What’s Swire up to these days? Reminiscing in Parliament about his childhood “thespian credentials”

Speaking with his Vice President (unpaid), Public Monuments and Sculptures Association hat on:

“Seeing as we are all in the business of burnishing our thespian credentials this morning, may I refer back to the time at my little-known secondary school when I was a very convincing Badger in “Toad of Toad Hall”? It was somewhat safer to be badger in those days.

Will the Minister ensure that in the event of a foreign purchaser refusing a matching offer, an absolute ban on future export can be enforced by compelling him or her to keep the item on display in a recognised public institution and pay any insurance, rather than expecting Government indemnity?”


Independent East Devon Alliance Leader responds to criticism

Comment by Paul Arnott:

“Dear Owl

Just two points of information re the above (this was a comment on the post regarding the chairing of the Development Management Committee:

a) Mike Howe is already a much-admired chair of Development Management, and as someone who believes in the best person for the job whatever political background I have no personal problem with his continuing

b) Independent East Devon Alliance councillors were ready, willing and eager to become as many Cabinet members or committee heads as we were asked to be, but the Leader of the Independent Group, now of the Council, Ben Ingham, refused to consider us.

all best

Paul Arnott”

So you think climate crisis is new?

Few people will recall Tom Lehrer – mathematician, singer-songwriter and satirist, best known for the pithy, humorous songs that he recorded in the 1950s and 1960s. This is what he had to say about pollution all those years ago:

He is still alive (now 93) and has no worries about people reproducing any of his songs and has no interest in copyright.

These are the lyrics of the above song:

Time was when an American about to go abroad would be warned
by his friends or the guidebooks not to drink the water.
But times have changed, and now a foreigner coming to
this country might be offered the following advice:
If you visit American city,
You will find it very pretty.
Just two things of which you must beware:
Don’t drink the water and don’t breathe the air!
Pollution, pollution!
They got smog and sewage and mud.
Turn on your tap
And get hot and cold running crud!
See the halibuts and the sturgeons
Being wiped out by detergeons.
Fish gotta swim and birds gotta fly,
But they don’t last long if they try.
Pollution, pollution!
You can use the latest toothpaste,
And then rinse your mouth
With industrial waste.
Just go out for a breath of air
And you’ll

Our new independent-led council meets for the first time …

Dear Independents,

We have put our trust in you to be radically different to how local politics has been done for the last 45 years.

You have promised – and we expect: honesty, transparency and accountability.

We expect new, better ways of doing things. We expect residents to be put first – since you have no party politics to drag you, and us, down.

We expect to see a council that is in firm but fair control of its officers as they show them these new ways and insist on them being tried out.

No doubt sonetimes you will fail. If so, be honest, own up to it and fix it.

You can make the transformation we crave.

Make it work – for us as East Devonians and for you as individuals.

Stick with the Nolan principles of public life:


Nothing less.

We know you can do it, now show us we are right to put our trust in you.


Change at Grenadier – developer of Exmouth seafront

Peter Quincey – who was in charge of operations for Exmouth seafront and the long-stalled St Margaret’s School site in Exeter – has sold his shares and left the company on 29 April 2019. Quincey had previously worked for Devon County Council. He had resigned from another Grenadier company last June:


Pauline Stott and John Mark Williamson are still shown as active directors of Queen’s Drive Exmouth Community Interest Company along with Glenn Woodcock of Grenadier, who replaced Peter Quincey on 29 April 2019 and who holds 16 directorships, mostly in Grenadier companies:


though Owl assumes Mrs Stott and Mr Williamson will be replaced by current independent councillors, perhaps as early as tomorrow, as they are no longer councillors.

Owl suspects that – with the seafront still a building site – new Councillors may be inheriting a bit of a mess. And do recall that, as part of their contract, Grenadier must commence their seafront project within 4 days of the Queen’s Drive road completion and sign-off.