Luxury retirement schemes to get luxury lending libraries

Meanwhile, in real life, libraries are closing all over the country.

“London book chain Foyles is to supply libraries to high-end retirement homes in a deal with a residential developer.

The partnership with Elysian Residences will launch at its development in Stanmore, north-west London, when it opens later this year, with a mix of biographies, travel writing, novels and specialist books selected by Foyles. Residents at the development, which aims to combine “UK development expertise with a US hospitality-led approach to care”, will be able to borrow from a collection maintained and refreshed every quarter by the book chain. Foyles is being paid a lump sum for the work.

“Libraries are an important cornerstone of a vibrant community, offering visitors a place of relaxation, learning and discovery,” said Elysian chief executive Gavin Stein. “We wanted to provide our residents with a relaxing reading environment curated with the latest high-quality books.”

The deal will also allow residents to order books, music and DVDs from Foyles via the Elysian concierge, as well as giving them access to Foyles’ foreign language books, classical and jazz music recordings. The Foyles libraries will then be rolled out across Elysian homes in London and the south east as they open.

This is the first time that the bookseller, founded by the Foyle family in 1903 and sold to Waterstones last year, has curated private libraries. It now hopes to find further such deals.

“This is a new and exciting venture for us, and we look forward to offering a service of the same high standard to which we hold each of our bookshops,” said general manager Stephen Clarke.”

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2019/aug/13/foyles-sets-up-libraries-for-high-end-retirement-homes-bookseller?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

“East Devon District Council gives out £223,000 in emergency housing payments”

The average house price in East Devon is £295,208 (Zoopla).

“Nearly 400 people struggling with their housing costs had to be helped out by East Devon District Council last year, to the tune of £223,400.

A spokeswoman for East Devon District Council said:

“We have helped around 287 customers who claimed housing benefit and 93 customers who were in receipt of Universal Credit housing costs.

“All awards were made to customers in difficulties, whether it was due to the benefit cap, removal of the spare room subsidy, LHA restrictions, in debt, struggling on a low income due to the welfare reforms, or a combination of those mentioned and other circumstances too.

“The awards have been to single people, couples, single parents, families, working-age or pensioners, with or without disability.

“Each customer’s circumstances are looked at on an individual basis.”

The amount spent on Discretionary Housing Payments in East Devon has increased by 23 per cent since they were introduced in 2013-14.

Last year the amount paid out exceeded the Government allocation of funding by £19,000, meaning East Devon had to use money from its benefits budget.

The chief executive of Shelter, Polly Neate, has criticised the system.

“Discretionary Housing Payments are vital in many cases and can be the difference between people losing their home or not, but they shouldn’t be a replacement for a fit-for-purpose welfare system,” she said.

“These payments shouldn’t be needed in the first place – they’re simply a quick fix to structural problems,” she said.

“To solve the underlying crisis for good, the Government must commit to building 3.1 million social homes in the next 20 years, as well as making sure housing benefit is enough to actually cover rents.”

A DWP spokeswoman said the Government spent £23 billion a year helping people in the UK with their housing costs.”

https://www.sidmouthherald.co.uk/news/discretionary-housing-payments-in-east-devon-1-6212190

Appalling rates of child poverty in Devon

“One in eight children live in poverty in Devon – and one in three in parts of Barnstaple.

The startling figures are revealed as part of a new Devon County Council strategy to create “Healthy and Happy Communities” in the county.

The strategy aims to address health and wellbeing challenges that the county faces and to address the considerable inequalities in health and poverty.

It states that there have been recent increases in child poverty and more people are accessing emergency food supplies, and that one in eight children (12.5%) are in poverty.

However in the Forches area of Barnstaple, one in three children are in poverty, compared to just 1.1% of children in the Teignmouth Road area of Dawlish.

Fuel poverty rates also fluctuate dramatically, with 27.9% of people living in Mount Pleasant in Exeter facing it, compared to just 3.6% in Douglas Avenue in Exmouth.

Life expectancy in Ilfracombe Central is just 75 years, compared to 90 in Liverton. While in Sidwell Street in Exeter, 8.2 per cent of 16-64 year-olds have a long term health issue, compared to just 0.8 per cent in Widecombe-in-the-Moor.

About 800,000 people live in Devon.

A consultation on the draft Devon Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy for 2020 to 2025, runs until 5 September.

The final version of the strategy is due to go to the Health and Wellbeing Board in October for approval.”

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/live/uk-england-devon-49297960

“One in 10 shops now empty as number reaches four-year high”

“The number of empty shops in town centres has reached its highest level since 2015, figures have shown.

The national vacancy rate was 10.3% in July, the highest since January 2015, according to the BRC (British Retail Consortium)-Springboard footfall and vacancies monitor.

Footfall also fell by 1.9% last month, marking the worst decline for July since 2012.

Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the BRC, said retailers had faced a “challenging environment”.

“High streets and town centres play an important part in our local communities, and we should be concerned by the rise in empty store fronts,” she said.

The figures showed that high street footfall declined by 2.7% last month, while footfall at shopping centres fell by 3.1%. …”

https://www.devonlive.com/news/uk-world-news/one-10-shops-now-empty-3199745

South-west hospices under threat

“More hospice beds will close in the South West unless the way they are funded changes, according to both the Royal College of Nursing and hospices themselves.

The organisations are calling for an urgent review following news two weeks ago that a 12-bed unit at St Margaret’s hospice in Yeovil was to close due to pressure on staffing and finances.

Hospice UK said two in three hospices across England were operating at a deficit and many planned to cut services.

It said government funding had only increased by 3% over the last 10 years, and hospices were having to rely more and more on their charity shops and money left in wills. …”

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/live/uk-england-devon-49297960

Survey on local health services

Please do fill in this survey – it has a lot of open-ended questions about what you think – but remember this survey is about cuts so it needs to be emphasised that cuts are not the answer – increased funding IS.

From the blog of Claire Wright, Independent Parliamentary candidate for East Devon:

“The local NHS says there’s a funding shortfall so is asking people their views…

The local NHS – Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group (NEW Devon CCG) – is asking Devon residents their views on health services, after outlining in a presentation sent to councillors, information about a funding shortfall, workforce shortages, a population increase and lengthening waiting times.

They say:

One in 10 nurse jobs and 1 in 12 social worker posts in Devon remain vacant as demand for services increase.
There have been increases in NHS funding, but peoples’ needs for services are growing faster
Devon is struggling to provide timely access to services. In addition, a rise of conditions like cancer, heart disease and dementia will put the health and social care system under more pressure unless more flexible, joined up approaches are taken
The county’s population will rise by about 33,000 people equivalent to the population of Exmouth over the next five years
The number of people aged over 85 in Devon will double in the next 20 years. W e need to be able to offer all the services they need as an even greater priority
The CCG says it does not have all the funding it needs to deliver the ‘current models of service provision.’

Here’s the link to the questionnaire. It closes on 5 September.

I urge you to complete the survey.

https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/BetterDevon

For a full copy of the briefing contact Ross.Jago@nhs.net”

The local NHS says there’s a funding shortfall so is asking people their views…