• The meeting will include a presentation from the developers about the scheme and a chance for members of the public to have their say. The meeting kicks off at 7.15pm on Monday 5 August, with the developer’s presentation, at the usual venue of Aylesbeare village hall. So far, there is one objection by a resident of Marsh Green and an objection by the Campaign To Protect Rural England.  [...]

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    In my Ottery Rural ward hundreds of houses over and above the levels proposed in EDDC’s local plan, is causing capacity problems for several schools, with pressures to expand class sizes and build on outside space.  The headteacher of King’s School, Faith Jarrett, appeared on the front page of yesterday’s Ottery Herald, expressing her own concerns about the issue. My [...]

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    Certainly, several of the questions were not answered, if not evaded completely (again). Question 1: Procedure Rule 9.2 to the Leader of the Council from Councillor Ben Ingham As part of the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s 2013 spending review announced in June, George Osborne confirmed that local authority spending will be cut by ten per cent. This will be on top of a thirty three per cent cut in[...]

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    Feniton has its own exchange and is also set to receive an fibre-optic cable upgrade, next June. The interactive map on the site, which was spotted by an eagle-eyed Cllr John Harding, comes alive if you hover your mouse over it and provides updates for each telephone exchange area, on when superfast broadband is likely to arrive. The Ottery exchange serves West Hill, Tipton St John and [...]

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    The committee debated public speaking at meetings, including full council, overview and scrutiny, audit and governance and standards committee and have recommended to cabinet to allow members of the public to make statements, rather than insisting that questions should be asked. I could not understand why it was so important that people asked questions and did not make statements and expressed [...]

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    At Thursday’s overview and scrutiny meeting, which I was unable to attend, some councillors argued for it to be debated at the standards committee, following my request that lobbying, its practices and implications should come before the scrutiny committee. Cllr Roger Giles argued on Thursday evening that it should be debated by the scrutiny committee. However, it was agreed that the [...]

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    Here’s the link if you want to see what happened! http://sidmouthindependentnews.wordpress.com/

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    Cllr Ray Bloxham introduced the policy, which he had helped produce with a senior officer. Myself and Roger Giles both told the meeting that we were unhappy with the policy, and Cllr Trevor Cope said the document needed to be properly proof read, picking out a number of typographical errors. Roger Giles said it was entirely wrong to try and bar councillors from mentioning “sensitive” [...]

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    David Mason, independent standards committee member, who is also a parish councillor on Rockbeare Parish Council, suggested that the sentence: “You must not make any comment or post material that may cause damage to the council’s reputation or bring it into disrepute” may be used against “certain people” who do not have views that accord with the council. Cllr Mason went on to give an [...]

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    And similar rules will apply to officers. An officer who conducted a consultation with officers and councillors since the last standards committee meeting in June, confirmed that she had received three responses to the consultation, all supportive that the new national guidance should be applied by EDDC. The guidance, which can be viewed via this blog - [...]

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    When councillors arrive the questions and answers will be at each place. I (and all other councillors who have asked written questions) will be given the opportunity for a supplementary question. I am aware that independent councillor colleagues, Susie Bond and Ben Ingham, also have submitted written questions. My questions are: 1. Page 42, point three of the audit and governance papers, dated 27 [...]

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    I attended a meeting last week with Feniton Parish Council, EDDC engineer, Keith Steel, Phil Simcox from Howicks and Feniton councillor, Susie Bond, to have a look at the proposed route of the £1.6m scheme and hear about the process involved. Martyn Smith, chair of Feniton Parish Council said afterwards:  “The proposed alleviation system was discussed in detail and Phil was able to [...]

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    At the meeting I asked that drawing up lobbying guidelines was put on the agenda for a future overview and scrutiny meeting. Officer advice was that this may be an issue for the standards committee to address and advice would be sought.

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    Below and here, is the story in yesterday’s Telegraph - http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/utilities/10189331/Water-firms-raise-fears-over-shale-gas-fracking.html Fracking for shale gas will raise the risk of water shortages and could contaminate drinking supplies, Britain’s water companies have claimed. In a blow for shale gas explorers and government alike, Water UK, [...]

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