Public support prompts Devon County to ask for an appeal in High Court case

Devon County Council have asked if they can appeal a high court ruling, that would mean traffic would return to the old way up the High Street in Totnes.

Shared Space?
Shared Space?

Devon County Council have this to say:

A wave of public support from Totnes residents, including a delegation at County Hall today calling for the road traffic order in Totnes High Street to remain in place, has prompted Devon County Council to seek leave to appeal against the recent High Court judgment. Members of Totnes Living Streets met with County Council Leader John Hart and Councillor Roger Croad, Chairman of the South Hams HATOC Committee, deploring any attempt to overturn the Order.

The Order, which has reversed the flow on Station Road and lower Fore Street since its introduction in March 2013, remains in place until there has been a further court hearing, which is expected imminently. Members of the group, who describe themselves as the “silent majority”, believe the road layout is the best way forward for the town to prosper. In its letter to the County Council, the group states: “The exercise has achieved its objectives, reducing High Street traffic by two thirds while affording good access to shops and facilities. Speeding and rat-running during office hours have been greatly reduced, creating conditions suitable for introducing Shared Space options in the future. Pedestrians, especially the elderly and those with young children, feel safer and Totnes has become a far more pleasant place to live in, visit and shop.”

Councillor John Hart said: “We appreciate the time and effort that local people have taken to inform us of their views on this issue since the judgment on the existing traffic order was made last week. It’s very clear that there is a huge amount of local support for the existing scheme and we will be seeking leave to appeal.” Councillor Roger Croad, Chairman of the South Hams HATOC Committee, said: “It has been extremely helpful to see the level of support among the local community and it has helped us in deciding what to do next. Until there has been a further hearing we would like to remind everyone that the existing order currently remains in force.”

Following the recent High Court judgment, the County Council has received scores of emails from residents and traders in Totnes, requesting that the ruling is appealed. One concerned mum said her daughter and elderly mother have found walking through town a much safer and less polluted experience since the system was introduced, and yet the shops in the town are still busy. She said: “Please appeal against this recent High Court Order. I do not feel that residents’ voices are being listened to in this matter. I do not think that going back to the way the traffic was before is the way forward for the town.” another resident said the “silent majority” of residents and shoppers have had their views “sadly misrepresented” by those against the scheme.

One shopkeeper said those against the scheme are “holding this town back”, while another said, “many traders prefer the system in place now, it is wrong to think that all the traders think one thing”.

The Road Traffic Order made permanent the Experimental Traffic Order which had been in place since March 2013, with the aim of improving safety by reducing the speed and volume of traffic on High Street and Fore Street, and was approved by the Council’s South Hams Highways and Traffic Order Committee (HATOC) last April, subject to regular monitoring and a further review in 2016.

Why is paedophilia an Official Secret worth keeping?

There was a little known vote early this year to give whistle blowers exposing establishment paedophilia protection from prosecution under the Official Secrets Act.
Currently, if you work for a high level paedophile, you risk going to prison if you expose them.
Nearly every Conservative, including Sarah Wollaston (MP Totnes), and nearly every Lib Dem MP voted against this whistle blower protection.
Why would paedophilia be an official secret worth keeping? – The voting pattern is as horrible as it is illuminating.

graph taken from public whip showing near total opposition to amendment to official secrets act by conservative and lib dems


For background on this story you might like to read this blog, and more data can be had over at the Public Whip

Bob the Bus ‘Tramp’ money to replace stolen exhaust

Local tramp, Graham Walker, has raised nearly £3000 for local causes, including Bob the Bus, just in time to help repair the work of a thief.

graham walker a tramp about town

Bob is distinctively yellow, and adored locally, people gave most generously. Graham smashed his £400 online target on only the second day. Adding to this, cash was given on the street bringing the total to nearly £3000, but some of this money will have to go into replacing the stolen exhaust.

Some nice pillar of the community has cut off a half of Bobs exhaust whilst it was parked at Harrisons garage Totnes. Why? Well apparently there is 4 precious metals in a catalytic converter and this nice pillar of the community can get between £50 and £200 from a scrap dealer for a bit of Bob. The cost to the community bus is around £1500 plus time, hassle and loss of income from the back up bus – from facebook

Bob the Bus is a charity run by a group of volunteers that consists of trustees, a chair, treasurer, secretary and a part time paid coordinator. They are chuffed to beans to have been given more than £2000 because of Graham’s efforts in towing a miniature Bob the Bus for a 150 miles, the same route as Bob the Bus! The rest of the cash will go towards establishing a local community newsletter.

Bob will be running more routes shortly, at the same time as other services are cutting routes, such as the Stagecoach Gold service and their cuts in Bridgetown.

Do have a read of Graham’s excellent book, Unsettled, and please do drop a coin into the bucket for Bob the Bus.



Dear Tony Hogg, stop wasting money and start doing your job

4.1% of the population voted for you.

You are currently the police and crime commissioner for Devon and Cornwall – a force that stops and searches nearly six black people for each white person.

Just 8 of these humiliating searches per hundred results in an arrest. The only “reasonable suspicion” here is that your force is institutionally racist. We have known that these powers have been applied unjustly since 2011, on your first day in office you knew this was an explosively controversial practice. Tell me, what is it you do again?

Let me help, 92% of your stop-and-searches serve only to alienate the very people over-represented in your statistics. Further, your role, in your own words, “…is all about holding the chief constable and the police force to account…”

It would seem, Mr Hogg, that the distribution of resources is being poorly managed, a case in point;

‘… it is not appropriate for my office, or my accommodation, to be sited at Middlemoor [the location of the Chief Constable and Senior Officers]’ – Tony Hogg

Tony, you are now proposing this exact “inappropriate” move to the same location as the Chief Constable and Senior Officers, at a cost of half a million pounds. I won’t be the only person wondering why we should pay to move you less than a mile?

Your office, as in the physical building, is costing around £100,000 per year. Your own wage is around £80,000, you employ 24 other people. Twenty Four. Yet I’ve drawn a complete blank trying to measure your achievements.

You were voted in by 4.1% of the population, you have no public mandate whatsoever, let alone enough to run an office at this expense. You could relocate to Totnes, where at the last look a suite of offices can be rented for £750 a month, including ample parking, a kitchen and super-fast broadband. Any market town could compete with this offer, and all of them could do with the cash.

Your cops boast on twitter how they take grow rooms out of action, they boast of a “sizable haul” referring to what would be legal in many countries. That you do not hold these officers to account for cherry-picking the very softest of targets, an immovable, victim-less crime, is a stain on your record. What under-the-radar crimes are going under-investigated while men, under your scrutiny, mock young people for growing plants?

If Labour or the Lib Dems get their way in May, the institution of Police and Crime Commissioners will be scrapped. In this event your proposal will result in a loss of 100% of the money you want to spend. I would go further. It is my contention that you are wasting £1.8 million this year, and that you have done so every year since 2012.

Very few people even know what you do, probably less than the number of people who voted for you, why don’t you just keep your head down and soon enough it’ll all be over? Either that, or start doing your job better – because the money you are wasting is criminal.

15% of rape cases get reported, just 15%, and the chief reason that the figure is so low is fear of not being believed by the police. You have a massive PR job on your hands, Mr Hogg, now is not a good time to be choosing wallpaper and yucca plants.

Traffic order reversed, but not because it’s better…

The traffic order that split the town in half has been reversed today following a High Court ruling.

“Half the letters I recieve on this are strongly in favour of the new road system, and half are against, that is why it is so hard to be your MP” – Sarah Wollaston

The One Way Up campaign celebrates today after a High Court case found the council should have held a public inquiry.

The campaigners won without having to prove the merits of the previous one-way system. Rather, the judge ruled that the Experimental Traffic Order be reversed because the issue split the town 50 / 50.

Motorists are reminded that the road layout has not been changed yet, and not to attempt drive up the high street.