SOS prepared the following questions to ask Councillor Diviani today, but when the “sheer weight of numbers” made him and his staff a bit reluctant to deal with specific issues, we were told these were not on the agenda.
Here they are, for another time.
QUESTIONS FOR THE LEADER
1.Why did he tell the Scrutiny Committee that the revised OPA for the Knowle was submitted by an independent consultant when it was the EDDC Deputy CEO Richard Cohen who submitted the form?
2.Why did he tell the Scrutiny Committee that he had no recollection of telling the Chief Reporter of the Sidmouth Herald that access to the Alexandria Estate was “too problematic”?
3.Can he clarify his claim that David Cameron has endorsed EDDC’s plans to build on the AONB. The PM’s office has been unable to confirm this claim. EDDC can provide no reference.
4.Can he clarify whether he really said that “the jobs of the future” in the Sid Valley are “office jobs”? If so, where is his evidence? Sidmouth citizens have presented anecdotal and statistical evidence that Sidmouth residents who work for major companies based in Exeter or other cities tend increasingly to work at home for much of the week in the (currently) pleasant environment of the Sid Valley whenever they are not networking at their central office or with clients outside the region. Why would they wish to relocate to the Sidbury flood plain? The only office work located in an office block in a rural area is a call centre, surely? Can he clarify if this is his vision for the valley?
5.Can he clarify previous claims about future jobs in the valley? Were we not told that the Fords plan for jobs is for a renewable energy industry? Could this not be located in an existing employment site, such as Chalky White’s now closing garage complex in Sidbury? If jobs are so important, can the Leader clarify why EDDC persistently agrees change of use from employment land to luxury housing all over the valley? Can he clarify how this helps the young working people of the valley? And who benefits?
6.We have also been told that future employment will be provided by EDDC in a giant care home to be built on the parkland and arboretum at the Knowle. Can he clarify why the N.E.W. Devon Clinical Commissioning Group has not apparently been warned of this extra demand on the care services they have to provide?
7.Can Cllr Diviani clarify whether he has considered the evidence that the “jobs of the future” needed for our local food security are jobs in agriculture rather than, say, more than 400 car park spaces and a container park in the AONB near the A3052?
8.Can he clarify whether his statement that he has certainly had “no knowledge of a supermarket in relation to Alexandria” indicates that he knows the supermarket is actually destined for Sidford?
9.Is Cllr Diviani annoyed by Stuart Hughes’s creative work with DCC Traffic managers which appears to wreck the plan to demonstrate that Alexandria Road is inaccessible so we can move all the Fords containers to the Sidford flood plain, whichwill allow us to move Bradfords from Sidmouth and Honiton to a super-site in the AONB so that EDDC can move to the Bradfords site at Honiton station so that we can flog off the Knowle to pay for these moves and then Morrrisons can move into the AONB on the A3052 with 500 car parking spaces, rescuing Sir John Cave from the deprivations caused by the recession. After which we can, finally, secure easy access to the Alexadnria site in order to put in a load of second homes and investment properties for EDBF members to ensure their comfort in retirement
10.Can Paul Diviani clarify why he “listens to” but does not hear what he regards as unsound arguments from the people he represents and yet will not let the public or his fellow councillors listen to, let alone hear, his words of apology for his persistent failure to declare his interest in the East Devon Business Forum? This apology was on the agenda of the last meeting of the full Council. Can he clarify whether his silence on that occasion was evidence of shame or of shamelessness?
11.Can he clarify why EDDC “listens to” but ignores the evidence and the advice of the two independent consultants it has instructed, but “hears” only the voice of the East Devon Business Forum on planning policy and priorities?
12.Finally, can he clarify why the draft minutes of the previous Scrutiny committee misrepresented the concerns of councillors and citizens so significantly that Cllr Graham Troman had to propose an amendment restoring the thrust of the previous meeting and correcting the remit of the investigation he is charged with undertaking, namely a thorough investigation of the East Devon Business Forum, which was founded by one of its leading members… erm, Paul Diviani?