Planning, dogs and tails: another correspondent writes

“The East Devon electorate were, indeed, hoping for a significant change by voting for an Independent Council and, therefore, it is frustrating to read such controlling comments from the Tory Councillor Philip Skinner (he who was responsible for the extending mahogany table fiasco and who lives in the rural village of Talaton which is not one of the proposed GESP Clyst Villages) stating that  ‘this is a really exciting project and I hope people grasp it with the enthusiasm, that I have so we get the good things for the area that we live in’!

Who are the ‘we’ he is referring to? Perhaps, not the numerous residents of the 10 rural  village communities of Poltimore, Huxham, Clyst St Mary, Clyst St George, Ebford, West Hill, Woodbury, Woodbury Salterton, Exton and Farringdon who appear to be the prime targets for his exciting large scale development? Living in the small, rural idyll of Talaton, he should be aware that those who have also chosen to live in rural village communities may not wish them to mutate into sprawling suburbs of Exeter and, therefore, many may question Councillor Skinner’s motives?
Yes – we all have to be forward thinking – but aren’t these 10 villages the very essence of the intrinsic nature and indispensable quality of East Devon? Some may be persuaded that the proposed idyllic concept of happy, peaceful, picturesque environments labelled ‘Garden Villages’ would be pure nirvana – but, unfortunately, the vision in planning terms is not always what you get in reality! 
 
Sizeable growth in this North West Quadrant, without adequate road infrastructure improvements in the surrounding districts, already results in the regular gridlock of the entire highway network! ‘The cart before the horse’ approach of continuing large-scale commercial growth and adding more people to the equation before the provision of an appropriate, sustainable transport system is an unsatisfactory method for success.
 
There is no doubt that we must do better with designing new communities than we have in the past and East Devon District Council Planners  are fully aware that there are lessons to be learned from pursuing misguided judgements and courses of action by barking up the wrong tree!
Hopefully, the Independents are canines with character strength and principled, with adequate bite at the sharp end! Dogs can control their tails but often wagging lacks conscious thought!  Canine body language is so much more than just tail movements, so to achieve control, it is very important to pay attention to other factors. Furthermore, excessive tail wagging  can often be associated with fear, insecurity, social challenge or a warning that you may get bitten!

Sidmouth Rural and Feniton – Indies Rule!

Sidmouth Rural (one seat)
David Barratt (Independent) – 258
Ray Davison (Labour) – 27
John Loudoun (East Devon Alliance) – 375 ELECTED
Lewis Ragbourn (Liberal Democrats) – 42
Chris Wale (Conservative) – 18

Susie Bond (Independent) – 638 ELECTED
Adam Michael Powell (Labour) – 37
John Tristam (Conservative) – 97
6 spoilt

Independent Councillor Susie Bond (Feniton) on her canvassing experiences

“FURY against Conservatives and Labour … and I mean FURY! One man said today that he would never ever vote Tory again! One bloke said we were all corrupt on EDDC given the huge cars we drive. Asked him if he lived in the village and he said No, so bid him farewell! Otherwise, lots of support from very many kind people.

Kathy McLauchlan (www.facebook.com/kathyindie) is working really hard in Whimple & Rockbeare and getting lots of positive comments on the doorstep.

Jess Bailey is a force to be reckoned with in West Hill & Aylesbeare … it’s a joy to watch her in action! She is a West Hill parish councillor and I worked with her when she was the independent representative for the town council on EDDC’s Standards Committee a couple of years ago. Utterly brilliant. She performed fantastically at the Hustings. There are so many great Independents waiting to start working hard for East Devon, but sadly not Cllr Roger Giles …”

Source: Claire Wright Facebook page comment

Wainhomes in the (bad) spotlight again

Many will recall Feniton’s problems with Wainhomes, for example:
https://eastdevonwatch.org/2016/05/31/wainhomes-feniton-another-second-chance-and-another-and-another/

and those in Axminster:
https://eastdevonwatch.org/2016/07/26/wainhomes-axminster-eddc-considers-legal-action-to-recover/

You might also have seen the feature on regional BBC Breakfast this morning where residents at the Wainhomes estate in Tawton having to move out because floors not finished, outside rendering falling off walls. They interviewed one unhappy house owner who’d been complaining for two-and-a-half years.

Interestingly enough there’s a website devoted to complaints about this company: https://www.thewainhomesnightmare.co.uk/?page_id=121

It seems to highlight a flaw whereby developers can build defective houses, but policing by NHBC not up to scratch.

Buyer beware, as they say!

Feniton shows Honiton how to conduct a Neighbourhood Plan consultation

After the total fiasco of Honiton finding itself unable to organise a Neighbourhood Plan:

https://eastdevonwatch.org/2018/05/15/unbelievable-creation-of-honitons-neighbourhood-plan-could-be-shelved-until-2020/

comes this press release from Feniton’s Independent Councillor Susie Bond:

And it’s great news!
The polls in the Feniton Neighbourhood Plan referendum closed at 10 p.m. this evening and counting started very soon afterwards.

The choice was a simple Yes/No answer to the following question:

Do you want East Devon District Council to use the neighbourhood plan for Feniton to help it decide planning applications in the neighbourhood area?

· The number of people eligible to vote was 1538
· Turnout was 32.05%
· Those voting Yes = 462
· Those voting No = 30

Without wishing to sound like I’m giving a speech at the Oscars, there are many people who should be thanked, not least officers at East Devon District Council who guided the team throughout, but also the NP steering group and particularly those who stuck with the process right to the bitter end.

It was the vision of the Parish Council Chairman, Martyn Smith, that set us on this rather lengthy road and I’m sure we all felt from time to time as though the process was interminable.

But we made it … and the Neighbourhood Plan will now pass into planning policy …

Well done Feniton”

Do you have a damp home? Do you need an affordable home? Contact Councillor Phil Twiss to get your problems sorted!

It seems councillor Twiss is a modern-day superhero – able to help you with just about any problem you might come across.

So, if you live in Honiton, do contact him:

Email: ptwiss@eastdevon.gov.uk
Telephone: 01404 891327
Address: Swallowcliff, Beacon, Honiton, EX14 4TT

http://eastdevon.gov.uk/council-and-democracy/councillors/honiton-st-michaels/phil-twiss/

or at DCC:
Email: phil.twiss@devon.gov.uk

True, he hasn’t so far sorted East Devon’s broadband not-spots, wasn’t able to halt the closure of Honiton Hospital’s community beds or stop Baker Estates from weaselling out of their affordable housing commitments and the ‘fillip’ to Honiton’s jobs and shops when the EDDC HQ moves to Honiton will be at the expense of Sidmouth … but these are just minor hiccoughs … aren’t they?

Feniton seeks a new councillor, preverably one who wants to work with young people

From Susie Bond, Feniton’s indefatiguable independent District and parish councillor:

“Do you want to serve your Community?
Do you have time or expertise which could benefit your Community?
Do you want to make a difference to all those around you?
Are you concerned about your local area?
Do you want to represent the views of local people?
If you would like to make a difference, and be involved in shaping the future of your local Community, why not step forward and apply to become a Feniton Parish Councillor?

Feniton Parish Council is looking for a new Parish Councillor – specifically someone who is keen to work with the Youth of the Parish – if you are interested, would like more information or an application form, please contact:

Parish Council clerk, Alison Marshall, on fenitonpc@gmail.com

or

Chairman of Feniton Parish Council, Martyn Smith, on martyn@feniton.org.uk

The closing date for completed applications to be with the Clerk is 9 a.m. on Tuesday 8 May 2018

To qualify to become a Parish Councillor a person must:

be a British subject over 18 years old
be listed on the current electoral role
live in Feniton, or within 3 miles of its boundary, or occupy as owner/tenant any land/premises therein or have a principal place of work within the Parish
must not be disqualified from holding office as a Councillor.

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