Save Our Sidmouth

Questions put to last night’s Full Council, by members of the public

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The question from SOS Chair, referred to in our earlier post today, is published here in full, for your information:

“Chairman, thank you for allowing me to ask a question. I am the Chair of “Save Our Sidmouth” and also of the Sid Vale Conservation and Planning Committee.

About two weeks ago I received a copy of an email sent, in early October, by Cllr Diviani to about 100 people. The email was about budget cuts. In that email he said that

“The Ottery Councillor and her allies in the political opposition groups EDA / SOS are running campaigns which simply do not deal in the facts, invariably giving half a misinformed, (sic), story and making no useful or positive contribution to the debate”

I, on behalf of SOS, wrote to Cllr Diviani.

I explained that SOS is a totally non-political umbrella grouping of organisations in Sidmouth, including the Sid Vale Association, the Sidmouth Chamber of Commerce, the Sidmouth Hospitality Association, and other non political bodies. We have not and do not comment on political issues, nor on any possible budget cuts. All these issues are beyond our remit.

I explained that SOS do oppose certain proposals contained in the Local Plan and those which would desecrate the Knowle, but any comments and objections SOS makes are to the Council as the originating authority for these proposals. All SOS comments and objections, none of them “political”, are based on facts, not on “half a misinformed story”.

In view of this, and the fact that the email had been sent to a number of people, I asked for the withdrawal of his comments and allegations, that we are political in nature, do not deal in the facts, and that we are allies of Councillors.

Cllr Diviani in an email from EDDC, using his full Council credentials, (and many more!), refused to apologise, saying that he stood by his comments, and was entitled to his opinion.

Of course he is entitled to his opinions, and if he keeps them private to himself, then we have no objection. But it is a different matter when these are offensive in their implications and inappropriate from a man in his position and also not kept to himself but sent to over 100 other people.

Since Cllr Diviani has rejected our complaint, we have to pursue the issue more widely.

Consequently my questions to you, the Chairman are;-

• Do you approve of Cllr Diviani’s words and views as regards SOS?
• Do they represent the views of the EDDC?

If not, will you put the record straight?”

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