• I reported a few weeks ago that the chief executive of Leisure East Devon, Peter Gilpin had written a letter to East Devon District Council worried about a lack of facilities. Currently, Cranbrook is proposed to have just one badminton court as its total sports facilities for the town. I wrote to EDDC leader, Cllr Paul Diviani a few weeks ago highlighting the parking problems at Colin Tooze Sports[...]

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    The new arrangements, imposed on councils by the Localism Act, allows councillors to take the lead in deciding the outcome of complaints against other councillors. My proposal, which was classed as an amendment to the swathe of recommendations in tonight’s paperwork for the Special Meeting of the Council on the new code of conduct and standards arrangements, was the following: “This council [...]

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    The council, which normally meets each month at its offices in Ottery, will debate and decide on a range of issues which have an impact on the Ottery parish, including at West Hill, Tipton St John, Alfington and Ottery St Mary town. On Monday key agenda items include - a presentation relating to a new elected police commissioner.  Members of the public will be able to ask questions on this [...]

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    The 12 month long pilot starts its work on the river Otter and its tributaries, assessing the overall health of the river system and helping to coordinate existing and developing new conservation projects and activities across the area. Devon Wildlife Trust is teaming up with the Environment Agency to carry out the work. The objectives are centred on the European Water Framework Directive which [...]

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    But Devon County Council seems determined to try and overcome the problems rather than reject the site. An interview with Steve Maddison from the EA was broadcast on BBC Radio Devon this morning, which also carried interviews with Ottery Rural’s Devon County Councillor, Roger Giles and campaigner, Monica Mortimer. Steve Maddison said ‘a lot more more work would have to be done’ [...]

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    Hi Ian I am getting increasingly frustrated with the number of times that the planning online service has been out of action recently.  In the past two to three weeks it has been down for days at a time, which is annoying for residents trying to read documentation and it is also hampering councillors trying to get on with their work of monitoring and commenting on applications. No one [...]

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    Incomprehensibly, the government has ruled that independent members (external to the council) of standards committees must have their voting rights removed. Changes, rushed in by the government under the Localism Act, must be in force from Monday 2 July. It will mean that decisions on complaints against councillors, will now be determined largely by EDDC’s ruling conservative party, which holds [...]

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    Dear Central Planning Team I am writing to express my concern at the length of time that the above application has taken to determine, given the strong and clear reasons that exist for refusal. It was validated in early February and there have been two sets of amended plans submitted since.  The applicant has been given four months to overcome significant objections.  I would [...]

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    The report is the culmination of a 5-year research project ‘Mapping Local Food Webs,’ supported by the Big Lottery Fund. It demonstrates that local food offers a great opportunity to support vibrant town centres and countryside, but that its role is undermined by the dominance of superstores and the multiple retailers. The report presents a fundamental challenge to superstores and the damage [...]

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    Myself and Cllr Roger Giles spent an hour talking with the year seven Citizenship students, this morning - a class run by Jo Elliott, who has also worked hard to help bring Ottery’s skatepark into being. Part of the Citizenship work includes politics and exploring how things can be changed, by engaging with the political process. I was asked how I thought that councillors could engage more [...]

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    Around 30 residents from the village made the effort to travel to the meeting and sat through four hours of debate, before the Tipton application agenda item started. 13 members of the public spoke against the application.  They had diligently prepared three minutes speeches, however, after the first five speakers had used their three minutes, the remainder of the speakers hastily had to [...]

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    The other is whether there is need for a new site.  The introduction some years ago of the Aggregates Tax and the Landfill Tax has resulted in more sustainable waste practices. Less material is landfilled; there is less waste of finite natural resources. For some years DCC, when resurfacing roads and pavements, has used the “planings”  to repair bridleways and unclassified county [...]

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    The publication came as Cllr Allen was quoted in the Sidmouth/Ottery Herald as “calling on the chair of the standards committee, Peter Halse, for a thorough review of the inspector and two officers’ behaviour, since he believed they contradicted legal opinions of the principal legal officer and the common practises by which chairs in the council control meetings.’ Cllr Allen [...]

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    The item was on the agenda following a request from by Cllr Roger Giles at a full council meeting earlier this year. The meeting was peppered with thinly veiled criticisms of my blog. As a member of the scrutiny committee, I spoke up strongly in favour of webcasting, an extremely useful facility, which has been used by Devon County Council for some years. Aside from myself and Cllr Derek Button, [...]

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