Month: April 2023

Beer best seaside ‘town’ in Devon, according to Which? survey

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It’s 11th nationally and well ahead of Sidmouth & Lyme Regis (Seaton is not listed). Results HERE.

Now Voter ID deadline has passed, thousands of East Devon voters have been disenfranchised

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As the deadline for applying for the government’s new Voting Authority Certificate passed this evening, almost 2 million voters who don’t have passports or driving licenses had lost their chance to vote in May 4’s local elections. Maybe 3000 of them are in East Devon.

The Tories have calculated that the voters who are disenfranchised will be mainly voters for the opposition parties. It’s Donald Trump-style Voter Suppression and no East Devon Tory has disowned it. Shame on them. They’re complicit in destroying our democracy.

Will Tory candidates condemn Photo ID policy which will see voters turned away from polling stations on May 4th?

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When campaigning for JOHN HEATH (Beer & Branscombe ward) in the local elections I handed a leaflet to a neighbour in his 90s who always votes, by post, without fail. I want to vote, he said, but I haven’t got any photo ID – I’ve handed back my passport and driving license. Fortunately, his daughter and I were able to point out that as a postal voter, he didn’t need ID. But if we hadn’t been at hand, this conscientious citizen might have lost his vote due to the confusion the new policy has caused.

On May 4th, this confusion is likely to actually cost a lot of people their votes. They’ll turn up at polling stations without knowing that you need ID and they’ll be turned away. Or they’ll bring their bus or rail pass – because they haven’t got a passport or driving licence – and they’ll still be turned away. Or, because they haven’t got round to getting new ID, they’ll just stay at home.

One honest Devon Tory, county council leader John Hart, has admitted the whole policy isn’t necessary. Will any of our local Conservative candidates – Marcus Hartnell, Del Haggerty or Helen Parr – join him in criticising this shameful anti-democratic move? If they remain silent, they’re effectively hoping to benefit from denying people their votes. Another very good reason for those who do manage to vote NOT to vote for them.

If you need the government’s new Voter Authority Certificate, today is the very last day to apply for it – link in previous post.

Just 7 days now to get Voter ID – or your vote will have been stolen from you

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THE GOVERNMENT HAVE DELIBERATELY MADE IT MORE DIFFICULT FOR PEOPLE TO VOTE, by introducing a completely unnecessary requirement for you to show Photo ID to be allowed to vote.

This discriminates against young people and women who are less likely to have passports and driving licences than older people and men. It’s a deliberate political stitch-up because young people and women are more likely to vote for non-Conservative candidates.



  • If you’ve got a Passport, Driving Licence of Blue Badge, that is accepted as Voter ID, as are some others (CHECK HERE)
  • If you haven’t got one of these forms of ID, APPLY HERE for the government’s new Voter ID, the Voter Authority Certificate.


If you’re a Postal Voter, you DON’T need Voter ID. Just fill in your forms as usual.

You can only apply for a Postal Vote up until tomorrow, 18th APRIL: GET THE FORM HERE.


Are you on the register at your current address? If not you must ACT TODAY – APPLY HERE by 11.59 pm tonight.

Modular homes ‘coming soon’ to provide ‘social housing solution’ in East Devon

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Modular homes that can be craned into place could play a key role in providing ‘truly affordable’ dwellings in East Devon, says the district council.…

Modular homes ‘coming soon’ to provide ‘social housing solution’ in East Devon

Paul Arnott writes a letter to the Times

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East Devon Watch

His is the first of three, but the others are also worth a read.

Government plans to scrap housing targets

Sir, My authority spends thousands of officer and councillor hours per year trying to ensure that planning permission is granted to quality schemes (“Housing targets scrapped”, Apr 8). Yet the arbitrary housing need number — about 900 homes a year in east Devon — makes this impossible to achieve. Our real problems are not nimbyesque. They concern unfit-for-purpose sewage and drainage infrastructure, the lack of GPs, places in education, transport and local jobs.

When major schemes are approved, experience has shown many to be poorly built, with gardens, at best, the size of a cricket wicket. Meanwhile, any landowner able to ensure their grassy patch is designated as developable will make millions for nothing more than assigning rights.

If councils try to build social homes, there is…

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Independent candidate for Beer & Branscombe ward

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JOHN HEATH is standing for EDDC as an Independent in Beer & Branscombe ward. This is his message to voters:

Hi Everyone in Beer, Branscombe and West Seaton, I am delighted to announce my candidacy to be your East Devon District Councillor. I am a resident in Beer and live in the centre of the village. I am a member of Beer Parish Council and am running as an independent so I will not be influenced by party politics.

I think we all know in Beer that the Jubilee Gardens are a disgrace and EDDC needs to get a grip and restore the gardens to its former glory. Rest assured this will one of my first responsibilities as your district councillor. The children’s playground in Beer also needs restoration and management by EDDC and this can also be rectified as a priority by EDDC. The older children currently have no youth club outlet, and it became clear to me when some of the boys took the initiative to build a den in a more remote part of the Jubilee Gardens which was an amazing initiative that they lack a suitable facility so this will be raised with EDDC.

I will be meeting fellow villagers in Beer and Branscombe throughout my campaign and I will ensure I represent both villages equally by spending time meeting parishioners. 

I will be talking to residents in West Seaton and am well aware of their concerns about inappropriate development, for example in the field at the top of Beer Road as well as in the Green Wedge. I’m disappointed that the government has again turned down EDDC’s Levelling Up bid to fund the Seaton Seafront Enhancement Scheme and I will work with other Seaton councillors to try to move this forward. 

I will hold monthly surgeries but also because I am newly retired from front line key working public service I can and will devote my time to ensuring you are represented when I raise issues at council meetings. My role will be to ensure Beer, Branscombe and West Seaton has a voice at EDDC. I will advocate on your behalf for positive outcomes, and I want to ensure transparency and communications in relaying back to you decisions made by EDDC through a blog page but also through Beer Information Page, Beer Memories and West Seaton page. I hope you can consider me for your vote on 4 May. I would be privileged to serve my community.

Best wishes, John

The other candidates are Maria Hall, Conservative, from Axminster, and the disgraced former town mayor of Seaton, Peter Burrows, standing as a Liberal Democrat. John Heath is the only candidate who lives in the ward.

Local election candidates now known – here’s the Seaton & Colyton picture

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In SEATON WARD, DAN LEDGER (right) , Independent, has been an impressive chair of Strategic Planning on EDDC and is pushing through the Council’s plan to build the first new social housing for decades. If I was in the ward I would back him.

Since you have 3 votes in this ward, I would also vote for STEVE HUNT, Liberal Democrat, whom I haven’t met but who comes highly recommended.

Two Tories are also standing in Seaton: town, district and county councillor Marcus Hartnell and town councillor Del Heggerty. Both originally voted for the proposed housing development in the Green Wedge at Seaton’s Planning Committee. Electing any Tories after we have just brought to an end their 45-year control of EDDC would be a backward move.

If I was in this ward, I think I’d use my third vote for the Labour candidate, HONEY BARLOW MARSHALL. She’s young and unknown, but she hasn’t made the mistakes of Tories who are past their sell-by dates.

PAUL ARNOTT, leader of East Devon District Council and of the Democratic Alliance (Independents, Lib Dems and Greens), is standing as a Liberal Democrat for COLY VALLEY ward. He has been a stalwart of the movement for change in the district and deserves everybody’s support against two Conservatives.

IN MY NEXT POST, I’ll discuss the candidates in the Beer and Branscombe ward, which includes West Seaton (where I live).