About us

We are a group of people who all live in Northern Devon. We come from across the political spectrum but what unites us is our conviction that our democracy is broken and no longer serves the needs of a modern, diverse society. In fact, our current electoral system is holding us back so changing that is a priority.

Our Steering Group

Chair: John Patrinos
I’ve lived in North Devon for over 40 years and spent much of that time working for local government, which meant that politically I had to be entirely impartial. That habit of impartiality stuck, so when I retired and successfully stood for election to the District Council it was as an Independent. However, I am increasing alarmed at the increasing extreme policies of our national government, something not seen before in the UK. At the same time it has become clear that these extreme policies don’t represent the views of the majority of people, something a democracy should do. So my conviction is that the UK needs Proportional Representation so that most people are represented, rather than a minority being able to seize control of a political party and do as they wish.

Coordinator: Teresa Tinsley
Why did I joined Compass? I’ve been a Labour party member and have campaigned for them but since moving back to Devon I have joined the Lib Dems. I am not at all a party-political person. In the 2019 election I campaigned for the Lib Dems in Torridge and West Devon, and I was present at the count. When I saw ballot paper after ballot paper coming in for Geoffrey Cox, I knew things had to change.

My whole professional life has been about achieving closer relations between the UK and other European countries, so you can imagine I was not happy about Brexit.  What upsets me most is hatred and ignorance masquerading as patriotism. The lies, and the manipulation of public opinion. Since this government came into power things have gone from bad to worse. We see cronyism and corruption in place of measured and thoughtful public service. Compass is drawing people together to make a stand against all this and that’s why I’m here.

But. As an opposition we are very fragmented. Our resources are very limited. We spend more time squabbling about who is in second place than we do about thinking about how we can overcome the real enemy. We need to work together. To share resources, to bring in people as activists who have sunk into apathy or cynicism. We need to start locally and model the collaboration that has to happen across the country.

Looking at the number of people we have reached since setting up Compass ND, I am hopeful that we can take forward what Compass stands for, here in Northern Devon: equality, sustainability, and democracy. A fairer politics for a fairer society.

Ian Gee
I spent most of my working career, in the UK and overseas as an Organisation Development consultant.  I am committed to Compass Northern Devon as I see it as a chance to bring about the changes we so desperately need in our politics, as well as a way of opening people’s eyes to the fact that another type of politics is possible.  One that is fairer, where all votes count and trust and honesty are a real possibility within our political system.  I am pro-EU and when the time is right will do all I can to ensure that at a minimum we join the EU Single Market and Customs Union and eventually get our star back and return to our rightful place at the heart of the EU.  I am not a member of any political party and will campaign and work for whoever is judged to be most likely to remove our current Tory MP, whether they be Liberal Democrat, Labour or Green.

Ricky Knight

Councillor: Barnstaple Town Council; Newport Ward 2003 – 2022.
Retired Modern Languages Teacher (Park, Braunton and Pilton Comprehensive Schools 1989-2015.
Activist Green Party Member since 1984.
Parliamentary Candidate:  2005 North Devon; 2010 Bristol West; 2015 North Devon; 2017 North Devon.
Lead Candidate for the South West Greens in the 2009 European Elections.
Founder Member of ‘Make Votes Matter’, ‘Get PR Done’ and ‘Compass Northern Devon’.
I have a specific interest in representing Compass Northern Devon to the Liberal Democrats, Labour and Independents in Northern Devon.

Howard Porter
I joined Compass because I think our political system is outdated and no longer fit for purpose, something which is underscored by our archaic and unfair voting system. We need Proportional Representation in line with other European democracies if we are to stand a realistic chance of building a fairer and environmentally sustainable society.

I have a background in art and design and was a teacher in Further and Higher Education before founding a full service design agency in London. I have been a member of the Green Party for around a decade and a half and stood as a parliamentary candidate in the Tonbridge and Malling constituency.

I was Chair of Tonbridge Town Team, a member of the Medway Valley Line Community Rail Partnership and a board member of Kent Farmers’ Market Association. I helped to set up Tonbridge and Malling Friends of the Earth and Fairtrade Tonbridge. I also instigated the Tonbridge Scene, a forum for bringing arts organisations together and was also coordinator of Tonbridge for Europe during the 2016 EU referendum.  

I moved to Devon with my wife in 2019 and am currently a practicing artist (art has been a lifelong love, fascination and frustration!). I am a member of North Devon Arts.

Dave Sharratt
Hi, I am Dave Sharratt, a retired Science teacher who has taught in six secondary schools in England.

For the last eight years of my career, I was as Principal in a North Devon academy school which acquired International School status in 2007.

I feel privileged to live here in North Devon just off the South West coast path and 400 metres from the sea. I am a keen walker, swimmer and kayaker. I love photography. and capturing the glorious landscapes here in North Devon. In addition, I am an  environmentalist and engage in campaigning for nature conservation and protecting local moorland habitats, our waterways, seas and beaches. Tackling anthropogenic climate change underpins all of this endeavour.

I am proud to be both British and a European. I actively campaigned to remain in the EU in 2016. I was very disappointed when by a narrow margin we chose to leave the European Union. The hard Brexit which we now endure is holding back our economy and severely limiting the many cultural, employment and educational opportunities which we enjoyed as a full member of the EU. I am an administrator of the Northern Devon for Europe FB page.

I would describe my political locus as a green social democrat although I am not currently a member of a political party and enjoy working with people from other political parties where views significantly overlap. I believe our democracy is not well served by the First-Past-The-Post/winner takes all electoral system.  I therefore became a member of the cross party North Devon Compass group which is campaigning for electoral change with PR as a key aspiration.

My wife and I have two daughters and four grandchildren, I want them to enjoy a peaceful future on a planet where the natural world is thriving and sustainable.

Mary Tait
Like many people I've been dismayed at what's happened in this country over the last decade and I believe a lot of our problems spring from the way the first-past-the-post voting system works - I've spent the wee small hours of every recent election totting up what the results would have been if the progressive parties had worked together!

My life journey has taken me though TEFL teaching in Singapore, a long spell in the Civil Service where I spent a lot of time on EU trade and competition issues, a bit of cleaning, an OU languages degree, and working as a school clerk and a library assistant.

I moved to North Devon six years ago and I love it, but I see a lot of problems here which are just not being tackled, and we now badly need a government which is committed to social justice and serious action on the climate crisis. Time for a change.

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