Boulton says in his Sunday Times column todof his experience of these events today:
“When he’s not travelling in a private aircraft or limo, a typical leader’s tour involved high speed travel by public transport, with an entourage of aides, flunkeys and protection officers and a handful of invited media people added to the cordon, tamed and embedded for a few hours. It is usually difficult to drum up a representative audience in the middle of a work day, so “real people” consist of unoccupied activists picked by the party or employee.s dragooned into attending a talk by their bosses … Mass-meeting town-hall democracy it is not”.
Fortunately, East Devon having two “safe” seats we may be spared this indignity.
Safe, did we say safe? Well, of course, it depends on who you talk to and who you (choose to) listen to.
Unfortunately, “economic growth” in East Devon means more industrial sheds and executive housing on our countryside, not investing in our tourism base. Tourism barely gets a mention our local plans.
EDDC will no doubt point to the “Exmouth Seafront” project as their contribution. But what has Exmouth and Seaton regeneration brought us so far: a massive Tesco in Seaton (maybe now under the Tesco CEO’s beady eye?) and executive and retirement housing and a very small visitor centre sandwiched between Tesco and the main road, pushing the tramway into the background; Exmouth: a Premier Inn that promised 50 jobs and delivered (maybe) max 25 (the top 2 of which were filled by Premier Inns in advance)and a seafront “attraction” that will be a highly-expensive to use clone of many other seaside areas, destroying the unique charm of the current seafront.
… which is likely to be disbanded shortly due to lack of support and “imminent” arrival of a parish council. Though reading this report we wonder if EDDC will constitute a new council before the May 2015 given the yown’s outstanding problems and the impact they may have on how Cranbrook residents decide who might best represent them.
St Martins playpark:
Established lack of appropriate drainage included in initial planning, and via EDDC cause to be installed.
Cranbook Education/ Leisure
Identified that sports hall failed to meet Sport England standard by 3ft, and with LED Leisure successfully lobbied for increased dimension.
Cranbrook Planning Issues
Following community experiences with short comings to 1st Phase of Cranbrook made successful representations to EDDC re subsequent Stage 2/3 which have contributed to planning decision for developers to provide improved road layouts, more on and off road parking for residents and visitors, and more local green space including an additional small play area. House build in this new phase has yet to be occupied by residents who will benefit from the Forum’s representations on their behalf.
Builders challenged on house build quality and after care
The Forum conducted a survey of 150 of approx. 500 houses. Data suggested repetitive issues re quality of build amongst some but not all house builders at Cranbrook. Also issues with poor aftercare service. This information shared with the Developers and EDDC. The challenge:- A slightly slower build out will lead to ‘getting it right – 1st time’.
Utilities issues: E.on
The Forum led by Mark Krzywinski identified technical defects to 500 + heat exchange units installed in Cranbrook homes, and established that the remote data capture system for billing was not fit for purpose, with 70% failure rate. A programme for remedial work was agreed, and has been completed, but regular dialogue continues re the efficiency of billing data capture system.