• Motion urges more transparency at EDDC

    26th November 2013 | News | Claire
  • EDDC has agreed some of the document’s guidance in relation to councillors and officers not being permitted also to be agents for developers.  But disappointingly, the remainder of the document has not yet been supported.

    At September’s overview and scrutiny meeting, a discussion was held on making public pre-planning application advice but the majority of the committee voted to kick the decision into the long grass, despite the guidance in Probity in Planning, advising that pre-application discussions should be publicly available. See blog-post of the OSC meeting here – http://www.claire-wright.org/index.php/post/councillors_defer_decision_on_early_planning_advice_privacy/

    My motion is as follows:

    “This Council acknowledges the importance and supports the principle of complete openness and transparency in local government. The council therefore agrees to accept in full with immediate effect all the recommendations within the Probity in Planning report jointly produced by the Local Government Association and the Planning Advisory Service in April 2013.

    “In particular the Council will implement the guidance that pre-application advice issued should be publicly available.”

    Proposed by Councillor Claire Wright, Seconded by Councillor Roger Giles and supported by Councillors Trevor Cope, Ben Ingham and Susie Bond.

    There are two other motions – one on armed services support, proposed by Cllr Paul Diviani … and a further topical motion from Cllr Roger Giles about car parking charges.

    Honorary Aldermen (former councillors) are automatically entitled to free car parking in East Devon car parks for the rest of their lives, which seems a little odd and irregular, given the budget cuts that are currently being made.

    Roger’s call to bring in car parking charges at Knowle is entirely reasonable and he has called for this for years, but each year the tories vote it down en bloc.  Here’s the motion.

    “This Council faces increasing difficulty in providing services for the people of East Devon as a result of reductions in Government local government financial settlements.

    Car parking charges continue to be an important source of income for the council, but high charges are unpopular with East Devon residents, and an obstacle for business,
    particularly for small shopkeepers.

    “In an attempt to protect council services and raise income in as fair a way as possible, this Council therefore agrees to introduce car parking charges at The Knowle as soon
    as practically possible.

    “The Council also agrees to consider removal of the entitlement to lifelong free car parking in EDDC car parks for Honorary Aldermen.”

    Proposed by Councillor Roger Giles, Seconded by Councillor Claire Wright and supported by Councillors Trevor Cope, Susie Bond and Ben Ingham

    The full council meeting takes place on Wednesday 4 December and starts at 6.30pm. Public question time is during the first 15 minutes.

    Here’s the agenda – http://www.eastdevon.gov.uk/council_agenda_041213.pdf