Referendum: voting problems won’t go away for Ukip and social media use

“Ukip is to face a tribunal over its use of analytics during the EU referendum after refusing to cooperate with an investigation by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

The ICO announced a formal investigation into how political parties use data analytics to target voters in response to concern about how social media was used during the referendum.

“We are concerned about invisible processing – the ‘behind the scenes’ algorithms, analysis, data matching, profiling that involves people’s personal information. When the purpose for using these techniques is related to the democratic process, the case for a high standard of transparency is very strong,” said Elizabeth Denham, the information commissioner, in an update on the ICO’s website.

Denham said more than 30 organisations, including AggregateIQ, a little-known Canadian firm that received millions of pounds from the leave campaign, were under scrutiny. While some were co-operating, she said, “others are making it difficult”.

She said that the ICO had issued four information notices, formally ordering organisations to disclose information, “including one to Ukip, who have now appealed our notice to the information rights tribunal”.

Separately the Electoral commission is investigating whether Vote Leave, the lead campaign for the leave vote in the referendum, broke spending laws by coordinating spending with other campaign groups.

A Ukip spokesman said the party was prepared to cooperate with the ICO, and was only appealing against a threat of criminal sanctions. “We’re perfectly happy to deal with them, but not under the threat,” he said.”

Isn’t 7 years in power long enough to stop blaming previous government for housing situation?

David Cameron came to power with the Lib Dems in May 2010 and began the “austerity” policy. One of the first things he did was arrange for developers to rewrite planning policies in their favour. Yet Theresa May still prefers to blame Labour for her housing disasters!

“The sombre shadow of the Grenfell Tower disaster hung over Prime Minister’s questions.

The six month anniversary of the tragedy was noted by Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn, with the Labour leader saying it had shone a “light on the neglect of working class communities.”

The Labour then used all six of his questions to shine a forensic light on the Government’s record on housing.

Mr Corbyn struck a dignified, almost sorrowful tone as he listed how homelessness has risen by 50% under the Tories and rough sleeping has doubled.

“Will the Prime Minister pledge that 2018 will be the year when homelessness starts to go down?” he asked.

Theresa May ignored the question.

The Labour leader tried again. And again.

Would the Prime Minister ensure all rented homes are fit for human habitation?

Would she ensure no children would spend next Christmas in temporary accommodation?

Would the Prime Minister bring in a three-year rent cap?

You could tell Mrs May was uncomfortable as she went into full automaton mode, regurgitating her “I’m perfectly clear” and “we are clear” lines without actually saying anything of substance or even providing an answer.

The Prime Minister was stronger in her last couple of responses but she was forced to rely on the previous Labour government’s record to defend her own administration’s failure on housing.

Voters may have lingering gripes about what Tony Blair and Gordon Brown achieved but they will also know it is now seven years since they were in power.

May’s use of statistics was not so much brazen as shameful. At one point she claimed “statutory homelessness peaked under the Labour government and is down by over 50% since then.”

Yes, it peaked in 2003 but then fell every year until Labour left government in 2010. It is now rising again.

Corbyn could not resist ramping up the volume for his final question where he accused the Tories of putting the interests of private speculators and rogue landlords ahead of tenants.

Though clips of these attacks tend to play well with the faithful, he was at his most effective when asking quiet, penetrating questions.

It was not a walkover for the Labour leader but it was a return to form after an indifferent couple of weeks.

SCORE Jeremy Corbyn 2 Theresa May 1”

You can’t build anything you like in the countryside (well, at least in Mid-Devon!)

“Councillors [in mid Devon NOT East Devon!]have warned residents who live in the rural areas that they cannot just build what they like after a two-storey outbuilding was refused planning permission.

Applicants Mr and Mrs D Hall had requested the retention of a replacement two-storey timber building at Forestry Houses in Chenson, between Lapford and Eggesford Station. The application was brought before Mid Devon District Council’s planning committee on Wednesday, November 29 after a previous decision not to take enforcement action and to invite an application given the rural nature of the property and the limited negative impact of the application.

The proposed use of the building was purported to be a workshop with domestic storage over, a greenhouse and potting shed were also included within the lean-to structure.

In his report to members, area team leader Simon Trafford recommended refusal. His report said: “The development by virtue of its siting, scale and massing represents an incongruous feature on the site and furthermore contributes towards an unnecessary proliferation of built structures within this part of the countryside. For these reasons the development as it has been constructed is considered to be harmful to the overall character and appearance of the countryside.

“At the time of this decision the application site contained a single storey timber cabin building used as ancillary domestic accommodation, a pitched roof timber outbuilding with double doors used for the storage of building materials and a motorbike, a timber pitched roof field shelter, a timber store building and a small lean-to extension providing ancillary storage for the main dwelling. …

… All 11 members of the planning committee voted in favour of refusing the application.”

Effect of Sustainability and Transformation plans on rural communities – East Devon Tories miss the boat then moan about it!

Motion at today’s EDDC full council meeting.

Recall that EDDC council leader voted AGAINST submitting the Sustainability and Transformation Partnership’s plan to the Secretary of State for Health at the meeting of Devon County Council’s Health Scrutiny Committee AGAINST the wishes of his own district council.

Now, that same district council, whose Tory members absolved him of blame for this act are making a TOKEN fuss about its consequences!

“Motion – The effects on Rural Communities of the Sustainability Transformation Partnership (STP) actions in East Devon

“To ask the Leader of East Devon District Council to request Sarah Wollaston, Chair of the Parliamentary Health Select Committee, to investigate the effects on Rural Communities of the STP actions and to test if Rural Proofing Policies have been correctly applied to these decisions in order to protect these communities”.

Proposer Councillor Mike Allen Seconded by Councillor Ian Hall
Supported by:
Councillor Dean Barrow; Councillor Stuart Hughes; Councillor Brian Bailey; Councillor Mark Williamson; Councillor Mike Howe; Councillor Iain Chubb; Councillor Simon Grundy’; Councillor Graham Godbeer; Councillor Tom Wright; Councillor Jenny Brown”

Click to access 131217-combined-council-agenda-and-minute-book.pdf