“‘Time running out’ for UK parks, government told”

“A coalition of countryside groups and environmentalists are calling on the government to protect the UK’s parks and green spaces which are at “crisis point” following years of swingeing budget cuts.

The group has today put forward a “Charter for Parks”which calls on ministers in England, Wales and Scotland to make it a legal requirement for all parks and green spaces to be maintained and managed to a “good standard.”

It also calls on them “to recognise the right of every citizen to have access within walking distance to a good-quality public green space.”

Dave Morris, Chair of the National Federation of Parks and Green Spaces, said “time was running out” for the UK’s parks.

“Budget cuts to staffing and maintenance are leaving them vulnerable to neglect and deterioration, or even sell offs. Many people think local councils are legally responsible for maintaining local parks and open spaces but unfortunately, unlike waste collection, that’s not the case yet.”

He said the charter called on politicians “to take action to ensure these essential and highly-popular public resources are properly funded, managed, maintained, and protected for current and future generations.”

He added: “As the voice of the movement of more than 6,000 local Friends of Parks Groups throughout the UK we recognise the immense contribution that these community volunteers are playing. Now it’s time for government to show an equal commitment to act. The public will not forgive political leaders who let the sun set on the UK’s parks.” ….


No to Sidford Business Park update 2


Campaign update no. 2

We are now able to provide the link to Marianne Rixson’s powerpoint presentation – .


At the public meeting we raffled an unframed painting of the proposed business park site, showing how it is today. Thank you to everyone who bought raffle tickets. It helped raise much needed funds for the campaign. The winning raffle ticket number was 61. If that ticket was yours then please contact us and we will arrange for you to receive the painting.

So many of you who attended the meeting were generous and we were able to raise the magnificent sum of £523.17 towards the campaign’s costs! Whilst this is very helpful, it may be that we have to ask for further donations, particularly if we need to undertake a professional traffic survey to submit to East Devon District Council as part of its consideration of the planning application.

A number of you offered to get involved with the Steering Group. Unfortunately, we won’t be able to contact you until early next week. It’s not because we don’t want your help; but rather there just isn’t enough time to do this over the weekend!

Someone at the public meeting left behind a pair of black framed spectacles! If they are yours then contact us and we will reunite you with them!

Please show your opposition to the planning application by displaying a poster in your window. We have attached two versions of a poster. One is in colour and one is black and white. Please print one (or more) and display it. If you can, please also print one (or more) and offer it to a friend or neighbour.

The campaign now has a Twitter account – SayNOtoSidfordBusiness Park. If you are on Twitter please follow this and retweet its tweets. This is another way that we can reach the widest possible audience.

We understand that not everyone uses email, Facebook or Twitter and so one of the early discussions that the Steering Group will need to have is how best to engage with people locally who use none of these mediums. Already one suggestion has been to get up a petition and to go directly door to door obtaining signatures. Watch this space!

If you want to look at the full details of the planning application for the business park this link will take you directly to it – https://planning.eastdevon.gov.uk/online-applications/simpleSearchResults.do?action=firstPage

“Rural businesses say the government’s review of national parks could fuel economic growth in the countryside”

This will be a REAL test of what EDDC councillors’ priorities: a clean, green environment (remember Diviani promising this years ago!)


or more concrete.

“… Country Land and Business Association president Tim Breitmeyer said boosting economic growth and productivity in designated landscapes should be at the centre of the review.

“Designated landscapes are crucial to the wellbeing of the nation, providing opportunities not only for visitors but most especially for those who live and work there,” he said.

The crucial challenge is to strike the right balance between ensuring designation that delivers natural beauty, alongside encouraging the right types of economic activity.

Together, this more positive balance will sustain these areas and create thriving communities, said Mr Brietmeyer.

“Most businesses within designated landscapes experience significant opposition and hostility to development of any kind.”

Success would see more landowners, users, park authorities and conservation boards working together to identify opportunities to deliver sensitive development, said Mr Breitmeyer.

This could help improve the use and enjoyment of these unique areas, he added.

Two-thirds of people in England live within 30 minutes of a National Park or AONB, with visitors contributing more than £6bn each year to the local economy.


Emma Marrington, senior rural policy campaigner at the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), described the review as “potentially game-changing”.

It was an opportunity to shine the spotlight on national parks and AONBs – and to consider whether there should be new additions to the current network of designated landscapes. …”


“The 60-Year Downfall of Nuclear Power in the U.S. Has Left a Huge Mess”

“The demand for atomic energy is in decline. But before the country [USA] can abandon its plants, there’s six decades of waste to deal with.

… It is 60 years since America’s first commercial nuclear power station was opened by President Dwight D. Eisenhower at Shippingport, near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on May 26, 1958. But the hopes of a nuclear future with power “too cheap to meter” are now all but over. All that is left is the trillion-dollar cleanup. …”


So what do we do? WE build MORE nuclear power stations which our Local Enterprise Partnership heavily subsidises with OUR money. Though, as a number of members of the LEP have nuclear interests, it won’t worry them.

Rental properties can be very cold – but not icy, icy cold!

Rented properties energy rated F or G (properties are rated A = best, G = worst) have been told to bring their properties “up” to at least an E rating. This could cost landlords up to £1,400 per property.

Surely we should be looking for rented properties to be AT LEAST a Grade C!!!

However, of course the unintended (or is it intended?) consequence is that, landlords will raise rents to cover (or even over-cover) the costs involved.

Renters 1 – Landlords 101!


Sidmothians balk at contributing £3 m to flood defences: EDDC accused of “fiddling while Rome burned”

Local people and businesses in a coastal Devon town are being asked to help pay towards the cost of a new £9m flood defence scheme.

Sidmouth’s eastern cliffs, which protect the town from flooding, are vulnerable and eroding at the rate of about a metre a year.

East Devon District Council is asking locals and businesses to contribute £3m towards the project.

But many locals do not see why they should pay, and are accusing the council of having wasted time and money over the last decade, “fiddling while Rome burns”.

[EDDC response:]

“East Devon District Council is completely committed to this project. We have already invested over £500,000 of our own money into the research, investigations and all the other necessary work that is done. If we can find another £3m, we can then unlock funding just under £6m from Defra, who are the primary agency concerned with flood protection.”
Tom Wright
Environment Porfolio, East Devon District Council


“UK government criticised for ‘shocking’ inaction on insulating draughty homes”

“The government’s failure to take action on insulating draughty homes has been criticised by the statutory body for energy consumers.

As millions of households brace for another round of energy bill rises after British Gas and EDF Energy hiked their prices, Citizens Advice said silence by ministers on energy efficiency plans would mean consumers lost out and insulation installers would go bust.

Zoe Guijarro, policy manager at the consumer group, told the Guardian: “I think it’s hugely damaging because we’ll have a lot of catchup to do. In the meantime we will have lost a lot of installers, who will have gone out of business – a lot of expertise. It’s not a shame – it’s shocking in this day and age, really.”

The government axed its flagship energy efficiency scheme in 2015 and has yet to replace it or signal what might come next. Guijarro said the black hole on policy could lead people to conclude energy efficiency is unimportant, even though experts view it as vital for cutting bills and carbon emissions. …”