East Devon in UKs top ten for over-70s population

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/alasdair-rae/the-generations-of-the-uk_b_7856198.html

It’s all well and good attracting highly-paid, high-tech jobs to this area but who is going to care for these people as they age further? And where are those people going to live?

More on the NHS and Cabinet Minister Michael Gove’s ankles

Following on from our story on Michael Gove’s journalist wife writing about his visit to an NHS minor injuries unit: over last weekend

https://eastdevonwatch.org/2015/07/25/cabinet-minister-michael-goves-wife-complains-about-his-treatment-at-minor-injuries-unit-and-a-nurse-replies/

the following has just appeared on “The Sun” website:

More than 9,000 people have shared an open letter to Ms Vine (wife of Michael Gove) from consultant Tony Cartwright, who vented his anger on Facebook. The doctor – who says he’s left Britain for Abu Dhabi after becoming fed up of Tory reforms – accuses the Goves of making ‘no effort’ and resorting instead to ‘open vitriol’.

He’s the latest medic to sound off at the Tories’ plans for a 7-day NHS, which medics say is badly thought-out and ignores the many services already offered on the weekend.

Addressing Ms Vine, Mr Cartwright wrote: “I am another UK doctor who is writing a letter to government, if only to satisfy my own anger and frustration. You must all be getting quite tired of this, really.

“Ms Vine, you took your husband to a 17 bed community hospital out of hours… and you really expected the full flow of a trauma centre? This is an unrealistic expectation and will never be the case.

We could staff Shepton Mallet Community Hospital with a 24/7 radiology department for the use of ‘people like us,’ as you describe yourself and as you suggest at the end of your missive. However I suspect your husband’s friend, Jeremy, and indeed the PM himself may have something to say about that and the funding and staffing involved.

Your nearest emergency department is either in Yeovil or Bath, both a fairly tiresome 40-60 minute drive. Had you gone to either of these hospitals you would have had an X-ray at any time of the day or night and been referred immediately to orthopaedics if required, oh, and been reviewed by a Consultant, for urgent treatment if required. That would have resolved your issue later on the Sunday, however I suspect you had many more important things to do than ensure the comfort and health of your husband.

It was your and/or your husband’s choice, for whatever reason, to not take your husband to a doctor in an emergency department in a timely fashion following his injury.

You see, with repeated changes to funding and allocation of resources within the NHS, the local A&E departments that I remember as a child have been wound down and closed.

You and your husband have the freedom to be able to choose to live in a beautiful leafy part of Somerset far from the madding crowds. Surely you could have used a little of your husband’s 10% pay rise to cover the cost of a little petrol/diesel and some hospital parking to get either to Bath or Yeovil, both centres of NHS excellence?

Your decision not to is not our fault. Do not blame us for your lack of effort or forward thinking.”

Source: The Sun Website today

Council launches review of polling districts and stations

“East Devon residents are asked for their views and suggestions on polling stations ready for council to consider in December

East Devon District Council is due to launch a review into the district’s polling districts and polling places and is seeking feedback from the public.

The council will be pleased to receive views from anyone, but particularly stakeholders, such as electors, parishes, political parties and councillors. It will also be grateful for comments from people and organisations with expertise in access for people with disabilities.

Anyone who would like information about a particular parish or part of the district should contact us either by e-mail (elections@eastdevon.gov.uk) or telephone (01395 517550).

East Devon District Council’s Chief Executive, Mark Williams, said:

“Over the years, the locations where voting takes place in East Devon have remained the same, except for occasions where a building is no longer available. Following the recent election we now need to review the existing situation.

“If anyone thinks we should be looking at alternative locations to the polling stations that were used in May this year or have comments on the stations that were used, please could they let us have their views as soon as possible.”
Views and comments should be made in writing, setting out any alternative suggestions, by no later than Friday, 25 September 2015 to the Electoral Services Manager, East Devon District Council, Council Offices, Knowle, Sidmouth EX10 8HL

The Chief Executive will make proposals to the council, taking account of all the views and comments that are received. The council meeting where the recommendations will be considered will be held on Wednesday 16 December 2015 and will be open to the public.”

If you have any reservations about locations or access to polling stations do let Mr Williams know. It is a very long time since these locations were first chosen and some of them may now be inappropriate.

One assumes that locations in the ownership of or linked closely to serving councillors will not be considered appropriate.

That Messianic speech from Our Glorious Leader translated for the masses

We aim to secure an outstanding and sustainable quality of life for everyone in East Devon.

Now, let’s get it straight: we are talking about developers here – who did you think I was talking about?

Where we live, work and play has a tremendous influence on our well-being. We shall seek to conserve and enhance the environment through the social and economic well-being of the people who live and work here. We must achieve a proper balance between the environment, the economy and our communities by weighing the relative merits to ensure sustainability and resultant harmony.

Of course, I am talking only about the Blackdown Hills here – the rest of you will just have to cope with whatever developments we decide to throw at you.

We want to be safe in our communities and to that end we will work in partnership with the other authorities to achieve that. We will look after the disadvantaged of all ages, to ensure that lack of finance and opportunity is not a barrier to the quality of life we all desire. With local housing for local people our top priority, we shall enable good quality and sustainable development to produce the 250 affordable homes we need every year. Then, at last, we will enable families to live and work in close proximity to each other, emulating the cohesive neighbourhoods we remember and desire.

I’m not daft: I shall be needing the police to provide me with a bodyguard if things get any worse and they cut 25-40% of our government grant AND we build a new HQ for ourselves. And we are still talking about developers: we will ensure that they never lack finance or opportunity to ensure that they have the quality of life they all desire and we will always look after them. 250 affordable homes – well, 90% of a massive average house price is affordable to our pals, what are you grizzling about.

We want our public realm to remain attractive; whether it be the award-winning parks and gardens or the pavements and pathways we traverse daily. We are fortunate that we can all share not only the nationally designated Blackdown Hills and East Devon AONBs (Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty), but also the only English, internationally recognised, natural World Heritage Site, known as the Jurassic Coast, which together comprise two-thirds of our District. As our landscape defines our style, so we shall recognise that renewable energy will have an increasingly important part to play in the way our district looks and powers itself.

Did you really have to put parks and gardens in there (those Sidmouth people will moan about that) and AONBs and the Jurassic Coast in this bit speechwriter? Oh, well, if you must, just don’t expect us to worry too much about them if they are not in the Blackdown Hills.

We want there to be equal opportunity for work and in particular to achieve high quality jobs in the emerging high tech and green industries. No longer should our young people be forced to leave through lack of housing or employment. Those who wish to depart will always have the option to return to their roots in later years. If they do, we will be there to look after them.

High-tech jobs for rich but dim kids for whom we will buy houses or buy-to-let properties in their names from our profits or cashed-in pensions.  Er, what exactly are “green industries” speechwriter?  Oh, that’s right, industrial sheds at the Growth Point painted in Racing Green!

Recognising our foremost economic activity, we welcome visitors drawn to our stunning coastline, our vibrant market towns and villages set in our beautiful countryside, which would not be so but for the custodianship of our farmers who we will support in their efforts to maintain food security and in the process, bring delicious local produce to market. In recognition of the many small rural businesses which are the backbone of our economy, we shall continue to lobby for fast broadband which will also stop our youngsters being disadvantaged solely through location.

I will always support the Farmers Market in the Blackdown Hills and will ensure that we get broadband before everyone else in the countryside, the rest of you will just have to cope as best you can.  And any farmers out there who want to put up your land for great big developments like others have before you – come and see us very soon!

We shall communicate in a positive manner with all our residents which will ensure positive leadership and positive partnerships. We want people to feel they really can influence public decision-making but realise, in the spirit of localism, individual and community initiatives reflect responsibilities rather than rights. Truly sustainable places are about happy communities, living and working together in wonderful places.

We ALWAYS communicate with our residents in a positive manner, even when it is bad, bad news and we DEFINITELY have positive partnerships with our developers. And NO WAY are the plebs going to influence us – we have the rights, they have the responsibility to do as we say! And if our developers are happy, we are happy.

We all want to be proud to live in East Devon and when that is realised, we shall be content.”

Except that WE will build dark, Satanic mills!

Fade out with the Monty Python film with the famous scene of the masses offering adulation to the Messiah and his mother saying

“He isn’t the Messiah, he is a Very Naughty Boy”.

Original taken from – notes in RED from The Owl.

http://www.conservativehome.com/localgovernment/2015/07/cllr-paul-diviani-our-mission-in-east-devon.html

Joke of the millenium: Paul Diviani’s “vision” for East Devon!

We have had clean, green and seen – now we have the ultimate in hypocrisy. a full critique will appear after Owl has lain in a darkened room for some hours mulling on this triumphalist nonsense.

Moses and his Ten Commandments and Ed Milliband’s Tablet of Stone have nothing on this guy!

On the “Conservative Home” website today:

We aim to secure an outstanding and sustainable quality of life for everyone in East Devon.

Where we live, work and play has a tremendous influence on our well-being. We shall seek to conserve and enhance the environment through the social and economic well-being of the people who live and work here. We must achieve a proper balance between the environment, the economy and our communities by weighing the relative merits to ensure sustainability and resultant harmony.

We want to be safe in our communities and to that end we will work in partnership with the other authorities to achieve that. We will look after the disadvantaged of all ages, to ensure that lack of finance and opportunity is not a barrier to the quality of life we all desire. With local housing for local people our top priority, we shall enable good quality and sustainable development to produce the 250 affordable homes we need every year. Then, at last, we will enable families to live and work in close proximity to each other, emulating the cohesive neighbourhoods we remember and desire.

We want our public realm to remain attractive; whether it be the award-winning parks and gardens or the pavements and pathways we traverse daily. We are fortunate that we can all share not only the nationally designated Blackdown Hills and East Devon AONBs (Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty), but also the only English, internationally recognised, natural World Heritage Site, known as the Jurassic Coast, which together comprise two thirds of our District. As our landscape defines our style, so we shall recognise that renewable energy will have an increasingly important part to play in the way our district looks and powers itself.

We want there to be equal opportunity for work and in particular to achieve high quality jobs in the emerging high tech and green industries. No longer should our young people be forced to leave through lack of housing or employment. Those who wish to depart will always have the option to return to their roots in later years. If they do, we will be there to look after them.

Recognising our foremost economic activity, we welcome visitors drawn to our stunning coastline, our vibrant market towns and villages set in our beautiful countryside, which would not be so but for the custodianship of our farmers who we will support in their efforts to maintain food security and in the process, bring delicious local produce to market. In recognition of the many small rural businesses which are the backbone of our economy, we shall continue to lobby for fast broadband which will also stop our youngsters being disadvantaged solely through location.

We shall communicate in a positive manner with all our residents which will ensure positive leadership and positive partnerships. We want people to feel they really can influence public decision making but realise, in the spirit of localism, individual and community initiatives reflect responsibilities rather than rights. Truly sustainable places are about happy communities, living and working together in wonderful places.

We all want to be proud to live in East Devon and when that is realised, we shall be content.”

http://www.conservativehome.com/localgovernment/2015/07/cllr-paul-diviani-our-mission-in-east-devon.html


How can we believe anything our politicians say?

From “The Sun” expose on Baron John Sewel, 69 — Deputy Speaker of the Lords:

One of the girls claims she met the peer in a strip club in London’s Soho in 2012.

As a member of the Lords, he is involved in legislating on sexual offences acts, prostitution and brothel-keeping laws.

As Deputy Speaker he would also be expected to demonstrate higher standards of moral behaviour than ordinary peers.

Sewel helped draw up a code of conduct which insists peers act with “selflessness, integrity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership”.

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/6560352/Baron-John-Sewel-drug-binges-with-prostitutes.html

“A chancellor who shrinks the state will end up shrinking his popularity”

William Keegan writes:

“The rhetoric about ‘scroungers’ plays well, but the size of Osborne’s assault on services is so large that he may end up facing a widespread public backlash.

The Conservatives are riding high at the moment and Labour are laid flat on the floor. Seldom has a serving chancellor of the exchequer appeared as triumphalist as George Osborne – although memories are evoked of the high points in my old friend Nigel Lawson’s chancellorship during the boom of 1988.

However: history demonstrates that Labour is capable of coming back from the dead – eventually. And to my mind, with his naked experiment in social engineering and drastically reducing the size of the state, George Osborne could well be riding for a fall. I for one would not risk too much money backing him to become prime minister.

David Cameron and George Osborne present themselves as “one nation Tories” who have captured “the middle ground”. Ed Miliband has been condemned for being too leftwing, although the prime minister and chancellor have shamelessly stolen his leftwing minimum- and living-wage clothes; and, with its changes in taxation of dividends and treatment of non-doms, the recent budget has upset the top 10% of society just as much as Miliband and Ed Balls would have done.

Both their election campaign and latest, unfettered-by-the-Liberals budget demonstrated that yet another idea the Conservatives stole from Miliband was the concept of “the squeezed middle”. The budget measures are, to put it mildly, hardly aimed at alleviating the plight of the poor and vulnerable, but the government is quite happy to go along with the tabloid myth that most of the unemployed or benefit claimants are merely “scroungers”.

As the old cockney saying goes: “It’s the same the whole world over: it’s the poor what gets the blame, it’s the rich what gets the pleasure. Isn’t it a blooming shame?”

It is not just leftwing extremists who remain up in arms about the way that the banks continue to live in a world where they expect to be bailed out by the taxpayer if – or perhaps when – things go wrong again.

Why, Lord Lawson was making the point in a fascinating conversation with Peter Hennessy on Radio 4 last week. Lawson is annoyed that retail banking is still not properly separated from investment banking.

He is not alone in arguing that one of the fundamental problems behind the financial crisis was the way that the risk-taking culture of investment banks infected good old-fashioned retail banks like RBS. Indeed, I have heard many a rightwing acquaintance complain that the real scroungers were those financial operators who nearly brought the world economy to its knees and then had to be bailed out.

Lawson speaks with some authority on the subject, but seems to have forgotten that the seeds were sown by the Big Bang deregulation in 1986 of which he was so proud. It was that which led to the fusion of retail and investment banking, and all that followed!

And what do we find now? The banking lobby is as shameless and influential as ever, and the chancellor favours easing up on regulation.

But it is not merely the poor and the defenceless who are going to suffer even more from an austerity policy whose origins lay in the consequences of the banking crisis. When the wider public wakes up to the impact of the formidable cuts in public services now being planned by local authorities throughout the land, Osborne may find there is quite a backlash.

Even the Financial Times, which has been a cheerleader for him, is beginning to express concerns about his headlong rush to shrink the size of the state.

Let’s face it. All this stuff about “one nation” and “compassionate Conservatism” is so much guff. When people say how pragmatic and centrist this chancellor really is, I, for one, start counting the spoons. As Tony Travers, professor in the British government department at the London School of Economics, writes in the coming August issue of the National Institute Economic Review, Osborne’s desire for “a 36% state” (as a proportion of GDP) “is well below the longer-term average for UK state spending, and will require very large further cuts to ‘unprotected’ services such as local government, the police, fire, transport and housing.”

Travers is a leading authority on local authority finance. He points out that, despite all their spending responsibilities, in the UK local authorities’ taxing powers amount to a mere 5% of total taxation, compared with 35.7% in Sweden. It is a cliche that the British want Scandinavian levels of public service but with American levels of taxation. Osborne appears to be planning a massacre of public services.

Oh, and by the way: a little-noticed item in the budget indicates that this chancellor, with boundless ambition, is creating a “joint security fund”, access to which will be contested by the Ministry of Defence and the intelligence services. At a stroke Osborne has put himself in charge of the strategic defence and security review, and will decide the priorities.

I am beginning to wonder whether we may yet see the kind of tensions between this prime minister and chancellor that we saw so much of under Tony Blair and Gordon Brown.

http://gu.com/p/4bx4p?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

Scrutiny Agenda: Thursday , 30 July 2015 ; 6.00pm

Click to access 300715-scrutiny-agenda-combined.pdf

8  NHS Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group decision on community hospital beds (pages 9 – 10)   A representative from the NEW Devon CCG has been requested to attend by the Chairman to discuss the recent decision on community beds on 16 July 2015, with particular focus on the weight given to the stakeholder report, chaired by Sir JohnEvans.
9
Financial Plan and Draft Transformation strategy
(pages 11- 45) A  chance for the Committee to debate the Financial Plan and draft Transformation
Strategy that sets both the financial and cultural approach for the future.
10
Sickness absence (pages 46–51) A report on measures in place to impact on the number of working days lost due to sickness absence. The requirement for this report was previously identified by the Overview and Scrutiny Committee in reviewing the performance indicator relating to working days lost.
11 Media Protocol (pages 52 – 62) An opportunity for the Committee to familiarise themselves with the recently updated and approved protocol and raise questions in respect of the Council’s East Devon District Council communications.   The protocol as presented to Cabinet on 17 June 2015 is reproduced in these agenda papers.
12
Local Elections 7 May 2015 (pages 63 – 71)  A report of the Chief Executive on the issues raised by the Committee in relation to the recent local elections and the learning points for future elections.
13
Scrutiny forward plan (page 72)  Opportunity for the committee to raise topics for scoping, to determine if and when they should be listed on the forward plan.

Highlight:

ELECTORAL COMMISSION REPORT ON MAY 2015 VOTING PROBLEMS:
“Multiple errors
64* –Some authorities experienced more than one issue in their delivery of the elections which either individually or cumulatively may have had a detrimental impact on voters and those standing for election.
*

Seven ROs overseeing elections in the following local authorities: Allerdale, Darlington, East Devon, East Lindsey, Kingston upon Hull, Stoke on Trent, and West Lindsey.”

So, when Mark Williams makes light of his difficulties with this year’s elections and blames  pressure of work and inexperienced staff , remember that only these 7 local authorities out of a total of 433 had multiple mistakes.

 

Extraordinary Meeting of the Council – 138 page agenda and background papers

“Newly elected Councillors please note that the Extra Ordinary and Ordinary meetings will be preceded at 5.00 pm with a briefing in the Council Chamber – the Chief Executive will outline the business of the meeting and the procedures.”

 

http://eastdevon.gov.uk/media/1227756/290715-combined-council-agenda-and-minute-book.pdf

#http://eastdevon.gov.uk/council-and-democracy/committees-and-meetings/council/council-agendas/

http://eastdevon.gov.uk/media/1141091/270515-annual-council-item-15c-constitution-update.pdf