EDA now regularly attends the excellent meetings organised by the Devon branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England.This of course gives us the opportunity to see East Devon issues in the context of the whole county, and beyond.
The guest speaker at last Friday’s CPRE Devon meeting was Lord Michael Heseltine, who made it very clear that whatever national or local government decides, the people will say, “They don’t listen to us”! As a Cabinet Minister, he had, naturally, ploughed carefully through thousands of representations from objectors to controversial schemes!!
His legacy as a former Environment Minister has of course changed the landscape. Amongst other things, he introduced Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs); established English Heritage; and did much work on urban-fringe renewal (especially around Liverpool).
When questioned on broader political issues, he told last Friday’s audience that he is convinced that leaving the European Union would slow the British economy. And although his own report on reforming local government had not been immediately adopted, he is sure that unitary authorities will come.
We’ll see what happens in Devon, before very long…..
Footnote: Some very useful maps are on http://cpredevon.org.uk/