Greater Lincolnshire has devolution doubts – one councillor feels like a “used car salesman”

“I have a gut feeling that this is not right,” warned portfolio holder for the rural economy Councillor Adam Grist (Con, Legbourne).

It seems like an attempt to transplant a metropolitan solution on a shire county. …

… Councillor Terry Knowles (Ind, Grimoldby) described the 67-page proposal document as being “heavy on fine words but almost empty of content”.

He continued: “I am not at all impressed – the creation of an elected mayor would simply provide an easy blame-channel when things go bump. …

…also came from Councillor Sarah Dodds (Lab, Louth Primary and St James) and Councillor Stephen Palmer (Ind, Sutton-on-Sea), with the latter demanding: “How much will this cost?”

He asked: “Is the drive for a new authority coming from the people of Lincolnshire or from the Government? Why should we have forced on us something we don’t want?”

There were plaudits at the meeting for council leader Craig Leyland (Con, Woodhall Spa) for his hard work in liaising with counterparts at other authorities, including North East Lincolnshire Council leader Ray Oxby, to move the initiative forward.

But even Mr Leyland admitted to doubts on the project.

“I feel like a car salesman just praying that the customer doesn’t ask to look under the bonnet,” he quipped.

“We need to seek the views of electors,” insisted the leader.

http://www.grimsbytelegraph.co.uk/Doubts-Greater-Lincolnshire-devolution/story-29342843-detail/story.html

South Hams community raising crowd funding to protect wildlife

A community in Devon taking South Hams District Council to a Judicial Review, for granting planning permission to a developer bent on destroying wildlife. The scheme also forces social tenants, against their wishes, from bungalows with gardens into flats.

The group says Council won’t protect them, so they are doing it for ourselves. They are asking for help to set a vitally- needed national precedent and stand up for the rights of wildlife, for local people and kids futures.

The campaign is for Brimhay; a close of small bungalows set around a green adjoining a wild stream valley, in the heart of Dartington village, near Totnes, Devon. The valley is home to dormice and five species of bats- all endangered and which should be protected by European legislation.

Their crowdfunding page is here:
http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/www-dontburydartington-co-uk

East Devon Alliance Chairman on devolution

Paul Arnott was filmed on 25th May 2016 outside the Guildhall in Totnes, just prior to a public meeting on the encouragement and support of independent councillors in local democracy.

The meeting hosted a number of people from across the region (and beyond) and invited them to discuss ideas and exchange strategies. Here Paul Arnott, the Chairman of the East Devon Alliance, talks about a couple of the issues that motivated the group of independents he represents to take action.

Independence in Democracy Interviews: Paul Arnott

Knowle relocation cost neutral? Knock that one on the head! £6m loan and counting

Future Borrowing
There are plans for the Council to borrow £13,262,782 to fund its capital programme in 2016/17.

This borrowing may be from internal resources, PWLB, or from the market, the most cost effective method being selected at the time the funds are required.

The 2016/17 borrowing requirement is made up as follows:

£400,000 LED (not drawn in 2015/16 as planned)
£750,000 Queen’s Drive Exmouth
£5,990,000 Office Relocation
£4,900,557 Refuse Fleet (actual figure, £6,000,000 per budget)
£290,000 Refinancing of Beer CLT loan (agreed since budget set)
£932,225 Borrowing required to fund the balance on various smaller projects included within the Capital Programme. This requirement has increased since the budget was set due to slippage in the capital programme from prior years.

Total £13,262,782

Click to access 080616-combined-final-cabinet-agenda.pdf