Knowle Pegasus inquiry details

The Inquiry will commence at

10.00am on
Tuesday 28 November 2017
in the Council Chamber, Council Offices,
Knowle, Sidmouth EX10 8HL

The Inquiry is expected to be heard for the duration of five days.

Poorer Devon council refuses to merge with richer council which agreed to own council tax rise to take it over!

Definitely Devon!

Poorer West Devon District Council agreed to talks with richer South Hams District Council. A consultation showed that a majority of people in both districts were against the move, which would have seen the South Ham council tax rise to match that of (more sparsely populated) West Devon. Both councils have large Conservative majorities.

South Hams District Council agreed last night to merge with its poorer neighbour. But, in a surprise move, again last night, West Devon voted not to merge!

It appears councillors in West Devon feared a loss of autonomy (and their jobs?) and felt that other avenues for making up a £1 milion plus shortfall had not been sufficiently examined.

Owl feels there is a very complex political back story here!

“Plans for two Devon district councils to merge are off.

South Hams and West Devon councils already share some services but proposed a full merger, saying it would mean £500,000 in savings annually.

Last night, members of South Hams authority voted in favour of the proposals, despite the fact it would have meant higher council tax bills for its residents – a £25 increase a year for three years.

But, in a surprising twist, West Devon councillors voted against, even though it’s the poorer authority.

It leaves it needing to find another way to plug a £1m projected black hole in its finances.”

“Majority of affordable homes lost due to legal loophole exploited by developers, show figures”

Well, we all know about this in East Devon where one of the UK’s mega-rich developers – Bovis – say they are too poor to provide “affordable housing in Axminster:

and Seaton:

“Property developers are dodging their commitment to building thousands of affordable homes each year due to a legal loophole, new research has revealed.

Figures obtained through Freedom of Information requests show developers have sidestepped local planning policy to avoid building 79 per cent of social homes they had initially committed to, due to a legal loophole called a “viability assessment”.

A sample of 11 local authorities across nine cities in England shows developers were able to first win planning permission by promising to build a required number of affordable homes, but later go back to the council to say they can no longer honour the pledge because it would reduce their profit margin. …”

… The research, carried out by the housing charity Shelter, reveals that viability is used most frequently on larger developments, which are generally managed by the country’s biggest developers.

It shows that the worst affected areas were Manchester, Birmingham and parts of London, where viability was used to reduce the affordable housing to less than 1 per cent of homes being built.” …

Palliative care at home unavailable in more than two-thirds of health districts

“NHS palliative care delays mean thousands of terminally ill patients risk dying in hospital rather than at home.

Less than a third of NHS areas providing timely funding so terminally ill patients can be cared for at home.

… The report by end-of-life nursing charity Marie Curie estimates 57,000 patients who are terminally ill, or progressing to a terminal stage of their illness, are not receiving timely home terminal-care support.

The charity found fewer than a third (28 per cent) of NHS clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) hit national targets on providing fast-track Continuing Healthcare (CHC) support within 48 hours.

Of the two thirds missing the target, a third (32 per cent) of CCGs reported patients waited more than a week, with some areas even reporting two week waits for this support. …”