This site uses cookies

General Discussion

BBC Spotlight - Dawlish Councillor Wrigley's dreams of becoming MP for Newton Abbot Constituancy undermined by his own beligerent stance on what he knows is best for Newton Abbot's Queen St


Liberal Democrat Dawlish Councillor and Leader of Teignbridge District Council, Martin Wrigley once again makes an awkward appearance on BBC Spotlight over the controversial changes to Queen St, Newton Abbot.

Changes that his party and the Conservatives desperately want to push through; despite widespread opposition from local traders and residents, despite the absence of any truly democratic and inclusive consultation in the first place.


Rather than showing real leadership attributes and admitting when he and his ruling party have got it terribly wrong, he chooses to blame the lack of consulation on Covid and 'timescales' dictated by Central government in an attempt to cover up his ineptitude.


At least he now admits his administration's consultation was flawed, however this follows 2 years of he and his Lib Dem and Conservative co-Councillors telling everyone that their consultation did represents the views of local people and traders. If you read the local excuse for a newspaper and watch the local news on TV you might recall articles, letters and footage from/of Wrigley, Hook, Bullivant et al adamantly claiming just this.

You only have to engage with the Save Queen St campaign led by the Queen St Residents and Traders Association or view the South Devon Alliance survey to see that the majority of residents and traders in Newton Abbot are against changes that will negatively impact accessibilty and trade in their town.

Yet Wrigley and co. choose not to listen to the likes of David Austin, one of the most successful retailers in Devon. It looks like he will force through these changes, because losing this particular funding (undemocratically ear-marked for Queen St and the Alexandra Theatre) will detrimentally effect his administration's ability to access future funds from the Tories in Central government.


Simultaneously he presents himself as an alternative to the very Tories he is in league with in Teignbridge District Council, Devon County Council and the Conservative government in Westminster who he kow-tows to whenever they

flash the cash. Because he and his Lib Dem colleagues arrogantly believe they know what's best for Newton Abbot, a town the majority of them do not represent.


Every time he appears on Spotlight it's cringeworthy having to listen to his unconvincing spin and delusional thinking.

How he believes he will be elected as our next MP is beyond any rational thinking. Anne-Marie Morris must be thinking she just has to sit tight as her Lib Dem rival further isolates himself from the electorate in Newton abbot Constituency's largest town, namely Newton Abbot!

Clearly Wrigley believes enough voters in Dawlish, Teignmouth and the villages either don't care about residents and traders in Newton Abbot, are blissfully ignorant of this issue and his party's dreadful record in local politics and/or naively still believe Wrigley and Ed Post Office Scandal Davey and the Lib Dems are any different to the Tories.


I imagine the South Devon Alliance will put forward a candidate in the upcoming General Election who will take votes off both the Lib Dems and Tories in Newton Abbot and Kingsteignton, which has been demonstrated in the recent local elections.

Labour are predicted to be a close challenger to the Tories, does that suggest voters in Teignmouth and Dawlish are fed up with Lib Dems and Tories?


Or can Wrigley count on Dawlish as a safe seat because it's always going to be a 'conservative' town and there's very little between the Conservatives and the Lib Dems and where the leadership of short-lived political groupings like Independent Voices for Dawlish were little more than disaffected Lib Dems and friends with Tories like Councillor Bullivant.


I don't understand why anyone would vote Lib Dem or Tory. The austerity measures began in 2010, because the Lib Dems played kingmakers and agreed to form a coalition, which then paved the way for another 9 years of the Tories dismantling the welfare state and chucking a few crumbs to local Councils who can only plug budget deficits by becoming little more than civil servants for Tory MPs and 'yes men' and 'yes women' to corporate property deveoper lobbyist.

And none of the major parties have made any attemtp to adrees corruption and tax evasion by the super rich and multi-nationals.


It's great that Dawlish Ladies' toilets will become a changing place to increase accessibility for those less physically mobile as advocated as Muscular Dystrophy UK, who advise/partner Central Government. But this is a drop in the ocean compared to the cuts affecteing disabled people's income, rights, equality of opportunity, etc, the state of privatized public transport and transport infraestructure and of course the cost of living crisis. So fewer people have money to spend in local towns, or they can't easily get there, or it's easy and cheaper to shop in out of town supermarketsand retail parks or online - which is what is already happening and what the residents and traders in Newton Abbot genuinely fear will be exacerbated under Wrigley and his party's proposals to the detriment of Queen St.

They fear Wrigley's beligerence on the Queen St matter will result in people losing their livelihoods and the evidence from trial closure/restrictions and similar schemes in Paignton, Heavitree and elsewhere prove their concerns are justified.


So if you were considering voting for Wrigley in the General Election this year or the next Devon County Council election in 2025 or even the next Town or District  elections in 2027, or you were considering voting for one of his Lib Dem acolytes such as Dawlish Councillors Dawson, Goodman-Bradbury, Mike James, Foden who all vote along party lines relating and are all complicit in what's happening to Queen St, in a town they do not represent and clearly do not care about, then please do some research. Some of you may have family living and working elsewhere in Teignbridge; the owner of one shop in Newton abbot who will be negatively affected by the Queen St proposals does indeed live in Dawlish.


1 Agree
14 Feb 2024 11:42

The dawlish sheep await the pre election Lib Dem glossy  publication to be told to believe they are the greatest thing since sliced bread. Unfortunately the tories and labour are just the same. Pity there is no ratepayers alliance group that could challenge the" more money for less services "mantra from the political parties. Ir always amuses me that all parties claim how their



Budgets have been cut but are still desperate to get into power. In the real world if you cannot manage the budget you cut your cloth accordingly e.g. possible redundancies, but they all believe that ratepayers have an inexaustable amount of money to pay salaries and gold plated pensions of councillors.....

1 Agree

There's no difference betweenthe Conservatives, Labour and the Liberal Democrats, ideologically we live in a one-party state. It's Neoliberalist whichever candidate you vote for; they're all puppets of corporate interest and the establishment.


We need politicians with integrity, backbone and leadership attributes; who stand up for local people struggling to make ends meet and who put our communities first.

Instead we get the likes of Wrigley who treats Teignbridge like a spreadsheet exercise and thinks the electorate are fools - I means blaming the lack of consultation regarding Queen Street on Covid and timescales that were tapparantly the fault of the Tories in Central government is just plain weak.


During Covid people continued to work, interact, etc using the internet to good effect - Council's continued to meet and 'consult', debate, etc didn't they? Using Zoom, Microsoft Teams, etc He's an app developer- he should know a consultation was feasible.

By that point restrictions had been lifted, in any case. He's lying.


He tried to push through a sham consultation and now he arrogantly believes he can spend £1.45 Million, because he thinks he know best regarding a town which he does not represent as a Councillor.


What exactly does he offer Dawlish, Teignbridge and Devon as a Town, District, and County Councillor?

What could he have to offer were he to become our MP later this year?


Any thoughts on this Dawlish Lib Dem voters?



3 Agrees
Comment Please sign in or sign up to post