In East Devon, vote for Claire Wright (Independent), in Exeter for Ben Bradshaw (Labour), in Totnes for Sarah Wollaston (Lib Dem), who are candidates who can clearly beat the Tories. In Tiverton & Honiton where the Tories are unfortunately safe, vote Labour, Liberal Democrat or Green to show the Tories they can’t take us for granted.
- The Conservatives wanted to sell off our community hospitals, and only our protests (see above) and the 21,000 who voted for Claire in 2017 stopped them. Tory MP Hugo Swire effectively proposed closing Seaton’s hospital beds, to save those in Sidmouth which were in his constituency (the CCG followed his advice). Our community hospitals still do not have a secure future. Despite vague election promises from Tory candidates, no plan has been presented.
- The RD&E is chronically underfunded, short of staff and beds, and waiting times for operations are longer than ever. Spinal and orthopaedic patients are waiting over a year in many cases.
- Even cancer patients are being forced to wait longer than the safe recommended times for treatment in the RD&E. That’s a matter of life and death.
- Tory Brexit policies have worsened the RD&E staff shortages. Brexit has driven away European doctors and nurses, despite continuing freedom of movement. The so-called ‘Australian’ points system will only make this worse.
- The Tories’ handover of Colyton Health Centre to NHS Property Services threatened its closure through astronomical service charges. Only after I publicly protested have they backed down.
- Tory austerity policies have starved all East Devon’s schools of funds. Even after Johnson’s promised increases have been paid, they will still be significantly worse off than 5 years ago.
- Tory academisation policies threaten to force Colyton Primary School to be handed over to a multiacademy trust against parents’ wishes, because of a poor Ofsted report.
- Tory austerity policies have pushed the Fire Service to threaten closure of Colyton, Topsham and 7 other local fire stations. If they win the election, Tory councillors are expected to push them through on January 10th.
- Tory Brexit policies threaten the livelihoods of our farming and (yes) fishing communities, who will no longer be able to sell their products freely to the EU. (And fishing will be forced to accept the continuation of EU boats in UK waters, as part of any future trade deal.)
- People from other European countries who live in our communities have been forced to apply just to continue to stay here living with their partners and families in their own homes. Now they are told by Boris Johnson that they are ‘foreigners’ who are taking Britain for granted. This is a threat to our communities as well as a national shame.
I’m sorry I restricted myself to 10 points. Anyway, I’ll sneak in an extra one … local Tory candidates have lied, Neil Parish about Seaton Hospital and Simon Jupp about funding for Exmouth town centre and Sidmouth beach management … just like their leader.