Monday, 17 December 2018

Restricting parking in Sidmouth > residents against commuters and tourists: “If you want to keep healthy market and coastal towns, there is a need to provide parking for visitors, so we don’t want to strangle the economy.”

It could be said that a referendum which scores barely more than 50% should then allow the status quo to prevail:
Why do major referendums have a 50% threshold to change the status quo, rather than a higher value? - Politics Stack Exchange

A poll has been conducted, asking residents if they'd like reserved parking in the centre of Sidmouth - but it raises several issues around who should be 'entitled' to free parking on the streets:
Futures Forum: Restricting parking in Sidmouth > residents against commuters and tourists: part two
Futures Forum: Restricting parking in Sidmouth > residents against commuters and tourists: part two

The front page of the latest Herald has the latest.

And residents now seem to be getting reserved parking – “although only 9.3 per cent of households responded” and the response was hardly clear-cut, with only 51.1 per cent in favour and 48.9 per cent opposed:

Resident parking could be coming to Sidmouth town centre

PUBLISHED: 10:31 12 December 2018 | UPDATED: 11:13 13 December 2018
Residents parking only.
Residents parking only.

Resident parking could soon be introduced in the centre of Sidmouth.

Plans to start legal proceedings to introduce parking for residents were given the go-ahead at a Devon County Council (DCC) meeting, at Knowle, on Friday (December 7).
Councillor Stuart Hughes, who is responsible for highways, said the areas likely to be included would be the stretch from Victoria Road in the north, Riverside Road to the east, Station Road to the west and the Esplanade to the south.
The residents’ parking scheme would include a mix of resident-only spaces, limited waiting spaces and pay and display spaces for short-term visitors.
It all follows the results of a mail drop exercise in June, where letters were sent to residents asking their views. The meeting heard the resident parking scheme is more popular closer to the town centre and seafront.
Of respondents, 51.1 per cent, were in favour and 48.9 per cent were opposed, although only 9.3 per cent of households responded. The exercise had 893 responses. Of this, 563 said there was a parking problem in their area and 293 believed this was caused by commuters and 433 supported having residents’ parking in their street/area.
The exact roads to be included has not been decided. DCC will hold a further consultation on the proposed plans.
Cllr Hughes welcomed the decision to progress, adding: “It seems to work well in other areas and there seems to be a lot of commuters that park there and residents then can’t find a space. The scheme will either move them further out or they will start paying for parking - a season tickets works out at pence a day.”
Cllr Sara Randall-Johnson raised her concerns, saying: “If you want to keep healthy market and coastal towns, there is a need to provide parking for visitors, so we don’t want to strangle the economy.”
A rough outline of the roads that might be included in the traffic order for resident parking in Sidmouth.
A rough outline of the roads that might be included in the traffic order for resident parking in Sidmouth.
Cllr Richard Scott said resident parking schemes are ‘not a magic wand to solve everyone’s parking problems’ and said they ‘push the parking problems to other roads’.
“A resident’ parking scheme doesn’t guarantee you a parking space and that aspect needs to be understood by residents as well,” he said.
A separate consultation will be undertaken in Sidford after the mail drop suggested there was interest.
Map showing the support (or lack of) for resident parking. In Green, more than 50 per cent supported it, and in red, less than 50 per cent supported itMap showing the support (or lack of) for resident parking. In Green, more than 50 per cent supported it, and in red, less than 50 per cent supported it
Residents parking could be coming to Sidmouth town centre | Latest Sidmouth and Ottery News - Sidmouth Herald

Plastic pollution > Let's keep up the pressure > 58% of all plastic bottles found on British beaches and rivers were 750ml or larger and would be left out of the bottle recycling scheme if a size limit is added

Over the autumn, Sidmouth did its bit for the Surfers Against Sewage's Autumn Beach & River Clean week:
Futures Forum: Sidmouth Plastic Warriors > beach clean tomorrow Saturday 26th October > and the Terracycle programme to recycle cigarette buts

But there's a lot of pressure coming from the plastics industry:
Futures Forum: The plastics industry fights back

There needs to be some counter pressure:

Let's keep up the pressure.
Back in October, we asked you to become citizen scientists and record all of the different sizes of drinks containers you were finding as part of the Autumn Beach & River Clean.
You went out in your thousands and made this survey the largest of its kind, with 27,696 single-use drinks containers recorded at 487 UK beaches and rivers.

Why did we ask you to do that?

This year, the UK Government announced that a drink bottle Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) would come into place, but questions are being raised about the size of bottles to be included.
The British Retail Consortium says only plastic bottles up to a certain size should be part of the scheme.

Why does it matter?

We found that 58% of all plastic bottles found on British beaches and rivers were 750ml or larger and would be left out of the bottle recycling scheme if a size limit is added.
Your incredible research reveals the vital need to include ALL plastic bottle sizes or the new system will end up watered down and fail to tackle plastic pollution.

What happens next?

We'll be delivering this new data to Defra, starting with a call with Environment Minister Thérèse Coffey MP next week. 
We'll keep you updated throughout the process.
Your actions are making a huge difference, from the coastline to the Commons. We can't thank you enough.

What can you do to help?

We need to raise as much awareness about this as possible. You can help by sharing this email on Twitter and Facebook, or forwarding it to a friend.

Surfers Against Sewage | Environmental charity tackling plastic pollution

Sunday, 16 December 2018

A history of Sidmouth's cottage hospitals

The One Magazine always carries a piece written by the curator of the Sidmouth Museum - which is always of interest, not only because it covers some aspect of local heritage, but because the writer always puts it into context:
East Devon Online Magazine - One Magazine

Here is this month's contribution from Nigel Hyman, reprinted with permission:


In England the first cottage hospital was in Cranleigh,Surrey in 1859. By the 1890s there were at least 300 similar hospitals. Sidmouth opened its first one, May Cottage, in 1885 and, such was its success, in 1892 opened the purpose built Victoria Cottage Hospital.

In 1884 a group of well- known locals formed a committee. They included Mr Field, Mr Trump, the lawyer Mr Radford, his daughter Constance and the much admired Reverend Clements. May Cottage was chosen and subscribers sought. Generous benefactors were Colonel Balfour, Lord of the Manor and the owner of the property, and Annie Leigh Browne who offered to pay rent for the first 5 years. A year later the first floor of the house was converted into an operating theatre and a 4 bedded ward. 21 patients were admitted in the first 12 months and the general public were urged to provide subscriptions of 10s 6d which would allow one patient to be treated in any one calendar year. Cynics felt that this method simply provided a method for wealthy people to ensure that their servants were well looked after. Characteristically Peter Orlando Hutchinson did not subscribe, writing in his diary that he needed all his money to continue building his Old Chancel.

It was apparent that a purpose built hospital was required and once again subscribers found the capital and Colonel Balfour now offered a parcel of his land for the construction. Queen Victoria consented for her name to be used and in 1892 it opened. There were 10 beds and several criteria for admission. It was specifically for ‘poor persons’ without infections and, specifically, without consumption (tuberculosis). Injuries were accepted but those with ‘chronic’ disease and mental disorders had to look elsewhere.

Figures from the 1920s show that inpatient numbers were fairly static at 200/year with a total of about 100 operations. Curiously, annual outpatient visits fell from a peak in 1921 of 1200 to little more than 100 a decade later. Clearly the main focus was on ward care.

Ownership’ of the hospital was very important and fund raising was continual. When the Duke of Connaught, Queen Victoria’s son, chose Sidmouth as his winter quarters in the early 1930s he unsurprisingly found himself patron of the Hospital.

The value of ‘cottage’ hospitals has been debated from the Victorian period to the present day. Aneurin Bevan, who presided over the birth of the NHS, said: ‘Although I am not a devotee of bigness for bigness’s sake, I would rather be kept alive in the efficient if cold altruism of a large hospital than expire in a gush of warm sympathy in a small one.’

Counterintuitively there is contemporary evidence to suggest that mortality after surgery is proportionate to the size of the hospital. This may reflect reduced rates of infection. Although difficult to quantify, the ‘homely’ feeling, the quiet environment and the ease with which relatives and friends can visit must all contribute to a patient’s well- being.

Nigel Hyman 

Sidmouth Museum closes on December 8 and reopens on March 22 2019.


Victoria Cottage Hospital 1904

Sidmouth Museum - Home | Facebook
Museum - SVA
Sidmouth Museum - Museums in Sidmouth

Of reindeer and the Sami way of life, 2018

It's not easy living on the edge:
Futures Forum: Living on the edge: surviving with animals @ BBC One

The Sami and their reindeer are having a particularly tough time, as a posting this time last year showed:
Futures Forum: Of reindeer and the Sami way of life

The pressures still remain:

Norway stands accused of waging cultural war against Sami people by forcing them to reduce their reindeer herds

They have lived off the land and their reindeer herds in the Arctic Circle for thousands of years, using milk, bone and furs to survive

Reindeer are pictured in Kautokeino, a town in Finnmark county, located in the northeastern part of Norway, on March 16, 2017. (Photo: Getty)

Eleanor Ross
Friday 14th December 2018

It’s five degrees below freezing in Oslo, but a group of young people wearing fur-trimmed dresses are chanting outside parliament. One of them is Maret Anne Sara, a young Sami author and artist, whose family’s culture, traditions and livelihood are at risk.

She is protesting against the Norwegian government’s decision to force Sami reindeer herders to cull a portion of their herds by New Year’s Day. If the cull goes ahead, her family’s herd could be cut from 300 to 75 reindeer. This could threaten their survival. It’s also, she says, a violation of Sami human rights: they say that their culture is under threat.

Sara’s brother, Jovsset Ante Sara, is 26 years old and one of hundreds of Sami reindeer herders instructed to reduce their herd because of “overgrazing”. He submitted an appeal to the UN Commission to postpone the cull, yet on Tuesday the Norwegian government voted to continue without waiting for its response.

While he contests the slaughter, his reindeer are about to become famous for another reason – as BBC Christmas entertainment. This year, Jovsset’s animals will be featured in the two-hour show Reindeer Migration 24/7. By the time it’s broadcast, some of his animals will have already been earmarked for the chop.
‘A new colonial monster’

Around 100,000 Sami live in Sapmi, territory that spans north Scandinavia and Russia. They have lived off the land and their reindeer herds in the Arctic Circle for thousands of years, using milk, bone and furs to survive. Sami are a fixture of north Norway’s landscape, often seen driving hundreds of reindeer across the snowy tundra on snowmobiles, and are represented by their own parliament (the Samediggi), which has recommended that herders with fewer than 200 animals are protected from the enforced culling. However, this advice was ignored.

“I’m super-scared, because the democratic system has turned against us,” says Sara. “This law discriminates against Sami voices and interests, and our families in general.

Norwegian reindeer police officer Jim Hugo Hansen talks with a local Sami during a patrol at the Finnmark county, located in the northeastern part of Norway. (Photo: Getty)

“Ethically, it’s a scary time, because the government is approving laws that rob our people of our existing rights and place in society. If the law to cull our reindeer is approved, then we are facing what is effectively a new colonial monster, practised through an entire democratic system.”

Sara is cautious for a reason. Between 1850 and 1980 the Sami were involved in wide-reaching colonisation plans by the Norwegian government, forcing the Sami to change their language and way of life. In recent years, the Sami’s cultural provenance has been valued again, but Sara thinks the forced culls are evidence of renewed colonisation techniques.

Sara fears that one of the Norwegian government’s main aims is to deny the Sami their rights. “They deny us the status of indigenous people. Their attitudes are racist. In my opinion, this is just part of their ongoing plan to colonise us.”
Preserving traditions

However, the government argues that culling reindeer will help preserve Sami traditions, by making the tradition sustainable. Asbjorn Kulseng, spokesperson for Landsbruk Direktorat, the governmental organisation responsible for the cull, says the number is not arbitrary.

“Every district sets the number for the maximum amount of reindeer they can have. This number is based on the district’s pasture. If the district has more reindeer than they are allowed, the district will make a reduction.”

Ulf Bergdahl from the Sami village OF Saarivuoma shows his talent with the lasso on a stuffed reindeer at the Skansen Open Air museum during the Sami National day celebrations in Stockholm, Sweden. (Photo: Getty)

Just 10 per cent of Sami are still engaged in reindeer herding across northern Scandinavia. Jovsset lives in Finnmark, in Norway’s north east. Both the president of the Sami parliament and Sara allude to the value of the land across Norway’s north.

Sami president Aili Keskitalo told i that the government wants to develop the land.

“We know they’re trying to establish a copper mine where Jovsset herds reindeer, but they’re having to compete with other land users,” says Ms Keskitalo.
Killing culture

Mr Kulseng dismisses this, saying the enforced culls are happening to “increase the production value within reindeer husbandry. It is not based on planned mining or windfarms in the Sami pasture”.

Jovsset has spent five years campaigning against the cull. His case has run through all levels of the Norwegian justice system, but despite winning two cases, he was defeated at the Supreme Court, meaning the demand that he cull his reindeer before New Year’s Eve still stands.

Sara is pessimistic about the impact if Jovsset’s herd is culled.

“With 75 reindeer, an economist estimated my brother could earn £3,000 for the year. This is by selling the meat, but then culturally we also use the fur, clothing and bones. It’s removing our cultural side,” she said.

The representative who brought the proposal to parliament, Torgeir Knag Fylkesnes, told a Norwegian journalist that they were looking for ways to halt the cull until the UN’s consideration is clear. He said: “Everyone who praises Nobel Peace Prize winners has a duty to support the cultural livelihood that reindeer herding is.

“If the police come to Finnmarksvidda [the tundra in Finnmark] to carry out the forced slaughter, I will be there to stand with the Sami.”

Norway stands accused of waging cultural war against Sami people by forcing them to reduce their reindeer herds - inews.co.uk

It's not easy eating ethically at Christmas

From the weekend's i newspaper:

Avocados are now officially unethical – but what isn’t these days?

A new food to avoid: avocados. Sigh (KEVIN MIDIGO/AFP/Getty Images)

Daisy Waugh
14th December 2018

t’s a most decadent modern affliction, but have you ever stood before the groaning shelves of a supermarket and come to the conclusion that there was nothing, literally nothing, on the shelf in front of you which wasn’t going to exacerbate the chaos and suffering we humans have created for ourselves, our planet and the animals we share it with?
If not, then wakey-wakey. Share the pain and consider this. It doesn’t take a militant vegan to understand that eating animals isn’t the kindest way to treat them, and that they would probably would prefer it if we didn’t. It doesn’t take a genius to realise that all food flown in from abroad is detrimental to the environment.
Wouldn’t it be great to live the odd day without feeling guilty about the cost to the planet of your existence?
So that’s meat, dairy and a lot of fruit and veg out. Fish are a non-starter because the oceans are running out of wild ones, and the farmed variety eat the wrong things and more than they should. Which leaves us with lettuces. Oops, no it doesn’t. Massive greenhouse gas emissions there, too, apparently. How about apples? If you’re fortunate enough to have an apple tree in the garden, feast on. Otherwise, consider the appalling work conditions of fruit pickers.

Even stevens

There is, at least, some pleasure to be drawn from the fact that many vegan favourites cause as much harm as am old-fashioned steak. Last week, a handful of restaurants announced they were banning avocado from their menus because Mexican drug cartels had taken over avocado production.
The international demand for quinoa, meanwhile, has pushed the price so high as to make it unaffordable for the people for whom it used to be a staple. It takes 1,000 litres of water to produce a single litre of non-dairy almond milk, and a gallon of water to produce a single almond, while margarine uses palm oil, which could lead to the extinction of the Asian orangutan.
Demand for quinoa has pushed the price so high as to make it unaffordable for the people for whom it used to be a staple
Wouldn’t it be great to live the odd day without feeling guilty about the cost to the planet of your existence? In the spirit of Christmas I offer you my own ethical survival guide.
Switch off the heating. Remove all unethically sourced clothes. This may lead to nakedness but you can do star jumps to stay warm. When thirsty, drink from a nearby puddle. And when the hunger pangs kick in, smoke a cigarette, thereby suppressing the appetite, while also (assuming you bought them legally) contributing generously to our cash-starved exchequer.
It’s a win-win. Of course it may lead to death. But at least you’ll go to heaven.

Saturday, 15 December 2018

Unsustainable development in East Devon >>> Newton Poppleford and Axminster

What exactly do we mean by 'sustainable development'?
Futures Forum: The semantics of sustainability: 'sustainable development'... or 'sustainable growth' ... or 'sustained economic growth'... or 'development for sustainability'...

In the UK it's all about developers leading 'development', where housing estates are the norm:
Futures Forum: Designing homes around people ... or cars >>> Planners allow edge-of-town housing estates where car travel is the only option

Whereas in the likes of Holland and Germany, new housing has to have facilities, services and infrastructure at its heart:
Futures Forum: A solution to our housing problems: inspiration from Holland and Bristol
Futures Forum: The £36-a-year utility bill >>> through ‘self-organized collaborative building’
Futures Forum: Retrofitting Suburbia > transforming urban life from within the urban boundary

It should be about 'building communities':
Futures Forum: A solution to our housing problems: build communities

We have a couple of examples in East Devon where the development cannot in any way be described as 'sustainable'.

In Axminster, a 20-minute walk (aka a 5-minute drive) to school is described as 'sustainable': 

No new school for Axminster’s urban extension

Despite the site being earmarked for up to 850 more homes, children who live there will have to attend one of the town’s two existing primary existing schools – up to a 20 minute walk away - according to the latest draft masterplan.

And in Newton Poppleford new residents will also have to travel some distance to public services:

Newton Poppleford won’t be getting a new surgery

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.

Review of National Parks and AONBs > call for evidence deadline Tuesday 18th December

Back in October, the government launched a consultation on National Parks and AONBs:
Futures Forum: Review of National Parks and AONBs > call for evidence

It closes this Tuesday:

Landscapes Review: Call for Evidence

Closes 18 Dec 2018
Opened 20 Oct 2018

0207 895 5371



The Government has asked for an independent review of England's National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs). You can find more about the work of the review and our Terms of Reference. Already the review team, led by Julian Glover and a panel with a range of experiences and interests, has carried out visits and meetings in many parts of England.

We will do more in the months ahead - but we want everyone to have a chance to contribute, whether you live in a National Park or AONB, run a business in them, enjoy visiting, care about landscapes and biodiversity, or represent an organisation with views that might shape and improve our findings. The questions (available as a list in the related documents section below) are a guide: please do not feel you must answer them all – or have to write at great length. We have not set a word length on answers, as we know some people and organisations will want to reply in detail on specific points. However, we ask that where possible you keep each individual answer to no more than 500 words. It is not necessary to reply to every question so please ignore those which you do not think relevant to you. You may find it easier to write your answers elsewhere before pasting them into the text boxes which follow.

Thank you for your interest.

Give Us Your Views
Online Survey

Landscapes Review: Call for Evidence - Defra - Citizen Space