegations of criminality. In conjunction with the CPS a decision was made to bring charges. It was decided that charging Mr Flower was in the public interest. It is important that the public have confidence in local representatives and local politics and can trust that due process takes place.”

http://localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=22458:councillor-first-to-be-convicted-of-localism-act-pecuniary-interest-offence&catid=56&Itemid=27

Hhhmmm … wasn’t reported to Action Fraud then!

From the archives 3: 5 year land supply, known in 2009, problems predicted in 2013

All the problems predicted in 2009 and in January 2013 were highlighted again when the Inspector threw out the draft Local Plan in March 2014!

https://sidmouthindependentnews.wordpress.com/2013/01/31/5-year-land-supply-problems-known-about-in-2009/

Now, why would you ignore councillor AND officer advice?

District heating (as supplied in Cranbrook) heavily criticised by Which

The Which? investigation of pricing plans of more than 50 schemes supplying heat to 90,000 households found would-be buyers were misled by incorrect information about costs, and angry they could not switch supplier.

Other problems included unclear billing, making it difficult to work out whether heating costs were fair or accurate, and poor customer service and complaints handling, with many having no access to Ombudsman schemes or independent redress if things go wrong.

One such disgruntled district-heating scheme user, living in Bow, explains he and fellow residents faced problems with the communal pipework silting up, meaning on occasion there wasn’t sufficient heat available and some problems using the controls — “which are unnecessarily complicated”.

But the real surprise was the cost.

“A communal-heating system is meant to be more efficient that individual systems, and our flats are heavily insulated with a clever ventilation system too,” the building-services engineer, who wanted to remain anonymous, explains.

“The radiators are tiny as the flat doesn’t need much heat to keep it warm. So you’d expect the monthly heating cost to be relatively low, yet it’s been £69 a month in our three-bedroom flat over the winter — more than our previous, flat which was almost 100 years old, and had an inefficient, old boiler.

“On top of that we pay a huge, monthly heating standing charge of more than £500 a year, which covers the cost of plant maintenance and future replacement. And with such well-insulated buildings, some have had to install air conditioning to cool down their overheating flats.

“Our windows are so small — to stop heat escaping — that we have to have some of the lights on even in the middle of the day. I’m fairly sure this more than offsets the heating savings.”

http://www.standard.co.uk/business/money/on-the-money-households-face-high-costs-and-low-satisfaction-with-district-heating-10147222.html