“Neil Parish MP snubs Seaton Mayor’s request for urgent meeting with Health Secretary”

And Parish sends a circular letter as his reply – one exactly like others he sent to people also asking him to save their hospitals:

“Councillor Jack Rowland, Mayor of Seaton, has posted on Facebook:

As many of you know I wanted to arrange a face to face meeting with Neil Parish and Jeremy Hunt regarding the CCG decision to close the hospital beds at Seaton Hospital.

I’ve now received a reply from Neil Parish and the email I sent to him and the reply is reproduced below.

Dear Jack,

Thank you for your email on beds at Honiton and Seaton.

I am deeply saddened by the decisions to close beds at Honiton and Seaton Hospitals. I wanted beds to be retained at Seaton and Honiton, as part of a wider upgrade to health services in Devon. This closure is not the outcome I wanted. I would like to pay tribute to all the staff who have worked so hard to maintain fantastic inpatient beds at the hospitals over the past years.

We now have to make the best of the current situation. The CCG have stated they believe there is sufficient at-home care to replace the current beds. Hospital staff will now be redeployed into community care. Every patient who previously required care in the hospitals must now have the same level of care delivered to them at home or in a residential care home. This promise must be kept and I will be monitoring the situation carefully.

Regarding the future of Honiton and Seaton Hospitals, I want the buildings to continue to host vital health and social care services. Particularly, I want the sites to be used as health and social care hubs, with a positive future for each of the locations. I believe the hospitals still have an important role to play in community healthcare services. Any suggestions you could provide in this area, which would help maintain viable services at Seaton, would be appreciated.

I know this might be a disappointing response, but I hope we can continue to maintain excellent care in our community.

Thank you again for your email.

Yours sincerely,


Neil Parish MP
Member of Parliament for Tiverton and Honiton
House of Commons | London | SW1A 0AA
Telephone: 020 7219 7172 | Email: neil.parish.mp@parliament.uk

In response to this email:

From: cllr.jack.rowland@btinternet.com [mailto:cllr.jack.rowland@btinternet.com]
Sent: 16 August 2017 12:26
To: PARISH, Neil
Cc: townclerk@seaton.gov.uk; Martin Shaw ; Marcus Hartnell
Subject: Seaton Hospital – bed closures

Dear Mr Parish,

I’m writing to you in my capacity as the Chair of Seaton Town Council.

As you are no doubt aware the Health and Adult Care Scrutiny Committee of Devon County Council voted by 7 votes to 6 on 25 July not to refer the CCG decision to the Health Secretary for a review. An investigation has been called for regarding how the Scrutiny Committee Chair managed that meeting.

In the meantime the RDE Trust are accelerating the bed closure timetable from the original timetable and the beds in Seaton Hospital are now being phased out starting on 21 August and those in Honiton the following week.

This is despite no adequate answers being given to date regarding the concerns about the “Your Future Care” changes now being implemented. At the East Devon District Council Annual meeting all the Councillors present voted in favour of requiring more information on this subject and the EDDC Scrutiny Committee met in June to question representatives of the CCG and were not satisfied with the responses and maintained their opposition to Community Hospital bed closures.

At the Seaton Town Council meeting on 7 August I tabled a motion to demonstrate concern at the decision reached by the DCC Scrutiny Committee and to seek an urgent meeting with yourself and Jeremy Hunt to be attended by myself, Marcus Hartnell (Town and EDDC District Councillor) and Martin Shaw (Town and DCC Councillor). All the Town Councillors present voted in favour of my motion.

In view of your stated opposition to the bed closures in Seaton and Honiton I hope you can facilitate the meeting I am requesting in view of the overwhelming opposition from the elected Councillors in East Devon.

I look forward to hearing from you in the near future regarding potential dates, times and venue – we would be willing to travel to London if necessary.

Jack Rowland
Seaton Town Council Chair / Mayor”


Tourism, new roads and more second homes is not the answer for Cornwall

” … Cornwall is a major tourist area, but its economy is one of the weakest in Europe. EU investments, together with “matched funding”, have injected around £1.5bn into the region, but this has had little impact on raising GDP.

One of the biggest stumbling blocks has been the perception by successive governments that the Cornish economy is synonymous with tourism, with its focus on unskilled, low-paid and part-item employment.

Cornwall is being directed to build 52,500 houses before 2020. A large proportion of these will be bought as holiday homes or by people retiring to Cornwall. This large-scale “immigration” has vastly distorted the housing market. People employed in tourism cannot afford these houses. Perhaps Cornwall’s perversity in delivering a very large pro-Brexit vote was because there are so many middle-class retired incomers who are putting stress on the social and health services .

Tourism is supposed to generate billions of pounds, but very little of this “sticks” in Cornwall because much of it goes to the major supermarkets, which employ unskilled people on low pay.

Government (and the Cornish will not forget the Brexiters’ claims that EU funding would be replaced by central government) must encourage high-value opportunities, such as those within the digital industries that are beginning to grow in Cornwall. And perhaps government should improve the social and health services, digital connectivity and rail and air infrastructure, rather than pumping more money into roads that primarily serve tourists.

Dr Ben Dobson


“Daily Mash” nails the Stephen Hawkings/Jeremy Hunt NHS row

“PROFESSOR Stephen Hawking has discovered the densest thing in the known universe.

The world’s most famous theoretical physicist said the super-dense black hole was located in the centre of London and looks like a six foot tall weasel.

Unveiling his discovery, Hawking said: “It sucks in facts and then crushes them instantaneously to the point where they may as well never have existed.

“I still don’t how it could possibly have got there. No-one does. There’s no reason for it to exist in its current position.

“It’s as if the universe is just being spiteful.”

He added: “It’s also the first black hole that appears to be wholly owned by private health care providers.“


The spat is here:

Foul dealings in East Budleigh goes national!

Village footballers unable to play for level of fouling

Police have been called in over a dispute between the council and dog-walkers in an east Devon village.

The dispute started after East Budleigh parish council decided to fence off a football pitch on the recreation ground because games were being halted by the presence of dog mess.

Councillors have been subject to such abuse that they are no longer able to drink in the village pub, and the council refuses to engage with the dogwalkers collectively as they consider them a “hate group”.

The council said: “East Budleigh has been particularly bad for dog mess and . . . last season several football games had to be stopped to clear up the dog mess. The idea is to make it a safe area and free from dog mess for everyone — not just the football club.

However, Ray Marrs, from the Friends of East Budleigh Recreation Ground, said: “Lots of people use the field to walk their dogs on and none of us has ever noticed a problem with dog poo on the pitch. How was it possible for councillors to have reached a decision to fence off our recreation ground . . . based upon somebody’s notion of dog fouling without any consultation or knowledge of the village?”

He added that he knew of the abuse and did not condone it. The police are investigating allegations of abusive behaviour and harassment.”


Second home owners – very wealthy

For graphs, see original article

“Homes sweet homes – the rise of multiple property ownership in Britain

When is a house not a home?

Increasingly often, it turns out. Be it a holiday cottage for weekend getaways, a pied-à-terre in the city, a flat rented out for a bit of extra income, or an empty shell of bricks and mortar working harder for your savings than an ISA possibly could – multiple property ownership is rising. An important and symbolic feature of the shifting patterns of wealth accumulation in 21st Century Britain, here we explore how multiple property ownership is changing, who owns the second homes, and what the policy implications of these trends are.

The rise of the second home owners

The 21st Century rise in multiple property ownership is set against a backdrop of the overall decline in home ownership over the past 15 years.

While the share of British adults in families with any property wealth fell 8 per cent in between 2000-02 and 2012-14, the share with multiple property wealth increased by nearly one-third (30 per cent). In 2012-14 four-in-ten adults had no wealth in property at all, but one-in-ten had wealth in multiple properties (5.2 million adults, up 1.6 million since the turn of the century). These twin trends – fewer people with any properties and more with many – underpin the growing concentration of housing assets that is fuelling the recent increase in overall wealth inequality.

Disregarding mortgage debt (because of difficulties in identifying which properties mortgages are secured against), the assets held in second or additional properties had a gross value of £760 billion in 2012-14 (adjusted to 2017 prices) – that’s 15% of the £5.2 trillion held in gross property wealth overall. This equates to an average of £150,000 per adult with multiple sources of property wealth, a 20 per cent increase since 2000-02. With average net total wealth just over £200,000 in 2012-14, and typical (median) wealth just £84,000, owning multiple properties clearly represents a huge wealth boost.

Not only can multiple property ownership boost wealth – which is important for living standards over lifetimes and particularly in retirement – it also has the potential to boost incomes in the here-and-now, because these properties can be rented out. Consistent with recent growth in the private rented sector (which is provided by a mix of commercial institutions and private landlords), the proportion of adults in the UK receiving income from other property as landlords doubled between 1998-99–2000-01 and 2013-14–2015-16 – from 1.7 per cent to 3.4 per cent. Previous research suggests that the typical annual rental income among this group was around £6,000 in 2008-10 – more than a quarter of typical salaries at the time – underscoring the difference such a source of income can make to living standards.

Who owns multiple properties?

So multiple property ownership remains a minority sport, but one growing in popularity and with the potential to significantly boost wealth and income. It’s therefore right to ask who does it. Three key features stand out:

1. They are mainly baby boomers and members of generation X
Half (52%) of all the assets held in additional properties is held by the baby boomers, born 1946-65, and a further quarter (25 per cent) by generation X, born 1966-80. But of course we might expect this – wealth varies hugely over the life-cycle and peaks around retirement age. And as the name suggests, the thing about the boomers is that there are lots of them.

The chart below overcomes these challenges by showing average gross additional property wealth across all adults in successive birth cohorts and at different ages. What’s striking is the doubling of additional property assets for those born in the 1940s compared to the cohorts before them when they were the same age – it seems the oldest in society today never really got into the second homes game in a big way. All generation X and baby boomer cohorts then improve on their predecessors at the same age. However, the older millennials – those born in the 1980s – are the first cohort on record to under-shoot predecessors on additional property asset – they have less than half the amount that those born in the 1970s had at age 26.

The inescapable conclusion is that those in prime age and early retirement today have so far been the big winners from the rise in second home-owning.

2. They are overwhelmingly rich and wealthy

Owning additional property is sometimes depicted as a common way for typical workers to shore up savings or for ordinary folk to boost their pension with rental income. But situating multiple property owners and private landlords within the wealth and income spectrums makes them seem far from ordinary. 88 per cent of additional property owners are in the top half of the wealth distribution, and 79 per cent of adults with rental income from other property are in the top half of the income distribution. Around one third of each are in the top decile of their respective distributions.

Of course, you could argue that these comparisons to all other adults are a bit unfair. For example, we know that additional property assets are concentrated among the baby boomers who are currently at peak wealth-holding age. By the same token, the common argument that rent from other property is a way of boosting pension incomes means we might expect it to only really be a relevant consideration in retirement, when incomes are now slightly higher and people are less likely to be poor.

However, the additional property owners and landlords look particularly well off even within these groups. For example, over four-fifths (82 per cent) of baby boomer second home owners are in the wealthiest half of their generation. And more than four-fifths (81 per cent) of pensioner landlords are in the top half of the pensioner income distribution. The clear message is that both across society as a whole and among their peers, those drawing on wealth or income from additional properties are disproportionately rich and wealthy.

3. They are concentrated in the South of England

We don’t know where the additional properties are, but analysis of where those receiving rental income from them are based shows a particularly high prevalence in the regions that make up the south of England, as the chart below shows. Nearly six-in-ten landlords (59 per cent of the total) are found in the four regions where it is most common: the South West, South East, East of England and London. Unsurprisingly, these are the areas where incomes and average wealth are highest (and in the case of the South West in particular, a higher concentration of older adults will also contribute to this pattern).

A case for action?

In sum, holding assets in more than one property has grown in recent decades, and can be a huge boon to both wealth and incomes. The second home owners are mainly adults in prime age or early retirement, are rich and wealthy even among their peers, and are most likely to be living in the south of England. Of course there are individual exceptions, but stepping back to the big picture: if you were painting an image of society’s affluent, this would be it.

Given that younger generations are failing to accumulate wealth at anything like the rate of their predecessors, and that we have a housing crisis that manifests itself in concerns about security and quality for those renting from private landlords, this state of play seems far from optimal. And to be fair, this is one aspect of the shifting patterns of wealth accumulation in 21st Century Britain that policy makers have woken up to in recent years, with attempts at action. Stamp duty surcharges on second homes were introduced last year, and reduced mortgage tax relief for those engaged in buy-to-let came in this April.

These steps have pros and cons, but there’s a case for thinking even more broadly – from implementing the commitment to tackle empty homes in the recent housing white paper, to greater regulation of private landlords and increased security of tenure to shore up tenants’ position. And from a taxation perspective, the reality of a larger second home owning group, made up largely of older, very affluent people cannot be ignored as we wrestle with the public finance pressures of an ageing society. These are options and challenges our Intergenerational Commission will continue to explore, because from the perspective of many of Britain’s real ordinary folk who still desire to own their home but find doing so increasingly out of reach, one house would be enough.”


“Older patients’ families struggle to complain about poor hospital care”

Owl says: No worry – soon there won’t be any hospitals to complain to or about!

“The survey of over 600 Gransnet members reveals that:

of those who were concerned about the treatment of their older relative, just over half (58%) complained

two-thirds (67%) of those who complained do not believe complaining makes a difference

over 1 in 3 (35%) respondents said there were occasions where they were concerned about the care or treatment of their older relative in hospital

almost 1 in 3 (31%) felt that the hospital staff did not have an adequate understanding of their older relative’s condition or care needs.

The survey also reveals wider concerns about communication with older patients and their families:

2 in 5 (40%) participants did not feel they were kept informed about their older relative’s condition in hospital and were not given enough opportunities to discuss their care and treatment;

1 in 3 (33%) respondents felt they were not adequately involved in decisions about their older relative’s care and treatment.

Poor communication is a factor in around one third of all complaints the Ombudsman service investigates about the NHS in England. …”