• Sidmouth councillor calls for forum to be scrutinised

    3rd August 2012 | News | Claire
  • Conservative councillor, Graham Troman has requested that the scrutiny committee look into the links between EDDC and EDBF.

    Speaking in today’s Sidmouth/Ottery Herald, Cllr Troman said:  “The EDBF brand has been compromised and has lost the respect of the business community and residents.

    “In the interests of transparency, and encouraging future business, I have called for a full report.”

    Last week (Wednesday 25 July) my motion calling on EDDC to distance itself from EDBF, following revelations that the landowners and developers on the forum significantly influenced the amount of industrial land in the EDDC Local Plan, was overwhelmingly defeated.

    East Devon taxpayers fund the forum £5,250 a year.  Minutes are taken by an EDDC clerk, and the forum is chaired by Cllr Graham Brown, who also runs a planning consultancy and building firm.

    EDDC leader, Paul Diviani, alongside conservative colleagues, branded my motion as ‘fantasy’, mischievous’ and ‘ignorant of business.’

    But it appeared that not all his colleagues agreed with him.

    Cllr Troman’s decision to walk away from the ruling party’s hard line on this issue, deserves respect

    And although he is likely receive flack from senior tories, he will also gain considerable respect from residents, many of whom are increasingly concerned about this issue.

    Fellow conservative, Cllr Stuart Hughes, who is the chair of the scrutiny committee, has agreed for the item to be debated at the September meeting.

    Earlier this week, Cllr Hughes expressed unease in the Western Morning News about how the industrial estate proposed at Sidford, came into being.

    The EDBF issue will be considered by the scrutiny committee at 6.30pm on Thursday 27 September.