Save Our Sidmouth

EDDC business lobby investigation has been muzzled.


Disturbing events are unfolding at the TAFF (Task and Finish Forum) , set up recently by the Overview and Scrutiny Committee  ‘to produce an in-depth report on the East Devon Business Forum, to include all business engagement and its relationship with the Council.’  It was unusual to see a Chief Executive at the first meeting, sitting alongside the TAFF Chairman, Sidmouth Councillor, Graham Troman, and giving advice.  Mark Williams said that it was not appropriate for the TAFF to  discuss Planning ,though it was not made clear why he seized on this particular topic, nor what the source was for the ‘legal advice’ he had consulted on this matter.

Cllr Troman had even more of a surprise this week, when his own agenda which complied with the scope of this TAFF, was overridden. It has been replaced by one which omits the crucial controversial issues which it is this Committee’s purpose to examine.

Scrutiny Committees, of which TAFF is a working  part,  are of course intended to be independent. Their function is to hold councils and their leaders to account.

Members of the public who believe  this democratic safeguard should be adhered to, can support this TAFF Committee and its courageous Chairman, by coming to the next meeting on Wednesday, 23rd January,  6pm at Knowle.

The poster in the link below may be useful:


2 thoughts on “EDDC business lobby investigation has been muzzled.

  1. This is outrageous, what do the executives think they are doing? They are undoubtedly the highest paid officers witin the EDDC. Why are we paying for them to ride rough-shod over an entire district, flying in the face of elected representatives. When I last looked, I thought we were at least living in some kind of democracy! What are the procedures for holding them to account? How do we start a process for a vote of no confidence in the civil servants. We pay our council tax to pay their salaries!

  2. So if I understand this correctly, what the Chief Executive was saying was that, by law, planning matters fall outside the scope and remit of the TAFF and that the proper way to get them examined is through the the independent Planning Inspectorate (which I think is part of DCLG). I suppose that means that the TAFF has the right to discuss the issues, much as anyone could down at the pub or over dinner, but it doesn’t have the right to try to enforce its opinion or commission the expenditure of public funds on planning matters.

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