Category: Devon

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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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Who gives a damn?

Malcolm Baldwin

The climate and ecological crisis which is now upon us threatens the existence of humanity. Yes, it’s that serious. It’s not only climate chaos but soil erosion and desertification; it’s plastic pollution and the mindless application of chemicals to the environment. It’s about the million or so species threatened with extinction, it’s about industrial fishing […]

The sewage scandal: letter to the editor

Editor-in-chief

Dear West Country Voices, We have beautiful beaches in East Devon; Weston Mouth, in particular, is very special to me: pristine, crystal-clear water and I have enjoyed swimming there all through the year. I am very sad that since sewage has been pumped into the sea; ALL of the beaches in Lyme Bay are now […]

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 […]

Two years of telling it like it is.

Editor-in-chief

Wow! It’s our second birthday on 23 July. We started out as West Country Bylines and now we’ve completed nearly 7 months as West Country Voices and all thanks to the same great team of editors and proof readers, excellent writers – some new, some longstanding contributors – and a growing band of loyal readers […]

“As the seas die, we die” – protest in Plymouth against fossil fuels

Rosie Haworth Booth

As temperatures rise so do west country climate activists: Rosie Haworth Booth reports. The  days following the weekend 16/17 July were predicted to be the hottest on record in the UK.  It was maybe a significant coincidence that this was the weekend that Extinction Rebellion activists chose to raise public consciousness in Plymouth – England’s ‘Ocean […]

Where are the police when you need them? Letter to the editor

Editor-in-chief

Andy Steel, from Devon, believes police failed to act appropriately when their urgent help was needed: Just because you live in a hidden, rural village doesn’t mean you can escape hit-and-run drivers. Not long ago a 17 year-old with a chequered motoring history ploughed into the front of my parked 1.8 tonne Land Rover with […]

“Our electoral system does not produce good government”

Compass Northern Devon

Dozens of residents and visitors attending the Bideford Soapbox Derby took time out to share their views with Compass Northern Devon on the state of politics in this country.  As in other Northern Devon towns, the results show that many people have lost faith in both politics and political parties. Many wish to be rid […]

The people of Tiverton and Honiton have not spoken – they have roared

Anthea Simmons

This is not a country of Johnson fans. This is not a country which will put up with lies, corruption, oppression, racism, law-breaking, hypocrisy and exploitation. There is a majority not just for specific progressive parties but for the core values of truth, fairness, inclusion, kindness, decency, integrity, humanity and the rule of law. Tiverton […]

A message to voters in Tiverton and Honiton

Stuart Reynolds

I have been a Tory supporter since I was a child. My parents were as Tory as they come, our home hosted MP surgeries. Our front room was often piled high with election literature and envelopes. That is my dad in the photo. I have had the privilege of meeting three Prime Ministers: Macmillan, Heath, […]

Ghost gear: meet the heroes cleaning up our ocean’s frontline

Kristy Westlake

With our oceans quickly filling up with plastic and fish stocks dwindling, it’s time to start talking about the massive whale in the room: ghost gear. An enormous environmental problem caused by commercial fishing and fuelled by our ever-growing appetite for seafood. Kristy Westlake talks to some of the heroes on the ocean’s frontline and […]