• Firstly, there seems to have been a considerable amount of spinning involved in this budget. Osborne leads everyone to think (right up until the last minute) that the police and working tax credits would see considerable cuts. But his announcements today will have ensured positive press coverage as everyone was expecting the worst. Cynical view? Yes but I think that is the accurate one! So the [...]

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    The scheme includes a 1km surfaced walkway and cycleway running between Laundry Lane in Sidford and the southern boundary of Sidbury. The trail runs along agricultural land on the Eastern side of the A375 and then passes onto boardwalk through woodland at Sidbury. The route has been chosen following public exhibitions in Sidbury and Sidford in February 2014, as well as consultation with affected [...]

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    This age group now represents around 30 per cent of all contacts with the service. Fee invited me to meet her after she read my Express & Echo article describing my reaction to the film, Suffragette. Fee is worried that young people’s sex lives are being dramatically affected by the insidious effect of online pornography. “Porn is changing young people’s behaviour,” she said. “Shaved[...]

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    We blinked and we missed it. I am a member of Devon County Council’s health and wellbeing scrutiny committee and had no idea about its existence. Even the media didn’t pick it up until Thursday last week. The deadline is Monday (23 November)! It looks like a big important one too - setting the future direction of the NHS - as if that hasn’t already been done with the £3bn Health[...]

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    You are invited to the launch of the book about the Claire Wright campaign to win the Parliamentary seat of Devon East.  It will be held at the Curious Otter Bookshop, 10 Mill Street, Ottery St Mary, EX11 1AD between 10 and 12 on Saturday 28th November. This is the remarkable story of an independent, lacking a party label, an experienced party machine and relying on private donations and [...]

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    Hospitals will remain at Holsworthy and South Molton. Torrington hospital’s beds were shut over a year ago – and the process leading up to this decision, as well as its impact, is currently being investigated by a task group of the health and wellbeing scrutiny committee. I am a member of this task group. The main reason cited by the trust for shutting the hospitals is financial, with a [...]

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    In my ward, this means that school crossing patrols at Ottery St Mary and Feniton are at risk. Both services in my view are vital. Feniton’s Station Road is very busy at school pick up and drop off times. And the service is even more vital in Ottery’s case, as the patrol operates on the Tip Hill crossroads, between Winters Lane and Longdogs Lane. At rush hour, this is a fast and [...]

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    Economists at the RSPB have analysed the figures and have forecast what 30 per cent cuts[1] could mean for the environment: •  It’s estimated that a 30% cuts will lead to 57% real terms cuts[2] – the largest of any department so far[3]. •  5,000+ staff redundancies meaning fewer people to, for instance, advise farmers on managing land with wildlife in mind, research and [...]

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    In answer to my written question at today’s cabinet meeting, calling on the council to write to Devon MPs, Cllr Roger Croad said: “I can assure Councillor Wright that the Police & Crime Panel, of which I am Chairman, has and will continue to question the Police & Crime Commissioner and the Chief Constable closely on the impact of operational decisions like this. “However,[...]

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    Phil Norrey, board member of the “Success Regime” (and also chief executive of Devon County Council) told the health and wellbeing scrutiny committee that the regime’s board was currently at the stage of analysing the problems, which will continue until Christmas. The paper submitted to today’s meeting, emphasised the seriousness of NEW Devon’s Clinical Commissioning Group’s financial[...]

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