Second, there is no real chance of anyone in the tourist industry taking a holiday during school holiday times. Thus, any parent working in the industry is unlikely to be able to take a holiday with their children. How fair is this? There are probably many potential solutions to this problem, but the simplest, and a solution that can be implemented immediately, is to go back to the situation before Nanny Gove stuck his unwelcome oar in and messed it all up!
“Ilfracombe's health statistics are not all they seem. East ward and West wards have reasonably long life expectancy comparable with the longest in England. The challenge is in Central ward, the one which has among the worst life span in England, due in no small part to the number of dry hostels and HMOs. Despite for years arguing that the owners of these buildings be required to fund additional services to support their clients, neither regional nor national government has heeded the call. Until either additional resources are allocated to support these men and women, or there is a prohibition on cities and towns elsewhere sending these unfortunates here for re-homing we will not succeed in improving these abysmal statistics”
Frank was responding to a report that said that Ilfracombe, and particularly Central Ward, has amongst the lowest life expectancy in the country. There is a well documented link between poverty, ill health and low life expectancy, but the figures for Ilfracombe go beyond this. Frank’s thinking, and I agree with him, is that the figures for Ilfracombe Central are depressed by the low life expectancy of those shipped in by local authorities outside our region. There are several classes of people who need help and where the local authority in which they live has a legal duty to house them. For the local authority concerned, the logical thing to do is to house these unfortunate people somewhere where housing and rental costs are low.
Ilfracombe, and particularly Central district, fit the bill neatly.
The whole business stinks. The only beneficiaries are the landlords of the houses where these unfortunates are dumped. For the people concerned, they are moved from an area they know, where they may have friends, relatives and a support network, to somewhere miles away, where they probably know no one. Of course, in a few cases, it may be beneficial to get them away from bad influences, but these are surely in a minority. In most cases, the victims suffer. In addition, they often bring with them extra costs, medical certainly, sometimes educational and possibly policing. The local authority on which they are dumped gets no extra help to meet these costs.
Something must be done. For a start, dumping of people from one region to another must be banned unless it can be clearly shown that it is for that person’s own benefit. Also, far from being relatively underfunded compared with other localities, our health and education budgets should be increased to reflect the extra burdens that are placed on us.
Another is how health and care workers, going about their business in Ilfracombe, are regularly in receipt of parking tickets, and no one with any power to stop this seems interested in doing anything about it. Most of us, at some stage in our lives, are going to need the services of one or more of these dedicated people. Last year, I was visited regularly by a district nurse. My mother, when she was alive, had regular care workers. I am lucky – I have somewhere they can park, but most of us in Ilfracombe are not so fortunate. Often, these people have to carry heavy equipment. Even when they don’t have that burden, they have a limited time in which to do their jobs and they already have more than most of them can easily cope with. They simply do not have the time to drive around town looking for a legal parking spot (even if they can find one, which may be impossible in the summer), and then walk around to their appointments.
Our councillors at the Town Council are aware of the problem but can do no more than press Devon County Council to take action. So far, DCC seem not to care.
In my view, health and care workers, while doing their job, should have the same rights to park on otherwise restricted areas as do the disabled, with similar restrictions. This is something the national government would have to legislate for, so don’t hold your breath. In the meantime, those responsible for enforcing and administering parking restrictions should be instructed to use discretion, compassion and simple common sense when enforcing parking restrictions.
It is unacceptable that people caring for the health and wellbeing of our community should be harassed by pettifogging jobsworths, and that must stop NOW!
I have been told that DCC provides a form which can be downloaded from their site and displayed to allow parking in some circumstances in restricted zones. I have also been told that the restrictions placed on these permits are such that they have little use. However, and most amazingly, I have been told that, even when these permits have been displayed, parking tickets have been issued – if that is so, the traffic wardens guilty of doing this should be charged with perverting the course of justice and sacked instantly.