Why is the south-west (particularly our LEPs and press) backwards at coming forward on our behalf?

We are reading an awful lot in the press about how the north of England is being discriminated against compared to the south-east and London.

For example:


Why does our local press and LEPs in the West Country appear to lack the ambition and drive to do something equally bold for our region?

Aren’t we in danger of being left behind (again). Owl thought LEPs were supposed to be leading us somewhere …not just spending our money on vanity projects.

First test of Tiggers planning stance: a fudge on Newton Poppleford

No decision on Clinton Devon’s desire to replace GP surgery with 2 houses at Newton Poppleford – deferred for 3 months to “find a solution”.

One house and half a surgery, perhaps?

Not a good start.


Cross-county working for health care: Axminster, Seaton, Lyme Regis

“Three towns are joining forces in a bid to improve healthcare provision in the Axe and Lym valleys.

Seaton, Axminster and Lyme Regis have formed a powerful alliance which will represent a combined population of some 40,000 residents.

Working together as the Axe Valley Health Forum the group believes it will have a stronger voice.

The new organisation will work with the NHS on the delivery of a health and care model that fits its demographic.

The vision is to establish a ‘place based system of care’ to meet the specific needs of the people of the Axe Valley where all voices within the community are listened to and everyone has an opportunity to participate in the design of services.

The aim will be to improve health and wellbeing for everyone living within the place identified as the Axe Valley – this includes Seaton, Axminster, Lyme Regis and the surrounding communities.

The Forum will consist of elected community representatives, health and social care providers and volunteers. …”


“Theresa May’s school faces shutting early on Fridays in ‘enormous’ budget strain”

“Theresa’s May former secondary school faces closing early on Friday afternoons due to “enormous” budget pressure, it has been revealed.

Wheatley Park School near Oxford is proposing to remove an hour-long period at the end of its Friday timetable.

The academy in Holton, which teaches 1,040 students, said the move would cut costs by reducing staffing requirements.

A letter sent to parents said: “School budgets are under enormous pressure and our own is no exception.

“The school currently has some reserves but will quickly tip into deficit unless we can find further ways to reduce costs significantly.

“Reducing the school week by one period would mean fewer lessons would need to be taught overall, which in turn would mean fewer teachers would be needed to staff the school.” …


Swire’s choice for PM: EU says he is a liar, others weigh in with further criticism

One has to wonder (or at least Owl does) why Swire picked on Raab as his choice for Prime Minister. Raab has said that he is willing to override and suspend Parliament (our “sovereignty”) to get what he wants, is “probably” not a feminist as he thinks men get the rawest deal, has been accused of having zero emotional intelligence, has been branded a “dictator” by other rivals for the job, didn’t realise how important Dover was as a port – and many believe that a current aide (a woman who used to work for Michael Gove) was the person who leaked the Gove cocaine story:

Dominic Raab aide in the frame for ‘cocaine leak’

He has also been accused of being a bully by a member of staff, who had to sign a non-disclosure agreement to settle the claim :


Ah, on further thought, Owl can see exactly why Swire would back him!

“… Dominic Raab, is held in low-esteem in Brussels. During his four-month tenure as Brexit secretary, he lost trust of his EU counterparts. “He was seen to be working against his prime minister and making things up,” the first EU source said.

The European commission recently accused Raab of making “fraudulent” claims and spreading “pure disinformation” in a campaign video about the views of its secretary-general, Selmayr, on the future of Ireland.

Responding to unfavourable reports from Brussels, Raab told the BBC’s The Andrew Marr Show that it “probably tells you that I was doing my job in terms of pressing them hard and making sure that Britain’s interests were resolutely defended” ….”


” Taxpayers ‘funding the outsourcing sector’ “

“A union has claimed taxpayers are propping up the outsourcing industry as local authorities spent £20bn on contracts in the last three years.

The GMB union said that local authorities should be focusing on services “not lining the pockets of private companies”.

Research conducted by Tussell – a data provider on UK government contracts – found that between 2016 and 2018 local authorities spent £20bn on outsourced contracts.

Of these Transport for London was the biggest outsourcer of services by value, with 253 contracts costing an estimated £2.3bn over the three years.

Harrow Council, the Metropolitan police, Northern Ireland Housing Executive and North Lanarkshire Council make up the rest of the top five outsourcers.

GMB found that Veolia was the top supplier of services with contracts worth £1.4bn, followed by IBM, Pennon Group, Amey and Amazon.

The most commonly outsourced service was facilities management on which £5.3bn was spent, followed by waste management, business and IT services.

Rehana Azam, GMB national secretary, said: “If we’ve learnt anything form the collapse of Carillion – it’s that outsourcing doesn’t work.

“At a time when local authority funding is already cut to the bone, this out of control outsourcing places even more risks and burdens on budgets and workers.

“Taxpayers’ cash shouldn’t be propping up an outsourcing industry descending into chaos as companies underbid each other for contracts in a race to the bottom, which will see a serious decline in public services.”