Teignbridge Civic Service

the Mayoress badge

the Mayoress badge

Not sure why this wasn’t posted before, it was written earlier in the year. Had  a lovely civic service for Teignbridge today. Roz as chairman has done a great job. I  Met the Deputy lord Lieutenant and visitors from North and East Devon as well as our neighbours at Newton Abbot, Teignmouth and Dawlish. This maybe the last outing for me as Mayoress as we vote in our new Mayor in two months, but its been fun.

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From the Ridiculous to the Sublime – the Lords Delivers!

I totally agree with Jim, particularly with the last line about the commons. However more than this it needs to then move across to County , District Councils and then to town and parish council, as so often the councillors hide behind their voting. In my experience the clerk sometimes does not have their head up when voting happens ( due to recording the meeting via shorthand etc.) , and so relies on others to say how many voted rather than who voted. It also means that chosen people are promoted (often by the chair and with party allegiance) by being written down as the proposer and seconder, whilst others are ignored. Added to this, as most of the decisions are decided out of the council meeting via allegiances or clerk requests, then I question the need of a council at all. It just becomes, (as another councillor kept saying when I started) ‘a rubber stamping experience’ and I for one did not sign up for that.

Interestingly I also experienced over many meeting as a councillor that if your face doesn’t fit then if you voted controversially i.e. for the people rather than for an allegiance, it is logged against your name. I find this sad as the needs of the people are valued far below the ego of the individual councillors and more so the further down the tree you go. So much for transparency!

Igniting Fires & Filling Buckets

I must confess.

Today I voted in one of the most bizarre elections in the world. And I voted for someone who was eligible to be a candidate because he is the great grandson of Herbert Asquith, the former British Prime Minister. I was also one of an exclusive electorate, as members of the House of Lords were the only people eligible to vote.

But the Lords are not elected, I hear you cry! That is mostly true but not when it comes to the ones that are there by birth. Yes, this was the by-election for a vacancy for a hereditary peer (see my earlier blog), and on this occasion the whole House was eligible to vote (with convention saying it ought to be a Liberal).

I voted because I thought I should, but clearly this is the Lords at its most ridiculous.

redbenchesBy contrast I also picked…

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Who checks that councils are running correctly?

Following on from my last blog today I want to ask you where do you go to if you have concerns over your council?

If it is going well great, but what happens when it goes wrong? e.g. you may be concerned that the people of the town/parish are not represented equally, and that too many councillors have a vested interest in one community group, how can you voice your concern?

Democracy is so hard to achieve as those with the time are often not equally balanced to represent all the different ages and genders of a town or villages community … equality and representation disappears from the criteria …. they say this is the nature of politics…maybe so….but should it be?   Answers on a  postcard please…

Our MP’s are elected and have many people scrutinising them but what about town and parish councils?

Or maybe you think of standing in the next local council elections!

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A call for Inspections of parish and town councils

Following from my last blog and comments suggesting that there should be more transparency and checking of parish and town councils I have submitted an e -petition to Eric Pickles.

To share and sign it follow the link below and share with all your friends


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Sadly I have resigned from the council. Whilst I wanted to serve my community it became very clear that others wished to further themselves rather than the community. It also became evident over many months that decisions were decided outside the chamber with the perpetrators ensuring that they had enough voting support.

I tried to ask questions about what the training plan for staff and councillors was on two separate occasions but on neither would one other councillor discuss the issue. This related to the precept and why I and my neighbours (as rate payers)  was expected to pay out money for training. My only assumption can therefore be that they have no plan not just for training but for anything else we have to pay for via the precept….so why are we paying it? and it goes on…..

My mind wandered further and I began to question who really checks that councils are working fairly, for the people, and providing the services that they are designed to meet.

I guess it’s the people but as many of the people are not aware, are too busy or in some cases don’t care no one does. Who do we turn to as residents when the council is not acting appropriately?

If we were talking about schools there is Her Majesty’s Inspectorate as is there in health and other department but not for local town and parish councils. Well not that I could find, I did try to make my district council aware but to no avail.

With this in mind I think we should all be lobbying for a recognised inspectorate of councils that checks that parish and town councils. I further add that I think there should be on the spot inspections as it is only then that practices that are not in keeping with policy, the law or for the people will come to light.

If you are interested in this please share.

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Teignbridge Civic service

Enjoyed the Teignbridge Civic service today at St Gregory’s in Dawlish.  I met lots of people including the Deputy Lord Lieutenant, the Mayors of North and East Devon and our local councillors. Roz did a great job organising it.

The Mayoress badge

The Mayoress badge

Our year is nearly over so this maybe the last time I wear the chain. I hope the next person enjoys it.



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Devons battered coast

National TV has highlighted Dawlish and the train track that has been washed into the sea creating misery for those working in London or on the M5 corridor that regularly use the train service. Here in Teignbridge Teignmouth has also had a bit of a battering and will take time and money to put it right.  Such a shame as our children are currently on half term and Other children from Wales next week.

Teignmouth devastated by waves can be seen here.


Here is a wave that went right along the coast.


Some people are enjoying the waves though. Here are some surfers.



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