Exmouth: Dinan Way extension ok’d by Minister

” …The road had previously seemed set to proceed when it was approved by county planners in January. However, the National Trust then protested to the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) that the application should be ‘called in’.

Had it done so, a final decision on planning permission would have been made by the Secretary of State; however, DCLG has now decided to take no further action, which means the planning permission stands.

This does not mean construction is imminent, as Devon County Council (DCC) must first carry out further negotiations.

A DCC spokesman said: “Conditional planning consent has been granted for the scheme. The county council will now be looking to acquire the necessary land, and funding, but no delivery period has been identified as yet.”

The National Trust had opposed the scheme, citing the effect on the Grade One listed A la Ronde, in nearby Summer Lane.

In a statement following the DCLG decision, the National Trust said: “We hope that DCC will now redouble its efforts to work with Historic England and the National Trust to help ensure the long-term protection of A la Ronde and to pursue the safeguards they proposed during the planning consultation period.” …


“Local authorities launch legal action over plans to downgrade hospital”

Owl says: could you EVER see EDDC doing this? NEVER – while Diviani is in charge.

“A group of local authorities have launched a judicial review challenge over what they described as a “confusing and flawed” consultation process on plans to downgrade services at a local hospital.

The challenge over Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group’s plans for Banbury’s Horton General Hospital is being led by Cherwell District Council.
South Northamptonshire Council, Stratford-on-Avon District Council and Banbury Town Council are acting as co-claimants. The legal action is also being supported by the Keep the Horton General campaign group.

The OCCG’s proposed changes affect services including maternity, critical care and hospital bed use.

The consultation covers five key proposals which include taking all of the most serious critical care patients and all stroke cases directly to Oxford.
It also proposes changing the way hospital beds are used and permanently closing almost 200 beds between the Horton and Oxford hospitals.

Cherwell said that a key aspect of the changes would involve changes to the maternity unit and replacing a consultant-led service with only midwives. “This would mean there would be no doctors or opportunity for epidural relief which means 90% of mothers will have to travel to Oxford or other hospitals.”

The only proposal which would increase availability at the Horton would relate to planned care services, it argued. These would be welcomed with the right investment, the council said.

Ian Davies, interim joint chief executive of Cherwell and South Northamptonshire Councils, said: “Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group has carried out a two-phase consultation into plans to downgrade key services at the Horton General Hospital. This approach has proved incredibly confusing and those who will be most affected by any changes – namely the residents of Banbury and surrounding areas – are still unsure as to exactly what is happening to their local hospital.

“For over two months we have struggled to help local people understand the implications of what is being consulted on and we have tried to answer the real concerns of real people. But there is still widespread confusion. We know the Horton General Hospital is a very valued and accessible hospital to people in north Oxfordshire, south Northamptonshire and parts of the Stratford district who regard it as their ‘local’ hospital of choice.
“These proposals have significant and permanent implications for future access to local services. Therefore we consider it entirely unacceptable that the OCCG is trying to move ahead with plans which have not been fully understood by those who will suffer the consequences.”

Cherwell said that a decision on whether it would receive permission to bring the judicial review challenge was expected next month.”


Teachers and pupils: bring your own toilet rolls to school (nurses and patients next?)

“Staff at the school provide their own tea and coffee in the staff room to help manage the budget.

A cash-strapped primary school has asked pupils to bring their own toilet rolls.

The appeal was sent out to parents at St John’s Primary School in Crowborough, East Sussex.

Parents at the school have been sent a letter requesting donations of ‘non essential’ items. This includes glue sticks, pencils, sellotape, envelopes – and even loo roll.

In an earlier letter headteacher Laura Cooper highlighted toilet paper as an expense which must be “rigorously monitored”.

She wrote: “The cost of resources such as toilet rolls now has to be rigorously monitored alongside the progress and achievement of the pupils.”

In her most recent letter Laura added: “We will be holding a non-uniform day on Thursday – instead of donating money we would like the children to bring in various ‘essential’ items such as stationary (e.g. glue sticks, pencils, blutack, boxes of tissues, sellotape etc) and of course loo rolls!”


This is what our NHS taxes pay for … and trying to bamboozle us with

“NHS managers diagnosed with a rampant case of jargon

The NHS is riddled with jargon and gobbledygook and may even be using impenetrable language on purpose to hide plans from the public, the Plain English Campaign has warned.

“Sustainability and transformation plans” (STPs) that divide England into 44 “footprints” and make promises such as “system-wide quality improvements” as a consequence of “shared understanding of all the interrelated issues” was one example highlighted by the campaign. Steve Jenner, its spokesman, said: “If you use impenetrable language it means the public has no clue what is going on. I can’t help thinking that suits the NHS sometimes.

“What this jargon is describing is very important. It should be articulated very clearly. We expect doctors to clearly explain themselves. It should be the same for the NHS management.”

Health service bosses have been told to draw up STPs for their areas to show how they can save money and improve services. Many of the plans involve hospital or service closures and have drawn widespread opposition. But despite the importance of STPs, some officials have started referring to them as “sticky toffee puddings”, the BBC reported.

The campaign said that jargon terms were “an inevitable sign of trouble” and that references to “reconfiguring” were “suitably vague enough to hide all manner of potential changes”.

It added: “We all know what it means when think tank representatives and planners talk above, over and behind the backs of those whose lives they are meddling with.

“Simply put, it’s to keep those that might have concerns and justifiable complaints out of a debate. In this case, that’s completely unacceptable.”
Last year, NHS England ordered hospitals to stop referring to being at “red alert” or “black alert” as a result of winter pressures.

Instead, hospitals that were so busy that they had to cancel non-emergency operations, call in extra staff and divert ambulances — previously a black alert — were at “operational pressures escalation level four”.

The level down — formerly a red alert — is now “operational pressures escalation level three”.

Source: Times (paywall)

13th police force sends electoral fraud information to Crown Prosecution Service

“Another police force has sent a file on alleged Tory election fraud to prosecutors, it was revealed today.

The Crown Prosecution Service confirmed that it had received a file from West Midlands Police – the 13th police to do so in recent weeks.”


“… That is the sort of thing which can not only destroy a government in the eyes of voters, it can wreck the party’s long-term standing too. Any serious prediction about the future has to factor in the possibility that there will be an even more destructive swamping with sleaze stories of Theresa May’s government than happened to John Major. That not only helped bring down a Prime Minister, it helped ensure his party failed to win an overall majority at the next four general elections in a row.

The odds of this happening are certainly a good way short of certain. But they are also far higher than the zero which so many pieces of coverage about how high the Conservatives are riding imply. … “


But you can be almost certain that no action will be taken until after the county council elections …