How did our 2 MPs vote this evening?

In spite of several Cabinet Ministers abstaining to avoid being seen as definitely not following Theresa May’s firm whipping orders, our MPs did exactly as May had ordered them to do, and were in the minority on all votes.

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/mar/13/mps-reject-no-deal-brexit-by-majority-of-four

Quick! Get your letters in to Swire – you have a short window in which he might reply!

Many berate Swire for not answering their letters or giving “automated” replies.

Well, local elections and a possible general election seems to be concentrating his mind and rumours reach Owl that – VERY unusually – he (or his wife who draws a £35,000+ salary for “helping” him) is answering letters!

Get them in NOW! Once elections have passed and/or Brexit is sorted one way or the other, normal service will no doubt be resumed!

Owl would love to know if this also applies to Neil Parish in the east of our constituency. Time to nobble him about Persimmon in Axminster, perhaps!

“Demand made for more police in East Devon after council tax hike”

Owl cannot understand how East Devon Tory councillors, who have voted time and time again for austerity, who have preened themselves for having one of the lowest council tax rates in the country, and instituted savage cuts can act surprised when they get less for more!

And don’t forget every time there is a vote in Parliament to cut anything – our two MPs vote for those same cuts – unless they affect their salaries or tax breaks for the rich or farming, of course in which case they fight tooth and nail for them!

“Give us more police’, East Devon councillors have demanded, to help tackle increasing incidents of disorder in the region.

Wednesday night’s full council meeting saw councillors agreed to write to the Chief Constable for Devon and Cornwall Police to recognise the needs of East Devon when deciding how to allocate extra resources after the council tax rise will enable 85 new officers to be recruited.

Councillors demanded that extra police be provided to the region, particularly in light of the number of PCSOs being cut from the current 196 to 150.

It comes after the Police and Crime Panel chose not to exercise their veto on Alison Hernandez’s proposals that would see council tax rise for £24 a year for the average Band D council tax payer.

Cllr Tom Wright, who proposed the motion, said that over the last two years, the increase on tax payers is 20 per cent, so residents should expect to see a significant improvement in the service.

“As East Devon residents are the biggest contributors to the police budget in Devon, other than Plymouth, it is only fair that we should get a fair share of the larger cake.

“The increase for this year that the police are getting from us is an extra £1.5m and for that we should get more police on the streets.”

Cllr Alan Dent added: “PCSOs can nip in the bud problems that can arise.”

He gave the example of a problem of people coming from North Devon to Budleigh Salterton to do wheelies in the car park.

Cllr Dent said: “They were zooming around across the car park. I got cross and took pictures of them. They gave me an earful, but I gave the pictures to our PCSOS, and in 24 hours it was dealt with and we never saw them again.”

He said that there was another incident where garden furniture was stolen from a show house. Cllr Dent again took photographs of the perpetrators, gave them to the PCSO, who said ‘I know who they are and will have a word with their parents.’

“That is the value of PCSOs and why we need them in the community,” he added.

Cllr Brian Bailey said that PCSOs stop people going down into the depth of drink and drugs. He added: “Extra funding mean officers can go into schools and educate people and get them on the right track.”

He said that there was another incident where garden furniture was stolen from a show house. Cllr Dent again took photographs of the perpetrators, gave them to the PCSO, who said ‘I know who they are and will have a word with their parents.’

“That is the value of PCSOs and why we need them in the community,” he added.

Cllr Brian Bailey said that PCSOs stop people going down into the depth of drink and drugs. He added: “Extra funding mean officers can go into schools and educate people and get them on the right track.”

And Cllr Eileen Wragg said that extra police would help tackle the ‘proliferation in drug use in Exmouth which is harming our youngsters, and has even resulted in the death of some of them’.

The motion, calling for the chief constable to recognise the needs of East Devon when deciding how to allocate extra resources, received almost unanimous support from the council, with only Cllr Megan Armstrong abstaining.”

https://www.devonlive.com/news/devon-news/demand-made-more-police-east-2599799

Parliamentary sovereignty: how did our MPs vote? They didn’t

Yvette Cooper’s amendment to hold the prime minister to her promise of three meaningful votes passed with a majority of 482.

Q: How did our MPs vote?
A: They didn’t

They abstained.

And they both voted against other amendments to give MPs more say in the process.

So now you know.

Parliament break cancelled – except for Tory MPs who want to go away with family!

Will Swire be off to the Maldives … or Saudi … with Parish on the Somerset farm?

“The cancellation of MPs’ two-week break to deliver Brexit on time has been branded a PR stunt after Conservatives were told they could still go away if they had “family” commitments.

On Thursday commons leader Andrea Leadsom formally ditched the half-term recess so more “progress” can be made on preparing to leave the EU.

But following a backlash from MPs who had apparently already booked holidays, chief whip Julian Smith informed Tories they are not obliged to attend the commons if they have pre-existing engagements. …”

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/brexit-tory-mps-pr-stunt-commons-recess-parliament-eu-andrea-leadsom-julian-smith-a8757341.html

Meanwhile, cleaners have to stay:

“Tory MPs jet off on ski holidays while parliamentary cleaners continue to work”:

https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/parliamentary-cleaners-forced-scrap-holidays-13935427

Brexit: East Devon – a district divided.

So, Swire voted against May’s Brexit deal, Parish voted for it.

Just where does this leave East Devon?

Piggy-in-the-middle.

Not a good place to be!

The no confidence vote later today will be interesting. If Swire votes to retain May after voting down her deal will that make him a hypocrite?

Swire and Parish to vote against May deal tomorrow

Swire on Twitter:

“I do believe that there is still a deal to be done with the EU but that this is not that deal. I simply do not think it right for an MP to bind this country into the backstop from which there is no unilateral right to withdraw. Statement on the eve of the vote.”

Parish on his website:

“There is much that I like in the Withdrawal Agreement and my preference is to vote for a deal to ensure a smooth and orderly exit. The deal can protect citizens’ rights, give businesses certainty, ensure frictionless trade, no hard border in Northern Ireland, co-operation on security – and provide an agreed process moving forward.

But as I have explained to the Prime Minister, the current deal needs work, or it will not pass in the Commons, with or without my vote. Vital issues remain on the indefinite nature of the Northern Ireland ‘backstop’, both in terms of annexation and CJEU jurisprudence, but also as a loss of leverage for leaving the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement – and getting a good future trade deal.

Until I am convinced these are sufficiently resolved, I cannot support the Withdrawal Agreement.”

https://www.neilparish.co.uk/news/my-position-brexit-withdrawal-agreement