Tories retain candidate who took £54,000 in illegal dividends and repaid £2,000

“A Conservative parliamentary candidate who has been praised by Boris Johnson is facing questions over why he received an illegal dividend from a security firm that went into administration owing £271,000 in tax.

Stuart Anderson, who is trying to overturn a Labour majority of 2,185 in Wolverhampton South West, was a director and major shareholder of Anubis Associates for eight years until 2013 when the firm collapsed.

The firm, which trained security guards, was wound up by administrators who noted that Anderson had received more than £54,000 in unlawful dividends. He later repaid £2,000.

It comes amid criticism from unions that the Conservatives have failed to rein in malpractice in business.

When Anubis went under it owed £271,738 to HM Revenue and Customs in VAT, PAYE, national insurance and deferred taxation, documents show. Another 59 unsecured creditors were owed £179,330. Secured creditors received a portion of what they were owed.

Anderson, a former soldier and a Brexit supporter, had not mentioned his involvement with the firm in his online biography or during interviews. When approached by the Guardian, he said he complied with all his legal obligations. …”

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/nov/22/tory-candidate-got-illegal-dividend-from-firm-that-went-bust?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

Ladbroke’s gives Indie Claire Wright best of all odds for capturing seat

A vote for any other candidate will be a vote for the Tory parachuted candidate.

“Bookies at Ladbrokes have put Claire Wright at 7/4 for the East Devon seat on December 12.

At the time of writing, Conservative candidate Simon Jupp was the favourite at 2/5.

The company tweeted odds for selected Independent candidates nationally, and put Cllr Wright ahead of Dominic Grieve (Beaconsfield, 2/1), David Gauke (NE Herts, 4/1), George Galloway (West Bromwich E, 8/1) and Chris Williamson (Derby North, 20/1).

On December 12, Cllr Wright is contesting the seat vacated by Conservative Sir Hugo Swire.”

https://www.midweekherald.co.uk/news/claire-wright-tops-ladbrokes-independent-candidate-booking-odds-1-6388100

Why are only half of Cranbrook residents using the soon-to-close doctors surgery?

Could it be the transient nature of renters in the town? Or no effort to sign people up? Or its poor location?

Whoever heard these days of doctors complaining they don’t have enough patients!

“Cranbrook residents are hoping to find out more about the future of its GP surgery which is at threat of closure due to low patient numbers, staffing problems and financial problems.

Access Health Care (AHC), which runs Cranbrook Medical Centre in Younghayes Road, has revealed it will not be extending its contract which is due to expire on March 31, 2020.

It is not known what will happen to the centre after that time, but Devon’s Clinical Commissioning Group has assured it is working on potential solutions.

AHC, which operates five Plymouth GP surgeries, as well as Cranbrook Medical Centre and Exeter’s Clock Tower Surgery for the homeless and vulnerably housed, has stated the following reasons for not renewing the contract.

Currently only around 3,500 of the 6,500 residents at Cranbrook are registered

AHC cannot recruit the necessary GPs and nurses to provide the service required

The location of the surgery

A lack of government funding per patient to run an effective GP service” …

https://www.devonlive.com/news/devon-news/residents-await-outcome-cranbrook-gp-3563934

Buck stops at councils for poor rural broadband

“A council-run broadband group has been branded “incompetent” for repeatedly terminating contracts and failing to deliver broadband after a decade.

Last month, Connecting Devon and Somerset (CDS) began its fourth procurement for a new supplier.

Graham Long, chairman of campaign group Fast Broadband for Rural Devon & Somerset, said the problems needed to be “lanced” and suggested bringing in new operators.

Council-run CDS declined to comment.

Campaigners have highlighted the lack of certainty around the roll-out due to funding arrangements with central government.
About £20m is needed to complete the work but this money was not set out in September’s Spending Review.

The review normally covers three years but this year only covered one.

‘Track record’

Farmer, Steve Horner, from Yarcombe, struggles with a slow internet connection.

“The only way they can recover is by replacing the current team in Exeter… they have to be replaced with competent people who have a track record.”

Mr Long said: “This is a boil that needs to be lanced and my suggestion of bringing in other operators is a way to lance it.

“My conclusion is CDS is currently gambling on that problem being solved by November next year when they expect to sign contracts, and whatever government we have at that time guaranteeing that money would be provided.”

The project is also subject to EU state aid rules and under the terms of approval the work needs to be completed by 2020.
CDS, which is run by Somerset and Devon county councils, has terminated three large contracts so far, twice with BT, and last year with Gigaclear.

People in affected areas believe any supplier would face the same problems as Gigaclear of laying cables underground.
“Some of the roads didn’t have proper foundations so they couldn’t use narrow trenches so had to do a lot more work,” Mr Long said.

Gigaclear connected about 3,000 properties before its contract was terminated.”

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-50490118?

Meet Claire Wright in Exeter – 26 November 7.30 pm

Why Exeter?

Because part of the “East Devon” constituencty is in Exeter. Boundary changes gave East Devon the part of Exeter just south of Heavitree, and Topsham – even though for district purposes they come under Exeter City Council

You are invited to meet her for a Q&A session in Exeter, on

Tuesday 26 November,
19:30 – 21:00, at
St Peter’s Church of England High School.

Coincidentally the last day to register to vote:

https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote

This Q&A is open to all, including those who live elsewhere in the constituency. This is a fantastic opportunity to come ask your questions about the election and talk to Claire in a more informal setting.