Councillor and council officer parking perks

Devon County
Staff pay between 50p and £2 per day depending on salary and there are two compulsory car-free days. No information on cost to councillors.
Visitors: up to £7 per day.

Exeter City Council:
120 people can park £2 per day in council car parks in Exeter for which the public must pay £10 per day. No information on who the 120 people are and whether some or all are councillors.

North, East, Mid and West Devon:
Free parking for officers, councillors and visitors.
(Almost every year Independent Councillor Roger Giles presses for charges to be introduced and each time he is voted down)

Plymouth:
Staff
Permits for £50 per month in nearby car park. No information on whether or not this includes councillors.

Torridge and Torbay:
Refused to provide the information – Freedom of Information request made.

How do you spot a development site? Look for a road tunnel!

This article contains a useful overview of the Clyst Honiton bypass tunnel, whose lights are being replaced by LEDs.

But the accompanying aerial view of it is the more interesting photo:

http://www.devonlive.com/news/devon-news/clyst-honiton-bypass-tunnel-near-463174

It is a “Growth Point” development site

http://www.exetersciencepark.co.uk/news-events/25-news/77-clyst-honiton-bypass

and, obviously, a new road could not interfere with that given its access to vastly more development land a la Lidl and Skypark!

With the airport and other developments in “Greater Exeter”, will Cranbrook become one of the most polluted places in Devon?

East Devon community bed closures to be speeded up – Seaton to close next week, Honiton the week after

From the blog of Claire Wright – did Diviani and Randall-Johnson know this? Do they care?

“I have seen this SO many times.

A threat to hospital beds. Hospital beds close temporarily due to staffing shortages (because understandably staff leave) and then the permanent closures are brought forward.

What I am not reassured on here is how the loss of the existing beds will morph into the new care at home service and the message on staff redeployment is as vague as ever. Last autumn, I was told by the CCG chair, Tim Burke that around double the number of staff will be appointed… the CCG now talks in terms of ‘redeployment’ and ‘recruitment’ of 50 staff, which is difficult to get to the bottom of, given what we have already been told.

What we also still don’t know (because the CCG won’t tell us) is what happens to those hospitals that lose their beds…

Devon County Council’s health scrutiny committee needs to keep a very close eye indeed, on this issue.

The letter below has been sent to Health Scrutiny committee members:

Your Future Care

I am writing to let you know that we are ready to proceed with the changes to improve care for people across Eastern Devon as part ‘Your Future Care’.

These changes are intended to shift the focus of health and care services to keep more people well and independent at home. Part of this shift will be the redeployment and recruitment of over 50 nursing, therapy and support worker roles to enhance the existing community services in each local area. This will enable the reduction in the number of community inpatient beds across the Eastern locality of Devon.

In order to achieve this safely, we will take a phased approach – working closely with staff and partners – to implement the changes as per the following timetable:

• Seaton Community Hospital week commencing 21 August 2017
• Okehampton Community Hospital week commencing 21 August 2017
• Honiton Community Hospital week commencing 28 August 2017
• Exeter Community Hospital week commencing 4 September 2017 (this is the original closure timetable).

The provision of inpatient services at these locations will cease from these dates. All other services at these hospitals will continue as normal. Patients in these areas in medical need of a community inpatient bed will be accommodated at either Tiverton, Sidmouth or Exmouth hospitals, depending on where they live.

It has become apparent over the last couple of weeks that the schedule for the closure of the in-patient beds at Seaton, Okehampton and Honiton would need to be brought forward by a number of weeks due to the increasing pressures on safely staffing the current configuration of seven community inpatient units.

We have been preparing the comprehensive plans for each area since March 2017 and are confident that moving to the new model swiftly is in the best interests for our patients and our staff. For example, our new Community Connect out-of-hospital service, introduced this Spring, has already led to a reduction in demand for community inpatient beds.

Gateway Assurance Process

As you may be aware, part of the implementation process included a clinical assurance panel reviewing the implementation plans against a series of 30 gateway questions. These were developed to provide assurance of the RD&E’s and the wider system’s readiness to switch to the Your Future Care model.

The Gateway Assurance Panel has given its recommendation to proceed. The workforce HR consultation has been completed and staff have been informed of their new roles and working environments. We have also received the approval of the Equality and Quality Impact Assessments, which took place on the 4th August. We can now commence the redeployment of staff into our enhanced community teams and into the remaining community hospital sites. This change will provide extra capacity and resilience to meet the needs of our local population.

Your Future Care is just the beginning of the work needed to move fully to a model of care which proactively averts health crises and promotes independence and wellbeing for our population.

There is still much more to be done and we at the RD&E look forward to continuing this in partnership with you and our local communities.

Yours sincerely,

Adel Jones
Integration Director”

Is it time for some more rebellious towns?

Colyton proudly announces itself as “the most rebellious town in Devon” for its part in supporting the Duke of Monmouth against James the Second.

Is it now time for another rebellion?

EDDC is the largest District Council in Devon with a population of about 140,000. It is growing rapidly. All this is happening against the backdrop of relocating EDDC’s headquarters and possible mergers amongst councils, in particular the creation of Greater Exeter.

Does everyone in East Devon want to be part of this process of rapid population growth and incorporation into the Exeter conurbation?

Residents of Exmouth, Honiton and Cranbrook may well look towards Exeter and work in the city, but our more rural and coastal communities increasingly see crowded and congested Exeter as something of which they do not wish to be a part. They tend to look towards the slower population growth and protection of the environment that can be found across the border in Dorset.

Budleigh Salterton, Sidmouth, Beer, Colyton and Seaton, and perhaps Ottery, seem to see themselves more as operating in an economy linked primarily to tourism and agriculture. They have no wish or requirement to be absorbed into the Exeter behemoth. Cleaner and greener.

These communities also have little representation in the hierarchy at Knowle, (or even acknowledged by Greater Exeter) where the leadership is dominated by councillors from Exmouth, Honiton and Axminster.

In such circumstances, and with relocation offering a timely opportunity, is it not time to seriously consider splitting the District Council and introducing a healthy dose of localism?

We already see many functions and services involving cross-authority cooperation. Such sharing of services could and should continue were coastal East Devon to secede. But those coastal communities would have far greater control over their own affairs.

Is it time for Eastern East Devon, or perhaps “Jurassic Devon”, to secede from EDDC and withdraw from the Greater Exeter project?

And maybe join with Dorset’s idea of a Jurassic National Park?

All it takes is a few rebellious people to get it started!

Exmouth: water-skiiers or wetlands? Powerboats or peregrine falcons?

“Sailors, kite surfers and other water users on the Exe Estuary want plans for two exclusion zones to protect wildlife scrapped, claiming they would cause conflict among them and could force them out the water.

Pete Hardy, from the Exe Powerboat and Ski Club, described the plans as “very frustrating” and claims water users concerns are not being listened to.

“Powerboating would be affected by the other sports being pushed into our area and it would lead to conflict between powerboaters, kite surfers and paddle boarders,” he said.

But Exe Estuary Management Partnership says in its eight months of consultation it has listened to “hundreds” of views and, as a direct result, has amended some proposals.

It says human activity directly influences the distribution and behaviour of wildlife on the Exe and with more people choosing to live, work and holiday in the area, the number of water users will continue to rise.

Wildlife charities have declined to comment before the consultation period finishes tomorrow.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/live/uk-england-devon-40777250

Why “growth” is almost impossible in East Devon

Our Local Enterprise Partnership trumpets “growth, growth, we must have growth to prosper” and EDDC chose the highest growth figures to ensure its Local Plan got LOTS of housing. But they both seem to have forgotten something that their bible, the Daily Telegraph, now points out:

Britain’s productivity crisis risks getting worse because the population is ageing steadily, leaving relatively fewer younger, more dynamic workers who typically innovate more.

Unless drastic action is taken to boost skills and creativity, or to increase the number of young workers, then growth will struggle to pick up, according to new economic research published in the journal of the National Institute of Economic and Social Research.

“The share of young workers impacts the innovation process positively and, as a result, a change in the demographic profile that skews the distribution of the population to the right [older], leads to a decline in innovation activity,” said the paper, written by Yunus Aksoy, Henrique Basso and Ron Smith. …

To avert a sustained slowdown they recommend that governments should look at ways to make the dwindling proportion of young people more productive.

“Unless there are drastic changes most OECD countries will need to devise new policies to foster medium-run economic growth in an environment with ageing population, perhaps by increasing investment in human capital,” the researchers believe.

Alternative options are also available, but some may be less politically palatable – for instance, encouraging greater flows of migrants of working age into the country.

“Demographics are not destiny and our conclusions assume that there will not be major changes in rates of immigration, labour force participation, fertility or longevity,” the economists said.”

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2017/08/07/ageing-population-make-productivity-crisis-worse/