How much longer will this be allowed to continue? How many times will it recur this winter?
For the first time that I can recall, every constituency in the South West bar one has returned an MP from the governing party. As a group, they are in a unique position to put pressure on the government to rectify the historic underfunding that our region has suffered in health, education, transport, to name but three. And yet, what do they do? At every opportunity, they troop into the government lobby like a herd of sheep.
Of course, it is right that, as Conservatives, they stick to Conservative principles, but there is nothing in Conservatism that says that North Devon should be underfunded compared to similar regions.
There is nothing in Conservatism that says that the spend on transport in our region should be around one third the average in England.
There is nothing in Conservatism that says that our children should have less spent on their education than those elsewhere in the land.
There is nothing in Conservatism that says that our health services should be underfunded until they are on the brink of disaster, nor that our transport services should be underfunded so that they are over that brink.
They do, therefore, need to remember that they are in parliament as representatives of their constituencies, not as representatives of the Conservative party.
Let me tell them something. The wonderful people with whom we share this beautiful region are loyal to those who are loyal to us, but we have long memories and are unforgiving of those who betray that trust.
Understand that I am not attacking Conservatives or even the government. I simply feel that they have their priorities completely wrong, and I urge you all, Conservatives included, to pass on this message.
The High Street lights are looking better, but there is still much more to do. Fortunately, we are accumulating funds and I expect that next year’s light will be an order of magnitude better.
The event as a whole went very well, although inevitably there were a few things that could be improved. I am sure next year’s event will be even better.
At the beginning of this blog, I mentioned the fantastic food we have here, including the cheese. I really love cheese. There is little better than a mature West Country cheddar – you can, and I do, eat it raw, you can melt it and you can cook with it. The Cheddar Gorge Cheese Company (http://www.cheddargorgecheeseco.co.uk/) use their own cheddar to make and sell the best cheese straws I have ever had, other than, of course, those my mother used to bake. I'm not so fond of most goat’s cheese and I find Roquefort a bit too salty, but that still leaves loads. Many years ago, General de Gaulle was quoted as asking how anyone could possibly govern a country that produced 246 different cheeses, referring, of course, to France. That made me wonder how many cheeses Britain produces. Well, I am not sure how to find out, although I strongly suspect it is more than 246. However, there is an on-line shop selling only West Country cheeses – The Cheese Shed (http://www.thecheeseshed.com/), and I did a quick count. They list 119 cheeses. There are cheeses there that can compete with the best in the world, and cheeses which emulate the very best of France, plus many unique to our region.
Of course, we in Ilfracombe don’t need to stray that far for most of our cheesy needs. Turtons sell a good range of basic cheeses, while the Deli on the High Street and the Harbour Deli both sell some more exotic ones. However, if you want to see the enormous range we have here in the West, take a look at the Cheese Shed!
Lies, damned lies and NEW Clinical Commissioning Group. It would appear that SOHS are being blamed by the CCG because a would be Paediatrician declined the post because of the SOHS Campaign! It couldn't possibly be that it was because there was NO FUTURE for a Paediatrician in the first (and leaked) STP strategy, could it?
Good to see that North Devon District Council have a quarter of a million pounds to give to Barnstaple Museum. I wonder if this demonstrates a new-found interest in museums and, if so, what will they bestow upon Ilfracombe Museum. Their attitude towards Ilfracombe Museum in the past has been somewhat less than supportive.
Don’t forget to go to A Christmas Carol at the Landmark this week. On from Wednesday to Saturday, and my guess is that it will be well worth seeing.
And finally, back to Christmas. For children of all ages, Santa will be travelling around town from next week. Assuming no weather or other problems, he will be around in the late afternoon/early evening on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday each week leading up to Christmas. Take a look at the Facebook page Santa visits Ilfracombe for up to date information.