Councillors Elson and Moulding think our LEP will improve healthcare – but seem unable to explain why

We must go forward they say – but don’t appear to know which forward is. And they don’t seem to have any idea what they are signing up for. Neither do they appear to know just how an LEP with no NHS membership or background, or even a dedicated budget, or without any proven track record on health-related funding might improve things.

But it won’t stop them puffing it up or voting for it! Read and weep – yet again. If anything proves the sheep mentality of our majority party councillors, this is the cast-iron evidence:

If successful, The Heart of the South West (HOTSW) deal will see powers devolved from the Government to a new combined authority made up of 19 local authorities in Devon and Somerset.

It is hoped devolution will attract more investment to East Devon, leading to 163,000 new jobs in the South West, as well as faster road and rail journeys to the region and wages higher than the national average by 2030.

The matter was up for discussion when it went before members of EDDC’s cabinet last week.

Councillor Jill Elson said she had concerns about the democratic value of the deal and how much input constituents would have. She added: “If you have 19 leaders for all the councils making the decisions, how is that going to be disseminated to the elected members of all the various councils and their residents?”

Cllr Elson said there was also an issue with the health budget, because nobody knew how much it was going cost.

“Older populations need more and more care – whether they are at home or in homes, it is not going to be financially viable because at the moment there are not enough community care workers to actually have people in their own homes,” she added.

“There is one whole ward at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital of people just waiting to come out because Devon County Council cannot provide the service – the council is going to be left with some real problems, as is the NHS.”

Cllr Elson said nobody seemed to know how the skills shortage issue would be addressed either.

“The one thing we are missing is a national vocational qualification for those residents who do not have an English degree, but are very good electricians, plumbers and so on,” she said.

Cllr Andrew Moulding, deputy leader, said it was not known exactly what was going to be negotiated, but there would be a period of negotiation and bosses would get the details they needed.

He added one of the deal’s main aims was to improve productivity and that would come by getting younger people involved in learning the right skills earlier on, which in turn would lead to more apprenticeships.

Cllr Moulding said there was a vast need to improve healthcare.

“If that can be done by bringing it down to a level where we can really get to grips with healthcare in this region, to me that has to be a benefit over what we have at the moment,” he added.

“I think we should grasp this opportunity. We want to get more control over our own decisions, rather than leaving them with the Government. If this can be done at a more regional level, then I welcome it.”

Cllr Mark Williamson said: “We should go into this positively, looking at it as an opportunity for East Devon and our residents.It will hopefully mean we can deliver a better service.”

Cllr Eileen Wragg added: “Everything needs much fairer funding and we will only get a chance to influence this if we go forward with this.”

The next step of the process will be for EDDC to nominate a representative who will then join 18 others from similar authorities at briefing sessions on the devolution proposals.

3 thoughts on “Councillors Elson and Moulding think our LEP will improve healthcare – but seem unable to explain why

  1. Those two obviously have not read the strategy paper for the LEP and were spouting any old crap on their minds hoping for an interesting sound bite, faster trains my a*** do the maths HST 125 running at 100 mph compared with a new AT300 from Hitachi (built in the bust AnsaldoBreda factory—- sued out of business by the Belgian and Dutch government for trains that did not like rain and snow on the failed FRYA high speed Line) THESE new trains in bi mode operation only have a maximum speed of 95mph mmmm 125 against do the maths fat chance of going faster pray that NR implement the idea of OLE electrification from Basingstoke to Exeter with OHP then those trains can run at 110 mph between the stations when the tracks is not flooded or slipping away.


  2. Well said Eileen.

    I have personal experience of how attempts to change the NHS can be extremely costly failures – I was a very small cog in the ill-fated National Programme for IT which cost the UK c. £20bn to deliver very little. I saw how complex the NHS is and how difficult it is to make changes work successfully.

    The NHS in the SW is already in crisis. So any change needs to be 100% certain to improve this situation with zero risk of making it worse.

    Having an LEP with little if any NHS experience and little if any NHS representation try to make things better is like putting a loaded gun into the hands of a child.

    But in the end, whilst the HotSW LEP follows its predecessors (like the EDBF) in being secretive, failing to follow the rules governing LEPs rather than doing what is ethical and right and be more transparent and accountable than required, the real culpability lies with the Conservative Government who is masterminding what is no less than privatisation of both County Councils and the NHS. (See also Academy Schools – privatisation of the education system by stealth.)


  3. I also said that despite all but one of the MPs being in Government, we are no better off than we were before, and that the Government seems to think that the South West ends at Bristol.


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