More Refill stickers available for businesses willing to help people fill up their water bottles

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RefillThese have gone up in many shops and cafes in Seaton. I have a new batch of stickers, so please contact me if you’d like one – cllrmartinshaw@gmail.com

I’m proposing that Devon County Council supports the creation of a Dorset and East Devon National Park

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I’m putting forward a motion to the next meeting in July for the Council to support a new park, which would include the East Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and prepare a case for submission to the review of national parks recently announced by the Government.

Devon County Council Cabinet to discuss @HighwaysEngland’s delays in introducing crossings on the A35 in Wilmington, where people have to cope with narrow or no pavements and 1000 lorries a day

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At the County Council on Thursday, my motion calling on Highways England to devote more resources to urgently address the need for remedial measures on the A35 in Wilmington – the worst situation of any community in East Devon, in my opinion – was remitted to the Cabinet where it will be considered on 13 June. Dr Philip Webber of the A35 Action Group told the Council of the conditions Wilmington people face and the new chair of the Council, Cllr Caroline Chugg, exceptionally allowed me to speak on the matter before it was referred to Cabinet. Cllr Claire Wright seconded the motion and Cllr Sarah Randall Johnson, formerly Wilmington’s councillor who now sits for another area, offered me her support.

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‘A wake-up call for East Devon … the threat is even more serious than the loss of beds last year’ – my letter in The Paper for Honiton on the fallout from Dr Kerr’s statement that Seaton and Honiton hospitals are ‘at risk’

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Published in this week’s issue:
The Paper for Honiton (17 May) was right to highlight the statement of Dr Simon Kerr of NEW Devon Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) that Honiton and Seaton hospitals are ‘at risk’ of closure, which he has not denied making. This should be a wake-up call to everyone in East Devon that any of our community hospitals, including also Axminster, Ottery St Mary and Whipton, which have lost their beds could be closed after the CCG’s Local Estates Strategy is published around July. The CCG remains focused on cutting its deficit, mainly the result of the NHS being badly underfunded, and the Government has given it a ‘double your money’ incentive to sell off ‘surplus’ buildings.
This threat is even more serious than the loss of beds last year. In the face of it, I call on all East Devon county councillors and the leader of East Devon District Council to join me in pressing the CCG to continue funding a wide range of outpatient services in all our hospitals, keeping them as health and wellbeing hubs (in line with the policies supported by all parties in last year’s county elections), and turning the CCG’s idea of ‘place-based care’ into reality. We have an enviable system of community hospitals supported by local people over many decades. Let this remain the centre of our local health provision in every town – without exception.

Seaton & Area Health Matters holds successful second meeting – steering group set up and agreement on Axe Valley approach

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On Thursday, the follow-up took place to the inaugural meeting of Seaton & Area Health Matters. After an informative presentation by Richard Anderson, manager of the community team for Seaton, Exmouth and Sidmouth based at Seaton Hospital, the meeting broke into workshops, and when we reconvened agreed on an approach which envisages an Axe Valley health hub centred on Seaton and Axminster hospitals. Axminster is having a similar process of discussions and we will liaise with them down the line. The Seaton steering group will meet shortly – members (I haven’t got the full list) include Cllr Jack Rowland, Dr Mark Welland and myself.

I’m talking tomorrow at The Beehive, Honiton – alongside @ClaireWrightInd – about my campaigning at Devon County Council for hospitals, cycle routes and road safety. Still some places free!

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‘TIME FOR A CHANGE IN EAST DEVON’ – the East Devon Alliance’s open conference, 10-1 (doors open 9.30). Speakers (apart from Claire and me) include EDA leader  and EDDC Councillor Cathy Gardner, Geoff Jung (also on EDDC) and Pam Barrett, Independent Chair responsible for the revolution in Buckfastleigh Parish Council. The inimitable Paul Arnott of Colyton, Chair of EDA, will preside. See you there!