Time is running out to have your say on future developments in East Devon

Time is running out to have your say on future developments in East Devon’s Local Plan consultation


The deadline to have your say on how much building takes place in East Devon from now until 2040 is fast approaching – East Devon District Council’s (EDDC) Local Plan consultation ends on Sunday, 15 January!

Thousands of people have already commented on proposals in the new draft Local Plan including on how many new homes need to be built and where. The consultation seeks views on specific sites for development which could be next to your house.

The plan sets out various other aims, including: 

• How the district would address the climate change emergency;

• How and where new jobs should be created how we should support our town centres;

• How East Devon protects its built heritage and natural environment;

• How EDDC intends to deliver housing to meet the needs of local residents and ensure new homes are net zero carbon ensuring they are more efficient and cheaper to run.

The new Local Plan will be a key document when making planning decisions in East Devon so it is vital people tell EDDC what they think of the proposals now.

Everyone who lives, works and spends time in the district has been asked to share their views about the future of the district as part the consultation.

Councillor Dan Ledger, EDDC’s portfolio holder for strategic planning, said: “It is so important that people look at this consultation and tell us what they think before the consultation closes.

“There has been lots of stories in the press about potential future changes to the planning system and how these might reduce the number of homes that we need to build.

\“These changes are currently unclear but what is clear is that we will still need thousands of new homes, business and community spaces and we need to hear as many views as possible on the proposals in our new Local Plan to help us decide which are best for the future of East Devon.”

The consultation can be viewed online at www.eastdevon.gov.uk/local-plan.

The feedback EDDC receives on this draft plan will be used to help inform and refine EDDC’s thinking as the Local Plan is progressed.

In just over a years’ time, EDDC hopes to have a final version of the plan informed by the comments it receives that will be consulted on and then subject to an examination in public by a Government-appointed planning inspector.

Planning permission sought to raise Exmouth football pitches

Devon County Council’s Flood Risk Management Team said that the applicant had not submitted sufficient information in relation to surface water drainage.

It added: “The applicant does not appear to have provided any drainage strategy. Changes in ground levels can alter surface water flowpaths and may require mitigation to ensure there is no increased surface water risk to neighbouring land/property.”


Plans to raise and level football pitches at Warren View Sports Ground have been submitted to East Devon District Council on behalf of Exmouth Town Youth Football Club.

According to the planning documents, the site floods regularly due to poor drainage and is located within flood zone three, the highest risk category.

The land is also reportedly “undulating with an uneven surface”.

If approved, the proposals would see the playing pitches raised “very marginally” (by around a metre or less in most places), levelled, and re-seeded.

Sport England, a public body, said it supported the raising of the playing field land and levelling of the pitches but asked for further information about drainage and pitch construction.

Devon County Council’s Flood Risk Management Team said that the applicant had not submitted sufficient information in relation to surface water drainage.

It added: “The applicant does not appear to have provided any drainage strategy. Changes in ground levels can alter surface water flowpaths and may require mitigation to ensure there is no increased surface water risk to neighbouring land/property.”

The plans have received five objections from the public at the time of writing, one neutral comment, and one comment in support.

Concerns raised include drainage issues, the height of the new pitches, and a perceived impact on wildlife.

Mark Hansford, objecting, said: “The fields are a habitat for a huge range of wildlife. There is at least one foxes den/set on the edge of the pitches and the foxes are out on the pitches at night and during the daylight. There is a badger set. There are oystercatchers and wading birds, bats, birds of prey and many small mammals.”

Penelope Cowman, remaining neutral, said: “I support the comments of the DCC Flood Risk Management Team that there is no drainage strategy. There is no mention of a geotechnical assessment of the ground or whether percolation tests have been carried out to ensure that soakaways will work or what alternative is proposed if they don’t?”

Robin Humphreys, objecting, said: “There are already considerable traffic and access problems when the football club is in operation which will be made worse if the surface is improved, allowing increased use of the site.

“Having been a resident overlooking the site for over 20 years the rationale for the development, that of flooding, has not been apparent.”

The application is currently awaiting a decision from the district council.

Rishi Sunak refuses to accept NHS in crisis and won’t say if he uses private GP

Nero fiddling while Rome burns? – Owl

Rishi Sunak has refused to accept that the NHS is in crisis, despite acknowledging the “enormous pressure” the health service is under this winter.

Adam Forrest www.independent.co.uk

The prime minister also refused to say whether he uses a private GP, insisting the issue is a “distraction from the things that really matter”.

Asked about overwhelmed emergency services, record waiting lists and whether the NHS was “in crisis”, Mr Sunak told BBC’s Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg: “The NHS is undeniably under enormous pressure.”

Pointing to the Covid pressures, the PM added: “Recovering from Covid is going to be tough and we’re seeing that play out on our TV screens every day and in communities up and down the country.”

Mr Sunak refused three times to discuss reports that he uses a private GP, saying: “As a general policy I wouldn’t ever talk about me or my family’s healthcare situation … it’s not really relevant, what’s relevant is the difference I can make to the country.”

Asked if he was registered with a private GP, Mr Sunak said: “Yeah, my dad was a doctor. I grew up in a NHS family.” Asked why he won’t tell people if he used a private GP, he replied: “It’s just a personal choice. I think healthcare is somewhat private.”

It comes as Royal College of Nursing (RCN) general secretary Pat Cullen, in an interview with The Independent, said Mr Sunak’s pledge to bring down waiting lists would fail without pay being addressed and said the upcoming strike would be the biggest of its kind in the world.

Ms Cuillen also said Mr Sunak needs to “come clean” about whether he uses a private GP. “I think he needed to come clean,” the RCN boss told the BBC. “As a public servant he is elected by the public, so he is accountable to the public – and when you’re accountable to the public you have to be honest with them.”

The NHS is set for more disruption when nurses strike on 18 and 19 January, while ambulance staff are striking on 11 and 23 January. Junior doctors will walk out for three days in March if they back industrial action at Monday’s ballot.

Mr Sunak said he wanted to have a “reasonable, honest, two-way conversation about pay” with the unions – but suggested health secretary Steve Barclay would only talk about next year’s pay settlement when he meets NHS union chiefs on Monday.

Mr Barclay has hinted at pay increases on the table if the unions will agree to efficiency savings – but will try to discuss the 2023-24 pay review process, which starts in April, rather than this financial year’s pay row.

Despite Mr Barclay’s previous refusal to discuss pay, Mr Sunak denied it amounted to a shift in the government’s stance. “The door has always been open,” the prime minister told the BBC. “When it comes to pay, we’ve always said we want to talk about things that are affordable, that are reasonable.”

Pressed again if ministers were willing to talk about pay for this year, he said: “We’re about to start a new pay settlement round for this year [2023-24]. Before that process starts, the government is keen to sit down with the unions and talk about pay, and make sure they understand where we’re coming from.”

His comments come after Ms Cullen said the RCN would be willing to “meet the government halfway” on pay – effectively cutting the union’s pay demands from 19 to 10 per cent.

Ms Cullen said there was a “chink” of optimism and detected a “little shift” in the government’s stance on pay from Mr Sunak’s comments on Sunday – but said she still did not expect Mr Barclay to engage with this year’s pay demands.

“What the government wants to talk about is pay going forward … and that’s not going to avert strike action that’s planned for 10 days’ time,” she told Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg. “It must it must be about addressing pay for 2022-23.”

She added: “The prime minister talked about coming to the table, now that’s a move for me, because I have said, let’s meet halfway,” she said. “Grasp the nettle, come to the table. I can’t negotiate on my own, and I can’t negotiate on the airwaves.”

Mr Barclay is expected to unveil extra funding to expand bed capacity in hospitals and care homes as part of a package to be announced on Monday.

Hundreds of millions of pounds will be spent on block buying thousands of care home beds, according to the Sunday Times, in a bid to free up 1,000 to 2,000 hospital beds and ease pressure on emergency services.

Government officials reportedly believe there are enough spare beds at Care Quality Commission approved facilities, and could have a positive impact within four weeks.

The government’s plans will also propose more “virtual wards”, in which patients are “remotely monitored” in their own homes, using wearable devices, according to the Telegraph.

The government has been accused of trying to blame the NHS pressures on Covid. Mr Sunak said: “I think it’s not right to ignore the impact that Covid has had. Has the NHS had pressures before? Of course it has, but Covid has undeniably had an enormous difference.”

Prof Clive Kay, chief executive of King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, asked if it sounded like the prime minister understood the gravity of the crisis facing the health service, said: “No, if I’m honest.”

Prof Kay told BBC: “I don’t think I heard [the PM] grasp the fact that this is a really, really difficult situation. This is not just a winter 2023 problem. We need some realistic conversations. The suggestion that’s going to be a quick fix, a sticking laster, it’s not a reality.”

Westminster Accounts  – Simon Jupp and Richard Foord

Simon Jupp received £16,500 from five donations, including from FW Carter.

Richard Foord received £6,820 from four donations.

Details can be found using this interactive tool:

Sky News and Tortoise Media interactive tool

Every year, millions of pounds pour into Westminster – into the accounts of the people, groups, organisations and parties that work and operate at the centre of government. Although most of this money must technically be disclosed to the public, the way that information is reported, stored and displayed almost guarantees the records will not be widely scrutinised.

Payment records are spread across different government websites, often split into small files covering short periods of time and regularly published with duplicate entries, spelling mistakes and other errors. The data required to examine the financial interests of just one Member of Parliament is laborious to gather.

Tortoise Media and Sky News have programmatically collected and analysed thousands of donations and payment records from MPs, political parties, and all-party parliamentary groups (APPGs). The resulting database is an extensive, though not comprehensive, record of the financial interests in Westminster.

Because the purpose of this database is to look at exterior sources of money and influence, it does not cover the everyday expenses required to run a central government’s main legislative body. Notably, you won’t find any reference to Members’ annual base salary of £84,144. Nor will you find references to the additional compensation made by government ministers and MPs with other extra responsibilities.

It also doesn’t cover outgoings. For example, members sometimes report that they’ve donated a sum to charity or given it to their local party, but our database doesn’t make that distinction. (You can find more detail on how and why we made decisions like this in our publicly-accessible methodology.)

What the database does include is the following datasets for the entirety of the current parliament – from its start on 19 December 2019 to the most recent disclosures:

  • From the Register of Members’ Financial Interests: Earnings from secondary employment, donations, gifts (including all gifted international travel), and other benefits for all sitting and former members of the current parliament
  • From the Register of All-Party Parliamentary Groups: Donations, gifts and other benefits for all APPGs that have operated at any point during the current parliament, as well as membership lists for each group
  • From the Electoral Commission: Donations, gifts and other benefits received by all political parties currently represented in the House of Commons

Simon Jupp received £16,500 from five donations,

Richard Foord received £6,820 from four donations.

May’s millions 

Theresa May has earned more outside parliament since leaving Number 10 than any other MP, and nine times more than she earned in her two years as prime minister.

Catherine Neilan www.tortoisemedia.com

May has been paid £2.5 million for speaking engagements since 2019. That includes a six-figure fee for a speech in Saudi Arabia and is more than double the outside earnings of Boris Johnson since his stint in Downing Street – although he is expected to overtake her soon. 

The two ex-prime ministers are among 25 MPs who have earned more outside parliament since the last general election than from their salaries. A larger group of 36 MPs have earned more than £100,000 outside parliament overall in the same period. 

In total, MPs have earned £17.2 million from second jobs, but the vast majority of that money has gone to a relatively small number of people: 20 MPs receive more than two thirds of their income from second jobs. In fact, May’s outside earnings account for nearly 16 per cent of the total.

The top 5 earners are all Conservative MPs: 

  • Theresa May – £2.55 million
  • Geoffrey Cox – £2.19 million
  • Boris Johnson – £1.06 million
  • Fiona Bruce – £711,749
  • John Redwood – £692,438

May’s clients for speaking engagements have included JPMorgan, the US investment bank, and Deutsche Bank, but she often doesn’t say who she is speaking to. 

One fee for £107,600 from the World Travel and Tourism Council was for a speech to a conference in Riyadh. The largest single item she has declared is £408,200 from the Cambridge Speaker Series, for six speeches last spring. She is the only MP to have registered any payments from this firm, which is based in California.

Other US-based speaking agencies which May has received six-figure sums from include the Washington Speakers Bureau and the Distinguished Speaker Series. Again, precisely who she was speaking to – and what was said – remains unclear. 

These earnings are among thousands of payments to MPs and associated bodies brought together by the Westminster Accounts tool, a searchable database developed by Tortoise and Sky News which makes it possible to create leader boards and league tables showing where the largest sums flow from and to.

The payments are from lobbyists and – often in kind – from all-party parliamentary groups (APPGs; informal networks of MPs often supported financially by companies seeking to forward an agenda) as well as second jobs. But not all second jobs are created equal. 

Matt Hancock, the former health secretary, lost the whip for his stint in the Australian jungle – the earnings for which had not been registered at the time of writing. But little is said of the many other sidelines supplementing MPs’ wages over many more hours and with much less clarity over the ultimate source of income.