Mel and Association members regularly write articles, some of these appear below:-

Latest Articles

  • Author - Mr Melvyn Stride
    17 Apr 2015

    I have lived in Ashburton for a decade. I love our town. It’s traditions, people and sense of community. When a proposed supermarket on our outskirts threatened our town centre I helped fight it off – see my submission to DNP. When our .... Read more...

  • Author - Mr Melvyn Stride
    10 Apr 2015

    This election is the most important in a generation. It can only result in one of two outcomes - David Cameron as Prime Minister or Ed Milliband occupying Number 10 - almost certainly propped up by the Scottish Nationalists sending yet more of our money North of the border. The choice is also between sticking to a successful economic plan or going back to the days of spraying around the cash th.... Read more...

  • Author - Mr Melvyn Stride
    03 Apr 2015

    Thank you

    So, my final column for the Express and Echo prior to the General Election – I hope to be back afterwards (if this paper will have me) but electoral success is never something I have taken for granted. So could I thank all who have read my many columns over the last 5 years and especially thank the many who have written to me in response to them. Regardless of whether yo.... Read more...

  • Author - Mr Melvyn Stride
    26 Sep 2014

    On Thursday I sacrificed a night’s sleep to listen to the Scottish referendum results as they blew through the airwaves and my radio set. It was a surreal experience to sit propped up, in the half-light, on caffeine and adrenaline listening with a terrible fascination to the outcome of ballots in halls, in towns and cities of which I knew but little – knowing that within those early intonations.... Read more...

  • Author - Mr Melvyn Stride
    22 Aug 2014

    Some months ago, during Transport Questions in the Commons I pressed Ministers to visit Okehampton to discuss with local people the arguments for a new railway from Exeter to Plymouth via Okehampton. And last week I was delighted to welcome Rail Minister, Claire Perry MP to our town hall to listen to local views. I am grateful to all who participated but especially to Michael Ireland, the Chair.... Read more...

  • Author - Mr Melvyn Stride
    11 Jul 2014

    Dotted on a cloud I could just make it out. A putting fleck. Next to the sun. There were hundreds of us – each craned skyward. In time, of course, like all waking thoughts, it blurred into shape. Hanging a little fragile in the breeze. Two sets of wings. One up top. The other stubbed out from the belly beneath. The music seemed to crank up as she came more clearly into view. Something classical.... Read more...

  • Author - Mr Melvyn Stride
    20 Jun 2014

    Last week’s Prime Minister’s Questions was studded with references to football – what with the World Cup upon us. The PM kicked off by telling a cheering Commons, “I am sure the whole House will wish to join me in wishing the England football team the very best of British before their first World cup game this Saturday in Brazil.” In the stands behind him the fans went wild.

    Then Labour’....

  • Author - Mr Melvyn Stride
    30 May 2014

    Last weekend I spent an extraordinary morning at the Buckfastleigh steam railway. I have visited many times but this was special – I officially opened their new toilets. And before you scoff my friends – as I know some of you will – let me tell you that this was an occasion of some distinction. Oh yes, mes amis, The Mayor of Buckfastleigh was there. The Deputy Chairman of the County. The Chairm.... Read more...

  • Author - Mr Melvyn Stride
    25 Apr 2014

    Last week’s employment figures were another huge boost to an already booming economy. Unemployment fell to its lowest level for five years and we now have more people in work than at any time in our history – over 30 million people in a job and 1.5 million more in work since the election. And jobs are not just statistics they mean a pay packet and security for our families. I carefully track un.... Read more...

  • Author - Mr Melvyn Stride
    28 Mar 2014

    Last week saw George Osborne’s fourth budget. Unlike the previous couple the Chancellor was able to point to some better than forecast figures. The economy is growing faster at the moment than most were predicting, unemployment continues on a strong downward trend (with an astonishing fall in the number claiming Job Seekers Allowance of 25% over the last year) and more people are in work than a.... Read more...

  • Author - Mr Melvyn Stride
    07 Feb 2014

    I have the privilege to represent one of the most rural constituencies in the country and the only one, to my knowledge, that has no town with a population greater than 10,000. In fact, my largest three towns, Crediton, Bovey Tracey and Okehampton all have fewer than 7,000 residents. Right at the heart of our towns lie our High Streets – the local traders who provide not just the goods and serv.... Read more...

  • Author - Mr Melvyn Stride
    02 Jan 2014

    Before Christmas I met with our Police and Crime Commissioner (‘PCC’) Tony Hogg who was elected around a year ago and also with Shaun Sawyer the Chief Constable for Devon and Cornwall. My main concerns were around achieving value for money (and so keeping our precept charge down) and ensuring that we continue to effectively fight and deter crime.  Nationally crime has been tumbling over the las.... Read more...