Some Tories don’t appear to know where they live!

It seems some Tory party candidates are not sure where they live. And as they don’t seem to be canvassing in person – just sending their leaflets through the post – there’s no-one able to draw their attention to the problem, so Owl is letting them know …

[Leaflet refers to “Otter St Mary]

[Ottery] “Hospital faces 18 month wait to apply for community status”

“East Devon District Council (EDDC) announced on February 27 that supporters must wait until February 2020 before re-applying for the hospital to be listed as an asset of community value (ACV). When a building is listed as an ACV, the local community has to be informed if it goes up for sale and the public can enact the ‘community right to bid’ which gives them a period of six months to determine if they can raise the finance to purchase the asset.

The initial decision not to list the building as an ACV came in December when Ottery was one of four East Devon hospitals to be nominated. EDDC stated that it did not believe the hospital furthered the social wellbeing or social interests of the local community.

At the council meeting on February 27, Cllr Roger Giles, who also sits on the Ottery Town Council, raised the matter and referenced Southwold Hospital, in Suffolk, which was successfully listed as an ACV, before becoming the first hospital in the country to be bought by the community.

As part of the decision to list it as an ACV, Cllr Giles said the strategic director of WDC stated the owner’s assertion there is no evidence of the community social wellbeing being furthered defied common sense.

Cllr Giles said this is a view shared by many local Ottery residents about their hospital and warned that Ottery and other local community hospitals are at risk because of this perverse decision. He said EDDC is suffering reputational damage as a result of this ‘very regrettable’ decision.

Cllr Ian Thomas, leader of EDDC, said each case is considered on its merits and there had been no new evidence to warrant a review for Ottery.

Last week, leading figures from the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital and the Northern, Eastern and Western Locality Devon Clinical Commissioning Group attended a discussion to review plans for the building. A statement from the working group said: “A wide-ranging and constructive discussion took place, and a number of tasks were allocated.”

A further meeting will be held in early June.”

https://www.sidmouthherald.co.uk/news/ottery-hospital-wait-1-5930495

EDDC CEO is an “expert” on elections (Owl begs to differ)

Owl begs to differ – but the Sidmouth Herald (headline to article: ‘Expert to offer advice to potential election candidates’ seems not to know about his election officer past where he “lost” 6000 voters and had to explain himself (not too well) to a parliamentary committee!

Hopefully, this “expert” will also visit other towns!

https://eastdevonwatch.org/2017/05/31/those-missing-6000-voters-electors-jump-from-96000-to-113000-plus/

“Residents wishing to stand as a candidate for Ottery Town Council, but are unsure about the process and role can speak to an expert tomorrow (Saturday) at the community market.

Ottery Town Council has 11 seats to be contested during the election on May 2.

Mark William’s EDDC’s returning officer will be available to speak to between 9.30am and 12.30pm at The Institute to offer advice and assistance about the role.

An Ottery Town Council spokesman said: “As a local councillor you can become a voice for your community and make a real change. Councillors are community leaders and represent the interests of the communities they serve. If you’re still undecided and feel you require more information before making a final decision, then there is an expert available who should be able to provide you all the answers.”

https://www.sidmouthherald.co.uk/news/expert-to-offer-advice-to-potential-election-candidates-1-5901085

Ottery Town Council (particularly Councillor Carter) makes itself a laughing stock (again)

Owl says: It is well-known that Councillor Carter (one of the Greendale Carters) has no love for independent councillors!

https://eastdevonwatch.org/2018/11/07/majority-of-ottery-town-council-remarkably-unconcerned-about-the-future-of-their-hospital/

https://eastdevonwatch.org/2019/02/08/decision-overturned-to-set-up-ottery-hospital-working-group/

From the blog of Independent Councillor Claire Wright:

“Ottery St Mary Town Council revisited the contentious issue of whether it should support setting up a group to ensure the future of Ottery Hospital at yet another fraught meeting on Monday 4 February.

A bit of background information – at the town council meeting on 6 November a similar proposal was agreed by three votes to nil. Subsequently the town council abstainers (who thought that they had won) called for an extraordinary town council meeting to overturn the decision, which took place on 29 November.

Subsequently it became known that two members of the Health and Care Forum had established a limited company whose purpose is unclear.

I still find it hard to believe that a proposal to set up a working group to help retain the hospital, by a councillor – Geoff Pratt, who was asked as to help by the Health and Care Team Chair, has resulted in a bitter row lasting four months.

Our offer of help has been sullied, dragged through the dirt and subject to chicanery by political opponents who appear to be engaging in some kind of strange game of cat and mouse. I have been insulted on social media and mine and the town’s residents continued efforts over the years to retain the hospital and its beds have been rudely ridiculed and dismissed.

Myself and Dr Margaret Hall, who was also subject to unpleasantness, have both pulled out of any potential group as a result. It was difficult to believe the level of vitriol from a minority of people.

On Monday evening the town council finally agreed to meet with the hospital League of Friends Chair, Adrian Rutter, who came across as the voice of reason on Monday evening. However, as soon as the row seemed to abate, Cllr Paul Carter bizarrely decided to reignite it by insinuating that our offer of help was a bid to cause trouble.

One councillor announced that she didn’t think Mr Rutter should be allowed to speak as he hadn’t asked to do so at the beginning of the meeting!

Cllr Carter then accused me of smirking (I was doing anything but smirking!) and the mayor refused to let me respond. I did, however, manage to ask Cllr Carter why he was trying to reignite the row again.

Once again there were raised tempers, including from members of the public. One of whom told me afterwards it was one of the worst town council meetings he had ever attended.

It was not very clear what was agreed, but I believe the town council deferred a decision to establish the working group.”

http://www.claire-wright.org/index.php/post/ottery_town_council_to_meet_with_league_of_friends_chairman

“Decision overturned to set up Ottery Hospital working group”

What IS going on at Ottery town council? Sounds like a nest of vipers! AND a nest of political chicanery … Who IS it (or who are they) fomenting this silly behaviour – and why? If you can’t work together for the good of the community – should you even be a councillor at all?

“A proposal to create a working group to safeguard Ottery Hospital has been overturned following more heated debate over how to save it.

A motion was submitted on January 24, signed by councillors Glyn Dobson, Ian Holmes, Anne Edwards and Lynn Harding, to re-examine the decision to support or rescind a motion to set up the group.

The proposal was passed in November, with many councillors abstaining due to a lack of information or because they felt it would duplicate the work of the town’s health and care forum.

Residents had their say at an extraordinary meeting on November 29, when a motion was first made to re-examine the motion.

The decision was deferred until February to allow organisations involved in saving the hospital to meet and gather information.

Speaking at Monday’s town council meeting, Councillor Roger Giles, who supported the group, said: “The purpose of the working group was to bring all sorts of organisations and good people together to embrace the skill and expertise and energy of the LOF (League of Friends).

“I really can’t see why we are not doing something – we need to campaign, we need to get as many services as we can in Ottery Hospital.

“Fill it up, get it used to capacity, and ensure its future. That’s the essence of what I am trying to achieve.”

Adrian Rutter, chairman of the hospital League of Friends, said everyone had the same aim but did not share a way of working together.

Mayor Paul Bartlett offered to meet representatives from the health and care forum and League of Friends to discuss any problems between the two groups.

Members voted to rescind the group by five votes to three.

Following the vote, Deputy Mayor Paul Carter said he was ‘disappointed’ members were failing to pull together.

He said: “If you have expertise that can help what’s already happening, why not help and join in?

“I cannot believe we’re all grown-ups down this table and we keep going down different avenues.

“I would very much like, going forward, to try and pull together and look down the same road.”

He added: “We do not need to be going on independent routes to be a collective and a team.

“I always say we’re stronger together.”

https://www.sidmouthherald.co.uk/news/decision-overturned-to-set-up-ottery-hospital-working-group-1-5883068

EDDC says community hospitals do not contribute to social well-being

“Here is my letter, about Ottery Hospital, which was published in the Sidmouth Herald about ten days ago [from Ottery Hospital campaigner Philip Algar]:

Last August, I asked the Ottery Town Council to request the East Devon District Council to declare the Ottery Hospital to be an asset of community value. Such a designation would have delayed any decision by NHS Properties to sell the hospital.

The request was rejected by EDDC because the hospital was not a community asset.

Unlike swimming pools and pubs, it did not contribute to “social wellbeing”! This is manifest nonsense but there is a more disturbing aspect to this EDDC decision which challenges common sense and justice.

Apparently, there is no precise definition of social wellbeing so any determination must be subjective. This is demonstrated by the fact that three district councils in Devon have granted the status to hospitals in their areas.

This raises some serious questions.

What was different about the request to give the Ottery hospital this designation? EDDC admit that they gave more weight to an NHS objection than they did to the wishes of the people of Ottery and district whom they are supposed to represent.

Why did NHS Properties oppose this proposal whilst other councils granted the desired status to hospitals serving their electors? Who should we blame for having our hospital treated in this way? Is it EDDC for cravenly giving in to the NHS or should it be the NHS itself which may plan to close the hospital entirely and sell the site and so opposes any action that could delay implementing such a decision?”