Missing word round …..

There is a word in the middle of the top line of these notices but it has been printed smaller and in the lightest of colours so as to be almost invisible.

Can you guess what it is?

The word is: CONSERVATIVE!

Anyone would think the Sidmouth Conservative Club was ashamed of the word!

Oh, right …

Labour Wirral council latest to admit to problems

THE state of Wirral Council’s finances has been revealed after staff were asked for expressions of interest to leave their jobs in a desperate bid to save cash. …

… It is a period of transition for Wirral Council at the moment, with leader Cllr Phil Davies having this week announced his intention to step down in May, environment cabinet member Cllr Matthew Patrick having left his role and politics with immediate effect, and Cllr Mike Sullivan having quit the Labour party to become an independent.


Parliamentary Select Committee: are Local Enterprise Partnerships ignoring rural communities

“19 October 2018
The Select Committee on the Rural Economy questions local authorities and Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) on their role in the rural economy.

Parliament TV – Rural Economy
Select Committee on the Rural Economy
At 9.45am

Cllr Sue Baxter, Chairman, National Association of Local Councils (NALC)
Cllr Bob Egerton, Cornwall Council
Cllr Mark Hawthorne, Chairman of Local Government Association (LGA) People and Places Board and leader of Gloucestershire County Council
At 10.45am

Richard Baker, Head of Strategy and Policy, North East LEP
John Mortimer, Chairman, Swindon & Wiltshire LEP
Cllr Louise Richardson, Chair, Leicestershire Rural Partnership, Leicester and Leicestershire LEP
Areas of discussion
Likely areas of discussion include:

Access to rural services
How the battle against rural crime is tackled
How devolution arrangements can be reformed to support the rural economy more effectively?
The impact of Brexit on rural economies and the role of LEPs


“Delivery driver forced to axe business after Persimmon Homes ban him from parking on his own drive at new £190k home”

“The dad-of-one was given just 14 days to move the van from his property, because small print in the terms of his freehold said he couldn’t park ‘commercial vehicles’ outside his own home.

As he was planning to use the van for his delivery business, the jobsworth inspector said the vehicle was illicitly parked.

The order came just days after the 25-year-old handed in his notice to focus on his new start-up.

Reece, of Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, told The Sun Online: “It’s pathetic – they’re saying you can’t have this house unless you’re an accountant or something.

“They have no respect for people who work 70 hours a week to provide for their families unless it’s the right kind of job.

“I paid £192k for the freehold, why can’t I park a van on my drive? It’s elitist.

“None of my neighbors have complained – they think it’s ridiculous that I’m being forced to sell it. A lot of them have vans themselves.

“I grew my side business enough to go full-time, and even handed in my notice at work – then Persimmon wrecked all my plans.

“Thankfully I got my old job back, but it was still a bit sour. I haven’t done any deliveries for ages, and I’ve had to go back to square one.

“I’m just trying to sell the house so I can move on with my life.”

Reece was eventually forced to sell his van – and temporarily shelve his dreams of becoming his own boss.

He insists he wasn’t told about the bonkers contract clause – and says even his solicitor failed to pick up on it.

He blasted: “There’s no way I would have bought the place had I known about it. Setting up a business has been a dream of mine for years.

“When we first moved in there were about 50 things wrong with the house. The build quality was shocking, I’ve had to spend £2k on really basic renovations just so I can sell it.

“The carpet is coming up everywhere, and the paint comes off the walls if it gets slightly damp.

“The door frames are the wrong size and the skirting boards are all wrong. It’s been a nightmare, I’m never buying a house from them again.”

It comes after Persimmon boss Jeff Fairburn sparked fury by walking out of an interview when pressed on his staggering £75m bonus.

When asked if he had any regrets about the furore, he sneered: “I’d rather not talk about that, it’s been well covered actually.”

He then stormed off, adding: “I think that’s really unfortunate actually that you’ve done that.”

Last year we revealed a couple in Newquay, Cornwall, plastered their windows with posters warning potential buyers to stay away from their Persimmon-built estate.”


People with certain convictions to be barred from being councillors

“The government is to strengthen rules preventing people found guilty of serious crimes from serving on local councils, it has been announced.

Local Government Minister Rishi Sunak said the new rules would mean any person who is subject to an Anti-Social Behaviour Injunction, a Criminal Behaviour Order, a Sexual Risk Order or who is on the Sex Offenders’ Register, would no longer be able to stand for elected office in their community.

Current conditions make clear that anyone convicted of an offence carrying a prison sentence of more than three months is banned from serving as a local councillor.

The new measures will see the disqualification rules changed to include the alternatives to a prison sentence as a barrier to becoming a councillor.

They will require changes to primary legislation, in particular the Local Government Act 1972, the Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Act 2009, and the Greater London Authority Act 2009.

The government will “look to identify a suitable legislative opportunity to bring the changes into law”.

Once the rules are implemented, councils across England will have the power to prevent individuals from standing as a councillor or mayor at the point they trigger the revised disqualification criteria. These proposals will not apply retrospectively, the government said.

Sunak said: “Elected members play a crucial role in town halls across the country, and are the foundations of local democracy. They are community champions, and have a leading role to play in building a better society for everyone.

“With such an important role comes great responsibility, and these changes will protect residents while upholding the values and high standards of behaviour we all expect.”

The move follows a consultation. The government’s response can be found here.


The great plastic waste con (that we all pay for)

“The first council in the UK has said it is planning to tell residents to stop recycling mixed plastic, sparking fears that years of progress on reducing black bag waste is on the verge of going into reverse.

It comes as the Environment Agency is understood to be investigating the plastics recycling industry over claims that millions of tonnes of plastic is never actually recycled, meaning consumers may have been wasting time separating plastic waste.

Plastic recycling waste has been building up in the UK since China stopped importing it last year, with the situation now so bad that councils have now started cutting plastic recycling services.

Swindon has said it wants households to put mixed plastic items, such as yogurt pots and plastic trays, in the bin with regular waste.

Instead of recycling it is proposing to incinerate it along with other household rubbish. The Environment Agency is said to be investigating claims that plastic meant for recycling is being left to leak into rivers and oceans.

The problem has led to Basingstoke Borough Council taking the decision yesterday to close all 29 of its mixed plastic “bring banks”.

And in Southampton, plastic left over in the bins will be removed in the next two weeks and incinerated to generate energy for the National Grid.

Geoff Quayle, sales director of Printwaste Recycling and Shredding which provides 19 banks to Southampton City Council and 29 to Basingstoke and Dean as well as other local authorities, said the company has already stockpiled around 40 tonnes of plastic since July.

… Julian Kirby, plastics campaigner at Friends of the Earth, said: “We can’t burn our way out of the plastic pollution crisis.

“Incinerators belch polluting, poisonous fumes and ash into the atmosphere. “The ultimate solution is to avoid the use of unnecessary plastics in the first place. This is why we’re campaigning for legislation to end the use of all but the most essential plastics.”


Not a good time for MPs with Middle East ties – but Conservatives Middle East Council thinks it is a “brand issue”

It’s hard to criticise a country on which our arms dealers are so dependent.

See here what the Conservatives Middle East Council (Chairman, Hugo Swire) thinks of “brand Saudi”

“Firstly, it needs to be said that Saudi Arabia will survive this crisis. Global politics are as they are, and the world will not stop buying Saudi oil, nor will Western nations abandon their decades old defence relationships with the Kingdom. Riyadh will not be any less secure as a result of the crisis, and with oil approaching $100 a barrel Saudi coffers will not be too adversely hit.

….. Whether Saudis want to admit it or not, the allegations of an horrific death of a journalist in a Saudi Consulate have resulted in the Crown Prince’s reputation taking a battering. Private sector companies have fled from the Davos in Desert conference scheduled to take place in late October. Ministers from foreign governments may still turn up, the cost of losing Saudi Arabia is too high. But the Ubers and JP Morgans of the world have calculated that the cost of being currently associated with brand MbS is higher than the cost of losing out on taking a slice of Saudi Arabia’s economy.

Like all brands, brand MbS might be able to resurrect itself, but it will take time. …..”


Here is what the Daily Mail has to say

“Crisis-torn Saudi Arabia has been lavishing hundreds of thousands of pounds on British MPs, the Mail can reveal.

The kingdom – under fire over the suspected state-sponsored murder of a journalist – has been pouring cash into a charm offensive.

In just two years it has tripled the amount of money spent on MPs to pay for luxury hotels, business-class flights and magnificent feasts.

Campaigners say 38 MPs who got freebies over the past five years are ‘accessories’ to a cynical bid to brush up the oil-rich Gulf nation’s tarnished image.

Saudi Arabia’s slick PR offensive comes as it battles international condemnation over the suspected murder of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Screaming Mr Khashoggi, 59, is said to have been recorded in his country’s consulate in Istanbul apparently being chopped up while alive – as the chief Saudi government hitman listened to music on earphones.

Saudi Arabia is also under intense scrutiny for staging bombing raids across Yemen that have killed thousands of civilians.

In 2016, British parliamentarians accepted £35,062 of junkets, gifts and other benefits from the authoritarian regime. But this year the figure is more than three times higher at £106,418 – and it is only October. The total since 2015 has been put at £208,000.

….. Last night Andrew Smith, from Campaign Against the Arms Trade, said: ‘At the same time as the MPs were enjoying luxury flights and hotels, human rights defenders were being abused and Yemen was being bombed.

‘MPs should be speaking out and taking action, not accepting gifts and hospitality.

‘The Saudi regime has one of the most appalling human rights records in the world, and MPs should not be supporting it. …”