Section: Region

The future? It’s flinty!

Stuart Reynolds

BREAKING: a public inquiry is due to get underway at Newton Abbot Town Hall today into the controversial proposal to reopen the Bullers Hill Quarry at  Haldon, near Teignmouth. The site is designated as a site of special scientific interest (SSSI) as it contains outcrops of flint-bearing gravels. It is one of the few places […]

The UK fails to value our English language sector and students – letter to the editor

Editor-in-chief

Dear Editor Our exports are falling, farmers are discouraged from farming, fishermen from fishing, miners from mining, windfarms are blocked, and the London Stock Exchange has been overtaken by Paris. There is, however, still one profitable sector where the UK is genuinely a world leader – and Bournemouth is its second most important base. Publishing, entertainment, tourism, hospitality, […]

Hello South West Water! No more poo, please!

Sonia Rai

Having noticed the increase in sewage smells in their bay, Jovi and Sonny send a message to local water company, South West Water, to clean up their act. In 2021, South West Water intentionally discharged 680 hours of sewage into the River Lim – the equivalent to the whole month of February, 24 hours a […]

Sewage questions to MP prompt police home visits

Editor-in-chief

When I was first contacted with this story, my source asked me to listen and tell her whether I thought this story was at all weird. My immediate response on hearing what happened was “Bloody hell!”. I think that reaction will be shared by many readers and my comments on this incident are at the […]

Street democracy – a message from Tavistock for Geoffrey Cox MP

Simon Chater

Tavistock looked at its best this morning, its streets and buildings washed clean by overnight rain and gleaming under late November sun. Appearances are deceptive, though: a local told me the town was in decline, with shops closing and people increasingly resorting to food banks. In this it surely mirrors the fate of once prosperous […]

Poo plaque protest! Eye-catching demo in Totnes to tell the truth about the sewage scandal

Michael Puleston

Dozens of protesters gathered at the Totnes Conservative Club at Station Road. to protest at the sitting MP Anthony Magnall’s environmental voting record, particularly with regard to voting against an important Lords’ Amendment to the Environment Bill during November 2021. The lively gathering today was made up of many diverse groups including swimmers, recreational water users, kayakers, paddle […]

I saw the monster but couldn’t see the point

Mick Fletcher

On a cold, dull and windy day I went to Weston to see the monster. At a distance it looked disappointingly small, dwarfed by miles of empty sand and sea, but as I walked along the beach it grew until its full scale was apparent. So, too, was its oddity. The monster – a repurposed […]

Two cheers for democracy – the BCP leadership petition debate

Ian Lawrence

For the background to this story, please read: This summary is written particularly for the 3,081 people, including 2066 locals, who signed our petition of no confidence in the leadership of Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council. As a Facebook commenter noted: Brian Sutcliffe: This petition run by one resident on a Facebook site obtained 3000 […]

No more greenwashing, Barclays! XR action in Exeter

Michael Puleston

On October 29, there was an excellent turnout of activists at Bedford Square Exeter from local Extinction Rebellion groups (Exeter, Totnes and Teignmouth/Newton Abbot), co-organised by Exeter XR and Exeter Samba Band. The objective? To call out Barclays yet again: the dirty bank of Europe. Barclays remains the number one bank in Europe and number […]

Benefits on Trial: the calculated cruelty of the DWP

Neil Carpenter

Benefits on Trial is based on my work in Cornwall since 2012 as a volunteer advocate with adults who have a learning disability. In recent years, that work has increasingly concerned benefits cases: helping people with their applications for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and Employment and Support Allowance (ESA); accompanying them to assessments; requesting reconsideration […]

Anthony Mangnall’s £250,000 half term appraisal

Babe

Babe – the pig with the unerring snout for pigswill – returns for a satirical sojourn in the Sunlit Uplands and a political sketch. As the year moves into its closing phase, there’s never been a better time to root through the fallen fruit and leaf litter of Anthony Mangnall’s autumnal tenure as Constituency MP […]

You, too, can be a warrior in the war on plastic!

Anthea Bareham

I met Kay Pike when she brought the Plastic Free Axminster stall to All Saints, a village on the outskirts of Axminster. Kay is keen to stress that she is no expert on the subject – I beg to differ. The more she talks – passionately – about the subject of single-use plastic, the more […]

Flash protest in Totnes and some food for thought

Simon Chater

On Friday I joined a small group of Devon for Europe supporters at a “flash protest” in Totnes. Anthea Simmons, our campaign manager, delivered a letter to MP Anthony Mangnall demanding his support for a general election. We also ran a “democracymeter”, asking passers by to answer questions about the state of our nation by […]

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 […]