DCC Councillor Martin Shaw (East Devon Alliance) updates on NHS changes

This is a long article but if you want to know where we are with NHS changes in Devon this gives you all the information.

Our pressure has led to Devon NHS joining a national retreat from privatising Accountable Care Organisations. However the Devon Integrated Care System will still cap care, with weak democratic control – we need time to rethink

We must thank ALL our Independent Councillors – particularly DCC Independent Councillor Claire Wright, DCC Councillor Martin Shaw (East Devon Alliance) and EDDC Councillor Cathy Gardner (East Devon Alliance) for the tremendous work they have done (and continue to do) in the face of the intransigence (and frankly, unintelligence) of sheep-like Tory councillors.

At EDDC Tory Councillors told their Leader to back retaining community hospitals, so he went to DCC and voted to close them (receiving no censure for this when Independents called for a vote of no confidence).

At the DCC, Health and Social Care Scrutiny Committee Tory members were 10-line whipped by its Chair Sarah Randall-Johnson to refuse a debate on important changes and to vote for accelerated privatisation with no checks or balances.

At DCC full council – well Tory back-benchers might just as well send in one councillor to vote since they all seem to be programmed by the same robotics company!

Consultation by Parliament should be more than asking people for their views then ignoring them

Concluding paragraph of article

“The analysis of the UK Parliament’s attempt to integrate the public’s voice into the legislative process shows, therefore, that while the public’s view may enhance the understanding of the consequences of a bill and therefore enhance its scrutiny, this in itself does not constitute effectiveness. In order to have a greater impact on legislation, its integration needs to be thought through as something more integral to the legislative process rather than simply sitting in parallel with it. Integrating the public’s view directly into representative institutions requires a very careful consideration of their role and of the processes in place to facilitate it and to maximise its effect on scrutiny.”


“Fix the NHS: Protesters rally in London [and Exeter] to call for government action

“Health workers, activists and unions are marching in central London on Saturday to protest against government inaction over the NHS winter crisis.

Hospitals have been overwhelmed in recent weeks by a surge in admissions that has led to delays of up to 12 hours on emergency wards, patients left on trollies for hours and thousands of patients forced to wait in ambulances before receiving urgent care.

Two pressure groups, the People’s Assembly and Health Campaigns Together, have organised the rally to call on the government to plug funding and resource gaps in the health service. …”


Mid-Devon Scrutiny Committee consults residents on problems

People are happier in Crediton than their neighbouring district towns of Tiverton and Cullompton a survey has found.

Members of Mid Devon District Council’s scrutiny committee went to the three towns between May and August to gather opinion after it was agreed a lack of consultation was a key issue for the public. …”


“Shepton Mallet hospital campaigners: “Reopen this hospital or we’ll see you in court”

Any bets on this hospital re-opening!

“A group of campaigners have launched a legal bid to try and prevent the temporary closure of a community hospital in Somerset.

Shepton Mallet Community Hospital Supporters Group have submitted a pre-action protocol letter to the Somerset Partnership Trust in an effort to reverse the temporary closure of the town’s community hospital.

A pre-action protocol letter is sent from one party to another in a dispute to narrow any issues or to see if litigation can be avoided.

Ten in-patient beds were closed temporarily in October due to staffing issues with the trust saying that they hoped to reopen them in March 2018.

Confirmation of the decision to temporarily close the hospital came after an email to staff was leaked on social media, saying that the plans would “proceed”.

This was despite a previous statement which said that it was “considering its next steps”.

The partnership later insisted that “nothing has changed” and that it remains focused on reopening the hospital towards the end of March 2018.

In a statement, a spokesman for the supporters group said that the letter aimed to challenge the alleged “unlawfulness” of the trusts decision and to “achieve the re-opening of the in-patient beds as quickly as possible.”

Paul Turner said: “We have asked the Trust to rescind its decision before a Court quashes it, and if it wants to take any such decision in the future or any other decision on a change in service at SMCH, the Trust must undertake a prior proper public consultation.

“This is nothing new and the point has been made before in meetings with SOMPAR representatives.”

He added: “We are of course also prepared to take part in alternative dispute resolution to avoid going to court.

“We have asked to be kept up to date concerning developments in this dispute.”

Somerset Partnership Chief Executive, Peter Lewis said: “We have received the letter and we are considering our response.

“In the meantime, I want to reassure the Shepton Mallet community that we remain committed to re-opening the community hospital inpatient ward as soon as we can, although we do not expect this to be before the end of March 2018.”

The issue of the temporary closure was raised at a debate in Westminster Hall last month by the MP for Wells, James Heappey.

Mr Heappey said: “The overall nurse rota statistics for both day and night shifts were 100 per cent in Shepton.”


Cranbrook (Preferred Approach) consultation opens


“Cranbrook Plan – Preferred Approach

We are delighted to advise that East Devon District Council are consulting on the above plan and we would welcome your comments that need to be received by us by

9:00 am on Monday 8 January 2018.

The Cranbrook Plan Preferred Approach documents set out proposals for the future development of the town and they include a masterplan that shows the proposed location of differing types of buildings and land uses including homes, shops, community facilities and open spaces. In the consultation documents we provide details of evidence and background reports that support the Cranbrook work and we also have a schedule of potential future policies for Cranbrook development and a sustainability appraisal.

The feedback we receive from this consultation will help inform production of a formal development plan document (or DPD) for the town that we hope to produce and consult on in 2018 and then to formally submit for independent examination. You can find out more about the Cranbrook Plan – Preferred Approach, look at supporting documents and find out how to make comments by visiting our web site at:




Do please contact us if you have any queries or would like further information. We would advise that we are contacting you because your details are logged on our planning policy database or you have previously responded to Cranbrook consultation events. If, however, you no longer wish to be contacted by this Council in respect of planning policy documents do please advise us and we will remove your details from our database.”

Yours faithfully
The Cranbrook Team
East Devon District Council

“How a city is tackling poverty by giving a voice to its poorest citizens”

Can’t see this catching on in East Devon, more’s the pity!

“It’s time to change politics,” says the Mayor of Salford, at a packed meeting of the Truth ­Poverty Commission in his home city. “Either politics is done to us, or we shape it.”

Since being elected a year ago, Mayor Paul Dennett has been radically reshaping the way things are done in Salford.

Last month he gave care workers a 10.7% pay rise. His town hall has given the go-ahead for seven new library sites at a time when many councils are closing them.

As other parts of the UK face ­maternity unit closures, the council has stepped in to ‘Keep Babies Born in Salford’ by opening a new midwife-led unit where 300 babies may now be delivered each year.

Salford has also invested £2million into a development company – in order to kickstart building of social housing that won’t fall under the government’s new Right To Buy policy. The company is called Derive – named after a joke involving ­revolutionary Italian situationists.

All of which looks like a blueprint for a Labour government, or what unashamedly interventionist Dennett calls “sensible socialism”.

The 36-year-old mayor is passionate about using his £200million budget to end poverty , partly because he has never forgotten what it feels like to come up the hard way, through a childhood he describes as at times “horrific” and something “I wouldn’t wish on anyone”.

Scarred by domestic abuse and his younger brother’s fight against leukaemia, he failed his GCSEs and A-levels and by 18 was working in a “sweat shop” call centre.

“I had an interesting journey,” he says wryly, at his offices in Swinton. “I grew up in a family where there was traumatic violence and abuse. My dad became an alcoholic and I struggled at school in my early teens.”

A power station fitter by trade, Paul’s dad went on to manage The Engine pub in Liverpool’s Prescot area, where his alcoholism began. Paul’s mum, a cleaner, ran the pub as her marriage disintegrated.

Later in life, Paul won a place to study International Business at the University of Ulster, where he achieved a first-class honours degree. He went on to Manchester ­Business school before doing a PhD at Manchester Met, working as a civil servant and then for a utilities company.

Now living in Salford – where he became a tenants’ leader and then a local councillor – as council leader he sees the Truth Poverty Commission as part of a new way of doing politics, with people’s consent.

Based on a model that has been used in Glasgow and Leeds, the Commissioners include people with experience of poverty.

“Consultation usually means organisations telling you about their plans,” says community worker Jayne Gosnall, 54, who is recovering from alcohol addiction. “This is about really listening to people with experience.”

The Commission is independent but supported by Salford City Council, the Mayor and the Bishop of Salford, and facilitated by Church Action on Poverty and Community Pride. It has led to the council bringing in a raft of measures that will transform lives – from waiving birth certificate fees for homeless people to changing the way the council chases debt.

Debbie Brown, transformation director at Salford City Council, says: “We come into these meetings and we hug each other – that’s not what normally happens in council meetings,” she says. “But the other thing that stopped me in my tracks was the City Council being identified as a cause of poverty.

“We heard stories about what it was like for people hiding from council tax collection agents, people being afraid, and that’s not a city I recognise.

“We’re changing a lot already. We’re going back to the personal, identifying people who are struggling to pay and looking again at what we can do.

“We won’t be using bailiffs for those in receipt of council tax reduction and young care leavers are exempt.”

Laura Kendall, 33, a mum of two and a youth worker, suffered undiagnosed mental health problems as a teenager and was placed in care.

“Sharing my story for this project was difficult but very powerful for me,” she says. “I want people to know their voices will be heard, that a child growing up in the care system can have a better chance.

“I’d spent my whole life trying to get people to listen to me and got used to being rejected. This area has been written off so many times but it’s full of people with something to add.”

Salford’s mayor is determined to listen. “This is about working-class communities coming together and a spirit of solidarity,” Dennett says. “It’s the spirit of Salford in action.”