Monday, 31 January 2011

Parking Charge Hike

Our hard pressed traders are going to to hit by Devon County Council’s plans to hike car parking charges in Teignmouth. The Conservative council plans to in crease on-street car parking charges by 10%.

But it is not just the increase that makes me angary; we have been told that in the towns where charges are yet to be introduced, the first half-hour will be FREE - immediately putting businesses in Teignmouth and Dawlish at a disadvantage.Meanwhile Liberal Democrat led Teignbridge is freezing its charges from April, to help local traders and residents.

We are trying everything we can to encourage people to visit Teignmouth, Teignbridge is freezing car parking to help ; but this is being undermined by these proposed increases. Teignouth isn’t be treated fairly compared to other towns in the South Hams and East Devon.

Monday, 24 January 2011

The great G.K. Chesterton wrote a novel called ‘The Man Who Was Thursday’.Syme is recruited to go undercover and infiltrate the anarchist Council of Days (each member having a day of the week as his codename). Syme discovers that all the other anarchists are in fact also undercover detectives! There is no anarchist cell.

With the Mark Stone revelations, I wonder how many undercover cops have infiltrated environmental pressure groups. Could the police be in danger of creating their own nightmares into reality?

They convince themselves that essentially benign environmental groups are plotting to destroy society. So they send undercover officers to join those groups and attempt to fit in by taking a lead in plotting the very actions that they fear. They convince themselves environmental activists are promiscuous and attempt to fit in with this imagined promiscuity by…

Friday, 7 January 2011

5% Cut in Councillors' Allowances

Allowances paid to the councillors on Teignbridge are to be cut under plans from the Liberal Democrats.

Teignbridge has already announced it is freezing Council Tax this year and there will be no increase in car park charges. Council Leader Alan Connett says all allowances will be cut by 5% and the special responsibility payments made to Leaders of the councillor groupings on the authority will be scrapped.

If backed by councillors, the proposals will save £23,000 a year in addition to the ongoing saving achieved because Teignbridge councillors have frozen allowances for the past few years.

Cllr Connett said:” The Government has cut the grant to Teignbridge by about £1.3 million from April and we are looking at all areas of our work to cut costs, while maintaining key public services.

“Staff benefits such as car allowances and mileage payments are also under consideration and we need to look at Member Allowances too.

“Usually, an Independent Panel would advise on allowances, but in preparing for the new council budget we need to look at the costs to the authority and make savings while not discouraging people from all walks of life standing for the council and serving their community, he added.

Every Teignbridge councillor will see their Basic Allowance cut by about £262 a year to around £4,969. Special responsibility allowances paid to chairs and vice chairs of committees such as planning, scrutiny, licensing, executive members and the Leader of the Council will also be cut by 5%. The allowance for Group Leaders will be scrapped altogether.

Other cost savings include scrapping the council’s award winning community newspaper, saving £100,000 on advertising by publishing only legal notices and essential information such as holiday refuse arrangements and sharing the chief executive with another Devon council to save £50,000 a year.

Plans for the cut in allowances will be presented on Monday (January 10) when the Teignbridge Executive committee meets to discuss the initial budget proposals for the year ahead. If agreed when the council confirms its budget in February, the changes will take effect from the start of the new financial year.


Teignbridge's refuse teams are continuing to work hard catching up with waste and recycling collections which were missed during the recent bad weather. At present TDC remains hopeful to be back on target for black and green bin collections by the end of tomorrow and for recycling box collections by Wednesday 12th January.

The Teignbridge website shows the latest details of where and what we will be collecting on Saturday, Monday and Tuesday in relation to delayed collections due to bad weather, and this is available from our homepage at

This means that collection days will then be back to the planned Christmas holiday schedule which is on the home page of the website or at, and was also placed on stickers on local bins before Christmas.

In the meantime the advice to residents is to leave their bins and boxes out for collection and we will be with them as soon as possible. Teignbridge's customer service team will be also be available on their usual number, 01626 361101 from 9am - 3.30pm to help deal with customer queries about bins and recycling collections.

Breakfast Club

As temperatures plummeted below zero in December, a new initiative to help rough sleepers and the single homeless (sofa surfers) in Teignbridge swung in to action. Providing a hot meal, shower as well as new cloths and sleepingbags; Teignbridge District Council’s housing team were on standby to offer bed and breakfast accommodation on very cold nights.
There are about 6 people in Teignbridge that we know of that are all-year rough sleepers, there are a larger number of people who are ‘sofa surfers’ they have no fixed abode, and move around staying with family or friends, sometimes sleeping rough. Engadging with rough sleepers is difficult, we want them to 'come in from the cold', we certainly made progress, but couldn't persuade any to take up the council's offer of accomodation.
I have to say, I’ve been taken aback and humbled by the number of people volunteering and making donations to the project. We will be operating again should temperates fall again.

Our next project is to create 'Starter Packs' that the council's housing team can give out.

Cameron’s ‘Big Society’ ? Kropotkin’s ‘Mutual Aid ‘ I like to think.