CLINTON DEVON SERVE EVICTION NOTICE ON 11 SPECIES OF BAT

A new nature protection group has been formed in East Budleigh to try to save eleven species of bat from having their habitat destroyed. Six of these species are amongst the rarest found in Britain. The story has broken today simultaneously on BBC Radio Devon and BBC Spotlight, presented by Adrian Campbell, and in the Exmouth Journal.

Owl will comment after using the following Journal story to set the scene:

“Landowners have defended their plan to redevelop an area of land in East Budleigh amid concerns for wildlife living on the site.

Clinton Devon Estates (CDE) has applied for permission to demolish a barn at The Pound, in Lower Budeigh, and replace it with a new dwelling.

Residents have raised concerns about the bats that have traditionally called the barn their home.

There are also concerns about access to the site; it is argued to be through the centre of The Pound, which is claimed to be in the village’s built-up area boundary.

CDE say the new building will provide ‘conditions more suitable’ for bats, including a dedicated loft area and ground floor with free flight access for the animals.

Writing in objection to the application, Mr and Mrs Moyle said: “We should be proud that we have so many rare bats, including gray long-eared bats, which are very rare.

“Building this so-called bat house means we have no proof that the bats will use it.

“It is being built a long way from the barn, so we are likely to lose out rare bats.”

Another letter, from a Mrs Maynard, said: “This is an absolutely ridiculous and totally unnecessary attempt to develop what is at present is an extremely pretty corner of a very lovely village.”

A spokesman for Clinton Devon Estates said: “The new building, whilst smaller than the existing barn, has been designed to provide conditions more suitable for breeding bats in the summer; for example, it will have a slate roof to provide a warm loft, as opposed to a draughty metal shed. “It will also have a cool ground floor to provide fairly stable winter temperature and high humidity, with the aim of providing a potential winter roost.

“For horseshoe and long-eared bat species, a dedicated loft area and ground floor with free flight access will be provided.

“For crevice-dwelling bat species, roosting provision will be provided in various places within the bat barn, including bat slates, a raised ridge tile, timber cladding, a Schwegler bat tube and internal crevices.”

CDE providing a brand new Des. Res. for free? There must be a catch.

Owl fears for these bats.

Are they going to be sent away for a holiday by the sea whilst their ancient barn (oldest still standing in East Budleigh) is bulldozed away and their new bat loft constructed?

Temporary social housing is a non-starter. As mentioned in one of the Spotlight interviews, what are they going to do for food. They feed on moths but the overgrown habitat of the moths is also going to be bulldozed?

And how are they going to navigate when the trees they use for echo location have also been razed to the ground as well?

Owl has many, many bat friends who join it in its nocturnal foreys and is VERY protective of them.

However, for the status of Clinton Devon Estates environmental credentials see just a few recent Owl stories here (there are many more):

https://eastdevonwatch.org/2018/02/09/clinton-devon-estates-pr-team-working-overtime-on-blackhill-quarry/

https://eastdevonwatch.org/2017/09/07/clinton-devon-estates-and-budleigh-hospital-garden-a-pr-nightmare-for-today-and-tomorrow/

https://eastdevonwatch.org/2017/03/14/eddc-local-plan-not-fit-for-purpose-as-developer-and-clinton-devon-estates-challenge-succeeds-at-newton-poppleford/

https://eastdevonwatch.org/2016/11/15/clinton-devon-estates-wants-to-make-it-easier-to-build-in-aonb/

https://eastdevonwatch.org/2016/05/09/beer-officers-recommend-refusal-of-clinton-devon-estates-development-in-aonb/

https://eastdevonwatch.org/2016/08/04/east-budleigh-clinton-devon-5-houses-with-fourteen-parking-spaces-in-aonb-on-grade-1-agricultural-land/

“Government to trial citizens juries and mass online polls in local decision-making”

Owl says: as with all these ideas, proof of the pudding is in the eating.

Remember, we are less than a year away from local elections and promises will be poured out until they are over!

And, maybe, it’s just a way of forcing us to make rationing decisions and deflecting responsibility from government policies leading to rationing in the first place

“The government is to trial ways for people to take a more direct role in decisions that affect their local area, with proposals for “Citizens’ Juries” or mass participation in decision-making on community issues via an online poll or app.

The proposal is part of the first Civil Society Strategy in 15 years, which was unveiled today by Tracey Crouch, Minister for Sport and Civil Society.
“Many people feel disenfranchised and disempowered, and the government is keen to find new ways to give people back a sense of control over their communities’ future,” the document says.

“Participatory democracy methods, such as Citizens’ Juries, can make a profound difference to people’s lives: evidence shows that enabling people to participate in the decisions that affect them improves people’s confidence in dealing with local issues, builds bridges between citizens and the government, fosters more engagement, and increases social capital. It also increases people’s understanding of how decisions are taken, and leads to authorities making better decisions and developing more effective solutions to issues as a broader range of expertise can be tapped into to solve public issues.”

The ‘Innovation in Democracy’ pilot scheme will take place in six regions across the country “to trial face-to-face deliberation (such as Citizens’ Juries) complemented by online civic tech tools to increase broad engagement and transparency”.

The publication also says the government wishes to go devolve more power to community groups and parishes. It will explore with the National Association of Local Councils and others the option for local ‘charters’ between a principal council, local councils, and community groups setting out respective responsibilities.

“This could include joint service delivery or the transfer of service delivery responsibilities to local councils, parishes or community groups, the transfer of borough council assets to local councils, or from councils to parishes, and the opportunity for councils or parishes to ‘cluster’, that is to form a consortium with sufficient scale to commission or deliver larger service functions,” it adds.

Other initiatives set out in the Civil Society Strategy include:

Revising the guidance that helps communities take ownership of local assets.

Exploring means of ensuring community-led enterprises which take over public assets or services are able to secure the funding they need.

Improving the use of the Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012 “to ensure that organisations can generate more social value for communities when spending public money on government contracts”. The government will explore the potential for the use of social value in grants as well as contracts, and the suggestion that the Act should be applied to other areas of public decision-making such as planning and community asset transfer. Also, “as announced on 25 June 2018, central government departments will be expected to apply the terms of the Act to goods and works and to ‘account for’ the social value of new procurements, rather than just ‘consider’ it as currently. The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport will lead the way by applying this wider remit to major projects, to be followed by other departments in due course.

Exploring (through the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government) the potential of transfers of public land to community-led housing initiatives, such as Community Land Trusts, by which residents become members of a trust which holds land and housing on behalf of the community.

Unlocking £20m from inactive charitable trusts (those which spend less than 30% of their annual income) to support community organisations over the next two years.

Supporting charities “to make their voices heard on issues that matter to them and ensuring that charitable trustees reflect the diversity of the society they serve”.

Distributing money from dormant bank accounts to independent organisations that will (a) get disadvantaged young people into employment (£90m) and (b) tackle financial exclusion and the problem of access to affordable credit (£55m).

Jeremy Wright, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, said: “Our plans stand side-by-side with the Industrial Strategy, supporting its drive to grow the economy, while creating an environment where people and communities are at the heart of decision-making.

“These ambitious plans will harness the expertise of volunteers, charities and business to help people take a more active part in their local areas.”
Tracey Crouch said: “Civil society is the bedrock of our communities. It is made up of the volunteers, youth workers, charities and innovative businesses that work to improve lives and make areas better for all.
“Our strategy builds on this spirit of common good to help create a country that works for everyone. I want people, organisations and businesses to feel inspired to get involved and make a difference.

“Through collaboration, we will unlock the huge potential of this incredible sector, help it grow, support the next generation and create a fairer society.”

http://localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=36313%3Agovernment-to-trial-citizens-juries-and-mass-online-polls-in-local-decision-making&catid=59&Itemid=27

“Austerity kills: this week’s figures show its devastating toll”

” … According to a bombshell report in the British Medical Journal last year, austerity has been linked to 120,000 extra deaths since 2010. In practice, it suggested, that could lead to 100 early deaths every single day in the coming years. The impact is, predictably enough, felt by the poorest.

Remember when Theresa May stood on the steps of Downing Street in July 2016 and delivered her first speech as prime minister, promising to correct Britain’s “burning injustices”? One of these injustices was that those born poor die nine years earlier. And yet according to David Buck – an expert in health inequalities at the King’s Fund – the gap in health outcomes and life expectancy between the most affluent and the least well-off is only widening under her abysmal premiership.

What could possibly be causing this national disaster? Rule out alcohol use: it has been steadily falling, with the ONS finding in 2016 that alcohol consumption had fallen to its lowest rate since the survey began in 2005. There are fewer smokers in England than ever. As Dorling notes, there has not been a major influenza outbreak since the increase in life expectancy ground to a halt. Neither is it credible to suggest Britain has simply reached a plateau – that life expectancy cannot keep increasing for ever. “We are a long way off that,” as Professor Martin McKee has put it, observing that life expectancy in Japan and Scandinavian nations is higher.

Given the government is refusing a national inquiry into the great standstill in life expectancy, experts are left without a credible explanation other than austerity.

Consider specific policies. The NHS has suffered the longest squeeze in its funding as a share of the economy since it was founded after the war. Its annual increase in funding in the first four years of Tory-led rule was 1.3%, despite growing patient demand and increasing healthcare costs. Then there’s social care for the elderly: a devastating £6bn less spent since David Cameron entered Downing Street. As Dorling and Basten note, since 2010, many care homes – all too often a privately run racket – have closed; and cuts to social security, not least disability benefits, have undoubtedly played a role. There are other chilling factors at play, too. Until the financial crash, Britain’s suicide rate had been falling. Since then, experts believe there could have been an extra 1,000 deaths from suicide and an additional 30 to 40,000 attempts, with austerity playing a role.

This country and its people will be paying for the Tories’ ideologically driven disaster for years to come. Those children driven into poverty will have worse health and lowered educational opportunities as a consequence, undermining their potential, and with it the potential of the whole country. As living standards stagnate, a consumer debt bubble beckons, with potentially disastrous economic consequences. Public services and infrastructure will creak. But there is far more at stake.

Austerity is literally a matter of life and death. Unless it is stopped, lives will continue to be unnecessarily shortened. That Cameron and Osborne crow over a project that has caused so much misery is grotesque. Among the many injustices they have perpetrated, history must surely record the robbing of human life for ideological means.”

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/aug/08/austerity-kills-life-expectancy-standstill-britain