• A new online newspaper has just launched in East Devon. The plan is that Nub News will be a presence in each East Devon town including Ottery St Mary. Currently, it is operating in and around Exmouth but is interested in running stories across the district .... I met with the company’s chief executive, Karl Hancock and East Devon regional editor, Joe Bulmer this afternoon, who told me [...]

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    Great piece from Martin Bell on what it’s like to be an Indie in Westminster. Martin was the former BBC war correspondent elected to represent Tatton in the 90s amid a storm of controversy over former Tatton Tory MP, Neil Hamilton, who was accused of taking cash for asking questions… He was famously ‘handbagged’ by Christine Hamilton who took exception to Martin’s searching [...]

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    Devon County Council conservative group today voted down calling on the government to hold a people’s vote as well as urging the government to avoid a no-deal Brexit. Very disappointingly, Cllr Martin Shaw’s motion and amendment was only supported by the non-aligned group, the labour group and the libdems this afternoon, with the Tories block voting both proposals down. Anthea Simmons [...]

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    Devon County Council backs climate change emergency but stops short of committing to 2030 deadline

    Devon County Council voted through a motion this afternoon, which declared a state of climate emergency in Devon, but stopped short of backing a deadline of 2030 for the county to become carbon neutral. Well over one hundred protesters demonstrated on the steps of county hall before the meeting. It was the biggest demonstration I had seen in my time as a county councillor (since 2013) and I [...]

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    Over £13m is shaved off Devon County Council budget, as government withdraws its core funding

    Councillors will vote on a historic budget at Thursday’s Devon County council full meeting - the final budget to include the revenue support grant - the government’s core funding. To put it into perspective, the Conservative government’s austerity programme has meant its core funding to Devon has plummeted to just over half a million pounds this year, a drop of over £100m to the council [...]

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    The rise in homelessness is a direct result of the government’s austerity policies, cuts to benefits, less support available and huge cuts to all the authorities who are supposed to be looking out for homeless people ... I had a meeting with St Petrock’s Centre manager, Mel Hartley, a couple of weeks ago so was aware of this. The problem is nationwide though and there is an increase in [...]

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    Wonderful news! This is especially relevant on a day of national action on climate breakdown ....where incredibly over 600 student protesters gathered outside Devon County Council’s offices to make government, especially ours, aware that it MUST do SOMETHING to avoid a climate catastrophe. If anyone has any pics of today’s event in Exeter please do post them below in the comments [...]

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    I’ve been keeping an eye on this for years, kickstarting a wildflower verge project in 2013 and proposing motions to get Devon County Council to drop neonic pesticides that are so deadly to bees and various other stuff. Caused by agricultural intensification, climate change and relentless development ‘insectageddon’ is catastrophic and MUST be reversed urgently. It’s the primary [...]

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    Otterton Parish Council has agreed to part fund a 20mph limit through the village, at a packed and testy meeting last night. The agreement was made, despite a Conservative councillor selected to stand for Otterton in the East Devon District Council May election suggesting repeatedly during the meeting that the 20mph limit was a waste of time. This did not go down with residents who made it [...]

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    According to a Yougov poll, Sir Hugo Swire would lose his seat if there is a general election this year… here’s the story ... https://www.devonlive.com/news/devon-news/tories-would-lose-devon-seat-2533487?fbclid=IwAR0zVmjs9BZYTeOXKHEGo_1QbqFezveT-YPpUFsiiJSf81bFWCYbARQMhOo Thursday, 07 February 2019 Ottery Town Council to meet with League of Friends Chair Ottery St Mary Town Council [...]

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    This is awful and shows what almost a decade of underfunding has done to the NHS. Teams are doing their best but it is against all odds. There just aren’t enough vehicles or staff to be able to run the service as it should be and as a result people are suffering. As the story states South Western Ambulance Trust saying that the demand is unprecedented I have asked for an item on the next [...]

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    Another remarkable letter from the same resident who wrote to Mr Swire last week, furious over Brexit… (Mr Fage is Mr Swire’s aide) Dear Mr Fage, Around ten days ago, I wrote to Sir Hugo about the utter Brexit shambles in which he is actively playing a part. Whilst I appreciate the time you put in to discussing this with me on the telephone the following day, I note I still have yet to [...]

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    Otterton’s 20mph limit proposal rejected but there’s fresh hope around the corner

    Letter below that I delivered (with grateful help to three others!) around Otterton this morning… Dear Otterton resident Following my last letter to you in August relating to the proposal for a 20mph limit to replace the existing 30mph limit, I am disappointed to inform you that the relevant committee - SCARF - did not support the proposal or highways officers’ views, due to the village [...]

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