Independent now “front-runner” to unseat East Devon’s MP

Message sent in to EastDevonWatch:


The public meeting scheduled for 7 pm on Wednesday 11th February in Sidmouth’s Leigh Browne Room has been moved around the corner to the larger premises at the Unitarian Church on the corner of the High Street and All Saints Road.

A spokesman for Independent Candidate Claire Wright said: “Claire lives in West Hill, Ottery St Mary. Sidmouth was chosen as the first venue in her planned series of public meetings throughout the East Devon constituency as she bids to become our next Member of Parliament.

“Since the meeting was announced last month, Claire has been overwhelmed with messages of support from Sidmouth residents. She has therefore decided to move the event to a larger venue to accommodate the likely numbers.

“Another public meeting is scheduled for Woolbrook on 1st April and Claire will also be attending several events and taking part in election hustings with other candidates in Sidmouth during the run up to May 7th’s General Election.”

When Claire Wright first announced her candidature the bookmakers gave odds of 66-1 against her winning. The odds have shortened week after week since then and she is now seen as the front-runner to displace the current MP.

Local MP wakes up to his constituency’s planning issues!

As the General Election approaches, Hugo Swire MP will be holding a meeting in Woodbury Village Hall on Friday, 20th February from 6.30 till 8.0 p.m. to discuss planning issues. Is this a first? There could be a full house!

Planning meeting this evening… 05/02/15..reminder

Just a reminder that this evening there is a meeting in the village hall at 7.30pm to discuss the planning proposal to demolish no 16 Clyst Valley Road and build 40 new houses on the land sandwiched between the football ground and the back gardens of houses on Clyst Valley Road. Charlie Hopkins (Expert planning consultant) will be there.

Should anyone need transport please ask. We have several willing volunteers that have offered to ferry residents to and from the meeting.

Hope to see you all later on.

Best wishes


A moving plea to EDDC – don’t move!

Letter in today’s Exmouth Journal:

I live in a big old house that costs a lot to heat and maintain, and with my budget tightening, I certainly won’t plan to move.
I don’t think East Devon District Council should move either. Not to Exmouth. Not to Honiton.
To waste £700,000 of our money “just thinking about it” (Cllr Ben Ingham’s letter, January 29) while at the same time drastically cutting services seems not the wisest of moves.
We need more common sense voices like the Independent Claire Wright to urge sense and sensibility on our council.
Rather than expensive vanity projects, they should stay in their old home in Sidmouth (even expensive to heat) and concentrate on spending our money more wisely.
May I make a moving plea to our council: Don’t Move!
Budleigh Salterton.

New East Devon Alliance of Independents “a breath of fresh air”

From today’s Exmouth Journal:
New group “a breath of fresh air”
David Beasley
A brand new alliance for independent candidates is vowing to change the political landscape across East Devon.
On Tuesday, just 93 days before the national and local elections on May 7, the campaign group East Devon Alliance (EDA) revealed that, as far as the Electoral Commission is concerned, it is now a political party, unveiling a website and manifesto.
However, in reality, the EDA is a broad, umbrella group for similar-minded activists – and now more independent candidates are set to contest district council seats in East than at any point since 1973.
At the launch at the Axminster Heritage Centre, its leaders urged residents – tired of the old political parties – to rally to their cause.
Its leader is Woodbury and Lympstone’s independent district councillor Ben Ingham, with freelance BBC documentary maker Paul Arnott as chairman and Ian Mckintosh, founder of the EDA, and retired circuit judge, its president.
Councillor Ingham said: “For years the three main national political parties have been telling us what they want to do instead of listening and then delivering what we need to have.
“People are so fed up they have even been voting for the nationalist parties as an alternative, but these alternative parties prey on people’s gravest fears… they preach division and separation instead of unity, respect and understanding.”
He said it did not have to be like that and insisted that prospective parliamentary candidate Claire Wright, EDA’s council candidates and other independent councillors had a ‘very definite set of ideas.’
“Our campaign is like a breath of fresh air in a stagnant room,” said Cllr Ingham.
“So, over the next few weeks, all of us in East Devon should open the windows to change, breathe in deeply and take part in the most exciting political event to happen in East Devon for decades.”
Their policies range from ensuring that East Devon District Council (EDDC) is more open and accountable, supporting local businesses, preserving the environment, keeping local hospitals open and backing new developments – but only if they are `sensitive’ to what local people want.
Mr Arnott said: “We will allow vulnerable independent candidates to stand as independent East Devon Alliance candidates in May
“We know how hard it is for independents to stand without the help of a party machine.”
He said that the EDA had heard many complaints from residents about the way things were done at EDDC ‘because of national parties first standing in local elections 40 years ago, it has led today to an atrophied one-party disaster…’
“There’s no point just moaning from the sidelines…the only way to reform our council is through the ballot box,” he said.
“In May, the people of East Devon will be offered independent candidates across the district on a previously unknown scale.”

Bite the Ballot: National Voter Registration Day

Those folk at East Devon Alliance want everyone to register to vote in May 2015 – now that we have a viable alternative to “None of the above” and “Same Old …”.

Especially as our Electoral Officer (Mark Williams, CEO of East Devon District Council) made no attempts whatsoever to get people on the Voting register for several years – ending up having to explain why to a Parliamentary Committee last year!

It’s easy:

Full information here:

There is a You Tube video:

Facebook support:


Go on – try it, you might like it!