Category: Devon

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Hustings in Sidmouth, Devon, 18 June: full report

Anna Andrews

“I haven’t prepared anything and if you want to know about our policies, I suggest you look at our website.” Well, this was a first: surely the whole point of hustings is to act as a shop-window for the candidates? On this showing, the Reform candidate for the Honiton and Sidmouth constituency seemed to be […]

Escaping religion

Yvonne Quaintrell

I am an apostate. This is the term given to people who leave religion. It is not a term I particularly like, but it is the one that most people understand. As a counsellor and peer supporter, I also have professional experience of the needs of apostates. I work with apostates from high control, high […]

Kevin Foster needs reminding: “Charity envieth not”

Sadie Parker

There has never been a general election like this one. The Conservative and Unionist (Tory) Party has made gaffe after blunder after miscalculation after error after outrage. Keir Starmer could sit at home and do nothing for the next three weeks and still find himself prime minister on Friday, July 5th, so amateur and awful […]

Your guide to the tactical vote to defeat the Conservative and push them into third place

Editor-in-chief

Just because the Conservatives are set to lose power nationally, they are still able to hang on to seats where the progressive vote is split and/or ambiguous, thanks to our anachronistic and undemocratic first-past-the-post system (shared only by Belarus…) Fortunately, we can turn to the big aggregator sites like www.stopthetories.vote and Best for Britain’s www.getvoting.org […]

Action stations!

Anthea Simmons

At last, fourteen years of brutal underfunding, politically-motivated austerity, cronyism and corruption can be brought to an end on 4 July, when we can all exercise our democratic right and vote in the general election. With so many Conservative MPs standing down and dissatisfaction with Sunak growing in the Tory ranks, let alone in the […]

Fawlty valves and bacterial infections

Jim Funnell

A year on from MP Anthony Mangnall’s Brixham meeting: no-one’s laughing at the farce of our water supply. Last April I attended the first of MP Anthony Mangnall’s public meetings with South West Water. They were eventually held right across the constituency, and were much publicised by the MP as an opportunity to ‘hold South […]

Do you fancy being a nighttime bat detective?

Editor-in-chief

STOP PRESS: ALREADY FULLY BOOKED! BE QUICK NEXT YEAR, IF YOU WANT TO TAKE PART! A leading local conservation charity is calling on people in Devon to help it discover more about the county’s bats. Devon Wildlife Trust is about has embarked on the ninth year of its Devon Bat Survey. The research is believed […]

Shame I never got to interview the Secretary of State for Education, Gillian Keegan, when she was in Totnes. She’d have loved answering my questions…

Anthea Simmons

Fellow citizen-journalist editor, Peter Shearn of Totnes Pulse, contacted me to see if I would like to interview the secretary of state for education, Gillian Keegan. Apparently she had elected to kill two birds with one stone and give a ‘puff’ to the government’s free childcare for two-year-olds, and (presumably) to the re-election chances of […]

Potholed Britain – part 1: actual potholes!

Mike Zollo

Then and now Bang, crash, rattle as the bus lumbers along a road full of potholes, badly patched sections and ‘oozing’ tarmac distorted by the weight of passing heavy vehicles… A familiar story? But that was in 1969, when I was a student in Spain: at the time, a country almost ‘third world’ in terms […]

Mel J Stride MP – Misleader of the House

Trevor Price

Meet Mel J Stride, the ‘Right Honourable’ MP with a controversial association with the loan charge scandal. A member of the Conservative Party, he has been the Member of Parliament for Central Devon since 2010. What is the Loan Charge? Sixty-seven thousand people are being pursued by HMRC (HM Revenue and Customs: the tax office) under a piece of legislation – the Loan Charge […]

Campaigning chicanery: Simon Jupp goes lower. Letter to the editor

Editor-in-chief

Dear Editor, ‘Disgusted’ doesn’t come close. Although even now I am still sometimes surprised by how badly these Tories behave, I am genuinely shocked at what Simon Jupp is up to. Jupp, the Conservative elected as East Devon’s MP in 2019, is attempting to deceive voters by purloining – for his own purposes – the […]

Plymouth City Council’s ‘consultation’ fail

Ali White Founder, STRAW Plymouth

Recently, Sheffield City Council issued an apology to the courts to whom they lied during the tree felling debacle. This follows on from apologies to the people of Sheffield and personal apologies to the tree campaigners. Sadly, no individuals ever took responsibility for this shocking episode, and nobody in charge fell on their sword. In […]

Dartmoor is leaking – carbon, biodiversity and actual water…

Harry Barton

The much-anticipated Independent Review of Protected Site Management on Dartmoor was published on 13 December 2023. It was overshadowed by the COP28 deal, but locally it’s just as significant: after all, Dartmoor is by far the largest area managed for wildlife in the south-west, and its peat bogs hold carbon stores equivalent to an entire […]

Dartmoor Review: yes, but where’s the urgency?

Tony Whitehead

Dartmoor Environmental campaigner Tony Whitehead looks at the Independent Review of Protected Site Management on Dartmoor published this week and asks whether it will help nature restoration in this precious landscape …  When I first skimmed through the Independent Review of Protected Site Management on Dartmoor that was published this week, my initial reaction was […]

Dartmoor at risk!

Jim Funnell

Does Lib Dem-led South Hams Council know what the Freeport really means for our wild spaces? Jim Funnell questions whether the council is in control of the full facts… Last week I wrote to all the South Hams councillors with wards bordering on Dartmoor. I expressed my concern that South Hams District Council has failed […]

PART II: Has South Hams District Council lost credibility?

Jim Funnell

As the reality of the libertarian Freeport experiment unleashed on Plymouth and South Devon comes to weigh heavily on the shoulders of South Hams Council, the Task & Finish Group internal report (which will be discussed in Council Executive on Thursday 30 November) highlights issues of substantial concern. I unpack the concerns in detail in […]