• East Devon Business Forum: What happened to the scrutiny?

    17th January 2013 | News | Claire
  • It has certainly proved to be a disappointment to me.

    Councillors on the scrutiny sub-committee task and finish forum (TAFF), will meet next Wednesday (23 January) for the second time, to debate the workings of the forum.

    Or will they?

    According to the agenda, it doesn’t look like it.  Despite successfully managing to swap a draft scope that looked as though it was written by East Devon Business Forum, with a more sensible one at the last meeting, this agenda appears to bear no relation to that agreed scope. 

    The scope agreed at last month’s meeting (see from page six of link below) states that the broad topic area is: “To produce an in-depth report on the East Devon Business Forum, to include all business engagement and its relationship with the Council.”

    Yet the first item on next week’s agenda is “appointments to outside bodies”, which involves a six page list of all the other “joint bodies and panels” that EDDC councillors are involved with.

    Some people might wonder what this has to do with an “in-depth report on EDBF.”

    The second item is a presentation (verbal) from Mid Devon Business Forum.  Well ok, fair enough, this may be interesting.

    The final item reads:  “East Devon Business Forum – how best to engage with the joint body.”

    Some people might wonder how this reflects the widespread concern over the forum’s activities and its relationship with EDDC.

    Of course the subject of planning (the biggest area of concern to East Devon residents) is already vetoed.  See blog following the last meeting – http://www.claire-wright.org/index.php/post/business_forum_scrutiny_committee_is_gagged/

    How is it possible (or permissible) that an agenda bear so little resemblance to an agreed terms of reference?

    Why is the scrutiny function being prevented from doing its job and who is doing the preventing?

    The meeting is on Wednesday 23 January at 6pm, in the council chamber.

    The press and public are welcome to attend.  Public speaking is permitted at the start of the meeting.

    It is possibly more important to attend and have your say now, more than ever before.

    The link to the agenda is below.

    You may also be interested to see the Sidmouth Independent News angle on the issue.