“NHS meeting deemed ‘too political’ for South Devon and Torbay CCG”

From last month:

“If you’re one of those poor saps who just wants the NHS to keep on running and stay away from privatisation, you may be surprised to hear that this is all just a little bit too ‘political’ for the South Devon and Torbay Clinical Commissioning Group.

Commissioning Groups are ‘clinically-led statutory NHS bodies responsible for the planning and commissioning of health care services for their local area’. They were set up by the Tories in cahoots with the Lib Dems, reneging on the promise of no reorganising of the NHS.

Meanwhile, Devon is seeing hospitals close, bed disappear and services stretched. (There may well be something like a Hospital-Air-B&B type of arrangment in the offing, too.)

The Torbay and South Devon Trades Council have arranged a meeting at The Acorn Centre on August 23rd from 6.30pm to 830pm on ‘NHS Health and Social Care Can it Survive as a Public Service’.

NHS… not for health professionals

After seeing the five-point agenda (see below, 1 is an introduction, 4 and 5 are questions) the Clinical Commissioning Group for Torbay and South Devon decided that the topics are for politicians and not for health professionals.

This is despite them being ‘clinically-led statutory NHS bodies responsible for the planning and commissioning of health care services for their local area’.

Hey ho.”


Owl says: not to worry, it is too political for the DCC Health and Wellbeing Committee too, which rushes all CCG changes through at super-fast speed and on the nod from majority Tory block-voting councillors- too much politics obviously beeing too much for their (and our) pretty little heads.

Despite Independent Councillor Claire Wright and EDA Independent Councillor Martin Shaw really, really wanting a political (and ethical) debate.

Quality and width – part 2 – do not as we do …

A reader with a forensic memory of EDDC matters, on reading Owl’s post below, points out that our ruling party is no stranger to councillors not attending meetings.

From the Exmouth Journal of October 2010. And, what do you know, it was another member of the EDDC’s Planning Committee and the East Devon Business Forum shirking his other duties! And, from the remarks of a current sitting EDDC councillor (Tom Wright – Con) at the time, it seems he feels it is OK for members of HIS party to go missing from meetings!

“At this month’s Budleigh Salterton town council meeting members responded with ‘who, who?’ whenever councillors Ray Franklin and Malcolm Florey were mentioned.

Some residents have questioned how Councillor Florey, who recently moved from East Devon to France, can adequately serve the town.

A Budleigh Salterton resident, who did not want to be named, said many in the town felt misrepresented by Cllrs Florey and Franklin.

She said: “I think it’s quite surprising how Cllr Franklin attends East Budleigh meetings and very rarely attends Budleigh Salterton meetings.

“I would also like to know how can a man who lives in France know what’s going in his ward?”

After the meeting, Budleigh town councillor John Shiel said: “We are not being represented by our ward members. One’s a Francophile and one’s Where’s Waldo.

“The other one is working his socks off for us. We’d be better off just keeping the one.”

The town council has called for a meeting with the district council to discuss its ward member concerns.

District councillor Ray Franklin said he worked hard for the town’s future investment through his role sitting on the district council’s planning committee.

He said: “They have got their view and I have got mine. Malcolm and myself are always positive.

“I hope a meeting takes place and I hope that something constructive comes out of it.”

Budleigh mayor Tom Wright said: “Since I have been mayor, Councillor Franklin’s not appeared to have shown any interest in Budleigh Salterton affairs, but that’s not to say he doesn’t do things behind the scenes for the people he represents.

“When Malcolm Florey was living in East Budleigh he was very active. He got the farmers’ market off the ground, he was behind the opening of the East Budleigh shop and very active and energetic in pursuing the youth club.

“Malcolm Florey did attend our meetings when he was here, but not now he’s living in France. I can’t remember Ray Franklin attending a meeting.”

Malcolm Florey was unavailable for comment at the time of going to press.”


Never mind the quality, feel the width

The following anonymous comment was received today:

“Democracy is a wonderful thing and Pratt won fair and square. But seeing as you pride yourself on ‘keeping a close eye on our district’, how did you possibly miss that the last councillor failed to show up to any meetings?”

(Councillors must attend one official meeting such as a Cabinet meeting per six months (this does not include think tanks, informal meetings, etc )

Owl responds:

Quality not quantity, dear boy (or girl). One of EDDC’s most assiduous councillors – turning up at anything and everything and with fingers in many, many pies such as the Local Development Framework and the notorious East Devon Business Forum was long-time Conservative councillor Graham Brown and look how that panned out: