Crealy Cornwall site sold, expansion of Devon site planned

Crealy Devon owners said:

The sale of Cornwall’s Crealy will mean that we can concentrate our efforts and investments at our multi award winning Devon’s Crealy Great Adventure Park and its adjoining luxury caravan and camping park Crealy Meadows. We have had a good season so far this year in Devon and we are looking forward to progressing with some very exciting plans for the future.”

So nothing to do with financing for a big housing development on the A3052 (as presented to the Local Plan hearings) then?

“Tories accused of ‘shameful abuse of power’ over electoral roll changes”

The London Evening Standard published this article today. Of course, we know all about this in East Devon, as our Electoral Returning Officer (EDDC CEO Mark Williams) “lost” around 6,000 local voters before the last elections in May 2015. Coincidentally, these were exactly the kind of voters referred to below – ” …young people, private sector tenants, ethnic minorities and those from more socially deprived communities — who traditionally are less likely to vote Conservative — are most likely to be affected.”

The full text of the article:

Tens of thousands of Londoners could disappear from the electoral roll and lose their right to vote in next year’s mayoral and London Assembly elections, it was claimed today.

Ministers were accused of a “shameful abuse of power” after they brought forwards changes to the electoral registration system which critics claim could undermine the democratic outcome of key elections in the capital.

The Liberal Democrats said that up to two million voters across the country could be effectively disenfranchised with Londoners particularly at risk since the capital has such a large and transient population. Young people, private sector tenants, ethnic minorities and those from more socially deprived communities — who traditionally are less likely to vote Conservative — are most likely to be affected.

The Government, however, has insisted it is focusing on cleaning up the register which under the old system included many “ghost” voters who should no longer be included.

Lib-Dem MP Tom Brake, who has tabled a rejection motion in the House of Commons, said: “This is clearly going to lead to a very large number of people being disenfranchised and it’s very hard not to believe that there’s some political motivation behind it because the people most likely to be affected are probably not Conservative supporters.”

Lib-Dem London Assembly member Caroline Pidgeon added: “The Government is blatantly ignoring the independent electoral commission in pursuit of narrow party advantage. It is a shameful abuse of power.

“Removing nearly two million UK voters will leave gaping holes in the electoral register, especially in many parts of London. It will undermine the democratic outcome of next year’s Mayor and London Assembly elections.”

The Government brought forward the new system by a year to December 2015, even though the electoral commission advised ministers to spend another year transferring voters on the old household-based register to the new individual register.

Critics have warned that as the cleaned-up register will form the basis of the boundary review of parliamentary seats due to begin next year it will also result in fewer inner-city seats, which would favour the Conservatives.

A Cabinet Office spokesman said: “The transition to Individual Electoral Registration has been a huge success. Now we need to remove up to two million entries on the electoral registers which are inaccurate or out of date.”

In a letter to The Guardian, Cabinet Office minister John Penrose said: “It is absolutely untrue that anyone will accidentally find themselves unable to vote because of the change to individual electoral registration. Completing the transition this December will mean that all boundaries are based on the most accurate registers.”

“I’m afraid that people who oppose this will make the voting registers less accurate, and elections less fair with higher risk of fraud. People will conclude that they’re trying try to hang on to the existing system simply because it gives them an inbuilt party-political advantage, and that they’re putting this ahead of what’s right and fair.”

Rural broadband campaigners will be allowed to speak at DCC scrutiny meeting but transparency is a gift not a right according to Councillor Moulding

Amazing what a little adverse publicity and pointing out of hypocrisy can do:

The Owl takes some credit for this change of mind after pointing out that Councillor Moulding did not practise what he preached:

But we still have to point out that the right for the public to speak is being touted as a special and generous gift from said Councillor when, in fact, he, and DCC should be highly embarrassed by the fact that normally the public can’t address a SCRUTINY committee!

Anyone see the problem here – that the only people allowed to scrutinise the council are the councillors themselves and that the Scrutiny Committee is chaired by a majority party councillor, against accepted guidelines that the Chair should be from a minority party! It was touted thus by Councillor Moulding:

“It is not common practice for the public to give evidence at council scrutiny meetings, so the decision by chairman councillor Andrew Moulding marks a break from tradition.”

and thus by the Vice-Chair:

“I have always favoured public involvement and very much welcome this change of heart,” he said. “Openness and transparency are vital ingredients of any democratic process”.

The moral of this story? If you want transparency, you have to fight for it, it isn’t your right it is their privilege to grant it to you.

Four supermarkets were competing for EDDC’s new HQ site in Honiton

According to the front page of today’s Midweek Herald:


Although Honiton Chamber of Commerce is ecstatic, the missed opportunity to have a Waitrose must get up some people’s noses.

Not to mention that even the lowest bid would probably have been enough (when one includes the £750,000 plus already spent on pre-location costs) to refurbish the current HQ at true zero cost.

Surely our Honiton- centric Cabinet didn’t let the Chamber of Commerce sway their decision?

Lack of cohesive coastal climate change policies leave people and infrastructure vulnerable

… “The team conclude that the mixture of decentralised and privatised management of services like rail is “not geared towards” addressing the impact of climate change. They add this will only be made worse if the Conservative Government continues to pay too little attention to the threat posed by climate change.

“Given the fact that the current UK government policy is not oriented towards prioritising climate change adaption and providing local authorities with more resources, this lack of action is not likely to change in the future,” continues Dr den Uyl.

“And given that this decentralised, privatised setting around infrastructure and coastal management applies to other areas in the UK, these areas may face similar challenges.”