Honiton Hospital beds closed – motion of “no confidence” in EDDC Leader 13 September 2017 6pm

Susie Bond, EDDC Independent Councillor, Feniton reports”

“This morning I attended a vigil outside Honiton Community Hospital. It was called to mark the end of inpatient care in the town. It was a sad day, as it now means that there are no inpatient beds in the hospitals in Seaton, Axminster, Honiton and Ottery St Mary.

I wasn’t sure what to expect … it’s a Bank Holiday and the weather was glorious … so I half expected to be there with just a handful of people.

I was wrong.

The event had been organised by Honiton Patients’ Action Group … a well-organised and furious bunch of people.

A group of about 50 turned up, armed to the teeth with placards, happy to vent their feelings to the local press about the parlous state of future community health provision.

Among those present this morning was Cllr Martin Shaw (county councillor for Seaton and Colyton) who spoke about his grave concerns for health provision. He had also addressed Devon County Council’s Scrutiny Committee meeting in July (https://seatonmatters.org/2017/07/26/the-health-scrutiny-committee-which-didnt-scrutinise/).

The decision to close the inpatient beds in Honiton had not been the subject of public consultation, so those present felt that this was sufficient cause for Devon County Council’s Health and Adult Care Scrutiny Committee to refer the decision to close the hospital beds to the Secretary of State, Jeremy Hunt. In turn, he would have had to refer the decision to the Independent Reconfiguration Panel (which describes itself as ‘the independent expert on NHS service change’).

Had that decision been made at their July meeting (https://devoncc.public-i.tv/core/portal/webcast_interactive/293466), those present at the vigil today would probably have still been worried about their future health care, but at least they would have felt that every avenue open to them had been explored.

Instead they were denied this last opportunity by political shenanigans of epic proportion.

I watched the webcast of the July meeting of DCC Health Scrutiny Committee (http://www.devonlive.com/news/devon-news/conduct-committee-members-investigated-devon-312213) and was frankly appalled at the charade being played out before my eyes.

Questions have been raised about how the meeting was conducted and the Standards Committee at DCC meets tomorrow to decide if the complaints are well founded.

Meanwhile, members of East Devon District Council have expressed dismay about the way an almost unanimous vote on a Motion expressing real concern about the conduct of the Clinical Commissioning Group was ignored and have called an Extra Ordinary Meeting of full Council to discuss a Motion of No Confidence in the leader, Cllr Paul Diviani, who sat on Devon County Council’s Health and Adult Care Scrutiny Committee as a representative of the leaders of all the district councils in Devon.

Cllr Diviani effectively voted against referring the decision to close inpatients beds in Honiton to the Secretary of State and later admitted under robust questioning that he had not canvassed the views of the other leaders.

The Extra Ordinary Council meeting will be held on

Wednesday 13 September
at EDDC’s headquarters at the
Knowle, Sidmouth,
starting at
6 p.m.

Twiss in charge of infrastructure money

Stakeholders? Bet it isn’t us but developers he’s talking about! Exmouth’s Queen’s Drive access for Grenadier, “improved access” to Feniton, Gittisham and Cranbrook western extension here we come!

“Since September last year, EDDC has been charging Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) on certain types of new development.

The council passes 15 per cent of this income, or 25 per cent if a neighbourhood plan has been completed, to town or parish councils, with the remainder to be spent by EDDC.

The council is now inviting stakeholders involved in the delivery of infrastructure to bid for this cash by September 22, with a final decision to be made in February 2018.

Councillor Phil Twiss, EDDC’s portfolio holder for strategic development and partnerships, said: “The CIL is a fairer, faster and more transparent way of funding infrastructure delivery.

“It provides more certainty than the current Section 106 system, which is negotiated on a site by site basis.

“However, unlike 106 money, CIL money can be spent anywhere in the district.

“Unfortunately, the projected income from CIL falls a long way short of the total infrastructure costs required to deliver the Local Plan.

“This is because the legislation requires the charges to be set based on what is viable for developments to pay rather than what is required to deliver the necessary infrastructure.

“CIL was designed to be matched with funds from other sources in order to deliver projects and so difficult decisions will need to be made in terms of prioritising projects and projects should demonstrate what other funding would be used in addition to CIL.

“The CIL pot is never going to be able to meet all demands made on it and we will have a robust and rigorous qualification process in place to ensure that the money is well spent and in the right places.”

http://www.sidmouthherald.co.uk/news/council-looking-to-allocate-money-for-east-devon-infrastructure-1-5155171

Fly outbreak in Feniton

Fly outbreak in Feniton ( from the blog of Independent Councillor Susie Bond:

I’ve just heard from the Environmental Health Officer (EHO) who has been looking into the most recent problem with flies in the village. She has responded directly to the seven residents who have contacted her office.

It looks as though the poultry farm on Green Lane was the source of the flies, despite the farmer having complied with the larvicide regime.

Environmental Health Officers currently think that the combination of young birds in the sheds and the extreme temperatures last week led to the fly problem.

Further treatments have been carried out at the farm to reduce the number of flies.

The EHOs request that people monitor the fly levels and update her directly (lturner@eastdevon.gov.uk).”

For the full report see:

https://susiebond.wordpress.com/2017/06/26/latest-on-fly-outbreak-in-feniton/

Twiss and shout in Feniton

Phil Twiss is hoping to follow in the footsteps of disgraced fellow Tory Graham Brown, and latterly independent councillor Claire Wright to represent the ward of Feniton and Honiton in the forthcoming County Council elections.

Leaflets currently adding to EDDC’s recycling efforts include a testimonial from MP Neil Parish that “Phil will be an asset in a number of matters, such as helping positively to continue with the work put together, to make Feniton more secure from flooding”.

Strangely there seems to be no room to acknowledge Graham Brown’s inability to get a flood scheme going for Feniton, Claire Wright’s dogged success in ensuring that the scheme was not forgotten, and independent District Councillor Susie Bond’s determination and success in getting the £1.6m programme implemented. Not to mention Susie Bond’s tireless work as a flood warden and information broadcaster each time danger has struck the village.

Any “continuation” is totally down to the efforts of these two ladies.

Whether Mr Twiss is willing to acknowledge their contribution on the stump remains to be seen.

Readers will recall it was Mr Twiss who, in 2014, took offence at a metaphor on Ms Wright’s blog about the need to “cull” Conservatives in East Devon.

Police subsequently declined to investigate. Hardly surprising since Conservative Leader David Cameron used the word in exactly the same sense in 2012:

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2012/sep/04/david-cameron-cabinet-reshuffle-deliver

Truth or post-truth in Feniton’s election?

Feniton village boundary: putting the record straight

From the blog of Feniton district councillor Susie Bond:

“Development in Feniton always excites comment, but I was especially disappointed to read an ill-informed, anonymous letter in the September issue of Feniton’s parish magazine.

It’s all too easy to set rumours running and temperatures rising, by which time of course the damage is done. However, this letter was so unhelpful, I thought it needed addressing paragraph by paragraph:

“I was surprised to receive details of the so called proposed changes in Feniton’s Built Up Boundary through an e-mail from a local estate agent.”

Why would an estate agent have any interest in Feniton’s Built Up Area Boundary (to give it its proper name)? Unless of course the correspondent meant a ‘planning agent’, i.e. developer, who of course would have a vested interest in moving the site in question to within the boundary.

“There is a large piece of land to the east of Ottery Road leading up to the station which has been the home to some dilapidated greenhouses for as long as I can remember having lived in the village for nearly fifteen years and as far as I know throughout this time, this land has been included in Feniton’s Built up Boundary.”

This paragraph is probably the only paragraph that is factually correct.

“Why suddenly do I hear of a proposal to take it outside the Built-up Boundary and who exactly proposed this. There is no point in pretending that further development will not occur in Feniton at some point to come, but I do object to this eleventh hour clandestine approach to remove a site that has always been earmarked for such further development without understanding who and what reasons are behind such a proposal.”

I posted a blog about this on 9 August (https://susiebond.wordpress.com/2016/08/09/planning-policy-strengthened-in-east-devon/), and of course EDDC’s proposed changes have been discussed extensively, including at the monthly public meeting of Feniton Parish Council on 11 July (minuted in the August issue of the parish magazine). There is nothing ‘clandestine’ about any of this, and the author seems not to understand what a Built Up Area Boundary (BUAB) actually is. It does not, for example, designate areas for development.

The proposed BUAB also draws a line tightly around the current Wainhomes estate, i.e. making it harder for Wainhomes to build the hundred or so more houses it wants to there.

“Essentially such a proposal, if successful will once again leave the rest of the village wondering nervously where further inevitable development will take place.”

Had the correspondent undertaken some elementary research, including on the Villages Development Plan Document (DPD) to which he refers, a lot of this scare mongering could have been avoided.

For example, the Villages DPD is an ancillary document underpinning the Local Plan. Planning policy in East Devon, outlined in the newly adopted Local Plan, is for development to be prioritised around Cranbrook, where there is easy access to employment within the thriving city of Exeter. Indeed, the draft East Devon Villages DPD makes clear just how unsuited Feniton is to mass development.

The decision to site the black line (proposed boundary) for Feniton as it is shown in the parish magazine and in my 9 August blog was taken by EDDC following extensive discussions by a team of planning policy officers and no-one else. Not landowners, not developers, not District Councillors, not Parish Councillors, not the residents of villages who may/may not own land they wish to propose for development. The planners undertook a full site assessment (the results of this exercise can be found through a link on my blog of 9 August).

The Built-Up Area Boundary is for consultation at this stage, but the black lines drawn on the map will only move if there is strong evidence that they should do so. I feel sure that the anonymous correspondent will put in a submission to EDDC voicing his views … although he should be aware that if he does this, he will lose his anonymity.

East Devon is not looking to increase development in Feniton for the time being. This position will undoubtedly change in the future, but the decision as to where development should take place will have to take into account Feniton’s emerging Neighbourhood Plan.

I would urge the anonymous correspondent to come along to Feniton Parish Council meetings where there are frank and open discussions. Using the parish magazine to needlessly raise inaccurate and misleading stories only fuels the fires of rumour and gossip.”

https://susiebond.wordpress.com/2016/09/01/confusion-in-feniton-over-villages-plan-consultation/

Wainhomes, Feniton: another second chance, and another and another …

Where and when do ” second chances” end? From a correspondent:

You may recall the following item published some time ago:

https://susiebond.wordpress.com/2016/03/16/patience-wears-thin-as-another-breach-of-condition-notice-is-slapped-on-wainhomes/

Today the time allowed for some of the work to be done expires and yet, as expected by many of the villagers, nothing has even been started. The question is: will EDDC planning now actually throw the legal book at Wainhomes or, as I suspect, give them yet more time.

A heavy hand surely is now required since being ‘nice’ clearly doesn’t work.”

EDDC, heavy hand, developers – dream on!