Rick Heyse - Radical Rants

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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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Distributism can deliver

Posted by [email protected] on March 30, 2018 at 12:50 AM

“The Liberal Democrats exist to build and safeguard a fair, free and open society, in which we seek to balance the fundamental values of liberty, equality and community, and in which no one shall be enslaved by poverty, ignorance or conformity”.


The Preamble of the Liberal Democrats members may very well be familiar with. However are we also confident the type of society we wish to build, as described in the Preamble, can be created through unrestrained capitali...

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Farage far from the long term interests of Britain's fishing industry

Posted by [email protected] on March 24, 2018 at 8:25 AM

The sight of former UKIP leader Nigel Farage dumping fish in the River Thames is a typical ploy from a politician that cares about making headlines but little of those he is making headlines about. What Farage was basically doing was another display of self publicity and climbing on the back of Britain's fishermen to inflate his already substantial ego.


The thing is Brexit will not offer a deal which will create a sustainable fishing industry. If the government decides to op...

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We still need a register of rented housing rogues

Posted by [email protected] on March 20, 2018 at 1:15 PM

When I was Chair of the St.Michael's Community Association (SMCA) in Paignton, a number of cases concerning what are commonly called 'rogue landlords' was brought to my attention. The whole purpose of the SMCA in those days was to be a campaigning organisation to campaign and represent the interests of residents in one of the most deprived areas of Paignton. Housing was therefor a major issue which seemed to be raised at a number of meetings.


The growing number of 'Rogue Lan...

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Why are unions letting down thousands of workers?

Posted by [email protected] on March 19, 2018 at 5:55 AM

I am a member of the GMB Trade Union and a former officer of Torbay & South Devon TUC. However I am growing increasingly dissatisfied, not only with the GMB, but with the wider trade union movement. To me they are now far from evolving organisations embracing new green industries and representing all workers, instead appearing as something very much stuck in the past.


Let's look at this from my own position. I am self employed, I do not owe vast sums of money and my inco...

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Fake homelessness does not hide fake need

Posted by [email protected] on March 3, 2018 at 6:35 AM

Torbay has had some pretty poor publicity lately regarding homelessness. It's also come into some harsh criticism from many quarters for vigilante groups who aim to photograph and expose the Bay's alleged 'fake homeless' population. I am not going to deny, there are some people that are not homeless who actaully claim to be homeless and carry out begging in our town centres. But although these people may not be homeless, they are in desperate need of help.


Nobody leaves scho...

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Environmentally unfriendly recycling by Tor2

Posted by [email protected] on March 3, 2018 at 5:25 AM

Take a walk or a drive along any road in Torbay and you will come across litter. Whilst some may be from a tiny minority of unscrupulous residents, I'm sure the majority has come from the very inefficient recyclable wate collection service put in place by Tor2. I notice it most days our recycling boxes are emptied, waste will sometimes blow from them before they reach the lorry, other times it may accidently fall from the boxes or hands of the collectors as it is placed in the lorry. On many ...

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Why I'm with the Liberal Democrats

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

My decision to join the Liberal Democrats was not a quick or easy decision to make, and came after several months careful consideration. At the announcement of the 2017 General Election, I had hoped Torbay, at the time a marginal Tory constituency, would be one where progressive parties would put differences to one side to oust the sitting MP, Kevin Foster. I made a case for this in writing to Torbay Green Party of which I was a member. This was considered but wholeheartedly rejected by the m...

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The people say "Save Our NHS"

Posted by [email protected] on February 4, 2018 at 7:55 AM

Yesterday saw mass demonstrations across the country as people joined protests to voice their concerns at what is happening to our NHS. Though protests don't solve anything, they can demonstrate the depth of people's feelings. The poll tax was a classic example of this. The key thing about yesterday was it was not attended simply by politicos but by large sections of the general public and voters from all political strains.


The NHS does need immediate investment, and this ha...

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Facing the oncoming storm of increased automation

Posted by [email protected] on February 4, 2018 at 7:40 AM

I'm a subscriber to the excellent social liberal journal Liberator. The opening commentary in the latest issue is titled 'Do Keep Up' and hits upon one of the most important issues, that being increased automation. Like it or not this is something we will have to deal with in the coming years and it will not be easy or pretty. However we cannot simply ignore the issue or make decisions which will have a detrimental effect on the people or the economy.

 

All political par...

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Are we heading towards discriminating against a pretty face?

Posted by [email protected] on February 4, 2018 at 6:55 AM

I am a big motorsport fan, and during the past week Formula 1 and the decision to remove grid girls has hit the headlines. I'm someone that is fundamentally opposed to all forms of discrimination and exploitation. But I am also a bit of a pragmatist, and I am beginning to fear we are stepping towards a world of fascist tendencies in what is deemed acceptable and what is not. I am not going to delve into the realms of political correctness, as this is something I largely support, but I do feel...

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