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Mr Stuart Barker   Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Health Services in the County of Devon.


Dear Stuart,

Thank you for your prompt reply.  Although I speak strongly my motives are good.  You know that.  People who put themselves up for election to public bodies often become Aunt Sallies; many of the people chucking the wet sponges would not take on such responsibilities themselves.  I know that local government is imprisoned by several vicious circles.  For instance, you end with

'This (1.9% rise) raised just over £6m but we lost £3m because by raising council tax we lost the government council tax support grant so the net gain was just over £3m – it doesn’t go far towards the £110m.'

I thought this exemplified some of your difficulty.  Kafka portrayed it in The Castle - Das Schloss.

I cannot tackle all the detail in your letter immediately and, besides, I do not know all the ins and outs.  One wonders whether the staff at the DCC homes, and especially the managers, have been asked in a constructive way whether they could see how economies could be made.  For instance, I hope some outfit like Serco have not been changing lightbulbs, fixing ball valves etc.  The stories from OUR NHS in this regard are disgusting.

Discussion and expert input regarding this most important issue is needed.  So I am asking my friend to put your letter up on my web site.

Incidentally, you speak of care homes being built in Exeter and Sampford Peverell.  Is there more recent news re the latter since March of this year - Mid Devon Gazette

Finally - I have no affiliation with any party.  I am aware that several disastrous plans were put in place by the 'Labour' government prior to the Coalition though I say that the Health and Social Care Act of April 1 20012 trumps them all.

Best wishes