The Ottery church bells are ringing for midnight mass on Christmas Eve.
If you have experienced the new care at home system recently please do complete this survey, run by Save Our Hospital Services Devon, who are trying to find out how the service is working on the ground.
I am really pleased that the group is carrying out the survey and I hope it will be presented to councillors on the Devon County Council health and wellbeing scrutiny committee in due course.
Here’s the link. All responses will be anonymised and treated confidentially.
Pic: The Red Line protest at Ottery St Mary Hospital I organised earlier this year, to demonstrate how determined local people are to retain their hospital buildings even if the beds are lost.
Following feedback that many residents would like another opportunity to discuss Ladram Bay’s planning issues, and the high level of traffic in the village, EDDC councillor, Geoff Jung and I have organised a public meeting for next month.
A meeting held last month at Ladram Bay, ended in controversy and anger. See the account here - https://www.claire-wright.org/index.php/post/director_of_ladram_bay_attempts_to_silence_me_at_public_meeting
The letter below is currently winging its way around Otterton.
Many thanks to the residents who are kindly delivering it!
Devon County Council highways officers are to investigate road safety improvements on the main road through Colaton Raleigh, following yesterday’s highways and traffic orders committee.
Devon County Council highways officers will now look at a range of safety measures to reduce accidents at a notorious accident blackspot, it was decided at yesterday’s East Devon highways and traffic orders committee meeting.
I have submitted a motion urging Devon County Council to call for the government to make a commitment over animal sentience.
Last week saw a media frenzy, with reports circulating that MPs voted that animals are not sentient beings. This was incorrect but the ensuing outrage from ministers only obfuscated the truth of the matter, which was pretty much as bad as the first set of headlines.
Devon County Council’s solicitor, Jan Shadbolt, reminded the Health and Adult Care Scrutiny Committee of its legal responsibilities at Tuesday’s (21 November) meeting.
I had asked for this agenda item following a disastrous meeting in July where a referral to the Secretary of State for Health on the closure of 72 community hospital beds in Eastern Devon was thwarted by the Conservative members of the committee, resulting in over 20 complaints from members of the public.
I am absolutely delighted to hear that the number of wild beavers living on the Otter has increased from nine to 27 in just two years!
There are six family groups and the animals, which are part of a trial being run by Devon Wildlife Trust, seem to be thriving.
It wasn’t that long ago that I was working alongside Friends of the Earth, Devon Wildlife Trust and beaver enthusiasts to try and prevent DEFRA from putting them in a zoo. It was a long time and took huge amounts of work, mainly by DWT to secure their safety. Friends of the Earth also threatened a legal challenge against the government which also seemed to get things moving.
I am very happy to have been part of the team who helped save the only wild beavers in England and it is great to know they are happy and doing well. Read more here -
Devon County Council’s East Devon Highways and Traffic Orders Committee will meet next week to debate what improvements can be made to prevent the many accidents at Four Elms Hill, between Newton Poppleford and Sidmouth.
The hill, which mainly falls into my ward, sees many accidents each year and tragically, there have also been deaths, most recently earlier this year.
A director of Ladram Bay Holiday Park ordered me to be silent and leave a public meeting last night, which was called to discuss traffic concerns associated with his business.
The meeting, which was held in the restaurant of Ladram Bay, was arranged at the behest of myself and Otterton Parish Council, following widespread concern over the level of traffic and size of vehicles travelling to and from the caravan park.
Ottery Tar Barrels Committee is finalising the last few days of planning for Saturday’s monumental event, where the town habitually swells by between 15 to 20,000 people in just a few hours.
Many thanks to Ottery Tar Barrels Committee who have just confirmed to me that they will check the bonfire for hedgehogs before lighting it on Saturday 4 November.
There is also a fence up around it to deter wildlife from climbing into it.
Many species of wildlife are in decline very sadly, but hedgehogs have seen a spectacular dramatic drop in numbers from around 30m in the 1950s to around just one million now.
There are many things we can do to help hedgehogs and other wildlife, such as ceasing the use of slug pellets.
But PLEASE if you are having a bonfire, follow the example of Ottery Tar Barrels Committee and check it first or build it just before you light it.