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Local News, National Comment, Live radio and Documentaries. About Chris Mockridge.


The Life and Art of Fiona Green

The Life and Art of Fiona Green by Christopher Mockridge on Mixcloud

Foodbanks: Conman steals food from the poor, Mail on Sunday reach new low

The story by Ross Slater in the Easter edition of the Mail on Sunday is presstitution of the lowest kind. It serves no public interest and reveals nothing more than the how badly he has failed as a journalist.


He got paid around £150 for his article. Slater is obviously so needy and hard hearted that he accepted an assignment to go undercover to expose a foodbank giving food to him when he lied and said he was hungry. To think, he probably started out wanting to expose wrong doing, corruption and lies.

We would rather feed 10 Daily Mail journalists rather than leave one family hungry. We let one experienced con man cheat the system, but the professionals, you know they are doing a pretty good job. People have already decided whether they approve of food banks. Quite often normal everyday people fall off the system, we see their faces in ours. At the moment they exist and are real, and they are an embarrassment. They day we can close [the foodbanks] will be a celebration. - Director, Trussel Trust on Radio 5 live

The Mail HEADLINE reads: “How MOS reporter got 3 days food… no questions asked”

The STORY reveals that Ross lied through several tiers of questions, almost certainly pitched to trigger further help, should he have actually needed such help. He didn’t of course, he was under deep cover exposing the charity.

Slater’s mobile number is in the public domain, yet it seems to be turned off – frustrating, for sure, but then I doubt I’m the only person attempting to call him.

I hate feeling angry and powerless, so I got to thinking What Can I actually Do? Then the internet came to my rescue, isn’t it grand? Like crowd sourced life skills! This solution came from a gentleman on Owen Jones’ Facebook wall and it’s so simple I kicked myself!

I gave the Trussel Trust a fiver, just £5. I ticked the giftaid box, and the government adds a little extra – my donation is worth £6.25. If some of this money goes to undeserving ‘journalists’, then so be it, better that than a single child goes hungry.

sunday mail daily oppose food banks cause outrage

Trawlermen – Easter Monday 6pm – BBC Radio Devon

trawlermens lives on BBC Radio Devon this Easter Monday with qr codeTrawlermen – a BBC Radio Devon Special Programme about Brixham fishermen. Why do they fish? What do the fish and what happens when things go wrong? Easter Monday 6pm – listen here


The Duke has consulted with his subjects… well, er.. 52 of them

The proposed development at Great Court Farm in Totnes will make the Duke of Somerset an awful lot of money but will it also cost lives?

Great court farm development in totnes will increase the traffic at the true street accident black spot, berry pomeroy turning

Tell me again how 89 more dwellings won’t increase traffic accidents

PCL planning LTD recently carried out a ‘consultation event’ in a local church. They wanted to know if the proposed development ‘should have its own character, or if it should seek to blend in with existing houses’. All I want to know is: will it contain a street named ‘The Old Dairy’.

50 people filled in a questionnaire in the church and handed it to the men in suits running the event. 2 people emailed the office. 52 responses is not a consultation, it’s not even a decent survey. I could stand outside the SPAR for 2 hours and better your efforts, PCL Planning, shame on you.

Here’s my feedback (I emailed them):

The death rate at the Berry Pomeroy turning (True Street) is too high. The primary schools are all oversubscribed. The GP’s are oversubscribed. Getting across the river can take over an hour already at peak times (3 estates have planning and are yet to be built 1, 2, 3).

The planners will build as many houses as they can in the space and as few of them will be ‘affordable housing’ as they can muster (the riverside developers have negotiated to have just 7 affordable ‘dwellings’ PDF). It looks like we are being shown phase 1 of the development – perhaps a future phase 2 might include converting the farmhouse and barn into flats once the farmers have been driven away. As much as I criticise the planning company’s public-facing work ethic, I doubt they will have missed the panoramic views on offer at the eastern edge of the site.

The duke owns most of the area, he could grow a pair and propose a safer road layout, on his own land, that would reduce the accident rate. He could also grow a pair and do a proper consultation.

I am aware that I could be accused of a Not-In-My-Back-Yard mentality, I live right next to the site, yet I believe a better place for the new estate would be between my own home and my own panoramic view of Dartmoor, thus leaving the farm unscathed. Then again, maybe he is saving that field for phase 3?

If I come across as cynical, it’s because when I hear that an aristocrat is proposing to turf a local farmer out of business it makes me wonder what century we are living in. Seriously, what has this man done to deserve this land he was given by accident of birth?

Great Court Farm: ‘consultation event’ this Monday

Without these buildings (in red) the farm is nothing but a field

Plans that will rip the heart out of a local farm will be shown to the public this coming Monday. The plans involve demolishing a local dairy and cowshed, therefore closing a 4th generation Totnes family farm. Don’t wait around to see what happens, there are only two ‘consultation events’ and this is the second one.

The proposals that will be presented at the second event will be designed taking account of the issues raised at the (first) visioning event. – PCL Planning LTD (operating on behalf of the Duke of Somerset)

I’m not personally against the houses, I just wish they picked a different field. What do you think?

Monday 14th April

2pm – 7pm - St John’s Church

Bridgetown, Totnes