It was evidently all too much, at last night’s Full Council Meeting at Knowle, when Independent Councillor, Claire Wright, put nine questions to the Leader, Councillor Paul Diviani. Not one was answered with considered courtesy, or thoroughness. To give an example: when Councillor Wright asked for a precise estimate of the associated costs of relocating Council Offices from Knowle to Honiton, he irritably replied, ” £350, 000″. There was no attempt to show how this figure was arrived at.
Three questions from the public were treated with equal disdain.
The first was a serious challenge, with evidence provided, of the underestimate of job losses in Sidmouth which would be incurred with any relocation of EDDC HQ. (Errors in their figures have of course already been admitted by the Council, thereby obliging them to revise their Outline Planning Application(OPA) for Knowle for an astonishing third time! ) This questioner found further flaws in the calculations.
The second question pointed to unsoundness of the Risk Assessment in the OPA, a matter of deep concern to all East Devon taxpayers.
The third member of the public spoke in support of a motion (now deferred) by Sidmouth Councillors Stuart Hughes and Graham Troman, to put on hold any decision on Knowle, as Local Government may well be reorganised following Lord Heseltine’s recommendations. (More details of the No Stone Unturned report , at http://sidmouthindependentnews.wordpress.com 6 Dec, Paul Diviani insults Tory grandee . Related topic also on SIN blog, 17 Nov Relocation in Deep Trouble )
December 6, 2012 at 10:36 pm
A Freedom of Information request for a breakdown of the £350,000 should be put in immediately. I put one in for a recent claim that EDDC had spent “with partners” £450,000 on Seaton’s wetlands. It turns out that more than 80% of the money was raised by others (Environment Agency, Natural England etc) over a period of several years, making EDDC a very minor contributor.
December 7, 2012 at 2:00 pm
Why has the motion by Stuart Hughes and Grahan Trotman been ‘deferred’? On what grounds? I’ve written to Stuart this morning, expressing the view that it is easy to oppose the Conservative Council majority, secure in the knowledge that the rest of the Tory group of councillors will vote it in anyway. In a town where at least 25% of the population disagree vocally with the current council’s decisions, we must field more independent prospective councillors in the Spring local elections.
December 7, 2012 at 7:51 pm
At least one independent or minority party candidate should stand in EVERY EDDC constituency because you don’t know until nominations close exactly who will be standing in each one. Perhaps we should start asking for volunteers – it’s only 2 years away and they would have to ensure that they get their names in the papers and their views known as often as possible so they gget an equal chance to those councillors who have party backing and help.