Should we have been surprised by the Tories' exams fiasco?
Even accepting that the Cabinet has been filled by Prime Minister Johnson with Yes-woman and Yes-men, more for their loyalty than their ability, we really shouldn't be surprised.
This is a Government that sees us, its citizens, as data-points not people. We are here to be modelled. Algorithms are to be applied to decide how we'll behave and what we'll do. We are reduced to the lowest common denominator. The herd. (Tellingly the Conservatives' early objective in the COVID-19 crisis was to achieve 'herd immunity' - not really a very attractive way to describe the UK population.)
In the surveys we've conducted of local people's concerns the one that nearly always tops the list of worries is the state of our roads, and, specificallypotholes.
We've been campaigning hard (read article) to get Conservative run Devon County Council to get the roads repaired. It's especially important now given that many more people have taken to bikes during the COVID-19 crisis and potholes are a very serious threat to cyclists.
"Slow, inconsistent and negligent approach" to social care in pandemic.
Not our words but those of one of the most senior House of Commons Committees, the Public Accounts Committee (PAC).
There have been some successes by the Government during the COVID-19 crisis, the Nightingale Hospitals a clear one, but a worryingly large number of failures. Especially when taken in the context of comparisons with similar developed countries. It's no great accolade when the only western country making the United Kingdom look good during this crisis is Trump's America.
The responses to our survey into a #postcovid19 United Kingdom make it clear that you want to #BuildBackBetter and that now is the time to embrace change and not, as the Conservatives appear to be doing, re-embracing the 'old normal'.
A whopping 83.7% of you said that now was the 'time to try and change things for the better' in comparison to a mere 7% who felt we should 'get back to normal'.
Lib Dem Cabinet Member for Finance, Alex White has spearheaded free car parking in the three towns of Mid Devon in a major boost to our retailers.
Alex has been acutely aware of the huge impact of the lockdown on all of our retailers in Mid Devon and was determined to support them as much as possible.
Therefore, after discussions with retailers, he decided that action needed to be taken to support our high streets in Mid Devon post lockdown and offering free car parking for 2 hours will encourage shoppers to continue shopping locally.
The lockdown period has seen shops, businesses and restaurants closed for many months and Alex is very aware of the economic impact this has had on local traders and jobs.
From 1st August to the 30th September visitors will be able to claim two hours free parking in selected car parks in Crediton, Tiverton and Cullompton.
The following car parks will allow a two hour free parking period between 8am and 6pm:
At a meeting of the full council of Mid Devon held on 1st July, the Tories in Mid Devon demonstrated that they are not serious about tackling climate change. A motion was presented to council by Councillor Holdman and Councillor Taylor to hold briefings for councillors virtually in future where 'practicable' in order to reduce carbon emissions by councillors attending meetings and to reduce the amount of money claimed by councillors in expenses. Furthermore, the motion sought to lobby government to allow councils to continue to allow councillors to attend meetings virtually if they so wished. The motion passed at council by 21 votes to 18, with every Conservative member voting against.
Why Roosevelt's New Deal was different from Johnson's New(ish) Deal
It is widely acknowledged that President Roosevelt's 'New Deal' (launched in 1933 in response to America's Great Economic Depression) was a huge social and economic success. So it is perhaps unsurprising that Prime Minister Johnson wants to ride on the great man's coattails by inviting comparisons with his own (less ambitious) 'New(ish) Deal'.
We are all familiar with the idea that we have an MP (Member of Parliament) who represents us in the Westminster Parliament, but many of us are confused about the other types of representation we enjoy. So here is our 'quick guide' to Parish, District and County Councils, the Police and Crime Commissioner and the National Parks Authority. These bodies are supposed to represent your, and your family's, best interests.
These are uncertain times, worrying and distressing in many ways, but also encouraging in terms of the community response with people rallying around to help each other. It is certain that there are many 'twists and turns' still to come in the story of the COVID-19 pandemic, but we should be careful not only to focus on the 'here and now'. We should also look to the future.
During the Second World War the great Liberal economist, William Beveridge, published his report which paved the way for the establishment of the Welfare State and the NHS. It was a report that received much discussion even during one of the darkest hours in our nation's history. We have a similar opportunity now to look for fundamental change in British society.
Today we publish a short survey looking at some of the options for the United Kingdom #postcovid19. We'd be very grateful for your assistance in telling us what you think the priorities for our country should be once we have mastered this dreadful virus. One thing is certain; if Liberal Democrats do not lead this discussion then the Conservatives will be looking for a 'return to normal'. We just don't think that the 'old normal' is good enough.
DEVON LIBERAL DEMOCRATS RAISE SAFETY QUESTIONS BEFORE CHILDREN RETURN TO SCHOOL
Devon Liberal Democrat councillors have asked 15 key questions about safety for children and staff before schools re-open across the County.
They submitted the questions to Devon County Council as concerns continue to be raised about the arrangements for schools to open for Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 children and the safety for both staff and pupils.