Month: November 2018
I’m supporting 3 important local history initiatives – an excellent WWI exhibition in Colyton, the ‘Living Memories’ project to help dementia patients, and discussions on making Seaton Museum more accessible.
If you’ve time in the next couple of days, head to the church in Colyton for the really excellent First World War centenary exhibition, the product of much loving labour by numerous local volunteers, but very professionally presented and above all a moving evocation of the lives of local people in that terrible episode in our country’s history.
I supported this with my Locality Budget, and I’ve also recently approved an ‘Invest in Devon’ grant for another Colyton-based project, Living Memories, which aims to use documentary films from the mid-twentieth century as a means of aiding the personal memories of older people, especially dementia patients.
This week I also attended a meeting of the committee and trustees (of whom I am one) of the Axe Valley Heritage Association, which began to discussions on how to make the wonderful collections of Seaton Museum more accessible in the future. The Association elected a new chair, Roger Bookman, and I hope its decision to develop a plan for the future of the Museum will be a fitting birthday present for its founder and Curator, Ted Gosling, who reaches 90 in January 2019.
The Museum, to the side of the Town Hall (Gateway), will have its Christmas opening on Thursday 29th November from 2-5 pm and will be open 10-5 the following day.
It seems likely CCG strategy director DID say that there would be no closures of East Devon community hospitals – but in a private meeting for councillors. Over to you again, @NEWDevonCCG: we need a definitive, detailed public statement
Conservative councillor Phil Twiss has commented on East Devon Watch about my post yesterday. He says:
Happy to clarify that a discussion about provision of services in our local hospitals was raised at the Health Scrutiny Masterclass to improve knowledge (other Scrutiny committees hold similar cross party meetings as required), held on the 4th of October, which is open to all members of DCC. This particular one was attended by a broad cross party selection of Councillors, but not Martin Shaw or colleague Claire Wright who chose not take up the opportunity to hear from a variety of healthcare professionals at the Masterclass. My apologies to your reader for any confusion with the committee held on the same day.
I am delighted that local charity FORCE are now providing some chemotherapy treatments in Honiton, making it easier than travelling in to Exeter, with hopefully other services coming down the track; there is a clear ambition for healthcare hubs here and in the Axe Valley, where there is cross party work taking place to this end.
My reply on the same site:
Since Phil Twiss has clarified where Sonja Manton was speaking, but doesn’t comment on what she said, we must assume that he stands by his statement in the open Council meeting that she had confirmed there would be no closures of community hospitals in East Devon. If so, this is obviously very welcome, but the devil could be in the detail, and it is not good enough for such vital public information to be leaked to councillors in informal meetings. We need a public statement from the CCG, assuring us of the future of Axminster, Honiton, Ottery St. Mary and Seaton hospitals (as well as Okehampton which is part of the wider Eastern Locality).
Twiss’s comment that Claire Wright and I “chose not to take the opportunity” to attend the masterclass barely deserves a reply. However I have been dealing with a very difficult family situation over the last two months and this was one meeting which I had to pass up. I am not, in any case, a member of the Health Scrutiny committee, but since I was elected I have attended almost all its meetings, chiefly to support Claire in fighting for the community hospitals.
If the CCG now accept that the hospitals must stay, this will be a great victory for the campaigns in all the towns over the last few years, and for Claire, the Independent councillors at EDDC, and myself, who have supported local communities while the Conservatives have constantly left the door open for the CCGs to close them “where appropriate”, in the words of their most recent motion at the County Council.’