• Changes on the Local Development Framework (LDF) Panel

    27th May 2011 | News | Claire
  • All council appointments are ratified at this meeting.

    It was unclear why this omission happened and I was a bit fatalistic about it realising that despite my best efforts I could end up taking part of the blame for a horrendous final document.

    Cllrs Roger Giles and Trevor Cope (leader of the Independents) followed it up on my behalf and replaced Geoff’s name with mine, based on the fact I have a significant interest in the LDF.

    On the evening of the Annual Council Meeting on Wednesday (25 May), this move was met with opposition by Tory whip, Phil Twiss who claimed I was ineligible for the position after my campaigning.

    This served to strengthen my resolve ten-fold about becoming a member of the panel!

    My name went forward for the panel as an amendment to the meeting’s paperwork, after checking with Deputy Chief Executive, Denise Lyon about the legal side of things.  Denise confirmed there would be no problem with me being on the panel, simply a case of declaring my Communities Before Developers-related interests whenever appropriate.

    When Cllr Peter Halse, the new EDDC chairman announced my amendment it was met with much murmuring and muttering around the room.

    Cllr Philip Skinner got up and denounced me as biased and I gave a short reply speech about why I believed I should be on the panel.  Cllr Graham Brown then added that ‘Communities Against Development’ by its very name meant that I should be ruled out.  Cllr Derek Button corrected Cllr Brown about what CBD stood for.

    Cllr Mike Allen (new LDF Panel chairman) declared I must have an open mind about the LDF.

    But Cllr Tom Wright said he thought it would be a positive thing for me to be on the panel which I thought was quite brave of him considering he is new.

    Cllr Skinner got up again and told the meeting that actually he was only concerned for my welfare, nothing more, as he is worried I will get a ‘bashing’ by being on the panel.

    The new panel is:

    Ray Bloxham

    Mike Allen

    Andrew Moulding

    Steve Wragg

    Me

    Peter Bowden

    There are undoubtedly challenges ahead for me here and there will be many who do not want me on this panel. But I intend to find a constructive way forward to help produce a strategic plan that is acceptable to East Devon residents.

    Openness and transparency

    Members of the public and press will now be able to attend LDF Panel meetings and residents will also have the opportunity of making representations to the meeting, although it is unclear yet what form this will take.

    A far cry from only six months ago, when minutes of meetings were marked confidential and not circulated widely even within the council.

    Perhaps I will see you there!