Tempers flared at the (28 Jan 2016) Extra Ordinary Meeting at Knowle, culminating in a quite extraordinary accusation from Mark Williams,CEO. “People from outside Sidmouth say that, but for Sidmouth, we would have had a Local Plan a few years ago”, he said. To loud calls from the astonished public, of “Shame!” and “Not True!” he continued his vitriol, with even more bizarre logic, apparently aimed equally at the East Devon Alliance. “I’m sure I’m not the only one who sees the irony that the end result of all your objections is that we’ve ended up with a Local Plan with more houses than originally proposed”, he said.
And courtesy again went by the board, with Mr Williams infuriating Save Our Sidmouth spokesperson, Richard Eley by calling his comments about the Inspector’s decision on Sidford Fields “churlish”. The CEO even went as far as to say that Mr Eley had called the Inspector “idiotic”, and was steadfastly shielded by the Chair (Stuart Hughes), from making an apology. Mr Eley retorted angrily, “I did not use that word”.
The senior council officer’s outbursts, and what Mr Eley actually said (when referring to the “undemocratic” decision” to keep the Sidford Employment land), can be listened to on the EDDC website, where the officers’ Code of Conduct can also be found http://new.eastdevon.gov.uk .