Section: Region

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 how to help make sure the tactical candidate wins

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 […]

Let’s get filming – let’s change the world

Phil Shepherd

YouTube footage from the climate change conference COP 26 in Glasgow in 2021  reveals scores of delegates chanting “Another world is possible”. It reflected their disillusionment at the compromised conference process and at the lack of governments’ commitment to meaningful action in the face of the escalating climate crisis. While, unsurprisingly, the footage was not […]

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 […]

Can we restore faith in local politics this week? Letter to the editor

Editor-in-chief

Dear Editor, We are drawing close to the first local election since Dorset Council became a unitary authority in 2019, which the Financial Times (FT) recently dubbed as: “… the most keenly watched ‘blue wall’ battle in a crucial set of local elections on May 2.” Under the headline “Dorset Tories tell Sunak’s MPs to […]

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 […]

Calling for 20mph in BCP! LOVE 20

Adam Osman

We delivered our 20 hearts to Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council (BCP) on April 14 2024, to call for an all-at-once rollout of a 20mph speed limit. BCP council is proposing some limited extensions to 20mph areas, like the one currently out for consultation in the Boscombe area. We’re in an environmental emergency and a […]

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 […]

How can we return to the heart of Europe?

Editor-in-chief

On Saturday 23 March 2024, Cornwall for Europe hosted Molly Scott Cato, a former Member of the European Parliament, at a meeting at Truro School. Over 50 local members of Cornwall for Europe heard Molly Scott Cato’s talk entitled The Journey Home: how can we return to the heart of Europe? Molly Scott Cato is […]

Dorset landowner accused of exploiting Lough Neagh in Northern Ireland

Joanna Bury

Members of Extinction Rebellion Wimborne staged a colourful protest at the gates of St Giles House, the seat of the Earl of Shaftesbury, in Wimborne St Giles on Monday March 18, 2024, which was the St Patrick’s Day Bank Holiday in Northern Ireland. We wanted to raise awareness of the Earl of Shaftesbury’s exploitation of […]

A new deal for the eel

Mick Fletcher

England’s eels are in trouble. Since the 1980s, the numbers in our rivers and wetlands have declined by some 90 per cent. Without urgent intervention, a once-common animal could face extinction. There are several reasons for this dramatic fall. One of the most obvious is the growth of man-made barriers blocking access to suitable habitat. […]

Dorchester Euro Café takes the temperature on happiness

Rachel Lawrence

Members of cross-party campaign group Dorchester Euro Café were out in Dorchester on March 23, asking people how they are feeling on a range of issues since we left the EU. This was part of a ‘Day for Rejoin’, called for by the team who organise the annual National Rejoin March, and was one of […]

Poole Harbour oil spill, one year on

Greg Lambe

The BBC have reported that ‘Perenco UK pledges no repeat’ of the oil spillage in Poole Harbour. In reply, local activists from Extinction Rebellion say the only way for Perenco to honour this pledge is to stop oil extraction in Poole Harbour now. Extinction Rebellion (XR) groups from Bournemouth-Christchurch-Poole (BCP), Wimborne, Purbeck, East Dorset Friends […]

Happy first birthday, Dorchester Euro Café!

Rachel Lawrence

People who love Europe and who believe that the UK should re-join the European Union celebrated the first anniversary of Dorchester Euro Café on February 24, 2024, with birthday cake, coffee and conversation. Dorchester Euro Café started as a one-off event in February 2023, but attendance was so good it has continued as a regular, […]

Somerset cuts and the cost of care: a story of defunding and privatisation that is replicated right across the country

Mick Fletcher

In 2021, I wrote about the dangerous dowry left to the new Somerset unitary authority by the previous Conservative council. The combination of an unwanted reorganisation and a systematic failure to invest in local services had left Somerset especially vulnerable to financial crisis. The warning of trouble ahead was all too correct. In November 2023, […]

BCP’s big SEND dilemma

Adam Sofianos

In a matter of days, the members of Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council (BCP) will make a momentous decision. The result may affect the delivery of services to vulnerable children across the region. And though this will only apply to local council services, it could become a national touchstone. The question is whether to join […]

Climate and nature café to open in Wimborne

Editor-in-chief

A new climate and nature café is to be launched by Extinction Rebellion (XR) Wimborne for people suffering from eco-anxiety over the climate and nature crises. The pop-up café is at the Cafe @ The Allendale in Wimborne on Thursday 15 February from 4pm to 6pm. XR Wimborne say it is an opportunity for people […]