Heart-rending pictures and experiences of flooding in Feniton – again

And tonight it is raining heavily again so the village is anticipating worse conditions. Will Wainhomes do the decent thing and sort this problem out. Don’t hold your breath.

…”Water poured off the field beside Feniton’s latest development where swales (ditches) take surface water around the site, round the attenuation tank and then direct it straight through the Parish Council-owned play area. The swings had already been removed from a previous bout of heavy rain, when the ground under the swings was silted up with slimy sand from the surface water run-off.

The flood risk assessment submitted by Wainhomes and approved by the Environment Agency and Devon County Council seems to be woefully inadequate for dealing with surface water run-off from this high point of the village. Both the plan and the scheme put in place by Wainhomes need to be carefully scrutinised to ensure that what was planned and approved has actually been put in place.

And so it continued … sandy water poured under the allotment gates down Coventry Close and several of us spent some time trying to direct the flow to different drain holes so that they were not overwhelmed.

It’s boring, tedious, cold, dispiriting work … And we seem to spend far too much of our time worrying about what the weather will inflict on us next.

It’s probably a good time to thank the many flood wardens and other residents who give so selflessly of their time.

A particular thank you has to go to the kind resident of Exeter Close who came out with tea and biscuits for Danny and Jayne who stayed on Station Road until it was safe to re-open the road. …”

https://susiebond.wordpress.com/2016/02/07/it-never-rains-but-it-pours-yet-again/

What happens when you privatise care home inspections

The body responsible for ensuring care homes are run to an adequate standard is so short of qualified consultants to help with inspections that it has had to ask the charities it replaced with a private company to help out.

Remploy, the former government agency that has turned into a for profit firm, won a £7m contract to replace the charities in London, the North and South of England, starting a week ago. However, hundreds of “Experts by Experience” have refused to reapply for their jobs after Remploy offered half their previous £17-per-hour pay.

As a result, the Care Quality Commission has had to ask the charities to keep providing the consultants for another two weeks, despite choosing Remploy to take over the inspections programme.

The CQC offered to provide a “buffer” payment to existing experts so they would be paid £15 per hour for the next six months, after which their salary could drop to just £8.40 per hour (£9.25 in London) – which is what Remploy is paying new recruits.

… Every month more than 500 experts, with personal experience of care services, are sent on CQC inspections across adult social care, primary care and hospitals. They play a vital role in the inspection process. However, hundreds of experts have quit their roles – angered by a combination of the pay offer and the fact that a private firm, majority owned by US outsourcing giant Maximus, is profiting from the deal. …”

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/care-quality-commission-begs-for-help-from-charities-it-has-just-replaced-a6859326.html

The “Budleigh Boys” and their take on AONB changes: fine if it “benefits the lical economy”

The councillors referred to themselves as “the Budleigh Boys” after they were re-elected after the last local elections. This was their take on an AONB development in 2012 which gives a good idea of their priorities, which over a period of three years appear to have totally changed.

Application 11/1531 (F Carter) refused for winter storage & refused by Inspectorate 15.05 2012

TOWN AND COUNTRY PLANNING ACT 1990 GRANT OF CONDITIONAL PLANNING PERMISSION Applicant: Pooh Cottage Holiday Park Application No: 15/2136/FUL Address: Bear Lane Budleigh Salterton Date of Registration: 14 September 2015 Agent: ARA Architecture Date of Decision: 28 January 2016 Address: 39 Rolle Street Exmouth EX8 2SN Proposal: Proposed storage area for 47no touring caravans. Location: Pooh Cottage Holiday Site Bear Lane Budleigh Salterton

RECOMMENDATION: Refusal

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY This application is before Committee having been referred from Chairman’s Delegation meeting. The application seeks permission for the use of an agricultural field for the winter storage of caravans. The use would be associated with an adjacent holiday touring caravan site which is in operation for the main holiday season only. While the applicant has sought to demonstrate the benefits of the scheme through additional income for the existing site, and continuity of service for clients (those staying on the site during the summer would be able to store their caravan on the adjacent field), the site lies within the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. In such an environment, which is given the highest level of landscape protection, development should be in the National Interest or have sufficient justification while still protecting and preserving the environment. While economic benefits can help to justify a scheme, they are not considered in this instance to outweigh the concerns regarding the visual impact from the proposal and highway safety concerns from additional vehicle and caravan movements on a single-width carriageway

Recommendation: THE HEAD OF PLANNING, TRANSPORTATION AND ENVIRONMENT, ON BEHALF OF DEVON COUNTY COUNCIL, AS LOCAL HIGHWAY AUTHORITY, RECOMMENDS THAT PERMISSION BE REFUSED FOR THE FOLLOWING REASONS

1. The proposed development would be likely to result in an increase in the number of vehicle movements, particularly towing vehicles, using Bear Lane, a narrow road with limited passing facilities and no footways which will further prejudice highway safety and lead to additional interference and conflict with other highway users along the length of Bear Lane and its junction with B3178, including users of the national Cycle Network, contrary to Policy TO6 of the Devon County Structure Plan and Policy TA7 of the adopted East Devon District Local Plan Officer authorised to sign on behalf of the County Council 20 October 2015 DCC Flood Risk SuDS Consultation Thank you for referring the above application which was received on 23/09/2015

Budleigh – Cllr A Dent When a similar proposal came before us three years ago I supported the application on the following grounds: o The additional income from the winter storing of caravans would be of considerable benefit to the Pooh Cottage business. In addition there would be a some benefit to the local economy.

By not moving caravans seasonally in and out of the site, there would be less traffic movements in Bear Lane. The Inspector refused the application in support of the Highways comments as well as the detrimental effect there would be on the AONB. This application addresses the harm to the AONB by moving the proposed storage site further down the slope. The advantage to both traffic movements in Bear Lane as well as the benefit to the local economy remain.

On balance I feel the benefits outweigh any potential harm and I support this application. In the event that officers disagree with my position then I would like this application to be taken to committee.

Budleigh – Cllr S Hall I wish to express my support for this application. I believe that this revised location is much more acceptable in terms of visibility and impact on nearby residents. Traffic movements should be significantly reduced. Please advise of any future developments on this

Budleigh – Cllr T Wright I support this application. I was strongly opposed to the previous application as there would have been significant visual impact as the previous site was higher up the land. The new site is lower down the hillside and not so obtrusive. The reduction in the resulting movement of caravans is to be welcomed on a number of points, reduced traffic congestion, improved road safety and a lessening of carbon emissions. The business is a valuable contributor to the Budleigh and wider East Devon economy.

HMRC avoids giving real numbers when talking abouttax avoidance!

” … In [the HMRC] annual report, we see a “cash collected” figure, but this includes cash not yet received, not all of which will be collected. Confused? You’re meant to be.

We all know “lies, damned lies and statistics” We should all celebrate, as most of us in this country have the above-average number of legs: some folk have one leg, but nobody has three, so we bipeds are “above average” – see?

HMRC doesn’t report on the scale of aggressive tax avoidance. They don’t want stats to show how shoddy they are. But it does trumpet the numbers of prosecutions for evasion. HMRC chose a random figure of 1,000 a year. And then beat that number of prosecutions. Yippee. But we’re dealing with a taxpaying population of about 30 million. HMRC puts the figure of the “shadow economy” at 10% of our total tax received. So, aiming to prosecute 1,000 people really is less than useless… …”

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/feb/07/hmrc-tax-avoidance-dispatches-greg-wise-channel-4

The full report will be on”Dispatches”, Challel 4, 8pm tomorrow

MPs investigated by police for criminal offences but not named and allowed to stand in last general election

In any other area of life these people would have been suspended whilst investigations were completed.

“The expenses watchdog has been accused of eroding public trust after it emerged that five MPs have been secretly referred to the police for investigation over the past year.

Ipsa, the expenses watchdog, has refused to name any of the MPs despite admitting that there is “reason to suspect a criminal offence has been committed”.

The watchdog has only named two of the 55 MPs it has investigated since April 2014 after concluding the cases were either unfounded or reaching secret agreements.

The secrecy of arrangements means that several of the MPs were re-elected in May despite the investigations. …”

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/mps-expenses/12143508/Five-MPs-referred-to-police-over-expenses.html

Party politics: where black is white and white is black …

What an interesting political world we live in!

Tory MPs are told by David Cameron to take no notice of their constituency parties about Europe:

“Forty-four local party chiefs write to the Telegraph warning the Prime Minister he has no ‘divine right’ after EU referendum ‘snub'”

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/eureferendum/12144564/EU-referendum-show-us-respect-local-Tory-party-chiefs-tell-David-Cameron.html

while Jeremy Corbyn does the exact opposite over Syria:

“When I was elected I said I wanted Labour to become a more inclusive and democratic party,” he adds. “So I am writing to consult you on what you think Britain should do. Should Parliament vote to authorise the bombing of Syria?”

http://labourlist.org/2015/11/corbyn-turns-to-labour-party-members-in-syria-dispute/

So, Tory constituency members are marginalised in favour of MPs personal views whereas Labour MPs are marginalised in favour of members’ views.

Don’t let anyone now tell you that a vote for a party MP is a vote for the party!