• 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 received in my view was a bit of a whitewash and did not answer my questions. I asked for more detail but this was not provided. I am pleased that we now have an item on the agenda of the next [...]

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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 plug a £5m funding shortfall) in the neighbouring town of Ottery St Mary.   This very unpopular application, that drew significant opposition, was decisively rejected by East Devon District [...]

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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 email and website were down until yesterday evening when both were restored. The hacker used what is called a 'virtual private network' which means that the IP address is untraceable. I never [...]

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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 about to commit. Our MPs are there to act on our behalf and represent our views. I cannot imagine for a second that the residents of East Devon would support these decisions/actions. I have written[...]

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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 stretched than ever before. The pandemic of course, has made a very hard situation even tougher. The papers at the November scrutiny meeting quoted from a national survey of councils. The key messages [...]

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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 bridge's foundations and it is now expected to last for years to come, although a long-term solution will still need to be found, as the River Otter continues to erode the banks. Thank you to [...]

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    Pro Trump violent mob actions are supported by almost half of Republican voters

    If you think that last night's violent storming of The Capitol Building by a lawless delusional mob were the actions of a crazy fringe group, you couldn't be more wrong. The YouGov Poll below appears to indicate that almost half of Republican voters ACTUALLY support the attempted coup, by thugs waving the Confederate flag, long used by the Ku Klux Klan as a symbol of white supremacy. Four people died as a result of the violence, orchestrated by Mr Trump. I was glued to events last night via Twitter hardly believing what I was seeing. Not only was it incredible that Trump had [...]

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    EDDC planning committee refuses 150 houses and relocation of Tipton school

    East Devon District Council's planning committee has just refused a "tough" application for a relocation of Tipton St John Primary School, accompanied by 150 houses, on the edge of Ottery St Mary. The application was refused by 11 votes, with two votes in favour and two abstentions. The application, submitted by Devon County Council, was triggered to try and protect school places in the Ottery area, as Tipton St John Primary School has been deemed a 'risk to life' by the Environment Agency for flooding reasons. There were 132 objections, including from Ottery St Mary Town Council and[...]

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