• Leader, John Hart and portfolio holder for the environment, Roger Croad, both spoke in favour of the motion, as did my seconder, Robert Vint - and emphasised the importance of the government retaining protections for the UK’s nature in the same way AT LEAST as EU laws provide for currently. This motion will not only send a strong message to central government that this is absolutely vital [...]

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    PLEDGE FOR COUNTY COUNCIL ELECTION CANDIDATES IN EAST DEVON. Health services in East Devon must not be sacrificed to protect ring-fenced spending elsewhere in the county or to support a flawed political ideology. I am committed to work for the retention and development of a full range of services and healthcare facilities in East Devon, including services for mental health treatment for adults and[...]

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    Over 200 MPs nationally have signed up to the promise, including Hugo Swire’s party colleague, Neil Parish.  Exeter MP, Ben Bradshaw has also signed. Mr Swire has been asked twice to support the pledge by environmental groups - and I have twice asked him via Twitter over recent weeks. But so far silence has ensued.  This is very disappointing and I hope our MP will sign up as soon[...]

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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 [...]

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    Devon County Council has seen over half its budgets disappear due to austerity measures.  Many services have been cut back, or lost as a result. I am also concerned about the effect of Brexit on the vast amount of land and species currently highly protected under EU legislation. This is at risk of not being properly protected as we leave the EU.  In Devon alone, there are 122 sites [...]

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    Ministers will seek to obfuscate as usual with platitudes but there is now a raft of leaks coming out of central government. My motion that goes before Devon County Council’s full meeting on 27 April is more timely than I thought. In Devon we have 122 EU protected sites across 115,000 hectares, including Dartmoor and Aylesbeare and Woodbury Commons. See BBC interview with MEP Molly Scott [...]

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    It isn’t the first time Mr Venner has lashed out at local people trying to save Ottery Hospital. After an event I organised at the hospital last May which Hugo Swire MP attended, Mr Venner referred to Ottery St Mary Hospital in a tweet as a “geriatric home.” In a few days the Conservatives will no doubt send a leaflet around pledging their support for local hospitals and the [...]

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    Thank you to around 150 determined people who turned up in the pouring rain. Ottery Hospital lost its general medical beds in 2015 and the stroke unit will transfer to the RD&E imminently. The message from the CCG was that it would become a health hub. Then it was it “could” become a health hub, nowadays there are little or no assurances from the CCG as to the hospital’s [...]

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