Mel writes regularly for the Mid Devon Advertiser, Dawlish Gazette, Crediton Gazette, Crediton Courier, Okehampton Times, Herald Express and Express and Echo. Some of his articles appear below:-

Latest Articles

  • Mid Devon Advertiser
    13 Jan 2017

    2017 will see key legislation going through Parliament that will directly affect Central Devon. The rollout of superfast broadband remains one of my top priorities in our constituency and the Government has already invested £1.7 billion in broadband nationally with 92% of homes and businesses now able to access superfast speeds - but in Central Devon where sparsity is a key challenge we are dow.... Read more...

  • Mid Devon Advertiser
    06 Jan 2017

    2016 has been a turbulent and unprecedented year for our country. While the Government has been working hard to fulfil its manifesto commitments: raising the tax-free personal allowance to £11,500 from this April (amounting to a tax cut for 31 million people); extending free childcare and sticking to sound economic policies that now see unemployment standing at an 11-year low, it is Brexit that.... Read more...

  • Mid Devon Advertiser
    30 Dec 2016

    I guess we’ve all done it – embraced a heap of New Year’s Resolutions only to let them clatter from our grasp sometime before January was out. This cycle of unrequited ambition follows, of course, in an old and venerable tradition. The Babylonians made promises to the Gods at the start of each year – that they would return that which they had borrowed and satisfy their debts – make peace with t.... Read more...

  • Mid Devon Advertiser
    23 Dec 2016

    Last week I busy right across the constituency. I spent time at Ashburton Library and post office to discuss the vital work that they do to facilitate the paying-in of cash from local businesses – especially important given the town’s loss of her last bank. Ashburton Post Office has become a vigorous and lively hub right at the heart of the community and is an exemplar for what can be achieved .... Read more...

  • Mid Devon Advertiser
    16 Dec 2016

    Central Devon is one of the largest constituencies in the country comprising 125 towns and parishes and I work hard to keep in touch with constituents. Over 200 volunteers deliver my updates door to door at no charge to the taxpayer. I also provide email newsletters - register for these at My favorite way of keeping connected is canv.... Read more...

  • Mid Devon Advertiser
    09 Dec 2016

    His ashes are borne in the red and blue of the flag – glimpsed in silence down a four mile route - the reverse of the trek that he himself had trod 57 years before, in another life when he overthrew Fulgencio Battista to seize for himself and communism the leadership of Cuba. Lining the route was not obligatory but it was firmly encouraged. Raised photographs atop lowered heads - others more in.... Read more...

  • Mid Devon Advertiser
    02 Dec 2016

    Last week I was busy right across our vast constituency. One of the most pressing issues we face in Central Devon is the availability of superfast broadband. So I was delighted to welcome the Minister of State for Digital and Culture, Matt Hancock, to Ilsington, where we both addressed a meeting of representatives from Connecting Dartmoor and Exmoor, the internet business Airband, local council.... Read more...

  • Mid Devon Advertiser
    25 Nov 2016

    One of the greatest issues facing a vast rural constituency like ours is the availability of fast broadband. This is especially critical in rural areas where data connectivity can go at least some way to make up for the lack of other forms of infrastructure - most notably public transport. Whether you are a farmer completing your RPA paperwork, a student enhancing your study or someone wishing .... Read more...

  • Mid Devon Advertiser
    18 Nov 2016

    Last weekend I attended the Remembrance service in Crediton and laid a wreath at the town’s war memorial. As always, I am grateful to the Royal British Legion who, as guardians of Remembrance do such wonderful work in organising these deeply important occasions. I was also pleased to spend time with a new community initiative in Moretonhampstead where local residents have raised the funds to st.... Read more...

  • Mid Devon Advertiser
    11 Nov 2016

    This weekend brings Remembrance Sunday. Every year I attend a service and lay a wreath in one of the larger towns within the consituency. Last year I did so in Ashburton – this weekend I will be in Crediton. There are many war memorials across Central Devon – many in small villages where those that fell in the First World War would have represented a significant proportion of the local communit.... Read more...

  • Mid Devon Advertiser
    04 Nov 2016

    Last week the government announced its decision in favour of the building of a new third runway at London, Heathrow – the first full-length runway to be constructed in the South East of England since the 1940s. The decision is an acceptance of the recommendations of the independent Airports Commission, which looked into various alternatives and concluded that on balance, taking in account the b.... Read more...

  • Mid Devon Advertiser
    28 Oct 2016

    Last week I was out and about our vast constituency with a particular focus on farming. In Zeal Monachorum and up on Dartmoor at Gidleigh Common I listened to and took questions from local farmers. Many have real concerns about their future as a result of the Brexit vote. On the plus side the Government has done exactly the right thing by guaranteeing that direct farm payments – which make up a.... Read more...