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
    02 Jan 2019

    News is not news unless it is sensationalist, grim, shocking , critical, divisive or perhaps all of the aforementioned. I exaggerate of course but not by much. We tend to be fed and it has to be said tend to demand a diet of doom in our news feeds. A traffic accident half way around the world trumps someone closer to home who might have done some especially good deed. You see, nice does not cut.... Read more...

  • Mid Devon Advertiser
    16 Dec 2018

    Last week I spent time catching up on our local hospitals. I touched base with Sarah Parker-Khan, the Chair of the Leagu.... Read more...

  • Mid Devon Advertiser
    09 Dec 2018

    Last week I was flat out across the constituency – it takes over an hour to drive from one side to the other; 550 sq. miles in total and the only constituency in the country with no conurbation with a population of 10,000 or more – Central Devon’s largest towns are around 7,000 population and include Bovey Tracey, Ashburton, Okehampton and Crediton. Half of Dartmoor National Park lies within it.... Read more...

  • Mid Devon Advertiser
    10 Aug 2018

    We are all indebted to those who work so hard in the public sector. Our teachers, nurses, paramedics, police, armed forces to name a few. Since the crash of 2008 our public finances have been under huge pressure as we have worked to reduce the deficit and put the country back on a sound footing. This has been a significant yet vital challenge with levels of national debt (now at around £27,000 .... Read more...

  • Mid Devon Advertiser
    03 Aug 2018

    Weather and Climate

    At the time of writing we are on the verge of seeing UK temperatures break their all time record for July. Expecting around 38.5 degrees – that’s hot. In Greece where temperatures have recently reached as high as 40 degrees we have seen the extraordinarily distressing sights of the fires around Athens that have so far claimed over 80 lives. High winds which ofte.... Read more...

  • Mid Devon Advertiser
    27 Jul 2018

    Parliament has finally arrived at the end of July and recess. It has been hot. The lack of rain and a muggy sun reduced most of us, as we scuttled around the airless corridors to feeling distinctly sticky. The business during the penultimate week was critical for both government and country. Getting the customs bill which I piloted through the Commons completed on Monday and the trade bill whic.... Read more...

  • Mid Devon Advertiser
    20 Jul 2018

    Last week I was out and about right across our vast constituency – it takes over an hour to drive from one side to the other. In Lapford I met up with Claire Wilmott Head Teacher at the local primary. We toured this happy school and discussed a number of issues including the need for a replacement for one of the classroom buildings. I have agreed to provide my continued support for government f.... Read more...

  • Mid Devon Advertiser
    13 Jul 2018


    There was a recent march against Brexit in Westminster and I know that some people attended from Devon. In the referendum I campaigned to Remain - almost exclusively on the basis that I was concerned about Brexit’s potential impact on the UK economy. That uncertainty and additional trading frictions have and will occur as a result of our leaving is beyond doubt – but longer .... Read more...

  • Mid Devon Advertiser
    06 Jul 2018


    Last week I caught up with Matt Barnes the Regional Development Manager at GWR to get an update on progress on their feasibility study for running a regular rail service between Okehampton and Exeter via Crediton. I have had a number of meetings with the Secretary of State for Transport (including last week) to discuss our infrastructure in the South West and have pressed ha.... Read more...

  • Mid Devon Advertiser
    29 Jun 2018

    The government has just announced a huge increase in funding for the NHS. That the NHS should be close to a national religion should not come as any surprise. Its core principle that care should be provided based on need rather than ability to pay is surely a hallmark of a civilised society. All of us use the NHS and benefit from it – sometimes with lives transformed and saved. But as the emplo.... Read more...

  • Mid Devon Advertiser
    22 Jun 2018

    So the World Cup is upon us. Flags are out. The Jules Rimet trophy will, within a few weeks, be dusted down and handed to a sparkling new team. This is arguably the world’s greatest tournament with television viewings outscoring even the Olympics. It is estimated that the cumulative audience in 2006 was 26 billion with 715 million people watching the final – over 10% of the entire planet. The c.... Read more...

  • Mid Devon Advertiser
    15 Jun 2018

    There is change afoot – not something you might yet notice but something that has the potential to impact us all and very significantly in the future. I refer to America’s changing attitude to the rules based international order that has pretty much defined the way that we have interacted with the World since the Second World War. This is now being placed under increasing strain by a protection.... Read more...