“Met Police consult Crown Prosecution Service over Vote Leave allegations”

“… Evidence that could lead to criminal charges against the pro-Brexit campaign led by Boris Johnson and his key adviser, Dominic Cummings, has now been passed by police to the criminal prosecution authorities, openDemocracy has learned.

Last year, the Electoral Commission found that Vote Leave broke electoral law by overspending during the 2016 European Union referendum, after the campaign funnelled £675,000 through another pro-Brexit group to avoid spending limits.

After nearly 16 months of investigatiVote Leave, the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) handed a file of evidence to the Crown Prosecution Service last month. The initial formal referral by the police means they are now seeking legal advice from the Crown Prosecution Service on how to further build their case against Vote Leave, and where they need further evidence to advance the prospect of charges being brought. Vote Leave have always denied any wrongdoing. …”

Met Police consult Crown Prosecution Service over Vote Leave allegations

“Senior role in East Devon’s ruling cabinet has been axed”

So, the “transformation” role in Ben Ingham’s TiggerTory cabinet has been abolished by said leader.

How convenient – no more pesky questions about the Leader’s pre-election promise to move from a Cabinet system to a committee system, more representative of the diverse groups that now exist.

Councillor Millar, understandably, believed “transformation” meant changes to the way officers AND councillors would work. Instead it seems Leader Ingham sees “transformation” as applying to more commercialisation of council services and more revenue-boosting asset-sweating or selling. In other words, a continuation of the previous Tory policies – local government as business rather than public service.

More BOGOF (buy one, get one free) than transformation!

“… No reason for the decision of the leader of the council to not replace the portfolio holder position is stated in the papers ahead of the meeting. …

Instead, the cabinet collectively will take on responsibility for delivery of the Council Plan and the associated strategies of Fit for Purpose, Careful Choices and Commercialisation of Services.

The report says that Cllr Jess Bailey, Corporate Services Portfolio holder, will take on responsibility for Digital by Design and Systems Thinking, while Cllr Geoff Pook, Asset Management Portfolio holder, will now be responsible for Commercialisation of Assets rather than Revenue Generation.

… Next Wednesday’s meeting will also see changes made to committee membership as a result of the political balance of the council changes following Cllr Millar’s resignation from the Independent Group.

The council now consists of 19 members in the Independent Group, 19 Conservatives, 11 from the East Devon Alliance, eight Liberal Democrats, two Green Party members, and one Independent, Cllr Millar.

Sitting as an Independent, he is entitled to two seats across all the committees, and the full council is recommended to approve a proposal that would see the ruling Independent Group lose a seat on both the Overview Committee and the Licensing and Enforcement Committee.”

https://www.devonlive.com/news/devon-news/senior-role-east-devons-ruling-3442021

What it’s like to be a REAL independent councillor

Newton (Abbot) Says No won council seats in Teignbridge with its concerns about over-development of the town. This is what it has been like for them since May:

“Ever since NSN started we’ve been lied about, misinformed against and threatened with the Police. When we started the website emails started arriving from those we’d featured on the ’rogues gallery’ page threatening police action. The Police didn’t take any. When that didn’t work, Christophers and co went to the Mid Devon Advertiser and got a front-page story about how awful we are. It won us the election.

In the run-up to that election, the then College Ward Councillor Ann Jones posted comments on the NSN Facebook page saying what she thought of us. I replied that she could say what she liked but she’d soon be out of office. She wrote “Is that a threat?” I wasn’t sure what sort of threat she thought it was. The threat of democracy? Anyway she called the police. The Police ignored her.

Throughout our election campaign we had the Police attaché to the election calling us up, sounding increasingly weary, because he had to. We couldn’t put up a single poster without someone claiming that it broke the rules of the electoral commission. Was any action against us ever taken? Of course not.

So here we are again. A shadowy cabal of Liberal Democrat councillors are putting together a committee to investigate Newton Says No and its ‘online activities’ (apparently). And they’re involving (scary organ music) … the Police! Yes! More of your taxpayer-funded police man hours will be drawn away from preventing burglary, stabbings and suicide and devoted to staring uncomprehendingly at our Facebook page, sipping tea and shrugging.

So what are these threatening missives, that curdle the blood and damn us as the gang of terrorists we are? They are two comments on my Facebook page, made by people I’ve never met. The first was in response to a satirical piece I wrote about a meeting on how to develop Wolborough Hill, at which I commented that there, awful as it was, there was a lot of nice cake. I took a picture of the cake. someone called Edith said that she hoped they choke on their cake.

The second, which I REALLY had to search for, was made by someone called Emily and says “Whoever came up with this effing plan should be shot”.

Notice how Emily even took care to write the word ‘effing’, so concerned was she about causing any offence to anyone who might read it. She then goes on to say that she would rather we do a march than withhold council tax because, not unreasonably, she doesn’t want to get into too much trouble.
That’s the class of thuggishness and villainy we’re dealing with here.These are two of the people we’re apparently working up into a pitchfork mob.

Captain Hook says it’s nothing to do with him. We believe him because, as much as he may dislike us, Gordon is a man of some principle and would not have the discourtesy to go to the press without telling us. According to Ross at the MDA it is ‘a group of Lib Dems, possibly on behalf of council officers’.

Now I know what a threatening comment is, and if I saw one it wouldn’t last two seconds on my page. But these are just people calmly expressing anger and frustration. Frustration with the people who sit in offices planning the ruination of their environment and of this corner of a despoiled, burning planet. Why shouldn’t they? The inability of these people to deal maturely with the fact that somebody, somewhere, doesn’t like them is I suppose part of this age of professional victimhood. But there’s a darker side to all this.

They want the police to make us take down any criticism, no matter how minor. Not just our own words but comments by anyone who contributes to our pages. They will want us to delete anything that expresses anger at the council and its officers, for fear of getting in trouble. They want us cut off from the caucus of people who voted for us and for whom we promised to work.

They want to make it impossible for us to criticise this council, because that will be SO much easier than actually listening to people. So much easier than steering the bulldozers away from a site of special scientific interest with an ancient water course and critically endangered species. And as ever, nobody wants to feel threatened by consensus. So they pretend it’s a different kind of threat; a threat that will win some sympathy. They pretend its a threat against the person, which they implicate us in. It’s diabolical.

We imagine that this complaint will be fobbed off like all the other attempts to use the police to intimidate us. It would be nice if someone could be arrested for wasting police time. But maybe – depending on who is ‘friendly’ with who, and who might be in the Masons – we will get the machinery of the State cracking down on us like a sledgehammer on a piece of very nice, clingfilmed cake.

Whatever happens, we’ll carry on. And we’ll tell you exactly what we’re doing, and what we’ve said, as we always have – rather than sneak around in the shadows feeding nothing-stories to the press. You know, like people with something to hide might do.”

Source: Say No to Newton Facebook page

Is East Devon Watch anti-Tory? Yes … and No

Given the current hot-headed political debates and the likelihood of a General Election, it is not surprising that the question is being asked. So, for the record:

EDW is pro electing an independent in East Devon (Claire Wright) and almost anyone else in Neil Parish’s Tiverton and Honiton constituency – EVEN another Tory. Incumbent MPs who have been too long in their jobs and not working hard enough for their constituents, or who much prefer jobs outside their constituency or climbing greasy poles, become lazy towards those constituents and should be replaced. Time for change.

EDW is anti-Brexit but tries not to let this influence the blog too much – except for the changes that will need to happen in East Devon because of it, which are becoming quite scary, so the subject features more and is definitely worrying.

EDW has a predisposition to sticking up for underdogs so, in these modern times, that implies a left-leaning bias. But not ultra-left and Owl is more likely to feel empathy with a moderate Tory or Labour politician than an ultra left or right politician of any party.

EDW is impressed by the work Independents and Greens are doing at Devon County Council and in other parts of Devon, particularly in respect of health matters, climate change and the environment.

Sadly, Owl remembers too well the times that Liberal Democrats have let us down locally and nationally (the support for the Health and Social Care Act particularly rankles) and the views of that party’s leader still do not chime with Owl’s.

HOWEVER:

EDW heavily criticised the last EDDC EDDC Tory-led council and continues to criticise the current Independent council to the same level. Very disappointed to see “same old” policies and even “same old” behaviour.

Whatever the reader’s prediliction is, EDW urges EVERYONE IN ANY PARTY OR NONE to vote – it is OUR sovereignty.

There is no denying that all the major problems we face in East Devon – health, education, environment, etc – have taken place under a Tory government, with only a Tory government to blame – so EDW will not duck blaming them.

REST ASSURED THAT SHOULD THERE BE CHANGES IN LOCAL GOVERNMENT IN EAST DEVON, DEVON OR NATIONALLY, EDW WILL GIVE THE SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE OR PARTIES EXACTLY THE SAME SCRUTINY IT HAS GIVEN TO PAST AND PRESENT INCUMBENTS, WITHOUT FEAR OR FAVOUR!

“Brits want Boris Johnson to prioritise building more council houses over right to buy scheme, survey reveals”

“[A] survey found 37 per cent of voters said building more social housing is their top demand.

This was joint with tackling homelessness.

This compares to the 29 per cent who want No10 to prioritise homeownership schemes like right to buy.”

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/10014275/boris-johnson-council-houses-right-to-buy/

And again …

...”During debate on a bill designed to force Mr Johnson to seek an extension to Brexit talks if he cannot get a deal, Conservative MP Sir Edward Leigh said: “The difficulty we face is that most laws are relatively easy of interpretation, because they prevent you doing something, rather than make you do something.

“They prevent you murdering your wife, they don’t make you love your wife.” …”

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/boris-johnson-commons-debate-parliament-speech-bercow-jo-cox-death-language-a9121281.html