“Doctors say a new retirement village in Torbay will put too much pressure on care services ‘close to breaking point’ ” – and Sidmouth?

“Doctors are objecting to plans for a retirement village in Torbay because of the pressure extra elderly residents will add to local health and care services “already close to breaking point.”

English Care Villages has submitted plans to Torbay Council for a 159-home “continuing care retirement community” at Sladnor Park, a former holiday park near the village of Maidencombe on the coast between Torquay and Shaldon.

Maidencombe Residents Association says the apartments would be too expensive for locals and the isolated site two and a half miles from the nearest urban centre at St Marychurch would bring in outsiders who would increase pressure on health and care services.

Objections to the plan include one from Torquay GP, Dr Roger Fearnley, who warned health services were already “close to breaking point” and said the Sladnor park development would attract people retiring from outside the local area.

He said in a comment on the planning application: “This influx of people would put significant further strains on health and social care services which are already close to breaking point.

“I am not aware of any meaningful conversations between the developers and local GP practices. There seems to be the assumption ‘we will cope.’ We may not.”

Retired GP Dr Vivienne Thorn, who lives at Maidencombe, objected to the plan mainly because of its impact on local care services, and also questioned whether its isolated site could turn it into a “rich person’s ghetto”. She said the impact on health and social care had not been properly assessed.

Dr Thorn wrote: “An additional 200 elderly people will place an intolerable strain on GP and Community services.”

Richard Whistance, of Sladnor Park Road, near the development site, said approving the scheme would ruin the natural environment of the land and open the door to developing other countryside areas. He said it would affect rare wildlife including legally protected bats, slow worms, badgers, cirl buntings and nesting buzzards.

He said: “This is not to be ignored; especially in these times of rapacious development and ecological destruction, Sladnor Park needs preserving as countryside.” …”


“Grammar schools given £50m diversity bursary have 2 per cent of pupils from poorer backgrounds”

Colyton Grammar School will receive £490,000.
2.3% of its pupils have free school meals.
15.0% of Axe Valley Academy pupils have free school meals.
11.3% of Exmouth Community college pupils have free school meals.
The national average is 29.1%.

“The grammar schools awarded £50m of funding by the government classify just 2 per cent of their admissions as disadvantaged, according to research.

The sixteen schools, which have been given a share of a £50m investment awarded by the government to expand their institutions are said to have some of the worst diversity records in the country, according to the House of Commons library.

Altogether, the funding will create 4,000 more grammar school places from poorer backgrounds.

The pot, which the government said it would provide in May, was criticised for providing a “covert” way to annexe the schools, which were accused of limiting social mobility, reported The Independent.

In order to qualify for the fund, the institutions had to submit plans on how they would try to increase the proportion of poorer pupils, reported The Times.

0.4 per cent of pupils receiving free school meals

The schools applying for the cash had to submit plans on how they would try to increase the proportion of poorer pupils.

One of the schools receiving funds from the government has 0.4 per cent of its pupils receive free school meals.

At Kendrick School, a girls’ grammar in Reading, the figure was in comparison to 9.8 per cent of secondary school pupils receiving school meals across the local authority.

Just 1 per cent of pupils qualified for free school meals at Chelmsford County High School for Girls, in comparison to an Essex-wide figure of 9 per cent, reported The Times. …”


“UK’s nuclear plans in doubt after report Welsh plant may be axed” but too late for Hinkley C …

… which absorbs much of our regional funding via our Local Enterprise Partnership and its nuclear-benefitting business members.

Fresh doubts have been raised over prospects for the UK’s new nuclear power programme after a report that Hitachi is considering axing plans for a plant in Wales.

The Japanese conglomerate’s mooted 2.9GW nuclear power station on Anglesey is next in line in the UK’s nuclear plans after EDF Energy’s 3.2GW Hinkley Point C scheme in Somerset.

However, Japan’s TV network Asahi reported that the Wylfa Newydd scheme may be scrapped, sending Hitachi’s shares up by almost 3%, before ending up by 1%.”