Weekly Newsletter 30th May

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 (www.peterheatonjones.org.uk). 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. 
European Elections
Sunday night saw the declaration of results for the European elections.  North Devon is part of the large South West region which elects six MEPs.  I am delighted that Ashley Fox and Julie Girling were both re-elected, but disappointed that our Olympic hero James Cracknell, who has a home here in North Devon, didn’t make it over the line.
Let’s get the results into perspective. In North Devon, the Conservatives’ share of the votewent up compared with 2009 – who would have predicted that a few weeks ago?  UKIP did well, but failed to get a third MEP elected in the South West, so we mustn’t get carried away with the media hype.  The Liberal Democrat vote went down in North Devon, they lost their only MEP in the region, and were virtually wiped out nationally.  It’s led to a week of ‘crisis’ headlines, which continue as I write.  We live in very interesting times.
Overall, I can assure you that I and the Conservative Party nationally have heard the very clear message sent by the voters. David Cameron has re-stated that the next Conservative government is pledged to hold an in/out referendum on Europe – the only party to do so. That is a very clear platform on which I will be standing in 2015.
Braunton Village Fair
On Bank Holiday Monday we had a stall at the Braunton Village Fair.  It’s a great event, organised by the village’s Rotary Clubs.  It was a pleasure to meet so many people and discuss a number of local issues.  Uppermost of course was the ongoing campaign over Braunton Library, and politicians from all parties, and none, were at the event supporting the cause.
You will know that I have written to the Leader of the County Council on this issue, and residents from the Save Braunton Library Campaign have organised a number of meetings.  I understand that the County Councillor in charge of Library Services has now agreed to review the classification of Braunton Library.  This is a positive step forward which I hope at the very least will lead to the service being safeguarded at its current level.  I know a number or other libraries in North Devon are also under the spotlight, and I have made clear to the Leader of the County Council that they should all be safeguarded.
The Braunton Village Fair was extremely successful, and unlike the Devon County Show, was very lucky with the weather.  Our stall raised a modest amount of money which we have split with the Rotary’s charities.  Well done and thank you to all concerned.
Buy Local Week
Next week (2nd – 8th June) is ‘Buy Local Week’ in Barnstaple. This is a campaign supported by The Best of Barnstaple, a local company which champions independent businesses in the area. The core element is to get people to do more to support local shops and service providers – a simple sticker in a window or car is one way, but just changing how we spend can make a huge difference to the local economy.
I am doing my bit to promote it; in the photo above I’m with Sarah Escott, the local Best of Barnstaple champion.  As Sarah says, “We have distinctive and wonderful independent shops and businesses in our area, but we shouldn’t take them for granted. ‘Buy Local’ reminds us that they need the support both of residents and local policy makers. We need to learn how to appreciate, maintain and grow our local shops, and with everyone committed to supporting local business, combined with a loyal and active community, we can do that.”
After that photo was taken, I walked down Butchers Row and was tempted to buy some delicious locally-made pickles in one shop, and some home-grown tomato plants next door!  There really is a lot to offer if you look around.
During the week, locals who go to www.thebestof.co.uk/barnstaple to pledge their support will also be entered into a daily prize draw. Every day, for 7 days, 5 lucky supporters will win £100 to spend at a great local business.
This is a great idea which I am delighted to be promoting. 

Keep in touch
I am active on social media,  which is a good way to keep up with what I am doing so please:
Follow me on Twitter: @PeterNorthDevon
Like me on Facebook: www.facebook.com/PeterNorthDevon

Many thanks. 
Until next week......

Peter Heaton-Jones
Conservative Parliamentary Candidate