Election hot topics on IEDA blogs.. and on the video intros

Confused about who to vote for, how many votes you have, or why all the talk about neighbourhood plans? This blog has brief, clear summaries: http://www.eastdevonalliance.org.uk/candidates/sidmouth/cathy-gardner/

EDW also recommends Cathy’s video intro; and the one by the iEDA candidate standing against Paul Diviani (in Yarty), Steve Horner.
Many of you will already have watched this straight-talking one, which we highlighted yesterday : http://www.eastdevonalliance.org.uk/candidates/coly-valley/paul-arnott/

Then there’s one by Megan Armstrong (Exmouth); and by Martin Shaw (Seaton)…… the list goes on, and is steadily increasing.

Election only one week away!

Former Exeter council officer talks of difficulty of supporting project you din’t believe in

For those who have worked with me they will know that I am not quiet when something is not right for our city.

Pete [Council Leader] and his colleagues will recall how vocal I was about my serious misgivings for the swimming pool proposal behind closed doors. I made my grave concerns over the pool’s price tag and resulting risk to the council’s finances very clear and repeatedly articulated serious doubts over the claimed wider benefits to city centre.

That was the right and proper way to conduct myself as a local authority officer.


Wonder what some of EDDC’s officers would say if they could? Unfortunately, some of those who could have spoken have accepted gagging clauses in their pay-offs.

Smaller parties and independents could hold the balance of power in Parliament

Nate Silver, the number-cruncher who had a 100% success rate in predicting the outcome of the last US presedential election in all 50 states, was brought to the UK by the BBC Panorama programme to see the situation here.

His prediction is that no two large parties together (Conservative/Lib Dem or Labour/SNP) will get an overall majority and both major parties will need the extra support of smaller parties and independents to form a majority coalition.

What a great time to be an Independent MP – they talk about Nicola Sturgeon being powerful in a hung Parliament and wresting major deals for Scotland – imagine if the king-maker was Claire Wright wresting major deals for East Devon!

Meet the candidates on video!

Here’s a taster, from iEDA Chair Paul Arnott, on the theme of ‘EDDC and Tower Hamlets compared’: see Paul’s ‘video intro’ at http://www.eastdevonalliance.org.uk/candidates/coly-valley/paul-arnott/

P.S. Lots more video introductions now available for other candidates, on the same website. And more in the pipeline…

Another hustings packed to overflowing last night, this time in Sidmouth

The third in the series of hustings organised in Sidmouth (for District,Town and Parliamentary elections, respectively), admirably had all five of the Prospective Parliamentary Candidates (PPCs) there to meet the public face to face.

Andrew Chapman (UKIP), Hugo Swire (Cons) , Stuart Mole Lib Dem), Claire Wright (Ind) and Steve Race (Labour) gave their views clearly and characteristically, from their various standpoints, showing that politicians are NOT all the same!

The evening began with an element of almost high comedy, as a phalanx of Tory supporters arrived half an hour early, having been informed in an e-mail from the party office of the wrong start time…rather conveniently enabling them to claim the front row seats.

There was not enough time to cover all the questions submitted, but topics were wide-ranging. They included Trident,and defence spending; decarbonising the energy sector; provision of mental health services; and housing figures in East Devon’s latest draft Local Plan.
The audience was clearly strongly divided, but for the most part listened attentively to the speakers.,although there were outbreaks of heckling when the Party lines were rolled out,  as when Hugo Swire (Con) said repeatedly that Labour + the SNP would make a chaotic combination in government; and UKIP’s Andrew Chapman insisted our housing shortage was caused by EU immigrants. There was also applause, as when Claire Wright declared, in her closing speech, that as an MP she would never belittle people who were poorer than herself.

At the end of the meeting, VgS Chair, Dave Bramley, praised the courage of the five PPCs, for being prepared to stand on their platform in front of the large audience (about 200 people), and answer questions in person. Regrettably, the bulk of the District Councillors representing Sidmouth, sitting in those front row seats last night, had not been so keen to do so themselves, having boycotted the previous two Sidmouth hustings as “too political”, we hear. Last night all that was required of them was to clap in unison, on cue.

EDW note: If the hustings in progress right now, at St Martins School, Cranbrook, is equally well-attended….is it a sign of the times?

1993 – the last time the old guard was trounced!

In 1993, the electorate were fed up of “same old” and all over the area the old guard of dinosaurs were trounced:

In Cornwall the Liberal Democrats won 13 extra seats to take control by three seats. Independents, who traditionally dominated the council, lost four seats, leaving them with 21.

In the early hours of Friday the Liberal Democrats also looked as if they would take control of Devon but finished two seats short of an overall majority. The number of Conservative held seats slumped from 55 to 18, making it the third party behind Labour.

Liberal Democrats gained 29 seats and Labour did well in both Plymouth and Exeter.

The biggest surprise in Cornwall was in Liskeard, where the Honourable Robert Eliot, the county’s Masonic leader, lost his seat after representing the town for 16 years. The county’s Conservatives will now have to find a new deputy leader.


Many will remember Ted Pinney, who ran East Devon District Council Council and Chairman of Devon County Council with an iron hand whilst simultaneously running his Sidmouth construction company ……

And note Stuart Hughes was an Independent then, though originally a Monster Raving Loony and most recently a Conservative and now:


now it’s anyone’s guess – a real chameleon!

It’t time – again – for change. Vote for REAL Independents