Forbidden Religiosity

BY JAMES BEMBRIDGE With the Pope having signed the ‘Sino-Vatican Agreement’ (a treaty which allows the Vatican to appoint Chinese bishops) one could be forgiven for thinking that Christians in Communist China enjoy a kind of freedom only described in the pluralistic Utopian visions of  ‘literal consumerists’ – sorry, communists – like the ridiculous Ash Sarkar. But as with any China counterfeit, this holy bound … Continue reading Forbidden Religiosity

Behaviour Unbefitting

CSM EDITORIAL During Country Squire Magazine’s investigations into malfeasance at Torbay Council, the Squires have encountered shocking evidence which makes even one’s most negative imaginings about councillors and local government seem saintly compared to the tawdry reality. At times we have been left asking the question, who on earth would want to be a local councillor?  It seems that across the UK there are too … Continue reading Behaviour Unbefitting

Dear Editor, Re: Torbay

Dear Readers of Country Squire Magazine, we rarely publish letters from members of the public but this one below from Dr Helen Boyles fits in well with our campaign related to Torbay Council, which can be read about here. In short, we’re involved with this issue as we see this council, among many, ignoring local wishes and ploughing up the Great British Countryside. We are … Continue reading Dear Editor, Re: Torbay

The Care Village Con Part I

BY NICK GRANGER Living out our last days in a residential care home is a prospect that few of us would relish. In 2014 the Burstow Commission called such homes “islands of misery”. The finances of such places also tend to be iffy and administrators are forever being called in or staved off – one of Britain’s biggest providers, Four Seasons, is a case in … Continue reading The Care Village Con Part I

The Care Village Con Part 2

BY NICK GRANGER Did you know that with the care village model the biggest profit is taken by the developer/financier? This is why many of these large-scale care villages run into financial difficulties at a later date requiring a bailout by the local authority, which means by YOU, the Council Tax payer. How does this play out? The developer sets up a shell company, Company … Continue reading The Care Village Con Part 2

Legal & General Risk All

BY NICK GRANGER When last August Legal & General announced its establishment of Inspired Villages Group, formed out of English Care Villages, a developer of later living accommodation, business people everywhere could see the logic in the fit. L&G’s life business is already heavily targeted at the third generation. Why not close off the loop and claw back great chunks of pension and annuity pay-outs … Continue reading Legal & General Risk All

Council Traumatises Whole Neighbourhood

CSM EDITORIAL When a Local Council is fair and consistent with its planning decisions, those who are turned down can accept its decisions in the hope that the Council is making the correct decision in the best interests of the area. When a Local Council is inconsistent to the point of appearing incompetent or corrupt with its planning decisions then neighbourhoods become divided places, the … Continue reading Council Traumatises Whole Neighbourhood

British Soldier Witch Hunt Must End

CSM EDITORIAL A former British Army officer said he is “broken” after learning he is being investigated for the eighth time over the death of an Iraqi teenager 15 years ago. News that Major Robert Campbell, of the Royal Engineers, will face another official inquiry – the eighth – into his conduct in 2003 following the death of 19-year-old Said Shabram, is deeply worrying. Major … Continue reading British Soldier Witch Hunt Must End

Sir John Moore Barracks

CSM EDITORIAL Copthorne Barracks is a British Army military installation in Copthorne, a suburb of Shrewsbury in Shropshire. The barracks were built between 1877 and 1881 and initially included a hospital, married quarters, stabling and stores. Their creation took place as part of the Cardwell Reforms which encouraged the localisation of British military forces. The barracks became the depot for the 43rd (Monmouthshire) Regiment of … Continue reading Sir John Moore Barracks

No Walk in the Park for L&G

CSM EDITORIAL Local residents of Maidencombe, a rural community that is part of Torquay, are justified in raising their concerns about the re-emergence of plans to build a Las Vegas style complex of buildings on Sladnor Park, an oasis of nature.  History looks set to repeat itself as Keith Cockell and his latest retirement village platform, “Inspired Villages”, try once again to deliver his dream … Continue reading No Walk in the Park for L&G

The Torquay Pavilion Storm

CSM EDITORIAL Torquay has been a turbulent place of late, politically at least. Whether it’s alleged conflicts of interest or repeating votes of no confidence in elected officials based in the area, or planning bodies who run roughshod over wishes of local residents and ward councillors, one would wonder what advantages there are to a person, or their loved ones, in stepping up to get … Continue reading The Torquay Pavilion Storm

Is Torbay Council “Corrupt”?

CSM EDITORIAL Every now and again, an article inspires readers to get in touch with a nugget of a story. This happened over Christmas time following our two articles about Torbay Council here and here. The Country Squires were pointed to an article one reader had prepared in connection with the dubious approval of a proposed major planning development in the heart of Torquay, and … Continue reading Is Torbay Council “Corrupt”?

No Room at The Inn

BY MANDY BALDWIN The upright and righteous of Stoke-on-Trent have hit on a plan to rid their streets of the non-people who offend those scurrying to buy lush food and glittery objects to celebrate the birth of a baby in a stable. Seventeen people, you see, are ruining the town for everyone by existing and erecting small pop-up tents as shelter against the harshest winter … Continue reading No Room at The Inn

The Battle of Biggin Hill

BY MANDY BALDWIN In 1943, some immensely brave young men, none of whom knew if they would see the next sunrise, built a chapel out of prefabricated huts, and it was dedicated on the anniversary of the Battle of Britain, 15th September, 1943.  Three years later, having survived the war, it burned down.  With money in short supply, and greatly distressed, Winston Churchill set about … Continue reading The Battle of Biggin Hill

CLA 5 Point Plan For Fly Tipping

CSM EDITORIAL The CLA (Country Land and Business Association Limited) is the membership organisation for owners of land, property and businesses in rural England and Wales. They have been safeguarding the interests of landowners, and those with an economic, social and environmental interest in rural land for more than 100 years. CLA members own or manage around half the rural land in England and Wales … Continue reading CLA 5 Point Plan For Fly Tipping

English Seaside Project Interview

BY DOMINIC WIGHTMAN Last Wednesday, after a steak and chips in Eastbourne with my accountant, I was due in 1066 country in East Sussex to interview Country Squire’s writer Mandy Baldwin. I wound my way through tiny country lanes until I found a dirt track to a campsite, which was located amidst an old copse on the side of a hill from which there are … Continue reading English Seaside Project Interview

The English Seaside Project

BY MANDY BALDWIN I’d bet my flip-flops and tonight’s sausages, none of the regulars at Country Squire Magazine have ever donned a blue and white wimple – no, not even the ones who attended excellent schools – but Mother Theresas come in all shapes and sizes, and CSM most definitely saved my bacon, and my marbles, to whatever extent they have been saved. It had … Continue reading The English Seaside Project

Rural Homelessness Underestimated

CSM EDITORIAL People are sleeping rough in parked cars and barns in the countryside because the stigma attached to homelessness in rural areas is “much stronger” than in cities, a new report says. According to a study by the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) think tank, the “hidden crisis” of homeless people in England’s countryside is being “underestimated” as people bed down away from … Continue reading Rural Homelessness Underestimated

The Hidden Rural Homeless

BY DOMINIC WIGHTMAN According to the homeless charity Crisis, last year 57, 740 households were accepted as homeless in England. In Scotland, 28,226 applications were assessed as homeless and in Wales 7,128 households were threatened with homelessness. Homeless people are over nine times more likely to take their own life than the general population. On average, homeless people in the UK die at just 47 … Continue reading The Hidden Rural Homeless