Monthly Archives: December 2015

//December

Tipton St John School floods again, as Devon County Council advises against travel

By |2015-12-30T17:17:00+00:00December 30th, 2015|News|

Tipton St John Primary School has flooded yet again today, in the wake of Storm Frank, which has brought heavy rain, floodwater inland and on the coast with strong winds.

The grounds are inundated with water and mud and it is believed that there is a small amount of damage to one of the rooms inside.

I am in touch with headteachers, Colin Butler and Michael Tuckett, to see how I can help with the clear up.

Huge thanks to chief fire officer, Lee Howell, who replied to my email within a few minutes asking for help from his officers to clear up! There is a huge amount of mud which will need a high pressure hose to shift.

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Why is Mr Swire angry over devolution criticisms?

By |2015-12-29T20:13:00+00:00December 29th, 2015|News|

I see that Mr Swire has been publicly critical of those of us who have expressed concerns about devolution - see photo of his column in this week’s Sidmouth Herald.

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Going head to head with Conservative MP, Gary Streeter on BBC Radio Devon this morning

By |2015-12-17T10:45:00+00:00December 17th, 2015|News|

Going head to head with South West Devon MP, Gary Streeter this morning live on BBC Radio Devon, about the renewable energy subsidy cuts. See 01.35.57.

Completely opposing viewpoints unsurprisingly - and he actually seems to be passionate about fracking!

Also interviewed was a representative from the Campaign To Protect Rural England - in favour of the cuts. And Richard Fuell, UK Sales Manager with Solar Edge Technologies - against the cuts. At 01.35.12.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p038m07y#play

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Exmouth library this Saturday for West Hill or Westminster book chat

By |2015-12-17T10:17:00+00:00December 17th, 2015|News|

Author, Philip Algar and I will be in Exmouth library this Saturday between 10am and midday, to chat to anyone interested in his book about my general election campaign - West Hill or Westminster.

Hope to see you there, if you can make it!

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Renewable energy subsidies cut by two thirds

By |2015-12-17T09:49:00+00:00December 17th, 2015|News|

One of the things that has really annoyed me about the renewable energy subsidy cut debate is the government spin about how much the subsidies are costing the bill payer.

This morning it was announced that the government is slashing renewable subsidies by a whopping 64 per cent. Overnight. Likely to lead to widespread job losses across the south west as fewer people take up solar panels.

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David Cameron’s young sidekick claims families use food banks so they can spend cash in the pub

By |2015-12-16T15:23:00+00:00December 16th, 2015|News|

This is terrible.

People who use foodbanks must be referred by a health worker and are usually embarrassed and desperate.

It seems to be a further sign of the Conservative aim to demonise those in society who have the least and blame them for all social ills.

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Recycle your Christmas cards in M&S and get trees planted!

By |2015-12-16T14:40:00+00:00December 16th, 2015|News|

TV presenter Julia Bradbury is this year’s backer of the M&S and Woodland Trust’s Christmas Card Recycling Scheme – and is calling on people to recycle their cards to help plant thousands of trees across the UK.

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Call for public speaking at Devon County Council scrutiny meetings

By |2015-12-15T13:47:00+00:00December 15th, 2015|News|

I am hopeful that the four scrutiny committees at Devon County Council will soon have the facility for public speaking.after the subject was discussed at a scrutiny chairs meeting last week.

I have long been frustrated at the rules, which allow organisations to present to committees, without also allowing members of the public the same rights.

My frustration came to a head at the June health and wellbeing scrutiny committee meeting where the public gallery was packed with residents unhappy about the closure of Torrington Hospital’s beds and minor injuries unit.

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Final warning bell sounds for our butterflies: Three quarters are in steep decline

By |2015-12-15T09:00:00+00:00December 15th, 2015|News|

Three quarters of our butterflies are in steep decline. Environmentalists say this is the final warning bell.

Allow some of your garden to grow wild, let the stinging nettles grow and plant some buddleia.

Don’t use weedkiller.

See more in this Guardian article - http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/dec/15/decline-in-over-three-quarters-uk-butterfly-species-final-warning-says-chris-packham?CMP=share_btn_tw

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Devon MPs appear complacent over renewable energy subsidy cuts to industry on “edge of a cliff”

By |2015-12-13T22:35:00+00:00December 13th, 2015|News|

The majority of Devon MPs have been bafflingly silent on the catastrophe that is poised to hit the renewable energy sector, with a decision expected this week on proposed massive cuts to subsidies of around 87 per cent.

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Sidmouth booking signing tomorrow (Saturday) West Hill or Westminster

By |2015-12-11T09:02:00+00:00December 11th, 2015|News|

Philip Algar and I will be in Paragon Books, Sidmouth tomorrow (Saturday) to chat to people about his book about my parliamentary campaign - West Hill or Westminster.

Come and see us if you are in town between 10am and midday!

Here’s a review by Professor Martin Shaw who is research professor of international relations at the Institut Barcelona d’Estudis Internacionals (IBEI), the University of Sussex, and professorial fellow in international relations and human rights at the University of Roehampton - http://seatonmatters.org/2015/12/09/can-independents-get-into-parliament/

Photograph thanks to Peter Hodges - Pulman’s View from Ottery

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Devon County Council votes to publicly consult on potentially thorny devolution plans

By |2015-12-10T18:36:00+00:00December 10th, 2015|News|

Devon County councillors this afternoon, backed my proposal to publicly consult on plans to devolve powers from central government to councils in Devon and Somerset.

The proposal was an amendment to a series of resolutions agreed at Cabinet yesterday.

Today the full council debated the plans, which were voted through, largely by the Conservative group, with most of the Liberal Democrats and Labour group abstaining.

It is the biggest fundamental change to local government in years, with a significant focus on councils working with the Local Enterprise Partnership to promote economic growth.

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