• Cuckoo syndrome as Tory charm offensive looms

    20th March 2013 | News | Claire
  • The Feniton by-election is to take place on Thursday 2 May – the same day as the Devon County Council elections.

    Here’s the timeline of the Cuckoo-in-the-Nest/Suspected-Tory-Charm-Offensive-Plot-Prior to Feniton-By-Election:

    – Thursday 14 March – Cllr Graham Brown, Feniton and Buckerell Ward member resigns from EDDC, following a Daily Telegraph undercover sting operation

    – Sunday 17 March – I email EDDC chief executive, Mark Williams, copying in Feniton Parish Council chairman, Martyn Smith, offering to stand in as Feniton ward member until a new councillor is elected on 2 May.  As I have been attending Feniton Parish Council meetings for months and represent part of the village anyway, this makes sense to me.

    – Monday 18 March – Feniton Parish Council chairman, Martyn Smith, writes to Mark Williams, expressing support for this approach

    – Monday 18 March – Mark Williams replies that this would seem an acceptable way forward, although leaves a degree of ambiguity, so I don’t feel able to publicly announce I am new temporary ward member

    – Tuesday 19 March – Fight for Feniton’s Future, chair, John Withrington supports my position as temporary ward member

    – Tuesday 19 March – I email Mark Williams, asking for clarification that I am definitely the ward member, as I wish to make this public to reassure people they will be represented at a difficult planning time

    – Wednesday 20 March – Mark Williams replies thanking me for offering to help but EDDC chairman, Peter Halse has now asked to be the temporary ward member, and as he is chairman, Mr Williams is going to defer to him!

    – Wednesday 20 March (evening) – we are informed by Feniton Parish Council clerk that a special Feniton Parish Council meeting is to take place on 19 April, so that Neil Parish can visit … and suddenly…. it all becomes clear ….  Feniton residents are about to experience the enveloping warmth of an East Devon conservative charm offensive!

    So there you have it – The-Cuckoo-in-the-Nest/Suspected-Tory-Charm-Offensive-Plot-Prior-to-Feniton-By-Election, in a nutshell.

    But crikey they have got some charming to do.

    I heard a rumour that there might be an excellent independent candidate standing. I do hope that’s true.