Month: October 2019

Winter ‘chaos’ looming at Wonford as RD&E posts worst ever summer performance in A&E

Posted on


Devon Live reports that the RD&E has posted its worst-ever summer A&E figures, with only 72 per cent of patients seen within 4 hours compared to a 95 per cent target. There are fears of an even worse situation once winter sets in …

Until now, A&E performance (while failing to meet targets) was the one key NHS target on which the Devon NHS was actually better than the national average – cancer care and general waiting lists were already well below par.

Our local NHS is creaking at the seams – we need more doctors; more nurses; more beds (I was told this week that there is a ‘severe beds crisis’ across the hospital).

Despite Boris Johnson’s frequent hospital photo-opportunities, his proposals for the NHS amount to refurbishing a mere 6 hospitals across the country (none of them in Devon) and do nothing to address the real issues.

New Statesman analysis shows that Johnson’s Government sees Claire Wright as threat in East Devon constituency

Posted on

Claire Wright

East Devon is one of the seats the Tories are most concerned to defend from rivals. According to analyst Stephen Bush‘Noteworthy is that – as is echoed privately by many Conservatives from the area – the government regards Claire Wright, of the independent campaign in East Devon, as a serious challenger for the seat.’

No Deal Brexit ‘as bad as Foot and Mouth’ for South West, business and council leaders say

Posted on

So on Thursday DCC leaders refused to answer my questions about No Deal Brexit. Yet the previous day, it turns out, the Heart of the South West Joint Committee and Local Economic Partnership – both of which include DCC – issued the statement below. Either the left hand doesn’t know what the right is doing … or the DCC leadership are so desperate to avoid public divisions in the Tory group that they won’t even claim credit  in the Council chamber for finally speaking out as I have been asking them to do!

This should also give Neil Parish MP food for thought after his inane comments the previous day.



So: Devon farmers lose their tariff-free access to Europe on October 31st, and gain a ‘glorious future’ in US markets … when? Does @neil_parish really believe in this fantasy?

Posted on

In Parliament on 3rd October:

Photo of Neil Parish Neil Parish Chair, Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee

I very much welcome the Prime Minister’s statement. May I also welcome his enthusiasm, because for two and a half years there has been so much negativity in this House that we just cannot get this deal through? For goodness’ sake, let us get the deal done. Does he believe it will then lead on to a good trade deal, so that farming, agriculture and business will not have to pay tariffs to the European Union and we can export across the whole of the world?

Photo of Boris Johnson Boris Johnson The Prime Minister, Leader of the Conservative Party

Of course. I can tell my hon. Friend that Somerset lamb, cattle and beef—[Interruption.] I should say Devon, as he represents Tiverton. [Interruption.] He does farm in Somerset, so I should say that Somerset and Devon’s beef and lamb will have the opportunity to find export markets that they are prevented from finding by our current arrangements, such as those in the United States and indeed elsewhere. We have a glorious future ahead of us if we just take the first few steps.

Crucial new survey launched by Seaton Area Health Matters – please complete and spread to everyone you know in Seaton, Colyton, Beer, Axmouth etc.

Posted on Updated on

jack-rowland-photoHealth Matters Chair, Cllr Jack Rowland, writes: ‘We invite all residents in Seaton and the surrounding areas to complete a questionnaire on the future of Seaton Hospital and local health services.

The questionnaire is available to complete online via as well as by paper.

‘If you need to complete the paper questionnaire instead of online the questionnaire will be available from a high number of places in your area so keep an eye out for the advertising posters to pick one up and find out where to return it. 

If you care about the future of Seaton Hospital and local health services please take about 10 mins to complete the survey online or on paper as the higher the response rate the more accurate the picture will be of the local views.

We are hoping for a high response rate as the data gathered will be invaluable in adding value to what we are trying to achieve by identifying any service gaps that could be potentially filled by a service operating from Seaton Hospital. We have prepared a business plan to make the current site a Health & Wellbeing Hub that retains the existing services that operate from the site, but potentially adds other services to utilise the empty space.

‘Your opinion and views will be invaluable and we want and need all members of the communities covered by this survey to participate.’

This is the moment the Conservatives voted to stop Devon County Council even discussing fire station closures – you have been warned, they are preparing to vote them through at the Fire Authority

Posted on Updated on

IMG_3177.JPGYesterday I tried to propose a motion to Devon County Council to halt the fire station closures. The grainy photo (above) taken from the webcast shows the Conservatives voting as a block to stop it even being discussedThey wanted to refer my motion  to the Cabinet who would amend it and bring it back to the Council in December. By then, the Fire Authority – chaired by Colyton’s former county councillor, Sarah Randall-Johnson – will have decided on its proposals at a meeting on 8th November.

Following this disgraceful episode, there can be little doubt that Tory councillors on the fire authority are preparing to vote through the fire station closures. Local people need to increase pressure on all the individual members of the Authority, change their minds.

Below, me urging the Council to discuss the motion.