Unemployed men with big families should have vasectomies says Tory MP tasked with increasing yourh vote

“A new Tory MP has apologised after he suggested unemployed people should have vasectomies to cut costs to the taxpayer.

Ben Bradley – who is tasked with building the Conservatives’ youth vote – made the comments in a blog post in 2012, unearthed by BuzzFeed News.

The Mansfield MP, who was made a party vice-chair in last week’s cabinet reshuffle, wrote that the UK was “drowning in a vast sea of unemployed wasters” because people on benefits were having too many children, and said he supported Iain Duncan Smith’s proposal at the time to introduce a benefit cap.

He went on: “It’s horrendous that there are families out there that can make vastly more than the average wage, (or in some cases more than a bloody good wage) just because they have 10 kids. Sorry but how many children you have is a choice; if you can’t afford them, stop having them! Vasectomies are free.

“There are hundreds of families in the UK who earn over £60,000 in benefits without lifting a finger because they have so many kids (and for the rest of us that’s a wage of over £90,000 before tax!).” …


EDDC councillor desperately tries to justify expansion of Greendale and Hill Barton – going against Village Built Up Area requirements

Owl says: what a lot of help Greendale and Hill Barton are getting from (some) EDDC councillors! Hurriedly arranged meetings, a desperate race to find loopholes to allow expansion and now this. Is it a personal comment? Well, an awful lot of “we” in there!!! And quoting 2012 consultant’s views in 2018 – astonishing! AND playing down their own industrial sites (too big for small businesses) – REALLY!

“Mike Allen comment to Inspector on Hill Barton and Greendale issues

(The Lead Councillor for Business and Employment in East Devon District Council (EDDC) and past Chair of the Local Plan Forum which developed the current EDDC Local Plan)

EDDC welcomes proposals for business investment and the creation of units for small and medium sized enterprises across the East Devon area subject to NPPF and Local Plan criteria.

We appreciate that cumulative development along the A3052 road corridor has the potential to negatively impact upon existing communities and infrastructure and the operations of existing businesses. The lack of objection from Highways England on a recent nearby planning application is significant Hill Barton (HB) and Greendale Business Park (GBP) are situated near recently approved (on appeal) Yeo Business Park. This determination is of direct material significance in considering further proposed development.

I will examine four main areas of consideration for Economic development in respect of this SPD for Business Parks:

1) It could be reasonably assumed that the Planning Inspector’s view that employment space proposals of a ‘relatively small-scale development that would provide jobs for local people’ would be applicable to the current plans for Business Parks in the area. It is similarly likely that this location would also be deemed a suitable location for small scale business units at appeal.

2) Greendale and Hill Barton Business Parks are larger scale and vitally important to the economic expansion of East Devon outside of the Science Park and Skypark areas.

3) The lack of residential neighbours means no loss of amenity.

4) There is clear demand for the facilities at Hill Barton and Greendale, without which business expansion would not be accommodated elsewhere. The medium quality, flexibility and appeal of the industrial storage space and units for larger growing businesses in the district is essential.

To be clear, we have no economic basis on which to challenge further development within the perimeters set in the Villages DPD.

5) EDDC’s Economic Development team have reviewed the Draft Villages Plan as well as the Sustainability Appraisal. Having also reviewed Strategy 27 and Policy E7 of the adopted Local Plan, in addition to material evidence in respect of employment land delivery below, I recommend that the Greendale (GD) and Hill Barton (HB) employment sites be removed from this Villages Development Plan.
Approval of this draft Villages DPD with GD and HB included will exacerbate the undersupply of employment premises we are already experiencing through non-delivery of our employment allocations in the adopted Local Plan.

The Council’s strategic drive is to prioritise the development of employment land in the west of the district. Any applicants are advised to examine the potential suitability of our Enterprise Zone sites (Inc. the Exeter Airport Business Park Expansion site; Cranbrook Town Centre; Skypark & Science Park), all of which benefit from infrastructure investment in excess of £25 million and include enhanced transport corridor infrastructure, rail stations and employment site infrastructure as well as being immediately adjacent to Exeter Airport and A30 and M5 junctions.

However, we are aware of some businesses feeding back a view that sites, such those examined above are aimed predominantly at the medium to large scale employers with scientific and professional or transport accommodation requirements in excess of 5,000 sq. ft. This can fail to meet the needs of many new and growing local medium sized manufacturing / B2 class businesses many of which would not be welcome in proximity to residential areas or on Science Parks.

In 2012 East Devon District Council Commissioned Professor Nigel Jump of Strategic Economics Ltd to carry out an independent assessment of the economic impact of the two strategic employment sites in East Devon. His conclusions were clear in that investment in these locations has unlocked valuable employment and economic growth in the district.

Moreover, these sites have the potential to make further economic net benefits (job creation, added GVA and inward investment) throughout challenging economic periods
to come. The report concludes that when social and environmental factors are considered, there remains a net positive impact of extended capacity at these sites which are yet to run their full course.

In light of this EDDC commissioned evidence, inclusion of Greendale and Hill Barton within the Villages DPD is unwarranted, contrary to the specialist advice we have commissioned and would cause demonstrable harm to the district.

These findings are echoed in 3 subsequent studies of demand for industrial and commercial space in East Devon which formed the overall economic element of the EDDC Local Plan which placed great weight on the sustainable balance of social, economic and environmental issues as the “Golden thread” which ran through the Local Plan and the NPPF

The proposals for the development of medium sized businesses of B2/B8 category fit well with a large number of B use premises enquires received by Economic Development in the last 2 years,

The filling out and redevelopment of Greendale and Hill Barton will complement the demand for larger B use provision and remain a welcome addition to the diverse mix of commercial accommodation required to facilitate indigenous business growth as well as the district’s ability to meet the needs of potential inward investors seeking to become established or grow their operations in East Devon.

Having recently reviewed B use premises demand across the district, the following updates can be cited: –

In Exmouth, B use accommodation at Liverton Business Park is in high demand. We have seen speculative build in this location with all but their final unit now let. They are unable to accommodate further demand

Across Clinton Devon Estate’s whole East Devon portfolio of commercial property; they have no other vacant B use premises available, representing a significant shortage of supply.

The Exeter and Heart of Devon Commercial Premises Register has received 43 separate enquiries for B1 Office accommodation in the District in the last 3 months

Greendale have received more than 80 B use premises enquiries in the last 12 months totalling more than 850,000 sq. ft.

Also, west of the Enterprise Zone, land is being brought forward for speculative development of small, flexible B use units.

Recently, as part of their Business Plan for the use of the Owen Building, Rolle Exmouth Ltd provided details of 59 separate businesses, social enterprises, individuals, groups/classes, education & training providers who have declared an interest in finding small SME commercial premises in Exmouth
Lastly, to curtail the provision of good jobs at Hill Barton and Greendale would be to consciously, selectively and actively undermine our stated (and adopted) Local Plan ambition of delivering one job per new dwelling. This target has not yet been realised, resulting in an unsustainable imbalance between the provision of new homes and new, quality jobs in East Devon.

We cannot continue to overlook this imbalance as our young teens and twenties leave to pursue careers elsewhere and the economically inactive grow as a proportion of our aging population.

We continue to receive inward investment enquires of differing scales and different employment use classes, including from the Dept. for International Trade (DIT, formerly UKTI).

These request a diverse mix of investment formats and much needed employment opportunities from outside the district. However, it is often difficult to identify suitable available employment premises.

Maintaining a diverse mix of development land and premises is key to securing these investments and associated local economic benefit.

The increased density of employment possible on Greendale and Hill Barton sites for B1/B2/B8 use is a clear benefit to our established local supply chains and producers/providers served by these developments.

Finally – I am concerned about an issue of prejudice: I believe that it would be prejudicial to the economic development of East Devon to consider the imposition of Strategy 7 (Greenfield) on Hill Barton on Greendale since the sites are clearly well used industrial sites which are in the right location for the type of businesses they serve.

The two sites have been afforded a specific exception in Policy E7 – ‘Extensions to
Existing Employment Sites’ of our adopted Local Plan (See Pg. 196 “This policy will not apply at Hill Barton and Greendale business Parks”). While for landscape and other reasons we might wish to limit the further expansion of the sites, I believe it would be prejudicial to single out these two sites rather than the 50 other smaller industrial sites for special treatment.

The criteria already laid down within the Local Plan are fully sufficient to control and promote the appropriate development on these sites.


I recommend that the Greendale (GBP) and Hill Barton (HB) employment sites be removed from this Villages Development Plan. I recommend that any application of strategy 7 within the perimeters already agreed should not occur but that other Planning Policies on Industrial Land development should be applied on the basis of equity and equality with other industrial sites in East Devon.

Approval of this draft Villages DPD with GD and HB included and subject to strategy 7 will exacerbate the undersupply of employment premises we are already experiencing through non-delivery of our employment allocations in the adopted Local Plan.”

EDDC pre-empts its Exmouth seafront planning application with award of contract

The following press release says that EDDC HAS AWARDED a contract for a play area but later says it is “subject to [its own as yet undetermined] planning application!


“Coming soon to Exmouth’s Queen’s Drive – a new, free, Jurassic-themed, play space for children, teenagers and families

Council awards contract to playground equipment specialists

East Devon District Council is moving ahead with delivering new attractions and entertainment on Exmouth’s sea front, while longer term development plans take shape.

The council, who is the landowner, has awarded a contract for a new and free play space at Queen’s Drive with attractive and fun play equipment for children, teenagers and families. The council is investing £150,000 in the project and the free play space will sit alongside a range of other temporary uses, including food, drink and events to provide a lively and up to date attraction on the sea front.

Tenders were sought from play providers across the country to offer something very new for the town and six exciting and imaginative designs were submitted. The council has chosen award-winning playground equipment specialists, Eibe, who have come up with a great mix of activities for different ages and abilities, based on a Jurassic theme. There will be swings, slides, roundabouts and see-saws along with sand pits to dig for fossils, as well as pterodactyls (flying reptile) nests to climb in and around.

The centrepiece of the playpark, subject to planning consent, is expected to be a 7.5m high ‘Old Wise Tree’, a tower feature with climbing and balancing activities, as well as a 7m tubular slide. This, along with another tall piece of equipment proposed for the site, will need approval from the council’s development management committee. Permission is being sought as part of the council’s current temporary uses planning application for Queen’s Drive which is expected to go before the committee in March.

Work to install the play equipment will start after the permissions have been approved and the free play area is expected to be completed by late Spring.

Cllr Philip Skinner, the council’s portfolio holder for the economy and chairman of the Exmouth Regeneration Programme Board, said: “The free play space signals exciting changes underway for Exmouth seafront and we are looking forward to a positive planning decision on our application that will let the full installation begin.

“We want the Queen’s Drive site to be active and attractive for this holiday season and beyond. When we move toward permanent development and attractions on the site then equipment can be relocated and reused on other East Devon play sites, so that other children can continue to enjoy this brilliant new equipment into the future.”

The council is continuing work on proposals for temporary uses for other parts of the site and is awaiting the outcome of its procurement process to select a food operator for the site. In addition, the council is finalising the appointment of an experienced event organiser to assist with the planning of a programme of activities for part of the site.”

“Electoral Commission clears Remain campaign over allegations from Conservative MP”

The complaint was made by ex-Tory Minister Priti Patel, who was fired from (sorry “resigned from”) Theresa May’s Cabinet for having had numerous unauthorised meetings with Israeli politicians while “on holiday” in the country.

”Claims by Conservative MP and high-profile Leave campaigner Priti Patel that the Remain campaign broke the law during the European referendum have fallen apart under investigation from the Electoral Commission:

Former Cabinet minister and Brexiteer Priti Patel had … alleged that Britain Stronger in Europe failed to report joint spending with Labour, the Lib Dems and the Tories.

But the Electoral Commission said it did not have “reasonable grounds” to believe the official Britain Stronger in Europe (BSiE) group exceeded its spending limits and would not be opening an investigation.

In a letter to Ms Patel, the commission’s head of regulation Louise Edwards said: “Following examination we are satisfied that while liaison took place there is no evidence of joint spending as a result.

“The evidence indicates that the meetings were advisory in nature, focused on communications and did not involve or result in decisions on referendum spending, or the coordination of campaign activities across campaigners, as part of a common plan or other arrangement.” [Daily Mirror]

What has, however, stood up to scrutiny is a long list of rule breaking by anti-EU campaigners:

Nigel Farage fined half his salary
Brexit campaigners fined for sending 500,000 spam SMS
Record £12,000 fine for Brexit campaigner
Brexit campaigner fined £1,500
Two Brexit campaigners fined £1,000 each
11 anti-EU campaign groups struck off”

The full, very strongly worded letter from the Electoral Commission to Ms Patel is here:


Tomorrow last day for comments on EDDC’s “planning application” for Exmouth seafront

The words “planning application” appear in quotes because it barely meets the requirement for an outline planning application, let alone a full one!

More haste … more money?

The planning application reference is 17/2944/FUL and must be quoted at all times.

You may write, email or login to the planning portal


to place your objections. If you wish to speak to someone in planning the number is 01395 516551.

Please note that your objections must be to EDDC by 17th January so it is too late to write.

Accountable Care Organisations: what the former Medical Director of the NHS thinks you should know

Dr Graham Winyard is a former medical director of the NHS and deputy chief medical officer. This is his view on “Accountable Care Organisations” one of which is planned for Devon:

“Brexit’s dominance of media coverage and parliamentary time is providing the perfect cover for controversial reform of the NHS by stealth.

Jeremy Hunt and NHS England’s latest big idea is Accountable Care Organisations (ACOs). These bodies would be allowed to make most decisions about how to allocate resources and design care for people in certain areas.

At the moment, that’s done by public bodies whose governance is regulated by statute, set up by parliament after wide consultation and sometimes fierce debate. ACOs, by contrast, can be private and for-profit bodies. They are not mentioned in any current legislation and would have no statutory functions. They are not subject to the statutory duties imposed on other parts of the NHS.

Although NHS England plan to get several ACOs up and running this year, no detailed policy proposals have been presented to parliament or the public. Indeed, details are so sparse that the House of Commons library briefing is forced to use definitions provided by the King’s Fund, a health think tank.

Hunt is planning to lay a raft of secondary legislation – which doesn’t require a full parliamentary vote – in February, so that the first ones can be up and running by April 1st.

The ACOs are going to be given long-term commercial contracts of between ten and 15 years. We know these are difficult to get right and expensive to get out of. Think of Virgin and the East Coast Main Line or the private finance initiative, which has left the NHS paying hundreds of millions to offshore finance companies for hospitals that cannot now be afforded. Warnings about risks of PFI were once brushed aside as alarmist, often by the same people who now dismiss criticism of ACOs in similar terms.

I’m working with four colleagues to challenge these proposals through judicial review. Our case is not concerned with whether ACOs are a good or bad idea. That’s for parliament and the public to decide, not the courts. Our case is that such a radical and significant change cannot lawfully be introduced and implemented without public consultation, parliamentary scrutiny and primary legislation. The case was filed on December 11th and clearly struck a chord with the public. They’ve provided £176,000 through crowd funding in over 6,000 donations.

We are also deeply concerned that by using contracts instead of statute to allow ACOs to operate, the government is exposing the NHS to major risks.

We’re concerned that ACOs will be governed only by company and contract law, yet can be given “full responsibility” for NHS and adult social services. Because they span free health care and means-tested social care, ACOs will be able to decide on the boundary of what care is free and what has to be paid for. They can include private companies – including private insurance and property companies – which will make money from charging. Their accountability is unclear, in spite of their name, yet they will be given long-term contracts and be allowed to make “most decisions” about how to allocate NHS resources and design care for the local population. They will have control over the allocation of huge amounts of taxpayers’ money, yet their accountability for spending it and their obligations to the public would be under commercial contracts instead of statutes. The parallel with railway franchises seems inescapable. And by establishing them this way, it’ll be harder to exclude ACOs from free trade deals.

Lots of serious people are genuinely worried and object to their fears being brushed aside. If ACOs are not opening the door to greater privatisation of the NHS, why is their detailed documentation so explicit that they can indeed be private bodies?

We are not zealots opposed to change. We’re simply people who care about the founding principles of the NHS, have taken the trouble to read the small print and have the experience and knowledge to understand its implications.

If ACOs are now seen as being central to the delivery of effective health and social care, they should be set up as proper public bodies with clear democratic accountability. This would require a detailed explanation, proper public debate and the kind of parliamentary scrutiny that primary legislation demands.