Increased Parking Charges – Extraordinary Scrutiny Meeting Thursday, October 24, from 6pm, at Blackdown House

“Last month, East Devon District Council’s cabinet agreed to launch a consultation process on increasing the hourly tariff in nine car parks from £1 to £1.20.

If approved, the following car parks would be affected: Lace Walk (Honiton), West Street (Axminster), Orchard (Seaton), Central (Beer), Ham East, Ham West, Roxburgh and Mill Street (Sidmouth), Rolle Mews (Budleigh Salterton), London Inn, Imperial Road and Queen’s Drive (Exmouth).

The district council says the proposals would allow ‘more efficient management’ of the car parks and encourage motorists to use the less popular facilities.

The decision has been called into scrutiny by councillor Mike Howe.

Scrutiny has the right to request any decision made by the cabinet or a portfolio holder be discussed by them, with a view to make recommendations, prior it being implemented.

The scrutiny meeting will take place on Thursday, October 24, from 6pm, at Blackdown House, in Honiton.”

Tory donors can, and do, control Prime Ministers

“Two former Conservative prime ministers lobbied a Middle Eastern royal family to award a multi-billion dollar oil contract to a company headed by a major Tory donor, the Guardian has established.

In March 2017, while in Downing Street, Theresa May wrote to the Bahraini prime minister to support the oil firm Petrofac while it was bidding to win the contract from the Gulf state.

Two months earlier, and just six months after stepping down as prime minister, David Cameron promoted the company during a two-day visit to Bahrain where he met the state’s crown prince.

Cameron was flown back to Britain on a plane belonging to Ayman Asfari, Petrofac’s co-founder, chief executive and largest shareholder. Petrofac did not ultimately win the contract.

Asfari and his wife, Sawsan, have donated almost £800,000 to the Conservative party since 2009. The donations were made in a personal capacity.

Documents obtained by the Guardian raise questions about how governments should best manage the perceived potential conflicts of interest generated by donations from business figures to political parties.

The government said it was routine for ministers to support British businesses bidding for major foreign contracts. Petrofac said official support had been obtained through entirely proper channels.

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has been investigating Petrofac over suspected bribery, corruption and money laundering for at least two years. …”