“Farmers convert land back to wildflower meadows in bid to cut carbon” (not East Devon’s Green candidate who has optioned some of his farming land to Persimmon!

What a contrast!

“Matthew Cooke, the Wildflower Farmer, believes a change is urgently needed to counter the influence of supermarkets and processors that demand more for less from the farming community, pressures that drive prices and negatively affect wildlife and the countryside.

With that, the Cooke family has taken the first act to convert their land to wildflower meadow. The family hope this act will be a catalyst for other farmers to return to wildflower meadows to help protect and benefit the environment. …”

https://www.devonlive.com/news/devon-news/farmers-convert-land-back-wildflower-3575277

and

https://eastdevonwatch.org/2019/11/11/east-devon-green-party-candidate-who-is-selling-farm-land-to-big-developers-says-climate-change-is-his-priority/

Vote anything other than VERY GREEN Claire Wright and get Tory.

Sidmouth hustings – 6 December 2019 – details

General Election Hustings in Sidmouth: 6th December
All the candidates for the East Devon constituency for the upcoming general election have been invited to a hustings event in Sidmouth.

On Friday 6th December
at 7pm

At All Saints’ Church Hall,
All Saints’ Road,
Sidmouth, EX10 8ES

They will be on stage and will answer pre-submitted questions.

The event is open to all members of the public and will be hosted and chaired by the Vision Group for Sidmouth.
Please send in any questions to

Contact


See: https://visionforsidmouth.org/event/general-election-hustings-in-sidmouth/

ANOTHER Lib Dem stands down to avoid Tory victory (NOT in East Devon)

And, in spite of the last paragraph below, East Devon now appears to be one of only a few seats where the Lib Dem and the Greens want to hand the constituency a Tory ex-DJ parachuted in from Bristol!

“Lib Dem candidate stands aside to avoid ‘nightmare’ of Tory win.

The Liberal Democrat candidate in a marginal Labour seat has unilaterally decided to stand down, saying that while the two parties could not agree on a pact he wanted to avoid the “nightmare” of handing the constituency back to the Conservatives.

In an article for the Guardian, Tim Walker said that while he did not trust Jeremy Corbyn on Brexit, he wanted to give Rosie Duffield, the Labour candidate who took Canterbury from the Tories for the first time in 2017 by just 187 votes, the best chance of winning.

The announcement of his candidacy had dismayed some Lib Dems, who argued that while there is no formal deal between their party and Labour it would be better to stand aside to help Duffield, who is strongly pro-remain. In 2017 the then-Lib Dem candidate received more than 4,500 votes.

The deadline for nominations in the 12 December election closes on Thursday. It is not yet clear if the Lib Dems plan to stand another candidate in Walker’s place.

It comes as the Lib Dem candidate in Boris Johnson’s seat, Uxbridge and South Ruislip, announced she was standing aside. In a statement, Elizabeth Evenden-Kenyon said this was because of family illness, and that the party would have enough time to select a new hopeful.

However, if the Lib Dems do not, it could boost Labour’s admittedly outside chance of unseating Johnson. He had a majority of just over 5,000 in 2017, with the third-placed Lib Dems getting more than 1,800 votes.

Writing in the Guardian, Walker, a journalist who formerly worked for the Daily Telegraph, said it had become clear that if he stayed in place in Canterbury, there was “a danger I’d divide the remainers” and allow victory for the Tory candidate, Anna Firth: a vehement Brexit supporter who worked with the Vote Leave campaign.

“I don’t trust Corbyn on Brexit, but I share with many members of my party locally a visceral dread of the Commons being filled with people like Firth,” Walker wrote. “Trying to stop that happening is now more important than ever, given Nigel Farage’s unholy alliance with Johnson.”

He added: “I’ve therefore asked that my local party withdraws my nomination papers to stand for Canterbury. Politics does not always have to be grubby and small-minded; sometimes it’s possible to acknowledge there’s something at stake that’s more important than party politics and do something that seems right.”

It was not an easy decision, Walker wrote, “but the nightmare that kept me awake was standing awkwardly at the count beside a vanquished Duffield as the Tory Brexiter raised her hands in triumph. I wanted no part in that.”

He went on: “I now wish Rosie well and urge her to fight for our country, and, when she hopefully gets to resume her seat in the Commons, to continue to think for herself.”

The Lib Dems are part of a so-called remain alliance, which has seen them, Plaid Cymru and the Greens give each others’ candidates a free run in 60 seats around England and Wales.”

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/nov/12/lib-dem-candidate-stands-aside-to-avoid-nightmare-of-tory-win?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

Claire Wright on election candidates: “not asking for an easy ride”

“Last week, the non-party campaign group Unite to Remain identified 60 seats where a deal had been struck between the Liberal Democrats, Plaid Cymru and the Green Party, in a move to defeat Conservative candidates.

However East Devon rivals have refused to do the same.

The organisation behind Unite to Remain has however backed Ms Wright as its preferred general election candidate in East Devon, despite rival parties failing to agree a truce in the seat.

Unite to Remain director Peter Dunphy said the organisation had not included East Devon in the list of candidates but urged remain voters to back Ms Wright as the best chance to wrest the seat from Tory control.

He added: “It was not possible to gain cross-party agreement for a single candidate in every key constituency that we considered.

“Ultimately it has been up to the political parties in consultation with local members to make these tough choices.

“Sadly, we were unable to gain Unite to Remain all-party agreement in East Devon.

“Our suggestion therefore is to follow the excellent tactical voting advice of Best for Britain and Gina Miller’s Remainunited to support the remain candidate with the best chance of victory.”

Ms Wright, who won 35 per cent of the votes compared to the Lib Dems’ two per cent, said she had never approached any of her rivals or asked them to give her a free run.

However, she welcomed the Unite to Remain endorsement.

She added: “Of course, running as a sole candidate against the Conservatives would appear to give me a better chance but I am not asking anyone for an easy ride.

“I have fought a fair and positive campaign twice, without assistance, increasing my share of the vote without resorting to personal attacks and I don’t intend to start now.

“I would now urge my supporters to concentrate all of their energy on getting this people-powered campaign over the line.

“And, of course, we must avoid the danger presented by Boris Johnson’s withdrawal agreement – which could condemn us to years of trade negotiations and threaten the NHS – by offering the public a democratic vote which includes the option of remain.”

https://www.midweekherald.co.uk/news/remain-candidates-refused-to-stand-down-and-back-claire-wright-1-6369663

East Devon Green Party candidate who is selling farm land to BIG developers says climate change is his priority!

VOTE LIB DEM, LABOUR OR GREEN – and get TORY!

Honestly, you couldn’t make it up.

The East Devon Green Party has chosen “farmer” Henry Gent to stand against Claire Wright!

Gent has featured in this blog before:

He’s a councillor (with Rylance – the Lib Dem candidate) on the now notorious Broadclyst Parish Council:

https://eastdevonwatch.org/2019/10/12/broadclyst-twinned-with-mayfair/

Here is his declaration of interest, showing he has a large area of land optioned to Persimmon:

Click to access roi-henry-gent.pdf

Here is a 2014 planning application for his land – now the Tithebarn Lane housing development:

“14/2761/MOUT Demolition of the existing buildings and development of the site to provide up to 900 dwellings and a primary school with car and cycle parking, public and private open space together with landscaping and associated servicing (all matters reserved). Mosshayne Land North Of Tithebarn Lane Clyst Honiton 17/1019/MOUT Demolition of existing buildings and development […]”

Green? A very, very funny shade of blue-green perhaps!

and further info on the same area:

Click to access 14%201090%2002%20Tithebarn%20Green%20land%20at%20Monkerton.pdf

Shocking.

“Tory MPs five times more likely to vote against climate action”

Neil Parish scored 17%: was present for 12 votes and voted positively in 2

Hugo Swire scored 25%: Swire was present for 12 votes and voted positively in 3

Boris Johnson score 0% (yes, that’s right zero), Jacob Rees-Mogg scored 17%, Jeremy Corbyn 92%, Caroline Lucas 92%, Exeter’s Ben Bradshaw 75%, Jo Swinson 50%, Oliver Letwin 17%.

MORAL OF THIS TALE: If you believe in climate change and want to see something done about it, don’t vote Tory, be wary of Lib Dems and vote Labour or Green (or Independent in East Devon)!

“Conservative MPs are almost five times more likely to vote against climate action than legislators from other parties, a Guardian analysis of 16 indicative parliamentary divisions over the past decade has revealed.

The Tories also registered many more donations, shares, salaries, gifts and tickets to sporting events from fossil fuel companies, petrostates, aviation companies and climate sceptics, according to declarations made in the parliamentary record of MPs’ interests between 2008 and 2019.

The Guardian, in collaboration with the investigative environmental journalism group DeSmog UK, rated MPs from 0% to 100% based on 16 parliamentary votes since 2008. The selection sought to cover a range of measures that would affect the UK’s carbon emissions, with an emphasis on votes where MPs were willing to break ranks and put the climate before their party.

The analysis shows that although most politicians publicly express support for ambitious long-term climate targets, when it comes to short-term measures to reduce the UK’s carbon footprint, those in power are less likely to make this a priority.

The scores are not intended to be a definitive evaluation of an MP’s green credentials – both the Conservatives and Liberal Democrat parties complained they had been hard done by.

But experts said the scores were an important tool for voters to make a choice through a climate prism with a potential general election looming. …”

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/oct/11/tory-mps-five-times-more-likely-to-vote-against-climate-action?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

“East Devon leader responds after call for him to resign”

Might more councillors who rushed into “The Independent Group” which Ben Ingham was so very keen to lead, be regretting their choice? If so, interesting times. As Owl has already pointed out, if all other non-Tory and non-TIG councillors came together (Independent, East Devon Alliance, Green and Lub Dem) they would be the majority group …

“East Devon leader Ben Ingham said he will not be ‘stepping aside’ after a former cabinet member called for him to resign.

Writing for this title, Councillor Paul Millar said Cllr Ingham has ‘failed to deliver a workable policy let alone the change people were asking for’.

In response, Cllr Ingham said he will not be stepping down ‘just yet’ and the ruling Independent Group are focused on delivering on its policies ‘including a balanced budget for next year’.

Cllr Millar said: “I call on Ben to do the right thing and step aside to allow someone more in touch with the reality of people’s lives to lead the council.”

In response, Cllr Ingham said: “I won’t be stepping aside just yet.

“There is so much to do and the Independent Group is eager to put our priorities into action.

“This includes preparing a balanced budget for next year.”

https://www.exmouthjournal.co.uk/news/ben-ingham-response-to-resignation-call-1-6311778

EDDC: political power … could be radically rejigged …

Currently:

Conservatives: 19
Green Party: 2
Independent Group: 19
Independent 1
Independent East Devon Alliance: 11
Liberal Democrats: 8

IF East Devon Alliance, Independent, Green and Lib Dems
formed a coalition they would number 22.

It would then be:
Conservatives 19
The Independent Group 19
Coalition Group 22

The coalition would be the biggest group ……….. and could, if they so wished, bring in a committee system …….

Wright v Swire – this must be a straight contest

In the light of the by-election last night, which saw the strongest pro-Remain candidate win against the incumbent Conservative, Lib Dems and Greens shoyld surely ensure that Claire Wright, who embodies all their policies, must be allowed a straight run against the risible Hugo Swire.

It would probably be too much to expect Labour to do the same, although they should, since their chances of gaining the seat are zero.

Let’s hope common sense prevails so that we can oust the barely seen multi-job London and Middle-East based Tory to the ever-present, ever fighting, ever-local Independent.

East Devon District Council: will the Tory bodies ever be exhumed?

One of the reasons so many Independent councillors were elected was because they were not Tories! People had become sick of the way the district had been run for the last 45 years and demanded change. Part of that change was to see exactly what Tories had been up to in those 45 years when transparency was in short supply.

So, on 3 May, we were presented with:

31 Independents (20 mostly eastern-based/central-based Independents, 11 mostly western-based Independent East Devon Alliance)
19 Tories
8 Lib Dems
2 Greens

An alliance of Independents, Lib Dems and Greens would have produced 41 non-Tories – easily outnumbering 19 Tories.

What we now know happened is that eastern-based Independents (Leader Ben Ingham, Exmouth) refused to work with East Devon Alliance. We assume that Lib Dems (who agreed to work with an Independent majority, but not form a coalition with them), were similarly excluded by Mr Ingham from working with his group.

Instead, Mr Ingham chose to work with the 19 Tories, an ex-Tory (former Tory Leader Ian Thomas) and several so-called Independent councillors whose late-onset Independent roots had never been obvious or put to the test. He gave the job of Chairman of the Council to Stuart Hughes, a Cabinet post to Ian Thomas, one of the jobs representing EDDC at Greater Exeter Strategic Plan meetings to Tory Philip Skinner and several other posts to other Tory councillors. Owl has no idea what the two Green (Exmouth-based) councillors think of this arrangement.

Despite this, CEO Mark Williams presumably decided that there were NOT 31 Independents, but two kinds of totally different Independents (Independent Group, EDA) and declared Tories as the “official opposition” – in spite of them holding Cabinet and other posts. Is this constitutionally correct? How does one decide? One asks the CEO – dead end there, then!

This has led to a Tory (“official opposition”) Alan Dent, being the head of the Scrutiny Committee – the only committee that now has wide investigative powers. The Chair of this committee can say Yes or No to requests for scrutiny of any subject – his word is the only word on what goes on an agenda (as long as the CEO agrees, of course).

So, is there any chance of the Scrutiny Committee holding the previous Tory administration to account? No, zero, zilch, nada in Owl’s view.

So those Tory bodies – lying quietly tucked away for the last 45 years are almost certain to continue enjoying their slumbers.

And all because some Independents can’t or won’t work with other Independents and local Lib Dems are keeping themselves well apart where, in other areas, coalitions of Independents, Greens and Lib Dems is promising real change in formerly true-blue districts.

What is so ironic about this whole story is that, in his political career, Ben Ingham has been a Tory councillor, an Independent Councillor and Leader of the East Devon Alliance!!!

Pitiful and shameful.