Amid the angry rhetoric, I can’t helping wondering one thing……. If the tory whip is truly offended at the idea that he does as his job title indicates, I wonder if he can explain why it is at full council meetings (and sometimes other meetings) the conservative group (42 members) vote en bloc for a particular course of action?

Here’s the letter ………………………………………………………………………

Can Councillor Roger Giles “walk the walk” or just “talk the talk”?

Following my recent letter to the Herald challenging Cllr Roger Giles to “walk the walk and not just talk the talk” by suggesting Conservative Party members had been subjected to a party whip when voting, and my invitation to him suggesting he ask any of my fellow Conservative colleagues if there was any truth in this assertion, he has failed to ask a single member if this was the case.

If he had bothered to ask, he would have established there wasn’t any truth in the suggestion.

The reply from Roger Giles to my letter (Opinion, December 6) travels in various random directions, including singularly failing to take up my challenge to him, and veers off in a bizarre manner when stating that in terms of admitting to taking the party whip “no Conservative councillor would do so – unless they wished to become ex-Conservative councillors in the very near future”.

It appears that Roger Giles is now an expert in Conservative Party rules but clearly does not understand them or how they work.

In failing to accept my simple challenge Roger Giles loses focus and curves off on a tangent, urging a debate on openness and transparency in local government.

Forgive me, but my challenge to him is an example of just that – ie open and transparent where he was free to ask any member of the Conservative Group sitting on EDDC a simple enough question they were able to answer freely and that there are no hidden agendas to be uncovered.

I stand by my previous comments that some Independent candidates stand for elected office with “invariably a single issue with ancillary directly related ones is the overriding reason for Independents standing, holding back progress and directly disadvantaging their communities by paying little attention to other matters as a result” and they are of course perfectly entitled to do so.

A simple test of this can be made quite independently of me or any Conservative councillor on EDDC in the case of Roger Giles.

We both share a passion for the environment and I have previously made it very clear that I am a very green shade of blue in these matters, and specifically when balanced with the needs of the residents of East Devon now and in to the future.

I am therefore personally very disappointed that in the two years that he was the EDDC recycling champion, from 2011-13, I can find no evidence of him doing anything at all to promote this important environmental issue, preferring to concentrate on something else at its expense.

Readers of the Herald can verify this for themselves by writing or talking to Roger Giles or checking the EDDC record online, but be prepared to be taken off in some other unrelated, non-productive direction with his reply.

Councillor Phil Twiss
Conservative whip East Devon District Council