Marcus Hutchins, the hero from our fair town who stopped the WannaCry ransomware attack seems to me to share all four of the virtues I mentioned above. Some have tried to devalue his efforts by saying that it was just an accident that he stopped the attack. However, this misses the point. As a former patent attorney, I can tell you that many of the most valuable and important inventions were made by accident, whilst others were the result of dedicated hard work. What Marcus did is, of course, not an invention, but it required the same hard work and the same lucky accident. Had he not been looking at the attack with a view to understanding it and stopping it, he would not have found the kill switch. So, well done and thanks, Marcus. You are a credit to our town. I understand that your employers are rewarding you with an all expenses paid trip to Los Angeles.
In one way, which I am sure the rugby club will consider rather perverse, I am looking forward to work beginning on the project. I hear that the area to be developed is, or is near the site of, an old hill fort, and I think it would be very interesting if artefacts were uncovered to establish the antiquity of our town.
By the time you read this, The Landmark café should have reopened – scheduled for Monday 22nd May. Let us hope that this is quickly followed by the reestablishment of the fully functioning theatre and community asset that was so cruelly taken from us. I wish Parkwood Entertainments well. Meanwhile, I wonder if we will ever find out how two popular theatres, well attended and well supported by public donations and by grants from the district council, managed to get themselves into such a mess that they thought that they had to close down (although it is worth noting that Mr Philip Milton, the noted financial advisor, is doubtful that they did need to close). I am looking forward eagerly to finding out who or what was responsible and if anyone who was supposed to have oversight of the accounts was asleep on the job.
Here we go again – yet another blooming box to put some carefully selected rubbish in. There are so many things wrong with this idea that it is difficult to know where to start. Surely, as I have said before, it would be better to put all dry refuse in one bin and all the rest in another for separation at the depot. Then, while it is certainly worthy to recycle waste of all kinds, surely it would be a better use of resources to try to tackle the reason for the food waste in the first place, rather than facilitating its disposal. And it involves yet another bit of plastic, probably made from an irreplaceable natural resource and destined eventually to pollute the environment.
If you have a garden, why not build a compost heap? If you don’t, where will you put the extra box, to join the black bin, the green bin, the green crate and the green and brown bags?
All of this refuse stuff is the responsibility of North Devon’s Mr Rubbish, Rodney Cann, who also happens to be Ilfracombe’s supposed ambassador. What has he done for Ilfracombe recently? In fact, what has he ever done for Ilfracombe? How often, if ever, has he visited our town. Mr Cann, presumably you wanted this job, so get your finger out and get down to doing it. If you can't do that, then do the decent thing and resign the job.
Last day to register to be eligible to vote in these elections - Monday 22 May
Last day for new applications to vote by post or to change existing absent vote details (eg. cancellation, redirection of ballot papers, etc.) - 5:00pm - Tuesday 23 May
Last day for applications to vote by proxy - 5:00pm - Wednesday 31 May
Last day for notice of appointment of counting agents (and polling agents) - Thursday 1 June
Deadline for notification of appointments of sub agents - Tuesday 6 June
Last day to issue replacement spoilt or lost ballot papers - 5:00pm - Thursday 8 June
Last day for new applications to vote by proxy on grounds of medical emergency or work/study reasons - 5:00pm - Thursday 8 June
Polling day - 7:00am to 10:00pm - Thursday 8 June
Verification of Ballot Papers, Count of Ballot Papers and declaration of results - North Devon Leisure Centre, Barnstaple - 10:00pm until finish - Thursday 8 June