Student Demo (November 11th, 2010)

November 11, 2010 in Uncategorized

Typical of the media to focus on the damaging antics of a tiny group of anarchists during yesterday’s overwhelmingly good natured and peaceful march by students and others protesting against the Government’s higher education plans. Unusually for such a demo, the numbers significantly exceeded the expectations and early estimates of the organisers.

Exeter Guild reported 350 students from Exeter University alone. 

LEP Debate in Parliament (November 11th, 2010)

November 11, 2010 in Uncategorized

The local government Minister, John Hayes, hinted strongly in my Commons debate on local enterprise partnerships in the South West that pressure is being applied to Devon, Plymouth and Torbay councils to get their act together and work with Somerset to form a partnership covering all 4 areas. If true, this will come as a welcome relief to the Westcountry business community who have been deeply frustrated by the failure of the councils to put aside their differences and work together.

This is all the fallout from the Government’s wrong-headed and dogmatic decision to abolish the South West Regional Development Agency, which has done a good job for our region.


Mr Hayes also agreed that it was important an agreement is reached soon, otherwise Exeter, Devon and most of the rest of the region would miss out on the support available.He also confirmed it was important that Exeter is included around the table – which will come as welcome news to Exeter City Council and Exeter Chamber of Commerce, who have been cold-shouldered so far by Devon County Council and Plymouth and Torbay.Still, none of this has actually been delivered yet and I shall be keeping a very close eye on things.