Cranbrook Town Council has its hands full

From its Facebook page – good luck dealing with the developers on these issues:

Town Council representatives from the Amenities Committee held the latest of their now regular meetings with representatives of the Growth Point Team, The Consortium / Developers and other key partners on 27th September.

The purpose of the meeting was to work through all the outstanding issues on phase one and to apply the lessons from Phase 1 to Phase 2 and ongoing development of the town.
Getting all of the partners together in one regular meeting has become very effective in moving issues forward and these meetings will continue as a regular feature as part of the process of ensuring that everything possible is being done to make Cranbrook a success.

The meeting is chaired by Cllr Kim Bloxham, who, with Darren Summerfield of the Growth Point Team, has put together a detailed list of all known outstanding issues. Those attending work through the list, item by item, identifying solutions and those responsible for delivery.

Some of the subjects discussed include:

• Realignment of some roads, parking, garage sizes, street lamp locations, street signage and street furniture;
• Utility issues including broadband, mobile phone signal and automatic meter reading;
• Streetscene issues including adoption, litter, and weeding;
• Landscaping issues including trees, hedgerow management, verges and fly tipping.
• Play areas;
• The Country Park;
• Allotments;
• Younghayes Centre;
• Train Station;
• MLR Upgrade;
• Working with Housing Associations;
• Public Transport
The work of this meeting is reported back to the full Town Council at its regular monthly meeting.

The members of the Amenities Committee make regular inspections of the Town’s facilities but also welcome members of the community being their eyes and ears. Please report any concerns on the Town Council Facebook page.

The cloning of Exmouth seafront begins

Many would say that the Carriage Cafe is the sort of thing many re-invented seafronts would compete for. and indeed Lappa Valley in Cornwall, to which it will locate, agrees.

Exeter MP Ben Bradshaw on south-west politics

” ..Ben Bradshaw, one the Labour Party’s few MPs in the south of England, is convinced the only route back to power is to win back people who are “not die hard Tories”.

Many Jeremy Corbyn backers believe rather than appealing to “soft” Conservatives, the party can regain office by winning back disillusioned Labour supporters, Green Party voters and millions of people who don’t vote.

But Mr Bradshaw, Culture Secretary under Gordon Brown, argues “miraculously persuading persistent non-voters to vote is not based on any political or psephological evidence”.

The Exeter, Devon MP will tomorrow host a fringe event at the Labour party conference in Brighton called Southern Discomfort, underlining how the party cannot ignore the south of England.

He will say Labour is “suffering from worse Southern Discomfort” than at “any time in our recent history”, and only “fantastic organisation” in places like Oxford East and Exeter have helped avoid a deficit as heavy as 1983.

But he will continue:

“In most of those constituencies where we needed to beat the Tories we went backwards and the challenge is now greater than it was after 1983. We should also not assume things can’t get worse.

“As Lewis Baston has pointed out in his recent analysis for Progress, the South is moving north – in that employment and demographic patterns that are common in the south are becoming more common across the country and if the Tories push through their boundary changes, relatively more seats will be created in southern England outside London.

“It is vital we have a clear headed understanding of why we lost the election based on the evidence, rather than emotion or conjecture.”

He will point out the Fabian Society, ex-Labour policy chief John Cruddas and the TUC have all done “in depth analysis” and “their conclusions are clear and the same”.

“We lost because we suffered from massive deficits on economic trust and leadership. This is what the new leadership must address.

“Four of the five voters Labour must win back in England and Wales to have any chance of forming the next Government voted Conservative on May 7th.

“These are not die hard Tories, but people who have voted Labour in recent history. Our Party and our new leadership must appeal to them.”

He adds the claim that Labour can win “by picking up a few more voters from the Greens on the left and miraculously persuading persistent non voters to vote is not based on any political or psephological evidence. Nor is it supported by our experience”.

He goes on:

“Anyone who has done any campaigning knows that the problem with non voters is – they don’t vote. Great ground campaigning can motivate a small number to on the margins, but most non voters have never voted and never will.

“To base an electoral strategy in them is wishful thinking. Far more productive and the only way for Labour to win is to persuade people who do vote to vote for us. That’s the challenge facing the new leadership. It’s not rocket science. We’ve shown in places like Exeter and Hove how it’s done. Let’s get on and do it.”

Source: Huffington Post UK

Why politics needs to change!

“Charlotte Johnson Wahl, the artist and mother of Boris Johnson, says: …

… “I’ve never voted Tory in my life. My parents were very socialist – rich socialists with three cars and two houses, but they were socialists in the days when that happened.”

source: Huffington Post UK reporting Radio Times article

Government has no idea how many homes have been built on public land

An influential committee of MPs has strongly criticised the Government for failing to collect information on the actual number of houses built or under construction under its high-profile public sector land disposal programme.

The Department of Communities and Local Government has previously claimed that by the end of March 2015, the Government had disposed of land with capacity for an estimated 109,950 homes, across 942 sites.

The biggest contributors were the Ministry of Defence (around 39,000 homes), the Homes and Communities Agency (around 21,000, on behalf of the DCLG) and the Department of Health (around 15,000).

But in a report, Disposal of public land for new homes, the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) said the DCLG was unable to demonstrate whether the programme had succeeded in addressing the housing shortage or achieving value for money.

The Department had also not ascertained the proceeds from land sold, or whether the parcels of land were sold at market value, the MPs said.

“Instead, it chose to focus only on a notional number for ‘potential’ capacity for building houses on the land sold by individual departments in order to determine ‘success’,” the PAC said.

The committee noted that the DCLG had also counted towards the programme’s target the capacity of land sold before the programme had even started.

“It did not collect basic information necessary to oversee the programme effectively and, where it did collect programme-level data, there were omissions and inconsistencies, the report said.