As we head towards a General Election, we have a unique opportunity to get a genuine local Independent candidate elected in East Devon: please support her campaign financially now
Claire Wright is virtually the only grassroots Independent (as opposed to a former party MP who has gone ‘independent’) who could be elected anywhere in England. She has launched her campaign and is looking for practical support in the East Devon constituency – and financial support from anyone who would like to see her representing local people in Westminster. Go to her website: claire-wright.org and click on the DONATE button on the top left.
Unfortunately we can’t vote for Claire in Seaton and Colyton, but if she is the MP for the neighbouring constituency this will have a real knock-on effect for us.
Conservative MP for East Devon, Hugo Swire, has announced he will stand down at the forthcoming General Election, in the face of what independent experts see as the strong likelihood that Claire Wright will win the seat from the Tories.
Claire says: “Party Politics is in turmoil. I stand ready to take on the issues that matter to people here in Devon East of health services straining to cope, underfunded schools and the irreparable damage to our environment under the watch of the current Conservative government which lurches from one crisis to another and has put narrow party political interest above the needs of local people.”
NB Seaton and Colyton are not, unfortunately, part of the East Devon constituency. We are in Tiverton and Honiton, of course, and we wait to see what challenges our current MP Neil Parish will face in the election.
In a fantastic boost for the chances that East Devon will soon have an Independent MP, a YouGov poll which interviewed 40,000 people nationwide tips the East Devon constituency (including Exmouth, Sidmouth, Budleigh Salterton and Ottery St Mary) as the one seat in Devon that the Tories would lose if a General Election were held now. (Alas, Seaton and Colyton are not in this constituency.)
Claire, who is my Independent colleague on the County Council, increased her vote by 8,000 in 2017. She now needs a 6.7 per cent swing to win. The results last time show that Labour and the LibDems cannot win, and that Claire is the pro-NHS, pro-Europe candidate to support in East Devon.
|2017 RESULT||EAST DEVON||VOTES||%||CHANGE +/- %|
|Liberal Democrat||Alison Eden||1,468||2.4||-4.4|
|Independent||Michael Val Davies||128||0.2||+0.2|
Shouldn’t we be looking again at community hospital beds, to support care-at-home model? Devon Conservatives squash recommendations of review chaired by Claire Wright
Claire Wright writes: A recommendation urging no further community hospital bed closures in Devon has been voted down by Conservative councillors on Devon County Council’s Health and Adult Care Scrutiny Committee.
The recommendation, which was debated on Thursday (22 November) was part of a set of measures set out in a scrutiny spotlight review aimed at supporting the care at home service (or rapid response) to be more effective.
Highlighted in particular as a challenging area were services for end of life care, which have been put under considerable pressure, especially since the loss of community hospital beds. … read on at Claire’s blog
Claire Wright and I win a commitment from the County Council to work to save ALL Devon’s community hospitals, although the Conservatives can’t stop themselves adding get-out clauses
In a hour-long debate in yesterday’s meeting, the Council adopted proposals which Cllr Claire Wright and I, the two Independent members from East Devon, put forward, in place of the original recommendation by the Cabinet.
The ruling Conservative group adopted (with a small addition) the wording of my amendment, which Claire seconded, which proposed to influence NHS decisions ‘in the direction of retaining all community hospitals to be used as health and wellbeing centres for their areas‘, in place of the original Cabinet recommendation to merely seek ‘decision making appropriate to individual circumstances, including population need and the quality of building.’
This is an important change in direction by the Council, which is now committed for the first time to work to retain ALL hospitals, as Claire (who proposed the original motion) had requested. The Conservative leader, Cllr John Hart, insisted on adding the words ‘where appropriate’ to my proposal, which we opposed because it provides the NHS with additional leeway to close hospitals. Cllr Hart’s addendum was too much for one Conservative Councillor, Jonathan Hawkins (Dartmouth), who voted with the opposition for my amendment without this addition, in the light of his community’s experience of the closure of Dartmouth Hospital.
The Devon Clinical Commissioning Groups could end this controversy with a clear policy statement that all remaining hospitals will stay open and will be supported as health and wellbeing centres for our communities. Until this happens, Claire and I, with the support of tens of thousands of people around Devon who are fighting for their local hospitals, will continue our campaign. On yesterday’s evidence, we are winning.
WATCH the debate online.
Claire Wright sets up support group for people who are struggling with the Department of Work and Pensions, such as those on working tax credits or who are trying to claim PIP or carers allowance
Claire Wright, my Independent colleague on the County Council, says:
“Hi, I have set up a support group for people who are struggling with the Department of Work and Pensions, such as those on working tax credits or who are trying to claim PIP or carers allowance, for example.
The first meeting is on Tuesday 21 August at 7pm, in the Institute, Yonder Street, Ottery. The meeting is primarily for people living in my council ward, however, I won’t turn anyone away.
Please help get the message out there by liking and sharing this post. Many thanks:
Devon County Councillor
Otter Valley Ward”
Any demand for this kind of group in Seaton and Colyton?