• East Devon Tory leadership is “spineless and arrogant”

    17th May 2013 | News | Claire
  • Cllr Hughes is angry after being kicked off every single committee on East Devon District Council, as well as losing his overview and scrutiny chairmanship. 

    And he has been relegated to the back bench at full council meetings.

    Prior to the EDDC “reshuffle” Cllr Hughes had backed, in his role as chair of EDDC’s scrutiny committee, an investigation into controversial planning issues connected with East Devon Business Forum – something that residents have been calling for, for months.

    Cllr Hughes has also opposed major controversial development in Sidmouth – at Sidford and a proposal to build houses in the beautiful grounds of the Knowle.

    Cllr Hughes has clashed with EDDC leader, Paul Diviani, on a number of occasions but his decision to support a planning investigation into the activities of East Devon Business Forum reportedly went down particularly badly with the East Devon Tory leadership.

    But Cllr Phil Twiss, speaking to the Herald on behalf of EDDC’s Tory group, claimed that Cllr Hughes being booted off committees was nothing to do with his views, but because of his busy role as a Devon County Councillor.

    Cllr Twiss told reporter Stefan Gordon:  “It is absolutely nothing to do with any Sidmouth issues and is purely how we can do the best job for the people of East Devon.”

    But careful studying of current jobs of councillors who sit on EDDC and DCC, render these remarks a little hollow:

    Take conservative, Cllr Andrew Moulding for example.  He is EDDC deputy leader, vice-chair of EDDC (all Tory) cabinet, vice-chair of EDDC interviewing panel and vice-chair of EDDC employment appeals panel.  Cllr Moulding is also on Axminster Town Council (in fact its mayor until last week) and is rumoured to be about to accept a big job at Devon County Council, as chair of one of the four overview and scrutiny committees.

    And what about EDDC Leader, Paul Diviani?  He chairs EDDC’s (all Tory) cabinet and also chairs EDDC’s interviewing of chief officer’s panel.  He is also likely to be sitting on a number of Devon County Council’s committees when they are announced at annual council on Thursday 23 May.

    Sorry Cllr Twiss, you’re going to have to come up with a better excuse than that.