• Hugo Swire bars me from a meeting about Tipton St John Primary School flooding problems

    14th October 2016 | News | Claire
  • I have been involved in discussions on how the situation at Tipton St John may be remedied since I was elected as a Devon County councillor in 2013. 

    I asked to attend the meeting this morning, however, was informed by Hugo Swire’s office that I would not be welcome as he was “keeping the meeting very small and focused and had to limit numbers.”

    I was very disappointed about being excluded as crucially important issues would be discussed that I have been actively involved with. Last year I provided funding from my county council locality budget for a flood survey and helped to clear up after at least two flooding events, arranging with the chief fire officer for Devon and Somerset, for the fire and rescue service to be involved in these clear ups.

    I have attended meetings with residents about the future of the school and worked with the school – and the community on trying to find a solution to the flooding problems.

    As the Devon County councillor for Tipton St John with a clear interest and involvement in supporting the community I would have thought it was entirely appropriate that I should have been invited to a meeting with the chief executive of the Environment Agency.

    I should clarify that the meeting was called by Hugo Swire who was very clear about who he wanted to be there. The school staff had no choice but to fall in with his request.

    It was a poor decision.

    Photo: Clearing up after a flood at the beginning of this year. Photo with thanks to Archant Newspapers.