First thoughts on election candidates

Paul Diviani (former Tory Leader) still living in Yarty Ward but standing in Broadclyst. Very helpful if Cranbrook extension needs highly localised support.

Stuart Hughes (formerly Monster Raving Loony Party and Conservative (no – not the same thing) ) now standing as “Independent”. still has a few more parties to go through yet!

Disgraced Lib Dem ex-Mayor of Seaton Peter Burrows standing again for District for the same party, along with his wife and 6 other candidates including two East Devon Alliance.

Fair proportion of REAL independents but several suspiciously right-leaning ones who have always followed the Tory line in the past and who seem to easily get on to committees …..

Contested towns and parishes listed but not uncontested towns and parishes (eg Cranbrook, Seaton) whereas uncontested districts are listed.

East Devon Alliance has strong showing, including Chairman Paul Arnott in Colyton.

Flybe – leaving (or not) on a jet plane …..

Flybe has jet and propellor aircraft.
Flybe is now owned by Virgin Atlantic and Stobart Air.
Virgin is interested only in feeder traffic to its Manchester and Heathrow hubs.
Stobart has heavily invested in its Southend and Carlisle hubs.
Flybe is cutting all its jet flights from Exeter and several other regional airports in October 2019 and returning all jets to lease owners.
Flybe jet pilots will become redundant and Flybe’s Exeter airport traffic (and repair hub) will be decimated.
There is a worldwide shortage of jet pilots.
How many former Flybe jet pilots will later be employed by Virgin and Stobart on non-Flybe routes?

Would this scenario be an intended or unintended consequence of the decision?

Seaside towns: “reinvent or die”

The report can be found here:

ITV News summary:

“Seaside towns need to be reinvented to attract tourists and residents and become desirable places to live and visit, a parliament report has said.

The report called on improvements to education, housing and transport links, so seaside towns can “reinvent themselves with a long-term, place-based vision.”

In the Future of Seaside Town report, peers said poor transport links to seaside towns are “severely hindering” opportunities to improve tourism and attract funding.

They warned young people are at a disadvantage because of their limited access to education, especially post 16-education.

The report called on the government to improve digital connectivity, most notably high-speed broadband, saying doing so would provide an opportunity to “overcome the challenges of peripherality in coastal areas.”

Coastal towns which emerged as leisure and pleasure resorts in the 19th century have been neglected for “too long”.

The House of Lords select committee said these places should once again be “celebrated as places that can provide attractive environments for residents and visitors.”

The peers also called for ministers to set out how coastal areas will benefit from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, which will replace EU funding after Brexit, and to increase resources for the Coastal Communities Fund.

What is needed is a package of strategic initiatives and interventions where national and local government work together to address issues such as transport, housing, post-school education and high-speed broadband.
Lord Bassam of Brighton
Places like Brighton and Bournemouth have shown that the seaside can successfully reinvent itself.

Lord Bassam of Brighton said: “The potential impact of Brexit on these towns, particularly the hospitality sector, also remains an open question.

“A single solution to their economic and social challenges doesn’t exist. What is needed is a package of strategic initiatives and interventions where national and local government work together to address issues such as transport, housing, post-school education and high-speed broadband.”

He added: “The committee is confident that if our recommendations are pursued, seaside towns can once again become prosperous and desirable places to live in and visit.”

A spokesman for the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government said: “The Government is determined to ensure our economy works for everyone and every place.

“We are on track to invest £200 million in the Great British Coast by 2020 and recently announced a £36 million package of support to projects in coastal communities through our Coastal Communities Fund and Coastal Revival Fund.

“We have also made a commitment to support towns to harness their unique strengths to grow and prosper through the £1.6 billion Stronger Towns Fund.

“We recognise the challenges facing our seaside towns and will carefully consider the committee’s recommendations to build on the significant steps we have already taken to help coastal communities thrive.”

28 days until local elections – today’s picture

This is EDDC CEO and Electoral Officer (extra pay for that) piano playing with Streetscene workers on one of those “look at me I’m just like you” PR stunts.

You know, the bloke who “lost” 6,000 voters and hasn’t got the mechanism for online checking of where you should go to vote working. The one who was hauled before a parliamentary committee to explain himself:

Time for all sorts of changes to the status quo.

[Apologies for Owl’s poor maths -28 days to voting today – it needs to have a refresher course at Hogwarts]

“Inheritance tax loopholes allowing super-rich to pay lower rates”

“The UK’s super-rich pay half the rate of inheritance tax paid by the merely very rich, according to an analysis of HMRC data that throws fresh focus on how billionaires’ advisers use a “kitbag” of tricks to reduce heirs’ tax bills.

Estates worth £10m or more paid an average of 10% tax to the exchequer in the 2015-16 tax year compared with an average 20% tax paid by estates worth £2m-£3m, according to data released by HMRC following a freedom of information request by asset manager Canada Life.

The law states that estates should pay 40% tax on assets above £325,000 – or above £450,000 if the family home is given to children or grandchildren. But Neil Jones, the market development manager at Canada Life, said the richest of the rich often did not pay anywhere near that rate because they had access to “a myriad of potential solutions in an adviser’s kitbag to help mitigate IHT [inheritance tax]”.

“This difference in the net tax rates paid by estate isn’t always down to the value of the estate or the different type of assets held in an estate,” Jones said. “It’s often about a willingness to plan.”

The heirs of the late sixth Duke of Westminster paid no inheritance tax on the bulk of his £8.3bn family fortune following his death in 2016. Probate records show that Gerald Cavendish Grosvenor, who died aged 64 in August 2016, left a personal estate of £616,418,184 after payment of debts and liabilities.

The rest of his wealth had already been transferred to family trusts which largely passed on to his son Hugh, 28, without incurring inheritance tax. His son also inherited the title, becoming the seventh Duke of Westminster and the world’s 108th richest person with a £9.2bn fortune, according to estimates by Bloomberg Billionaires

The Resolution Foundation thinktank has been campaigning for a radical shakeup of the inheritance tax system to make it fairer for those inheriting smaller sums. Its research director, Laura Gardiner, said the findings showed that “inheritance tax is no longer fit for purpose”.

She said: “Inheritance tax has both a terrible record of raising revenue, despite record levels of wealth across Britain, while still being widely despised, even by people who are never likely to pay it. At the very minimum, there are billions of pounds of worth inheritance tax loopholes that need to be closed. But ultimately we should scrap inheritance tax altogether and replace it with a far fairer lifetime receipts tax [cumulative across a person’s life], which would be harder for the super-wealthy to avoid.”