Section: Region

General election now, please, Mr Jupp!

Rachel Marshall

On Monday evening, as Rishi Sunak was being welcomed at Conservative HQ as the latest new party leader and Prime Minister, a group of Devon For Europe activists gathered in Exmouth to campaign for an immediate General Election. Outside East Devon MP Simon Jupp’s off-the-beaten-track office, in a very fresh sea breeze, we set up […]

Be the change, be kind and carry on

Jane Leigh

College lecturer and former Plastic-Free Falmouth champion Kirstie Edwards is gearing up to take on the role of Mayor of Falmouth next year. West Country Voices spoke to her about her career to date and her plans for the future. Kirstie Edwards’s CV isn’t short on variety. Having made Falmouth her home at the age […]

No excuses! Do NOT let this climate-denying government fool anyone

Belinda Bawden

Climate Emergency! This government and its over-influential fossil fuel and fracking-loving, regulation-hating, climate-wrecking corporate backers should not be allowed to ditch decades-worth of scrupulously researched and negotiated health and safety protections, workers and consumers’ rights and environmental and Net Zero commitments. We have to stop them! Everyone at every political level can step up to […]

Academics at Falmouth University say: enough is enough

Tom Scott

Lecturers started a three-day strike today against the use of a subsidiary company to hire staff outside national agreements that underwrite pension, pay and working conditions. This morning I was on a picket line at the entrance to Falmouth University as part of a three-strike with my fellow lecturers there. In the scheme of things, […]

BCP leadership debate triggered for Nov 8 – get involved!

Ian Lawrence

Kamikaze budget, casino economics, bankrupting policies, freezing taxes while increasing borrowing dangerously as interest rates soar. Sound familiar? No, not Number 10, but BCP (Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole) Council leadership promising low tax/small state, but instead wasting millions on high-rise, big plan transformation vanity schemes while neglecting the basics. Consequently, BCP suffers some of the […]

Fysh swims against the tide

Mick Fletcher

Yeovil MP Marcus Fysh is clearly not afraid of adopting controversial positions. Last Christmas, for example, he was widely criticised for comparing the idea of vaccine passports to living in Nazi Germany. In June 2020 he was ordered to apologise for “patronising conduct” towards the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner. Now, in comments that say more about […]

The miracle of cider

Mick Fletcher

We didn’t plant the orchard just for fruit. In some ways the wildlife interest and impact on the landscape were more important. We wanted proper trees, full standards on non-dwarfing rootstock. We wanted trees that would outlive us and probably our children as well, growing tall and hanging heavy with mistletoe, becoming crusted with lichen […]

Local leaders in a land of make-believe: the latest in the BCP saga!

Adam Sofianos

Picture this scene. An embattled Conservative leader sees the failure of their headline economic policy. As the plan collapses, critics surround them from every side – even their own. With the economy plummeting, the leader needs others to bail them out financially. And then, at the moment of greatest humiliation, with public finances and services […]

Beach Guardians put plastic in its place

Jane Leigh

“I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky … “ And all I ask is a litter picker made of recycled plastic, a bag made from an abandoned festival tent, good eyesight and the aim of saving the planet. Apologies to John Masefield, but I hope he would […]

You’ve no mandate for this! Letter to Sheryll Murray

Carl Garner

Dear Sheryll Murray,  I see that Kwasi Kwarteng, the least competent chancellor in living memory, has gone against all sensible economic advice and announced fiscal policies that almost instantly tanked the pound.  Please tell me your thoughts on a tax cut for the highest earners, whilst the absolute majority of your constituents will get almost […]

Why are you prioritising profits over people, Mr Rees-Mogg?

Editor-in-chief
Jacob Rees-Mogg

As a Yeovil resident and writing in a personal capacity rather than as a county councillor, Oliver Patrick has asked his MP Marcus Fysh to forward a letter to Jacob Rees-Mogg – the new Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. In the letter Oliver says he has “grave concerns” over the way […]

This royal throne of kings, this septic isle

Tom Scott

The (Dis)United Kingdom has a new King and Cornwall has a new Duke. Perhaps Prince William would like to have a word with the water company that is relentlessly pouring raw sewage onto Cornish beaches, and with the MPs who have failed to stop this, suggests Tom Scott. With politics suspended for ten days and […]

Who gives a damn?

Malcolm Baldwin

The climate and ecological crisis which is now upon us threatens the existence of humanity. Yes, it’s that serious. It’s not only climate chaos but soil erosion and desertification; it’s plastic pollution and the mindless application of chemicals to the environment. It’s about the million or so species threatened with extinction, it’s about industrial fishing […]

‘I want my country back’ – National March for Rejoin September 10

Peter Benson

A retired school teacher living in Lostwithiel has been selected to read her poem “I want my country back “at a major rally in Parliament Square on Saturday 10 September. Nicola Tipton, a retired drama teacher, has been asked to read out her poem in front of thousands at the first national Rejoin the EU Rally. […]

The sewage scandal: letter to the editor

Editor-in-chief

Dear West Country Voices, We have beautiful beaches in East Devon; Weston Mouth, in particular, is very special to me: pristine, crystal-clear water and I have enjoyed swimming there all through the year. I am very sad that since sewage has been pumped into the sea; ALL of the beaches in Lyme Bay are now […]

The mysterious glow

Mick Fletcher

At around 9.30pm, on a warm summer evening in late July, some 40 residents of Westbury-sub-Mendip converged on the centre of the village and waited for it to get dark. They were taking part in the annual glow-worm count that has been carried out at about this time for the last 17 years. A small […]

Heappey sabotages a green funding bid with his own ‘imaginative’ idea for levelling-up

Mick Fletcher

James Heappey MP seems guilty of stabbing his constituents in the back after a last-minute intervention which threatens to derail a £20m bid for levelling-up funds. The plan, put together by Conservative-controlled Sedgemoor Council and LibDem-led Mendip, proposes substantial investment in a green transport corridor connecting communities from Wells in the east to Highbridge on […]

Truss trips up over pay policy, but keep your eyes peeled…

Rachel Marshall

“Let me be clear.” It’s the politician’s go-to phrase when they’re in a tight spot and an indicator that a swerve, obfuscation or outright lie is incoming.  And there we were again, as our Liz was being clear about her mess of a policy around regional pay. Truss is a serial offender at being “absolutely […]

Why we take aim at the wrong targets

Joel Griffet

As with the Brexit vote many millennia ago, the peoples of Britain are slowly beginning to realise that things are gravely wrong all over our island. While this realisation is a step in the right direction, our inability to find the right target at which to aim our disquiet is shocking. Yet not all of […]

On the rocks: the BCP disaster movie blunders on

Adam Sofianos

In a previous article on these pages, Bournemouth, Christchurch & Poole Council (BCP) was likened to a shopping trolley, smashing from one side of the aisle to the other. Based on recent events, it looks like we’re gonna need a bigger metaphor. Yes, the south-coast disaster movie continues to amaze and astound. Even the council’s […]

BCP beach hut meeting: I was there!

Ian Lawrence

Here at WCV, we’ve been intrigued by the goings-on at Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council. Ian is the latest resident to contact us with a story about the rather shabby goings-on. Editor-in-Chief For the background to this latest development in the beach hut saga, please read this: If you want a masterclass on how to […]