Time for a change? East Devon Alliance conference this Saturday

Still time to register (free) for East Devon Alliance conference “Time for a Change” at Beehive, Honiton – this Saturday 10 am – 1 pm.

Details here:

http://www.eastdevonalliance.org.uk/

Free registration here:

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/east-devons-time-for-a-change-peoples-conference-tickets-45482525458

“This conference is for YOU. Speakers will include County Councillors CLAIRE WRIGHT and MARTIN SHAW, and PAM BARRETT, Chair of the Independent Buckfastleigh Town Council and regional expert on transforming democracy from the bottom up.

In two sessions you will be able to hear our experience and then CONTRIBUTE your own personal views:

a) how did the democratic deficit in East Devon happen? Or – the problem.
b) what can we do about it through democracy in our parishes, towns and district. Or – the solution.

Please come. We are all volunteers but if we band together now to fight for hospitals, homes and jobs we have a chance to change how our local area is run.

Parking: nearest is Lace Walk. 2 minute walk. If full, New Street, 5 mins”

Truth in Broadband advertising

“From today, new advertising rules will force internet service providers (ISPs) to be more upfront about exactly how fast your connection should be. Previously, broadband providers could entice people with tantalisingly fast “up to” speeds so long as they were available to at least ten per cent of customers at any time of day. The new average speeds must be available to at least 50 per cent of customers at peak times – i.e. when you’re actually at home trying to stream Netflix in 4K or make a Skype call that doesn’t drop out every two minutes.

Take Sky Broadband as an example. It’s already adhering by the new Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) rules and as a consequence its 17Mbps service is now billed as 11Mbps. Add in the usual caveats of poor Wi-Fi signal, bad wiring and other interference and that number will fall further still. But honesty doesn’t address the underlying issue: the UK’s broadband infrastructure remains a cheap, outdated mess.

Think you’ve signed up to fibre broadband? Think again. Unless you’ve got fibre to the home, then your connection is actually a mix of fibre and copper – fibre all the way to the nearest roadside cabinet and copper up to your front door or building. So while everyone will now have to be (more) honest about speeds, they can still be economical with the truth when it comes to exactly how your home is hooked up.

And that makes a big difference. The UK’s fibre to the home infrastructure is so poor it’s out-performed by almost every other country in Europe (Latvia, with 50.6 per cent fibre coverage, ranks first in terms of market penetration). The number of fibre subscribers in Europe increased by 20.4 per cent to 51.6 million in 2017. Of the major European countries, Spain (17.5 million) and France (14.9 million) are the major success stories.

Across Europe, the number of fibre to the home and fibre to the building subscribers reached 51.6 million. In total, more than 148 million homes now have the ability to access such connections.

Part of that is down to the realities of bricks and mortar. Fibre to the home is easier to install in big apartment blocks, which are more commonplace on the continent than in the UK. The makeup of who runs and owns the infrastructure also plays a part. In the UK, that’s (mostly) Opeanreach, which until recently wasn’t keen on sharing. Recent regulatory changes mean it now has to let providers other than BT use its underground ducts and overhead poles to install their infrastructure. …”

http://www.wired.co.uk/article/uk-broadband-speeds-fibre-to-the-home

NHS and taxes: pay once, pay twice, pay three times

Once: original taxes
Twice: new additional tax
Thrice: means-tested assistance with care needs:

“Taxes are going to have to rise to pay for the NHS if the UK is to avoid “a decade of misery” in which the old, sick and vulnerable are let down, say experts.
The Institute for Fiscal Studies and Health Foundation said the NHS would need an extra 4% a year – or £2,000 per UK household – for the next 15 years. …”

Most interesting of all is this table:

The Lib Dems didn’t do themselves any favours in coalition did they!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-44230033

And here’s Owl thinking we paid once!

Sidmouth Herald: only Swire “good news” covered

Lots of column inches from Sidmouth Herald about Swire meeting with Chamber of Commerce,though to be fair the news is only good in the sense that they met!

Strangely, no coverage of Owl’s story about Swire’s business link with Lord Barker who in turn is linked to Trump, Russian oligarchs and Putin and who (Barker) appears to be in the bad books of MI 5 according to the Sunday Times!

https://eastdevonwatch.org/2018/05/21/be-careful-lest-you-be-judged-by-the-friends-you-keep/

East Devon’s Villages Plan is agreed by the planning inspector (with implications for business parks)

Press Release including comments from East Devon Alliance Independent Councillor Geoff Jung:

“I am delighted that, after a number of years of hard work and following extensive public engagement, the Planning Inspector has found our Villages Plan to be sound. The Plan is a key document that once adopted will sit alongside the Local Plan and help promote the right types of development in the right places for our rural villages and communities while protecting our outstanding countryside assets and environment.”

Developers will be able to refer to Villages Plan when considering building in larger East Devon villages, the town of Colyton and Greendale and Hill Barton business parks.

Planning Inspector Beverley Doward’s report on the East Devon Villages Plan has been received by East Devon District Council and the inspector concludes it is sound, subject to her earlier submitted “main modifications”.

The East Devon Villages Plan sets out planning policy that will help determine planning applications in the larger villages of East Devon (and the town of Colyton), as well as at Greendale and Hill Barton business parks. The primary role of the Villages Plan is to set boundaries (known as built-up area boundaries and employment areas) around villages and the two business parks, which will help determine where new development can be built.

Outside these boundaries opportunities for development will be far more restricted, which will effectively control the outward expansion of villages and the two Business Parks into the surrounding countryside. The Villages Plan will sit alongside the adopted East Devon Local Plan and together they will guide and manage development across the whole district.

East Devon’s Strategic Planning Committee will consider the report on 26 June 2018. The committees new Chairman Cllr Paul Diviani says:

It is expected that the Villages Plan will go before the Full Council on 25 July 2018 for adoption.

Welcome News to the Communities of Farringdon and Woodbury Salterton
The adoption of the Villages plan is a welcome additional Planning Document to the two rural communities of Woodbury Salterton and Farringdon, which are close to Greendale and Hill Barton Business Parks. These very large Industrial parks have seen continued growth for many years and dwarfed their rural communities.

The Inspector in her report states that:

“By virtue of the definition set out in Strategy 7 of the EDLP, the business parks lie within the countryside where development will only be permitted where it is in accordance with a specific Local or Neighbourhood Plan policy that explicitly permits such development.”

Further in her report the Inspector notes that:

“Greendale Business Park and Hill Barton Business Park have clearly made an important contribution to the supply of employment land within the district and provide valuable employment opportunities.”

“There is nothing in the evidence that has been submitted to the examination of this Plan that leads me to conclude that there is currently a need to provide for future employment development in locations other than those which have been tested and found sound through the examination of the EDLP. (East Devon Local Plan)”

“The inclusion within the EDVP of a policy providing for future growth at Greendale Business Park and Hill Barton Business Park, whilst considered as a ‘reasonable alternative’ in the SA, is not supported by it and instead the option of not providing for further expansion of the business parks is identified as the preferred option.”

“I am satisfied that the approach not to provide for the further expansion of Greendale Business Park and Hill Barton Business Park in the EDVP beyond that which is already authorised is justified and consistent with the development strategy of the EDLP.”

“To conclude on this issue therefore, subject to MM08, MM09, MM10 and MM11 the approach adopted in the EDVP to Greendale Business Park and Hill Barton Business Park is justified and consistent with the development strategy of the EDLP and is capable of effective implementation.”

East Devon District Councillor Cllr Geoff Jung for Raleigh Ward which includes the village of Woodbury Salterton says:

“I welcome this long-awaited Village Plan and the inclusion of the Employment Areas for the Business Parks of Hill Barton and Greendale.

The Planning Inspector Beverley Doward’s comments and recommendation for the business parks demonstrates that further expansion of either the Business Parks beyond the present approved boundaries will not be considered appropriate.”

“This Plan will provide clarity and certainty required for both communities of Farringdon and Woodbury Salterton and the owners of the Business Parks.”