• This council shares the government’s desire to leave our environment in a better state than it is now. But its proposals are unlikely to achieve that ambition. They will leave the environment with weaker protection than it currently has under our EU membership - a long way off the ‘world-leading watchdog’ it promised. To deliver the protection the environment needs, this council calls on the government to ensure that the proposed new law, must at least: •        Deliver world-leading environmental governance, including the watchdog promised, with powers [...]

    Read more

    It was a really lovely feel good event full of determined solidarity, where I caught up with many of my political campaigning friends, a few new ones and admired all the brilliant and amusing placards. Unfortunately, I completely failed to take pics of the crowd at its height, which was hundreds strong!

    Read more

    I asked for the (anonymised) report to be published with the June health scrutiny agenda papers, but this was refused as the focus group report was not ever intended to be made public and consent had not been given.  Instead a rather more neutral version of the report was published, but as I told the committee, this did not reflect the original report and I don’t believe people’s voices have been heard. The media reports today that unpaid carers save the economy a massive £60bn a year - https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-40560827  - here’s the BBC story on the subject. [...]

    Read more

    The anti-Brexit campaigners, led by the indefatigable Steve Bray, who campaigns outside the Houses of Parliament each day it sits, were standing behind Leaver Tory backbench MP, John Redwood as he was being interviewed live by the BBC on Westminster Green, comically waggling their anti-Brexit slogans. Mr Redwood was giving his view of the fallout of David Davis’s resignation, but as he was being interviewed the BBC was rehearsing the incidences that seemed to indicate a significant level of incompetence, including how little time Mr Davis spent with EU negotiators (four hours) and once [...]

    Read more

    However, I should also add in fairness, that in my five years of working with Brian on the council’s Health and Adult Care Scrutiny Committee, that he has been a huge support to me, that he did his best to represent people’s views and in many instances, was my only ally when I was making proposals in the public interest, mostly on trying to prevent the loss of community hospital beds and other health services. I also hope that the recommendations from the standards committee mean that anyone else at Devon County Council who has experienced this kind of unacceptable behaviour will [...]

    Read more