How did our 2 MPs vote this evening?

In spite of several Cabinet Ministers abstaining to avoid being seen as definitely not following Theresa May’s firm whipping orders, our MPs did exactly as May had ordered them to do, and were in the minority on all votes.

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/mar/13/mps-reject-no-deal-brexit-by-majority-of-four

Today’s promise of 30,000 housing association dwellings put into perspective

Owl says note that the “affordable” hoysing will still be 80% of market value … making these homes still unaffordable for those on low incomes.

Chancellor Philip Hammond has today committed £3billion in extra borrowing to deliver 30,000 new affordable homes in England.

In the Spring Statement, the Chancellor announced that the Government will guarantee the extra borrowing by housing associations to support the delivery of the homes, but did not supply a timetable for delivery.

The Chancellor also announced that £717million from the £5.5billion Housing Infrastructure Fund will be used to help ‘unlock’ up to 37,000 homes at sites including Old Oak Common in London, the Oxford-Cambridge Arc and Cheshire. …”

BUT IN THE SAME ARTICLE:

“In November This is Money revealed that local councils have fallen over six years behind their own house building targets.

Councils’ own figures revealed that development across the UK is moving at such a glacial pace that 316 sites will have fallen short of targets by 889,803 homes within the next eight years. …”

https://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/mortgageshome/article-6804561/Spring-Statement-Housing-associations-borrow-3bn-build-new-affordable-homes.html

Have your say on Axminster’s future

“Community group Light Up Axminster is inviting people to have their say about the town’s future development during a programme of ‘Community Conversations’.

Funded by an Awards for All grant from the National Lottery the group is exploring the things that matter to those that live, work and visit the town.

The aim is to highlight the highs and lows of community life and how the town can shape its future together.

The ‘Community Conversations’ will take place at a range of venues and times throughout March and early April and will be led by Light Up Axminster’s Cindy Furse with film-maker Rich Tomlinson and Actiontrack’s Nick Brace.

Anyone attending is asked to take a photograph, picture, poem, drawing or description of their favourite thing about living in Axminster and the thing that they would most like to change.

These will be used to create a picture of what is important in the community. For anyone who can’t attend the themed sessions there will be a number of drop-in sessions, too.

Contact Cindy Furse on 07930 800225 or email cindy@lightupaxminster.co.uk for more information, or join the conversation on Facebook/LightUpAxminster

Sessions are:

Thursday March 14: The Light House (formerly Marle Gallery):

9am to 10am: drop in; 10am to 12pm – regeneration, development and growth; 1pm to 3pm – education and employment; 3pm to 4pm: drop in.

Friday, March 15, Axminster Guildhall: 9am to 10am: drop in;

10am to 12pm – sport and leisure; 1pm to 3pm – arts, culture and heritage; 4pm to 5pm – drop in.

Tuesday March 19: The Light House: 12pm to 2pm – spaces, places and facilities; 2pm to 3pm – drop in; 6pm to 7pm – drop in; 7pm to 9pm – health and wellbeing.

Wednesday March 20: Millwey Community Hall: 12pm to 1pm – drop in; 1pm to 3pm – education and employment.

Wednesday March 20: The Light House: 5pm to 7pm – drop in; 7pm to 9pm – sport and leisure.

Friday March 29: The Light House: 9am to 10am: Drop in; 10am to 12pm – health and wellbeing; 1pm to 3pm – spaces, places and facilities; 4pm to 5pm – drop in.

Tuesday April 2: The Light House: 7pm to 9pm – arts, culture and heritage.

Thursday April 4: Millwey Community Hall: 6pm to 7pm – drop in; 7pm to 9pm – regeneration, development and growth.”

https://www.midweekherald.co.uk/news/community-conversations-planned-to-help-shape-the-future-1-5934595

Bojo says historic child abuse inquiries are a waste of money (he wasted at least £940m as London Mayor)

Maybe because several abusers appear to have been MPs or others (still) in power? And he’s the man whose failed Mayor of London projects cost an estimated £940 million!

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/aug/18/bridge-940m-bill-boris-johnsons-mayora-vanity-projects-garden-bridge-routemaster-bus

“Boris Johnson has declared money spent on non-recent child abuse investigations had been “spaffed up a wall”, prompting immediate criticism from Labour for making reckless and inappropriate comments.

The current favourite to succeed Theresa May as Conservative leader was arguing police time and resources were being wasted on crimes committed years ago as he was questioned on an LBC radio phone-in on Wednesday morning.

But he went on to complain: “And one comment I would make is I think an awful lot of money and an awful lot of police time now goes into these historic offences and all this malarkey.

“You know, £60m I saw was being spaffed up a wall on some investigation into historic child abuse and all this kind of thing. What on earth is that going to do to protect the public now?”

Louise Haigh, the shadow policing minister, said Johnson’s remarks were insulting to victims of abuse.

“Could you look the victims in the eye and tell them investigating and bringing to justice those who abused them, as children, is a waste of money?” she asked. …”

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/mar/13/boris-johnson-under-fire-over-remarks-about-child-abuse-inquiries

Exmouth: what do they know that they don’t want you to know? You can’t know!

Through the Looking Glass – Queen Alice in Council

An Alice Through The Loking Glass response to a request about the EDDC/Grenadier agreement!

“Thank you for your request for information. Please find the response to your query below.

Q. In the first instance, I wish to know what information you hold about the signing of the agreement between yourselves and Grenadier in regard to the Queen’s Drive development Exmouth.

A. There is a development agreement involving the Council and Grenadier in relation to Queen’s Drive dated 23rd August 2017. This is being dealt with under your other FOI request 101000873196.

Q. Your Council News of 7th March 2019, reported that the agreement was due to be signed in the coming week but, in a social media exchange yesterday, 9th March 2019, Cllr Stott said that it had been signed but then appeared to backtrack and then appeared unwilling to clarify. So, at present, in the absence of anything on your website or from Cllr Stott, residents are still in the dark. If there have been further delays, then we should know. You should be aware that it has been a matter of concern to the community that a considerable amount of work has been done and considerable expenses have been incurred all without the agreement having been signed off.

Can you confirm that the agreement has been signed and, if so, when and by whom (names of all parties signing please). As the requested information must be already known to EDDC I expect this FOI to be answered promptly as the Act requires, not to take the usual 20 working days that many to EDDC do. Why Cllr Stott suggested this way to obtain the information is unclear and in respect of the question of whether it has been signed or not seems an inappropriate use of the FOI but, as she has declined to clarify the matters I must make this request.

A. No information held. You are effectively asking for an explanation of the current position and this is outside the scope of FOI. If you would like to email Richard Cohen at [email address] who will provide an answer to your questions.

I hope this information is helpful but, if you feel dissatisfied with the way we have responded to your request, please contact our Monitoring Officer, Mr Henry Gordon Lennox, to request an internal review [email address]”

You may also approach the Information Commissioner for advice at http://www.ico.org.uk

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/the_agreement_itself_and_i_wish?nocache=incoming-1327721#incoming-1327721

“Millions in Britain at risk of poor-quality later life, report says”

“A landmark report on the state of ageing in Britain has warned that a significant proportion of people are at risk of spending later life in poverty, ill-health and hardship.

Britain is undergoing a radical demographic shift, with the number of people aged 65 and over set to grow by more than 40% in two decades, reaching more than 17 million by 2036. The number of households where the oldest person is 85 or over is increasing faster than any other age group.

But although we are living longer than ever before, the report warns that millions risk missing out on a good later life due to increasing pressure on health and care services, local authorities, the voluntary sector and government finances.

“Ageing is inevitable but how we age is not. Our current rates of chronic illness, mental health conditions, disability and frailty could be greatly reduced if we tackled the structural, economic and social drivers of poor health earlier,” said Dr Anna Dixon, the chief executive at Centre for Ageing Better.

“Our extra years of life are a gift that we should all be able to enjoy and yet – as this report shows – increasing numbers of us are at risk of missing out,” she added.

The Centre for Ageing Better’s report, The State of Ageing in 2019, warns that today’s least well-off over-50s face far greater challenges than wealthier peers and are likely to die younger, become sicker earlier and fall out of work due to ill-health.

The research brings together publicly available data sources to reveal vast differences in how people experience ageing depending on factors such as where they live, how much money they have or what sex or ethnicity they are.

While people aged 65 can expect to live just half of the remainder of their life without disability, those in less affluent parts of the country will die earlier and be sicker for longer. Ill-health is a major cause of people falling out of work prematurely and can affect quality of life and access to services such as healthcare.

The poorest people are three times more likely than the wealthiest to retire early because of ill-health: 39% of men and 31% of women compared with 6% of both sexes in the highest wealth quintile.

Although we are living far longer, a significant and increasing proportion of people are managing multiple health conditions and mobility problems from mid-life onwards, the report says. Of people aged 50 to 64, 23% have three or more long-term health conditions.

Meanwhile, the poorest men in society aged over 50 are three times more likely than the wealthiest to have chronic heart disease, two times more likely to have Type 2 diabetes, and two times more likely to have arthritis.

The report reveals that pensioner poverty is rising for the first time since 2010 and is more prevalent for women and black, Asian, and minority ethnic groups.

At least 1.3 million over-55s live in homes hazardous to their health and one in four 50- to 64 year-olds have three or more chronic health conditions.

The Centre for Ageing Better is calling on the government, businesses and charities to “rethink their approach and avoid storing up problems for the future”.

“This report is a wakeup call for us all – many people in their 50s and 60s now, particularly those who are less well-off, simply won’t get the quality of later life that they expect or deserve,” Dixon said.

“We must act now to add life to our years; to make sure that everyone has the opportunity to make the most of a longer life. Without radical action today to help people age well, we are storing up problems for the future and leaving millions at risk of poverty and poor health in later life.”

https://www.theguardian.com/science/2019/mar/13/millions-in-britain-at-risk-of-poor-quality-later-life-report-says