Climate Emergency debate with candidates for Tiverton & Honiton constituency, 7 pm 28th November, Honiton Community College.
Tony McCollum 100% Independent candidate for EDDC will be holding his surgery at the back room of Lace makers cafe tomorrow 10am to 2pm for anyone who would like to speak to him with any of their concerns regarding local issues.
This is because due to bad weather coming in tomorrow the market wont be available to him. Tony is hoping to see you tomorrow as he promised he wanted to give residents the chance to chat with him
“… As well as offering lodges to holidaymakers, the luxury sites – which boasted facilities such as indoor swimming pools and spas – were open to investors, who were promised “guaranteed returns”.
Lodges cost about £200,000 to buy but part-ownership schemes were available, which Ms Day said were “a bit like a time-share”. …”
Owl simply cannot believe that in a town the size of Honiton half-a-dozen people cannot be found to join the neighbourhood planning group. People have been falling over themselves in the rush to volunteer in smaller towns and villages, many of which gave already had their plans signed, sealed and delivered.
What is wrong with the people in the town? Have they no civic pride? Do Honiton people not realise what enormous danger they are in if they DON’T have a neighbourhood plan? Everywhere in Honiton NOT named in the Local Plan (and that’s a lot of land) up for grabs by developers. Who will provide no infrastructure to the town and likely no affordable housing.
It paints a dreadful picture of a totally apathetic town with an inept town deputy clerk (who suggested shelving the project until 2020) and lazy town councillors if this situation is allowed to happen.
“Residents have been urged to ‘step up’ or face ‘losing out’ after the creation of the Honiton’s Neighbourhood Plan was granted a six-month continuation.
The warning, made by the town’s mayor, comes a month after the future of the document was thrown into doubt following a recommendation to shelve the document until 2020.
Deputy town clerk Heloise Marlow made the suggestion to town councillors based on the ‘lack of past and current’ interest from residents in getting involved with the plan’s creation.
The Honiton Neighbourhood Plan’s current committee is ‘inquorate’ – meaning it is not made up of enough members.
A report submitted to last month’s council meeting said: “A steering group made up of about nine to ten members with one-third councillors and two-thirds community members is essential. In view of the lack of past and current interest from the community of Honiton, the recommendation is that a neighbourhood plan cannot currently be delivered.”
However, at a meeting of Honiton Town Council last week, members agreed to let the creation of the town’s Neighbourhood Plan continue for the next six months.
Cllr Henry Brown, town mayor and chair of the council, said: “The Neighbourhood Plan will continue for the next six months, with the hope that the Community Engagement Forum will act as a conduit to entice members of the public to join the Neighbourhood Plan.
“The public must outnumber the council in representation on this – our community needs to step up or we face losing out.”
At last month’s council meeting, Cllr Roy Coombs staged a late intervention to save the Neighbourhood Plan from being shelved until 2020 – recommending it be deferred until last week’s council meeting at The Beehive.
He said: “If we have not got a Neighbourhood Plan in place it could, I feel, become a developers’ free-for-all.”
The Community Engagement Forum, which is comprised of various groups in Honiton, was formed in 2016 with the aim of improving the town and bringing about change.
Anyone who wants to join the Neighbourhood Plan committee should get in touch with the town council on 01404 42957 and ask to speak to Heloise.”
And who at EDDC was responsible for this press release that gives the (totally erroneous) impression that the sale of Knowle is 100% financing the new HQ?
“A yew tree branch has been placed on top of East Devon District Council’s new HQ to “ward off evil spirits”.
The topping out ceremony took place at Blackdown House in Honiton, which will be the council’s new home by January 2019.
As part of the ceremony, a yew tree branch was attached to the highest point of the building.
The ceremony was completed by council chairman Andrew Moulding and leader Ian Thomas. A council spokesman said it was “an age-old tradition”.
The authority plans to move from its current HQ in Sidmouth to Blackdown House in December 2018. The move will be financed by selling the property to Pegasus Life Ltd for £7.5m, which will turn it into a 113-apartment assisted-living community. …”
Owl says: This is the sort of Press Release the CCG excels at. Telling us what the situation is at present but giving no guarantees that there will not be future cuts to current services (some of which, such as dermatology in Seaton, have already been closed.
Owl would also like to know how many of the extra 20,000 deaths noted in the first quarter of this year were in East Devon.
From EDA DCC Councillor Martin Shaw:
“NEW Devon CCG have issued the attached statement criticising ‘inaccurate information’ about Honiton and Seaton hospitals, after Dr Simon Kerr, Chair of the CCG’s Eastern Locality, was credibly reported as saying that these two hsopitals are ‘at risk’ in their Local Estates Strategy due this summer.
I welcome the CCG’s statement that it has no plans to close either hospital. However it has not denied that Dr Kerr said that they were at risk.
The CCG could end this controversy today if it gave an unequivocal assurance that both hospitals will continue for the foreseeable future with the present or enhanced levels of service. People in Honiton and Seaton were badly let down by the CCG over hospital beds and they won’t trust them now without a clear statement that our hospitals are safe in the coming Local Estates Strategy.”
The statement from the CCG reads:
“There have been reports today that the future of Honiton and Seaton Hospitals is under question.
NHS Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group wishes to make clear that there are no plans to close Honiton and Seaton hospitals.
In March 2017, the Governing Body of NHS Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning voted to implement a number of changes following a 13 week public consultation. This included the decision to close inpatient beds at both Honiton and Seaton hospitals.
Beds were closed in both hospitals in August 2017 as more care was introduced to look after people at home. Both hospitals are still open, thriving buildings providing more than 50 day services and clinics combined.”
Gobsmacking! Villages such as Feniton and Beer manage to have a quorate Neighbourhood Plan group, so have smaller towns such as Budleigh but Honiton can’t manage it:
Some really serious questions need to be asked and answered here otherwise Honiton will be descended on by vulture developers for years.
Didn’t Councillor Twiss intimate that he is Honiton’s problem solver …?
“Town councillors were asked to consider a recommendation to shelve the document at a meeting last night because its current steering group is ‘inquorate’ – meaning it is not made up of enough members.
A report submitted to the council by deputy clerk Heloise Marlow said: “A steering group made up of about nine to ten members with one-third councillors and two-thirds community members is essential.
“In view of the lack of past and current interest from the community of Honiton, the officers recommendation is that a neighbourhood plan cannot currently be delivered.
“As such the recommendation would be to put the process on hold for a period of two years.”
As part of the proposal, the town council’s annual budget of £10,000 would be put into earmarked reserves for a maximum of three years, including the financial year 2020-2021.
Research into average costings for a Neighbourhood Plan indicate that funding from the town council in the region of £30,000 would be needed, and there is limited grant funding available.
The deputy clerk’s report added: “Currently there is £1,022 being brought into earmarked reserves which is the balance of the East Devon District Council start up grant.
“In May 2020 when the matter is reviewed, there would be earmarked reserves available of £31,022 and therefore should the drafting of a Neighbourhood Plan over the next two years gather public support, and the decision is taken to revive the process, this would allow funding to be made available immediately.”
Councillor Caroline Kolek said: “I think we all understand the recommendation and I feel we have no option but to go with it.
“Having been involved with the Neighbourhood Plan right from the start, I think it’s really sad that we are at this point.”
Councillors opted to vote on the recommendation at next month’s meeting after Cllr Roy Coombs voice his concerns over the recommendation.
He said: “There’s no deadline but if we had got our Neighbourhood Plan in place now, possibly things could have been done differently over the Halse of Honiton site or the Ottery Moor Lane business park.
“There could be other missed opportunities – if we have not got a Neighbourhood Plan in place it could, I feel, become a developers’ free-for-all.”
Cllr Coombs proposed to defer the item to the council’s June meeting.
His motion was unanimously approved.”
“Seaton and Honiton Hospitals may be at risk, local GP and chair of the NEW Devon CCG’s Eastern Locality, Dr Simon Kerr reportedly revealed at a meeting with health campaigners last month.
Dr Kerr was apparently speaking of the long-awaited Estates Strategy, which will list all the assets held by the local NHS and what it plans to do with them.
NEW Devon CCG is in considerable financial difficulty. Devon is one of three most financially challenged health trusts in the country.
The background is that 12 community hospitals across Eastern Devon were acquired by the private company (wholly owned by the Secretary of State for Health) NHS Property Services, last year.
As yet, we haven’t heard about the fate of the remaining 10 community hospitals now in the ownership of NHS Property Services. This of course, includes our beloved Ottery Hospital, as well as Exmouth, Sidmouth, Whipton, Okehampton and Crediton.
Many of these hospitals, including Seaton, Honiton, Ottery St Mary and Okehampton and Whipton, have sadly now been stripped of their beds in cost cutting measures. But they still are home to a range of services and clinics that are very much needed locally.
Up until now, NHS England has been picking up the tab for the extortionate rents charged by NHS PS, of well over £3m a year, across the area.
A stupid stupid system, set up to fail. All over the country health trusts are being forced to sell off estate because it can’t afford the ridiculous rents charged by NHS PS for a building that used to be in NHS ownership.
Honiton Hospital has a treatment centre and is home to East Devon’s out of hours GP service.
The idea that the building could be lost and with it the treatment centre and out of hours service is totally ludicrous and appalling. The RD&E’s A&E department is full to capacity much of the time and staff are struggling to manage the volume of patients.
It means someone unwell living in the far east of the area – Axminster, for example, would have to travel around an hour to Exeter, to be seen by a GP if they were unwell out of working hours. It is quite unacceptable.
The amazing maternity unit which has been ‘temporarily’ closed for the best part of a year, was also based at Honiton Hospital.
There are so many cuts to the health service now it is difficult to keep up with them, let alone fight them.
Cllr Shaw has written to the CCG chair, Dr Tim Burke demanding assurances that the buildings remain open.
I have asked for an urgent item on the next Health and Adult Scrutiny Committee agenda, which is held on Thursday 7 June.
I will keep you posted.