Two constitutional questions were raised during yesterday’s Development Management Committee meeting, one by a member of the public, and one by a Councillor Member of the DMC.
The first, by a representative of Feniton residents, was on the right for citizens to speak at the meeting (see yesterday’s post on this website).
The second was by Independent Councillor Ben Ingham of Lympstone. He referred to the rule that councils can not whip political issues such as planning (p. 191 of the Constitution . See http://www.eastdevon.gov.uk/constitution_2011-4.pdf ).
He had reason to believe that whipping may have occurred prior to this meeting. Cllr Ingham had been “very upset indeed” as a result of two recent telephone conversations with a fellow DMC member, who first told Cllr Ingham that he had been whipped, then phoned back shortly afterwards to say that was not the case, and that he had been mistaken. Chairman Mark Williamson replied that he was “certainly not aware of any whipping”. Councillor Phil Twiss, Tory Whip, also vehemently declared “We have no intention of whipping” , and “It has most certainly not occurred”. He also mentioned that there had been a Conservative Group meeting where the five year supply issue was discussed.
SOS would like to point out another quote from the Constitution.(page 6) which states: ‘The Council welcomes participation by its citizens in its work. ‘ This chimes with comments left on ‘Dangers lurking within EDDC new policy..’ Sunday 3 Feb post at http://www.claire-wright.org (This Councillor, like many, works a 7day week!). Had more DMC members read them, the decision taken yesterday might have been better informed…..and the consequent rapid despoliation of East Devon might have been averted.
More at What of East Devon’s countryside now? 6 Feb HERE