How did TV companies get to Knowle so quickly?

How were BBC Devon and Westcountry News able to get to Knowle so quickly when the Exmouth “regeneration” Development Management Committee didn’t start its meeting till 10 am yet Mark Williams was able to give an interview for the 1.30 pm edition of Spotlight and one that appeared on West Country News at 6 pm? And TV cameras were inside the meeting too.

Somehow they never seemed to be interested in the public’s protests about the same issues ….. though West Country News did at least balance the news today with local campaigners who were in disagreement with the decision.

And should Mark Williams have said he favours Grenadier’s watersports centre – after specifically naming them in his interview – isn’t he supposed to be neutral?

Exmouth Regeneration “Business Forum” (2) – the rules!

“The voting membership of the Board may invite additional non-voting members as detailed above to join the Board as they deem appropriate. The may also remove non-voting members from the Board as they deem appropriate.

Eligibility for non-voting membership of the Board will be subject to a protocol that ensures that members are fit and proper persons eg covering matters of criminal record, bankruptcy, not being subject to planning enforcement etc.

To assist the Board they may invite any individuals with particular expertise (including other elected Members) and/or representatives of organisations to attend.

Officers of the District Council, County Council and the Exmouth Town Clerk will attend in an advisory capacity only. The District Council will provide the secretariat service for the Board.”

“Fit and proper persons” … fit for what and proper for what?

Exmouth Regeneration Board: an East Devon Business Forum clone?

“Board Structure

Voting Members

 EDDC Portfolio Holder for Economy (who shall be the Chair)
 EDDC Portfolio Holder for Sustainable Homes and Communities (Vice Chair)
 EDDC Exmouth Champion
 EDDC Tourism Champion
 2 x Devon County Councillor (one who shall represent Exmouth)
 2 x Exmouth Town Councillor

And then one representative from each of;

 Clinton Devon Estates
 Exmouth Chamber of Commerce
 Exmouth Licensed Victuallers Association
 Exmouth Community Organisations Liaison Panel
 Exe Estuary Partnership representative

Non-Voting Members
 Alderman Tim Wood

And then one representative from each of;
 Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group representative
 Leisure East Devon representative
 Exmouth tourism business (eg holiday accommodation)
 Food and drink business (eg restaurateur)
 Exmouth landowner
 Exmouth commercial developer”
page 89

SO reminiscent of the East Devon Business Forum!!!

And why Clinton Devon Estates when EDDC bought out their restrictive covenant on the site? What exactly is their interest?

Why a licensed victualler – don’t we have enough of them at EDDC already!

Alderman Tim Woods – don’t go there, Owl. So reminiscent of … no, no, no do NOT go there!

All the usual suspects, many of whom have, or will have, vested interests in the final outcome. No-one with REAL scrutiny teeth.

Peter Halse as Chairman!!!

Same old … same old … same Old Boys …

Exmouth: Dinan Way extension ok’d by Minister

” …The road had previously seemed set to proceed when it was approved by county planners in January. However, the National Trust then protested to the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) that the application should be ‘called in’.

Had it done so, a final decision on planning permission would have been made by the Secretary of State; however, DCLG has now decided to take no further action, which means the planning permission stands.

This does not mean construction is imminent, as Devon County Council (DCC) must first carry out further negotiations.

A DCC spokesman said: “Conditional planning consent has been granted for the scheme. The county council will now be looking to acquire the necessary land, and funding, but no delivery period has been identified as yet.”

The National Trust had opposed the scheme, citing the effect on the Grade One listed A la Ronde, in nearby Summer Lane.

In a statement following the DCLG decision, the National Trust said: “We hope that DCC will now redouble its efforts to work with Historic England and the National Trust to help ensure the long-term protection of A la Ronde and to pursue the safeguards they proposed during the planning consultation period.” …

“Auditors urge government to stop ‘undeliverable’ projects”

Maybe EDDC needs to read this – a housing company with high risks, relocation prohject overspend, regeneration turning into a pig’s ear – they just don’t have the expertise or officer numbers to see these projects through to a successful conclusion – and consultants serm to make things worse not better, but with hefty bills for over-simplistic or unachievable aims.

“The government needs to drop projects it does not think it can deliver, the National Audit Office has said.

In a report published today, the spending watchdog said the civil service is being asked to manage important reforms although it has reduced in size by 26% since 2006.

The whole-life costs of projects in the government’s major projects portfolio is £405bn but departments gave themselves an average score of 2.1 out of five for their current capability in workforce planning.

Amyas Morse, head of the NAO, said although the government has plans to address skills gaps in the civil service the “scale of the challenge ahead means greater urgency is needed”.

“Government has gaps in its capability and knows it must do more to develop the skills it needs,” he said.

“Without a short-term solution to its capability gaps government must get better at planning and prioritising its activities and be prepared to stop work on those it is not confident it has the capability to deliver.”

Civil servants face increased pressures due to a rise in the number of infrastructure, capital and digital projects and the decision to leave the European Union, says Capability in the civil service.

Major projects such as nuclear plant Hinkley Point C, railway High Speed 2 and nuclear weapons deterrent Trident renewal often draw on the same pool of skills, the NAO points out.

“For example, in rail projects such as Crossrail and Thameslink, we have seen skilled civil servants performing a number of project roles or being moved to fill skills gaps for new priorities or projects,” the report says.

Departments have told the NAO they are looking for more senior leaders with specialist expertise to achieve their objectives.

They have reported a need for about 2,000 additional staff in digital roles within the next five years. Although, those responsible for the government’s digital skills believe this is an underestimate.

The report suggests the government must prioritise projects – stopping work on those it does not think it can deliver – and assess what will be needed in terms of capacity to deliver each one.

Departments need to assess the capability requirements of their ongoing operations, the spending watchdog states, and look at where they can plug capability gaps from the private sector.

The PCS union said the government’s cuts programme was behind the drop off in capability. General secretary Mar Serwotka said: “The cut first, plan later approach demanded by austerity has damaged services and left the civil service unable to cope with current workloads, let alone the major upheaval caused by the vote to leave the EU.

“While the civil service is trying to deal with Brexit, there is no let-up in the demand and need for quality public services in our communities, which is why we have said all job cuts plans must be halted immediately.”

How to reinvent the tourism wheel in Exmouth!

Owl says: The headline shouts “Survey shows Exmouth popular with visitors”. BUT they don’t mention wanting a watersports centre, and Owl is certain that is what Councillor Skinner and his “Regeneration Board” will spin!

The survey has been used to say that people spend half as much money in Exmouth as in the rest of East Devon. Might that be because they are not STAYING in Exmouth just visiting? Duh! And owl bets they STILL spend more than visitors to “regenerated” Seaton!

[Surveys commissioned by EDDC] reveal much praise for the town from visitors, although the results show the amount of money they spend is lower than in other local areas.

The 2016 Exmouth Visitor Survey quizzed 1,000 people who visited between June and October.

The survey, commissioned by East Devon District Council for the Exmouth Coastal Community Team, was carried out by the South West Research Company.

The survey found visitor satisfaction levels were generally good, with high scores for accommodation, places to eat and drink, outdoor places to visit, the beach, ease of navigation, public transport, the upkeep of parks and open spaces, cleanliness of the streets, and the general atmosphere. …

… Areas where visitors were less satisfied with Exmouth included shopping, the range of indoor attractions and places to visit, nightlife and evening entertainment, the availability and cleanliness of public toilets, and car parking. …”