Be sceptical about pre-election rumours!

Ask yourself – who would start such “good news” rumours just before local elections!

“A pair of retail giants has quashed rumours of setting up shop in Sidmouth.

Both Marks and Spencers and Superdrug have ruled out any plans to set up a food hall or beauty store at this time.

With a number of buildings available for new businesses in the town, there has been talk that both companies may have had their eyes on coming to Sidmouth. …”

https://www.sidmouthherald.co.uk/news/m-s-and-superdrug-not-coming-to-sidmouth-1-6024390

Former EDDC Tory leader writes to explain his defection – well, sort of … not quite!

Minimally enlightening, unfortunately. Hard to explain why you defected when you agree with everything your former party did/is doing/will do!

Sorry, for Owl he’s still “Not-quite Independent LiteTory”! And Owl is STILL waiting for him to explain which NATIONAL policies caused him to resign.

Come on, Mr Thomas – no whip now – you could speak your mind if you wanted to.

Or is it too close to 2 May to speak freely …

Post 2 May actions will speak louder than these vague words.

 

 

A correspondent explains why he won’t be voting Conservative on Thursday

Unless your readers live in a new house on an estate they will have little understanding of what happens today.

I moved onto a new estate which had a grassed open area. I was aware that there was some infrastructure to prevent flooding beneath it and knew that I would have to pay a share of the upkeep. I did not fully understand was that it was a public open space which was available for anyone’s use, not just the residents on the estate.

Maintenance charges have rocketed whilst quality of service has been poor. Any talk of with holding service charge payments is referred promptly to debt recovery. The whole system is unregulated and frankly, stinks.

I have dug deep to try to understand how a simple purchase of a freehold house is suddenly caught up in a land charge where I am compelled to pay for maintenance of land owned by someone else.

The root cause of the problem seems to have started with the council. In this case EDDC. As part of the planning condition for the estate the developer had to provide a public open space and a SUDS system to prevent flooding. In all probability it was an attempt by the council to stick their fingers up at the developers and force them to provide facilities for public benefit at no cost to the local authority.

The next stage was to make the developers responsible for the maintenance of the new open spaces. They could either do that themselves or pay a lump sum to the council to maintain it for the next 25years. Clearly the developers were unable to afford that so they passed the maintenance charges on to the residents within the title deeds for each house.

That was very unpopular and most developers, wanting to distance themselves from the problem, gave the piece of public land to a land management company. It seems that none of those companies are regulated and can charge what they like. If you don’t pay their bill they could apparently seize your house. All quite outrageous.

There has been lots of bad press about these land management companies and the matter discussed in Whitehall although the housing minister has taken little interest.

In East Devon our Conservative council has decided to stick their nose in the trough and has decided to offer to take over the public open spaces at Cranbrook and offer to carry out the maintenance of the public open spaces and charge F band houses £370 per annum and H band houses £512 per annum. Both of those figures are in addition to the normal council tax which is supposed to cover supply and maintenance of public open spaces !!

So lets look at this…. EDDC created the problem by insisting that the developer provide the public open spaces which the council had no intention of maintaining. When it all starts to go wrong EDDC offer to take the responsibility over but only by penalising the residents who live on those estates.

To make it clear those public open spaces are available for use by anyone. So maintenance of those public open spaces should be maintained at public expense. The costs must be paid out of council tax revenue.

This mess has been created by EDDC who enjoy a massive Conservative majority. Any proposals are just nodded through without opposition.

I have always voted Conservative in the past but things have got out of hand. Things must change. The public has a chance to voice their opinion in the local elections on 2nd May.

I know I won’t be for any Conservative Councillor and no, it’s got nothing to to with Brexit….”

Wondering why new houses are so badly built? Here’s a clue

“Cornwall councillors are set to be asked to support a call on the government to give back responsibility for building control to local councils in a bid to improve the quality of homes being built by developers.

Under the current system, developers can choose their own approved regulator to undertake building control and checks.

But Threemilestone Liberal Democrat councillor Dulcie Tudor said she was leading a bid to have this returned to local councils amid fears the current system was open to abuse because “any company or person… can choose who regulates them”.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/live/uk-england-devon-48036375

“New Statesman” magazine tips Independents to give EDDC Tories a scare tomorrow …

Stephen Bush column in the current “New Statesman” political magazine talking about what to look out for in 2019 elections:

” … Ooh, there’s a lot going on here. The fun one is East Devon, where in the parliamentary seat Claire Wright, an independent, has a fighting chance of winning ahead of the Conservatives. The local battle is largely between Conservatives and independents, so keep an eye on that. …”

https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/elections/2019/04/what-look-out-2019-local-elections?

Swire thinks “the market” (private enterprise) can solve climate crisis

Well, he would wouldn’t he.

He says:

” … For us to solve this crisis, it is more realistic to make modern industry part of the equation.

“Of course Government intervention and raising awareness has a role to play but the vital component has to be human ingenuity fostered within markets regulated cleverly by the state.

“And it is only in healthy, entrepreneurial economies that inventions can be made – the electric vehicles, smart electricity grids, revolutionised batteries.

“Shell, for example, has spruced up its act and is now one of the biggest investors in renewable energy in the world, spending billions on solar research and development.

“We need to see other big corporations following suit and to meet UN targets by 2030 or 2050 the real change has to come from industry in China, India and USA. …”

https://www.sidmouthherald.co.uk/news/east-devon-mp-column-extinction-rebellion-1-6023062

Particularly interesting as he is in partnership with the VERY VERY controversial Lord Barker (see numerous EDW posts on him) in a (dormant) company – Eaglesham Investments Ltd – which used to describe itself as:

“developer of clean energy projects overseas, focussed on emerging economies”

https://eastdevonwatch.org/2018/05/28/swire-and-eaglesham-investments-still-not-on-his-register-of-interests/

but now describes itself as:

“Other business support service activities not elsewhere classified”
https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/10520733

Yeah, the market will definitely sort it all out ….. for some people.