Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Exeter Green Fair >>> Saturday 3rd September

Exeter's Cathedral Green will again be hosting a Fair this weekend:

Exeter Green Fair

Saturday 3rd September 2016, 10.00-16.00 (Cathedral Green)

The Exeter Green Fair is an opportunity to for local charities, organisations and companies to get together and hopefully build enthusiasm in the people of Exeter, to make a difference in the way they live and treat our local community and planet as a whole.

By using the four principles of Local, Sustainable, Ethical and Environmental, stall holders are invited to apply to be a part of the annual event. The committee review applications based on the Green Fair principles and if an application is approved the applicant is awarded a stall.

The event is run by a small committee of volunteers. The aim of the event is to allow the event to happen. Any profit made is fed back into the Green Fair fund for the following year’s event, with any surpless donated to charities and organsiations chosen by the committee.

If you would to apply for a stall please email exetergreenfair@hotmail.com 

Exeter Green Fair - Fete/Fair in Exeter, Devon - Visit Exeter

Here's the full list of stallholders:
Exeter Green Fair 2016 – Heyevent.uk

With more info from their Facebook pages:

Exeter Green Fair | Facebook
Exeter Green Fair 2016

Climate change: "Just 90 companies are to blame"

Who is responsible for carbon emissions?
Futures Forum: Climate change: Bloated UK
Futures Forum: Climate change and "the history of a fossil fuel addiction" ... Prof Iain Stewart @ the Sidmouth Science Festival 

Someone has been very carefully calculating how much CO2 has been pumped into the atmosphere - and by whom:

Just 90 companies are to blame for most climate change, this 'carbon accountant' says

Last month, geographer Richard Heede received a subpoena from Representative Lamar Smith (R-TX), chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space, and Technology. Smith, a climate change doubter, became concerned when the attorneys general of several states launched investigations into whether ExxonMobil had committed fraud by sowing doubts about climate change even as its own scientists knew it was taking place. The congressman suspected a conspiracy between the attorneys general and environmental advocates, and he wanted to see all the communications among them. Predictably, his targets included advocacy organizations such as Greenpeace, 350.org, and the Union of Concerned Scientists. They also included Heede, who works on his own aboard a rented houseboat on San Francisco Bay in California.
Heede is less well known than his fellow recipients, but his work is no less threatening to the fossil fuel industry. Heede (pronounced "Heedie") has compiled a massive database quantifying who has been responsible for taking carbon out of the ground and putting it into the atmosphere. Working alone, with uncertain funding, he spent years piecing together the annual production of every major fossil fuel company since the Industrial Revolution and converting it to carbon emissions.

Carbon dioxide emissions from Carbon Majors

Heede's research shows that nearly two-thirds of anthropogenic carbon emissions originated in just 90 companies and government-run industries. Among them, the top eight companies -- ranked according to annual and cumulative emissions below -- account for 20 percent of world carbon emissions from fossil fuels and cement production since the Industrial Revolution. Click on the "play" button to play through the animated graphics. To view a specific year, pause the animation and hover over the individual charts (or tap on the charts if you are using a mobile device).

The results showed that nearly two-thirds of the major industrial greenhouse gas emissions (from fossil fuel use, methane leaks, and cement manufacture) originated in just 90 companies around the world, which either emitted the carbon themselves or supplied carbon ultimately released by consumers and industry. As Heede told The Guardian newspaper, you could take all the decision-makers and CEOs of these companies and fit them on a couple Greyhound buses.
The study provoked controversy when it was published in 2013, with some complaining that it unfairly held the fossil fuel industry responsible for the lifestyle choices made by billions of consumers. "It's a cop-out to blame the producers of products that we have demanded, and benefited from, for more than a century," wrote Severin Borenstein, a business and public policy expert at the University of California (UC), Berkeley, in a blog post.
Others, however, saw the study as a turning point in the debate about apportioning responsibility for climate change. With traditional environmental issues, such as river pollution or toxic waste, it has always been possible to identify perpetrators who could be targeted for regulation or enforcement. But greenhouse gases are emitted everywhere, in every process that involves combustion. "For decades there's been a persistent myth that everyone is responsible, and if everyone is responsible then no one is responsible," says Carroll Muffett, president and CEO of the Center for International Environmental Law in Washington, D.C., who also serves on the board of a nonprofit that Heede co-founded. "Rick's work for the first time identifies a discrete class of defendants."
Heede's carbon accounting is already opening a new chapter in climate change litigation and policy, helping equip plaintiffs who believe they have suffered damages from climate change to claim compensation. "Rick's work really helps connect the dots," says Marco Simons, general counsel of EarthRights International, a Washington, D.C.-based legal group that defends the rights of the poor. "He hasn't sought out the spotlight, but I think his work is tremendously important."

Counting Carbon

Heede tallies carbon obsessively. When we discussed my plans to fly out from Boston to Sausalito, California, where his houseboat is anchored, he did a quick calculation and told me that my share of the flights would add 716 kilograms of carbon to the atmosphere. "And if you'd driven an average car the trip would be 1.78 tons of CO2 [carbon dioxide]" he added, apparently riffing on his own compulsiveness. During my visit I noticed that when he boiled water to make noodles for lunch he put a frying pan on the pot instead of a lid—to preheat the pan so it would use a tiny bit less fuel to heat up the stir-fry. "It's a practice of mine to figure out how I can minimize energy use."
He was born in Norway into a long line of watchmakers, which may contribute to his own meticulousness. At 15, he and his parents immigrated to the United States. His father was a consulting engineer, but the younger Heede wasn't keen on "fixing problems that should not have been created in the first place"—which, he admits, is exactly what he's doing these days.
Heede has spent most of his life in Colorado, and he has the solid build and weathered face of someone who has spent lots of time in the mountains. He earned undergraduate and master's degrees in geography at the University of Colorado, Boulder, and then joined forces with Amory Lovins, the soft-energy guru who co-founded the Rocky Mountain Institute in Boulder. Ronald Reagan had just been elected president, and his administration moved to gut subsidies for alternative energy sources, claiming that they were not economically competitive. Heede tested that assertion, analyzing the federal budget to find the hidden subsidies to the coal and oil industries, even including the cost of treating workers who developed black lung disease from coal mining.
Contrary to Reagan administration claims, Heede showed that the vast bulk of federal energy subsidies went to conventional energy sources. He wrote a report, testified to Congress, and wrote an opinion piece in The Wall Street Journal. "I don't recall getting any calls as a result," he says. It was an early taste of working in obscurity.
In 2003, he left the Rocky Mountain Institute to form Climate Mitigation Services, a consulting firm specializing in surveying and mitigating greenhouse gas emissions. One of his early clients was Aspen, Colorado, a rich and progressive ski town whose leaders wanted to act decisively to reduce emissions. They hired Heede to do a baseline greenhouse gas inventory with the broadest possible scope—including not only activities within the city, but the cars and airplanes that annually brought in hundreds of thousands of tourists … in short, Heede recalls, "everything that uses energy as a result of Aspen's existence."
The exercise raised fascinating questions, Heede says: "What is a community, and what is a boundary? There's leakage everywhere: airplanes, trucks, cars, visitors. How do you quantify that stuff?"
Heede interviewed airport managers and checked their logs to find out which aircraft served the more than 178,000 annual passengers, calculating fuel consumption and emissions for each flight. Standing at the main bridge into Aspen for hours at a time, he categorized the cars that went by—sedans, SUVs, trucks, vans. Then, he used his records to estimate emissions from the 13,000 vehicles tabulated by an automated counter each day. In the end, he determined that in 2004, Aspen was responsible for more than 840,000 tons of carbon emissions—"roughly equivalent to a large, diesel-powered aircraft carrier running flank speed at all times." This and subsequent reports enabled the city to reduce its emissions despite a growing population and economy.

The carbon ripples

Aspen was an early test of Heede's ability to gather information and see beyond obvious boundaries—the invisible ripples from every project that affect the infinitely interconnected atmosphere. In the early 2000s, for example, an Australian firm proposed building a liquefied natural gas terminal off the California coast. It seemed a good way to transition to a low-carbon "bridge" fuel. But, Heede says, "They hadn't done any work on life cycle emissions." When he tallied all the direct and indirect emissions—from the gas extraction in Australia to distribution in California—he found that the project would have produced nearly a third more carbon than anticipated. His analysis helped persuade California officials to vote it down.
Later, he tackled targets that produce bigger but more diffuse ripples. Several U.S. cities and environmental groups were suing the Export-Import Bank of the United States and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, alleging the institutions were financing projects that would damage Earth's climate. The plaintiffs retained Heede to analyze the carbon emissions resulting from the banks' loans and investments around the world, from a gas project in Central Africa to a coal mine in Poland. He found that the projects were directly and indirectly emitting nearly 2 billion metric tons of CO2 per year—almost 8% of the world's emissions. The plaintiffs won: The banks agreed to conduct environmental impact statements, create carbon-sensitive policies, and increase their financing of renewable energy projects.
Meanwhile, a new idea was coalescing in the environmental law community. For years, attorneys had litigated so-called environmental justice cases to redress the fact that poor people disproportionately suffer from pollution. By the early 2000s, it was becoming clear that the poor will also face the heaviest impacts of climate change. But how do you structure a liability case when the entire world takes part in the carbon economy? Can a Pacific Islander whose town has been flooded sue 7 billion people? Searching for more specific culprits, Peter Roderick, head of the Climate Justice Programme for Greenpeace International in London, commissioned Heede to study ExxonMobil and quantify total greenhouse emissions across its history.
Frankly, we're all the users and therefore we're all guilty.

David Victor, University of California, San Diego
He would have to follow a tangled corporate path. Founded as Standard Oil by John D. Rockefeller in 1870, the company became one of the world's largest multinationals until 1911, when the Supreme Court split it into several "baby Standards." Decades later, two of the largest of those firms merged to form ExxonMobil. Heede tracked down production figures in annual reports scattered among university archives on two continents, supplemented by court documents, news reports, and academic and industry papers. Then he converted production volumes to CO2 and methane. He included direct emissions, for instance from the fuels used to run the company's operations, and indirect emissions released by the combustion of its products.
After 15 months of research, Heede concluded that ExxonMobil and its precursors had directly or indirectly emitted 20.3 billion metric tons of CO2 and 199 million metric tons of methane. Friends of the Earth calculated that the quantity represented between 4.7% and 5.3% of humanity's industrial greenhouse gas emissions since 1882.
"I thought, 'This is exactly the kind of thing I had in mind,'" Roderick recalls. "But I knew it was just a small part of the big picture."

The major league

Roderick commissioned Heede to look at the entire fossil fuel industry. To make the project manageable, they limited it to companies that produced at least 8 million tons of carbon per year, the so-called "carbon majors." The research took 8 years. Money from the original grant ran out, and after the crash of 2008 Heede's consulting business collapsed. He maxed out his credit card, borrowed against his Colorado house, and scraped by, enlisting graduate students in several countries to photocopy and send him papers, which he checked and double-checked with a watchmaker's precision. He filled shelves with binders of information and spent thousands of hours entering it into spreadsheets, working alone, often until midnight. "I take pleasure in that kind of stuff," Heede says. "I like to pay attention to detail."
Sitting at dual monitors in the captain's cabin of his houseboat, Heede takes me on a tour of his data set, a seemingly endless series of color-coded and cross-indexed spreadsheets. Each sheet lists hundreds of entries, with columns showing the year and total production volumes for products such as crude oil, natural gas, and varieties of coal. Clicking on a company's name opens additional spreadsheets with the company's year-by-year production, plus screenshots of its annual reports for verification. Color-coded flowcharts display the evolution of companies as they separated or merged. The flowcharts from Russia are particularly ornate, as they incorporate the transformation of companies after the fall of the Soviet Union. (Heede got production data for the Soviet companies from Central Intelligence Agency analyses and the International Energy Agency.) Detailed annotations reveal his methods and calculations. The structure of these charts, so layered and interlocking, seems almost medieval in its complexity, and Heede seems monklike in his devotion to compiling it.
The result, peer reviewed and published in Climatic Change, showed that just 90 companies contributed 63% of the greenhouse gases emitted globally between 1751 and 2010. Half of those emissions took place after 1988—the year James Hansen of NASA testified to Congress that there was no longer any doubt that global warming had begun.
The data "just blew me away," says Naomi Oreskes, a science historian at Harvard University and co-author of the book Merchants of Doubt, which compares the fossil fuel industry to the tobacco industry in its efforts to raise doubts about science. "Everyone talks about this as a problem since the Industrial Revolution, but I now think that's incorrect," she says. Heede has shown that the roots of the problem are more recent and easier to trace. In 2011, Oreskes joined Heede in creating the Climate Accountability Institute, a nonprofit devoted to quantifying the contribution of fossil fuel companies to climate change and investigating their alleged attempts to obfuscate the science.

Sharing the blame

Other people criticize the work as oversimplified and naïve. David Victor, a political scientist and energy policy specialist at UC San Diego and a co-author of the 2015 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, doesn't question Heede's numbers but says his approach is wrongheaded. "It's part of a larger narrative of trying to create villains; to draw lines between producers as responsible for the problem and everyone else as victims. Frankly, we're all the users and therefore we're all guilty. To create a narrative that involves corporate guilt as opposed to problem-solving is not going to solve anything."
Heede concedes that the responsibility is shared. "I as a consumer bear some responsibility for my own car, etcetera. But we're living an illusion if we think we're making choices, because the infrastructure pretty much makes those choices for us." He focused on fossil fuel companies, he says, because unlike industries that produce greenhouse gases as a byproduct (such as the automobile industry, which has adhered to increasingly strict mileage standards), the mission of fossil fuel companies is to pull carbon out of the ground and put it into commerce.
His data, together with an emerging line of research that uses computer models to discern how likely it is that a given storm, flood, or heat wave was related to human-caused emissions, are now driving efforts to allocate responsibility for climate change. Last year, for instance, several nongovernmental organizations in the Philippines filed a petition with that nation's Commission on Human Rights. It asks the "carbon majors" to take remedial actions on behalf of typhoon survivors in the islands, which suffer devastating storms that may have worsened as a result of climate change. "Heede's report is one of the bedrock pieces of science and research that helped form our campaign," says Kristin Casper, litigation counsel for Greenpeace's Global Climate Justice and Liability Project in Toronto, Canada. In late July, the commission sent orders to 47 of the world's largest investor-owned fossil fuel companies, asking them to respond to the human rights charges in the petition. Similar actions and lawsuits are proceeding in several other countries.
Now, Heede is extending his carbon accounting into the future, quantifying the potential carbon release from future fossil fuel exploration. Like the other recipients of Representative Smith's subpoena, he has no intention of complying with what he calls a "campaign to intimidate us and stop scientific research." At the same time, he confesses an admiration for the fossil fuel industry, which has made "fantastic efforts to find resources for the betterment of humanity," often in the harshest environments. They've done such a good job that we haven't paused to reflect on the unintended consequences, he says. "And now we have to cope with the result."

Just 90 companies are to blame for most climate change, this 'carbon accountant' says | Science | AAAS

See also:
Futures Forum: Climate change: perceptions and solutions: a summary

Of beach huts, playing fields and charging the market rate

There has been quite a struggle over beach huts in East Devon - over proposals to bring the rental into line with 'the market':
Futures Forum: East Devon beach huts: when Sidmouth is Brighton
Futures Forum: East Devon beach huts: scrutinising how decisions are made
Futures Forum: East Devon's beach huts and the Asset Management Forum

Apparently, now "the saga surrounding Sidmouth’s beach huts seems to have drawn to a close" - because, at the new 'market rate', all the huts have been taken on:
EDDC announce all beach huts are now let - View News

At the same time, the District Council wants extend this policy into other areas - and to charge the 'market rate' for sports clubs:
‘Level playing field’ in new club facility rent charges across East Devon - News - Sidmouth Herald

Including the Sidmouth Lifeboat, which happens to be part of the Port Royal area up for 'redevelopment':
sidmouthlifeboat.org.uk | Sidmouth Lifeboat

And other councils are trying to do it - but not always successfully:
'Market rate' leases for Torbay sports clubs go back to drawing board | Torquay Herald Express

This is all part of councils being 'enterprising':

Enterprising councils 

Getting the most from trading and charging

What is an enterprising council? 

Every council is an enterprising council in one way or another. Councils have led the way in the public sector, demonstrating initiative and resourcefulness to rise to the social, economic and environmental challenges that our communities are facing. 

It is this willingness to not just think about doing things differently but to actually take action that has made local government the most efficient part of the public sector. 

The Localism Act 2011 introduces a new General Power of Competence (GPC), which explicitly gives councils the power to do anything that an individual can do which is not expressly prohibited by other legislation. This activity can include charging or it can be undertaken for a commercial purpose, and could be aimed at benefiting the authority, the area or its local communities. 

By giving councils the flexibility to act in their own financial interests, the GPC will allow councils to do more than was previously sanctioned under wellbeing powers. This guide will focus on how councils, on their own or working with other public bodies, can be enterprising by increasingly trading and charging. 

Enterprising councilsGetting the most from trading and charging2012 edition 

Meanwhile, there appears to be considerable confusion over what 'assets' are out there which can be 'traded and charged for':
EDDC cannot be sure what assets it owns and whether it is maintaining assets they no longer own | East Devon Watch

And then there are assets which might not be getting their full 'market value':
EDDC: some assets not sweating? | East Devon Watch

... or realising their full 'asset value':
Futures Forum: Knowle relocation project ... and 'asset renovation'

Finally, as alluded to earlier, the District Council seems keen on 'sweating' a few assets on Sidmouth's seafront:
Futures Forum: Plans for Port Royal: anticipating a Regeneration Board >>> ‘Scoping Report for the eastern end of Sidmouth’ >>> District Council pushes for "a three month scoping exercise completed mid November" and "a decision on full planning and design approach December 2016"

Campaigning for a safe cycle path for Sidford to Sidbury

Last month, plans were published for an innovative way to get cycles across the main road in Sidford:
These changes to East Devon's cycle routes include Devon's first tiger crossing | Exeter Express and Echo
Plans for Devon’s first ‘tiger’ crossing to link Sidbury and Sidford - News - Sidmouth Herald

This was seen as the 'first stage' of the route between Sidford and Sidbury:
Futures Forum: 'First stage' of Sidford to Sidbury cycle/walkway ........... 'could be installed in the autumn'

However, when the rest of the cycle/pedestrian path is completed is another matter:
Futures Forum: Breaking news: Planning application for Sidford to Sidbury cycle/walkway WITHDRAWN

The campaign for a safe route between Sidford and Sidbury has been going on for years:
Futures Forum: Cycling: meeting in Sidmouth Monday 20th May
Futures Forum: Futures Forum cycling meeting 20th May: press release

A local campaigner is pushing for something to be done - after years of asking what's happening:

No back-pedalling on safe cycle path promise to Sid Valley

06:30 31 August 2016

Dominique Webb protesting with her painted bike

Devon’s highways chief has assured a campaigning schoolgirl that there will be no back-pedalling on commitments to a new cycle path in the Sid Valley.

However, county councillor Stuart Hughes has expresssed fears that the issue could be used as a ‘bargaining chip’ in a major planning application.
Councillor Hughes spoke on the matter after Dominique Webb, 11, installed a sign between Sidbury and Sidford warning that the continued lack of a safe route for pedestrians and walkers means there is a ‘danger of death’.
Devon County Council (DCC) submitted plans for a cycle and footpath last year – but withdrew its application after being given assurances a route would be delivered as part of a new 9.3-acre business park.
Dominique’s grandfather, Sidbury resident Andrew Webb, said: “Every summer, Dominique stays with us and each year she gets more frustrated when she finds the footpath cycle track hasn’t been installed. She can see like the rest of us that it’s an accident waiting to happen and could be a fatal one. I find it incredible that a child has to point this out to the planners. It’s undoubtedly one of the most dangerous stretches of road in East Devon for both cyclists and pedestrians. There are near misses every day”
Dominique, who lives in Singapore and first spoke out on the issue at the age of five, said: “When we want to cycle to Sidmouth we have to put our bikes in the back of Grandpa’s van and take them to Sidford where we can safely cycle on to Sidmouth through The Byes.”
The proposed footpath and cycleway now forms part of a Section 106 agreement – a deal to mitigate the impact of a development – between planning authority East Devon District Council (EDDC) and the business park applicant, Fords of Sidmouth.
Andrew argued that DCC should make a start on the route, from Burnt Oak to as far as the long grass verge in front of the sewage works – and the money could be recouped if and when the business park gets the go-ahead.
Cllr Hughes said that, in light of the business park applicant’s offer to provide the cycleway, DCC had ‘no alternative’ but to withdraw its proposals.
“This now appears to be being used as a bargaining chip for the business park,” said Cllr Hughes. “My personal view is that the cycleway/footpath should be provided no matter what and prior to any development, should it be approved.”
An EDDC spokeswoman said, if approved, the cycleway will be provided by Fords, rather than DCC.
Fords of Sidmouth was approached for comment, but had yet to do so before theHerald went to press yesterday.

No back-pedalling on safe cycle path promise to Sid Valley - News - Sidmouth Herald

With the same story on the front page of the View from Sidmouth:
Schoolgirl’s protest on lack of cyclepath - View News

Brexit: and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership

The promised TTIP agreement has implications for this part of the world:
Futures Forum: TTIP, the NHS and the South-West

It is also inextricably mixed up with EU politics:
Futures Forum: The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership >>> “I do not take my mandate from the European people.” >>> but the petitions multiply

But now things seem to be falling apart:
RIP, TTIP? | Cato @ Liberty
Trade wars: Why the central pillar of global order is in danger of collapse as TTIP disintegrates - Telegraph

As far as the Germans are concerned:
Vice-Chancellor: TTIP trade deal is dead - The Local

And the French:
France demands an end to TTIP talks | Business | The Guardian

The problem is: what next:
The new TTIP? Meet TISA, the 'secret privatisation pact that poses a threat to democracy' | Business News | News | The Independent
TTIP is about to die, but here are the toxic trade deals about to take its place | The Independent

And it's all very much connected to Brexit.

Here's a comment from the Independent from just after the referendum:
We thought the best thing about Brexit would be avoiding TTIP - but the fight isn't over yet | Voices | The Independent

And here's an angry comment from Yorkshire:
TTIP is dead in the water, but post-Brexit Britain could be in for something even worse

Finally, here's a very useful overview from the Independent:

TTIP's 'failure' gives us a clue about Britain's post-Brexit trading future

Anti-business sentiment is often facile and hypocritical, or worse, but TTIP just offers up too many egregious potential abuses to be comfortable with

The apparent failure of the EU-US trade talks signalled by German Vice-Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel should come as little surprise – for good and bad reasons – and contains some interesting clues about the UK's post-Brexit trading future.
One “good” reason for the negotiators being unable to agree so far on a single chapter of the 27 in the draft Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership is that the Europeans are deeply suspicious about how much power will be given to large multinational companies in the process. The secret “court” for settling disputes is absurdly opaque and unaccountable, for example. That would be bad enough across most areas of the economy, but when it impinges on the way the NHS operates for the public good, it is plainly unacceptable.
Anti-business sentiment is often facile and hypocritical, or worse, but TTIP just offers up too many egregious potential abuses to be comfortable with. It could be made more politically palatable, at any rate, and we should always remember that free trade is good for the long-term prosperity of all. Globalisation, unfashionable as it is, has done more good than harm, not least lifting 500 million Chinese out of poverty. TTIP could be made to work, in other words. 
The “bad” reason for the difficulties TTIP finds itself in is because the EU's disparate membership can't agree on what they want, as so often. This, then, supports the Leave camp who argue that the very size and complexity of the EU makes important trade deals such as this impossible to secure. They point to similar failures on EU trade with China and India.
So much better, the argument runs, if Britain could negotiate on her own behalf to win a swift and lucrative result, just as Switzerland has, for example. There is a lot to be said for this, but the problem there, of course, is that being usually the smaller partner in these talks, a post-Brexit UK might end up with a far from advantageous agreement. And TTIP reminds us that, even if the UK could strike a deal more rapidly, some loss of jobs and sovereignty is an inevitable price to be paid in every such arrangement. Only the likes of North Korea refuse to accept this. 
We can secure good deals with major economic players including the US via a UK-US TTIPN and take advantage of their dynamism and rapid growth, but they will be wanting things in return, as is natural. For an already open economy, the UK will need to swallow even more foreign influence in return for promising new opportunities and inward investment. We ought to be clear about that. 
The more the British try to negotiate broad economic relationships on their own, the more they will run into the same issues the EU has over TTIP. Trade in services is much more difficult to secure than old-fashioned deals on mutually reducing tariffs on goods (though even that can be tricky when so much manufacturing is integrated across borders). Britain is three-quarters a service economy, so all this matters. When we talk to Korea or India or China about trade in banking or architecture or medicine, we will need to compromise about mutual recognition of professional qualifications and national licensing and regulation; about movement of people and visas; about access to public sector contracts; and about all the other non-tariff barriers. 
Both the TTIP experience and the review of Hinkley Point show that trading life for post-Brexit Britain may need some hard work and, yes, compromise. Brexit will still mean infringements on sovereignty, whether we like it or not, if we want to forge new partnerships worldwide. Rebalancing our economy away from the broken eurozone may be the best thing, and inevitable, for the long term, but it means some uncomfortable changes. Brexit is going to be tougher than many imagine.

TTIP's 'failure' gives us a clue about Britain's post-Brexit trading future | Business Comment | News | The Independent

See also:
In or Out: TTIP - 38 Degrees

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Knowle relocation project: and the impact of 'assisted living' units on local NHS services

There are concerns about the provision of health services in Sidmouth:
Futures Forum: The future of Sidmouth's surgery: NHS Property Services on a ‘commercial drive’ to squeeze profit from the site.
Futures Forum: The future of Sidmouth's hospital: "determined to ensure the community continues to have a say"

The proposed development at Knowle will have considerable impacts on the town's services:

The proposals are for 'assisted living' units:

Here is a comment from the Streetlife site: 

Blackmore Health Centre

The Blackmore Health Centre should be completely refurbished, to bring it up to date. We need to have two due to the increasing population of this area, and of course the problems that some residents can get to the Beacon, and for some it's easier to get to the Blackmore. Growing up in the area, there was a doctors surgery at Sidbury, Sidford and Sidmouth.
Campaigners should also note the potential impact of the intended hundred-ish "assisted living" units that EDDC Planning may shortly authorise at the Knowle. These folk will inevitably have a great impact on local NHS services.
Real Sidmouthian
Assisted living does make me smile. We've enough in the town already that need assisting with the smallest of tasks.

Streetlife | Blackmore Health Centre

The future of Sidmouth's surgery: NHS Property Services on a ‘commercial drive’ to squeeze profit from the site.

There isn't any extra money for the NHS, despite promises made:
Futures Forum: Brexit: and £350million for Devon's hospitals
Futures Forum: Brexit: and the NHS in Devon

Within this climate, there are fears for the future of community hospitals:
Futures Forum: The future of Sidmouth's hospital: "determined to ensure the community continues to have a say"
Futures Forum: Health managers to 'discuss plans' for the future of Sidmouth's hospital with the Town Council
Futures Forum: Sidmouth's Minor Injuries Unit moves from Victoria Hospital to the Beacon Medical Centre

And these uncertainties are spreading to doctors' practices; 
Futures Forum: Keeping control of local health services >>> "What health and social care issues do you feel need to be addressed?"

Much of this is about the management of 'property services':
NHS Property Services: how it “works” in practice | East Devon Watch

Sid Valley doctors issue SOS: ‘Save our surgery’

06:58 30 August 2016
The Sidmouth Health Centre on Blackmore Drive. Ref shs 10-16SH 7178. Picture: Simon Horn

GPs ‘absolutely committed’ to retaining town centre site
Plans to completely redevelop Sidmouth’s Blackmore Health Centre - adding new flats and a pharmacy - have left GPs fearing for its future.
Sid Valley Practice partners have been denied the chance to buy their town-centre building – taken over in 2013 – and say owner NHS Property Services (NHSPS) seems to be on a ‘commercial drive’ to squeeze profit from the site.
GPs say they are struggling to work in the rapidly deteriorating premises - branded ‘non-fit for purpose’ by the Care Quality Commission in July 2015. They have spoken of concerns that current proposals do not future-proof the site or leave any room to expand as the population grows.
The GPs remain ‘absolutely committed’ to retaining the town-centre surgery and are appealing for support from the community.
Doctors say the company responsible for managing NHS property has hiked up charges to the practice by around 50 per cent, despite so far failing to make the six-figure investment needed in the building.
An NHSPS spokesperson said the company is ‘committed to delivering improvements’ and recognises the concerns raised by GPs.
Dr Joe Stych, one of the practice partners, told the Herald: “The plan at the moment includes 10 residential flats on the squashed site. The implications of this will be quite large.
“A concern is that if the site is developed into flats and sold off, this facility would lose future expansion space available to the NHS as the town grows. Practice partners have been desperately trying to buy the building to protect it long-term, but have been turned down. Since NHSPS took ownership, costs passed on to the NHS and GPs for running this facility have increased to a level it may not be financially viable for the surgery to continue to practice there long-term.
“One of the big concerns for us is future-proofing the practice. The plans that are there do not future-proof the practice for the town in the short-term, let alone the long-term. “
The practice partners personally shouldered a £2.1million loan to build the new Beacon Medical Centre off Stowford Rise - and say they are ‘absolutely committed’ to retaining a town-centre surgery.
Dr Stych added that doctors do not feel their concerns are being listened to, so they have resorted to appealing for public support in efforts to safeguard the future of the Blackmore Drive surgery.
Chairman of the Sid Valley Patient Participation Group, Di Fuller, called for the community to get behind a campaign to save their surgery. She says the NHSPS is making it increasingly difficult for the practice, adding: “From a patient perspective, we already know there is a lot of anxiety in the town about the security of the Blackmore Surgery. Our anxiety is that, once it’s redeveloped, it will be great, but the rent they will demand will possibly make it unsustainable.
“At the moment, I understand that they are not planning to make the accommodation large enough for expansion, which is really cause for concern. They are trying to maximise profit and income from the property. We are a patient group that works hard to bridge the gap on behalf of patients, but we need the community to get behind us on this.”
East Devon’s MP Hugo Swire agreed it would it be ‘wholly inappropriate’ for people in Sidmouth to experience a reduction in healthcare provision. He said he will seek a meeting with relevant parties to discuss the future of Blackmore Health Centre.
A spokesperson for NHSPS said: “We are committed to delivering improvements to this surgery, including draft proposals for a scheme which could provide homes and a brand new surgery on the site. The GPs raised concerns about the car parking and we have revised the proposal, but discussions are continuing on this, or the option to refurbish.
“We clearly want to ensure the best possible outcome for the practice and local patients. We are listening to the GPs and fully recognise their concerns. We will continue to work with them to address these, including queries about their billing.”
Sid Valley doctors issue SOS: ‘Save our surgery’ - News - Sidmouth Herald

With comment from the EDW:
NHS Property Services stitches up Dr Sytch’s Sidmouth surgery | East Devon Watch

And from the Streetlife site:
Streetlife | Some parts of the Town looking disappointing.
Streetlife | Blackmore Health Centre