Council 2018-2019 budget – many elephants in the room!

Recent comment on “pay to pee” article (below):

“Notice the contradiction here: one councillor says the idea is not being looked at, another group of councillors say town and … [quote from original article]

Might I suggest that there is fake news (or misdirection).

Instead of concentrating on the big savings – the biggest costs/budgets under management, we are being misdirected to something we actually understand (don’t forget the seaside towns are over endowed with the elderly, whose needs include lavatories) so that we can gain a small ‘win’ by demanding the facilities, so that we forget the elephants in the room. And there are several of them.

A gallery that only Councillor’s want.
A move of headquarters that only Councillors want.
A drastic reduction in healthcare services, that only Councillors want.
Seafront developments that only Councillors want.

William of Occam would say I have over-made the point.

Do you suppose there is a picture developing here?

I could add the absolutely fantastic budget demand coming from a Police body that has a management cost out of all proportion to its actual size. You could make significant savings by firing the bosses and not lose any quality of service?

And what about getting rid of the LLP [LEP] which, in my view, has achieved precisely nothing since it was created (except increase the salaries of the leaders although they have yet to achieve any results). That would make some tidy savings.

Maybe we can afford a health service after all!”

Save our Hospital Services NHS rally – 3 February 2018, Exeter, 11 am


Aiming to attend the local regional rally? Please make sure you, your family, friends and contacts are in


Saturday 3rd February 2018

This will be a protest about hospital bed and ward closures across Devon and will demonstrate our solidarity with the national day of action called by HealthCampaignsTogether and the Peoples Assembly.

SOHS placards ‘JOIN THE FIGHT TO DEFEND OUR NHS’ will be available from the SOHS stall located in Bedford Square. We are receiving pledges of support for the RALLY from individuals and organisations across all areas of Devon, from Trade Councils, campaign and community groups, and political parties. Campaigners from Save Our Hospital Services, Keep our NHS Public, and HealthCampaignsTogether will be their in force.

On the day, do bring your organisation’s banners and campaign stalls, and mobilise all your members who can to join and stand with us. A massive show of solidarity in Exeter with the demonstrations being held in London , and other major cities, towns and villages around the country will send a powerful message to Theresa May and her government. This is a critical time, and everyone needs to step up to DEFEND OUR NHS.

Sat.: 3rd Feb: RALLY in EXETER



Assemble: 11am – Bedford Square, Exeter EX1 1LR

MEDIA invited, join the photo shoot.
ALL are welcome, bring the whole family, friends and your campaign contacts
Plan now to be there, spread the word – supporters are coming from all across DEVON
Org. by SOHS – TSD

Hunt asked to pause Accountable Care Organisations – but will he?

“Thank you for signing the petition STOP the new plans to dismantle our NHS, please share this!

Great news! Sarah Wollaston MP, Chair of the Health Committee has written to Jeremy Hunt asking him to “delay the introduction of the new contract for Accountable Care Organisations until after the Health Committee has taken the opportunity to hear evidence on the issues around the introduction of accountable care models to the NHS”

People are beginning to wake up to the possibility that the NHS is about to be privatised and are not happy about it. Has something worried Sarah Wollaston enough to take this step?

The Judge giving permission for the 999 Call for the NHS into the lawfulness of the Accountable Care Organisation contract to be heard and setting capped costs because of the importance and huge public interest, gave us all a sense of hope. Their case is due to be heard in Leeds in April and they are still crowdfunding for that.

The doctors and academic’s Judicial Review with regard to lack of public consultation and Parliamentary scrutiny which was joined by physicist Stephen Hawking created more publicity.

Now this news published today (Friday). We believe Accountable Care Organisations have huge implications for patients.

Let’s share the petition and make it huge. Together we can win this.”

Many of Devon’s roads and bridges “sub-standard” and percentage higher than national average

Transport supremo Stuart Hughes will need to burn the midnight oil …


“More than 2,500 bridges in England are not fit to support the heaviest lorries, a study has found.
The RAC Foundation discovered 2,512 council-maintained bridges are not suitable for 44 tonne vehicles.
Devon County Council has the highest number of substandard bridges with 249, followed by Somerset (210) and Essex (160). …”


“Nearly one in four minor roads in Devon are in a state of “considerable deterioration” and need attention within the next year.

The latest figures from the Department for Transport have revealed that 23% of the minor road network in the county was put into the ‘red’ category by inspectors in 2016-17.

This means that when these roads were surveyed they were found to have a wide range of surface damage and deterioration and were expected to need maintenance within the next 12 months.

The minor road network – or “unclassified” – includes any public local roads that are not classed as A, B or C, and which are not residential streets or agricultural tracks.

It makes up more than half of the total road network in Devon in terms of length.

In comparison, across England only 17% of the unclassified road network was considered to potentially need maintenance.

Meanwhile, a further 13% of B and C roads and 3% of the A road network in Devon is also considered to be in a state of serious deterioration.

In terms of the state of B and C roads, that’s higher than the national average – across the country, just 6% of the B and C network and 3% of all principal roads are in this condition.”

East Devon Alliance Councillor says “pay to pee” is “a backward step for civilisation”

Notice the contradiction here: one councillor says the idea is not being looked at, another group of councillors say town and parish councils have been asked to look at “other uses” for toilets!  Left hand and right hand perhaps need an introduction.

And a £100,000 subsidy for Honiton’s Thelma Hulbert Gallery!  Owl will be digging its talons into that one!


Greendale Business Park lose legal case for Planning Approval

Press release from Councillor Geoff Jung, East Devon Alliance Independent, Raleigh Ward:

”In a recent Planning Application, the owners of Greendale Business Park claimed that because an agricultural field has been used for open industrial storage for more than ten years they were entitled to continue that use under a little used clause in the Town and Country Planning Act, known as a “Certificate of Lawfulness”.

However, the Act stipulates it is not the length of use, but the length of a “breach in planning control”. As Laing Utilities occupied this area in association with the laying of the gas pipeline between 2006 and July 2009 and Utility companies are permitted to occupy and use locations as depots for the construction of pipelines or cables the use up to July 2009 could not be claimed to be a breach in planning control.

East Devon District Council as the (LPA) Local Planning Authority had to take legal advice and concluded that the company had not been able to demonstrate that there has been a “Breach of Planning Control for 10 years” and therefore the Application 17/2441/CPE has been refused.
Company can Appeal

The applicant however is entitled to appeal to the Secretary of State within six months of the notification of the refusal.

Enforcement Notice

The Report by East Devon District Council recommends that an Enforcement Notice is served requiring the owners to:

1. Permanently cease the use of the area shown on the plan for the storage of items not connected with agriculture and remove any such items
2. Permanently remove the perimeter and internal fencing and all hardstanding
3. Permanently remove the concrete, hardcore and drainage used to construct the
4. Permanently remove all debris and paraphernalia from the area outlined in Red and return this site to an agricultural field clear of such items.

Location of are to be returned to agricultural use outlined in red above.

Greendale Extension East

This Planning Refusal comes only a month after another case at Greendale Business Park had an Enforcement Appeal upheld by the Secretary of State. This was after a Planning Appeal Inspector agreed with the Local Authority and again required the site to be removed of all industrial activities and returned to agricultural use. (Planning Application 15/2592/MOUT).

The Owners of Greendale have now appealed to the High Court for a Judicial Review on this Enforcement Appeal.

Retrospective Planning Applications.

Both cases were the result of the owners of Greendale constructing concrete roads and yards together with security fencing, drainage, lighting and industrial buildings prior to planning permission being obtained. This is known as Retrospective Planning Permission

Village Plan

The Woodbury Salterton Residents Association, a group of residents in the small rural village next to the business park have campaigned for more clarity and a clear understanding on a defined area where Industrial use and employment is permitted and what is classed as “open countryside.”

For 5 years the team of local people have worked tirelessly, working with local Parish Councils, District Councillors and the Planning Authorities to put a halt on the unplanned unlawful development at the Business Park.

The Local Development Plan approved in January 2016 gave some guidance and clarity and the recent unsuccessful application on Hogsbrook Hill and the extension East of the main Business Park are the result of following the guidance and principles laid down in the Local Plan and the National Planning Policy Framework.

However, the local plan stated that a further planning document will follow on from the Local Plan known as the “Villages Plan” giving further guidance and clarity to the 14 largest villages in East Devon and the business parks of Greendale and Hill Barton.

This document is very nearly to the stage of adoption, with 2 public consultations and a public hearing by the Planning Inspectorate.

The final draft was submitted in December for a final public consultation with the final date for people to have a say the 2nd February.

East Devon Alliance Independent Councillor Geoff Jung, who is the Councillor for Raleigh Ward which includes the village of Woodbury Salterton and Greendale Business Park says:

“I have worked with the Planning Policy Department officers and all other Councillors at East Devon District Council and attended every Council meeting when the Village Plan has been debated and attended the public hearings. This has been to ensure that the Village Plan and especially the guidance and controls on these 2 Business Parks went through correctly and democratically.

The Planning Inspector’s proposals for the Business Parks will provide the owners of the business parks, residents and the planning authority absolute certainty of where development will be permitted and where planning will be refused.

However, at the very last Council meeting in December an amendment to remove all mention of the business parks in the Villages Plan was proposed – this was rejected but is still supported by some District Councillors. Any changes to the Inspector’s recommendation would add ambiguity and loopholes to the planning process. I would encourage all interested parties to contact the local planning with their views by the 2nd Feb.

These views will be sent on to the inspector.

The following Hyperlink takes you to the EDDC Villages Plan Page
EDDC Villages Plan Consultation:

I would like to thank the Planning Inspector Mrs Beverley Doward BSc BTP MRTPI and the East Devon team in the Planning Policy Department for a Villages Plan that will help many communities in East Devon.”


“The Guardian has published a rip-roaring story about wealthy landlord who’s trying to get his tenants to pay for fire safety improvements needed to avoid a repeat of the Grenfell tragedy – but they’ve missed one important detail.

It reveals how the owners of a block of flats in Croydon have refused to remove and replace flammable cladding on the building until the tenants stump up the £2 million cost of the work.

That amounts to a charge of £31,300 per flat – more than a year’s salary for many of the tenants who say they are “terrified” about the cladding since Grenfell.

The owner of the block of 93 flats is Proxima GR Properties, which the Guardian points out is “owned by the family trust of the multi-millionaire property mogul Vincent Tchenguiz.”

It notes that Tchenguiz is: “Believed to be worth hundreds of millions of pounds and last year bought a new 165-foot superyacht moored in the Mediterranean called Da Vinci. He is said to own 300,000 freeholds in the UK, including 10 Hilton hotels.”

On top of all that, Scrapbook can reveal that Tchenguiz is also a Tory donor – he gave the party more than £21,000 before the 2010 general election.

His brother, Robert, has also given the Tories a five figure sum and his sister, Elizabeth, made a donation of £100,000 in 2008.

Presumably that means Vincent Tchenguiz’s contact details are hanging around Tory HQ somewhere.

So Sajid Javid should have no problem in getting in touch to sort out this absolute scandal.

If you’ve got enough money to throw some of it at the Tories, you’ve got enough money to keep your tenants safe… “