Article: Feb 26, 2021
Newark & Sherwood District Council Area
School Funding Shortfalls
School Total Shortfall in 2020 Followed by shortfall per Pupil
Minster School, Southwell £500,525 £348
Holy Trinity Primary School, Southwell £45,885 £866
Lowes Wong Infant School, Southwell £28,629 £171
Newark Academy £466,395 £621
Article: Oct 12, 2020
Tackling COVID19 outbreaks should be the responsibility of Public Health England. However, the agency, underfunded since it was set up seven years ago, was unprepared to deal with a pandemic.
World Beating Promise
Instead of rapidly expanding Public Health England, the Government opted for a brand new centralised scheme outsourced to private companies. Spending £10 billion on drive through testing and giving £108 million to Serco for contact tracing, the Prime Minister promised a "world beating" system.
Article: Oct 12, 2020
In order to "get more homes built", the Government wants to completely change the planning system.
Currently there is a two stage planning process. Once the Government has set the number of homes to be built, the District Council develops a Local Plan after extensive local consultation. Once the plan is agreed, individual planning applications are then considered by local Councillors, with input from the public, before final approval is given. The current system enables issues such as flood mitigation to be ironed out at the detailed planning application stage.
The Government claims that this is too much "red tape", preventing house building. However 90% of planning applications are approved. In fact there are more than a million homes with planning permission that have yet to be built. That represents three years supply of new homes.
Now the Government wants to take the second detailed stage away from local Councils with a single stage zonal system. Where land is zoned for "Growth", developers will receive automatic planning approval, removing the chance for local objection.
"Simplifying" planning is not the real problem, it is the private housebuilders sitting on land banks and only building when they can make greater profits.