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 It has been replaced by one which omits the crucial controversial issues which it is this Committee’s purpose to examine.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: