Monthly Archives: January 2016

//January

Find out how our Ottery beavers are getting on, this Friday

By |2016-01-31T12:40:00+00:00January 31st, 2016|News|

Devon Wildlife Trust is holding a community event this Friday for East Devon residents keen to know how the Otter’s beavers are doing.

Last year they had babies of course, and were removed from the river for a few weeks and underwent surgery in order to establish whether they had a disease, which would have meant their destruction.

Thankfully they were given the all clear by vets and were returned safe and well.

Now Devon Wildlife Trust, which has campaigned successfully for the beavers to be allowed to remain on the river and is engaged in a monitoring programme, will be giving an update on how they are getting on, and how we as a community can help.

It will take place this Friday (5 February) at 2pm, in the Institute, Yonder Street, Ottery St Mary.

I will be chairing the meeting. Look forward to seeing you then!

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REMINDER! PROTEST DEMONSTRATION AGAINST TAX AVOIDANCE AND COUNCIL BUDGET CUTS - MONDAY 1 FEB, 11AM

By |2016-01-30T19:10:00+00:00January 30th, 2016|News|

Reminder that there will be a protest demonstration on Monday (1 February) at 11am outside Sidmouth’s conservative club - against corporate tax avoidance and the forthcoming vote in the House of Commons in mid February, where MPs are expected to vote through massive cuts to council budgets.

For more information see - https://www.claire-wright.org/index.php/post/protestbig_business_tax_avoidance_rife_while_mps_set_to_vote_through_huge_f

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Hope that Ottery’s town bus may be saved

By |2016-01-28T22:00:00+00:00January 28th, 2016|News|

Devon County Council has agreed to carry on funding Ottery’s town bus for two days a week until further notice, it was confirmed this week.

I have been in talks with Mayor, Glyn Dobson and Neil Hurlock, Honiton’s community transport charity, TRIP, since last summer, about continuing the service after Devon County Council cuts it completely.

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Hole in West Hill Road could cause problems for weeks

By |2016-01-28T13:37:00+00:00January 28th, 2016|News|

A team of structural engineers will peer into the enormous hole on West Hill Road tomorrow, which caused an urgent road closure yesterday, between West Hill garage and Salston Corner.

The giant hole suddenly appeared yesterday thought to be the result of years of water erosion, which has worn away the underlying aggregate, possibly undermining the structure of the road.

Highways officers have told me that they hope to reopen the road on Monday (1 February) with traffic lights, but this will only be possible if the repair work isn’t significant.

We will know more after the structural engineers have assessed it.

The buses cannot provide a full service to West Hill currently and I am awaiting an update from Devon County Council’s transport department on this and will update as soon as I know more….

Photo:  The hole itself - the white marks are where it extends to underground - which is around 1.8m wide.

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The nauseatingly close relationship between Google and ministers

By |2016-01-28T10:22:00+00:00January 28th, 2016|News|

The nauseating cosy relationship between Google execs and ministers, but this is just the tip of the iceberg. The connections between ministers and big business (who benefit from those connections) are absolutely rife.

The Scottish National Party and the Labour Party have both now complained to the EU commissioner and asked for an investigation into the Google derisory tax deal.

The public accounts committee (which last year slammed HMRC over its handling of big business tax avoidance) has summoned Google chiefs to explain its tax arrangements.
Delighted this has blown up. We need a white laser to peer into the dimmest corners of Westminster and seek out the truth in order to change the rules.

Still slightly reeling that this has all happened since I announced my protest demonstration AT SIDMOUTH, MONDAY 1 FEBRUARY, 11AM OUTSIDE THE CONSERVATIVE CLUB - to illustrate the big business tax avoidance scandal, while MPs are set to massively slash council budgets in the next week or so…..

Please join us if you can!

Here’s the article - http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/jan/27/cameron-too-close-to-google-say-critics-130m-tax-deal?CMP=share_btn_tw

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Devon County Councillors vote to include Straitgate Farm in minerals plan as a quarry

By |2016-01-27T20:42:00+00:00January 27th, 2016|News|

Devon County Council’s development management committee today voted in favour of including Ottery’s Straitgate Farm in its minerals plan.

Around a dozen residents had come along to listen to the debate, at which I addressed the committee and urged them to defer it on the basis that a key calculation listed in the plan was wrong, and subsequently there is a risk that an important underground watercourse may be compromised. 

Disturbance of the aquifer could have catastrophic implications for people’s water supplies and ancient woodland. It could also damage mediaeval carp ponds at Cadhay House and cause flooding further down in Ottery St Mary.

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Boundary changes to Devon County Council ward: Ottery set to lose four parishes gaining four

By |2016-01-26T16:43:00+00:00January 26th, 2016|News|

The Ottery St Mary Rural ward is set to change to the Otter Valley ward, losing four of its parishes and gaining three more - the Boundary Commission has issued its final recommendations today.

It launched a consultation last year on the proposals and some wards I believe it has altered due to opposition.

The Boundary Commission has been examining Devon County Council’s division boundaries as assessment revealed that the numbers of electors were becoming out of kilter.

The Otter Valley ward, which I will be campaigning to win a sat on Devon County to represent, next May (2017), will now comprise of Aylesbeare, Otterton, Newton Poppleford and Harpford, as well as Colaton Raleigh, in addition to Ottery St Mary parish, which includes Tipton St John, West Hill and Alfington, as well as the surrounding rural hinterland.

The ward will lose the Gittisham, Feniton, Sidbury and Buckerell parishes, which are currently part of the division.

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Proposed 100 acre quarry at Straitgate Farm recommended for strategic plan

By |2016-01-22T14:13:00+00:00January 22nd, 2016|News|

A 100 acre quarry proposed for Straitgate Farm, on the edge of Ottery, has been formally recommended for approval for inclusion in Devon County Council’s minerals plan.

The decision will be made by councillors on the development management committee, next Wednesday 27 January, starting at 2pm.

East Devon District Council is one of the objectors to the recommendation, citing potential adverse impacts on landscape flood risk, water table, Exeter Airport and the setting of a listed heritage asset - Straitgate Farmhouse itself.

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PROTEST:BIG BUSINESS TAX AVOIDANCE RIFE WHILE MPs SET TO VOTE THROUGH HUGE FUNDING CUTS TO COUNCILS

By |2016-01-21T21:21:00+00:00January 21st, 2016|News|

There will be a high profile PROTEST against the forthcoming vote in the House of Commons, which will see Devon County Council lose £28m, while big business tax receipts could fund Devon’s public services to around £380m.

The Conservative government’s austerity measures mean that our precious public services are being eroded each year, which is hitting the poorest and most vulnerable the hardest.

I wrote to Hugo Swire asking him to take action on this subject last week—including speaking against, and voting against the budget cuts.

But this subject is too important to leave it there…..

The demonstration will take place on MONDAY 1 FEBRUARY AT 11AM, ON PAVEMENT OUTSIDE SIDMOUTH’S CONSERVATIVE CLUB

Please bring your own placards! ................. MORE…......

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East Devon District Council’s local plan found sound BUT Sidford land will become industrial estate

By |2016-01-18T17:29:00+00:00January 18th, 2016|News|

A government planning inspector has ruled that East Devon District Council’s local plan is sound.

Welcome news for most of us, despite the very high numbers of housing and industrial estates approved, as it will at least provide planning certainty. However, it does mean that the proposed hugely controversial 12 acres of industrial estate at Sidford WILL go ahead - in an area of outstanding natural beauty.

The industrial estate proposed on this land inspired the launch of Save Our Sidmouth - and latterly, the East Devon Alliance…..

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Devon portion of avoided corporation tax could total £380m

By |2016-01-14T16:31:00+00:00January 14th, 2016|News|

I have just sent this email to East Devon MP, Hugo Swire….

Dear Mr Swire

Severe budget cuts for councils

You will be aware that Devon County Council’s budget is set to be cut by a further £28m this year - a reduction of over 15 per cent.

This is on top of cuts of £174m, which Devon County Council has been forced to make in the past five years, and has included the closure of most youth centres, cuts to adult social care, DCC run care homes, children’s homes, bus cuts and highways service reductions.

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