Site layout for SeeRed website.
Last updated on 7 Nov 2015

Use the search page to search the whole website.


Quick links to the main sections if you are already familiar with SeeRed:

NOTE: the whole website is being reorganised with many pages moved to new locations and some removed.

The right to privacy in the computer age - discussion of government and library snooping.

Peoples Network Computers in UK libraries

The future of education and public libraries in the UK - dumbed down and diminished?

Local government incompetence - traffic signals, road humps, etc.

Sidmouth and the "Vision for Sidmouth" - the town, hotels, B&Bs, vandalism, arguments and politics

Library dispute with Devon County Council - injustice and incompetence exposed.

Gardening, sustainability and Britain in Bloom

Town planning and conservation areas: abuses of the system.

Sidmouth International Festival - the role of local politics in its demise - comparisons with other folk festivals

Local consumer protection aided by the internet - examples and suggestions.

Political campaigning using the Internet - examples, and implications for the future. - including 2010 campaign

Other small protest sites on the Internet - how it can be made to work.

Caravan repairs - AL-KO tow hitches, Carver heaters and the behaviour of Truma

Radon in buildings - an internet version of the author's Handbook of Radon.

BREEAM - a discussion of environmental expediency as promoted by BRE.

Freedom of Information Act - examples of how local councils refuse to comply

Devon folk dance clubs near Sidmouth

Despotic behaviour by local councils. - examples of 'over the top' policing and misuse of legislation.

Analysis of online dating websites


The SeeRed website embraces many of my interests. The demise of the Sidmouth International Festival of Folk Arts is covered in some detail. The history and aims of the site are outlined on the summary page - or you can skip direct to one of the sections.

THERE ARE MANY SECTIONS, each with its own index (top) page. The unifying themes are waste of public money, the incompetence of local government, hypocrisy, institutionalised dishonesty and lack of respect for taxpayers. Many pages are not yet fully developed. The 'index page' of each section has a distinctive green background. Many sections are being reorganised in 2015.

the right to privacy in the computer age Weaknesses of data protection in local and central government are discussed. Identity cards are claimed to be a safeguard against terrorism and illegal immigrants, yet are likely to erode privacy whilst failing to provide enhanced security. It is nowadays too easy for people to obtain your personal details from computer systems. Examples are given. Also, there is a trend towards deliberate government 'snooping' on the pretext of preventing harm in society but in reality acting further to undermine privacy. Computerisation of medical records may make matters worse, as may privatisation of data processing. Links are given to many other campaign websites. There is a substantial webpage covering rfid tags, surveillance systems and so-called 'smart cards'.

Peoples Network Computer systems This contains some of the original pages of SeeRed. The cost and alleged mismanagement of People's Network computer systems in libraries is discussed. These pages used to be located within the 'government incompetence' section. In December 2004 the author of SeeRed was invited to send a submission on the PN to a Select Committee of Parliament. A separate section of SeeRed now deals with the likely future of public libraries in the UK now that they are being so comprehensively 'dumbed down' in an effort to appeal to a wider public. 

The future of education and public libraries in the UK This contains some discussion of the future role of universities and public libraries in the UK - if indeed the latter have a long term future as noisy internet cafes funded at public expense! Several worthwhile articles from national newspapers are reproduced, centred upon the Blair government's obsession with installing computer technology irrespective of proven merit.

local government incompetence Books could be written on this. Examples of road humps and traffic signals are given, including a failed scheme reputed to have cost 500,000. This section encourages people to take more interest in local government - because if you don't it will probably just keep getting worse and costing you more each year.

Sidmouth - the town and its politics  Hotels, other accommodation, vandalism, the truth behind the glossy tourist images, ineffective policing and more. The "Vision for Sidmouth" group produced some interesting ideas in 2006.

the right to demand proper answers to letters sent to local government officials in the public interest.  In general, surveys of satisfaction with local government show an approval rating of around 40%, although there are wide variations across service sectors and depending on how questions are phrased. Handling of complaints can be rated highly simply because so many are trivial and easily answered. It is a different story when Councils are asked searching questions. They all have 'escape clauses' in their complaints procedures, enabling them to avoid the questions altogether! Read about library computer systems in the UK, lack of respect for taxpayers, and misuse of the law.

the freedom to grow wild plants and to have 'untidy' areas for wildlife in your own garden.  This section is based on a widely publicised argument with East Devon District Council - who backed down after too much adverse publicity. It shows how to deal with 'bully boy' officials and councillors, and has a serious environmental purpose - to encourage discussion about how gardens could benefit wildlife and cost less to maintain! Recently updated and with some material moved to a new section highlighting the despotic behaviour of local government staff.

Town planning and conservation areas. This is a new section, commencing March 2004, but includes the original 'townplanning' page. A new page charts the story of an attempt to build houses on a flood plain in the village of Sidford. The story starts with a mature wild garden including a large tree in a Conservation Area being bulldozed. In the outline planning application, the area was then nonchalantly described as 'vacant land'.

Sidmouth International Festival. This section was commenced in June 2004. It now contains over 110 webpages and is the most complete record available of how Sidmouth lost its world famous International Festival. A recent academic study of the festival drew heavily on material in this website.

Sunvic motorised valves A large section dealing with a topics I thought would be of passing intererst to a few people - it has become one of the most visited on the whole website. Deals with the poor design of some motorised actuators and how to mend some types.

internet campaigning (local elections). This section comprises archival election material from 1998 and my 'election leaflet' for May 2003. As an experiment for 2003, I tried an 'Internet' approach to campaigning. Calculations are given for future election costs, together with an analysis of the 2003 results.

other small protest sites.This is simply a list of other protest sites that have been set up by individuals or small groups in the UK. It does not include large organisations where the website is merely a part of a much larger operation. Largely obsolete and may be removed soon.

caravan repairs. The caravan industry seems dominated by incompetence and 'rip-offs' of consumers - from the poor basic design of caravans (most of which leak to some extent) to servicing of mechanical and gas appliances. Labour rates of 60 to 80 per hour are not unknown and advice for DIY repairs can be hard to find. The section has proved enormously popular and is regularly cited on caravanning and camping websites.

Handbook of Radon. This section was first published in January 2006. It is an internet version of the author's 1992 Handbook of Radon - which remains a lucid explanation of a topic still probably much misunderstood by MPs and policymakers as well as the general public. It may be extended to include discussion of how bodies such as ICRP and NRPB have avoided setting radiation risks in a proper perspective. Irrational fear of radiation has already cost the UK billions of pounds in wasted expenditure and seems likely to delay new nuclear reactors - which some leading environmentalists see as essential for the UK's future energy security. 

A Logical Methodology for Environmental Assessment This section was first published in January 2006. It comprises primarily an internet version of a report first published in 1993. The section should be of interest to all conservationists who are interested in how government 'green-wash' can become an accepted environmental standard.

Freedom of Information Act This section was first published in March 2006. It is centred largely upon Devon County Council and their refusal to comply with the letter and/or spirit of the Freedom of Information Act and Data Protection Act. Examples will also be given from Sidmouth Town Council and East Devon District Council - who in 2009/2010 took six months to answer a few simple questions.

Folk dancing clubs in Devon This section gives details of some local folk dance clubs and pages on how to do and how to teach folk dancing. It is being expanded to include guidance on running small dance clubs - with or without a 'Constitution' and based on a decade of experience of running Gittisham Folk Dance Club.

Sunvic motorised control valves for central heating systems Faulty central heating controls can leave elderly people vulnerable to the cold - yet if components fail intermittently, diagnosis can be difficult. Here are my experiences together with a detailed explanation of the failure of one type of Sunvic motorised valve. These pages should be useful to heating engineers and technically minded householders. As can be seen from copy emails, Sunvic are unhappy about publicity being given to their product designs. This section has proved immensely popular - why I don't really know!

Despots in local government. This section comprises parts of the original 'wild gardening' section centred upon misuse of section 215 of the Town and Country Planning Act. The first case concerns Chester City Council. It will be extended to include policing and other issues later. Updated 2010.

Analysis of dating websites. This new section (2013) comprises at present a single study of two mid-market online dating websites, given as a pdf document of 22,000 words. I'm updating it to include discussion of POF and it's unique business model - if I live that long!


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