Category: Devon

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Credit where debit is due… North Devon MP, Selaine Saxby

Ian Jacques

Local households recently received a letter from Selaine Saxby, our North Devon MP, which contained a petition to complain about dentistry, or lack of it, in North Devon. I also note that she asked a question in the House of Commons on the same subject in July 2022. You can look at this in two ways: […]

Freeports : a pathway to the end of government as we know it

Richard Murphy

I have been asked on here if I have ever looked at the benefits of freeports. The honest answer is no, but that is because I have never been able to find any such benefits. I have, however, looked at the massive downsides to this idea that both Sunak and Truss support. It is important […]

Conspiracy theorists awake – and are heading to a town near you

Tom Scott

When Russell Brand issued his pre-emptive denial in an attempt to get ahead of the horrendous allegations of rape and sexual assault aired by The Times and Channel 4’s Dispatches on Saturday, he addressed his 6.6 million YouTube subscribers with the words: “Hello there, you awakening wonders.” It’s Brand’s standard greeting to his followers and […]

Campaigners defy wild swimming ban on Dartmoor

Lewis Winks

Signs were put up across the 4,000 acre Spitchwick Estate on Dartmoor this summer forbidding swimming along 17km of the River Dart, including at popular beauty spots. Forty right to roam campaigners held a ‘protest swim’ at Spitchwick on Sunday 10 September in defiance of the ban. Groups included Right to Roam, The Stars Are […]

Calling Devon residents! Your help needed to tell Devon County Council to sort its banking arrangements!

Anthea Simmons

Local community organisation, Exeter Community Alliance, is highlighting Devon County Council’s (DCC) current climate-messaging inconsistency. On the one hand, DCC’s own website tells local concerned citizens to be ethical and green in their choice of bank saying: “Finding banks with a strong ethical investment policy is an amazing way to make sure that your money […]

Safe seats, stale seats – whatever we call them, we need them gone

Editor-in-chief

Did you know that nearly 200 parliamentary seats have not changed party hands since WWII? Conservative East Devon hasn’t changed hands since 1835! West Dorset has been Tory since 1857. That’s 200 seats where the incumbent MPs (or their successors) have felt pretty relaxed about retaining their jobs. No need to panic, come election time! […]

Keep our ticket offices open!

Michael Puleston

Around a dozen activists, including members of Extinction Rebellion, protested for two hours outside Newton Abbot Railway station on Thursday August 24, lobbying passengers about the proposed closure of Newton Abbot ticket office and giving out leaflets urging people to respond to the public consultation by September 1. I spoke with one of the ticket office […]

March for a wild Dartmoor! 30 September, Princetown, Devon

Editor-in-chief

What follows is information from event organisers, Wild Card. There are details of a zoom to explore the strategy and plans for the day at the end of the article. Ed Dartmoor is dying, its wildlife is declining and disappearing, and the time to do something is now. Will you be a voice for nature? […]

Revolutionising travel in Exeter: letter to the editor

Editor-in-chief

Dear Editor, As a campaigner who has been arrested eight times for obstructing roads, gluing myself to paintings, blocking Rupert Murdoch’s printing press and smashing his headquarters’ windows, I can’t throw the people protesting at the Heavitree & Whipton Active Travel trial under the bus. Their bold actions – ripping out bollards, blocking the bus […]

Dirty Water protest at Dawlish

Editor-in-chief

On Sunday 13 August, Extinction Rebellion held a ‘Dirty Water’ protest at Dawlish seafront in Devon. [What follows is an edited version of their press release.] This is part of ‘Wave Four’ of an ongoing Extinction Rebellion campaign running throughout 2023. Through a combination of theatrics and public engagement, protestors yet again peacefully highlighted the fact […]

“We need to wake up to what’s happening.” Letter to the editor

Editor-in-chief

Dear Editor, The extract below is from the Holocaust Encyclopaedia. Just substitute the word ‘Jews’ and ‘Nazi’ for refugees and Conservatives and you have the basis of the Tory government campaign against the refugees crossing the channel. ‘The use of propaganda and laws to define the enemy as a cohesive group was a key factor […]

Freedom of movement

Anthea Bareham

There is something disconcerting about wild creatures behaving in an unnatural way, like the pigeon that turned up in our drive one Saturday afternoon. However close we got, he made no attempt to move away from us, seemingly unable or unwilling to fly. It was a hot day, so we gave him water and he […]

Fabulous news! You CAN wild-camp on Dartmoor!

Editor-in-chief

Campaigners are celebrating today’s decision to overturn the controversial ruling earlier this year that made camping illegal on Dartmoor without landowner permission. Lewis Winks, a campaigner with The Stars Are For Everyone, said: “A permission is not the same as a right – and today the court has seen sense and re-established people’s right to […]

How many trainers have sneaked into your wardrobe?

Jo Thomas

Trainers. Comfortable, ageless and fashionable, whether you’re a committed runner or a sofa-based Olympics’ fan! We probably all own at least one pair, and for some people they’re an obsession, but the facts around their production and its effect on the environment are pretty stark. Approximately 25 billion pairs are made every year, most from […]

Are you glued to your gum?

Plastic Free Axminster -

We’ve all trodden on it and got it lodged on the sole of our shoes; we’ve found it lurking under the rim of a table at a cafe or stuck to our clothes! The original chewing gum was made from chicle, a natural product from the sap of trees native to Mexico. Now it is […]

Growth, growth, growth

Malcolm Baldwin

Listen up! Pay attention! This affects us all! There can hardly be a politician anywhere in the world who does not yearn for economic growth. It was the mantra that won Liz Truss the key to number 10, and now economic growth is central to Kier Starmer’s vision for the future: he wants to achieve […]

Traffic reduction in coastal towns – a suggestion

Dr Richard Lawson

As a young man I took a holiday in the West Country in my van, carrying a small home-built sailing boat, looking for beaches and slipways from which to access the endless ocean. The map showed a slipway in one small town on a beautiful Cornish estuary, so I headed off the main road and […]

Thank you, Alexander Darwall – you have mobilised a movement!

Anthea Simmons

We are currently living under a regime which is happily removing rights willy-nilly and, in most cases, appearing to get away with it. It seems that most people are quite relaxed about the fact that a child born in England (specifically) today has fewer rights than one born 13 years ago. That should bother all […]

Climate campaigners take oil drilling case to the Supreme Court

Sarah Finch

Two women from the South West were among a group of campaigners at the Supreme Court last month fighting to ensure that fossil fuel developments are not given planning permission without a proper assessment of their climate impacts. Sarah Finch, from Exeter, fronted the case on behalf of a network of campaigners called the Weald […]

#NotJustTheTicket: save your ticket office! DEADLINE NOW 1 SEPTEMBER!

Anthea Simmons

The banks have gone, post offices are closing, your minor injuries unit might be shut, your library closed or desperately trying to hang in there and if you don’t have a smartphone you can’t park the car that is your lifeline because there’s no reliable bus service. Welcome to the real world of rural living, […]

Dartmoor – what does the future hold for the national park?

Anthea Simmons

On Friday 14 July at 19:15, we will be hosting a panel event to be live-streamed from the Byline Festival, which is being held for the first time at Dartington Hall. The theme? Dartmoor’s future from political, agricultural, societal and environmental perspectives. Your panel for the evening: Caroline Voaden: the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate for […]

Let’s be clever and vote together!

Anthea Simmons

I was beginning to despair about the state of our politics and voter apathy. The multiple assaults on democracy, the poor, the environment and the truth perpetrated by successive governments under Johnson, Truss and Sunak, voted in by a minority, have left our democracy looking very weak indeed. Many have tuned out of politics altogether. […]

An everyday tale of climate breakdown

Caspar Hughes

I was recently invited onto the board of trustees of an inclusive cycling charity called Wheels for Wellbeing, which is doing amazing work, changing attitudes and the road network, to make it safer for everyone who cycles, regardless of ability or disability. I had to go to London for a meeting with the other trustees; […]