Court case decides it is legal to re-home London homeless hundreds of miles away

“… The judge said that once London and the south east were eliminated for reasons of housing pressure, the West Midlands appeared the next available pool of supply.

The judge said: “It is, I suppose, theoretically possible that Brent might have been able to find somewhere in East Anglia or the East Midlands that was closer to Brent than Birmingham as the crow flies; but that places an onerous burden on a housing authority. Brent was not required to scour every estate agent’s window between Brent and Birmingham.”

http://localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk/index.php

Axminster: “Millbrook Park – includes a “publicly accessible” green space

Note the words. Not a publicly OWNED green space – a publicly ACCESSIBLE green space. Big difference!

Sorry there is no link to the masterplan. The three EDDC-dictated press releases Owl has seen on various sites include no link, just rather hazy schematics or cartoons, so far.

“Newton Poppleford won’t be getting a new surgery” – Clinton Devon Estates wants 2 more houses instead

“An application to build 40 new homes along with a new medical centre at King Alfred Way was approved by a planning inspectorate in March 2017.

At the time, the developers, Clinton Devon Estates, had been in discussions with Coleridge Medical Centre (CMC) which had a strong desire to secure the GP practice and had secured funding from the NHS for this to happen. But in May 2018, CMC withdrew as the funds were no longer available.

At the time, a CMC spokesman told the Herald that GPs had evolved with much more emphasis on innovative ways of working and broadening the range of co-located staff to provide specialist support in shared premises. The developers said they had approached others who might be interested in occupying the surgery but no one showed an interest.

Clinton Devon Estates have now submitted proposals to build two extra new homes at the development.

Newton Poppleford and Harpford Parish Council has slammed the proposals. A spokesperson said: “The council feels that it is disingenuous of the applicant, having been granted planning permission on the basis of the pledge of a doctor’s surgery, to now seek to walk away from their promises.

“The local community has strongly supported a new surgery for the village; through letters of support, a petition and the nascent Neighbourhood plan. CMC operate the current surgery in the village and has declared it inadequate for their purposes. Despite supporting a new surgery initially, they publicly declared it would no longer be viable for them. Residents in the parish will not be taken on by Sidmouth Beacon Centre, which leaves Coleridge, in Ottery, as the main medical centre for the village, despite there being no direct public transport links.”

They added the parish council didn’t believe all avenues had been exhausted with regards to the new surgery and would welcome an immediate discussion with all parties to find a potential solution.

The first homes which are a part of the scheme, that included 16 affordable homes, are due to be completed in winter 2018 and the whole development is hoped to be finished by winter 2019.”

https://www.sidmouthherald.co.uk/news/newton-poppleford-s-new-surgery-1-5808976

Axminster “master plan” – in cartoons!

Owl is having the greatest difficulty in understanding the true significance of the master plan in this article as all illustrations (presumably as supplied by EDDC – are cartoons!

https://www.devonlive.com/news/devon-news/new-details-axminster-masterplan-revealed-2318180

“State-sponsored dissident” Swire at it again!

Swire and May… Swire and Rudd … Swire and … just about anyone who might get him out of the hell of being a backbench MP!

“… What the government wants

A crucial insight into Downing Street’s thinking lies in an amendment put forward to the “meaningful vote” by the Tory MP Sir Hugo Swire. The government’s fingerprints were all over it.

Beyond parliament directing the government on whether to seek an extension of the transition period to avoid the backstop, Swire more significantly proposed to place “a duty” on the government to agree a future relationship, or alternative arrangements, within one year of the Northern Ireland backstop coming into force.

It was essentially an attempt to give parliament a putative date by which the government would make all “best endeavours” to get out of the backstop, or have a very good reason for failing to do so.

The withdrawal agreement already says that the EU will make those “best endeavours” to have a free trade deal in place by 2020 – the end of the 21-month transition period. The government may well seek for the reiteration of that commitment, plus an additional statement of the EU’s intention to get out of the backstop by 2021. …”

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/dec/11/brexit-what-can-may-hope-to-achieve-in-her-dash-to-the-continent

Effective scrutiny essential when councils fail – as they will do more often in future

“There needs to be a “thorough rethink” about how to approach failure in local government, think-tanks have warned.

Methods of addressing failure in local government are “no longer fit for purpose” according to a briefing paper published on 10 December by the Centre for Public Scrutiny and Localis.

They identified four main types of failure including: a failure of culture, a failure of service, a failure of function and a failure of duty.

CfPS and Localis said councils experiencing these types of failure often become less outward looking, more introspective and more defensive. The warning was timely, they said, because of the recent high-profile failures at Northamptonshire County Council, and increasing pressures on the sector more widely.

Jacqui McKinlay, chief executive of the Centre for Public Scrutiny, said: “Our recent experience of working with local authorities shows that it is time for a thorough rethink about local government failure.

“Failure in local government is not something that is going to go away – in fact, a range of looming pressures mean that the problem is likely to become more prevalent in the years ahead.”

McKinlay urged local government needs to prepare for increasing instances of failure in the years ahead.

She added: “We are clear that improved scrutiny processes at the local level will be crucial in this effort.” …”

https://www.publicfinance.co.uk/news/2018/12/call-rethink-councils-approach-failure

“Doctors say a new retirement village in Torbay will put too much pressure on care services ‘close to breaking point’ ” – and Sidmouth?

“Doctors are objecting to plans for a retirement village in Torbay because of the pressure extra elderly residents will add to local health and care services “already close to breaking point.”

English Care Villages has submitted plans to Torbay Council for a 159-home “continuing care retirement community” at Sladnor Park, a former holiday park near the village of Maidencombe on the coast between Torquay and Shaldon.

Maidencombe Residents Association says the apartments would be too expensive for locals and the isolated site two and a half miles from the nearest urban centre at St Marychurch would bring in outsiders who would increase pressure on health and care services.

Objections to the plan include one from Torquay GP, Dr Roger Fearnley, who warned health services were already “close to breaking point” and said the Sladnor park development would attract people retiring from outside the local area.

He said in a comment on the planning application: “This influx of people would put significant further strains on health and social care services which are already close to breaking point.

“I am not aware of any meaningful conversations between the developers and local GP practices. There seems to be the assumption ‘we will cope.’ We may not.”

Retired GP Dr Vivienne Thorn, who lives at Maidencombe, objected to the plan mainly because of its impact on local care services, and also questioned whether its isolated site could turn it into a “rich person’s ghetto”. She said the impact on health and social care had not been properly assessed.

Dr Thorn wrote: “An additional 200 elderly people will place an intolerable strain on GP and Community services.”

Richard Whistance, of Sladnor Park Road, near the development site, said approving the scheme would ruin the natural environment of the land and open the door to developing other countryside areas. He said it would affect rare wildlife including legally protected bats, slow worms, badgers, cirl buntings and nesting buzzards.

He said: “This is not to be ignored; especially in these times of rapacious development and ecological destruction, Sladnor Park needs preserving as countryside.” …”

https://www.devonlive.com/news/doctors-say-new-retirement-village-2313490