• Ministers are to round up a family of beavers spotted living in the Devon countryside and put them in a zoo. The Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) is trying to find a home in captivity for the rodents that are thought to have made their home on the River Otter in east Devon. But while Environment Secretary Owen Paterson has decided not to cull the animals, the move has[...]

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    Here’s my Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/clairewrightindependent

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    Just who is this recalcitrant individual who persecutes developers? It’s me! And the developers, are of course, Mr and Mrs Headon of H&H Prestige Homes, who I have written about previously on this blog, as they arranged for two healthy 150 year old oak trees to be ringbarked, then felled, last autumn, prior to submitting a planning application. Dozens of mature trees in the back garden [...]

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    It is really inconceivable how ministers could get away with blithely handed over policy making to a group of people who obviously had such a significant self-interest in drafting the rules in their favour. Where are the checks and balances in the system? Here’s the story, including links to the document. [...]

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    The developer, Charles Church - a branch of Persimmon, is interested in building possibly between 30-50 houses off Ash Hill Road, on the edge of the village. The plans will be displayed on Wednesday 16 July and will run from 2-7pm. The field is outside West Hill’s built up area boundary and is around one mile from the centre of the village. Photograph with thanks to Save the Woodland Village[...]

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    Mental health is given “second class status” by the Government, one of the region’s top psychiatric consultants has warned in a letter to David Cameron. Dr Andrew Moore, clinical director and consultant for the Devon Partnership NHS Trust, which provides care to people with mental health problems, says psychiatric care is “not a great priority” for ministers. The [...]

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    Liberal Democrat and Independent councillors invoked a special procedure to ‘call-in’ the decisions, announced last week, to allow more scrutiny of why the decisions were taken. The challenge is due to be heard on Thursday (26 June) in County Hall by cross-party members of the County Council’s Peoples’ Scrutiny committee. However, plans by Lib Dem and Independent [...]

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    MPs and business leaders in the Westcountry are backing a national campaign to reduce the rate of VAT for the tourism industry. Campaigners want to see the current 20% rate slashed, and have backed the CUT Tourism VAT Campaign, which is lobbying for a reduction to 5%. A cross-party group of 28 MPs from across the country have signed an Early Day Motion (EDM) calling on the government to reduce the[...]

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    New statistics from the Forestry Commission released today show the rate of tree planting is far lower than is needed to meet Government targets – despite efforts by landowners who applied for woodland creation grants last year. Just 3,300 hectares of new woodland was planted in England in the 2013-14 planting season – an increase of just 700 ha on the 2012-13 figure of 2,600ha but still far [...]

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    We were outside the library, which is at risk of closure under Devon County Council’s cuts programme. Many showed interest and enthusiasm for the idea of an independent MP for East Devon.  And of course, it was fabulous weather I will be back! Photograph:  Me with Budleigh Salterton resident and fellow campaigner, David Daniel.

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    The event runs from 3pm to 8pm and it will be a chance for nature lovers to study wildlife and cook over a camp fire. Booking is essential.  For more information see - http://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/news/events/fingle-festival/

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    Council scrutiny committees are based on the model of parliamentary select committees, where witnesses are invited along and asked questions. I am a member of EDDC’s overview and scrutiny committee and Devon County Council’s health and wellbeing scrutiny committee. The idea is to try and get behind an issue, to work through to the nub of it, particularly on issues of public concern. The role [...]

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    Other events include: - Sidmouth town centre - Saturday 5 July - Topsham town centre - Saturday 19 July More information on community events will follow, especially in relation to visiting East Devon villages. If you would like to help me leaflet or campaign in any way, please get in touch with me at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)/*= 0)out += [...]

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    At the overview and scrutiny minutes on 15 May, the conservatives largely voted in favour of major public speaking restrictions at planning committee meetings - see here for details - http://www.claire-wright.org/index.php/post/eddc_public_speaking_clampdown_plans_make_it_through_scrutiny_committee But although overview and scrutiny committee chairman, Cllr Tim Wood, can be heard explaining to [...]

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