• Devon County Council's Cabinet last week endorsed the scrutiny task group recommendations to improve the lives of unpaid carers. I proposed and led the review between last summer and February this year. It was one of the most important pieces of work I have been involved in and I hope it will result in profound improvements to the lives of unpaid carers. Here's the report in this week's Express & Echo - https://www.devonlive.com/news/devon-news/carers-isolated-exhausted-angry-system-4132421

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    Below is the latest (received today) briefing from Devon's NHS to Devon County Council's Health and Adult Care Scrutiny Committee. My fellow Independent colleague, Cllr Martin Shaw and I have been asking for an urgent online scrutiny meeting before the one on 16 June, to ask questions about these issues and many others. It has been agreed instead, to have a webinar, where councillors can ask questions in advance.  This is likely to take place during the final week of May. It is as yet unclear who will be involved in this. On the whole the briefing is very reassuring and shows that [...]

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    Today is the 75th anniversary of VE Day. A very different kind of day is being celebrated from the one that was planned... This post may seem unconnected... but please be patient....! …. I discovered John Clare's poetry a few years ago at a music festival in Wales. Known in the 18th century rather dismissively as the 'peasant poet' it makes his achievement as a contemporary of Keats during the romantic era all the more remarkable. He had little schooling and his family were farm labourers.  He taught himself to write poetry, after being given a book of poems and being [...]

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    Devon County Council is reopening its recycling centres for essential use only from Monday 11 May. The government has defined ‘essential use’ as waste that ‘cannot be stored without causing a risk of injury, health or harm to the resident or other members of their household.’ Residents are urged to follow government guidance and only travel to recycling centres if the waste presents a hazard and ‘cannot be legally and responsibly disposed of in other ways.’ It is the first stage of what will be a phased reopening for Devon’s 19 Household Waste Recycling Centres, and is [...]

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