Have you had a good summer? perhaps I should have ask if you have been able to keep reasonably dry, what a summer! The month of August at Devon County has been reasonably quiet, as it takes a while to pick up, getting geared up for the budget process for next year. The one thing that is still hot at the moment is the Boundary Commissions Unitary Status for Devon. The County are coming around to thinking there might possibly be some merit in having a Blackdown Hills type Community Board, rather than being aligned with Cullompton, it makes sense as this is very much a rural area. With pressure from Clayhidon, Hemyock, Culmstock and Uffculme Parish Councils, there is a good chance this could happen, that is if the Unitary option is excepted by the Secretary of State in Feb 09.
There is still a lot of support to keep the District and County Councils as they are, but for all the Districts of Devon and the County to have an enhanced working arrangement together and make the economy of scale savings, that in turn will keep the our Council Tax a little more in line for all of us.
A survey across Devon shows that about two thirds of the population want to stay as we are with an enhanced working arrangement, as is the choice of MDDC.
With a total budget of £1.5billion, (yes that is about right), of all the Districts in Devon and the Devon County Council, to save £28million, a figure that has not been into in very much detail, may be millions away, they usually are, All the other Councils that have gone to Unitary have not made anywhere near the savings they said they would, in fact have cost them.
The District Councils are nearer to the Public with the services they provide, like planning, waste collection, grass cutting, parks, benefits, housing, etc, and you can speak to someone.
I am trying to get some money for the Blackdown Hills Healthy Living Centre to develop Millhayes, this is frustrating. I am not happy at all the way The County are handling the disposal of the Airport money. We will keep trying.
I have got some small pots of money available for local projects and organisations, please ask me if you think I can help, not only about this, but about anything, I will do my best.