• Changes proposed for East Devon Council task forums to avoid risk of “hijack” by councillors

    22nd January 2015 | News | Claire
  • It is proposed that the scope for TAFFs is discussed at the full overview and scrutiny committee meeting so that members do not use the forums to “pursue personal agendas.”

    Page 58 of today’s agenda states:“It is necessary for any TAFF member to understand the scope of the TAFF on which he/she sits and not to use it as a forum to hijack the the specific scope that has been set.”

    It goes on to say:  “The committee need to establish if the setting up of forums that result in members being able to pursue personal agendas are in fact damaging the reputation of the council and undermining the credibility of the scrutiny function.”

    It appears to mean that the scope cannot be discussed by the TAFF itself at its first meeting.

    At last month’s Tree TAFF, conservative chairman, Cllr Tony Howard resigned within one hour of the meeting starting because we could not come to an agreement over the scope. Roger Giles and I had argued for the local plan to be included in the scope so we could refer to its policies. And that the TAFF might make recommendations to central government if we felt that national tree protection was lacking.

    These requests were vetoed by Cllr Howard who then resigned shortly afterwards.  Here’s the blog – http://www.claire-wright.org/index.php/post/tory_chairman_of_east_devon_tree_scrutiny_task_force_resigns_at_its_first_m

    At November’s scrutiny committee meeting, there was a discussion about the chief executive’s email to all staff and councillors, which hinted that I should be removed from the Business TAFF because of my concerns about the now disbanded, but still controversial, East Devon Business Forum, which had a significant influence on the amount of employment land proposed in EDDC’s Local Plan.  See letter here – http://www.claire-wright.org/index.php/post/police_drop_investigation_into_former_cllr_brown_and_eddc_chief_executive_e

    This evening’s meeting starts at 6.30pm. Public speaking is at the start. You do not need to register if you wish to speak about an item on the agenda, which is here – http://new.eastdevon.gov.uk/media/705819/220115-os-agenda-combined.pdf