Bit of a headache for Cranbrook councillor who is Chair of Exmouth Regeneration Board

Freedom of Information request which will test the (Independent Group) Chairman’s mettle!

“Dear East Devon District Council,

Please advise what independent advice was sought on the governance of: Queen’s Drive Exmouth Community Interest Company, excluding those individuals and businesses associated with OXYGEN HOUSE GROUP LIMITED Company number 08306319?

Please advise what measures have been taken to ensure that there is a truly independent director on the board?

Please advise why Queen’s Drive Exmouth Community Interest Company was gifted a community asset at the nominal rent of £1 per year for 125 years when East Devon District Council does not hold either a majority share interest or the controlling majority of directors?

Please demonstrate what evidence you hold that ensures that the community asset is protected?

Please demonstrate in what ways Queen’s Drive Exmouth Community Interest Company is a Social Enterprise for the benefit of the local community?

Please clarify in what ways it is not merely an extension of the commercial, private and business interests that Dr Mark Dixon and the companies that he controls including Grenadier already have in place key with tenants Edge Watersports and Michael Caines?”

Swire leans on new Indies at EDDC in a way in which he NEVER did on his Tory backers

Excerpt below from Swire’s Twitter feed.

Disingenuous Mr Swire (Owl refuses to call him Sir when he got his knighthood for being Cameron’s bottom pinchee):

– very disingenuous. Hypocritical and frankly rather stupid – it smacks of sour grapes.

The very interesting back story to those painted Sidmouth cliffs …

Owl shares some of the elephant’s characteristics – never forgetting being one of them.

Recently a story appeared in the local press about Sidmouth cliffs being painted a strange colour after stabilising work. Oddly, although this was done by the previous Tory-controlled administration, this was not mentioned in the article – leading to the assumption that it had been made by the new no-overall-control council (or Independent Group and Tory coalition – take your pick). Owl found it odd that this old information had only now been reported to the press.

When Owl saw the name of the geologist who seemed to have broken the story, Dr Alistair Bruce, the name rang a bell. Trawling through its vast archive, it turned up the information that Dr Bruce is none other than the defeated Tory candidate for Yarty ward in the local election last month.

Dr Bruce was chosen instead of long-serving former Leader Paul Diviani – who vented his wrath in a letter to former constituents calling his removal “a [Tory Party] vendetta:

Diviani was then relegated to finding another vacancy and chose Broadclyst – which he lost. The successful candidate for Yarty was East Devon Alliance Councillor Paul Hayward.

Owl is happy to be putting the record somewhat straighter with this information that has always in the public domain, though the last word has to go to The Daily Telegraph, with its suggestion for a new posh paint manufacturer Farrow and Ball colour – Sidmouth Cliffs Red:

Regional imbalances to be examined by MPs

Bet our Local Enterprise Partnership has some “bigly beautiful” figures to support much more housing – fuelled by nuclear energy probably (bacause, as their hero Trump says – wind turbines cause cancer!).

“A parliamentary inquiry has been launched to examine the impact of regional imbalances in the UK economy.

The treasury committee is to examine the nature and impact of regional imbalances in economic growth across the country and the extent to which these explain poor productivity growth across the UK.

It will establish what regional data is currently available in the UK, how it could be used more effectively in policy development, and whether official regional economic forecasts should be produced.

MPs will seek to learn lessons from other countries on the use of regional economic data and forecasts, and understand how devolution has changed the need for regional data.

The effectiveness of regional bodies, such as combined authorities, in promoting growth will also be considered, as well as the extent to which the devolution of funding can help reduce regional disparities.

Treasury committee chair Nicky Morgan said that disparities between the areas represented by committee members had become “abundantly clear” in her time as chair.

“Whether it be a divide between north and south, towns and cities, or urban and rural, people experience the chasm which exists between various parts of the UK through their day to day lives,” said Ms Morgan.

That included differences not just in economic growth and income, but also in health and educational outcomes and the quality of infrastructure, she said.

“As part of this inquiry, we’ll examine why this is the case, what the effects are in terms of imbalances, such as wages and employment, and how successful regional programmes have been in promoting regional economic growth.

“The treasury committee will seek to identify the disparities and explore how better data can inform policy makers on how best to level the playing field.”

Committee member Alison McGovern said the inquiry would help build an accurate picture of how the economy affected people in different parts of the UK.

“We must understand how regional economic performance shapes people’s lives and their perceptions of where they live and work,” she said.

“It is not sufficient for the government to only offer figures on economic success in aggregate terms. I hope this inquiry can show how the government can get a full picture of the whole of the UK economy in the future.”

Written evidence will be accepted on the treasury committee website until 2 August.”