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Tony Allen

TONY ALLEN’S COLUMN “COMMUNITY MATTERS”

Tue 9 Nov 2021

By Tony Allen

ARE YOU AS CONFUSED AS THE REST OF US?

What’s going on in the public arena right now is likely to affect all of us in our community in one way or another, so as a fellow citizen I’ve decided to discuss it in my column this time around. You may support what’s being highlighted, or not, as the case  may be.

Were you one of those queuing, perhaps unsuccessfully, a few days ago (early October as I write this article) for petrol or diesel at a local filling station? Have you been shopping and found a number of products you wanted and regularly use missing from the shelves in the shops or supermarkets? Are you happy to hear that our farmers are having to slaughter piglets in the fields? Are you alarmed that the provisions and presents you need for Christmas may not be available? I guess the queues and panic buying might be a give-away answer!

The politicians, and I really mean the Government, have been giving all sorts of reasons for the above problems, and it seems that our Prime Minister considers they are a good thing, as it all shows we should be building for a new, high employment, high pay economy. It appears that the employers and businesses are to blame for not making those jobs, that so many don’t want to fill, more attractive with good training and better facilities. It seems we all got used to a low pay economy where foreign (mainly Eastern European) workers could be brought in where and when required to get the jobs done. Is it not the truth that no one else wanted or wants to do them? What do you feel about that? You must make up your own minds of course. The economy is complex with many interlinked facets, all of which need commitment and great attention given to them. Magic wands can’t be waved to make it all alright. Are you as confused as the rest of us in seeing how such big changes can be made to happen without creating a lot of grief across the country? I leave it to you to ponder whether this is going to take us in the right direction or not, as this will affect all of us.

LEVELLING-UP……….

What does this mean for our community? The people in the north of England are still waiting to see some benefit from this announced strategy by the Government. Other parts of the country, including the poorer parts of London, are waiting to see if it will apply to them too. That includes us here in Devon. Mr Gove has been appointed to make levelling-up happen, whatever it is. Do you see whether the increases in National Insurance, energy costs and shop prices, along with the dropping of Universal Credit for those who desperately need it, are going to help the so-called “left-out” areas of the country? I really can’t see it. As of now, nobody seems to have a handle on what is going on. Serious but as yet unknown knock-on implications may be headed our way. Do you feel it will all be worth it?

POST-LOCKDOWN ISSUE - PROPERTY FOR LOCALS IN SHORT SUPPLY…………

This is something that is likely to change the make-up of our communities. As a result of the pandemic, the housing situation is being made worse as many no longer want to live in crowded cities and wish to avoid the costs of commuting to work. Many have been snapping up all available property, some to move to, others to convert into holiday lets and B&Bs. It seems tenants have even been forced to leave their rented homes for these purposes. Perhaps the cutting of Stamp Duty during the pandemic has had unexpected consequences!

The result is that there is nowhere available within the price ranges that younger families starting out can afford, meaning many are unable to contemplate living in their home areas, which is really quite shocking. Teignbridge District and Devon County Councils have both

sought solutions to this for some time. However, houses generally get sold to the highest bidder not to those most needy, which is part of the problem. An insoluble issue it seems!

GOOD NEWS WITH SPORTING SUCCESSES…………

Changing tack, this is something that is very pleasing indeed. You don’t have to be a tennis fan to recognise the amazing success of Emma Raducanu in winning the Women’s Open Tennis Championship in the United States. This really has lifted us all during these difficult times. This young lady should have a fantastic tennis career ahead of her.

In fact, our female teams and competitors are showing more and more success across many sports. Heather Knight and the England women’s cricket team have had a fantastic season against New Zealand and India, with individual excellent performances in the new Hundred (which I mentioned last time). It was the same with the Olympics and the Paralympics, where records have been broken and medals won. I include our male competitors in this as well of course. The women are growing their representation and success in the football and rugby worlds too, and I am pleased to see locally that we now have a women’s team at Liverton playing in the South-Western Football League. Good luck to them.

I do hope that all children of school age in our local communities get the opportunities to play sport of some sort, as this not only helps keep them fit, learn about teamwork, and build personal confidence, but can give them an interest or pastime that will stay with them well into their adult lives.  

AS USUAL SOME JOKES TO END WITH ………

Barry’s son was caught sniffing Tippex. He’s been sent away to a correction centre.

Last night I saw an advert for the new James Bond film. It said it was “coming to a cinema near you.” I’m worried about this. How the hell do these people know where I live?

For years Vera has been saying that 40 is the new 30. And that is the reason she’s now banned from driving.

The Smiths are an American family with a heritage going back to the Mayflower. They employ an author to write the family history but there is just one problem. The black sheep of the family, Uncle George, was executed in the electric chair. The author says he will mention George but find a way to do it tactfully When the book comes out it says, “Uncle George occupied a chair of applied electronics at an important government institution. He was attached to his position by the strangest of ties and his death was a tremendous shock.”.

They say an apple a day keeps the doctor away, and an onion a day makes sure you don’t get bothered by anyone else either.

Mike was in the military and survived assault by mustard gas and pepper spray. He’s now known as a seasoned veteran.

A fearsome sergeant major one day asks one of his soldiers, “I suppose when I die, you’ll want to come and dance on my grave.” “Certainly not,” says the soldier, “once I get out of here, I’ve sworn never to stand in another queue again!”

I got a phone call from my utility company to tell me my bill was outstanding. I said, “That’s nice of you to say! Thanks very much!” and hung up.

Tony Allen is a Bovey Tracey Town Councillor. This column is written in a personal capacity and not on behalf of any group or organisation. The jokes are all in the public domain, so you may have seen some or all before! If you’d like to contact me about my column, please do so via the Cottage Magazine website: www.cottagemagazine.co.uk.



Other columns by Tony Allen

TONY ALLEN’S COLUMN “COMMUNITY MATTERS” GETTING INVOLVED WITH YOUR LOCAL COUNCIL - Mon 2 Aug 2021
TONY ALLEN’S COLUMN “COMMUNITY MATTERS” BOVEY THANKS VOLUNTEERS & “LIFELINE” SHOPS - Mon 14 Jun 2021
TONY ALLEN’S COLUMN “COMMUNITY MATTERS” BREATHS OF FRESH AIR ALL AROUND - Tue 7 Jul 2020
TONY ALLEN’S COLUMN “COMMUNITY MATTERS” COMMUNITY COHESION………………… - Tue 11 Feb 2020
CLIMATE ACTION: WHERE DO YOU START?.......... - Mon 2 Dec 2019
WHAT’S BEEN GOING ON IN OUR LOCAL COUNCILS…? - Thu 1 Aug 2019
BOVEY TRACEY ACHIEVES “PLASTIC FREE” STATUS........... - Fri 3 May 2019
IDEAS & SUGGESTIONS FOR THE FUTURE........ - Thu 24 Jan 2019
COMMUNITY MATTERS - “PLASTIC FREE BOVEY”, RARE PRAISE, ELECTIONS - Thu 8 Nov 2018
Young people in the community - Thu 15 May 2014
Moving Bovey Tracey forward - Tue 4 Mar 2014
Is Bovey Tracey too shabby and run down to attract visitors? - Mon 9 Sep 2013
A public consultation should be just that - Mon 11 Mar 2013
Athletes, young people and rural watch - Tue 13 Nov 2012
Bovey Beats Most Of The Summer Weather - Wed 5 Sep 2012
What sort of Town do you want Bovey to be? - Sun 1 Jul 2012
Awards, Traffic, Policing & another Top Shop! - Thu 3 May 2012
GOOD NEWS, SPECULATION, AND MORE GOOD NEWS - Thu 5 Jan 2012
RUBBISH, SPEED, LIGHTS OUT, BADGERS and more! - Mon 7 Nov 2011
Newspapers, Tragedy, Cheques and MORE! - Sun 11 Sep 2011
Community Matters - Mon 11 Jul 2011
Growth of Neighbourhood Watch In Bovey Tracey - Tue 3 May 2011
Which would you rather have: A PC (Police Commissioner) OR Several PCs (Police Constables)? - Thu 10 Mar 2011
Helping Ourselves In Time Of Austerity - Sun 9 Jan 2011
Security in the current Economic Climate - Thu 4 Nov 2010
Security Matters - Spelling it Out - Mon 6 Sep 2010
The Ultimate Deterrent or Not - Tue 6 Jul 2010
NHS Summary Care Records  Will Your Personal Health Information Be Secure? - Mon 3 May 2010
Social Networking - A risk or a good thing? - Sun 28 Feb 2010
Security Matters - Back to Basics! - Thu 3 Dec 2009
Security matters - are you being conned? - Wed 4 Nov 2009
Security matters - ID cards and hotel key cards - Wed 4 Nov 2009
Security matters - Personal security - Wed 4 Nov 2009
Security Matters - Who owns your identity? - Wed 4 Nov 2009
Security Matters - Victim of crime - need help? - Wed 4 Nov 2009


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