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Friday, 18 August 2017

Sidmouth Food Festival > tomorrow Saturday 19th August

Another little reminder about this month's big food event at Kennaway House:
Futures Forum: Sidmouth Food Festival >>> this Saturday 19th August!

Facebook pages are here:
Sidmouth FOOD Festival 2017

Here are a few photos from last year's session:



Vision Group for Sidmouth - Sidmouth Food Festival

And here's the line-up for tomorrow:



Futures Forum: Sidmouth Food Festival >>> Saturday 19th August

Remember this question from a couple of years ago?
Does Sidmouth need a food festival of its own? - What's on and things to do in Sidmouth - Sidmouth Herald
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The SouthWest continues to get a bad deal for its railways

There have been complaints for some time about how the SouthWest is being marginalised when it comes to spending on rail:
Futures Forum: HS2 and the South-West
HS2 billions should be diverted to rebuild south-west railways, say MPs | UK news | The Guardian

Meanwhile, tonnes of cash are being thrown at the HS2 infrastructure project:
Government refuses to publish report into scrapping HS2 | Daily Mail Online
“The £104bn HS2 cover-up: Government refuses to publish report into whether the controversial rail route should be scrapped” | East Devon Watch

A lot is also going on the London Crossrail project:
Crossrail 2 sparks anger in regions | Railnews | Today's news for Tomorrow's railway

This all means that there's less to spend elsewhere:
DfT scraps electrification schemes | Railnews | Today's news for Tomorrow's railway

Including the Great Western line out of Paddington, as reported by the Telegraph last month:

Government ditches plans to electrify three major railway lines

Jack Maidment, political correspondent 20 JULY 2017 • 4:46PM

The Government has scrapped plans to electrify three major railway lines in a move described by Labour as a “betrayal” of train passengers.

Chris Grayling, the Transport Secretary, announced plans for new trains which can run on both electricity and diesel to operate on the Midland Main Line, Great Western Main Line and in the Lake District.

The Department for Transport said the introduction of so-called “bi-mode” trains meant that long-awaited electrification works between Cardiff and Swansea, Kettering, Nottingham and Sheffield, and between Windermere and Oxenholme, were no longer needed.


Government ditches plans to electrify three major railway lines

The 'bi-mode' trains are also promised for lines to Exeter - but these will not be fully electric:
Test runs for Devon's new high speed trains carried out | Devon Live

Last week, investment in Devon trains was given the thumbs-down:

'Disappointment' as plans for first new South Devon rail station in decades gets red light

By TinaCrowson | Posted: August 09, 2017 Comments (4)

The latest bid in the project to create a Devon Metro frequent train service linking Exeter with other parts of Devon has been refused.

The decision not to give the funding go ahead to the proposed new station at the gateway to Torquay comes after a similar scheme at Marsh Barton on the outskirts of Exeter was also refused funding.

Edginswell would be the first new rail station in the resort for decades and is earmarked for woodland and open space alongside the railway and between Newton Road and Riviera Way.

Torbay MP Kevin Foster said it was disappointing that the bid for the latest round of new stations funding failed.

He said: "While this is a set-back, all is not lost as the letter confirming the outcome made clear that it had proceeded beyond the initial stage of consideration. It also invited those working on the project to meet with Network Rail and the Department of Transport to discuss how it could be further developed. One issue is the significant cost added to the scheme for track alignment work that needs to be undertaken before a station can be built at the location selected."


'Disappointment' as plans for first new South Devon rail station in decades gets red light | Devon Live

And to
day the Times got very angry about how rail fares just keep going up:

The government’s inflation trickery is ripping us all off

SCOTT CORFE
august 18 2017, 12:01am, the times

Nobody likes being ripped off. And there is something particularly distasteful about being fleeced by your own government.

But that is precisely what is happening. Rail fares are set to rise at a much faster rate than employee earnings, with annual season tickets of over £5,000 an increasingly common sight. And interest charges on student loans in England will rise to 6.1 per cent from the autumn.

From students to commuters, the cost of living in the UK is on the rise. And some of the biggest cost increases are in areas where the government sets the terms.

Both rail fares and student loans are linked, under government policy, to the retail price index measure of inflation, long ago discarded by economists as a flawed…


The government’s inflation trickery is ripping us all off | Comment | The Times & The Sunday Times
Government ripping us off – again | East Devon Watch

With mixed messages for fare prices from Waterloo:

Trains from Exeter to Waterloo set to increase in franchise takeover | Devon Live
Rail fares set to be capped between London and Exeter

Yes, there is some investment happening in the SouthWest:
Plymouth gets cash to build new £40m railway station | Plymouth Herald

But it's clear that services are not that good:
Stagecoach lose South West Trains franchise - ITV News
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Knowle relocation project: appeal process published: Inquiry to be held 28th November

In a couple of weeks time, the last opportunity to send in comments on the appeal at Knowle will be upon us:
Futures Forum: Knowle relocation project: PegasusLife appeal >>> deadline for submissions: 6th September >>> further information

Here are some points which could be raised:
Futures Forum: Knowle relocation project: visual impact of the proposed development
Futures Forum: Knowle relocation project: and flooding
Futures Forum: Knowle relocation project: and its Arcadian garden
Futures Forum: Knowle relocation project: green corridor

The full schedule for the appeal process has now been published:


See also:
Knowle proposal: Pegasus Life Appeal to be determined on basis of an inquiry. Deadline for representations, 6th September 2017. | Save Our Sidmouth
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Brexit: and the future for rural Devon in the global economy

Local MPs look forward to a green and pleasant land post-Brexit:
Futures Forum: Brexit: and how to make a 'Green Brexit' work

There are several options for rural communities:
Futures Forum: Rural tourism is 'worth more than farming'
Futures Forum: Brexit: and Countryside Matters
Futures Forum: Brexit: and 10 key questions for rural policy

The Devon Communities Together, the community council for Devon, is putting on an event next month:

What does the future hold for rural Devon in the global economy?

By Crediton Courier Newspaper in Local Peoplerev
WITH Brexit, globalisation and the environment dominating the political landscape, Devon Communities Together, the community council for Devon, explores what the implications might mean for the county’s rural communities.
Prominent academics and pioneers of industry will offer valuable insights at the sixth annual Rural Futures Conference, which will be held on Thursday, September 28 at Westpoint Conference Centre, near Exeter. 
Professor Michael Woods from Aberystwyth University will explore how rural communities in particular can respond to the challenges of globalisation.
Dr Sally Basker from Exeter Science Park will be exploring whether new technology can offer a new future for rural communities.

Philip Cork from Crediton Dairy will look at the international dimensions of running an essentially "local" industry.

Dr Christopher Balch from the University of Plymouth will be discussing the impact of globalisation and asking how the South West can respond.
Huw Davies from PETROC College will discuss the challenges of becoming a more caring and inclusive society through a period of economic uncertainty.
Elaine Cook, Devon Communities Together CEO said: “This conference is about taking a step back from the fast pace of the world and exploring how Devon fits into the jigsaw.
"This year, we’re delighted to invite a number of prominent academics and leaders of industry to speak. For anyone with a vested interest in Devon, or in rural communities generally, this is the place to be.”
Martin Rich, event co-ordinator, said: “There are differing views on the benefits, or otherwise, of global economic and social forces on rural communities. Brexit may be just a side-show to greater dynamic as international centres of influence and power shift. There is a reaction against globalisation, is this the future or just an adjustment?
"Can ‘me first’ ever be a reality? We will explore the issues, not the sound-bites and discover a new direction for Devon.”
Devon Communities Together, the operating name for the Community Council of Devon, is an independent charitable company, founded in 1961. It is part of a national network of Rural Community Councils.
Devon Communities Together supports communities in many ways, including technical support for local councils, community halls and social enterprises. It helps communities develop new and imaginative ways of meeting needs, working in partnership with statutory bodies and voluntary organisations.
To book tickets, or for further information, telephone Devon Communities Together on 01392 248919 or visit the website: www.devoncommunities.org.uk .
Alan Quick

What does the future hold for rural Devon in the global economy? | News | Crediton Country Courier
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Thursday, 17 August 2017

Plans for Port Royal: an alternative view: a new campaign: an online petition > The '3Rs' vision to "retain, refurbish and reuse" > public meeting Wednesday 23rd August

The official consultation on proposals for Port Royal has now concluded, with 250 responses:
Futures Forum: Plans for Port Royal: anticipating a Regeneration Board >> Scoping Study consultation > 'No plans or designs are being considered or decided on at this stage, purely the possibility of improvement and viability of the important seafront site.'

An unofficial consultation has been running parallel:
Futures Forum: Plans for Port Royal: an alternative view: a new campaign: an online petition > The '3Rs' vision to "retain, refurbish and reuse" unveiled

This has included a petition - to be followed next week by a public meeting to consider the 'alternative proposals':

Dear Friends,

Thank you for signing the petition "an alternative plan for Sidmouth's Port Royal - the 3R's".

We've been collecting signatures on paper as well and the total has now passed 1000. We want to get as many signautres as possible, to show how strongly people feel about having appropriate development around Port Royal. So please remind everyone you know to sign, and help spread the word by forwarding the link below to your friends:

We're preparing the agenda for the public meeting (Wednesday August 23rd, All Saints Church Hall, All Saints Road, Sidmouth from 7pm) and this will be available shortly. 

The other date to put in your diary is the Sidmouth Town Council meeting on September 4th. Please attend this meeting if you can to show the town councillors how you feel. It's their role to represent the town, but to do that they need to see how people feel and hear what they want. 

We look forward to seeing many of you on August 23rd.
Thank you,

Cllrs Cathy Gardner, Matt Booth, Marianne Rixson and Dawn Manley

See also:
Graham shares alternative vision for Port Royal - Latest Sidmouth and Ottery News - Sidmouth Herald
BBC to highlight ‘Save Our Devon Seafronts’ campaign this Thursday (27 July). Port Royal, Sidmouth, will be featured. | Save Our Sidmouth
If YOUR vision for Port Royal isn’t the EDDC vision – you are “scaremongering” | East Devon Watch
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Brexit: and making bold predictions from Exeter

The MP for Honiton is fairly optimistic about how things will work out post-Brexit:
Futures Forum: Brexit: and how to make a 'Green Brexit' work

The MP for Exeter has been very uncomfortable about the issue from the outset:
Futures Forum: Brexit: and the use of data analytics
Ben Bradshaw says Russian hackers 'probably' fixed the EU referendum vote for Brexit | Daily Mail Online
No, Russia didn't deliver Brexit – the will of the people cannot be hacked - Telegraph
Russia accused of rigging Brexit as MP 'hands over materials' | Daily Star

Last month he made his position very clear:

Brexit will not happen and this is the reason why, says veteran Devon MP


By maxc73 | Posted: July 19, 2017

A veteran Devon MP has claimed Brexit will not happen.

In a column for The Herald's sister website Devon Live, Exeter Labour MP Ben Bradshaw said: 


"I'm going to make a bold prediction. Brexit won't happen. There. I've said it.

"It's what a lot of people are thinking and many hoping, but not saying, for fear of appearing "undemocratic".

"Let me explain my reasoning for this prediction.


"I've always thought there was a good chance Brexit wouldn't happen once the British people were faced with a terrible negotiation and an even worse deal. But the general election and its aftermath have brought that moment forward.

"Only now are we having the debate about what Brexit actually means and the different types of Brexit that we didn't during the Referendum campaign and haven't since because an imperious Prime Minister closed down all discussion with her meaningless mantra 'Brexit means Brexit'.

"Only now are we having the debate about what Brexit actually means and the different types of Brexit that we didn't during the Referendum campaign and haven't since because an imperious Prime Minister closed down all discussion with her meaningless mantra 'Brexit means Brexit'.


"That Prime Minister has now lost her majority and with it her authority. The level and tone of public squabbling among her Ministers is unprecedented.

"This week Michael Gove's ex advisor and head of the Leave campaign described the Brexit Secretary, David Davis, as 'thick as mince, lazy as a toad and vain as Narcissus'.

"Soft Brexiter Cabinet Ministers hit back at Gove and Boris Johnson calling them 'testosterone-fuelled donkeys' and 'safe seat kids' who should 'go back to being the juvenile scribblers they were before they entered politics'.

"This might be entertaining were it not so serious for the country. With a Cabinet at war with itself, how can it be expected to negotiate itself out of a paper bag, let alone conduct the most complicated, challenging, important talks this country has ever embarked on?

"What these Cabinet rows have exposed is the basic incompatibility of the Leave campaign's two main groups. One want to reduce immigration, whatever the cost to our economy and the other want an ultra-free-market free trade Britain and aren't bothered about immigration.


"Mrs May has no parliamentary majority for her extreme hard Brexit – outside the Customs Union and the Single Market.

"But as soon as she retreats from this and adopts a more sensible, softer Brexit, the Conservative Party will descend into civil war and, in all probability, split.

"The greatest danger is that the UK Government, riven with divisions, is incapable of negotiating anything, talks break down and we fall off the cliff edge. I can't see that happening without Parliament intervening to stop what would be the worst of all possible outcomes. And what then?

"No hard Brexit, no soft Brexit, no chaotic cliff edge Brexit. And all the time the practical impact of Brexit hitting the public in lower living standards, less investment, more austerity and fewer jobs. Public opinion is already changing. Most now want to stay in the Single Market and Customs Union and most want a say on any final deal.

"The illusion of a pain-free Brexit that would stop free movement and payments to the EU while maintaining free trade is being shattered.

"If the British people are renowned for one thing – it's their common sense. I can't see them tolerating a course of action that will result in their own significant impoverishment."


Brexit will not happen and this is the reason why, says veteran Devon MP | Plymouth Herald
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Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Knowle relocation project: visual impact of the proposed development

One of the main reasons for rejecting PegasusLife's application to develop Knowle was the visual impact:

The application was refused on the grounds that it was an overdevelopment of the site which would impact on neighbours and the character of the area;

9 December 2016 - East Devon’s Development Management Committee refuse permission to build 113-apartments at EDDC’s offices at Knowle in Sidmouth - East Devon

The appellant considers its proposal is quite alright:
Appeal lodged against refusal of multi-million pound redevelopment plans for East Devon's HQ | Devon Live

Especially in that it 'will sit comfortably within the parkland and townscape context':
Futures Forum: Knowle relocation project: PegasusLife grounds of appeal

This is not very convincing:
Futures Forum: Knowle relocation project: >>> a far more imposing development than assumed >>> "in your face"
Futures Forum: Knowle relocation project: the setting of the Listed folly - and challenging the mass and positioning of the buildings
Futures Forum: Knowle relocation project: >>> a far more imposing development than assumed >>> "Until PegasusLife provide a proper Townscape and Visual Impact Statement covering all the views and perspectives on this massive development, (2.1 times the size recommended in the Local Plan), the DMC should not be asked to make a fair and accurate assessment of the proposal's worthiness for Sidmouth."

The Devon Live website carries a picture of how the development would impact on Sidmouth, from the Bickwell Valley:



Retirement village plan for East Devon Council's Knowle HQ rejected | Devon Live

Other photo-montages were made at the time.

Here is a montage of the view from Alma Bridge: the outlines are not perfect but the heights are accurate as demonstrated by helium balloon last October: 




Here is the  current view with existing roof line for comparison:




See also:
Futures Forum: Knowle relocation project: planning application to be considered by District Council: Tuesday 6th December >>> planning officers brush aside planning policies
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