Section: Region

The man behind Operation Mincemeat

Mick Fletcher

The film ‘Operation Mincemeat’ released over the Easter weekend, tells the exciting story of a key event in the second World War. The Germans were tricked into thinking that an attack on Europe from North Africa would start in Greece rather than the more obvious route through Sicily. Historian Hugh Trevor-Roper called it “The most […]

Don’t miss the Tinners Moon Festival, Ashburton, Devon!

Anthea Simmons

We wrote about the wonderful Ashburton Arts Centre back in October 2020 and director Andy Williamson explained why the venue was so loved by performers. The Tinners Moon Festival, which had had to be cancelled in 2020 due to the pandemic, is in full swing right now and you really shouldn’t miss the opportunity to […]

The strange case of the disappearance of Dorset’s wildlife cops

Ian Denton
Dorset wildlife police officer

In late January 2022, Dorset had a strong and healthy wildlife cop presence. Positive messages abounded far and wide…. However, by February 10, there was a severe climate change…. Storm Loder blew in from the west and wrought havoc across the land: By the next day, the wildlife team was unable to communicate further! On […]

Partygate: letters to Conservative MPs

Editor-in-chief
champagne being poured

Here is a sample of the letters MPs will no doubt be receiving today and for days to come. The anger is not going to go away and the fact that the Conservatives feel they have no one to take Johnson’s place merely adds yet more insults to the very many injuries. Attention Mr Jupp […]

Greener, healthier, happier: Rosemoor works its magic

Anna Andrews
Magnolias at Rosemoor

“Our vision is to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener, healthier, happier and more beautiful place.” So says the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), a registered charity which promotes horticulture and helps gardeners, both present and retired. The Society provides information, practical advice, training, qualifications and bursaries, is involved in education, […]

What has the EU ever done for Cornwall?

Jon Danzig
South West coastal path: EU funded

I spy with my little eye – yellow stars on a blue background… If you look carefully, all across the UK there are blue plaques with yellow stars, announcing funding by the EU for that area. Funding that has helped our country. Funding that came from the EU, not the UK. Funding that the UK […]

Standing with Ukraine

Lucy-Ann Pope
Pro Ukraine banner

I first heard late on Tuesday about the call from the European Movement (EM), for their members and local groups to come to the ‘London stands with Ukraine’ rally and march on Saturday 26 March. They had joined with London mayor Sadiq Khan, who’d asked Londoners to stand in solidarity with Ukraine. Could I attend […]

Creamo’s! The wonderfully wacky craft ice cream from Ashburton

Anthea Simmons

We are very keen to showcase small businesses from Cornwall, Devon, Dorset and Somerset. The stories these entrepreneurs have to tell make a very welcome change from the news, escaping from which, however briefly, is a privilege not afforded to many, we know. I met Matai and Rachael to talk about how they got into […]

Carl Garner tells it like it is – Covid

Carl Garner
Johnson at his desk, drinking tea

The current government strategy against Covid is not working. Putting your fingers in your ears and shutting your eyes to pretend it isn’t happening is not a strategy; in fact, it is the perfect definition of the opposite, and furthermore, a total abdication of the responsibility of good government.  Our hospital has had to declare […]

Cop 26 and ‘the fierce urgency of now’

Phil Shepherd
Storm - made out of rycled materials - at Cop 26

It would have been much cheaper to fly, particularly as the UK government had recently reduced air passenger duty on internal flights, but John Potter and I took the train to Glasgow for COP 26.   We didn’t have passes, or any kind of access to the conference, but wanted to see what ideas and […]

Sponsor a Ukrainian – the scheme that puts the vulnerable at risk whilst thwarting compassion

Elizabeth Smith and Anna Andrews
Ukrainian refugees in Krakow

“It’s an abusers’ charter, isn’t it?” said a friend – a woman not particularly attentive to the doings of this government, nor as prejudiced as me against these Conservatives’ policies. Sadly, I think my friend is correct in her assessment of the ‘Sponsor a Ukrainian’ scheme, whereby homeowners here can offer accommodation to Ukrainian refugees. […]

Why are Cornwall councillors busy promoting damaging trade deals with the US rather than serving their constituents?

Tom Scott
Conservative Friends of America home page

An independent report has found Conservative councillor Tara Sherfield-Wong has “demonstrated a lack of commitment to the community for which she serves”. Her activities with Conservative Friends of America raise further questions over whose interests Councillor Sherfield-Wong is really serving – and she’s not the only Cornwall councillor who is part of this organisation. Tom […]

P&O and partygate – letter to Sheryll Murray

Carl Garner
P&O flag

Dear Sheryll I am writing to you with regards to P&O. Mass sackings without consultation are illegal under European law, so why, if Brexit was meant to improve things, are a company (whose parent is in profit) allowed to fire 800 British staff to hire cheaper labour? I note with interest that no French (ie […]

Energy prices – what’s going on? Letter to David Warburton MP

Editor-in-chief
wind farm

Dear Mr Warburton, I am writing to you – with copies to local news outlets – about the recent large rise in gas and electricity prices. I am old enough to remember the oil crisis of the mid-1970s. During that period the government brought in a number of energy-saving measures; these included banning the heating of […]

Letters to Neil Parish and Sir Geoffrey Cox re Ukraine

Editor-in-chief
placard: accept refugees on background of Ukraine flag

Dear Mr Parish, I wrote to you recently about the urgent need for Ukrainian refugees to be given safe passage and supported resettlement in the UK.  You kindly replied, and in short order, which I appreciated. Thank you. However, the assurances you provided about the government’s response did not address my concerns about the shortcomings […]

How Totnes Conservatives picked their 2019 candidate…

Anon
Totnes Conservative Club

Dr Sarah Wollaston left the Conservative Party to join the LibDems, leaving a rock-solid seat-for-life for some lucky Tory. The Conservatives needed a new candidate for the election that was to come later that year. Would they pick another local candidate, known in the community? Anonymous reveals the ‘interesting’ selection process. In 2019 the fate […]

Speaking out, while we still can…

Tony Whitehead
Protesters at the Exeter rally against the Policing and Borders Bills

Reaching out across the seas Hold out our hands to refugees Make the world a better place To put a smile on everyone’s face Stop the bombing, join together International friends forever This poem by primary school children, read by Exeter’s Pete the Poet, opened a rally organised by Stop the War Coalition. More than […]

Latest dire warning from the IPCC report – what are we doing locally to counter climate breakdown?

Belinda Bawden
IPCC report cover

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published its latest report this week. The UN secretary general, António Guterres, described it as an “atlas of human suffering”. Alice Bell, co-director at the climate change charity Possible, wrote in the Guardian: “The key findings are bleak, if familiar. Climate breakdown is accelerating rapidly; many of the […]

Saving his own skin: Mr Mangnall and the squandering of leadership

Jim Funnell
Anthony Mangnall paper

In late February 2022, as bloody, terrifying war broke out in Ukraine and refugees fled their country, constituents across Totnes and South Devon received an unwelcome gift through their door: a four page newspaper full of puff pieces all about Anthony Mangnall MP. Produced by Mr Mangnall and his team, the headline cringingly announcing: ‘Anthony […]

From Frome to the front line

Richard Paul-Jones
Polish currency

“We don’t need stuff, we need cash” says the Mayor of Rabka Frome has a direct link to the war in Ukraine – and a way for you to help Ukrainians fleeing from the terror. Frome is twinned with three European towns. It is a four-way twinning, with representatives of three towns each visiting the fourth on […]