Archive | March, 2013

Flood insurance alert

26 Mar

 

A correspondent wonders,

‘Will the proposed developments at Feniton result in even worse flooding there?
 
According to an article in The Sunday Times dated 3rd March 2013, “Call for flooding risk levy”, it states:
 
“Insurers are calling for an £8 levy on all household buildings and contents policies to protect homes with high flood risk.
 
About 200,00 British properties are at high risk of flooding. These would normally be uninsurable but, under an agreement with the government, insurers have been prepared to renew policies.
 
But the agreement, known as the statement of principles, ends on June 30. There are no plans to renew it. This could leave owners of high-risk homes with no cover. In some cases this may lead to a mortgage default, as lenders require homes to have buildings cover…”
 
Surely local authorities have a duty of care for residents? What redress would home owners have where councils have allowed house building in flood risk areas?’
 

Thank you from EDA to Western Morning News and Midweek Herald

25 Mar

For more excellent news coverage of the Black Day for the Countryside march, go to this link:  http://www.claire-wright.org/index.php?URL=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.thisisdevon.co.uk%2FHundreds-protest-puts-villages-siege-developers%2Fstory-18512005-detail%2Fstory.html%23axzz2OXmyM6nK

Conservation, not preservation…

25 Mar

..is what the newly-formed pressure group, East Devon Alliance, is about.   EDA believe that  Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs), Grade 1 Agricultural Land and  historic landmarks are part of East Devon’s assets.  They will naturally change over time, but should not be harmed or destroyed without very good reason. As the global economic power shift takes hold, these attributes will become ever more valuable. We don’t have to import them!

The aim of ‘conservation, not preservation’, was one point made by EDA Chair, Ian McKintosh, when he addressed the ‘Black Day for the Countryside’ protest marchers at Feniton  last Saturday. A summary of his speech is here: speech-by-eda-chair-black-day-for-the-countryside-march-feniton-23-03-13

Another of East Devon’s assets is Susie Bond of Fight for Feniton!  To find out why, click here: Susie Bond, speech

10 questions about EDDC

25 Mar

 

Roger addresses troops

 

In his interactive speech, Roger Giles (East Devon District  Councillor) invited answers from the crowd to 10 direct questions. You might like to LEAVE A COMMENT after this post, with  your own response to them.

Click here for the questions: BLACK SATURDAY SPEECH 23 3 2013

The opening speech by Councillor Claire Wright, can be viewed in her report of the march, at http://www.claire-wright.org

whosehomeisit.co.uk ?

24 Mar

Developers are poised to radically change our surroundings. After the Black Day for the Countryside march yesterday, SIN is relaying this urgent message from Peter Whitfield, drawing  attention to something we can do about it:

The e-petition at http://www.whosehomeisit.co.uk should be signed by us all and as many others as we can muster. It is just what we need to go national with all that was said at Feniton.’

More at http://www.saveoursidmouth.com today.

Enthusiastic cheers today at Feniton!

23 Mar

Despite the bitterly cold weather, more than 200 people, from all over the district,  joined the march through Feniton this morning, to mourn the loss of the countryside if new national planning guidelines go ahead, after next Wednesday’s deadline (27/03).     Video here, thanks to Andy Thompson of Friends of Feniton’s Future (FFF)         https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rH9vUDrM49E

Ben Bradshaw, MP, was unable to attend, but sent a message of support with ‘Congratulations on all your recent campaigning’.

Earlier this week,  an e-mail was received  from Sir Max Hastings, saying: ‘I wish you the very very best of luck in a fight which is the fight of everybody who cares both about the English countryside and the democratic rights of local communities’. Best wishes, Max Hastings

Feniton is a typical village-under-threat. It is faced with a rapid 40% increase in size, if planning applications are approved which their former councillor, Graham Brown, vociferously promoted,  before his resignation last week.

Organisers, the East Devon Alliance, were delighted to see people of all ages gathered for the protest. The crowd were dressed in black,  many carrying banners and black balloons.

After a rousing speech by Independent Councillor Claire Wright, the marchers chanted  as they processed through the village to Camp Field, alongside  proposed development sites.

For the closing speeches, Independent Councillor Roger Giles, and  Chair of East Devon Alliance, Ian MacIntosh, were joined by local resident, Susie Bond. The by-election caused by Graham Brown’s resignation, will be on 2nd May. Susie’s announcement today of her intention to stand as a candidate, was greeted with enthusiastic cheers!

The full speeches will be posted on SIN in the next few days….as will more pictures.

Meanwhile, here are some photos, courtesy of Nicky King of Exmouth:  http://friends-of-elizabeth-hall.org/fight_for_feniton_14.html  If you’d like copies, contact us at sidmouthindependentnews@gmail.com and we’ll let Nicky know.

More at http://www.saveoursidmouth.com

Black dress, black balloons, black ribbons…at Black Day for the Countryside Mass March. Join the mourners at Feniton tomorrow morning

22 Mar

Here’s the poster  feniton-march-poster 23.03.13

Here’s the schedule  Timeline for EDA march in Feniton

And here’s the Chant:

British people, far and wide
Let us save our Countryside.
Please postpone N.P.P.F.
Or there’ll be no greenfield lef’…

See also Whatever the weather, take time to mourn the sad loss of our countryside   at http://www.saveoursidmouth today

A proper job

22 Mar

The press release today from EDDC is reassuring, and we are all glad to hear that the Graham Brown case is now in the hands of the Devon and Cornwall Police, as well as the National Fraud Authority.

Nonetheless, to emphasise how much public concern and disquiet exists about this matter, SIN has been asked to publish this request. It may prove helpful to everyone?

 

Please, would anyone who is concerned about the serious allegations swirling around an East Devon councillor, consider making representations to The Police and Crime Commissioner? We need his assurance that the police force is doing far more than just “looking into” the Telegraph’s revelations. It is widely believed that there is a complex web of covert connections and business dealings to investigate and EDDC must be seen to be open and honest in making all relevant information available.

For example, it is interesting that when interviewed by the  ‘Express and Echo’ , EBDF’s former chairman states that he has always declared an interest. Maybe he has in Council matters? However the minutes of meetings of this powerful and influential Forum, that received Council funding, merely indicate that he is attending for the NFU. There appears to be no transparency as to his role in respect of his planning consultancy in the papers relating to meetings that were also attended by officers and fellow EDDC councillors. Can we be assured by The Police and Crime Commissioner that this apparent irregularity will not be overlooked?

For your information, the same correspondent sent in this summary, from the website of the Devon & Cornwall Police and Crime Commissioner:

The Police and Crime Commissioner will:
Be singularly accountable to you for the policing of Devon and Cornwall
Listen to your views on community safety and set priorities in a plan for the police which address community concerns
Ensure the Chief Constable directs police officers and resources to tackle the things that you say are important
Set the strategic direction for policing but not interfere with day-to-day police operations or tactics
Balance local needs of the public and victims against assisting national policing responsibilities
Appoint and, in extreme circumstances dismiss the Chief Constable.”

 

 

 

 

‘Browngate’ : another suspension

22 Mar

A correspondent has pointed out this note in the Exmouth/Budleigh Journal:

In view of the ongoing investigation into former East Devon councillor Graham Brown and his planning consultancy work, we have suspended all letters involving Mr Brown and the East Devon Business Forum, which he formerly chaired.

The correspondent asks: “Is this  legally necessary or just an editorial decision?”

Let SIN know, if you know.

 

A tale of Arabella and Tarquin, Jack and Emma, Dwayne and Chantelle

22 Mar

Nick Boles has said that houses must be built absolutely everywhere – on green fields, on industrial estates which are being turned into blocks of flats – anywhere there is a piece of land, you will be able to build a house on it (see today’s Daily Telegraph front page).

For Arabella and Tarquin, well, it doesn’t really matter much.  Their Daddies and Mummies, who are all something in the City with fat bonuses, would have been totally happy to use just a little bit of those bonuses to buy them a house outright in the city (and another one in the REAL countryside if they want one).  However, the Daddies and Mummies are very happy because their friend George gave them some lovely breaks in the latest budget and now they only need to put down a 5% deposit on the £600,000 home they are buying for Arabella and Tarquin (who officially work for Daddy and Mummy so can “buy” their “own” house with their “own” funds through a tax-efficient offshore company of which they are directors) because the couple are legally  “first time buyers”.  This leaves the Daddies and Mummies with more money to spend on the yacht or the fourth home in the Caribbean.  Arabella and Tarquin don’t want children just yet – they want to travel and spend money on their new home where they will entertain their friends in the area to lavish dinner parties, catered by top caterers in the Orangery of their delightful new home.

For Jack and Emma it is tougher.  However, an industrial estate near the big city where they work has just changed a massive office block into 200 flats as they are now allowed to do and they have been lucky enough, with the help of their parents, to scrape together a big enough deposit to get on that first step of the property-owning ladder.  The industrial estate isn’t ideal though.  For a start, the bus routes don’t seem to have caught up with the development, and nor have the roads.  So, they must buy two cars (they work in different parts of the big city) and negotiate the pot-holed roads (pot-holed by the delivery trucks that are still delivering to the rest of the industrial site).  It’s a pain for Emma, too, because she has asthma.  And that’s another problem, the doctors haven’t caught up with the development yet so she must drive 5 miles each way each time she wants to see one and with petrol the price it is she tries to keep her visits to the doctor to an absolute minimum.  There is no hope of having children yet or perhaps ever – they can’t afford it and their parents have already given them all their savings so they can’t help any more.  And even if they did, there is no school nearby and the cost of driving into the city AND dropping off a child at school just cannot be factored in.  And all the time the spectre of possibly losing one or both of their jobs and being marooned on this industrial estate with no way to get to interviews (the car(s) would have to go).  Still, they are luckier than most.  Their friends can come occasionally and they can have lap meals in their living room (no dining room, of course).

Dwayne and Chantelle, thrown out of the city to a into a tiny bedsit in a rural town because of benefit changes, far from where they used to live near their families, can only dream of a council house because affordable housing is a thing of the past as the developers concentrate on Arabella, Tarquin, Jack and Emma.  Dwayne has to find some way of making ends meet so that he and Chantelle can have a baby.  He has signed on but all the jobs are in the big city and he can’t afford to travel there and the buses don’t go at the right times for the hours he would need to work.  Emma has signed on, too, and she has had some seasonal work at a tourist spot but now she can’t afford to travel to it as the bus fares to it have gone up but her benefits haven’t.  They have no friends as their social lives used to be based around their families at home but they are now dispersed all over the country in cheaper, smaller places.  They can’t entertain anyway in a tiny bedsit and they can’t even afford to go to the pub for a pint.  He sits in the bedsit and eyes the homes of Tarquin and Arabella and Jack and Emma and sees that they are better off than him and always will be, and something starts to burn inside.  Chantelle cries and wishes she was back in the city with her family and friends.  But at least the doctor has given her some pills to make her feel better.