• This is my speech from Devon County Council's Budget full council meeting on Thursday. What started as a commentary on how austerity is STILL affecting councils and local people, also ended up as a rather scathing response to the general election... …………………………………………………………………………………………………………. This is the tenth year of austerity. But this year there were no government funding cuts. That’s NOT because austerity is over it’s because there is NOTHING left to cut. Because central government [...]

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    Forestry Commission officers have confirmed that the felling of trees near Core Hill Car Park will continue until the end of the month. Despite a series of exchanges via email, I have been unable to convince officers to delay the work until August, which would avoid the nesting season completely. Following my request on Sunday evening (2 February) that the felling is delayed until August, the commission’s local forestry officer made the following points: It is a thinning operation rather than a clear fell One in every seven trees are being felled, focusing on the less [...]

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      I have just sent this email to the South West Forestry Commission team, which is the landowner of this East Hill woodland ... Dear South West Forestry Commission officer I was walking at East Hill today, one of my favourite local walks and was dismayed to see signs up, between Core Hill woods and East Hill strips, stating that a very large area of deciduous woodland was to be felled. While I dislike unnecessary felling of woodland, particularly as trees play such a big role in combating climate change and helping nature thrive, I reluctantly accept that this work will be[...]

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