Greater Exeter Strategic Plan: change or no change?

Now that the Local Election is over, we can see from this report in the Sidmouth Herald:

https://www.sidmouthherald.co.uk/news/possible-locations-for-new-devon-villages-set-to-be-released-1-6061225

that potential sites for new villages in support of the Greater Exeter Strategic Plan (GESP) have been found and are due to be unveiled shortly.

A whopping 57,000 new properties cross the four council areas adjoining Exeter will have to be built to satisfy Exeter’s growth aspirations.

Quite soon, therefore, we can expect that the newly elected Councillors who represent us on the GESP, Councillor Susie Bond and Councillor Philip Skinner, will have to decide how many new villages East Devon will take and where they will be sited. Obviously close proximity to Exeter will be a significant factor and places like Lympstone, Woodbury, Clyst St Mary, Farringdon and West Hill must be in the frame.

To give an example of the impact to expect. A tiny community between Broadclyst and Pinhoe – Westclyst, has had a whopping 1200 houses imposed upon it. Where the highest quality agricultural land lay four years ago, bounded by about 30 bungalows, there are now sprawling housing estates.

In the past these decision have been kept a closely guarded secret. Will the new regime now act with transparency and openness?

We know from the CPRE study on “Devon’s Housing Needs” that:

•​Far too many homes are already being planned for Devon in the next 10 years.
•​Two thirds of these will be occupied by inward migration.
•​Vacant and second homes are becoming a problem across the County.
•​We in East Devon are taking a disproportionate share of development. Our Local Plan annual housing target is the highest in the Greater Exeter Area: 58% higher than Exeter, 53% higher than Teignbridge and nearly three times that of Mid Devon.
•​Whilst we are planning too many houses, we are failing to plan for enough homes of the right type in the right location, especially for locally generated households.

Ex Councillor and one time Leader, Paul Diviani boasted in council, just before Christmas, that the high growth policy he advocated for East Devon was justified because “we have the land and we are good at it”.

In the election Paul Diviani was decisively rejected by the electorate, receiving a derisory 319 votes.

On 3rd May the voters clearly voted for change but are they going to get it?

New “Lead Members” (aka Champions) for new council includes 8 Conservatives

More Tories get posts:

Ian Hall
Andrew Moulding
Tom Wright
Mike Allen
Chris Pepper
Maddy Chapman
Bruce de Saram
Helen Parr

One East Devon Alliance – Dan Ledger
One Kib Dem: Steve Gazzard
Two Greens – Olly Davey, Tony Woodward

 

How does an “Independent Group” become an independent group?

Owl is confused.

The Local Government Independent Group website says:

“The Independent Group represents councillors in England and Wales who are Independent or of a political affiliation outside of Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat. It provides a voice at the national level and works within the cross-party Local Government Association (LGA) to ensure that the values and interests of its members are promoted.”

Who created the EDDC Independent Group? Who was invited to join? How did they elect their leader? What were people who joined told? Are they still independent if they include Tories in their Cabinet and as a committee chair? If EDA is “independent” according to the LGA what is different about EDCC?

Would really appreciate a tutorial!

“UN poverty expert hits back over UK ministers’ ‘denial of facts’ “

“… Alston, an eminent New York-based human rights lawyer, said the government response amounted to “a total denial of a set of uncontested facts” and that when he first read its public comment “I thought it might actually be a spoof”. He said he feared it showed ministers were not willing to debate official figures that showed 14 million people were living in relative poverty and therefore consider what he believes are essential changes to the welfare system.

“The statement is as troubling as the situation,” he said. “There is nothing that indicates any willingness to debate over issues which have generated endless very detailed, totally reputable reports across the political spectrum in the UK. All of these are dismissed.”

Alston’s report compared Conservative policies to the creation of Victorian workhouses. Amber Rudd, the work and pensions secretary, felt it was politically biased and alleged that Alston did not do enough research, only visiting the UK for 11 days. The government said it would complain to the United Nations and the UK’s ambassador in Geneva is understood to have this week requested a meeting with the UN high commissioner on human rights over the matter.

When Alston said the Department for Work and Pensions had created “a digital and sanitised version of the 19th-century workhouse”, some commentators said he had gone too far. Writing in the Daily Mail, the historian Dominic Sandbrook said it was “simply ridiculous” and “an insult to our national intelligence”.

But far from backing away, Alston, who describes his politics as progressive and left-of-centre, has pushed his argument harder.

“I think breaking rocks has some similarity to the 35 hours of job search [required per week to receive universal credit] for people who have been out of work for months or years,” he said. “They have to go through the motions but it is completely useless. That seems to me to be very similar to the approach in the old-style workhouse. The underlying mentality is that we are going to make the place sufficiently unpleasant that you really won’t want to be here.” …”

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2019/may/24/un-poverty-expert-hits-back-over-uk-ministers-denial-of-facts-philip-alston

Who represents us for the Greater Exeter Strategic Plan (which sits above Local Plans)?

Susie Bond – Independent, Feniton
Philip Skinner – Conservative, Tale Vale

Just a few of Mr Skinner’s appearances in East Devon Watch:

https://eastdevonwatch.org/2018/08/29/greater-exeter-strategic-plan-consultation-about-consultation-and-diviani-has-a-pet-project-other-councils-are-ignoring/

https://eastdevonwatch.org/2017/09/17/diviani-and-skinner-lead-eddc-for-greater-exeter-and-business-led-local-enterprise-partnership/

https://eastdevonwatch.org/2015/12/04/broadhembury-including-property-guru-kirstie-allsop-protests-councillor-skiller-says-its-a-little-local-scheme/

https://eastdevonwatch.org/2019/01/03/mahogany-tables/

https://eastdevonwatch.org/2018/01/03/greendale-hill-barton-councillors-meet-hurridly-to-try-to-ensure-they-can-expand-and-discuss-possible-loopholes-to-enable-it/

https://eastdevonwatch.org/2017/01/18/creative-group-or-group-of-creatives-whats-the-difference/

https://eastdevonwatch.org/2016/11/18/exmouth-seafront-cost-increase-fantasy-incompetent-iconic-or-ironic/

https://eastdevonwatch.org/2014/07/30/councillors-who-voted-for-and-against-curtailment-of-public-speaking/

Owl takes no pleasure in it’s second sight … and wrong conclusion

Owl wrote this on 5 May 2019. Owl takes no pleasure at all in being prescient – but totally wrong in saying that it would not happen.

“IF PARTY POLITICS UNDID EDDC TORIES WHAT COULD UNDO INDEPENDENTS?

Self-interest and ego – title before right person for the job
Power games – valuing being top-dog over best person for job
Infighting – not sorting out best person for job, letting personalities rule
Really being a closet Tory – and ensuring they are your first priority
Dishonesty to voters, unaccountability
Lack of transparency – scrutiny, scrutiny, scrutiny and then more scrutiny
Being developer or officer-led – letting Sir Humphrey sabotage policies

But it isn’t going to happen is it Independents?”

https://eastdevonwatch.org/2019/05/07/if-party-politics-undid-eddc-tories-what-could-undo-independents/

But it did.