• A shambolic response to the pandemic... plus a link to help from Devon County Council

    Well here we are again in a national lockdown. In some ways worse than last March and in other ways better! First I must get some stuff off my chest! I am totally speechless over the shambolic planning by the government, or perhaps lack of it during this pandemic... and the impact that this has had on our health and care staff, teachers, parents, business owners, children and students, as well as everyone else... The PM waited until the number of Covid patients in hospital in England were 40 per cent higher than they were at the height of the first wave, before he chose to lock the [...]

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    Quarry company submits planning application for livestock crossing over B3174 Exeter Road

    Aggregate Industries has submitted a cynical planning application for a livestock crossing over the B3174 (the road from Ottery St Mary to the Daisymout roundabout). The application, which is for land next to and opposite Straitgate Farm, claims to be improving an existing situation where a few times a year local farmers must cross cattle and sheep. However, the real reason behind the application is the overall planning application for a 100 acre quarry, which proposes to remove almost 90 per cent of grazing pasture for the tenant farmer's cattle. As a result, if the application was [...]

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    Long-awaited safety works to Four Elms Hill to take place in the new year...!

    Long-campaigned for safety works to Four Elms Hill are now diaried for the new year, Devon County Council has confirmed. A reduction to the national speed limit to 4omph and a doubling of the central white lines has been deemed necessary by local people for many years to reduce the number of accidents, including at least one fatality. I have supported campaigners from Newton Poppleford Parish Council and EDDC councillor Val Ranger, on reducing the speed on the hill and doubling the white lines to deter people from overtaking for many years. The hill has been the focus of frequent accidents [...]

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    DEVON COUNTY COUNCIL TO WRITE TO SECRETARY OF STATE FOR EDUCATION ON DIVERSITY

    So today was Anti-racism motion D Day at the County Council! It was slightly complicated by a last minute amendment by the Leader, one aspect improved it and another aspect slightly watered it down... BUT.. A group of King's School Sixth form politics students have actually influenced Devon County Council's ruling Conservative group to write to the Secretary of State for Education promoting a better diversity agenda for schools! So although it didn't go quite as far as we would have liked, I think we can be proud of Sandra (who started this whole campaign off!), Anoo, Flo, [...]

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    Devon County Council's Cabinet has mostly backed the anti-racism motion I have prepared with a group of students from Ottery's The King's School this morning. Many thanks to group leaders - Rob Hannaford (Labour), Frank Biederman (Ind) and Alistair Dewhirst (LibDem), who all spoke in support of the motion. (The LibDems have their own similar (albeit less controversial!) motion also coming before full council on 1 October). The original text as outlined in the Cabinet papers for today, has been strengthened to:    That Council be recommended to:  Support Members to [...]

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    If you're interested in how Devon's NHS is faring, both relating to handling Covid19 and its precarious finances, you need to read this report... Huge thanks to Save Our Hospital Services for taking the time and trouble to put together such an excellent report. We must continue our scrutiny of Devon's NHS, especially in the coming months, as many service cuts will be happening ... Here's the link http://www.sohs.org.uk/documents/SOHS%20report%20COVID19%20in%20Devon.pdf

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    Four A Level politics King’s School students are today officially launching a six-week campaign, with the aim of debating the benefits of diversity in Devon and a greater understanding of what constitutes racist behaviour or prejudice. Diversity in Devon (see Youtube links below) is being launched today at 9am and 10am through the voices of 17 year old Sandra Sanena and Anoo Kakarlamudi (also 17) who have recorded their personal experiences of growing up in Devon. Sandra’s family moved to Ottery St Mary from Zimbabwe when she was eight and Anoo’s parents brought her to the UK [...]

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    20/1504/MOUT - Outline planning application with all matters reserved except access for up to 150 new dwellings, a 210 Space primary school, construction of a new roundabout on Exeter Road, a new junction onto Cadhay Lane, and associated infrastructure | Land Opposite Barrack Farm Exeter Road Ottery St Mary   Tipton St John Primary School is in flood zone 3 and needs to be replaced, I am in no doubt of that.   I have seen the damage caused at clear up events that I helped with, alongside the community and fire and rescue service when the school grounds were filled [...]

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