3 weeks before Brexit our Local Enterprise Partnership wakes up!

“A No Deal scenario, without a comprehensive and cross-Government mitigation plan in place, could create conditions that have not been seen in our rural communities since Foot and Mouth.

A letter from the Heart of the South West Joint Committee and the Heart of the South West LEP, sent to Michael Gove, the No Deal Brexit minister, says that without comprehensive mitigation in place, a No Deal Brexit could result in significant business closures and a fundamental impact on Devon and Somerset.

The Heart of the South West Joint Committee and the Heart of the South West LEP are a partnership of sixteen local authorities, two national parks, two CCGs and the LEP and represent 1.7m people and 80,000 businesses across Devon and Somerset.”


Could you afford to rent a home in East Devon if you were on Universal Credit?

To afford the cheapest 30% of rented accommodation in East Devon, you would need £72 per month more Universal Credit than you would get (assuming landlords would be prepared to rent to you):


With many retail outlets closing and big companies like Thomas Cook goung under, some families in East Devon are closer to homelessness than they might imagine … through no fault of theirs.

DCC Tories block discussion of fire station closures

From the blog of DCC East Devon Alliance councillor Martin Shaw:

“Yesterday I tried to propose a motion to Devon County Council to halt the fire station closures. The grainy photo (on his blog) taken from the webcast shows the Conservatives voting as a block to stop it even being discussed. They wanted to refer my motion to the Cabinet who would amend it and bring it back to the Council in December. By then, the Fire Authority – chaired by Colyton’s former county councillor, Sarah Randall-Johnson – will have decided on its proposals at a meeting on 8th November.

Following this disgraceful episode, there can be little doubt that Tory councillors on the fire authority are preparing to vote through the fire station closures. Local people need to increase pressure on all the individual members of the Authority, change their minds. …”

This is the moment the Conservatives voted to stop Devon County Council even discussing fire station closures – you have been warned, they are preparing to vote them through at the Fire Authority

Sidford Business Park – campain group meeting 15 October 6.30 pm

“Despite the Planning Inspector having given the go ahead for the Business Park there still is work that we can all do as the detailed plans have yet to be decided upon.

That is why there will be a

Campaign Public Meeting
Tuesday 15 October,
starting at 6.30 pm
at the
Stowford Rise Community Centre

Please come along and help us decide what we ought now to be doing.

We will also be updating you on what took place at the Planning Inquiry, what we have been doing subsequently and what we have spent our funds on.

Don’t forget to also bring your purses and wallets with you as we need to pay for the hire of the hall.”

Councils losing enthusiasm for commercial land and property acquisition

“The recent boom in council spending on land and buildings slowed last year, indicating that the craze for borrowing to invest in commercial property may be reaching its peak.

The government last week released final capital spending and receipts outturn figures for 2018/19.

The data showed spending in the “acquisition of land and existing buildings” category rising 8% to £4.4bn during the year.

However, this is a much smaller rise than recent years – spending in the category quadrupled from just over a billion pounds in 2014/15 to £4.1bn last year.

It is impossible to say how much of the spending in the category relates to commercial property.

However, when the provisional outturn data were released earlier this year, a source told Room151: “It is difficult to get figures that prove it, but the latest set of data seem to indicate a rise in commercial property investment by councils.

You just can’t prove it definitively.”

Speaking this week, Richard Harbord, former chief executive of Boston Borough Council, said: “I think it shows that it is levelling off.

“There are fewer opportunities and many authorities are prudently going as far as they are going to go on this.

“But also it is the continuing of austerity and the fact that as capital schemes which often take years to complete finish, councils are not replacing them with new schemes to assist the revenue effect.” …”

Rise in council spending on land and buildings slows