Save Our Sidmouth

The Future of the East Devon Business Forum now in question

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The repercussions from the Graham Brown affair are many (see recent posts on this SOS website).  One is the question of what will happen to the East Devon Business Forum, from which he has now resigned. The reaction from its current Vice-Chair can be viewed at , 16 March Letter to members of EDBF from Roy Stuart .

A window on the workings of EDBF has been opened by the setting  up of a special group (TAFF), by the Overview and Scrutiny Committee. TAFF Chairman Graham Troman and his team have been asked to examine how the Business Forum works as  a ‘joint body’ (as the Council CEO describes it) with Councillors. Despite this TAFF having been hampered (some say,’muzzled’) , as extensively reported on our website and on the SIN blog, questions can now be publicly aired.  We hope they will all be addressed.

As promised, SOS will post examples of these questions. This one was from Marianne Rixson of Sidford W.I.,  to the Task and Finish Forum: Business, on 12 March 2013:

An article in the Sidmouth Herald, in June 2012, had the heading “Local Plan Chief: I was misled over jobs hub. No idea why it was included”. The Local Plan Chief in question was  Cllr Mike Allen, who had chaired the Local Development Framework Panel.In this article, he publicly expressed his astonishment when  ( after public consultation had ended),  the 5 hectares of employment land site at Sidford Fields had somehow appeared in the Local Plan. Cllr Allen told the Herald reporter, “I have no idea why the Sidford-Sidbury proposal was included but it was represented to me as a result of consultations with Sidmouth Town Council, which it clearly was not.
“I am investigating this and will find out. Once I find the facts I will almost certainly be asking the scrutiny committee to look at this.”
In light of the Cllr Brown revelations, with the damning connections to the East Devon Business Forum and his planning consultancy, surely the Sidford proposal must form part of this TAFF enquiry?

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