Devon County has passed the parking enforcement on to MDDC as from the 5th May. The Enforcement Officers have been very lenient in the first few weeks, just to let the new arrangements bed in, by now they will be keeping watch on how we all park. This will not be like the Traffic Warden approach, their brief is to be helpful, to give advice where to park etc. The whole object is to keep traffic flowing and relieve congestion. It is not revenue raising, it is funded by DCC and we have three Enforcement Officers for the whole of Mid Devon. You can be sure that some will park in parking restricted areas and they will have to pay the charge of £50 or £70, depending on the severity of the offence, reduced by 50% if paid within 14 days, they will have the right of appeal. We will be taking on an extra Planning Officer, we have 9 at the moment. In 05 and 06 each Case Officer processed 149 applications a year, and we had 11 Officers, 07 the applications per Officer went to 184 and we had 9 Officers and we were falling behind our targets, and they could not keep up. If we fall behind, we lose a percentage of Government Grant which we do not want to do.
Although not out of the woods yet, and a long wat to go, MDDC is looking much healthier. I think with the new Executive arrangements, decisions are much quicker and slicker. Every Councillor has the opportunity to have input into the running of the Council through Policy Development Groups and would will give advice to Portfolio Holders. Then we have the Scrutiny Panel that keep watching over us.
We have made the decision to talk with Shaws Health Care to completely replace 28 Properties at Wingfield Close, Tiverton. Shaws are also the chosen Company to take on the Residential Home at Broad Lane and it made sense to do a joint project which will benefit MDDC and DCC.
Most of our performance indicators are above target, with a few blips in the Council House department having a bit of a down turn, but we are working on that. We are considering at this moment an in house bid, which is early days, but this will come more clear in the coming months.
The Leisure Centres are also going through a bid to externalise it. There will be considerable investment in the all three centres, Tiverton, Cullompton and Crediton, which will save us a lot of money and give us better facilities.
You will see that we are surging ahead now, we are building up our financial reserves for future investment. While we are doing this, by next year we may not be around, the Boundaries Commission might decide to recommend that MDDC and DCC be abolished and create a Unitary Council, a combination of the two of us combined, that we wont know until April next year, when the Secretary of State has the final say, she may even decide to do nothing- watch this space.
You know where I am, if I can be of any help, just give me a ring, I'm here to help.
Devon County Councillor