Author: Anthea Simmons

Anthea Simmons is an award-winning children's author, editor and activist. She grew up in Cornwall and Devon before spending twenty plus years in the City in institutional asset management.​ Her areas of interest include diversity and inclusion, the environment and electoral reform. She is editor-in-chief for West Country Bylines

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A ‘good outcome’? The lies just keep coming.

Anthea Simmons

A message from the Editor-in-Chief:It’s not clear whether the Johnson government is playing games or kite-flying with this outrageous idea that it is considering whether to renege on the Withdrawal Agreement by bringing in legislation which will override international treaties*. These are people who like to try to inure us to future outrages by trialling […]

New photo competition (and an apology for last time!)

Anthea Simmons

Doh. It was a good idea, but we set an an impossible subject. You were all too kind (ironically, given the subject was ‘kindness’!) to point this out, but zero entries said it all. Sorry. Let’s try again. The theme this time is ‘sky’. After all, we need something to look up to right now, […]

Make, borrow, mend…and copy? A community project in Paignton

Anthea Simmons

For many people in the West Country, real life is a long way from the rural or coastal idyll portrayed by the tourism industry or the media.  The percentage of children living in poverty has been climbing across the region and high unemployment, low-paid work and a cycle of deprivation are often hallmarks of many […]

Planning for the future: an open letter from Kernow Matters to Us

Anthea Simmons

Editor’s comment: this open letter is published to amplify local voices. It has not been edited. To: Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP, Secretary of State for Housing Communities & Local Government Rt Hon George Eustice MP  Steve Double MP Cornwall’s Representative to the Council of Europe Scott Mann MP Sherryl Murray MP Derek Thomas MP […]

Our democracy is in danger. We must have electoral reform.

Anthea Simmons

Want to make your vote matter? Feel that now, more than ever, we need a system that prevents an arrogant, corrupt and incompetent government (elected by a minority) from riding roughshod over every standard of decency, honesty and integrity? You do vote, right? Every election? You don’t bother? Why is that? Ahh. OK. You live […]

Testimonies from Refugee Support Devon: Waala’s story

Anthea Simmons

Refugee Support Devon (RSD) asked members of the refugee community if they would be willing to tell their stories. In 2018, Walaa wrote her story below in English and RSD have not changed any of it, except to remove the names of her husband and family, which Walaa asked RSD to do. We would like […]

Amin’s story: testimonies from Refugee Support Devon

Anthea Simmons

We are very honoured to be able to reproduce a series of intervews with refugees who have found homes in Devon with the help of Refugee Support Devon, based in Exeter. Credit for the interview goes to them. Setting up home in Devon is no easy matter after the traumas of war. It’s hard to […]

Ten unmissable picture books

Anthea Simmons

I love children’s picture books. Some of the most delicious artwork and the most delightful, moving and pitch-perfect writing is to be found within their enticing, large format covers. The best examples of the  genre work on many levels in pretty much the same way as classic films like Toy Story and ET. They appeal […]

Strategic ignorance: a privilege of power

Anthea Simmons

Knowledge is power. But if you’re a politician or a CEO, ignorance may be more powerful – and more lucrative… I’m afraid I don’t listen to BBC Radio Four as much as I used to. It was once a background to my daily life, but the far-right toxicity on the Today programme finished my love […]

Resistance and hope

Anthea Simmons

First of all, a big thank you to all those who are reading our articles. The response has been fantastic. We’ve only been going for eight days, but already we are amplifying the reach of writers who deserve to be read, voices which need to be heard and issues which must be exposed. It’s great. […]

Collateral damage: the plight of the excluded

Anthea Simmons

You have not been forgotten. We will not leave you behind. We are all in this together.” So tweeted Rishi Sunak, chancellor of the exchequer at 17:56 on 26 May. Sounds nice, huh? What a shame that it isn’t true. Some 3 million taxpayers, at a cautious estimate, feel utterly forgotten, completely left behind and not […]

Welcome to West Country Bylines

Anthea Simmons

Welcome to the first edition of West Country Bylines, a new online paper for people in Cornwall, Devon, Dorset and Somerset. Run by volunteers and showcasing local writers, West Country Bylines will be scrutinising and calling out those in power, challenging the narrative spun by the mainstream media, and giving a voice to those with […]