Welcome to my latest newsletter. Please forward it to anyone else who you think would like to receive it, and they can sign up at my website. If you would prefer not to receive it, please use the unsubscribe button below. And please get in touch if there are any issues you would like to discuss.
ACTION ON FLOODING
Tomorrow, March 1st, is what meteorologists regard as the first day of spring. It's probably a forlorn hope that it will mark the end of this extremely wet and windy winter. Whilst we have been fortunate not to have suffered too badly in North Devon, our thoughts are with our neighbours in South Devon and Somerset who have been seriously affected by flooding. Last week I was contacted by a business owner in Braunton who, like many others, was a victim of the floods there two Christmases ago. He pointed out that the village has not received the same levels of assistance which are now being given to flood victims elsewhere. Last autumn I toured the area with the Environment Agency to see the projects they have been carrying out to reduce the risks in future. The Council has also been working on the problem. However I share the concerns that issues such as compensation, insurance and financial help for businesses in Braunton need to be reviewed in light of recent events. I will be taking this matter up to make sure North Devon gets its fair share.
I have been contacted by a number of people who are extremely concerned about the possible closure of Devon County Council-run care homes.A 45-day consultation has begun on proposals to ‘cease providing residential care’ at homes across the county. In North Devon, that would affect Beech House in South Molton, Burrow House in Ilfracombe, Lydiate Lodge at Lynton and Oakwell at Bickington. Instead, care would be commissioned from the private sector, as it is in many cases already.
One gentleman spoke to me to say his mother-in-law, who is in her 90s, was extremely upset at the news. I spoke to him at length, and it's clear that the personal impact of these changes needs to be uppermost in the Council's minds. I will be writing to the Leader of Devon County Council to make this point and to seek clarification as to whether the homes will actually close altogether, or whether the residents can stay in situ when a private firm takes over.
These are only proposals at the moment and there is a consultation underway until 26 March. I would urge everyone to have their say. Here is the link to the page on the County Council's website:
Alternatively, please let me know what you think and I will pass on your views to the County Council.
Until next week.....
Conservative Parliamentary Candidate