Archive | February, 2014

Regional funds not reaching the regions

25 Feb

Local Enterprise Partnerships in charge – a bunch of local businessmen.   A sort-of mega East Devon Business Forum …

Why DCC Tories all agreed not to let young people speak about youth cuts last week

24 Feb

Yet anothet amazing letter from Andrew Moulding:

Political Red Tape 1 – Young People and Democracy 0

and this response by Paul Arnott on this matter on Claire Wright’s blog is interesting:

What Andrew Moulding should be credited with is that he answered Paul Hayward’s vital question at all. The rule of thumb so often amongst our area’s leaders is to simply ignore such queries.

I think it’s tragic that someone like him – who has personally been involved in young people’s activities and welfare in the Axe Valley – should find himself associated with this matter … and the jobsworth content of the reply.

Andrew, your national party toots the Localism horn at every chance.  Yet your local party, particularly at District, seems to have digested the Kim Jong-un guidebook to Free Speech.

As Sandra Semple suggests above, is the only answer to this the ballot box? It is sad to believe as I do that the ruling party in our county is not competent to do anything more than crisis manage and watch its back, and let the devil take the future of our democracy. A democracy which was secured by WW1, the commemoration of which they will all be barging into photographs for in the coming years.

My late father fought in the next war, and then voted Tory his entire life because he believed that the Left was too close to Russia, where free speech cost lives. He would have been appalled to see the brainless way DCC’s Tory group denied the young people their say.

Venn Ottery piggery – inspector’s decision. Another example of EDDC’s paperwork not being at its best – nor the applicant’s

24 Feb

The decision is here

Venn Ottery

As you will see, the Inspector was very unhappy with the paperwork from both EDDC and the applicant – particularly the applicant, Mr Chris Down of Crealy (a former enthusiastic member of the East Devon Business Forum) and had strong words to say to both  about the manner in which their documents were (or in some cases were not) presented.  It indicates all the shortcomings of our current planning system and the ways in which it can be used by different parties for different things.

Planning Laws are good news for the rich

24 Feb

The Guardian has this  report today, spotted by the East Devon Alliance :

Do you want to be a councillor? Advice evening but you must register by 28 February 2014

23 Feb

If you are, you might want to come along to an event run by EDDC on Thursday 13 March, from 6-9pm at the Knowle.  This information is copied from a January 2014 entry from

In May 2015, the next general election will take place alongside local elections – for EDDC – and if more people stand than there are seats – for town and parish councils also.

If not enough people stand for election, or the same number as there are seats, candidates will be automatically elected.

EDDC’s make-up is 59 councillors – 42 conservative, 7 independent and 10 libdem.

If you are interested in attending the event, which will explore the role of councillors, local government and its links with parliament, please contact officers on

01395 517541 by

Friday 28 February.

Whose side IS EDDC on?

23 Feb

Before the Local Plan inspector’s meeting about Sidmouth on Tuesday, we had to reprise this entry from the blog of Independent EDDC councillor Claire Wright on 8 May 2012 – prescient then and just as topical now – unfortunately


I was passed this song today by a protester at the Knowle, attending the Development Management Committee meeting Local Plan session.

Some of you may know him.  His name is Robert Crick and he chairs Sidmouth’s Vision Group.

I asked him about the tune and he wasted no time in bursting into song loudly beside me for several minutes!

I wanted to blog the song because I think it is brilliant!

Which side are you on now, which side are you on?
Are you on the side of civic pride?
Which side are you on?

Persimmon had a project
The people had no say
Money changed hands
And agricultural lands
Had permission to build, so that’s OK

Which side are you on now? Which side are you on?
Are you on the side of the countryside?
Which side are you on?

A councillor raised a question
Which landed her in the soup
May we be told
If Developers Gold
Is helping to fund the ruling group?

Which side are you on now?  Which side are you on?
Are you on the side that bribed and lied?
Which side are you on?

The bubble of reputation
Is what they thought of first
When the Sidmouth Spring
Questioned everything
And the people said:  “Your bubble’s burst!”

Which side are you on now, which side are you on?
Are you on the side of the turning tide?
Which side are you on?

They built a bubble economy
Plunging the world into debt
They pay no tax
And wield the axe
But hey!  You ain’t seen nothing yet

Which side are you on now, which side are you on?
Are you on the side that ruled in pride?  Are you on the side that’s been crucified?
Which side are you on?

“Thoughts ran in me that words and writing were nothing and must die, for action is the essence of all and if thou dost not act thou dost nothing.”
Gerrard Winstanley, circa 1649.


Oh, and you will need to have a sat nav to visit Skypark too

23 Feb

Drove into Exeter for shopping this morning, idly wondering how to get to Skypark.  No signs at all showing where it might be.  Several for the airport and Science Park, none for Skypark.

And might some people confuse Science Park and Sky Park?

Perhaps it is all a dastardly plan to keep us all away.

How many EDDC Sidmouth councillors are speaking about the town at the Local Plan inquiry on Tuesday? Not a single one!

22 Feb

Of course, they have not been whipped – they all came to their decisions independently didn’t they.  You are entitled to ask them why.

The list of speakers is:

East Devon District Council
29 Sidmouth Chamber of Commerce
67 Sidmouth Town Council
720 Futures Forum of the Vision Group for Sidmouth
1795 Mr Philip Wragg
1967 Mr Tim Ford
2062 Persimmon Homes (SW) Ltd
3248 Cliff Road Action Group
3496 Mr Keith Northover – represented by Mrs Julia Harbour 3589 Knowle Residents Association 3603 Mr K R Dent

3632 Mr Barry Curwen

3647 Mr Michael Temple
3747 Mr Graham Cooper
4019 Mr Richard Eley
6048 Mr Peter Whitfield
6139 Dr Stephen Wozniak
6184 Mrs Marianne Rixson
6225 Mrs Ann Jone
6276 Messrs I Barlow & D Burrows 6314 S Mathews
6359 Mr Ian Davies
6360 Mrs J A Green
6361 Mr G W Nicholson
6397 Save our Sidmouth
6920 Mr David Addis
6922 Cllr Mike Allen

MPs and half term

21 Feb

Isn’t it odd that suddenly a lot of West Country MPs have rediscovered their constituencies and are out and about, smiling or grimacing depending on what they are looking at (and sometimes getting it terribly wrong), making promises they probably have not a hope of keeping.

Surely, it isn’t a coincidence that it is half-term and the kids want to be by the sea is it?

How do you encourage young people to vote when things like this happen?

21 Feb

As a commentator pointed out: the council spent more than 3 minutes debating (and voting down) a suspension of standing orders to allow the young people a 3 minute slot to voice their views.

It made Exmouth Councillor Eileen Wragg “ashamed to be a councillor”: