'We have to look forward and make Jurassic Centre success it deserves to be'

Visitor centre

Seaton Jurassic Centre - Credit: Submitted

Dear Editor

The East Devon District Conservative Group is very disappointed that the Jurassic Coast Centre in Seaton is now closed, hopefully temporarily, after the operator Devon Wildlife Trust pulled out of the multi award winning site in the middle of September. As with many other venues the Pandemic has led to a huge drop in visitor numbers and is clearly a major factor in this sad decision.

It is difficult to see how an attraction designed around the story of rocks and time can be repurposed for something else, an idea being floated by the current administration. There is no evidence that a change of style would work and continue to draw visitors to Seaton, as was the case previously.

The Seaton Jurassic Centre has still to reach its full potential in telling the story of our planet’s past, especially in educating us on its constantly changing climate with or without human interference. Geologists will tell you, the key to understanding the future is written in the past.

The EDDC Conservative group calls on the leadership at EDDC to look to the future. They should be setting their sights on making this well-loved attraction the success it deserves to be, rather than walking away from the various legacy and educational benefits this site offers.

Paul Arnott, Leader of EDDC, yet again imposes his personal opinions on the residents of Seaton and East Devon, promising to look back rather than forward. He fails to mention the number of awards this important place has been honoured with. Instead he chooses to blame its initial cost and design on alleged flawed judgement by the previous leadership rather than COVID and all the restrictions that has brought.

We strongly believe that with a different management style, even in its present form it can work. As the Tourism and Hospitality sector recovers from the worst ravages of the Covid-19 pandemic, Paul Arnott must take responsibility for the job he has right now.

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The East Devon District Conservative Group


Please support our Hospiscare stall

Honiton Hospiscare Support Group are holding a stall in Lace Walk on Saturday October 16 from 9am to 1pm.
We will be selling a variety of items including jewellery, cakes, marmalade, jam and chutneys. There will also be a tombola.
Please come and support us, we look forward to seeing you.

Sue Gibson (Honiton Hospiscare Support Group).


Flowers, singing and a Full English (with vege options) up for grabs

St John Baptist, in Membury is holding a Harvest Festival Weekend from Friday 15 to Sunday 17. It starts with a concert at 7:30pm on the Friday, featuring the village choir and other entertainers, with refreshments during the interval. No charge, but donations accepted. On Saturday, from 8am – 12noon, Harvest Brunch will be served in the village hall. A full English, with vegetarian options, or take out will be available. Then on Sunday 11am, Harvest Thanksgiving in the church. Throughout the weekend, the church is having a Flower Festival, reflecting the theme of Harvest and Autumn, with displays provided by the school and various groups in the village. All welcome and we look forward to welcoming you.

Sara Cranfield, on behalf of the PCC.


Pandemic will leave lasting legacy of loneliness

Dear Sir,

To mark World Mental Health Day which was held on Sunday October 10, Breast Cancer Now warns loneliness will be a devastating lasting legacy from the COVID-19 pandemic and urges people to reach out for support this Breast Cancer Awareness Monthto help tackle heightened isolation and uncertainty around their diagnosis.

As a Clinical Nurse Specialist on Breast Cancer Now’s Helpline, I’m acutely aware of the shattering impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the emotional wellbeing of people with breast cancer. News of a diagnosis can be a lonely experience, and the pandemic has at times exacerbated this, denying people the chance to be with loved ones.

We’ve seen a sharp rise in calls to our Helpline and emails to our Ask Our Nurses service from people struggling emotionally – many say the loneliness they’ve felt living with breast cancer during the pandemic has been the hardest emotional impact to cope with, and that it’s negatively impacted their mental health.

As many of us look ahead to a ‘new normal’ beyond the pandemic, this World Mental Health Day, we must acknowledge the loneliness legacy facing people who’ve lived with breast cancer through the pandemic and commit to addressing it.

This Breast Cancer Awareness month, we want to remind everyone affected by breast cancer that we’re always with you, in every way we can.

Thanks to support from players of People’s Postcode Lottery, our Online Support Services are one click away for anyone after a breast cancer diagnosis. Whether you’re a younger woman, adjusting to life after treatment, or living with incurable secondary breast cancer, our tailored support provides a confidential, safe space to connect with others and access specialist information.

Find out more about Younger Women Together, Moving Forward, Someone Like Me, and Living With Secondary Breast Cancer at: breastcancernow.org/online-services.

Jane Murphy, Breast Cancer Now Clinical Nurse Specialist


GPs 'working three-day' week is anything but

Dear Editor

In responding to reports  that the “average GP is now working a three-day week” = the  very notion of a ‘part-time ‘ GP is often anything but. The data used in this article actually shows that the average hours worked by a GP in England is around 40 hours per week – the same as most full-time jobs.

“To focus purely on ‘sessions’ is an incredibly crude measure. Each morning or afternoon ‘session’ of work for a GP is defined as four hours and 10 minutes long. In reality, the sheer scale of workload means that both a morning session and an afternoon session often extend well beyond this, which means many GPs in reality work 10 to 12-hour days.   

“When even ‘part-time’ GPs are working at such a pace, it’s clear to see that current levels of workload – made worse by piles of admin and bureaucracy - are not sustainable. By removing some of this unnecessary bureaucracy, GPs would be able to devote more of their working hours to seeing patients who need them.

“GPs who work fewer sessions or hours in practices may well be dedicating time elsewhere in the NHS and wider health system – for example training younger doctors and medical students, working in hospitals or conducting research to ensure better healthcare in the future.

“We should also get away from the idea that working flexibly in itself is a bad thing. There are more women than men working as GPs today, and the fact that general practice offers flexibility that allows people of all backgrounds to balance their GP work with other commitments, such as family and caring responsibilities, should be celebrated and not condemned. Without embracing this, we risk losing these talented clinicians all together and therefore making access and workload problems a lot worse.”

Dr Richard Vautrey, GP, committee chair BMA GP

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