Sorry @SimonDanczuk it rains in Chad – and their arnt 70,000 homeless in Rochdale

The Sun

Anti-flood schemes in South Sudan, Ethiopia, Senegal, Chad and Burkina Faso are all getting cash under the £110million “Braced” project — despite them regularly suffering droughts.

Labour MP Simon Danczuk, whose Rochdale constituency was engulfed in water, said: “It can’t be right that while we are lacking effective flood defences at home, we are spending taxpayers’ money on flood defences in far-flung and drought-hit parts of the world.”

Sorry Simon I like your standing up to the momentum bullies but this is rent a quote crap.

Flooding is often much harsher in desert and semi desert climates because of the flash flooding that occurs in areas with little topsoil and forest cover.  Buy yourself a text book on hydrology for next christams.

The last major flooding in Chad led to 70,000 homeless, storm Frank is nothing by comparison.

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Government Privitises Development Management (and Consultants Get to Choose who Writes the Report)

Astonishing new clause in Housing and Planning Bill laid three days before xmas- the consultant gets the fee and thier is even a clause to require the LPA to pay the bill

Parliamentary Star

To move the following Clause—

“Regulations under section (Processing of planning applications by alternative

providers): general

(1)

Regulations under section (Processing of planning applications by alternative

providers) may make provision—

(a)

requiring a designated person to process a planning application, except in

specified circumstances, if chosen to do so by an applicant;

(b)

allowing a responsible planning authority to take over the processing of

a planning application from a designated person in specified

circumstances.

(2)

The regulations may make provision about—

(a)

eligibility to act as a designated person;

(b)

the capacity of a local planning authority to act as a designated person;

(c)

actions to be taken or procedures to be followed—

(i)

by persons making planning applications,

(ii)

by designated persons, or

(iii)

by responsible planning authorities,

and periods within which the actions or procedures are to be taken or

followed;

(d)

matters to be considered by designated persons or responsible planning

authorities;

(e)

performance standards for designated persons;

(f)

the investigation of complaints or concerns about designated persons;

(g)

the circumstances in which, and the extent to which, any advice provided

by a designated person to a person making a planning application is

binding—

(i)

on the responsible planning authority, or

(ii)

on designated persons other than the one providing the advice;

(h)

cases where a person ceases to be a designated person or where a

designated person is unable to continue processing a planning

application.

(3)

The provision that may be made under subsection (2)(c) includes provision

requiring a designated person to provide assistance to the responsible planning

authority in connection with—

(a)

any appeal against the authority’s determination of the application;

(b)

any application to the court made in relation to that determination.

(4)

The provision that may be made under subsection (2)(f) includes—

(a)

provision about the payment of compensation;

(b)

provision for a designated person to be required to indemnify the

responsible authority for any compensation that the authority is required

to pay;


Notices of Amendments: 17 December 2015

53

Housing and Planning Bill, continued

(c)

provision applying anything in Part 3 of the Local Government Act 1974

(local government administration) with or without modifications.

(5)

The regulations may confer powers on the Mayor of London or the Secretary of

State in cases where a direction is given under section 2A or 77 of the Town and

Country Planning Act 1990 (“call-in” directions).”

Member’s explanatory statement

This new clause provides that regulations under NC43 may provide for various matters including

the actions and procedures to be followed during the pilot schemes, the eligibility of persons to act

as designated persons, the setting of performance standards, and how conflicts of interest and the

investigation of complaints are dealt with.

 

DCLG Sack Garden City Head for Being a Local

Kent Messenger

Plans to build a garden city in Kent have been left in disarray after the chief executive of the body set up to build it has left after just five months in the job.

The departure of Robin Cooper as boss of Ebbsfleet Development Corporation was announced at a board meeting this morning.

Mr Cooper was hired in July to lead the construction of a new town on brownfield land between Dartford and Gravesend.

It is understood the Department for Communities and Local Government wants to appoint a new chief executive with fewer close connections to the county.

Mr Cooper left his job as director of regeneration, community and culture at Medway Council to take up the post at the EDC.

Is the TCPA right that ‘Permission in Principle’ could have Rascist Outcomes?

Planning Resource

The Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA) caused some controversy last month when its head of policy Dr Hugh Ellis raised concerns over government plans to grant permission in principle on certain sites, comparing it to zonal planning in countries such as the USA….

Ellis warned in a committee session last month that introducing zonal panning has been problematic elsewhere, and had ended up in the US Supreme Court 25 times since 1920 “because of (its) explicit use for racist purposes”. He called on the committee to “ask officials how much work they did in comparing other zonal planning systems across the world in relation to those implications”. Tory MP Stewart Jackson said Ellis’s comment was “frankly ridiculous”, while Lewis described the remarks as “inflammatory” and “ill-advised”.

Hugh’s comments were more than a little unfocussed.

Certainly the history of zoning in the US, unlike on the continent, has been marred by a desire for racial exclusion.  What began as a means of improving the  environment in which people lived and worked,became a mechanism for protecting property values and excluding undesirables.  The two groups that were regarded as the undesirables were immigrants and African Americans.

In the first years of the twentieth century it was quite common to have ‘exclusionary zoning’ which pronibted for example black people buying houses in white majority areas.  This was ruled unconstitutional in 1917, when the U.S. Supreme Court declared a Louisville, Kentucky racial zoning ordinance unconstitutional in Buchanan v. Warley.

Restrictions on lot size and other zoning measures which may have an indirect racially exclusionary impact have been found lawful.  ‘Inclusionary zoning’ (affordable housing) ordinances have, so far, also been found legal and ordnances which prevent any kind of housing affordable to a particular racial group have also been found to be unlawful.

However the Equalities Act 2010 Part 2 would prohibit zoning which is directly or indirectly discriminatory to any of its protected groups.   The rational response of the minister would be to rfer to this.

A greater concern is the refusal by the current government to introduce secondary legislation to embed the ‘social economic disadvantage test under part 1 of the 2010 act.   The big risk is the use of zoning to freeze out change in an area, such as densification and infill.

Whilst I dont think the shift to a zoning and subdivision systemn is well thought out this is alarmist talk by the TCPA.

If we are to have aa proper and rational zoning systemn however it needs more than the half baked ‘permission in principle’ clause.  It requires the kind opf measures to ensure that the system doesn’t embed corruption or social advantage and is transprent, for example a no spot zoning without public review clause is essential.  Similarly if simplification is the real aim you would ban planning applications in zoned areas as duplication of powers and introduce a system for applying for rezoning with all of the public review ramifications this would imply.

 

South Staffordshire is Wasting Everyones Time with its Local Plans Consultation

Let put things in black and white.

South Staffordshire’s position on its local plan is obviously indefensible.

It has a pre NPPF core strategy adopted in 2012 based on a (never finalised) regional strategy which was abandoned.  It has no FOAN

It is now until Feb consulting an a site allocation plan based on this now archaic document.

We know from endless examples now that inspectors will not find sound SADPs not based on an up to date FOAN.  Witness the recent Central Beds withdrawal.

South Staffordshire is desperately trying to avoid a strategic Green Belt review in the light of Greater Brum looking for South Staffs to accommodate its FOAN overspill.

It could argue that Green Belt is a constraints and somewhere else until the DTC should accommodate the need.  But it wont because to do so would require (as set down by the NPPF) an assessment of the alternative of a Green Belt review as opposed to development beyond the Green Belt.

It is nothing more than a sad, expensive and pointless delaying exercise.

It also illustrartes that simply having a core strategy should not remove you from sanction from not havinbg a local plan.  Indeed under the NPPF’s unitary definition South Staffs dopes not have one.

Top of the list for SoS intervention as they have started too late to complete and adopt by May 2017.

Government Green Belt Changes will Open Up Huge Garden Centre Sites for Housing

An example Garden Centre in the Green Belt St Albans which could now be redeveloped for housing

Most Garden Centre sites are no longer horticulture, as the predominant purpose of the site is no sales, so they generally are sui gneric retail – large open areas (lack of roofs) typically exclude them from A1 according to caselaw.  So they count as previously developed land.

In the Green Belt therefore if you wished to develop then you had to keep much the same footprint of buildings, there or there about – lots of cases see here.

The NPPF changes currently being consulted on in removing the openess impact test would allow the whole of such sites to be developed no matter how little they were covered in buildings, and discounting the limited impact on openness of all glass buildings.

Now dont get me wrong some garden centres are good locations for housing, even in the Green Belt.  Take for example the ugly mass of Garden Centre tat around Crews Hill Station north of Enfield.  But in other cases Garden Centres occupy strategic locations which are essential in securing the openness of Green Belts.   Consider for examplwe some of the enormous garden centres around St Albans, rejected in favour of land at the edge of Hemel Hempsted.

This is likley to open up a hug loophole on these sites, disregarding the visual impact for a purely semantic test of where the land use ends, and will certainty add to the value of garden centres owners substantially without them lifting a finger.

The Social Credit Type Fallacy used by ‘Debt Free Money’ Advocates

Randall Wray is on fine form criticising a ‘Debt Free Money’ advocate who claims

When a commercial bank makes a loan, the principal is created, but not the interest. 

He replies

Money is always and everywhere else an IOU. As my prof, Hyman Minsky, always said, discipline the analysis with balance sheets. Show me the balance sheets in which government creates and spends money that is not its liability, vs the balance sheets in which government borrows its own currency from banks…

But he doesn”t really answer the objection re banks not crearting the money for interest.  I note that the supposed ‘Gap’in demand re interest is exactly the same as promulgated by Major Douglas and Social Credit theorists for years.

It is a fallacy.

The fallacy is due to

  1. their being no rational reason for taking out a loan for business purposes  unless the investment yields a profit.  The entrepreneur calculates this before seeking a loan.  This however opens up the potential that the economy cannot grow because interest swallows up profits.  This is also a fallacy because:
  2. The proportion of profits retained is respent circulating throughout the economy until – in a process of geometrical contraction – the limnit is reached on it being paid as interest
  3.  The intermediate goods bought by an entrepreneur are subject to value added and profit by suppliers
  4. Bank profits are either returned to shareholders to be spent or retained as bank capital to expand the ability of the bank to loan further.

In all four ways the money recirculates to enable payment of interest and supplying the additional demand to pay for the new product, the loan and the interest on it..

Why when Monetary Velocity Falls so Does Productivity

An important omission from my last post, where I argued

labour savings in one branch of the economy are – over time – precisely matched by purchases of products with marginally increasing use of labour, until the labour saved in one branch is mopped up by new less productive labour hired from the profits made….

a capitalist in receiving profits and now eventually deciding to spend spends the marginal increment of profits on a consumption good on his or her demand schedule that was previously considered less desirable than their previous purchase.  I…At the margin an extra increment of spending power translates to spending on an additional good which was previously not purchased because its costs were too high because of its more labour intensive production.  Consumption therefore takes place along a demand schedule with a declining marginal productivity of labour.

However in between the point in time of innovation created profits and the spending of those profits there may be innovation in the production of those goods.

This is why productivity rarely falls to zero.  An apparent rise or all in productivity may simply be an artifact of falls or rises in monetary velocity.

Productivity is Not a Puzzle when the Whole Economy is seen as a System

Their has been much hand wringing by economic thinkers about Secular stagnation  and the ‘puzzle’ that if growth is due to productivity – as growth theory says it is, how we can continue to grow when many economies have such stagnant productivity.  The issue I think is that we aere seeing productivity from the perspective of a single firm not from the economy as a whole..

One of the key problems with the concept of productivity is dimensional analysis.  You can measure units of physical output per units of physical input – but entropy ensures you always lose.  Productivity using cobb-douglas like production functions mixes physical output per unit time with value of labour input / unit time and throws in another dimensionless value – capital input – for good measure.  Hence productivity, and its derivative, total factor productivity, becomes a dimensionless and meaningless modelling artifact.

We have to start by creating a dimensionally meaningful measure of productivity – the flow of profit per units time over the flow of labour value inputs per unit time.

When measured correctly and in this manner – labour savings in one branch of the economy are – over time – precisely matched by purchases of products with marginally increasing use of labour, until the labour saved in one branch is mopped up by new less productive labour hired from the profits made.

The argument step by step.

Why do we innovate? – we innovate to save costs of labour.

According to the Babbage’s classic theorem division of labour is employed because it enables high cost labour to be replace with low cost labour.

That labour saved gives the firm a competitive advantage which translates to profits.  Profits which can be competed away in Schumpeterian fashion.

If spent and not hoarded those profits translate to additional labour employed in other branches of the economy.

That spending can be either investment or consumption – it does not matter for the theorem how profits are split between rent, interest and profit simply that ultimately they are spent on investment or consumption – which also does not matter for this theorem (in matters in other regards regarding growth – as this is as we shall see a Taylor series geometrical contraction).

Take as an example it being spend on production.  The capitalist in receiving profits and now eventually deciding to spend spends the marginal increment of profits on a consumption good on his or her demand schedule that was previously considered less desirable than their previous purchase.  If two dissimilar but otherwise identical goods are seen as equally desirable then the one with the cheapest production cost (in a completive market where this translates to sale price) will be chosen.  At the margin an extra increment of spending power translates to spending on an additional good which was previously not purchased because its costs were too high because of its more labour intensive production.  Consumption therefore takes place along a demand schedule with a declining marginal productivity of labour.

For sake of argument assume no fixed capital.  Then is there is $100 spend from additional profits from saving $100 of labour then if spent on consumption that additional spending power will be spent and respent throughout the economy until that $100 is all spent on $100 of additional labour along the declining marginal productivity of labour curve.  The economy as a whole has not saved any labour, it is bigger and more profitable but not more labour saving when seen as a global system.  How quickly this process plays out – and how quickly the spending flows from labour share to capital share and back depends on the velocity of money.

Take for example spending at restaurants; a hard up entrepreneur may choose to dine at a diner with one person behind the counter, a well off one at a starred restaurant where one cook may cook five or six meals a nighty rather than 50.   Wealth enables you to afford more labour intensive, less productive consumption goods.

The same process applies to investment only, with declining labour productivity on a schedule of competing investments.

Readers of the blog will note that introduction of fixed capital does not vary these assumptions, as this can be discounted back to present value of labour using a perpetuity rule.  We can maintain our dimensional purity.

This is identical in form to other processes of geometrical contraction related to the velocity of money in economics – as discussed for example by Khan (the keynsisan multiplier) of Phillips (endogenous monetary expansion in banking).

Key to all of this is that the receipt of profits and the act of spending profits occurs at different times and for different reasons.  The velocity of money and the distribution of the profit share here are key to total labour share.  It appears from the perspective of a single firm that a labour saving innovation decreases the labour share.  If spent instantly, then respent instantly – and if not subject to rent or interest then the 1-r (rate of profit) labour share remains unchanged, however the labour share is divided amongst a larger group of workers.  Are these workers worse off?  It depends on the real wage not just the labour share, if the industry in which the innovation takes place is competitive and produces final consumption goods then the wage measured in wage basket goods may increase even though labour share may be declining or stagnant.  Growth however is dependent on an ever enlarging labour force.  If this is constrained, for example of demographic change or inmigration control’s, this hinders the process by which profits return to labour share.  Similarly the extraction of profits by rentier income hinders the return.

Note we don’t assume declining returns to firms with a single process.  These may indeed experience increasing returns.  The ‘law’ diminishing marginal returns only applies to competing products on demand and investment schedules not cumulative innovation to a single production process.

As this is a process over time towards a limit we don’t need to make the equilibrium assumptions that the limit is ever reached.  Rather it is a tendency to reach that point as an attractor.

If innovation occurs in uneven bursts then there will be long tail effects over time in reducing productivity economy wide.  The first thing we should ask when we see puzzlingly low productivity is where we are in the cycle of distribution of spending from the initial growth forming investments.  The process or urbanization for example, especially those founded on resource wealth, is a cycle from very high productivity initial investments, sucking in labour through successive waves and less and less high productivity growth, creating a large local market but not necessarily a competitive export orientated one.

Consider a case where innovation occurs at a steady path but driven by investment – it is an endogenous variable.  But then investment collapses, profits are restored rather through working longer hours, later retirement and wage cuts.  The transmission mechanism back to labour share is ten boocked through rentier extraction, weak demographic growth and reduction inmigration.  This seems to be a reasonable scenario for Europe and Japan.

Economist – Green Belts no Longer Sacred

Economist

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IF THERE is one thing Britons dislike more than their country’s housing shortage, it is the idea of building more houses. Even as a lack of homes has sent prices through the roof, particularly in the south-east, cities have remained ringed by protected “green belts” of land that are off-limits to developers. Attempts to build on them provoke outcry. But on December 7th the government published a consultation on letting councils allocate “appropriate small-scale sites in the green belt specifically for starter homes”, houses designed for first-time buyers. It is a timid proposal but it hints that a deeper political change may be under way.

The plan would be the biggest relaxation of green-belt policy since the 1980s, says Matt Thomson of the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), which opposes most building on the belt. In a report in March the CPRE found that even under the current strict rules, 219,000 homes were planned for development there. Mr Thomson fears that the new proposals could be the start of bigger changes in green-belt policy.

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 That is exactly what others are hoping. For although green belts protect the countryside, they prevent the construction of housing where it is needed most, and so contribute to high house prices. There are 1.6m hectares (4m acres) of green belt in Britain; in England it is more of a blanket than a belt, covering 13% of the land.

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The new proposals would probably affect just a few hundred hectares, says Paul Cheshire of the London School of Economics—“a spit in the ocean”. But it is nonetheless significant that the government is sanctioning any kind of review of the green-belt policy, he says. It coincides with a process of devolution to English cities, which could give more planning powers to mayors. Some think they may approve more building on the belt; others suspect that mayors, who answer to local residents, will prove more NIMBYish than planners based in the capital.

The new proposals would probably affect just a few hundred hectares, says Paul Cheshire of the London School of Economics—“a spit in the ocean”. But it is nonetheless significant that the government is sanctioning any kind of review of the green-belt policy, he says. It coincides with a process of devolution to English cities, which could give more planning powers to mayors. Some think they may approve more building on the belt; others suspect that mayors, who answer to local residents, will prove more NIMBYish than planners based in the capital.

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