Save Our Sidmouth

Public servant at centre of ‘remarkable event’ should ‘consider his position’

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The conduct and comments of EDDC’s most senior officer at last week’s Extra Ordinary Council Meeting, continue to cause shock waves in the press.
The letter copied below, from Save Our Sidmouth member, Robert Crick, appears in Pullman’s View from Sidmouth (9th February, 2016).

‘On behalf of the Save Our Sidmouth campaign our widely respected neighbour Richard Eley read a short statement during public questions before last Thursday’s District Council meeting. The statement expressed regret at the problems the Local Plan process had caused over the past few years, and reminded members that residents regarded the proposal to build an industrial estate on the Sidford Flood Plain as an act of folly.

Mr Eley then stated that since this process has now come to an end, Save Our Sidmouth recommends a fresh start to rebuild trust between the authority and the town of Sidmouth.

After putting their questions, members of the public then witnessed a remarkable event.

A non-elected public servant appropriated elected councillors’ speaking privileges by rounding on the people of Sidmouth. He angrily blamed us for having delayed the process by daring to question the Council’s original proposals. He then denounced Mr Eley personally, claiming he had called Inspector Thickett “an idiot”.

Challenged by the meeting, he refused to acknowledge that he had misrepresented Mr Eley’s words. When forced to admit his error, he absolutely refused to apologise.

Councillor Stuart Hughes, Chair of the Council, finally gave a dignified apology, which allowed the elected members to proceed and adopt the Local Plan.

It was evident to all that the paid official has a deep-rooted and obsessive personal animosity to the town and people of the Sid valley, which must surely disqualify him from a continuing role as a servant of East Devon. Perhaps it is time for him to consider his position. ‘

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