Friday, 3 November 2017

District Council's Annual Report fails to report on inefficiencies and planning issues in East Devon

The District Council has published its Annual Report - and as with all annual reports, it is full of praise for the excellent things it's done over the last twelve months.


Where the council is going with its 'devolution' ideas is still far from clear: nothing in the Annual Report on that:
Futures Forum: The picture of 'devolution' in the South West gets murkier

As for the 'regeneration' in Sidmouth highlighted in the first paragraph of its press release below, well, not everyone is happy with how that is going:
Futures Forum: Plans for Port Royal: delivering petition to full District Council > further reports
Futures Forum: Plans for Port Royal: demand for cafes and restaurants come a poor third

And that includes another controversial area of 'regeneration' in Sidmouth:
Futures Forum: Beach Management Plan: meeting 13th September > report

As for the much-flaunted policy of 'creating balanced communities', permitting a retirement village in the heart of Sidmouth runs counter to any such notion. But such is the striving for 'maximum efficiency' that this council is determined to spend money it hasn't got:
Futures Forum: Knowle relocation project: or, putting the cart before the horse >>> Building starts on a new HQ in Honiton, but with nothing to cover the £10m+ cost

In fact, there is only one mention of 'planning' - and that for a massive warehouse on the edge of the District - perhaps because the council is not doing particularly well in that department:
Futures Forum: The District Council's reputation on planning is described as 'an absolute disaster area'

See for yourself:

Council continues to deliver its objectives with maximum efficiency

When this content has been created

25 October 2017

Annual report 2016/2017 reveals that East Devon District Council ranks among the best councils nationally in terms of service delivery

What a year it’s been for East Devon District Council, with a number of ground breaking changes taking place in the way the council delivers its objectives. From an innovative new district wide recycling service and outstanding performances for housing and council tax benefit claims, to building affordable, quality local homes for local people and moving forwards with regeneration plans to transform Exmouth and Sidmouth. 


Council priority one – Encouraging communities to be outstanding

In the Council Plan 2016-2020, the council has undertaken to create more balanced communities, capable of solving local problems in a sustainable way, such as with Neighbourhood Plans. We are also working towards creating more good quality local homes for local people and improving the health and wellbeing of people living in our communities. Some of the council’s key achievements for priority one include:
• Building 126 affordable homes in 2016
• We have spent £7million on repairs and improvements to our tenants homes
• Preventing homelessness is a priority for East Devon and we are providing a wide range of accommodation options and timely housing options advice

Council priority two – Developing an outstanding local economy

East Devon is working towards creating an economy that attracts inward investment and which stimulates start-ups and new business, as well as supporting existing businesses. Our key achievements for this priority include:
• Through our procurement strategy we are encouraging more local businesses to do business with the council – 97% did in March 2016
• East Devon has been responsible for the Enterprise Zone going live in April 2017
• We have witnessed real momentum in the commercial property market within East Devon with Lidl’s new massive Regional Distribution Centre beginning construction, as well as two new office buildings at Skypark and the first pub at Cranbrook

Council priority three – Delivery and promoting our outstanding environment

Protecting and enhancing our natural and built environment is one of East Devon’s key priorities and it is the council’s mandate to ensure there are abundant leisure opportunities and quality open spaces available, as well as further reductions in the waste that East Devon produces. The achievements that we have made for this priority include:
• Without doubt one of this council’s outstanding achievements has been the roll-out of across the district of our new innovative recycling and waste collection service. Since the service was rolled out, our households are now recycling more than ever before and latest figures show us that, on average, 57% of East Devon’s waste is being recycled - an increase of 15% compared to the beginning of this year
• The 2016 summer season at Manor Pavilion Theatre was the most commercially successful to date with record ticket sales and is establishing itself as a key regional theatrical venue
• Working in partnership with the Environment Agency and regeneration teams we have gained approval for £18m of funding to protect over 1,500 homes and businesses in Exmouth against flooding

Council priority four – Continuously improving to be an outstanding council

The council is working towards a culture that promotes continuous improvements, innovation, commercial thinking and new ways of working. The progress that we have made in this area includes:
• Our website provides a self-service facility to customers who can now access services online if they wish to
• For the past financial year, our Council Tax collection rate was the highest in Devon and nationally we are ranked as the 18th best for collecting Council Tax. We also have the lowest arrears out of Devon, Cornwall and Somerset authorities
• We carried out 956 food hygiene inspections and have dealt with 139 reported accidents. We currently have 1,299 registered food businesses displaying a food hygiene rating score

The full version of the Annual Report 2016/2017 can be viewed on the East Devon website.

25 October 2017 - Council continues to deliver its objectives with maximum efficiency - East Devon

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