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Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Beach Management Plan >>> frequently asked questions >>> last updated 23rd August

Several coastal towns in East Devon have plans to manage their beaches:
Beach Management Plans - East Devon

The Plan for Sidmouth is being put together:
Sidmouth and East Beach Management Plan - East Devon

If you look at the FAQs for this plan
Sidmouth Beach Management Plan: Frequently Asked Questions - East Devon

... questions 12 and 18 were updated today. 
- But why these?
- And why have others which are clearly inaccurate not been updated?

1. What is a beach management plan?

A Beach Management Plan (BMP) is a plan for managing a beach at a local level for the purpose of Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management, taking into account and, where possible promoting or enhancing the other uses and functions of a beach.

Last updated 16 June 2016

2. Why does Sidmouth need a beach management plan?

Beach Management Plans act as a guide for East Devon for management of the beach and hard coastal defences with a view to managing the risk of flooding and erosion to properties and community infrastructure. 
In Sidmouth, the BMP will help East Devon determine the most appropriate way to maintain the protection provided by Sidmouth Beach (and its associated defences) and reduce the rate of erosion at East Beach.
The beach management plan provides the evidence base which will allow East Devon to access funding from Central Government known as Flood & Coastal Risk Management Grant in Aid.

Last updated 2 May 2017

3. What area of Sidmouth does the Beach Management Plan cover?

The Sidmouth Beach Management Plan covers from Jacob's Ladder in the west to East Beach in the east. It also includes the River Sid up to the first weir encountered upriver from the sea.  
Please see our interactive maps showing the extents and sections of the Sidmouth and East Beach Management Plan.  

Last updated 2 May 2017

4. What are the aims Sidmouth and East Beach Management Plan?

The specific aims of the Sidmouth and East Beach Management Plan are as follows:

1. Maintain the 1990’s Sidmouth Coastal Defence Scheme Standard of Service (protection against flooding and erosion).
2. Reduce the rate of beach and cliff erosion to the east of the River Sid (East Beach).
3. Carry out (1) and (2) in an integrated, justifiable and sustainable way.

Last updated 2 May 2017


5. What happens once the Beach Management Plan is completed?

Once the BMP has identified a preferred option we will begin work on the outline design and business case to submit to the Environment Agency for approval of Government funding (Flood & Coastal Risk Management Grant in Aid). This outline design and business case work will be a separate project following completion of the BMP project.
Following approval, detailed design and applications for statutory consents (such as planning permission) will be required, prior to the preferred BMP scheme being tendered and construction starting on site.

Last updated 21 August 2017

6. Who will pay for a beach management scheme?

Funding for beach management projects from Government comes through what is known as Flood & Coastal Risk Management Grant in Aid (FCRMGiA) via a process administered by the Environment Agency. The amount of FCRMGiA a project is eligible for is linked to the predicted damages from flooding and coastal erosion, as well as the number of residential properties benefitting from a reduction in risk.
Where the amount of FCRMGiA for an eligible project is less than the total cost of a scheme, the shortfall has to be made up through partnership contributions. Typically, partnership contributions are sought from beneficiaries of a project such as infrastructure owners (utility companies, highways authorities etc), local communities, businesses and developers. This is referred to as partnership funding.
All the BMP options currently being considered will require an element of partnership funding.

Last updated 2 May 2017

7. Why aren’t you doing something now?

We are currently looking at interim options to reduce erosion at East Beach whilst the BMP is completed and implemented, and we will be reporting back to the steering group at the June meeting.

Last updated 25 July 2017

8. Why has the Beach Management Plan taken longer than expected?

The BMP was originally due to be completed in September 2015, however following delays in obtaining critical data on previous projects and works at Sidmouth, and requests from the BMP steering group to take into account additional anecdotal evidence and to provide more detail on the options appraisal the completion date for the BMP has moved back to Autumn 2016.

Last updated 24 July 2017

9. Who are the steering group?

The Sidmouth and East Beach Management Plan steering group is made up of:

East Devon District Council
Cliff Road Action Group
Vision Group for Sidmouth
Sidmouth Sailing Club
Local Fishermen
Sidmouth Town Council
Devon County Council
Natural England
National Trust
Jurassic Coast Team
Environment Agency

Last updated 8 August 2017

10. What do the steering group do?

The steering group provides an important link between the community, businesses, regulatory bodies and our consultants, CH2M. The steering group meet at key points during the project, where the technical analysis can be explained, queries can be raised and actions agreed to take forward the BMP to the next stage.

Last updated 17 July 2017

11. Who are CH2M?

CH2M are an international firm of consultants, with a local office in Exeter. They were previously known as Halcrow Group Ltd. They have decades of coastal management and coastal engineering experience in the UK, including along the East Devon Coastline. Amongst other things, CH2M produced the Shoreline Management Plan for the area and Beach Management Plans for Exmouth, Lyme Regis, West Bay, Burton Bradstock and Chesil Beach at Portland. They were also lead authors of the CIRIA Beach Management Manual which is an international manual of best practice for all aspects of beach management, and is the basis for BMPs throughout the UK.

Last updated 2 May 2017

12. What has caused the most recent erosion at East Beach? Do you expect it to return to normal historic rates?

The current period of rapid cliff recession and low beach levels is indicated to have begun in the late 1980s / early 1990s. Whist this is broadly coincident with construction of the offshore breakwaters, other periods of low beach and rapid cliff loss have occurred previously, with several large cliff failures shown at Pennington Point and along East Cliff in the past.
This suggests the cause of cliff recession seen in recent years is not related to the breakwaters, and is more likely to be a function of low beach levels (due to persistent South-Westerly storms), particularly wet weather since 2000, erosion along the more vulnerable bedrock joints, erosion of a greater thickness of weak sediments capping the cliffs at Pennington Point, and, in the early 1990s at least, erosion of a tunnel excavated along the base of the cliffs.
Over the longer term, erosion rates are expected to return to the lower historic rate but given the large uncertainties over the geology as well as future storms and climate conditions it is very difficult to predict when this might be.

Last updated 23 August 2017

13. Why are historic rates of erosion slower than the erosion we see now?

The analysis undertaken as part of the BMP has concluded that here have been periods of more rapid erosion at East Beach in the past. East Devon has benefitted from the coastal monitoring program (with numerous surveys of Sidmouth and East Beach undertaken each year) however this only covers a relatively limited time period (since 2007) and the BMP is reliant upon maps/aerial photographs that can be spaced 10 years or more apart over the longer term.
The average erosion rates across these longer periods tend to be misleading, as we know from our understanding of the geology and behaviour of these cliffs that falls will tend to occur in a small number of discrete events.  Therefore, the BMP has taken all the photographic and map evidence together with anecdotal evidence to infer cliff behaviour over the longer term.

Last updated 24 July 2017

14. What will happen to Alma Bridge?

Devon County Council estimate the existing structure at Alma bridge will need to close this winter (2016/2017) and have in place plans to replace the bridge further upstream in a location less  vulnerable to coastal change.

Last updated 24 February 2017

15. Why wasn't East Beach included in the 2015 beach recycling work? Why can’t we move beach material from Salcombe Hill further West?

Moving sediment from Sidmouth Beach to East Beach was excluded from the 2015 beach recycling works for a number of reasons, primarily as this would have reduced the available sediment on Sidmouth Beach and increased the risk of flooding and erosion to Sidmouth.
Moving sediment from further East was also ruled out, as without any controlling structure at East Beach there is no guarantee on how long the sediment would be retained, there would also be access and safety issues with working along this beach close to unstable cliffs.

Last updated 24 February 2017

16. Why does some of the analysis show the cliffs “growing towards France”?

The error within the historic mapping, or aerial photography used as the basis for the BMP can be greater than the rate of erosion at that time. This is normal when using historic data sets, with error both within the survey undertaken at that time or when referencing older data to more recent mapping.
The resulting erosion rates could appear on the face of it to show the cliffs advancing as opposed to retreating (or not moving) as would be expected.
The transect method for measuring erosion has been used by CH2M partly to avoid areas of the largest error with the historic datasets.

Last updated 24 February 2017

17. How are you making sure the BMP complements the work at Port Royal?

The Port Royal redevelopment is being led by Sidmouth Town Council with support from East Devon. Representatives from both organisations sit on the respective steering groups to ensure continued liaison across the two projects.

Last updated 24 February 2017

18. Why is using rock armour to protect the base of the cliff being ruled out?

Planning applications for a rock revetment on East Beach have been recommended for refusal by the Local Planning Authority and subsequently withdrawn by the applicants on two previous occasions, most recently in 2011. Objections from multiple agencies including Natural England, the Environment Agency, the Jurassic Coast Team and the East Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty can be found in the most recent planning application.
Natural England's objections include:
  • Incompatibility with the shoreline management plan (SMP2) policy
  • Likely to have an adverse impact on the Outstanding Universal Value of the World Heritage Site
  • Insufficient information was provided to consider the impacts on the Special Area of Conservation and Site of Special Scientific Interest, and the effects further along the coast
  • Landscape impacts
  • Insufficient consideration of alternative options

The BMP has been undertaken to consider the alternative options, which are more likely to receive planning and marine consents.
Information on the importance of the geology on East Beach has been provided by the Jurassic Coast Team and can be found here.
A position statement from Natural England and the Jurassic Coast Team in regards to a rock revetment at East Beach can be found here.

Last updated 23 August 2017

19. Rock armouring can be seen to be effective on East Beach, so why are groynes being proposed which will require maintenance of the beach?

Similarly groyne bays can been seen to be working well on Sidmouth Town Beach, retaining a healthy beach here. There are numerous other successful examples  elsewhere around the coast.
As part of the next stage for any option, we’ll need to make sure both ourselves and the EA have confidence that the solution will be effective in order to get approval from their project review board.

Last updated 24 July 2017

20. Why isn't the rock used which is more in keeping with the setting?

Rock armour is primarily reliant on its mass to stay in place, so very dense rock like granite which is available in suitably sized pieces and will last a long time tends to be used.
We can ask the consultant for the next stage to consider whether there are other types of rock which can be sourced which may be more in keeping, but typically the geology in this area is quite soft.

Last updated 1 March 2017

21. Why haven’t rock armouring options of shorter lengths, and offset from the cliffs been considered?

6 different configurations of rock armour were included in the long list appraisal, including variations on length, offset from the cliffs and in combination with cliff top drainage/netting. The steering group were in agreement that none of the rock revetment options should proceed to the next stage for both technical, and environmental reasons.

Last updated 24 July 2017

22. An application for rock armouring would take less time

If we were to take forwards rock armouring as the preferred option we’d still need to go through the same process of investigations and approval, including assessments of the various environmental aspects. Whilst the design itself of the rock armour may be simpler, it’s unlikely to significantly reduce the programme going forwards.
There would also be the additional risks for a rock armouring scheme of:
  • The Outline Business Case wouldn’t be approved, as the EA may have insufficient confidence that the scheme would get planning (and marine planning) consent given the two previous unsuccessful applications for rock  armour in this location
  • DEFRA (via the EA) may be reluctant to approve the OBC for a scheme which Natural England (another part of DEFRA) have advised against through the BMP process
  • That planning (and marine planning) wouldn’t be approved leading to appeals, or may be referred to the secretary of state which delay the process (and add to the costs) still further

Last updated 24 July 2017


Sidmouth Beach Management Plan: Frequently Asked Questions - What is a beach management plan? - East Devon
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Beach Management Plan: to meet on 13th September >>> but exactly what is to be 'modelled'?

The public doesn't seem to interested or impressed by what's on offer for the seafront:
Futures Forum: Beach Management Plan: and asking the public to fund a public project >>> four months on and £100 richer

Royal Haskoning were awarded the consultants' contract - having done the same job the last time round:

It is clear that the District Council is pushing for one proposal: 

- as against that recommended by the experts:
Futures Forum: Beach Management Plan: all agencies support both options
Futures Forum: Beach Management Plan: looking for funding for the 'technically preferred' option 4b >>> latest reports

The latest press release from the District Council talks about 'modelling' - but it is not clear which modelling is meant:
Futures Forum: Beach Management Plan: ‘major discrepancies’ in the predicted costs of modelling and maintenance
Futures Forum: Beach Management Plan: "More careful consideration is needed, starting with comparative modelling."

There are still many questions unresolved:



Sidmouth BMP Steering Group to meet with project consultants to understand next stage of project

When this content has been created

18 August 2017



Sidmouth Main Beach looking across to Eat Beach

Consultants Royal HaskoningDHV will explain the steps being taken to obtain Environment Agency approval for a scheme to protect the town


A meeting of the Sidmouth Beach Management Steering Group will take place on 13 September to allow members of the local community, as well as statutory partners, such as the Environment Agency and Natural England, to meet with East Devon District Council’s project team and project consultants Royal HaskoningDHV. 

The meeting will give Royal HaskoningDHV the opportunity to explain the investigatory work that has already begun, as well as the computer modelling and outline design, which will continue over the next 12 months. The more detailed flood modelling, project costs and environmental appraisal will be used to help build a business case for Sidmouth’s Beach Management Scheme, which will be submitted to the Environment Agency for their approval next summer (2018).

The scheme aims to maintain a healthy beach along Sidmouth and East Beaches and to maintain the town’s protection against coastal flooding, while also reducing the rate of erosion on East Beach.

As part of the investigations for the scheme, a survey and sampling of the sediment from the seabed along the coast of Sidmouth has recently been completed by Plymouth Coastal Observatory, who manage regular monitoring of the coastline around the south west of England.

Royal HaskoningDHV will be using that data, as well as other information, including Met Office data on storm conditions to develop and validate computer models of the coastline at Sidmouth. These models will be used to assess the risk of flooding under various beach conditions, and also to calculate the response of the beaches to storm conditions.

To deliver the most cost effective option identified within the BMP, an estimated £3.3m of partnership funding is still required from sources that are yet to be secured. Without this, funding from central government for a scheme at Sidmouth will not be available.
Should all of the requisite funding be available, the earliest that construction of the final scheme can take place on site is likely to be in 2019.

Councillor Phil Twiss, Deputy Leader of East Devon District Council, and portfolio holder for strategic development and partnerships, who has taken over as chairman of the BMP Steering Group from Cllr Andrew Moulding, said: 
I’m delighted to be involved in this important project for Sidmouth in my new capacity as portfolio holder. It’s exciting to be moving forwards to the next phase of this project to manage the risk of flooding and erosion to Sidmouth and I’m extremely grateful to Cllr Moulding whose input has been invaluable in helping the project reach this point.
Cllr Tom Wright, who is the new environment portfolio holder at East Devon District Council, taking over from Cllr Iain Chubb, said:
We are pleased to be working with Royal HaskoningDHV who will be developing an Environmental Impact Assessment for the scheme to ensure that the impacts are understood and that the scheme will be permissible. Steps will then be taken to minimise the impact on Sidmouth’s internationally recognised coastline, while recognising the need to protect the town.
Alexander Lee, Project Manager for Royal HaskoningDHV, said: “Royal HaskoningDHV are excited to be working with the team at East Devon District Council to help take forward the Sidmouth BMP.  Our locally based project team understand the importance of this stretch of coastline and we are thrilled to have the opportunity to progress this vital project.”



18 August 2017 - Sidmouth BMP Steering Group to meet with project consultants to understand next stage of project - East Devon
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Is an average Persimmon home really “very affordable”?

The leading housebuilder Persimmon has built housing in Sidmouth:

It owns a fair amount of land in the surrounding AONB of the Valley and would like to build on that too:

The question is what type of housing has been built - and what housing needs to be built:

Looking at Persimmon's trading statement at the beginning of the year, the Independent asked the question:

Persimmon says its homes are very affordable. Does that stack up?

Putting the details of an average family into NatWest’s mortgage calculator suggests otherwise

James Moore Thursday 5 January 2017

“Buying a new-build home remains a compelling choice supported by competitive mortgage offers which continue to make a new home purchase very affordable.”

So said Persimmon Homes, on the back of its latest trading statement. An update that made the company the belle of the stock market ball. Revenues for 2016 were 8 per cent higher than in 2015 and the group completed 559 extra sales. Happy days for its investors.

But let’s take a closer look at that quote. Is an average Persimmon home really “very affordable”?

...


At the beginning of 2014, similar questions were being asked:

The affordable housing that's unaffordable

Face the Facts

John Waite investigates why some new housing developments have been given planning permission without any affordable housing.

Councils set a target for what percentage of new build homes in their area should be affordable to people on lower incomes and will only grant planning permission for a scheme on condition that the developers include a proportion of low-cost homes. But following a change in the law in April 2013, some of Britain's biggest house-builders have told councils that they are no longer able to meet their obligation because it unfairly cuts their profit margins.

Face the Facts hears the allegation that some councils have been presented with out-of-date calculations that make a housing development appear less profitable than it actually is.




The East Devon Watch blog has been asking these sorts of questions for some time now:

Now the company has just posted very nice earnings - with another observation from EDW:

With the same story at the Daily Mail:


UK builder Persimmon posts 30 pct first-half profit rise


By REUTERS

PUBLISHED: 22 August 2017

LONDON, Aug 22 (Reuters) - Britain's second biggest housebuilder Persimmon said its first-half pre-tax profits rose 30 percent to 457 million pounds but it would remain cautious over land buying due to uncertainty around Brexit.

Persimmon, which built just over 15,100 homes across the country in 2016, said its volumes rose 8 percent to 7,794 units in the first six months of the year and that customer interest in its developments remained strong.

The firm said the housing market was still "confident" and its reservation rate had risen 2 percent in recent weeks but it would be prudent about buying land for future building, the biggest cost faced by most builders.

"We will remain cautious with respect to new land investment for as long as the uncertainties facing the market persist, particularly those associated with the risks to the UK economy resulting from the UK's exit from the EU," the firm said on Tuesday. 


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Plans for Port Royal: presenting the evidence

A public meeting has been organised this evening to consider the alternatives for Port Royal:

The 'evidence' for both what is feasible and what has been consistently asked for will be presented during the evening.

The following studies are the primary sources:

A Vision for Sidmouth: 2006 Report:

Community Engagement Brief for Regenerating the Port Royal and Ham area, Sidmouth Eastern Town (Spring 2012):

including: Table of Contents
Appendices


Neighbourhood Plan: Port Royal report:

This is the PowerPoint presentation from tonight's meeting:



























See also the very first posting on this blog from 11th April 2013:
Futures Forum: Port Royal future: ‘Let’s get the community on board’
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Brexit: and bad pay

The issues of Brexit and bad pay are inextricably linked:
Futures Forum: Brexit: and the hospitality industry >>> migrant labour and low-wages

Whilst EU citizens are applying in much fewer numbers for jobs in low-paid industries
Futures Forum: Brexit: and encouraging greater flows of migrants of working age into the country

... the resulting 'soaring' 'new wave of job opportunities' is not going to be filled by young Brits:
Futures Forum: Brexit: and migrant workers not wanting to work on West Country farms

Migrants are already leaving - and there's nobody to take their positions:
Futures Forum: Brexit: and the day the immigrants left
Futures Forum: Brexit: and Neets

The Express has this story from earlier in the week:

Job vacancies for Britons soar as Brexit moves closer, says hotel owner


BREXIT is set to create a new wave of job opportunities for Britons, according to a London hotel owner.


By JOE BARNES Thu, Aug 10, 2017 


The European Union divorce will create more jobs in the UK for Britons as EU citizens choose to not apply for roles in the country. A new study has said more vacancies will become available to British workers with some EU nationals choosing to leave the UK because of Brexit.


Discussing the impact of Brexit on the hotel industry, Ms von der Heyde told CNN: “Already we have seen a change as far as it has become more difficult to recruit. Whereas before we would place an advert and we would have 50 applicants, we now get 10. To get the kind of person that fits here, we are having to look longer and harder.”

The hotelier did, however, suggest the appetite for Britons to take up certain roles in the hotel industry was questionable.
Ms von der Heyde claimed “British kids are not interested in housekeeping”, but would rather focus on applying for the more “glamorous areas” within the service industry.

Jobs: Brexit sends job vacancies for Britons soaring | UK | News | Express.co.uk


As John Harris writing in the Guardian recently suggested, we need a more 'balanced economy':

Brexit won't punish bankers. But it will harm voters.

With a balanced economy we could relax when financiers shut up shop. As it is, we need their taxes.

John Harris | Last modified on Monday 21 August 2017

The reasons why 17.4 million British people trooped to the polling stations last summer and put their crosses in the leave box have been endlessly analysed, and often crudely carved in half – as if some Brexit supporters were angry about immigration and others fixated on questions of sovereignty, and that was pretty much that.


But 10 years after the French bank BNP Paribas heralded the coming financial crisis by suspending two hedge funds that had effectively proved worthless, it’s worth reprising a pretty basic point: among the furies that exploded on 23 June last year were lingering grievances about the financial crash of 2007-8. The years since the cashpoints almost ran out had seen simmering anger about the endless billions pumped into the big banks and the lack of any obvious reckoning – not to mention exasperation with politicians chained to the demands of high finance, and not nearly interested enough in the millions of people whose only acquaintance with the City lay in the mess it had made.

To the delight of Irish estate agents, tailors and wine merchants, more than a dozen banks will shift business to Dublin

Clearly, the vote for Brexit represented a kind of misdirected, flailing revenge. As big banks lined up with the UK’s largest corporations to warn the public that Brexit would be disastrous, the sense of an instantaneous backlash was obvious. Former City insider Nigel Farage well knew Brexit’s basic populist plotlines, and when he made his victory speech in the small hours of 24 June, he said that the leave campaign had knocked down three adversaries in particular: “multinationals”, “big politics”, and “merchant banks”.

Having got up off the floor, some of the City of London’s biggest players are now taking big decisions. They have contracts that extend way beyond 2019, but what Brexit negotiations might mean for them remains chronically unclear. Plans for their future European operations need to be made right now. So plenty of banks are starting to shift parts of their business outside London, to a surprisingly muted response. Philip Hammond, the chancellor, seems to know roughly what is at stake, but swaths of the Conservative party – that historic redoubt of traders, brokers and high-rollers – seem surprisingly unconcerned. After all, what have bankers – bankers – ever done for us? Part of the answer lies in the £70bn-ish of tax revenue paid by financial services in 2015/16 – about two-thirds of our annual spend on the NHS...

This may be the first column I have ever written in defence of banks. If we had any kind of solid, dependable, balanced economy, we all might be much more relaxed. But there are no signs of that; indeed, leaving the EU looks likely to make the gaping inequalities the City symbolises even worse. The next time you are in a hospital or school, you might want to consider two things: that bankers foot a sizable share of the costs; and that, in the midst of Brexit’s mixture of anger, delusion and indifference, they may soon be paying their taxes somewhere else.

For the first time ever I am defending banks. Here’s why | John Harris | Opinion | The Guardian

Or as the New European would have it, we have forgotten and marginalised those who have been 'left behind':

Brexit was born at the battle of Orgreave

14 August 2017 Julia Muir



The working class were the key to Brexit. They must be the key to its defeat.







62% of EU referendum voters in South Yorkshire opted to Leave. It would have been higher, if not for the moderating effect of the pro-Remain Sheffield Hallam constituency (home to the largest population of professionals outside London) on Sheffield’s 51% Leave result.

Buried deep inside the gut of the South Yorkshire Leaver is a firm belief that Brexit is right for them, bringing much- needed change, because life inside the EU is bleak...


To fully understand the events of June 2016, we must rewind 32 years to the events of June 1984, when striking miners were pitched against police officers in bloody battles at collieries, epitomised by the infamous Battle of Orgreave. When television cameras started rolling, the roughest, toughest men of the county were pitched into fists vs truncheon combat with the establishment. The unfolding scenes of crowds of miners being charged at by police on horseback are burned into the collective memory of the region, and have come to symbolise a merciless and violent crushing of dissent in the North by Westminster. As a result, South Yorkshire police became “untouchable”. (Only now is the legacy of this being revealed via the inquiries into Hillsborough and the Rotherham child abuse scandal.)

The striking miners were fighting the closure of a dying industry. They lost the fight. The pits followed the fate of the steel factories and closed. The employment for thousands disappeared, never to be replaced, some believe as a punishment for such resistance against the establishment. Thriving village mining communities became isolated pockets of poverty; poor health, poor transport connections, and poorly educated. The impact of the loss of expenditure in the local economy was devastating. The drug dealers moved in, and the first generation of never-to-be employed youngsters were born...

The Rotherham child abuse inquiries of 2014 and 2015 brought to our attention what communities already knew. Child-grooming gangs of men of Pakistani heritage had been abusing vulnerable white girls from deprived communities and the authorities had been turning a blind eye. Families in areas of social deprivation had no voice, and the classification of these girls as wanton rather than preyed upon was symbolic of the disdain shown to these neighbourhoods. Fear of the “Muslim rapist or ISIS terrorist” predator became palpable, exacerbated by front pages of the pro Brexit press, which could have gone largely unnoticed had they not been amplified by the coverage given to them by the BBC through broadcast and social media channels. UKIP found a home.

Anti immigration sentiment was not about degree-educated French waitresses or Italian baristas (they tend not to venture up here) but about a perceived threat to safety from local Muslims and leaky EU borders leading to more arriving some time soon. When the rumour spread that child groomers had started to turn their attention to the emotionally vulnerable teenagers of the wealthier leafier suburbs, the Tory Brexit vote was mobilised into action. The impact of this was most spectacular in June 2017 with the withdrawal of the “block out Labour” vote they had previously lent to the pro-EU Clegg, (who had remained popular locally), ironically leading to the loss of his Sheffield Hallam seat to Labour. Perhaps liberalism is a luxury that is really only truly affordable when not feeling under threat.


The strategy has been to communicate different and contradictory messages to each echo-chamber; a pro single market theme for the commentariat through the intellectual brand of Sir Keir Starmer, but a “jobs first Brexit” at the rallies by the man-of-the-people brand of “Jeremy”. Corbyn has visited the students and the dormant voters, and used the spoken word where literacy levels are pitifully low. They have heard it from the horse’s mouth, not through the filter and mansplaining of the broadcast media. Whether or not he fails, they believe he will try to help them.

The Remainers believe that to win their vote, Labour will go into reverse gear on Brexit. I would not be so sure. Perhaps “Jeremy” is more likely to stand by the precariat than the commentariat; those who see him as their potential saviour, not those who will scrutinise his ideology.

Those who have enjoyed the benefits the EU brings most clearly and who perhaps will first feel the detrimental economic and lifestyle impact of leaving the EU the most, are faced with one simple but monumental challenge – to make sure the Labour Brexit voter will win by remaining in the EU. They must commit to extend the improved quality of life and employment that comes to many of us from being within the EU, to those who up until now have not experienced it.

To stop Brexit, the Brexiteers have to lose, and the working class Brexit voters have to be the winners in a future within the EU. To start, the appeal of following the Brexiteers must be diminished, and another way shown. This will not be by pointing out ‘Leave Lies’ but by demonstrating that Brexiteers are doing precisely what they promised not to do. Clegg paid dearly amongst his student and academic supporters not for failing to do something. But in agreeing to raise tuition fees he did something he promised he would not. We are used to dreams and aspirations not being fulfilled, we are accustomed to trying but failing. But reneging on a promise not to do something is very different.

Brexiteers promised not to let immigrants into the country. They promised not to inflict long term damage on the economy when leaving the single market. As negotiations begin, it is clear these promises will have to be broken.

This needs to be communicated not as a “we told you so – we must keep the status quo”, but a new action-oriented proposition should be presented: Let’s Exit from Brexit because there’s a better way to get the life you need. We heard your voice. You win. We will take action. Now let’s vote for that.

The power to do this really lies only in the hands of the Labour party. Perhaps with this scenario the Labour party, in collaboration with the Lib Dems and SNP, could truly achieve what is best for all of its supporters and keep this country where it belongs; as an invigorated and tougher, stronger reforming force within the EU, that makes sure that in the future no one is left behind.

Julia Muir is a veteran of the European automotive industry, founder of the UK Automotive 30% Club, and Sheffield-based Gaia Innovation Ltd, a social enterprise company that builds relationships between employers, schools and universities


Brexit was born at the battle of Orgreave - Top Stories - The New European
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