Devon Lib Dems – what do they want?

What do Lib Dems want in Devon?

They don’t seem to know!

Independents and Lib Dems are working together in North Devon:
https://www.northdevongazette.co.uk/news/north-devon-council-annual-meeting-2019-1-6055299

They are considering it in Torbay:
https://www.devonlive.com/news/devon-news/independents-consider-alliance-liberal-democrats-2865164

In East Devon Lib Dems say no:
https://www.exmouthjournal.co.uk/news/east-devon-liberal-democrats-coalition-decision-1-6046826

Swire, his other jobs, the controversial Lord and the Russian oligarch

Our current MP has fingers in many pies, here is a closer look at just one of those pies.

As Owl has previously reported:

https://eastdevonwatch.org/2019/03/17/swire-has-another-new-job-paying-at-least-312-50-per-hour-for-8-hours-a-month-with-an-irish-connection/

Swire has added this lucrative job to his Register of Interests:

“From 1 February 2019 until further notice, non-executive chairman of the Enbarr Fund, an early stage venture capital fund with universities in Ireland. Remuneration from Imprimatur Capital, Fifth Floor, 1 Tudor Street, London EC4Y 0AH. I received £15,000 on 6 February 2019 and until further notice I will receive £2,500 a month in return for a monthly commitment equivalent to 8 hrs. (Registered 22 February 2019).”

https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm/cmregmem/190507/swire_hugo.htm

Further investigation of Imprimatur Capital reveals that one of the company’s very recent former directors is Swire’s old pal – controversial Lord Greg Barker – with whom he shares another directorship in a (currently dormant) company – Eaglesham Investments, about which Owl has written extensively.

Barker has taken temporary leave of absence from the House of Lords so that his work for Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska does not have to come under scrutiny or a conflict of interest spotlight. He resigned from Imprimatur Capital only on 5 April 2019.

Barker is said to have received a $4 million bonus for work he did in the USA to get sanctions on his boss lifted:

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-05-01/en-chair-barker-said-to-get-4-million-bonus-on-sanctions-deal

Imprimatur appears to have a Latvian connection:
http://www.clusterpark.com/company.html

and the European Investment Fund says this about the company:

“About Imprimatur Capital

Imprimatur Capital is an international seed investor in high-growth technology businesses with global market potential. To date Imprimatur Capital has invested in 23 companies in Europe, Russia and the Asia Pacific region, in sectors including enterprise software, electronics, medical technology, homeland security and wireless/mobile. Imprimatur Capital is an active shareholder and helps its portfolio companies to grow and develop, expand into new markets, and increase in value.

https://www.eif.org/what_we_do/resources/jeremie/news/2010_news/2010_Imprimatur_Capital_Latvia.htm

Boy, Owl bets that Barker and Swire have some interesting conversations about their overlapping jobs!

Is nationalisation now a Conservative Party policy?

Perhaps THIS is why EDDC ex-Tory Leader Ian Thomas left the party (though Owl is STILL waiting to hear his explanation).

Imagine the debates at EDDC as Twiss and Skinner have to argue for it!

“The British government will renationalise the management of probation services in England and Wales five years after a heavily criticised programme of privatisation was deemed to have put members of the public at risk.

The supervision of about 200,000 low and medium-risk offenders will be removed from part-private companies and taken over by the government when the current contracts end in December 2020, said Justice Minister David Gauke.The existing model was intended to drive down re-offending levels when it was introduced but the chief inspector of probation, described the system last month as being “irredeemably flawed”.

The probation watchdog had previously found thousands of offenders were being managed by a brief phone call once every six weeks. Some prisoners were being given tents on their release from jails, an inquiry into homelessness published in March found.

“Delivering a stronger probation system, which commands the confidence of the courts and better protects the public, is a pillar of our reforms to focus on rehabilitation and cut reoffending,” Gauke said.

The U-turn marks a fresh embarrassment for Transport Minister Chris Grayling, who introduced the shake-up when he was justice secretary and has been dubbed “Failing Grayling” by the British press.

In his current job, Grayling awarded a 14 million pound contract for companies to ferry in essential supplies to Britain in the event of a no-deal Brexit to a company that owned no boats.

The decision to partially privatise the probation service was heavily criticised at the time.

Companies including France’s Sodexo, the United States’ MTCnovo and British firms Working Links and Interserve have been given contracts to oversee probation services.

The government has already announced it would abolish the use of handing out of new contracts to private companies to run government projects after reviews revealed little evidence of financial benefits.

It has also moved to strip some companies of their contracts because of poor performance or due to financial trouble.

Last month, the government announced it was taking over the running of a Birmingham prison from private operator after inmate violence made it unmanageable.

Last year the collapse of Carillion, one of the biggest beneficiaries of such privatisation contracts, forced the government to step in to guarantee services ranging from school meals to roadworks that the company had previously provided.

A few months later, it renationalised the rail route between London and Edinburgh, taking back the line from a private company after it over-estimated profits.”

https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-britain-justice/britain-to-renationalise-probation-services-after-failed-privatisation-idUKKCN1SM0KC?

Small businesses accuse government of failing them

“Theresa May’s Government today stands accused of failing to back small businesses, in a report due to be launched by Home Secretary Sajid Javid.

A damning poll reveals three in five people think the Tories are letting down the army of small firms which are vital to the economy and town centres.

The findings come from a YouGov survey of 1,644 adults for the Centre for Policy Studies think tank, which was founded by Margaret Thatcher.

It revealed 60% of people believed the Government “is not on the side of small business”, with just 14% disagreeing. …

This report shows how bureaucracy and paperwork are stifling the growth of our small businesses and offers a series of compelling ideas for how Government can roll back the tide and show that the Conservatives are backing entrepreneurs.”

https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/small-businesses-damning-verdict-nine-16052199