National Politics

Timid? Or Just Complaining Quietly?

LeicsMPs

Liberal England reports here from Leicestershire: Leicestershire’s Conservative MPs were busy retweeting this photograph last week. It shows them and the Conservative leader of the county council Nick Rushton meeting the local government minister Marcus Jones to press the case for more generous funding for Leicestershire. The Leicester Mercury quoted Sir Edward Garnier, MP for Harborough: “The difficult financial situation…
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“An Astonishing Clause”

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The ” Decisions , Decisions., Decisions” blog has an item here about “an astonishing clause” that the government has laid before parliament in the Housing and Planning Bill three days before Christmas. The legal jargon is not easy to follow, but would allow in some circumstances for “designated persons” (private consultants)  to process planning applications instead of the local council….
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Just What IS The Government Proposing?

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From the Telegraph today: Thousands of new homes are set to be built on the Green Belt in the biggest relaxation to planning protections for 30 years. A new Government consultation proposes to change strict rules that only allow building on the ribbon of greenfield land around towns and cities which prevents urban sprawl in exceptional circumstances. Instead councils will…
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What Happened To Localism?

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From the Telegraph yesterday: Tens of thousands of new homes in greenfield areas in England will be given automatic planning permission amid fears that communities will have inappropriate developments forced on them. Ministers have quietly given developers the right to be granted “planning in principle” in areas that are earmarked for new housing schemes. Rural campaigners said the new powers…
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“Slouching Towards Post-Democracy”

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Colchester Lib Dem Nick Barlow writes perceptively here about the erosion of democracy. The public face of democracy is till there (elections) – but real control is being taken away from those democratically elected: …This, of course, is the usual modus operandi for the Tories. Big, bold claims about opening up services, providing choice, freedom and everything else, while actually…
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An Extra Meeting Of The Development Committee!

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There’s an extra meeting of the Development Committee next Tuesday. It concerns the big housing application passed a couple of years back off Hall Road, Rochford. In particular it concerns the amount of affordable rented housing to be provided. The original plan was for 97 affordable homes in the first phase – about 77 rented and 20 shared ownership. But…
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Monster Win For The Lib Dems At Loch Ness

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Sorry, we couldn’t resist the headline… From the BBC Lib Dems win Highland’s Aird and Loch Ness by-election The Liberal Democrats have won a by-election in Highland Council’s Aird and Loch Ness ward. Jean Davis narrowly defeated her closest rival SNP candidate Emma Knox. The by-election in the ward, which is represented by four councillors, was triggered by Drew Hendry’s…
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Important Stuff:Councils To Keep All Their Business Rates

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At the moment councils collect council tax and business rates. Broadly speaking, councils keep the council tax but pass the business rates back to Central Government. Central government then gives some of that back to councils as government grants George Osbourne has announced today that in the future councils will be allowed to keep all business rates from their area….
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“The 5 reasons Addenbrookes really ‘failed’ – and what it means for the whole NHS “

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A informed resident highlighted for us this article on the OURNHS website – here’s an extract: So where did it all go wrong? Not just for Addenbrookes – damned by the CQC for understaffing – but for the three quarters of Trusts this week exposed as facing similar problems? The Tory led Coalition government inherited an NHS in 2010 that…
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