Councillor Graham Godbeer is not only Chairman of East Devon District Council, but also Chairman of the Standards Committee. At the last Full Council Meeting (23rd October), the Chair of Save Our Sidmouth asked the Council Chairman if he agreed with and condoned the Council Leader’s allegations and offensive remarks about SOS in a recent e-mail sent to 100 people. (See https://saveoursidmouth.com/2013/10/24/sos-asks-chairman-of-eddc-to-put-the-record-straight/) Councillor Godbeer gave no immediate reply, but said he would respond to the question in writing.
Consequently, Councillor Godbeer e-mailed SOS Chair Richard Thurlow, stating that he refused to comment on The Leader’s allegations because “ if a complaint were to be made to the Council’s Monitoring Officer about (the allegations) it would be wrong of me to pre-empt any such consideration by expressing my own personal opinion. In this respect whether in my civic role as Chairman of the Council or as the current Chairman of the Standards Committee it is not appropriate to solicit my opinion in such circumstances.”
In a comment today Mr Thurlow said,
“SOS is very disappointed by this weak response from the Chairman. He has failed signally to disassociate himself – and the Council- from the arrogance and refusal to debate which is unfortunately one of the hallmarks of Cllr Diviani’s leadership. One can only conclude that the Leader is increasingly sensitive about any criticism of his ambition to embark on an extravagant relocation project because there are gathering signs that it could become a financial disaster for the council tax payers of East Devon”.