For those who missed it in yesterday’s post about Cllr Martin Shaw’s latest press release about free school meals, contained this interesting snippet of information::
“Cabinet Minister Brandon Lewis said yesterday that the Government had given councils £63m to support families, but Cllr Hart tells me that Devon has been given the smallest amount of new Covid funding of any County Council and some Devon districts including East Devon have been given only the minimum amount.”
‘We were expecting a lot more money’, he [John Hart] says. ‘Our finances are already under pressure for the rest of this year with even more pressure for next year. Therefore with demands on funds I do not think it would be right to consider funding this scheme.’
This may explain why, during the hastily organised visit of the PM to Exeter College on 29th September, Boris Johnson made no “headline” announcement about future local funding for Devon. Not even a re-announcement of an existing commitment.
The PM was at the college’s vocational training centre to announce plans to allow adults without A-Levels or equivalent qualifications to get a free, fully-funded courses from next April. He then scuttled off.
Significantly, most of the local media were excluded and Simon Jupp was chosen from all the local MPs to keep the prime minister at a safe distance [was this because he was the most junior? – Owl]. This allowed the PM to take advantage of photo opportunities unencumbered by the nuisance of Devon journalists being allowed to question him on his Devon visit.
We also have the revelation from Sasha Swire’s diary that Hugo was so in with Dave [Cameron] he was the first one Dave called to get drunk with after his defeat. So pally, yet Hugo couldn’t get him to do anything for East Devon.