Risk of green wedge between Cranbrook and Rockbeare being swallowed up despite Local Plan rules

“Cllr Rob Longhurst said: “The main thing I would be concerned with is the idea that a green wedge could be disposed of if it doesn’t fit. It was put there for a reason after long debate and I think it is wrong to suddenly discard it as being inconvenient.”

Cllr Mark Williamson said: “It is so clear in the strategy of the Local Plan that it only takes up a single sentence, saying within green wedges, development will not be permitted. There are six green wedges in the Local Plan so if this was allowed then there will be sleepless nights around the district, where the other green wedges are, particularly around Seaton and Colyton.”

https://www.devonlive.com/news/devon-news/concerns-raised-building-green-wedges-1400152

“I don’t believe it!” – NHS Providers say we are short of at least 10,000 hospital beds and are treating our elderly shamefully!

“The NHS is more than 10,000 beds short of what it needs to look after older people properly, hospital leaders have said.

NHS Providers, which represents hospitals, said that it was impossible for waiting time targets to be met this year and warned that the government’s pretence that they would be met created a “toxic culture” similar to that which led to the Mid Staffordshire scandal.

This week Theresa May promised that a long-term plan for NHS budget rises would be agreed within months, and will be under pressure to agree increases of up to £20 billion over five years.

However, Jonathan Ashworth, the shadow health secretary, said that “a nod and wink from the prime minister” was not enough for patients.

The NHS has not hit any of its main targets for more than two years. Chris Hopson, chief executive of NHS Providers, said: “The levels of performance expected and the savings demanded for next year are beyond reach. While we strongly welcome the prime minister’s commitment to increase long-term funding for the NHS, it makes no immediate difference to the tough task facing trusts for next year.”

Mr Hopson’s report estimates that 3.6 million patients will not be treated within four hours at A&E over the next year and 560,000 will be denied routine surgery within 18 weeks. He said that hospitals could make £3.3 billion in savings next year but that ministers had demanded 20 per cent more than this.

“This creates a toxic culture, based on pretence, where trusts are pressurised to sign up to targets they know they can’t deliver and then miss those targets as the year progresses,” his report said.

The NHS is probably somewhere between 10,000 to 15,000 beds short on a bed base of about 100,000.”

One hospital chief executive suggested that hospital overcrowding pointed to deep social problems. He said: “As a country we don’t look after old people well. We have too many people living by themselves in houses that are unsuitable . . . In the end they get really unwell and call 999.”

Source: The Times, pay wall

People power leads to shake up (down?) at East Budleigh with Bicton Parish Council

Owl says: what IS going on? First the sudden exodus of Tory grandees Moulding and Godbeer at the same time at Axminster Town Council and now the Chair of East Budleigh and Bicton departs extremely swiftly! All change? Hhhmmm … maybe …

“An overwhelming vote of no confidence in East Budleigh with Bicton Parish Council was made at a Parish meeting in the village on Sunday evening (March 25th)

The meeting had been called by a number of residents including the Friends of East Budleigh Recreation Ground after exhausting every other means of engaging with the Council. Over 100 residents were in attendance. Several East Devon District councillors and a Devon county councillor were also present.

Leading up to the vote of no-confidence, many issues and allegations were brought up by the residents as reasoning for their vote against the Council, principally a failure to observe their own codes of conduct.

Two days later at the Parish Council meeting it was announced that the chair of the Parish council had resigned. Amongst other items on the agenda the long running and emotive issue of restrictive use of dogs on the recreation ground was finally resolved through a vote by the councillors to shelve plans for any restrictions in favour of a voluntary community strategy to monitor and maintain the area.

A spokesman from the ‘Friends group’ said “The parish community has come together as a whole and made it very, very clear we’re unhappy with what’s currently going on.”

He also added ” I have to say, in all fairness, the remaining council members have responded swiftly and correctly. There was a much more inclusive atmosphere at the last Parish Council meeting. We feel that they now have a genuine will to see a positive way forwards and work with the village community.”

Council borrowing so high, government intervention may be needed

EDDC is borrowing to fund the building of its new HQ and to fund its “Growth Point” and is also considering going into the housing construction market.

“Local authorities could face further intervention by central government if new changes to investment and treasury codes fail to dampen council borrowing levels, according to a senior Whitehall official. …

[A conference speaker said] … “said: “When last year local authorities borrowed an additional £3.8bn, that was a £3.8bn increase in net debt. “That was £3.8bn less that the chancellor had available to distribute as funding across the board at the last budget. “So, local authority borrowing does have a real world impact in the overall quantum of funding that is available to government.”

In addition, he said that concerns have been raised that councils investing in particular asset classes can drive prices up, creating a bubble.

New principles on proportionality included in the code were triggered by some smaller authorities taking on huge sums of debt relative to their size, Caller [the speaker] added.

“We had concerns that those authorities who were doing that were effectively assuming that government stood behind their risk. “That is not the statutory position, and it is not a position we want to encourage. “What the legislation says is that effectively it is council tax payers that have to make good any deficit in those assumptions, not central government. We want people to remember that.” …

http://www.room151.co.uk/treasury/councils-could-face-additional-intervention-if-borrowing-rates-continue/