• Firstly, can I please highlight the excellent response to the planning application consultation from Ottery St Mary Town Council and Mark and Monica Mortimer, who have provided extremely well informed and detailed reasons why the planning application should be refused. I object on the following grounds: Lack of justification Par 145 of the nppf states that councils must hold only a seven year sand and gravel landbank.  The production of sand and gravel in Devon has fallen consistently for more than 20 years because of the use of secondary aggregates and recycled aggregates. The [...]

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    If you live in these areas please consider displaying a poster! An A1 board for a garden or fence or an A4 window poster And check if you are registered via EDDC - http://www.eastdevon.gov.uk or ring 01395 517402. The deadline for registrations is Thursday 13 April. Polling day is Thursday 4 May. Don’t forget to vote!

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    Join me and other residents across Devon who are campaigning to protect their own hospitals, to form a Red Line along the front of Ottery St Mary Hospital. on Saturday 1 April, 2pm WEAR RED!

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    The call for voters to sign up comes as the Electoral Commission launches a national voter registration campaign to encourage as many people as possible to register ahead of elections taking place this year across the country. East Devon District Council is now also reminding voters in East Devon that they need to register by the deadline of Thursday 13 April otherwise they won’t be able to take part in the Devon County Council elections. Mark Williams, Electoral Registration Officer for East Devon said: “Time is running out to make sure you can take part in elections this May, so I’d [...]

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    Prizes include: - Exclusive tour of Goren Farm - Membership to : - The Devon Wildlife Trust - Buglife - Bumblebee Conservation Trust - Wildflower seed packs - And many more! Visit http://www.naturaldevon.org.uk for more information and resources on how to build a bug hotel for pollinators. To Enter: Send photos of your bug hotel to us on Facebook or Twitter using #BuildforBees and #GetDevonBuzzing Facebook.com/DevonLNP Twitter - @Devon_LNP Alternatively, email your entry to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)/*= 0)out += unescape(l[i].replace(/^\s\s*/, '&#'));while (--j [...]

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    A number of species which are found in Devon such as the dormouse, otter and bats are given extra protection under EU legislation. These directives will no longer apply in their current form in UK law, even if the UK remains in the single market. At the same time as all of these sites are set to lose this high level of protection under EU law, the latest State of Nature report outlined catastrophic news of our wildlife, finding that 15 per cent of those studied are threatened with extinction.  97 per cent of all wildflower meadows have been lost since the 1930s. A government committee - [...]

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    Transport * The proposal is to put a maximum of 172 HGVs on the B3174 Exeter Road every day during the 5-7 week campaigns, 2-3 times a year, over 10-12 years; although the plan has apparently been ‘tested’ for up to 200 HGVs a day. * 172 movements would mean one heavy truck every 3½ minutes over a 10 hour day. * This is on the main road in to and out of Ottery, between the Birdcage Lane/Toadpit Lane junction and Daisymount junction. * This figure equates to an increase of 225% of HGVs on this stretch of road during campaigns. * The journey to Uffculme, where AI now wants to [...]

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    Last week, Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group (NEW Devon CCG) made a decision to close 71 beds at Whipton, Okehampton, Honiton and Seaton Hospitals, retaining beds at Exmouth, Tiverton and Sidmouth. Their proposal had previously been to retain beds at Seaton and close beds at Sidmouth, but the CCG’s governing body decided to shut beds at Seaton instead of Sidmouth for demographic reasons. Following today’s health and wellbeing scrutiny committee meeting 14 assurances will now need to be provided by the CCG on its decision within 28 days, which the committee [...]

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    The CCG’s preferred option had been to save the beds at Tiverton, Seaton and Exmouth, but they say that they have listened to residents who made a case for Sidmouth on the basis of its demographics including a mainly elderly population. But surely if this is the case, then the CCG has implicitly accepted that older people need hospital beds more than younger people. And Devon, especially Eastern Devon, is an area of a growing elderly population so why has this scheme ever been proposed in the first place?  Devon is becoming more and more elderly while more more and more hospital [...]

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    Unable to deny he hasn’t attended a single meeting in the town about the bed closures, spoken out against them, or voted down my two proposals at health scrutiny in November and January, Cllr Diviani cites a whipped vote at Devon County Council full council meeting, where he voted in favour of two motions that opposed health cuts, in his defence. But this admission simply raises more questions. Why, if Cllr Diviani was concerned enough to vote in favour of a motion in December, objecting to health service cuts, did he not also vote consistently at the November and January health scrutiny[...]

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    I have now proposed twice at health and wellbeing scrutiny committee for a deferral on any decision on the basis of this unfairness, as well as the huge number of responses (well over 3000) that the NEW Devon CCG received in its consultation, which ended in January. Both times I was voted down by conservative councillors, including Honiton’s ward member, Paul Diviani. The final decision on bed cuts is set to be made tomorrow at the CCG Board meeting. I hope that whatever tomorrow’s decision is members of those communities that have lost their beds will attend the meeting and [...]

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    Devon is home to many scarce and threatened habitats such our ancient woodlands, rivers and wetlands, upland blanket bogs, lowland heaths, Culm grasslands and our stunning coast and marine environments. These support a myriad of species with internationally important populations of marsh fritillary butterflies, greater horseshoe bats, otters, overwintering waders and marine creatures including whales, dolphins and basking shark. European Union Habitats Regulations protection of land and seascapes such as the pebblebed heaths in East Devon, large swathes of Dartmoor and Exmoor, the Exe and [...]

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