The planning refusal for the popular noticeboard in Old Fore Street (on wall belonging to ‘Pure Indulgence’),has gone to Appeal. Letters, by e-mail or by post, must be received by midnight on Wednesday 5th March, 2014. Precise details here: http://saveoursidmouth.com/2014/02/20/save-our-sos-noticeboard/
Last Wednesday’s astoundingly undemocratic Full Council meeting systematically belittled or entirely ignored those who offered the chance for proper debate.
Consequently, there has been an exchange of e-mails between a member of Save Our Sidmouth (SOS) and a senior Conservative councillor who could not understand why the Tory councillors had been heckled.
Here’s an extract:
The SOS member wrote: “The fact that most of those booed were members of that particular political group is immaterial – most of us at national level are probably Conservative supporters. It was what individual councillors were saying – and in some cases the way they were saying it – that provoked that reaction. It does seem rather odd that all the members of that group who are there to represent the disparate interests of the seven urban areas and all the rural wards can find no reason to challenge any of the points made by their fellow Conservatives on last night’s key issue of relocation, but seize every opportunity to mount personal attacks on any other members who happen to disagree with what the majority party want to do.”
The senior Conservative Councillor replied, “… we (Tory Councillors) should be afforded the courtesy to voice our opinion as indeed the public were allowed their opportunity to speak to express their opposing opinion. The truth of the matter is that such exchanges at Council meetings are frankly destructive and therefore wasteful of valuable time.”
The Leader himself has noticed this “democratic deficit” at EDDC. See http://sidmouthindependentnews.wordpress.com/2013/02/25/east-devon-district-council-we-know-best-permeates-the-council-like-the-writing-in-a-stick-of-seaside-rock/
The Climate Change hearing yesterday (Thursday 27th Feb) is summarised here: http://eastdevonalliance.org/2014/02/28/an-inspector-calls-on-climate-change-policy-at-eddc/
Today’s session was on Open Space, Leisure and Community Facilities. Interestingly, of the seven developer or development-related organisations that had registered to speak only one turned up! So we were all done by 11.0am and Mr Thickett,the Inspector, wished us all a good weekend.
The main reason for going for some members of the public, was to ensure that it is the revised version of the Open Space Study that will be the reference, and not the OSS 2012 version. This seemed to have been taken on board, although some observers were not much impressed by Graeme Thompson’s performance. Readers of this blog will recall that Peter Whitfield of Save our Sidmouth was originally promised that the wrong Byes classification would be corrected at the October Development Management Committee(DMC). But it then became part of a much larger revision process which has yet to be completed and put to DMC for ratification. Mr Whitfield says, “We shall need to be wary in the meantime of any attempts to encroach on Parks and Recreation Grounds, or any of the five other classifications of open space in which Sidmouth has a deficiency against standards, by any planning applications.”
There were strong representations from Seaton on the issue of built leisure facilities by Peter Gilpin of Leisure East Devon (LED), and Mr D Morgan, a psychologist, who highlighted the importance of open space and leisure facilities for mental health and well being. These town-specific issues will be raised again when Seaton comes up for examination.