Midweek Herald asks: where IS Cranbrook town centre?

Good question!


Made all the more relevant by Exeter City Council refusing ALL THREE applications for out-of-town developments aroundHoniton Road last night,citing, in part, the need not to stand in the way of the development of a town centre in Cranbrook.

Sick, elderly people ripped off – government pockets £31 million fine for it

“Standard Life Assurance Limited has just been fined £30,792,500 by city watchdog the Financial Conduct Authority.

What did they do to deserve it? Sold people the wrong pensions that would have seen them miss out on money every single year for the rest of their lives.

Worse, it was the people with health problems that were mis-sold.

Announcing the fine, the FCA’s Mark Steward said staffs were offered incentives to sell policies over the phone without checking they were suitable “which led to unfair outcomes for some customers”.

Significant numbers of staff received bonuses that doubled their salary for making these sales, which saw thousands of customers miss out on an average of more than £1,500 each as a result. …”


New Lib Dem leader voting record – not what you might expect

Presumably, this information in a Guardian comment comes from the theyworkforyou website which tracks all parliamentary votes by MPs. She has already bedn dubbed “Yellow Tory” – oh dear!

On The Environment

Consistently voted for selling England’s state owned forests

Generally voted against financial incentives for low carbon emission electricity generation methods

Generally voted against greater regulation of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) to extract shale gas

On Education

Voted for raising England’s undergraduate tuition fee cap to £9,000 per year

Almost always voted for academy schools

Consistently voted for ending financial support for some 16-19 year olds in training and further education

Consistently voted for university tuition fees

Generally voted for reducing central government funding of local government

Economic Policies

Almost always voted for increasing the rate of VAT

Consistently voted against increasing the tax rate applied to income over £150,000

Generally voted against a banker’s bonus tax

Almost always voted against an annual tax on the value of expensive homes (popularly known as a mansion tax)

Almost always voted for reducing the rate of corporation tax

Almost always voted against restricting the provision of services to private patients by the NHS

On Austerity

Almost always voted for reducing housing benefit for social tenants deemed to have excess bedrooms (which Labour describe as the “bedroom tax”)

Consistently voted against raising welfare benefits at least in line with prices

Consistently voted against paying higher benefits over longer periods for those unable to work due to illness or disability

Consistently voted for making local councils responsible for helping those in financial need afford their council tax and reducing the amount spent on such support

Almost always voted for a reduction in spending on welfare benefits

Almost always voted against spending public money to create guaranteed jobs for young people who have spent a long time unemployed

Democratic Policies

Generally voted against a more proportional system for electing MPs

Generally voted for fixed periods between parliamentary elections

Generally voted for requiring the mass retention of information about communications


Consistently voted against slowing the rise in rail fares

Generally voted against greater regulation of gambling

Generally voted for the privatisation of Royal Mail

Generally voted for restricting the scope of legal aid

Generally voted for use of UK military forces in combat operations overseas”

How has Devon fared under Theresa May?

Badly – crime, education, homelessness and health and social care have all got much worse, only unemployment has improved with the gig econony and zero hours contracts:


Government agrees plan with EDF for cost overruns on nuclear plants – we lose, French and Chinese win

It’s OK – our Local Enterprise Partnership (for whom it is their flagship project) will just pump more of our Devon and Somerset funds into it. After all, after many if them were chosen for their nuclear business connect, they at least will be amongst the few who prosper.

“Energy consumers and taxpayers could have to pay for cost overruns at new nuclear plants after the government backed a funding model proposed by EDF.

The business department said last night it believed the “regulated asset base” model that the French energy giant wants for its proposed Sizewell plant in Suffolk could reduce consumer bills compared with the subsidy contract used to back the £20 billion Hinkley Point plant EDF is building in Somerset.

A consultation document published last night confirms that consumers would, however, be asked to start paying for the plants on energy bills while they were still under construction and to share in the risks of cost overruns.

In the case of an extreme overrun, the government — effectively the taxpayer — could either have to step in and pay the extra cost or scrap the project and pay compensation to investors.

Nuclear power provides about a fifth of the UK’s electricity needs but all bar one existing plant is due to close by 2030. Hinkley Point is the only new project under construction and over the past year developers have abandoned plans for new plants in Cumbria, Anglesey and Gloucestershire amid difficulties securing financing.

Under the regulated asset base model, the developer would receive a regulated price to give it a return on its investment expenditure, including during the construction period, and this would be levied on energy bills.

By contrast, EDF and its Chinese partners CGN are paying upfront to build Hinkley in return for a guarantee that consumers will pay them a fixed price for electricity when it eventually starts generating. The contract, well above current market prices, was widely criticised as poor value for money.

The government said the subsidy contract had been “appropriate” for Hinkley because at the time it was awarded, the reactor technology “was not operational anywhere in the world” and similar projects had suffered from significant delays and cost overruns.

The government said that construction at Hinkley, due to start operating in 2025, was on schedule and the same design of reactor had started up in China. It said that financial investors remained unwilling to put money in “during the construction phase”.

Source:Times (pay wall)