Axminster “master plan” – in cartoons!

Owl is having the greatest difficulty in understanding the true significance of the master plan in this article as all illustrations (presumably as supplied by EDDC – are cartoons!

https://www.devonlive.com/news/devon-news/new-details-axminster-masterplan-revealed-2318180

“State-sponsored dissident” Swire at it again!

Swire and May… Swire and Rudd … Swire and … just about anyone who might get him out of the hell of being a backbench MP!

“… What the government wants

A crucial insight into Downing Street’s thinking lies in an amendment put forward to the “meaningful vote” by the Tory MP Sir Hugo Swire. The government’s fingerprints were all over it.

Beyond parliament directing the government on whether to seek an extension of the transition period to avoid the backstop, Swire more significantly proposed to place “a duty” on the government to agree a future relationship, or alternative arrangements, within one year of the Northern Ireland backstop coming into force.

It was essentially an attempt to give parliament a putative date by which the government would make all “best endeavours” to get out of the backstop, or have a very good reason for failing to do so.

The withdrawal agreement already says that the EU will make those “best endeavours” to have a free trade deal in place by 2020 – the end of the 21-month transition period. The government may well seek for the reiteration of that commitment, plus an additional statement of the EU’s intention to get out of the backstop by 2021. …”

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/dec/11/brexit-what-can-may-hope-to-achieve-in-her-dash-to-the-continent

Effective scrutiny essential when councils fail – as they will do more often in future

“There needs to be a “thorough rethink” about how to approach failure in local government, think-tanks have warned.

Methods of addressing failure in local government are “no longer fit for purpose” according to a briefing paper published on 10 December by the Centre for Public Scrutiny and Localis.

They identified four main types of failure including: a failure of culture, a failure of service, a failure of function and a failure of duty.

CfPS and Localis said councils experiencing these types of failure often become less outward looking, more introspective and more defensive. The warning was timely, they said, because of the recent high-profile failures at Northamptonshire County Council, and increasing pressures on the sector more widely.

Jacqui McKinlay, chief executive of the Centre for Public Scrutiny, said: “Our recent experience of working with local authorities shows that it is time for a thorough rethink about local government failure.

“Failure in local government is not something that is going to go away – in fact, a range of looming pressures mean that the problem is likely to become more prevalent in the years ahead.”

McKinlay urged local government needs to prepare for increasing instances of failure in the years ahead.

She added: “We are clear that improved scrutiny processes at the local level will be crucial in this effort.” …”

https://www.publicfinance.co.uk/news/2018/12/call-rethink-councils-approach-failure