• I ENDORSE JESS BAILEY AS I STAND DOWN IN COUNTY COUNCIL ELECTIONS

    The press release below has just been issued ...  Jess Bailey, Independent EDDC councillor for West Hill and Aylesbeare, has been endorsed by Claire Wright for the Otter Valley Ward in the forthcoming Devon County Council elections. Claire has decided not seek re-election to the Otter Valley Ward, to pursue new career opportunities. Claire said: “My decision to stand aside may come as a [...]

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    A glimmer of hope for Tipton St John Primary School funding?

    I received the email below from a representative of Education minister, Baroness Berridge. I have emboldened the last paragraph which contains a glimmer of hope for future funding. It's the first time since 2015 that there is a possibility that Tipton St John School may receive government funding.  Now is the time to increase our campaigning and I am talking to Tipton St John parents on [...]

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    Education Secretary stonewalls Devon County Council on anti-racist motion

    The Education Secretary has stonewalled Devon County Council for four months, following my anti-racist motion and Diversity in Devon campaign with four King's School Students, last year. Following the full council meeting on 1 October, when there was agreement to lobby the Secretary of State for Education urging him to address diversity issues more fully in the national curriculum, [...]

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    Motion: Lobbying the government on bee killing pesticide u-turn

    I was appalled to see that the government has u-turned on the use of the notorious bee killing pestcides, neonicitonoids. My motion before full council today is as follows: This council regrets the government's u-turn on using neonicitinoids banned under EU law, and which have proved to be damaging to our vital bee population, other insects and birds and water courses. This council calls on the[...]

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    It's budget day at Devon County Council... Here's my speech...

    This is the eleventh year of austerity. And the second year of no government funding cuts. That’s not because austerity is over it’s because there is nothing left to cut. Because central government ministers have now removed the revenue support grant in its entirety. Total reductions to budgets since 2010, is over £280million. Core funding to DCC has reduced by 72% in real terms. So [...]

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    Ministers ignore Tipton School's plight and announce funding for 50 school rebuilds

    I have just issued this update on my petition for the government to fund the relocation of Tipton St John Primary School, within the village.......................... Dear all, thank you so much for taking the time to sign and share this petition. The government has unexpectedly announced the 50 schools that will be funded for a rebuild. We weren't expecting this news for a few weeks yet. [...]

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    How Independents are being disadvantaged by the local election leafleting ban

    Here's a piece I wrote for Westcountry Bylines earlier this month on how Independent candidates are being significantly disadvantaged in the forthcoming elections, which will take place on 6 May. https://westcountrybylines.co.uk/may-local-elections-level-playing-field-doesnt-look-that-way/

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    How the pandemic is causing a Devon explosion in unpaid carers and distress

    I have always taken an interest in difficulties facing unpaid carers. Having heard from many unpaid carers during my role as a councillor, my heart goes out to them in what is often a hard and lonely job, often fraught with struggles to access the financial help they are entitled to. I proposed a Health Scrutiny review into this issue several times during 2018/19 before it was eventually [...]

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    Report on dentistry services across Devon to be scrutinised at March meeting

    Given the grim news below I have asked officers for a full report on dentistry in Devon at the next Health and Adult Care Scrutiny meeting in March. I am told that representatives from NHS England and NHS Improvement have been invited. I asked for a report last year following local complaints about long waiting times and concerns from dentists themselves on similar issues. The report we [...]

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    Education minister urged to include Tipton St John School for rebuild in latest programme

    I sent the letter below to Education minister, Baroness Berridge, this afternoon...   Dear Baroness Berridge   I am writing to you asking that you consider the above much loved school, for your current rebuilding programme.   I would have written to you earlier but was advised against it because a planning application for a new school build was in progress (along with 150 houses to[...]

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    Who is (still) trying to hack into my website?

    While I was experiencing email problems yesterday morning he had a call from the data centre who look after his server. They informed him that one website (mine) was being "bombarded" and that they would have to suspend it or it would bring down all 733 websites. Apparently the attacker was simulating thousands of hits to my website in order to take it offline. It worked. For a while. My[...]

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    Is this the worst week ever of the Conservative government's rule? Our MP should explain himself

    In the blizzard of appalling decisions voted through this week by Conservative MPs, it's hard to know which was worse. The Tories' approach appears to be parcel it up for one or two days, presumably in order to bamboozle the media and make the rest of us feel as though it is hopeless to oppose, keep up to date with, or get chance to ask our Conservative MPs to oppose the next atrocity they're [...]

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    Devon County Council agreed to talks with local MPs amid £2m projected overspend

    Devon County Council’s cabinet has agreed to initiate talks with local MPs, following my recommendation agreed at the November Adult Health and Social Care Scrutiny Committee. Adult social care has been in a hugely precarious financial position, following what is now a decade of government funding cuts. As a result far fewer people are in receipt of personal care and unpaid carers are more [...]

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    People power saves Redbridge at Harpford!

    Huge thanks to over 2,000 local people who signed a petition myself and Newton Poppleford EDDC councillor, Val Ranger organised for Redbridge, at Harpford. The bridge, an important part of the East Devon Way was set to be permanently closed on safety grounds last autumn. Thanks to the strong support from local people, Devon County Council has funded rock armouring which has protected the [...]

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