Campaign group forces further consideration of “integrated care” in Devon

Save Our Hospital Services scored a major victory today when after its demonstrations (including another one today):

Emails, public speaking and media onslaught led to the DCC Health Scrutiny Committee refusing to agree to the commencement of the secretive and undemocratic imposition of an “Integrated Care System” (accelerating privatisation of health and social care) being forced on the county from 1 April 2018 (probably not coincidentally April Fool’s Day).

Well done SOHS!

BUT remember we are in the national local government election period and it may well be that, once this has passed, the Tory enthusiasts for this privatisation by the back door may well rediscover their taste for it!

Vanity projects and housing: no punches pulled in Cornwall!

22 MAR 2018 — This is not about a Stadium for Cornwall, but about mass housing at Chiverton in the middle of a huge traffic jam.

Council tax payers are already paying some 35% of their taxes to cover interest payments to the banks and a massive pension pot deficit, without subsidising another several million £££ build and running costs for this white elephant.

The whole stadium and conference centre has been poorly costed (£14m?? Really? Add another £20-£30m to that; who’s dubious figures have they used? Have any councillors actually seen the fully costed plans?), whilst the running costs of storing raw sewerage and then transporting this through a busy western corridor into Truro, to Newham, will, with other running costs, mean tax payers are looking at another £10m annual bill – we cannot see Dickie Evans’ Pirates, Truro College, Better or especially not Truro City FC (with its 200 fans), forking out this sort of money to run this poorly planned stadium; so tax payers will pay for the shortfall for another 10 years or more, despite 95% of the population never benefitting from this ludicrous project.

Developers and retailers have already abandoned this “golden opportunity” because of the potential huge costs involved, and Phil Mason has publicly said the Truro western corridor is a “mistake”, whilst Threemilestone, Tregavethan & Penstraze residents are very angry at this smog-induced mess; but somehow, oracle John Betty has it all planned out, and with his magic wand, has convinced many cabinet members that it all adds up…

We ask, adds up for whom? Inox? Patrons at the Chiverton Arms? Or just him and his [] mates? Easy to make promises when you waltz into town on a wage higher than the Prime Ministers’, then disappear into the Bristol fog, but who’s going to foot the bill for all this, now and for years to come? And that’s after another 5.1% Council Tax increase this year alone.

This leads us to think that this part-time council officer is a one-man menace to Cornwall’s residents, worse still than Phil Mason…

Adam Paynter – Leader of the Council – obviously can’t handle the heat, as he’s off skiing in Australia, so will John Betty “convince” his remaining colleagues on Wednesday 28th March that his pet project at Langarth is value for money… for ALL of us? Probably, if we allow it.

EXTRAORDINARY CABINET MEETING AT CORNWALL COUNCIL
(which includes Stadium for Cornwall) 28th March 2018 at 10.0am

QUESTIONS TO BE SUBMITTED BEFORE 12 NOON TOMORROW (FRIDAY)

To – cabinet@cornwall.gov.uk

Report here:
https://democracy.cornwall.gov.uk/documents/s108991/Stadium for Cornwall Report.pdf

A reminder about housing stats in Cornwall, to counter some of the nonsense peddled by several officers, and swallowed hook, line and sinker by the more gullible councillor element, ie. Dwelly and Eathorne-Gibbons:
https://cornwalldevelopersparadise.wordpress.com

Also:
“Cornwall Council has had a cleansing of the database and since 26th February. They now have 6,500 people on the register. They have said:

“We did have 19,000 people on it. As of yesterday (26th Feb), we now have 6,500 people on it. We are expecting the figure to go up, but not to the level it was before. We have carried out a cleansing of the database. We have tidied up the connection criteria and looked at whether to allow people to stay on the database if they’ve turned down housing.”

So who’s the 52,500 new homes for, let alone the additional ones which John Betty and Kate Kennally are trying to tag onto this figure?

Note that the regional inspector, Simon Emerson, who forced through the council’s 47,500 new homes plan (and then added another 5,000 to accommodate second homes), has since retired and is now acting as consultant… to the developers. And so the cycle of moral bankruptcy and [] is complete…

Letter from one Truronian to counter the [comments]Councillor Dwelly seems to have swallowed:

“Dear Mr Dwelly,

Thank you for your reply. I was surprised to learn that the Council has been carrying out “large surveys” of the origin of the residents of new housing, as I have not heard of this research before. I assume that it has not made such evidence public, despite requests by people for evidence to back up assertions that most new housing goes to local residents. I would be very grateful if you could direct me to the evidence of these surveys so that we could evaluate the methodology and better understand whether in-migrants are predominantly buying/renting new or old properties. In the meantime, I remain unconvinced by your statement that 80% of new housing goes to local people. They simply can’t afford most of these properties. With Cornwall’s population increasing by 4 – 5,000 each year, and natural change being negative, that increase has to be from in-migration. Mr Mason tried making similar assertions back in 2015, but was swiftly de-bunked in this piece: https://cornwalldevelopersparadise.wordpress.com/2015/02/21/new-housing-and-migrants-some-evidence/ The article refers to a study of residents of new estates, carried out in 1987 and conducted by the then County Council and the Districts. It found that 44% of households had moved directly to Cornwall from outside, and another 11% moved to the new properties via a short stay in other rented or owner-occupied housing. Those findings are clearly at odds with the planners’ claims that, these days, only 20% of new housing goes to in-migrants, given that current net in-migration rates are running at a similar level.

As you say, it matters not whether I am an incomer or not, so I am surprised you should raise the subject. And I would be grateful if you would refrain from using the acronym NIMBY. It is emotive, has a sneering tone that is unwelcome in rational debate, and suggests prejudicial stereotyping on your part.

I have heard various figures banded about concerning the amount of developed land, anything between 3% to 12%. In any case, the point is that green fields are being consumed at an alarming rate and being replaced by concrete – Cornwall is being subjected to a creeping urbanisation. Whether viewed from air or land, the cumulative effect of hyper-development is to continue to diminish Cornwall’s rurality and all the special qualities that it comprises. Even the Council’s own reports state that biodiversity is falling as not just housing, but vast industrial estates and roads, chop up the integrity of the countryside. What is very clear from an aeroplane is that Cornwall is a small, finite territory. However, our future is infinite, which is why true sustainability is an issue which desperately needs to be addressed in a serious way.

I would suggest that you are amongst a minority of councillors if you feel that the Local Plan figures are “too low”. What is clear, however, is that you do not value the rural dimension that Cornwall is fast losing and that you have no concerns about the loss of tranquility, ancient fields and woodlands; that you are unconcerned about rising levels of traffic, congestion and air pollution, and about the pervading ugliness of so much development that bears no relation to its surroundings. These are the things that opponents of the Council’s hyper-development culture are so shocked, horrified and angry about. Cornwall has been subjected to excessive development for decades now but that has not solved the housing issues you mention. All that has happened is that the population continues to grow and our precious heritage obliterated in order to feed developer profits. I would suggest that the issue is more one of tenureship and ‘affordability’ rather than actual lack of housing.

Regards”

Councillor Timothy Dwelly from Breage, who “represents” Penzance East, has yet to respond.

Another councillor was told:
Sent: 15 March 2018 09:19
Subject: Re Stadium for Cornwall to Cabinet on 28 March

Further to our phone call yesterday, I have asked Democratic Services for further information.

They have advised that, until the vote takes place at Cabinet, it cannot be known how the recommendation will be submitted to Council as, at this stage, there is no way of knowing who will vote for, against or abstain. The agenda pack for Cabinet will be published next Tuesday, 20 March 2018, and this will contain the report (with the recommendations) and any supporting appendices.

As for time, this will be down to the Leader, as Chairman of Cabinet, and the Chairman of Council for Full Council. There are no set timings for Cabinet and Full Council agendas.

There will also be an All Member Briefing on 11 April 2018 concerning the Stadium.

I hope that the above is helpful and please let me know if I can be of further help.

Kind regards”

But according to Eathorne-Gibbons, millions of our taxes are very “modest sums”; some might say “it ain’t your money, Eathorne!”

GOOD AND CAREFUL MANAGEMENT INDEED!

VERY FAVOURABLE FINANCIAL POSITION INDEED!

AT LEAST WE KNOW WHERE HE STANDS.

Mrs Harding is the clerk at Kenwyn Parish Council which is the parish most affected by the Langarth lunacy.

Dear Mrs Harding

Thank you for your correspondence.

I do not support your position.

A Stadium for Cornwall will bring considerable benefits to Cornwall.

The sum likely to be involved from Cornwall Council is very modest in relation to the Council’s very favourable financial position which is the result of good and careful management by members and officers.

When the matter comes to Cabinet I shall support it.

Regards.

Mike Eathorne-Gibbons
Cabinet Member- Customers
Councillor- Ladock, St Clement & St Erme

So much for listening to all the arguments and debates before deciding how to vote on this costly white elephant!!

Why not also write to some of the cabinet members involved, just to remind them which planet they’re living on and whose money they’re playing hard and fast with …”

https://www.change.org/p/11894170/u/22539901

Our LEP enthuses about one of its big achievements

Millions of pounds given to the LEP, and the best grant story they can come up with is:

https://www.heartofswgrowthhub.co.uk/devon-business-refurbishes-premises-thanks-growth-hub-11-support/

If that is the best they can do, their hugely ambitious growth targets are going to be even more difficult than we previously thought.

Swire: Maldives, Saudi Arabia, the Commonwealth – SO,SO busy!

Future of the Commonwealth – [Philip Davies in the Chair] (21 Mar 2018)
https://www.theyworkforyou.com/whall/?id=2018-03-21a.163.0&s=speaker%3A11265#g165.5

Hugo Swire: Does my hon. Friend agree that another reason to be optimistic is that the incoming President of South Africa was a major figure within the Commonwealth family? He believes in the Commonwealth, he gets it, he is coming to London and hopefully he will make South Africa a far bigger player in the Commonwealth family than has hitherto been the case.

Future of the Commonwealth – [Philip Davies in the Chair] (21 Mar 2018)
https://www.theyworkforyou.com/whall/?id=2018-03-21a.163.0&s=speaker%3A11265#g179.0

Hugo Swire: I draw attention to my entry in the Register of Members’
Financial Interests as deputy chairman of the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council. I want to join in the congratulations to my hon.
Friend the Member for Gloucester (Richard Graham). My old friend is a stalwart proponent of all things Commonwealth. It is very good that we have Commonwealth debates from time to time….”

“Councils face ‘almost impossible struggle’ to fund social care””

“Revenue from council tax and business rates in England will not keep pace with a growing social care need – and the funding gap will significantly increase, the Institute for Fiscal Studies warned today.

Even if council tax revenues increased by 4.5% a year, adult social care spending is likely to amount to half of all revenue from local taxes by 2035, the IFS has predicted.

There is “no easy way to square the circle”, the think-tank recognised in its report Adult social care funding: a local or national responsibility?, “without backtracking on reforms to local government finance and reintroducing general grant funding”.

Grant funding from government is planned to end by 2020, and councils will be expected to rely on council tax and business rates for most of their revenue.

If councils meet their social care costs through local tax revenues “the amount left over for other services – including children’s services, housing, economic development, bin collection – would fall in real terms (by 0.3% a year, on average)”, the IFS warned in the report, funded by the Health Foundation charity.

One in 10 councils are to see their share of the population aged 75 and over increase by 6 percentage points or more over the next 20 years, the IFS noted.

Potential solutions all have drawbacks, the report suggested.

These include a ring-fenced top-up grant from government but this could lead to councils cutting back on how much of their own money is allocated to these services.

If government fully funded social care, this would “remove over one-third of what councils currently spend from local control, reducing residents’ say in local spending decisions”, the report stated.

Polly Simpson, research economist at the IFS, said: “The government has to decide whether it thinks adult social care is ultimately a local responsibility, where councils can offer different levels of service, or a national responsibility with common standards across England.

“If it opts for the latter, it cannot expect a consistent service to be funded by councils’ revenues, which are increasingly linked to local capacity to generate council tax and business rates revenues.”

David Phillips, associate director at IFS, suggested the government could “decide to keep and, over time, increase the general grant funding for councils that it currently plans to abolish in 2020”.

He added: “More radically, it could devolve revenues from other more buoyant taxes, such as income tax, to councils to help fund local services.” …
http://www.publicfinance.co.uk/news/2018/03/councils-face-almost-impossible-struggle-fund-social-care

Hunt fires warning shots about social care

“Jeremy Hunt has promised an upcoming green paper will “jump start” a debate with the public about how social care should be funded in the future.

Speaking to an audience of social care workers on Tuesday, the health secretary recognised the “economics of the publicly funded social care market are highly fragile” and said care models needed to “transform and evolve”.

He said: “We will therefore look at how the government can prime innovation in the market, develop the evidence for new models and services, and encourage new models of care provision to expand at scale.”

Hunt outlined seven key principles the government is considering as it draws up its social care green paper, due to be released before the summer.

He added: “We must make sure there is a long-term financially sustainable approach to funding the whole system.”

He added that this would “take time” but “must not be an excuse to put off necessary reforms”.

“Nor must it delay the debate we need to have with the public about where the funding for social care in the future should come from – so the green paper will jump-start that debate,” Hunt promised.

He also said he would look at making paying for social care fairer and less dependent on the “lottery of which illness” a person gets.

He explained the green paper would look at giving people greater control over the care they received, announcing he would consult on personal health budgets. …”

http://www.publicfinance.co.uk/news/2018/03/hunt-vows-social-care-green-paper-will-spark-funding-debate