• Election bid as message sent to Boles at Feniton protest

    23rd March 2013 | News | Claire
  • Most wearing some form of funereal gear, they gave a clear message to the government that they had no intention of putting up with ministers plans to wreak havoc on the countryside, unnecessarily destroying vast swathes of beautiful green fields and wildlife.

    And amid much cheering and applauding, Fight for Feniton’s Future campaigner, Susie Bond, announced that she was going to stand for the Feniton and Buckerell seat in the forthcoming EDDC by-election, on 2 May.

    Campaigners chanted her name and shouted their support for Susie, as she gave her speech.  She finished by saying:  “I’m not a political person. I’m not a politician. But I’m a resident of Feniton who thinks she can do a little bit better than Graham Brown.

    “And for that reason, I am announcing today that I am putting myself forward as district councillor for the villages of Feniton, Buckerell and Gittisham at the next election.”

    I kicked off the the march at Louvigny Close, using a megaphone and a wobbly stepladder, held steady by my mum (thanks mum!).  My full speech is below, but the aim was largely to give a clear message to a man, who grew up surrounded by the beautiful fields of East Devon, but now seems to want to destroy them, issuing crass insults to people who care about the countryside, in the process.

    From the reaction of the large crowd gathered, my own anger about what direction the government is taking on the countryside was widely shared.

    After my speech, campaigners made their way past the school, some chanting as they went, over the level crossing and down past the lovely Camp Field – at risk from an application for up to 120 houses, although only 59 of those houses will be considered by EDDC’s planning committee on 2 April.

    When we arrived at the adjoining field there were three speeches, one from Cllr Roger Giles blasting East Devon District Council for ignoring residents repeated concerns about East Devon Business Forum and other issues, another from Susie – check out her blog here –  http://susiebond.wordpress.com/2013/03/23/after-the-party/  – where she announced her candidature for the Feniton by-election. 

    Finally, there was a strong speech from East Devon Alliance chair, Ian McKintosh, who made some excellent points about the importance of people taking an interest in elections and ensuring that the right candidates were voted for.  And the importance of working together to achieve our aims.

    The event was covered by local media, including ITV Westcountry, Pulman’s Weekly News, the Midweek Herald and the Western Morning News/Express & Echo.  Interviews ran on BBC Radio Devon this morning.

    An excellent and memorable event…….  But we have only just started!

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    My speech is below
    Why are we here? Feniton epitomises all that is wrong with government rules on planning.  Feniton might grow by half, thanks to those new loose rules.

    Why are developers so interested in Feniton?  Maybe its former councillor might be able to answer question?

    On 4 February, myself and Cllr Roger Giles met with Hugo Swire MP to warn him about the dangers to the countryside caused by the government dramatically relaxing the planning rules. 

    Mr Swire listened carefully to us and promised to talk to planning minister, Nick Boles.

    What have we heard?  Radio Silence.

    On 27 February the EDA sent a letter to Nick Boles urging to him to value the countryside as much as he so obviously values concrete, bricks and tarmac. 

    What have we heard?  Radio silence.

    But it seems that Mr Boles is selective with his silence!  While he won’t speak to us, with developers he is remarkably chatty!  Yesterday’s Telegraph published a secret recording of him meeting a roomful of developers and promising them a planning bonanza in the coming months! 

    The headline was MINISTER’S WAR ON COUNTRYSIDE!

    Well, Mr Boles, countryside campaigners have got a message for you!  We’re fighting back!

    According to the Telegraph, Mr Boles reckons he’s going to get some flak for his for plot to desecrate our countryside. 

    Forget “flak” Mr Boles, if you don’t start protecting the countryside again. As it used to be.  As it should be.  You can expect the biggest battle of your career!

    And make no mistake.  WE WILL WIN!!!!!!

    We will NEVER allow you and your fellow philistine ministers, to desecrate our beautiful East Devon!

    Photograph Graham Cooper:  Protesters listen to Independent councillor, Roger Giles, in the field adjacent to Camp Field. 

    Andy Thompson’s video of the morning can be viewed here – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rH9vUDrM49E&sns=em