An invitation to our two well-fed MPs

From a correspondent”

“Could you, through your esteemed publication, inform your readers of a play that will be performed in the committee rooms of the HofP based upon the experience of Food Bank users.

All MPs have been invited and I would suggest to those readers represented by Huge Swin[r]e that he may like a ‘reminder’ to attend, where he may be interested to hear the stories of those making a ‘lifestyle choice’ to use them.

(Who shall be urging their own MP Neil Parrish, to do the same)”

“Open consultation: “Planning for the right homes in the right places: consultation proposals”

Owl says: seems the decision that we need MORE and MORE housing is taken as a given – and this is more an exercise on how and where they can be shoe-horned in:

This consultation closes at
11:45pm on 9 November 2017

Consultation on further measures set out in the housing white paper to boost housing supply in England.

“This consultation sets out a number of proposals to reform the planning system to increase the supply of new homes and increase local authority capacity to manage growth.

Proposals include:

a standard method for calculating local authorities’ housing need

how neighbourhood planning groups can have greater certainty on the level of housing need to plan for

a statement of common ground to improve how local authorities work together to meet housing and other needs across boundaries

making the use of viability assessments simpler, quicker and more transparent

increased planning application fees in those areas where local planning authorities are delivering the homes their communities need

The attached ‘Housing need consultation data table’ (see links below) sets out the housing need for each local planning authority using our proposed method, how many homes every place in the country is currently planning for, and, where available, how many homes they believe they need.

Alongside this consultation, the attached ‘Comprehensive registration programme: priority areas for land registration’ document lists those areas where Her Majesty’s Land Registry intends to prioritise the registration of ownership of all publicly held land.”

Click to access Planning_for_Homes_consultation_document.pdf

So, you’re thinking of buying a Knowle PegasusLife flat ….

Peggy Browning bought a new retirement flat in Devon [Exmouth] priced at £206,450 nine years ago, at the age of 89. After her death last year, the property passed to her two daughters. It is now on the market for £125,000 and is proving difficult to sell. Until a buyer is found, Lyn Field and her sister have to pay the £190 a month (£2,282 a year) management charges on the flat, even though it is empty.

Their story highlights the potential burden of retirement properties for buyers’ descendants. A significant number have lost value in recent years and come with hefty charges that fall on those who inherit the homes.

Sebastian O’Kelly of the campaign group Better Retirement Housing said: “Newly built retirement flats have an appalling reputation for value on resale. This family’s example is by no means unusual.”

Almost two-thirds of new retirement homes bought at a similar time to Browning’s were resold at a loss, research by the charity Elderly Accommodation Counsel (EAC) suggests. By contrast, the average price of a UK home has risen by more than 40%, Land Registry figures show.

Adam Hillier of EAC acknowledged that buyers were prepared to pay extra for new properties, but described the number of such homes that had fallen in value as “surprising”.

£206,450 The value of Peggy Browning’s flat when she bought it in 2008
£125,000 The price her home is on the market for today
£190 Monthly charges that must be covered by her daughters

Additional costs typically include ground rent, paid to the freeholder, and exit fees, calculated as a percentage of the value when the flat is resold. Hillier said exit fees could be as high as 30% in developments offering care in the home and facilities such as shops and subsidised restaurants.

Browning bought her flat in the seaside town of Exmouth from McCarthy & Stone, Britain’s leading retirement home developer. The company said: “We are sorry to hear about the fall in value [of Mrs Browning’s property]. We recognise there are a small number of cases, particularly with our older properties and those sold in the recession, where the resale values of some apartments have not performed as well as we would have wished. This can be down to many reasons, including the performance of some local property markets. … ”

Sunday Times, pay wall

Diviani and Skinner lead EDDC for “Greater Exeter” and business-led Local Enterprise Partnership

“Pragmatic in its focus, the strategy sets out how our economic development teams are working effectively on the areas where our respective council/corporate plans overlap.
The strategy also sets out our collective growth ambitions, priorities and future approach that we will take to support economic growth and development for the greater Exeter area.

No new resource or structural changes are being put forward in this strategy – only an assurance that EHOD authorities continue to dedicate the existing economic officer resource to the four key EHOD economic initiatives where we can show collaborative working to be more effective and efficient in delivering outputs for our local authority areas beyond what we could achieve in isolation. …

… We will use the Shared Economic Strategy to communicate to partners our ambitions and plans, with a view of improving collaboration and maximising leverage.”

The strategy will address the key themes of the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership (HoTSW LEP) Devolution Prospectus and support the delivery of the emerging Single Productivity Plan, maximising the effectiveness of the group’s work with the HoTSW LEP. …”

Signature here Cllr Paul Diviani Leader
Signature here Cllr Philip Skinner Economy PFH Exeter City Council
Signature here Cllr Pete Edwards Leader, Exeter City Council
Signature here Cllr Rosie Denham Economy and Culture PFH, Exeter City Council

Click to access S0031_EHOD%20shared%20strategy_lowres.pdf

So, no resources except officer time … a very expensive resource, the hourly cost of which is never counted by our councils and comes out of our pockets.

Diviani and Skinner … a marriage made in … ! Still, our Tory councillors do so trust each other, so that’s … er … fine?