The winners and losers in the last week in Devon news feature Conservatives, Lib Dems, lime trees and, of course, snow.
Devon Conservatives: Former Lib Dem Leader and Yeovil MP has bemoaned the prospect of Tory gains in the South West. He said: “People in the South West are still paying the price for the last Tory administration. That’s a big issue. They trampled all over the South West when it came to water charges. You’re still paying the price for that years later.” On the performance of recently elected Conservative administrations in Devon and Somerset he said it was the “same old Tories”., and they are “cutting old people’s and children’s services, the same arrogance we’ve seen before”.
Devon Lib Dems: Erstwhile estate agent Richard Copus, who has offices in Newton Abbot, Ashburton and Totnes, and was an active Lib Dem party member for 25 years, standing in General Elections in Plymouth in 1997 and Exeter in 2001, and acting as Teignbridge MP Richard Younger Ross’s press officer during the ’80s, has jumped ship and joined the Conservative cause. His inspiration to do so is Mel Stride, who is standing for the Conservatives in the newly formed Central Devon constituency. The Lib Dems have had no candidate in the seat since Sally Morgan stepped down from the role.
Devon School Children: Snowy weather forced at least some closure in nearly all of the counties school, for a happy extension to the Christmas break for most school children. The only school we know which stayed open throughout the week was Bearnes Primary School in Newton Abbot. And the weather forced some schools to close for three days.
Torquay Lime Trees: 11 lime trees on Lymington Road, Torquay, were saved from the chop. There were complaints that the trees had grown so wide they restricted the pavement to less than 1m – below government guidelines. But after Deputy mayor Chris Lewis and mayor Nick Bye walked the route, councillors decided to keep the ‘magnificent’ trees.