Last Wednesday’s astoundingly undemocratic Full Council meeting systematically belittled or entirely ignored those who offered the chance for proper debate.
Consequently, there has been an exchange of e-mails between a member of Save Our Sidmouth (SOS) and a senior Conservative councillor who could not understand why the Tory councillors had been heckled.
Here’s an extract:
The SOS member wrote: “The fact that most of those booed were members of that particular political group is immaterial – most of us at national level are probably Conservative supporters. It was what individual councillors were saying – and in some cases the way they were saying it – that provoked that reaction. It does seem rather odd that all the members of that group who are there to represent the disparate interests of the seven urban areas and all the rural wards can find no reason to challenge any of the points made by their fellow Conservatives on last night’s key issue of relocation, but seize every opportunity to mount personal attacks on any other members who happen to disagree with what the majority party want to do.”
The senior Conservative Councillor replied, “… we (Tory Councillors) should be afforded the courtesy to voice our opinion as indeed the public were allowed their opportunity to speak to express their opposing opinion. The truth of the matter is that such exchanges at Council meetings are frankly destructive and therefore wasteful of valuable time.”
The Leader himself has noticed this “democratic deficit” at EDDC. See http://sidmouthindependentnews.wordpress.com/2013/02/25/east-devon-district-council-we-know-best-permeates-the-council-like-the-writing-in-a-stick-of-seaside-rock/