Colyton: maintenance costs for building the size of a small bungalow more than tripled after NHS Property Services took control – and maintenance reduced!

From the blog of East Devon Alliance DCC Councillor Martin Shaw:

Seaton and Colyton Medical Practice have been fighting a long-running battle over rapidly rising charges for the Health Centre. Total maintenance charges rose from £5556 in 2015-16 (the last year before NHS Property Services took over) to £15,422.66 in 2016-17 and £34,657.39 in 2017-18, with the threat of their topping £40,000 this year. As users will realise, these are ludicrous figures for a building the size of a small bungalow, and the Practice is contesting them.

At the same time, actual service under the maintenance contract has been lamentable – the Centre was still without hot water last week after the boiler broke down in June. The Practice has brought the matter to my attention and I have put it on the agenda of the Health and Adult Care Scrutiny Committee next Tuesday (pp 87-90).

NHS Property Services is a company set up by the Government to manage the NHS estate, with a mandate to charge commercial rents and, where appropriate, sell ‘surplus’ property. The Health Centre was handed over to the company in 2016, along with our community hospitals, when the RD&E took over our area from the North Devon trust.”

“No-deal Brexit documents reveal UK councils expect food and medicine shortages and civil unrest”

Is this why Swire is jumping ship?

Local authorities are bracing themselves for widespread food, fuel and medicine shortages, civil unrest and job losses in the event that the United Kingdom leaves the European Union without a deal at the end of October.

Well over half of 63 local authorities nationwide expect a shortage of basic necessities if the UK leaves the EU without a Brexit deal, according to Freedom of Information requests sent by the People’s Vote campaign.

According to the documents compiled by the campaign:

68% of councils said they expected food shortages.
59% of councils said they were preparing for fuel shortages.
52% expected medicine shortages.
65% are preparing for “civil unrest,” “increased tensions,” and “public disorder.”

https://www.insider.com/no-deal-brexit-documents-reveal-councils-expect-food-shortages-riots-2019-9

DCC FINALLY sacks broadband (non) provider Gigaclear

And it took 18 months of failure before they did so!

Gigaclear sacked from rural broadband contract after 18 months – why did it take them so long? This mess also shows just how hollow Boris Johnson’s promises on broadband are.

“£28m budget black hole forecast for Devon County Council”

“A report to Devon County Council’s (DCC) cabinet meeting tells councillors that the total projected budget overspend, four months into the 2019/20 financial year, is £4.3m.

However, Mary Davis the county’s treasurer, says this figure assumes a funding shortfall of £15.8m for special educational needs and disability (SEND) will not be dealt with this financial year.

It also assumes planned contributions to reserves of £8m are not made.

The report said that, without these adjustments, the projected overspend would be £28.1m.

Mrs Davis’ report added: “The Government has announced additional funding for SEND in 2020/21 but nothing as yet for the current year.

“It is suggested that the deficit is not dealt with at the end of this financial year but held on the balance sheet as a negative reserve.

“It is not a solution, but it is a mechanism that gives more time for a solution to be found.”

The cabinet are recommended to note the budget monitoring forecast position.

Councillor Alan Connett, leader of the Liberal Democrat group, said the projected £28 million shortfall highlights that Devon is being ‘short-changed’ by this Government.

He added: “More children and adults need the council’s support.

“Our schools are being cheated.

“They get around £300 per child less than the national average, and our children with special educational needs are being let down.

“Those that need our help the most are being denied by a Government that could act, but won’t.”

The cabinet agenda report says DCC could receive an extra £11.7 million next year and £9.5 million in 2021/22 for education, following the Government’s spending review, and an extra £8.6 million to help support children with special needs next year.

County council leader, Cllr John Hart, said: “We have been campaigning with headteachers, governors and parents for fairer funding for Devon’s schools and the promise to ‘level up’ under-funded areas is one I very much welcome.

“It’s also encouraging to see Mr Javid (Chancellor for the Exchequer) announcing a three-year funding cycle for education as compared to the single year for other services.”

https://www.exmouthjournal.co.uk/news/devon-county-council-budget-forecast-deficit-1-6264239

East Devon Alliance only group submitting evidence to Parliament on Devon’s regional growth – our LEP just added its name to Cornwall’s evidence – for Cornwall and Plymouth!

East Devon Alliance submitted evidence to Treasury inquiry into regional growth: this wax pertinent, spwell-reasoned evidence. It was the ONLY submission solely on behalf of Devon:

https://eastdevonwatch.org/2019/09/05/parliament-publishes-evidence-from-east-devon-alliance-on-unrealistic-growth-figures-and-flaws-compounded-by-our-local-enterprise-partnership/

Cornwall and Cornwall and Isles of Scilly evidence (to which our Devon and Somerset LEP added its name only to a generic one-page “Joint Statement” covering letter) was skewed (as it should be) ONLY towards Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly and Plymouth – concentrating on them being in the same EU region (NUTS2), and therefore not concerning itself with any other part of Devon:

http://data.parliament.uk/writtenevidence/committeeevidence.svc/evidencedocument/treasury-committee/regional-imbalances-in-the-uk/written/104187.html

Our LEP simply duplicated the generic one-page covering letter in the above Cornwall submission as its only contribution for itself:

http://data.parliament.uk/writtenevidence/committeeevidence.svc/evidencedocument/treasury-committee/regional-imbalances-in-the-uk/written/104182.html

Parliament publishes evidence from East Devon Alliance on unrealistic growth figures and flaws compounded by our Local Enterprise Partnership

Presented to, and published by, the Treasury Committee on Regional Imbalances in the UK Economy Inquiry.

A top-notch forensic dissection of unattainable growth figures, plucked out of thin air by our Local Enterprise Partnership, and accommodated by our county and district councils without scrutiny:

http://data.parliament.uk/writtenevidence/committeeevidence.svc/evidencedocument/treasury-committee/regional-imbalances-in-the-uk/written/103800.html