• The move took place at today’s extraordinary full council meeting to discuss revisions to the local plan. I blasted the council for opting YET AGAIN for unevidenced and huge levels of growth that are contrary to consultants recommendations. How many consultants have to tell EDDC that the right way forward is low growth before they actually listen?  The answer is they never will listen. They (who I am not entirely sure) wants big big levels of development in East Devon - and so shall it be. That is, until the planning inspector takes a look at it and wonders what on earth is going [...]

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    The care in the community offered by NEW Devon Clinical Commissioning Group, has been viewed as substandard by many local people and its report justifying the hospital’s closure was in my view (and the view of Cllr Andy Boyd, the author of the report) riddled with inconsistencies, misrepresentations and contradictions. The move will not save money - see previous blog from January here - http://www.claire-wright.org/index.php/post/health_scrutiny_committee_hears_closing_all_torrington_hospitals_beds_will In fact, Cllr Boyd’s report, which is excellent, indicates that the bed losses[...]

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    Hugo Swire, the current MP for Devon East and a junior Foreign Office minister, has shown contempt for those on benefits who are struggling to make ends meet. Exposed by the Channel Four Dispatches programme in a sting, temporary auctioneer Swire, seeking to raise funds for the Conservatives at a black tie dinner for his party in Mayfair in February, managed to insult those on benefits in the UK and those who are suffering hardship in Greece. Seeking a higher bid, he said “£60,000 …Ian..persuade him…he’s not on benefits is he? Well, if he is, then he can afford it..£55,000.” At[...]

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    More than 18,000 houses are now proposed to be built in the area by 2031.  But the figure may be much higher than this even.  Read on…. The controversial figures, which will be debated at an extraordinary council meeting on Thursday afternoon, have been long-awaited by East Devon councillors and residents, following the council’s draft local plan being thrown out by planning inspector, Anthony Thickett around a year ago. But in a scene of deja vu the numbers appear to be based on the highest level of growth possible. In fact it is hard to even work out where the numbers come [...]

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    Claire Wright, who is standing for the Parliamentary constituency of East Devon as an Independent candidate, visited a Year 13 Sociology class last Thursday to answer their questions and discuss the students’ attitudes to voting. Students had prepared questions that linked to their current exploration of whether social groups (eg, social classes, ethnicities, ages and sexes) are fairly represented within the political system. Claire responded to these questions clearly, drawing upon her own experiences to help illustrate her points. The discussion covered all manner of issues, including [...]

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    I contacted the council’s chief executive earlier this week enquiring what activities were taking place on encouraging voter registration. Mr Williams confirmed that letters had gone to every household and posters had been sent to secondary schools to raise awareness of the issues. But a few people have contacted me to say that they have had difficulty checking whether they are registered, with EDDC website links not working.  I have also heard from someone who double checked he was registered, only to find that he and his wife were not, despite their circumstances remaining unchanged. [...]

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    There was resounding applause for my speech and lots of interested questions. Several people came up to me afterwards to say how pleased they were to have someone they finally felt they could vote for, who also had a good chance of winning! Next up, Ottery St Mary - next Friday, 27 March, 7pm. The Institute. I am campaigning at Whimple, West Hill and Tipton St John this Saturday. See events for more information here - http://www.claire-wright.org/index.php/post/dates_for_your_diary_and_useful_information

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    The adopted and proposed local plan makes provision for the protection of the last facility of its kind in a community. Aylesbeare over the past few years has lost a shop, a school and does not have a post office. If it lost the pub, the ONLY remaining facility left would be its village hall. For a village with well over 100 dwellings (excluding the dwellings in the outlying parish) this falls far short of what should be available. I have seen from the objections that many people believe that the pub has been deliberately neglected, with little or no maintenance being carried out for years [...]

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    Claire Wright, the Independent candidate for Devon East in the General Election, will be in Ottery St. Mary on Friday 27th March. Everyone is invited to this free meeting which begins at 7 pm. The venue is the Institute in Yonder Street.  Following a short speech, in which the candidate will outline the key points of her campaign, concentrating on important local issues, there will be an opportunity for questions and discussion.  Claire, who was born in Devon and who has always lived in the area, launched her manifesto in Exmouth. She will explain how the results of her [...]

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    If the reports are so old and irrelevant, why has EDDC spent over £10,000 on fighting the Information Commissioner on their release?! ............................................... Tonight (5pm) is the joint overview and scrutiny committee meeting with audit and governance committee, which will examine the plans carefully.  The meeting will be filmed. Here is Cllr Diviani’s response ................................... Dear Cllr Wright, Thank you for your letter to myself and the Chief Executive. As was made clear in my reply to your Question No. 3 at the recent Full Council, the [...]

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    The Independent Claire Wright is making ground fast in the race to represent Devon East after the next General Election. Her odds, originally quoted at 66/1, have improved and now stand at 9/2 according to William Hill.  Hugo Swire’s odds have deteriorated again. In late February, he was standing at 1/12 and is now at 1/6. This further confirms Claire Wright’s position as the main challenger to the Conservative who has held the seat since 2001 but who has been widely criticised for neglecting the constituency.  UKIP remain in third position, at 18/1, followed by the Liberal [...]

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    Chair, Dr Margaret Hall gave a presentation. She said that West Hill was, by far, the largest village in East Devon not to have its own council. Benefits were cited as including having: - more control over planning issues - more autonomy generally - more control of developer funding associated with planning applications West Hill ward councillors, Jo Talbot and Jessica Bailey are also supporting the plans and spoke in favour of them. Ottery St Mary Town council mayor Glyn Dobson told the meeting that if West Hill residents wanted their own parish council he would support them, but added that [...]

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    Here are just a few readers letters responding to Mr Swire’s views…..

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    Roger Giles has long supported the group and has been instrumental in helping them secure the old Woods Farm site. Mandy Jennings is an absolute trooper. The group has faced so many trials and tribulations working in an area that is set up for big business and not for community not for profit groups. But Mandy’s tenacity has meant that scores of people have been helped get back into work, some of them have had troubled lives and volunteering with Otter Rotters has given real purpose. Whenever I meet the group I am always struck by the emotional attachment that the volunteers have for the[...]

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    Claire Wright, the Independent candidate for Devon East, has been confirmed, again, as the candidate most likely to oust the current MP, Hugo Swire in the General Election.  William Hill say that her odds are 7/1. She is followed by UKIP at 16/1, the Liberal Democrats at 33/1 and Labour at 100/1. The current MP’s odds are 1/9. An experienced spokesman for William Hill said that she was the only independent candidate in the country with odds in single figures and the next best, the comedian Al Murray, had odds of 50/1. “This means that she has the best chance of any independent of [...]

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    The chairman of the Save Our Ottery Hospital group, (SOOH), James Goddard, presented the Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group, meeting at the Knowle in Sidmouth on 23rd February, with a petition. It had been signed by 1,900 local residents. They wanted to ensure that their views, that the inpatient beds and the minor injuries unit at the Ottery St. Mary hospital, should remain open, were conveyed to the group. On its current proposals, the CCG plans closure of these facilities.  There are three local members on the newly-formed Stakeholders Group, set up by [...]

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    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cornwall-31673560

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