• Mr Brown resigns from East Devon Business Forum

    15th March 2013 | News | Claire
  • AN East Devon Tory councillor who resigned his seat after he was secretly caught on camera boasting how he could secure planning permission, has now resigned as the chairman of the East Devon Business Forum.

    Former Conservative councillor for Feniton and Buckerell, Graham Brown, who owns planning consultancy firm Greygreen Planning, was secretly filmed by undercover reporters who were examining how councillors across the country are offering themselves for hire to property developers.

    Despite the potential for a conflict of interest, it is not illegal for councillors to work as paid consultants.

    Shortly after he was suspended from the East Devon Conservative Party and removed as the council’s member champion for business and tourism, Mr Brown resigned from his position as councillor.

    A council spokesman confirmed that the matter has been referred to police and the council is waiting to see if an investigation is launched by the force until it makes a decision on whether to launch its own.

    Mr Brown has now confirmed his decision to step down as chairman of the East Devon Business Forum.

    The National Farmers Union previously confirmed to the Echo that Mr Brown was their representative on the Forum which was set up to “improve communication” between businesses and the district council, to meet and agree, “so far as possible”, a common approach.

    Mr Brown, added: “Although I still maintain my total innocence, the pressure was getting too difficult for others to work with me.”