The NEW owl has arrived …


2 February 2020





East Devon could NEVER remain Owl-less …

As one departed another has taken its place …

The new Owl has arrived!

Talons sharpened, eyes trained …

A new light now shining into the darkest corners of East Devon

Contact us at

In the link below EDDC announces the launch on Monday 30 March 2020 of the East Devon District Council Coronavirus Community Support Hub and explains what  it will seek to do.

It also brings you up to date with a comprehensive range of local services appropriate to the Coronavirus  emergency.

It is too long to post but is a useful reference.

Corruption in the UK (Updated)

A few excerpts from an article in the New Statesman :

“The last prime minister to make a fortune out of public office was Lloyd George. Today’s cabinet ministers earn middle-class salaries, and most of them live in modest houses. So why do people think otherwise?”

“Corruption in British public life can be divided schematically into three phases. Until the 19th century men entered politics in ­order to enrich themselves and to reward their dependants. Samuel Pepys was a senior civil servant at the Admiralty. His diaries in the 1660s are a squalid record of how he accepted endless financial and sexual favours in return for awarding contracts and arranging promotions. Sir Robert Walpole, Britain’s first prime minister, amassed a prodigious fortune.

“For reasons that are still not well understood, something fundamental changed in Britain in the Victorian period. Gladstonian liberalism brought moral rectitude to national life. The sale of military commissions was abolished. The Northcote/Trevelyan reforms led to the creation of an impartial civil service, with promotion by merit rather than nepotism. The Victorians consolidated the idea of the public domain, a sphere where the common good rather than self-interest and greed was paramount.

“Of course corruption continued, because human nature is venal. But it was no longer part of the system of government. Corrupt public officials were now rogue elements, who were sent to jail and held up to public scorn if they were caught.  …

“David Whyte, professor of socio-legal studies at the University of Liverpool, challenges this complacency in How Corrupt Is Britain?, an ambitious collection of essays. Professor Whyte maintains that only a “residual racism” prevents us from acknow­ledging that we are corrupt on the scale of southern Europe, Afghanistan or Russia. Corruption is once more embedded in British public life, Whyte asserts…

“These are extremely large claims and Whyte endeavours to substandestrtiate them by citing all kinds of malfeasance: phone-hacking, the LIBOR banking scandals, child abuse allegations, the manipulation of evidence by police over the Hillsborough disaster, the 2013 horse meat labelling scandal, and so forth. Corruption, he concludes, is “a central mode of power-mongering in contemporary Britain”.

“The same applies to police misconduct, the subject of several other essays in this book. The police have largely not been subject to the same sorts of pressure to adapt to market forces as have been brought to bear on the NHS, schools and the welfare state. Episodes such as Hillsborough are horrifying, but cannot be laid at the door of Milton Friedman. In any case, police corruption dates back to well before the neoliberal revolution, as the Mark report into Met corruption during the 1970s shows.”

Try this report as well Corruption_in_UK_Local_Government-_The_Mounting_Risks

A report from The Independent

Straitgate Farm Quarry Application for 100 acre quarry, near Ottery

A planning application for a 100 acre quarry at Straitgate Farm, near Ottery St Mary has been made by Aggregate Industries to Devon County Council.

A separate application has been submitted for processing the sand and gravel at Blackhill Quarry on Woodbury Common, which would result in a minimum of 140 lorry movements each day along the B3180.

Residents now have until 2nd July to comment on the application, by Aggregate Industries.

Also, the draft minerals plan (long term strategic quarrying document), in which Straitgate Farm is a preferred site, will be considered by Devon County Council’s development management committee on Tuesday 15 July, before being consulted on for three months. It is vital that as many people attend this meeting as possible. It starts at 2pm.

For more information about the proposed quarry visit  Straitgate Action Group
This is Claire Wright’s thoughts   Cllr Claire Wright’s Blog
Cllr Rob Longhurst has posted his views Cllr Rob Longhurt’s Web site
Here’s the link to the documentation – Planning Applications – Devon County Council

Send your comments to

If you want to add comments – please do – if you want to add links to more information – tell Owl

Owl says – These applications effect the whole of the West of East Devon – it is therefore a MAJOR EDW issue.  Apart from the obvious environmental damage to our ancient heritage the impact on the B3180 is immense – this road is not wide enough in many sections to allow a large 40tonne articulated lorry and a car to pass – these lorries are not slow and meeting one is scarey in the extreme.  Write to this blog or better still Devon County Council but oppose these applications.

Another major (unwanted) planning application – Budleigh Salterton

I have just been notified of another major planning application for houses and a care home in the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty around Budleigh Salterton.

The application is for a 60 bed care home, 30 houses, 7 bungalows, 12 retirement apartments and 2 live/work units.

Objections to the Development would be:
It is outside the Built-Up Area Boundary of Budleigh Salterton and within the AONB. It is the second time the developer has tried for development of this land.
It is on Grade 1 agricultural land which is protected by Government guidance and EDDC planning policies
There are not sufficient non-car transport modes to enable elderly residents to access shops and other facilities in Budleigh Salterton so it is not sustainable because it will increase car traffic within the area
It is superfluous to current requirement for housing and care homes within Budleigh Salterton
It is contrary to the emerging Local Plan
It is close to the Grade II* Tidwell House and the large care home would dominate views of this property.

The application number is  15/1118/MOUT and the closing date for comments is 18th June so there are only 3 days to submit comments. The BS town Council is debating this on the 22nd June.

Comments should be made by logging in to East Devon District Council’s online planning system via (or write to EDDC at Knowle).

Please can you also send a copy of your comments to before their meeting on the 22nd June.

John Gaffney – Ottery Gazette

We are sad to report that John Gaffney died on Friday evening.  His contribution to Ottery St Mary and to East Devon were immense – he will be sadly missed. Our thoughts go to his family at this very sad time.

See the tributes here –

Claire Wright’s tribute – John Gaffney