Archive | November, 2013

Planning Minister Nick Boles says that neighbourhood plans show that the Big Society is alive and well

26 Nov

….. [Boles] said that the reforms and the need for locals to come up with neighbourhood plans” is “profoundly in tune with the change in modern society”.

“We have taken a process that was previously the exclusive preserve of officials and officers in local authorities and politicians elected nationally and locally – we’ve taken that and we have invited people who are neither elected officials nor qualified planners to get involved in producing a plan for their area,” Mr Boles added.

“I believe that this is profoundly in tune with the change in modern society, which is that people want to be involved themselves. They don’t necessarily want to delegate things to the so-called experts or even to the people that they elect.”

WHAT PLANET IS THIS MAN ON!  More than 50% of councils don’t have a local plan, many of those don’t have a 5 year land supply so are at the mercy of greedy developers PLUS neighbourhood plans just fill in any gaps left by the Local Plan and are subidiary to those plans and simply show where even more development can go!


“Free parking for all in East Devon”?

26 Nov

Well, it all depends on how EDDC treats this consortium of local Chambers of Commerce.  Let’s face it, if it had been the East Devon Business Forum who had suggested it, it would go tthrough on the nod.  But EDBF members were more interested in cosying up to developers and landowners and never gave any support to the local small businesses that are the backbone of our economy.

So, councillors: will you listen to our Chambers of Commerce or not?

Tourism in East Devon: Graham Brown’s LDF Panel and the Caravan Parks.

26 Nov

An interesting vignette from the minutes of the Local Development Framework Panel, chaired by Graham Brown, held on the morning of 1st October 2009 to discuss tourism.

 EDDC’s Countryside Manager, Charlie Plowden explained that the District:

had an exceptionally high-quality environment which acted as the major stimulus for the local economy by providing employment, and income for business’.

For example, thousands of visitors were attracted year-round by the South West Coast Path, generating approximately £18m per annum and supporting 7,500 jobs.

The Council should, he said, capitalise on the area’s natural assets and environment and exploit the District’s ‘brands’, such as AONBs and World Heritage Site  for marketing tourism in the area.


 Malcolm Bell, Director South West Tourism continued the clarion call for quality green tourism. 90% of people visited Devon for the environment, for the beaches, history and heritage, and the wildlife. The changing priorities for tourism in the South West, he said,  were:

  • Value not volume;
  • Quality of employment not quantity;
  • Respect for the environmental golden goose

Fascinating stuff but suddenly it was noticed that the Economic Development Officer, Nigel Harrison, was AWOL, no sign of him. Members were obviously miffed that he wasn’t present to hear this praise of a vital economic activity. The Corporate Director, Karime Hassan, was sent off to find him.

Fast forward two weeks to the meeting of the LDF Panel (15 October 2009). Same chairman; Item 1 –the minutes of the previous meeting- and an extraordinary rubbishing of the speakers who had put the case for quality tourism:

“ There was some concern raised as to the authenticity of the data given in both the presentation by the Countryside Manager and Malcolm Bell. Members were advised that the information came from surveys undertaken in the area, however it had been noted at the meeting that the data was out of date.” (LDF Panel Minutes 15/10/2009)

Inexplicable? Not necessarily.

Maybe Mr Harrison was absent on the morning of the previous meeting because he was busy arranging a trip for that afternoon for the members of the LDF panel to …………Devon Cliffs and Ladram Bay Caravan Parks.

It turned out to be a very smoochy occasion with members purring that such caravan parks “provided an important contribution to the local economy and “a quality family offer”.

This may have been quite true, but what is certain is that the massive expansion of both sites which was imminent – and was encouraged by the Panel- would have been difficult to square with the green tourism message heard on the morning of the 1st October 2009.

The EDDC smartphone app

26 Nov


The free East Devon mobile app is now available to download for iphone users from the Apple App Store:

and for Android smartphone users from the Google Play Store:

The app enables you to access a variety of council services on your smartphone. Using the app you are able to:

  • Complete ‘Report It’ forms to notify the council of something such as fly-tipping, a missed collection or a dead animal
  • View when your next refuse and recycling collections are and sign up to receive weekly reminders.
  • View details of your nearest places of interest such as recycling banks, car parks and public toilets
  • View local food hygiene ratings
  • View your local councillor contact details
  • View council contact information
  • View council news stories
  • Read council tweets
  • COMING SOON – View planning applications in your local area

If you have any questions or feeback on the app, please email them to

Former Tory cabinet minister says build in cities not in countryside

26 Nov

Tory MPs urge Prime Minister to “stick to his green agenda”

26 Nov

Sources told The Times that there had been a meeting   HERE 

where 25 Conservative MPs told the Prime Minister that they have become increasingly frustrated by his hostility towards environmental policies that have been blamed for creating deep investor uncertainty in the low carbon economy.

It is said that the meeting became heated at points, with some traditionally loyal MPs warning Cameron that he risked losing support and splitting the party if he continued to renege on his commitment to the environment that in 2010 was marked by the campaign slogan “vote blue to go green”.

“The real significance was that the ‘other side’, those who are sceptical, have tended to act as a bloc and have been quite rebellious, while those of us who support the green agenda can and have been taken for granted,” one MP who attended the meeting said. “This was the first time we have flexed our muscles and it will have come as a shock.”


True localism in Feniton and Colyford

26 Nov

and not forgetting the people of other towns and villages who have also got together and shown their contempt for plans which make developers richer and communities poorer – such as Exmouth and Seaton.

According to our council, though, localism is only localism when you agree with them – the Chosen Few ….. .

Report recommends that councils should run police forces

25 Nov

Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) should be abolished and replaced by a new system, a review of policing in England and Wales has said.

The review led by ex-Met Police Commissioner Lord Stevens said PCCs, introduced in 2012, should be scrapped in 2016 and more power given to local councillors and local authorities.

Hmmm – not sure that would be a good thing in East Devon …. given our local authority’s reluctance to report disgraced ex-Conservative councillor Graham Brown to them – preferring to alert the “Action Fraud line”.  Action Fraud describes itself as ” …  a central point of contact for information about fraud and financially motivated internet crime. If you’ve been scammed, ripped off or conned, there is something you can do about it. Report fraud to us and receive a police crime reference number.”

 Right: wonder what they did with that crime reference number!  

The old EDBF’s vision of tourism

25 Nov

Following our recent posts  on the profits to be made from tourism , here’s a memo from SIN:

At a meeting of the East Devon Business Forum on 29 April 2010, chaired by then Councillor Graham Brown, it was resolved to find out  “what people wanted from the countryside and East Devon when they visited”.   Paul Adkin from Bourne Leisure (Devon Cliffs Caravan Park)  agreed to report back with the help of fellow EDBF members  Crealy Park and Ladram  Bay Caravan Park.

The SIN archive offers a clue to the results:

More on this subject, to come….

Tourism worth £2 billion to south-west economy

25 Nov

What a pity the East Devon Business Forum and EDDC has spent little time or effort on one of our biggest industries.  But then, it doesn’t include vast housing estates or solar farms so  that’s understandable.