Houses and Carters

Just in case you are confused about Houses and Carters (as some people appear to be), Hugo Swire puts you right in this 2016 post from his website. The Carter family, of course, also own Greendale Business Park and other businesses – farming, fishing, haulage, pub, marina, housing developer …

Nominate ‘Say No to Sidford Fields Industrial Park” campaign for award says lical

Letter in Sidmouth Herald:


In light of the recent call for recommendations for the welcome, annual Acland Awards (for those conserving/enhancing our local Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty or AONB) – can I make a recommendation?

Someone please put forward the Say No to the Sidford Fields Industrial Park Campaign since they are doing more than anyone I know to protect East Devon AONB (I put them forward last year).

Their earnest activities to save this crucial part of Sidvale from unnecessary ruination is, in my opinion, exactly what Brigadier Acland had in mind during the process of setting up our precious and it seems, eternally threatened AONB. And they need all the encouragement they can get.

Peter Naysmith, Sidmouth”

The blog comment cleared up

Thanks to the blog commentator who got back to me. It was, indeed, private.

The confusion arose because the sender did it as a blog comment and not as a direct private email to Owl.

For future reference to all – comments to the blog are assumed to be for publication. If a message is not intended for blog publication, please contact Owl direct on:

stating clearly ‘not for publication’. Your wishes will be respected.

Breaking news on untaxed and un-MOT’d car with Tory placards in Woodbury

You will all be pleased to know that the car without an MOT and without Tax and insurance which displayed a Tory candidates’ placard that had been parked near the polling station has been driven way from Woodbury Salterton.

However the driving of a car without Tax and Insurance is against the law.

Let’s hope our Tory Police commissioner who recently canvassed with the 2 Tory Candidates whose posters were displayed on the car will be able find out who drove the car!

The Woodbury power plant – a nice little earner …

Comment re eived:

“The owner of the site is, indeed, Zoe Carter as it is part of Woodbury Business Park.

Using the figures from the National Grid Demand Side Flexibility Annual Report 2018, the average Utilisation Cost for this type of facility was £76/MW/hr. Even if this 40MW plant ‘only’ runs for the 1500 hours put forward in the Plutus Energy Planning Statement this could amount to a not inconsiderable £4.46 million a year from the 1.7 acre site – better than storing caravans or rearing cattle.

Its a pity none of the money goes to the actual residents of Woodbury, or the wider community, who have to live with the noise and pollution.”

To the reader who has just commented on untaxed cars with Tory poster on them …

Would the person who recently sent a comment (presumably for publication) which appears to be supportive of Tories parking untaxed and un-MOT’d cars near polling stations (or at least not in favour of Owl drawing attention to it, hard to say the comment does not make it clear) in Woodbury and Lympstone please resend it without the rider that says:

“CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE: This email is confidential and may also be privileged. If you are not the intended recipient please notify the sender IMMEDIATELY. You should not copy the email or use it for any purpose or disclose its contents to any other person. GENERAL STATEMENT: Any statements made or intentions expressed in this communication may not necessarily reflect the views of [cannot print name]. Be advised that no content herein may be held upon [cannot print name] unless confirmed by issuance of a formal contractual document.”

after which Owl will be happy to print it (unless you want Owl to enter a formal contract before printing – it will do no such thing).

Given the rider, Owl is really not sure it IS the intended recipient and would like to be 100% sure the sender wants it printing. It may be just a private message to Owl. Or maybe meant for someone else, in which case it will be trashed.

“Today’s Tory candidates are an embarrassment – 30 years ago rabid nationalism wouldn’t have stood a chance”

“Some 40 per cent of the diminished band of Tories who will be elected to town and county halls up and down England today (by-elections excepted, there are no seats up for grabs in either Scotland, Wales, or London) are set to snub their own party at the next set of elections, for the European parliament.

That was the startling finding of a Mail on Sunday poll less than two weeks ago. If accurate, it was a stark demonstration of just how much the bedrock of the party has changed, and how deep the pit it has fallen into is.

I got to know a lot of local councillors in the early part of my career while working as a cub reporter on the Eastern Daily Press (EDP), which circulates in Norfolk, North Suffolk and parts of Cambridgeshire, in the 1990s.

Sitting through interminable local council meetings while being rotated around various small offices in market towns throughout the region was an important part of my working life. Glamorous it was not.

The Tories I encountered at the time didn’t strike me as the sort of people to form a Faragist fifth column, at least not most of them.

There were always a few fruit loops; the golf club bore types who loved the sound of their own voices and could turn dull meetings into horror shows during which I was sometimes tempted to jab my pen into my hand to shut them out.

But they were in the minority, a minority much smaller than the 40 per cent one who are apparently planning to desert their party at the next set of elections. The noise those empty heads made could safely be ignored.

Most of them were of a more patrician type, representatives of a civic conservatism that seems to be dying. Sure, they loved Margaret Thatcher, who did so much to take us into the EU and would never have been stupid enough to try and leave it despite all of her high profile battles with Brussels.

She was like a rock star to them, but their personal politics seemed bereft of her brand of radicalism. They weren’t really all that political, truth be told. Their allegiance to their party was deep and essentially tribal. They mightn’t have loved the EU, but the ructions over the Maastricht treaty that were tearing the national party apart seemed to have mostly passed them by.

They were provincial types who seemed to genuinely care about their localities, and they weren’t shy about butting heads with central government when they felt local causes merited it, as they often did.

I would never vote for them, but I often found them easier to deal with than the Labour people, whose politics I was much more in tune with, or the smaller number of Lib Dems.

They certainly didn’t seem like the type of people to be seduced by a demagogue like Farage, a charlatan who has never run anything of substance and was focussed on his media work before saying he was coming out of “semi retirement” to create the Brexit Party.

It could just be me, but isn’t he paid a decent whack to do the full time job of representing constituents in the European parliament? Local councillors are, by contrast, part timers, who get little reward for the jobs they do, jobs that are particularly difficult right now. It can’t be much fun spending your days cutting things as a consequence of the decade of austerity foisted on the country by their leaders. Many councils are now skating on very thin ice. Northamptonshire basically went bust. Others will follow.

The sort of person it takes to serve in that sort of role wouldn’t seem to be the sort person who would naturally incline towards a rabble rouser more interested in appearance work than hard work. But a substantial chunk of today’s Tories have been.

I remember once being dragooned into going to a constituency association dinner. I think my boss wanted someone to show their face as much as anything else.

I felt a bit like a stranger in a strange land going there, and I promptly set about fortifying myself with as much of the wine that was in plentiful supply as I possibly could.

The event struck me as odd at times, particularly when they showed off four young men who were apparently the constituency’s great hopes and looked a bit like Stepford husbands when they stepped up to the dais in their identical dark suits to receive a smattering of applause. They were probably called Hugo, or Jeremy, or something like that. At least they didn’t say anything.

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That was left to the constituency chairman, an amiable enough old duffer of a farmer. His speech was devoid of anything really interesting. It was mostly focussed on geeing up the troops and telling them how wonderful they all were.

He delivered it in front of an EU flag, which took equal billing with the union flag. I doubt the ugly nationalists who dominate the party today would tolerate that. They’re not really Conservatives, a point made by Richard Harrington, who resigned his position as a junior business minister to oppose a no-deal Brexit.

But I’m not sure they’re in as much of a minority in the party as he thinks they are, certainly not if that poll is correct.

I think I’d have called in sick rather than spend an evening in their company if I was still at the EDP.

The change in the Conservative Party and its descent into extremism has been the subject of far less reporting than what’s been happening in Labour. But it’s no less profound.”

East Devon resident calls out Tory government on environment and bats


“Thérèse Coffey

[Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs]

Cc Michael Gove

Hello Thérèse

I recently attended the red squirrel conference in Exeter and was impressed by your passionate video introduction. I believe that you and Michael Gove are sincere in your intentions but I am afraid you are being undermined by your own Party and would be more effective working for an organisation with real environmental integrity such as The Wildlife Trust. You and Michael may be the most progressive and forward thinking Conservative Environment ministers that we have had in decades. I was very impressed when Michael stated “Outside the EU we are going to make sure that our environment is enhanced and protected. We believe in a greener Britain.”

Unfortunately I am afraid that I, like many others have given up on all Council and Government wildlife initiatives. Whilst paying lip service to wildlife groups and claiming to be green the reality is that they actually have a total disregard for environmental issues.  The document “A Green Future: Our 25 Year Plan to Improve the Environment” contains enough positive ideology to satisfy most environmental campaigners. The document is elegantly designed and its content has been carefully thought out. It covers a huge range of subjects that I feel very strongly about: sustainable land use, enhancing the beauty and environmental worth of landscapes, and protection of wildlife.

The issue is the document is a vision and not legislation. It a collection of really good ideas but it is not law. When there is a conflict between potential industrial development, the provision of housing, and the environment, the ideals will get thrown into the river like toxic waste. If there is a chance for profit to be made councils will always find ways to get around even the most stringent protections. Sadly the “Green Future” is not seen as a moral compass for development it is just viewed as a bit of a nuisance.  The proposed development on the pound in East Budleigh is a classic example. It clearly goes against the ideals expressed in the 25 year plan and the protection afforded to endangered species by The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as Amended)

The proposed development ( 18/1464/FUL. )  involves demolition of a barn (dating back to the 17th century) containing 11 species of bats (Including Grey Long eared bats, and Greater Horseshoe bats), Dormouse habitat destruction, and a Badger set relocation. It has caused a local outcry, the involvement of Sir David Attenborough, Devon Wildlife Trust, features on Radio Devon and BBC Spotlight.

When the development was put to the EDDC Development Management Committee the council chamber was packed with objectors. The plans were still passed paving the way for the a  new entrance to be put through a well loved and iconic local amenity space and the destruction of habitat for several endangered species. Councillors were not only out of step with the electorate but also showed a total disregard for Michael Gove’s twenty five year Environmental Plan and environmental protection legislation. The whole community as well a host of endangered species in East Budleigh will lose out just so that one house can be developed. Yet another totally unbalanced decision that will only benefit a local wealthy landowner by the Conservative lead East Devon District Council.

If you would like to see the site in order to draw your own conclusions I would love to be your host. If you need more background information do not hesitate to contact me.

FOUR untaxed and uninsured cars with Tory placards in Woodbury and Lympstone

KE03ZWU Skoda in Woodbury Salterton No Tax No Mot
MD04KVV Toyota in Exton No Tax
X63EDT Ford Ka in Lympstone No Tax No MOT
WD54FZZ Citroen in Woodbury No Tax.
Checked with the DVLA website. If they are not MOT or Taxed they are therefore uninsured!
To have them removed as abandoned cars it needs people to contact the local authority who will use their preferred contractor to remove them.
However in this case this would be Woodbury Car breakers and the co  owner is one of the Tory Candidates

“How Morecambe’s independents set a trend for local elections”

Today Morcambe Bay, tomorrow East Devon – just vote Independent today!

“… The MBI (Morcambe Bay Independents) was formed in 1987 after a group of local residents were ignored by the town’s mainly Tory councillors when they asked to discuss a way forward for the resort following its steady decline since the 1970s.

After a few teething problems, the group went on to take control of Lancaster city council in 1995. They ran the council with a cabinet made up of MBIs, Conservatives, Greens and Liberal Democrats. Labour refused to take their cabinet seats.

New sea defences were built, the books were balanced and art installations were approved, including the Eric Morecambe statue. However, the party took a big hit in 2015 and lost control of the council.

The MBI leader, Geoff Knight, said: “Unfortunately our fortunes depend heavily on whether national or regional elections are taking place on the same day – as local elections are often overshadowed, severely affecting the independent vote. As a consequence we were reduced to two councillors in 2015.”

This time it has fielded 29 candidates in the Lancaster council election and another 25 for Morecambe town council. Its aim is to loosen the grip of the current Labour administration. Labour leads with 31 seats against an opposition of 29 councillors, made up of 17 Conservatives, eight Greens, two MBIs and two non-aligned independents.

A similar story is unfolding across the country, from Lincolnshire to Cheshire East, where unprecedented numbers of independent candidates are standing.

“Nationally, Morecambe Bay Independents are viewed as a model of how you can get into the council and make things happen. You get a lot more influence on the council,” Knight said.

“People have always belonged to a party – it’s very tribal. But a lot of time is taken up talking about issues which have nothing to do with Morecambe – it’s party politics. We have already shown what can be achieved when minority parties rule. During the four-year period we had control of the council, an awful lot was done. Politics was kept off the agenda.”

Change REALLY could come down to a few deciding votes – please vote

Today is a BIG day for East Devon.  A handful if votes could mean the difference between “same old” and a new way of doing things – making local decisions with and for local people with NO party political interference!

It’s the day that WE get to decide just how our district will be run for the next four years.

If you want “same old” then vote Tory.  But, remember, something must be drastically wrong if the Conservative Leader at EDDC has resigned from the party!

Tory – pretty much pale, male, stale, no interest in protecting our community hospitals or our local NHS, presiding (even as governors) over local schools begging parents for financial help to survive , concreting over vast swathes of beautiful countryside to provide outrageously expensive houses (often for more retired people), or presiding over developers building expensive ticky-tacky boxes that our young people cannot afford, denying or avoiding tackling the climate change emergency.  If that’s what you feel comfortable with, vote for them.


If that ISN’T what you want – vote Independent.  Livlier people, MUCH more active in their communities, fighting for us 24/7,  living here 24/7 (because they aren’t trying to be in two places at once), refusing to accept “same old” when it so obviously isn’t working, not being anti-development, but only for development at the right price in the right place and with developers being expected to provide truly affordable housing from their vast profits, acknowledging that climate change is already affecting our coastal and rural communities and needs urgent action.

Independents have been already been representing some local communities for the last 4 years or more, but never as a majority.  They have seen at first hand the dubious decisions, the secret meetings,  the blind adherence to national Tory policies (what few there are these days) that just do not fit with local needs that permeates the ruling party.  They know what needs to be done to correct this and they are prepared to do it, along with new independent colleagues who share the same aims.

To bring in a new way of doing things needs a new way of voting. 

Out with the parties, in with the people whose ONLY driver is doing what’s best for their communities. 

Vote Independent – people before parties.