Friday, 28 September 2012

Teignmouth Harbour Fiesta

Good to see the traditional blessing of the boats at the Harbour Fiesta on Saturday. It is great that the Fiesta is back as a regular Teignmouth event.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

12,400 Houses!

Plans for 12,400 new houses to be built in Teignbridge were pushed through on Friday (21st) on the casting vote of the council's chairman. This was a bit of a supprise because the chairman Cllr Clarance at earlier meetings on 22nd May had voiced support for a lower number, and is recorded as voting for the figure of 10,000. The proposals fortunatly took out the plan for a massive housing estate between Teignmouth and Bishopsteignton. Opposition Liberal Democrats continued to support a lower number of 10,000 houses to be built over the next 20 years. It was supported by most of the council's Independent members but narrowly failed. In a tied vote, 18-18, it was council chairman Chris Clarance who used his casting vote to rule against the 10,000 houses, which allowed the Conservatives who run Teignbridge to then vote in their plans for 12,400 homes -- that's 620 a year for the next 20 years. The proposal for 10,000 houses was supported by one Conservative, Cllr Kelvyn Shantry, who had led a special review group of councillors looking at how many houses the district needed.

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Mosaics

An ugly underpass between Parson Street and the Library has been transformed by the installation of beautiful mosaics designed by schoolchildren from Teignmouth's primary schools and made by Shelley Brown. Little over a year ago I was painting out graffiti with Sue Potts and Terry Falcao. Well done to Teignmouth First.

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Council Waste

“I will always speak out against unnecessary and extravagant expenditure” so said our Conservatives County Councillor and 'star' of an Olympic video. Yet what would you call the spending of some £3,200 by Teignbridge Council on an official video of the Olympic Flame arriving in Shaldon and Teignmouth – even though the council has its own professional video production department! Imagine what local sports clubs could do with £3000. The spending, ordered by the council’s Conservative leader, comes at a time when the council is making cutbacks and faces tough spending decisions next year with changes in the way funding comes from Government. Challenged about the spending when the in-year budget was reviewed earlier this month, the Council Leader told councillors he was aware of the cost when the video was ordered and that he was very happy that the video was made. It’s incredible that the council need to spend over £3,000 on this video when the council has a member of staff who produces videos and a fully equipped video production department. This could have been done for much less if the council had used its own video production service. What does it say when, for the big events, where Conservatives are interviewed they commission a video from an independent service.

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Kingsway Meadow Centre

In an extraordinary turn of events Teignmouth Town Council voted not to take on the lease of the Kingsway Meadow Centre. The centre is much loved and the prospect of a council taking on the day-to-day management was met with protests. Picture; Volunteers paint the centre.

Monday, 17 September 2012

Warm Front Changes

Winter is coming and heating costs are going up. The eligibility criteria for Warm Front changed, many more people now qualify. The Warm Front scheme installs insulation and heating improvements to make homes more energy efficient. Find out more about the Warm Front scheme, including who qualifies and how to apply, on the website: http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Environmentandgreenerliving/Energyandwatersaving/Energygrants/DG_10018661

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Boiler Scrappage

Eligible Residents can claim £400 off a new boiler. Homeowners and tenants who are over 75 years-old and have a household income below £16,000 or receive disability living allowance can receive a £400 discount voucher if their current boiler is rated E and above. Replacing an old gas boiler with a high-efficiency condensing boiler could save up to £300 in energy bills and over 1kg of carbon dioxide emissions each year. With autumn and winter on the way, the council is urging people to apply soon if they’d like to complete the work in time for the colder weather. Once the voucher is issued, it is valid for eight weeks. As long as the new boiler is an A-rated or equivalent gas, oil or LPG boiler and is fitted by a registered installer, it could save up to 20 per cent a year on current household heating bills. Vouchers are limited so it's first come first served.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Shaldon Council Chairman Resigns

This post has been removed at the request of Shaldon Parish Council.

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Land Banking

The Times just revealed that the big national housing developers have been quietly squirreling away large tracts of prime development land and then just sitting on it - known as land banking. There is enough land for a quarter of a million houses. The developers defend not building because the sites are ‘commercially unviable’; this is a term councilors get to hear a lot at planning committee, when the developer wants to reduce the number of affordable homes for local families. However it’s not so much unviable as slightly less massively profitable. Just look at their share prices of developers - Taylor Wimpey up from 30p to 54p; Barratt up from 76p to £1.50; Persimmon up from £4.25 to £7.00.

Friday, 7 September 2012

The Boots are Marching Back

The Environment Agency have said they will return Boot Hill at the end of the month. Just need to make sure they keep their word.

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Boots gone a walking

With Tricia Kirkby of Garstone’s, I’m asking the Environment Agency to return a collection of old boots to the New Quay at Teignmouth Back Beach, now flood defence work by the location has ceased. ‘Boot Hill’ is a collection of old boots with flowers growing in them, attached to the wall of Garstone Garden Ornaments on the New Quay. Boot Hill is believed to have started in 1947, and is said to be the first meeting place of the Teign Fishermen and Watermen’s Association. The site featured in a 1968 Teignmouth holiday guide. it a uniquely Teignmouth feature, many visitors photograph and comment about it. I remember it as a child when the Harbour Fiesta was held, I have asked the EA to return it, and perhaps they might like to donate a suitably inscribed boot to the collection.