Rick Heyse - Radical Rants

Thoughts of a green thinking social liberal activist  


Radical Rants

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Paul Raybould 1963 - 2019 - R.I.P Remould

Posted by [email protected] on March 28, 2019 at 2:05 PM

Paul Raybould 1963-2019

Its been a difficult week for me after hearing of the death of my good friend and local trade unionist, Paul Raybould, hence why it’s taken me this long to write something. For many he across South Devon he was Mr. Trades Council or Mr. GMB, such was his dedication to the trade union cause. But beyond that to me Paul was just Paul, a very good friend and the type of guy you would want in your corner when the chips are down.

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A Jewel saved, now lets make it shine

Posted by [email protected] on March 12, 2019 at 6:10 AM

Torquay’s Pavilion being saved from development is a massive victory for the power of the community. It shows the Bay will not be in the pockets of developers but actually come together to protect what are in effect jewels in its crown.

But what of its future? The Pavilion itself does need specialist work, so a source of funding has to be found or a major heritage organisation move in to take a lead in remedial work. But here again I raise the question of a partnershi...

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We should be investing locally

Posted by [email protected] on March 12, 2019 at 5:55 AM

So, Torbay’s Conservative council, with the help of some so called ‘independent allies’ has chosen to invest in a pasty factory in Kernow and an Amazon warehouse in Exeter, whilst here in Torbay we are crying out for investment and for regeneration to bring long term employment opportunities with decent working conditions and pay. I’m also concerned at why they considered investing in Amazon, a company which has a list of allegations against it for the way it treats it...

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Where is Paignton's new Health Hub?

Posted by [email protected] on January 19, 2019 at 7:30 AM

When Paignton Town Hospital closed in 2017, the town was promised a new medical hub. Since then, things have gone very quiet, with hardly a whisper of a bright new beginning for health care in the town. In fact, facilities for Devon’s fourth largest town with a population of 49,021 do not even include an x-ray department or minor injury unit. At the same time the convalescence beds lost when Paignton Hospital closed, has increased the burden on Torbay Hospital and local care homes, some...

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Paddy Ashdown R.I.P

Posted by [email protected] on December 23, 2018 at 7:05 AM

I was deeply saddened to hear yesterday, of the loss of former Liberal Democrat leader, Paddy Ashdown.

Paddy was never my party leader, and to be honest at the time I had a number of differences of opinion with his views. I also only met him once, very briefly when handing out an anti-racist leaflet at the Lib Dem conference in Torquay. This was at the time of accusations of a racist attitude within the party in Tower Hamlets. He took the leaflet, looked at it as he walked away, turned ...

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Speeding is Beyond the Limit

Posted by [email protected] on December 23, 2018 at 6:05 AM

I have been busy in recent months, trundling the streets of Paignton’s Goodrington with Roselands ward and speaking to local residents. There is certainly a wide variety of issues which concern local residents. Many are still outraged at a waste collection service which, despite assurances from Torbay’s Conservative administration is still facing problems. Others with young families in rented accommodation fear the impact the introduction Universal Credit shall bring. Some residen...

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Paignton Town Centre - Time to Demand Better

Posted by [email protected] on September 24, 2018 at 11:35 AM

The figures don’t lie, and Paignton as the poor relation of the Bay’s towns is apparent when you look at the investment placed in its neighbours. Figures show £161 per head in Torquay, in excess of £1200 per head in Brixham, whilst Paignton lags behind with a mere £12 per head. I am not suggesting investment in Torquay and Brixham is wrong, far from it, but what I am suggesting is that Paignton deserves its fair slice of the cake and not simply the crumbs.

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There can be no papering over cracks in preventing crime

Posted by [email protected] on September 9, 2018 at 4:55 AM

When a large crack appears on a building it is normally a sign of some serious structural fault. Papering or painting over the crack might make a cosmetic difference but it does not resolve the underlying problem.


Policing and crime can be viewed in a similar way. Cracks have appeared as the number of police officers and PCSO’s has significantly fallen. Since 2010 figures show the force has lost one in every six of its officers, a reduction of 17% in less than a decad...

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Honoured to be selected for Goodrington with Roselands

Posted by [email protected] on September 8, 2018 at 8:00 AM

I am honoured to have been selected as prospective Liberal Democrat candidate for Goodrington with Roselands, and to stand alongside our branch Chair Lee Howgate. Together I am certain we will make a great team and if elected hard working representatives for the ward.


There are challenges in Goodrington with Roselands, just as there are across the whole of Paignton and Torbay. Insufficient police and PCSO numbers, concerns over health and social care and affordable housing ...

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Calling time on Crossways and Council

Posted by [email protected] on August 18, 2018 at 8:15 AM

Yesterday afternoon myself and other Liberal Democrats met at Paignton's almost abandoned Crossways Shopping Centre. Apart from a few shops at the Hyde Road end, the remaining units were all empty becoming a virtual blank canvas for graffiti and fly-posting. Even the car park above the centre has a run down appearance, yet apparently it still provides a reasonable income for the owner of this failed 1960's experiment!

When you consider Crossways is in the heart of Paignton,...

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Lib Dem councillor calls for change to end litany of failures

Posted by [email protected] on July 28, 2018 at 7:35 AM

Below is an excellent letter from Swithin Long, Liberal Democrat councillor for Barton & Watcombe. I have lived in Torbay since 1989, and have seen Torbay slowly decay. For the vast majority of that time the Bay has had a Conservative administration, so therefore it can be argued they have created and managed that decay. The question we have to ask is what type of Torbay do we want future generations to inherit - one of constant managed decline, or one which values people, values the loca...

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Lib Dem group leader speaks out on police cuts

Posted by [email protected] on July 17, 2018 at 12:10 AM

Below is a statement from Steve Darling, the Liberal Democrat group leader on Torbay Council.

It was welcome news that Devon & Cornwall Police are to ensure that Torbay has a stronger voice by being part of a basic command unit, however, with an 80% reduction on the number of PCSOs from 25 to just five in Torquay it is boots on the ground that many residenst would be happier to see.

The National Police Inspectorate describe community policin...

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A crossroads of opportunity for Oldway and Tor2

Posted by [email protected] on June 23, 2018 at 5:15 AM

Some important decisions on the future of Torbay have been made by Torbay Council this week, namely on the future of Oldway and the opening of discussions on the acquisition of Kier's shareholding in Tor2. I'm delighted at these bold steps being made, but I do see this placing Torbay at a crossroads, one which could fully engage sections of the community.

As I said in a previous

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Oldway does have a future

Posted by [email protected] on June 15, 2018 at 11:05 AM

When I was communications Officer for Torbay & South Devon TUC, I penned the name 'Gordon The Dictator' to describe the Bay's mayor Gordon Oliver. His decision to overrule what appears to be a perfectly good plan to renovate Paignton's Oldway Mansion and bring it back into use demonstrates that whilst 'Gordon The Dictator' is alive and well, democracy in Torbay is sadly dying.

As far as I am aware, Oldway Mansion was left to the people of Paignton, not Mr. Oliver, and i...

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Development of Paignton's 'community' harbour needs community involvement

Posted by [email protected] on June 2, 2018 at 6:25 AM

I walked down to Paignton harbour with my wife on Saturday morning as she was gig rowing. As I sat having a coffee I was watching people tending their small fishing boats and pleasure craft as well as the rowers preparing their gig. Small businesses were opening and locals, visitors and four legged friends were enjoying a morning stroll. All this emphasised that this quaint, much loved corner of Paignton is a community harbour and asset.

This is why it frustrates me that Tor...

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Change is not easy to take but is sometimes necessary

Posted by [email protected] on June 2, 2018 at 5:55 AM

There is a great deal of concern been raised over Paignton's proposed Park Hotel development. In one respect it does show people care about the town and its heritage. But I also feel there is a sense of emotion which can sometimes outbalance reality.

I spent an hour at the exhibition for the proposed development with my eldest son Dan, in which we raised a number of practical concerns over flooding, parking, impact on the local area and even low wages which unfortunately are...

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Cost efective localisation should not be kicked into the long grass

Posted by [email protected] on May 12, 2018 at 12:55 AM

A couple of years ago I drafted a pamphlet on the 'Localisation of Society'. Amongst other things it looked at restructuring basic local services, making them the responsibility of Town Councils and representative of local communities. My ideas were based on the assumption localised employment reduces travel, therefore it is better for the environment, and if people were carrying out maintenance tasks within their own neighbourhoods it would increase a sense of local pride.

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We need some political fresh air

Posted by [email protected] on May 11, 2018 at 11:45 AM

The old saying 'A week in politics is a long time' is definitely true, and the month of events since my last blog posting has been eventful to say the least.

First we have the anti-Semitism row with the Labour Party. I do not believe Jeremy Corbyn is an anti-Semite, and I actually applaud his lifelong opposition to racism. But like it or not Corbyn is heavily involved in the Palestinian cause, and within a campaign which is generally well meaning there are those that oppose...

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A reasoned response to Syria

Posted by [email protected] on April 13, 2018 at 5:05 PM

Liberal Democrat leader, Vince Cable, has outlined certain 'tests' the government should reach before a decision is made on what action to take on the alleged chemical weapons attack in Syria. In his statement the Lib Dem leader said

"Firstly, in advance of any debate or vote, the Government should share with Parliament what evidence it has of the Syrian Government’s involvement, and that of their Russian backers, in last weekend’s attack.

Secondly, the Go...

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Seeds were sown for London violence

Posted by [email protected] on April 7, 2018 at 4:10 AM

Its tragic that so many young people have lost their lives or have been injured in the recent spate of stabbings and shootings in London. Families and friends have lost loved ones whilst others live in fear that their child, although not directly involved in the gang wars which are festering, maybe in the wrong place at the wrong time. But we have to remember these things don't just happen. Nobody is born into this world as a gangster or a drug dealer, the conditions have to be created. What ...

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