EDDC flogging off the Ocean Centre Exmouth – well, it might cover a bit of the new HQ bill!

“According to agent Vickery Holman Property Consultants, Ocean Blue, in The Esplanade, is on the market for £2,700,000.

The facility, which opened its doors for the first time in 2012, has 12-lane 10-pin bowling, a gaming area and the Ocean Bar and Grill, with a seating capacity of 100 on the first floor and a large children’s soft play area and café for 22 children.

On the second floor, there is a function suite, bar and two outside terraces which has become a popular wedding venue with a capacity for 350 people.

The complete site is subject to a 125-year lease with East Devon District Council and was sublet to LED Leisure Ltd for 25 years in 2015.

The Journal understands this agreement will not be affected by the sale of the site.”


“New MP’s EXPENSES SCANDAL: MP’s fiddling the books will be allowed anonymity”

“MPs who are accused of cheating on their expenses will be able to remain anonymous under rules it has emerged, just after a record ban was handed to Ian Paisley after he went holidays funded by Sri Lankan Government.

The Government has been accused of trying to push through the change under the radar.

It would hide the names of all MPs under investigation and the Government has been accused of “protecting the sensitiveness of politicians”.

Since the expenses scandal in 2008, all MPs under inquiry are automatically published on the website of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards.

The new system would mean the process would be anonymous.

Further, the commissioner would not be required anymore to automatically publish the verdicts.

However, the Commissioner could decide to make decisions and complaints public if it is deemed to be in the public interest.

Ian Paisley was handed a record 30-day suspension from the House of Commons after it was revealed by the Daily Telegraph he went on two family holidays funded by the Sri Lankan government.

If the new change was already implemented the public may not have found out about the case of Mr Paisley.

Andrea Leadsom, Leader of the Commons, published the results as she is also head of a cross-party group set up last year after the sexual harassment scandal.

The Committee on Standards, that analyses complaints made against MPs, has said it does not agree with the decision and opposes it.

It aims to table an amendment to block the changes before a vote by members.

The Committee said: “Any decision to step back from this will be perceived as conducting investigations in secret and a radical departure from a commitment to openness and transparency.

“It is important to publish at least a summary of each case she has concluded so that it can be shown that justice has been done and that MPs are accountable.”

Kevin Barron, the chair of the Standards Committee, said: “It would be a huge step backwards in terms of transparency to block the publication of all disciplinary cases, including cases outside of the new code for things, such as incorrect use of stationery or abuse of their expenses.”

The commissioner’s inquiries this year have included Jeremy Hunt and Craig Mackinlay.

Sir Alistair Graham, the former chair of the Committee on Standards in Public Life, said it would “seriously undermine our democratic system”.


Has Swire ever forgiven May for firing him? Absolutely not …

… if this not-so-subtle dig at her time at the Home Office, uttered in Parliament recently, is anything to go by:

“For a Minister to be able to do their job, they rely on getting impartial, sound and honest advice from their civil servants. When that sacrosanct relationship is broken, there needs to be a full and proper investigation. My right hon. Friend will be aware that the Select Committee on Home Affairs has called for the full, open and transparent publication of Sir Alex Allan’s Windrush report. Will my right hon. Friend therefore use her stamp of authority as Prime Minister and insist that we get to the bottom of this and see who was told what and when in order that it does not look like another cover-up?”


“Persimmon homeowners in Newquay warn would-be buyers with signs”

“A couple living on a new housing estate have put up signs in their windows urging potential buyers not to buy the properties.

Lucy and Guy Sousse moved into the estate in Newquay, Cornwall, a year ago and say Persimmon Homes promised to complete snagging work by last October.
But they say they are still waiting for 90 different faults to be finished.
Persimmon Homes said it was committed to fixing the problems but had not been able to arrange a time for the work. …”


As Owl has reported, obscene bonuses paid to directors and managers has added at least £40,000 to the cost of every Persimmon home:


London borough pulls out of housing development joint venture

Haringey pulls out in favour of building council houses on its own land rather than (supposed) 40% affordables with developer partner. The pre-build costs are shocking. Meanwhile EDDC plans to goe ahead with its version …

“Haringey Council has voted to bury the controversial development scheme aiming to join forces with the private sector to build more housing.

The decision taken at a cabinet meeting on Tuesday means the council will now have to repay £500,000 to the company that it went into business with in the divisive regeneration project.

Cabinet documents revealed that the council’s budgeted spend since work on the Haringey Development Vehicle had begun in 2014 has been roughly £2.5m.

Following local elections in May, the council selected a new administration that promised to cancel the HDV.

Joseph Ejiofor, leader of Haringey Council, said: “The preference of this administration, as stated in our manifesto, is to build council homes on our own land. We firmly believe that what is currently public land should remain in public ownership.

“Building on commitments we made during the recent elections, we have now taken decisive action to set a new direction for the council, with this final decision that the HDV will not now go ahead.”

The £2bn programme was expected to provide 6,400 new homes in the borough, but opponents of the scheme had accused the council of social cleansing because only 40% of them would be affordable properties.

The council has already spent £250,000 in legal costs to fight a judicial review brought by campaigners against the plans, and there are fears that there could be further legal action – this time from the council’s private partner Lendlease.

Ejiofor said: “We are obviously concerned at the threat of protracted legal action by Lendlease, however the people of Haringey elected us to govern their borough, and to take decisions that are in the best interest of all Haringey’s residents.”

Ahead of the cabinet meeting on Tuesday night, Lendlease wrote a letter to the council expressing its concern.

It read: “If the council decides to reverse our appointment as the successful bidder, we will have no choice but to seek to protect Lendlease’s interest given our very significant investment over the last two and a half years.”

Lendlease has been contacted for comment. …”