Exeter MP Ben Bradshaw (Labour) posted a tweet drawing attention to the astonishing statistic that 78,000 people in Devon and Cornwall are waiting to get onto an NHS dentist’s books and face a two year waiting list to do so. Immuno-compromised and forced to go private Jane Cartlidge retired to Exmouth with her husband in […]
Ten days after the G7, Cornwall has some of the highest coronavirus infection rates in the country. And the government is attempting to cover up one of the main reasons for this. For the first 18 months of the pandemic. Cornwall felt like a relatively safe place to be. Covid case rates were substantially lower […]
Blessed are the cheesemakers, for they will inherit Liz Truss’s vision of the earth. Trade secretary Liz Truss is famous for her obsession with cheese. Unfortunately this zeal does not translate into recognition of the damage done to the UK’s cheese businesses by Brexit. Instead, it manifests itself in maniacal enthusiasm for miniscule trade deals […]
In July 2020 and February 2021 we published articles drawing attention to the actions of Highways England Historical Railway Estate (HRE) – a little known body responsible for redundant railway structures. Although operating on behalf of the Department for Transport (DfT) this organisation appeared to pay scant regard to the priority now accorded to sustainable […]
It’s been a crazy few days here in Cornwall. The skies have been buzzing with police drones and weird-looking military aircraft, like monstrous black insects. Police with machine-guns have been hovering around the entrance to my local Tesco. And down at Carbis Bay, inside their ‘ring of steel’, world leaders concluded their deliberations on the […]
You have to watch these truth twisters like hawks. Here’s culture wars champion Oliver Dowden creating some Twitter fiction from the G7 proceedings: Dowden has now deleted his tweet.
If you live on the Somerset Levels and Moors, ask simply “will what I am hearing improve water quality here?”. Because unless national policy makes a real difference where you are, it is largely useless. We are in a nature and climate emergency. We need the government to show leadership and ambition that delivers action because they fully understand what this means.
what might encourage people to take up cycling, and what support and infrastructure exist to foster cycling … and what might put potential cyclists off! ‘Cyclist’ is a very broad term, ranging from those using two wheels to commute to work or to travel from a to b, through leisure cyclists and touring cyclists to serious club and competition cyclists.
Slow progress on cycle-paths One of the reasons that progress in developing a network of cycle-paths in England is glacially slow is that opposition turns up where you might reasonably have expected support. ‘Blocked by the Burdensome Estate’ set out how an agency sponsored by the Department for Transport is still undermining moves to create […]
Pride, amazement, exhilaration… three words that pretty much summed up initial local reaction to news of the 47th G7 summit location for 2021. “Fancy,”I heard one shopper remarking to another in my local supermarket, “the Prime Minister choosing little old Cornwall for such an important meeting. Proper job, eh?” From the comments appearing in the […]
Cornwall for Europe, the pro Europe campaign group, have created a special message for world leaders as they arrive in Cornwall for the G7 summit. A huge banner has been put up on a barn at the end of the runway at Newquay Airport and they believe it will be in full view as the leaders land in Cornwall.
Double defeat for Jenrick It’s a double defeat for ‘Honest Bob’ Jenrick. Firstly, the free vote of Somerset residents that he tried so hard to stop has taken place. Secondly local electors resoundingly rejected the option he so obviously preferred – the ambition of failing Somerset County Council (SCC) to take over the four districts. […]
The government’s claim that the G7 in Cornwall will be “carbon neutral” is unadulterated greenwash. I just walked to the end of my road in Falmouth to have a look at the MS Silja Europa, the massive cruise ship on which a thousand police personnel will be housed during the G7 summit in Cornwall next […]
The outlook is one of increasing desperation for people in Cornwall seeking an affordable home. A Kent-based property auctioneer is offering “an exciting and rare opportunity” to acquire a small stone hut that used to house a public toilet off the B3306 near Morvah, in the far west of Cornwall. It is putting a guide […]
News that the government is contemplating a partial ban on the use of peat in horticulture is welcome but needs to be put in context. A government that is serious about tackling climate change would have to take some really tough decisions. To reduce emissions from air travel for example it would have to face […]
Devon’s democratic deficit: the case for a progressive alliance to ensure better representation for all
The UK elections of 6 May 2021 revealed a fragmented political landscape. Although the results showed, as do most national polls, that the combined support for the opposition parties continues to exceed the Conservatives’, they showed no sign that Labour alone would be likely to oust Boris Johnson’s increasingly authoritarian and nationalist regime in the […]
Ian Liddell-Grainger sums up the Somerset ‘spoof’ situation and urges everyone to vote in the referendum the establishment tried to stop
West Country Bylines contacted Mr Liddell-Grainger for a comment for our article earlier today (24 May) and he responded with this, giving us permission to use it however we liked. We’re showing you the original document and the text, in case it’s not clear on your device. “The “spoof website” that eclipsed the start of […]
Dear Editor, On 6 May, much of the country went to the ballot box to select county council representatives. “On the doorsteps people told me that ‘politicians don’t listen to us anyway’ ”. So said Ruth Rollin, Liberal Democrat candidate for Brockenhurst. She continues, “I’d like to hope that we would all welcome a voting […]
Recent remarks by fisheries minister Victoria Prentis suggest the government is pressuring the Food Standards Agency to change its water quality assessment for the Fal estuary and other waters used by shellfish producers. Cornwall Green Party has described this suggestion as “frankly outrageous”. On Wednesday 12 May, the DEFRA minister responsible for fisheries, Victoria Prentis, […]
What is it with the current Conservative government and democracy? Voter suppression via ID cards, switching from a progressive proportional representation voting system to the regressive first past the post system (FPTP) for mayoral elections. (And that’s because, as we have seen, under FPTP a party can get a stonking majority on a minority of […]
Dear Editor, According to Cornwall Live, on 5 May “Truro Farmers Market’s biggest event is cancelled because it’s now a site for G7 summit protests. The market has had a terrible year and now its biggest event has to be called off” Truro’s Lemon Quay was to have hosted a special 5 day market during […]
“Conservative party plans at their worst were realised in Dartington yesterday. The disastrous Joint Local Plan and its unsustainable plan which dumped far too many new housing sites in Dartington, left its very grubby marks at SHDC Planning Committee yesterday. Very regrettably, all my fellow Councillors except for Cllr Kate Kemp, voted in favour of […]
There is often more than one side to a story. Our aim at West Country Bylines is to give a balanced account of issues while avoiding distortion through what is known as ‘false equivalence’. It is a disservice to readers, for example, to give equal weight to the views of medical experts and unqualified anti-vaxxers […]
Somerset Green New Deal Economy Forum: Social Justice and a New Economy. Taunton and West Somerset Build Back Better Campaigns (Green New Deal) are committed to a post COVID-19 recovery that embeds social justice and health and wellbeing in all its manifestations – including philosophy, politics and practical actions. The forum will be held on […]
West Country Bylines has learned that a Conservative Councillor in Cornwall, who is standing for re-election to Cornwall Council, has been reported to both the Environment Agency and Cornwall Council for allegedly burying large numbers of tyres on land that he farmed. Adrian Harvey is the sitting Conservative councillor for Newlyn and Goonhavern. The allegations […]
I wrote in West Country Bylines that bees are in trouble in the UK (they are in trouble in most parts of the world: apart from honeybees, most species are dropping in numbers); but one of the most urgent threats is not yet widely known about. It comes from Asian hornets, which kill – amongst […]
On 3 March we published an article by Theo Butt Philip highlighting the decision of Robert Jenrick to cancel elections to Somerset County Council. You can follow the preview link to the full article below. In essence Jenrick had decided that whether the people of Somerset liked it or not they would move to a […]
In their first response to complaints submitted, the Information Commission Office (ICO) has ruled that Dartington Hall Trust violated data protection laws in their creation of a list of campaigners. Nearly a year ago now, the BBC and then the Times reported on a ‘Black List’ that Dartington Hall Trust (DHT) had created of people […]
According to the latest edition of the Spectator, the Cop26 climate summit in Glasgow in November this year is seen by Number 10 as a chance to relaunch ‘Brexit Britain’ as a green superpower. Hmm. To be a green superpower, you actually have to be green – and two-jets Johnson is taking us backwards in […]
It has been more than three months since the UK completed the transition period and officially entered into new trading terms with the EU (although grace periods are still in place). The deal which was rushed through at the end of December and implemented on the 1 January has already affected how our local businesses […]