East Devon’s Economic Development Strategy

20 Dec

Search for “East Devon District Council Economic Development Strategy” and you will find a link to one single page on the EDDC website.

It says there:  The Economic Unit seeks to collaborate with employers, businesses, local communities and other stakeholders to identify issues and outcomes that can be influenced by local action.  Efforts are made to strengthen the work and influence of the East Devon Business Forum and to identify other means of improving dialogue between the Council and internal and external stakeholders. Further information available online via ED Business Forum or http://www.devonbusinessforum.org.uk

So, we can all see how it intended to do its work, hand in glove with EDBF.

We can, however, find a link to a document called the “East Devon Economy and Development Service Plan 2010-2013 here.  It is useful to look at this document to see what its aim was and whether it achieved them  It listed key outcomes for the service:

• Deliver strategic economic and housing growth in the West End of the district

• Secure an increased supply of affordable housing

• Enhance the role of the market and coastal towns

• Improve accessibility to economic activity

• Secure effective and targeted regeneration in Exmouth and Seaton

• Overcome potential delivery constraints

• Support high standards of sustainable development

• Promote measures to deliver low carbon economic development

• Management of the Council’s assets to deliver corporate priorities and services

Just how many of those aims do you think EDDC has achieved?

A really good bit, under Priority 7″An Inspirational Council” (!) states that EDDC intends” to produce a Development Framework (Local LDF), with the finalisation of the Core Strategy by the end of the 2010 for subsequent submission to the Secretary of State in 2011. So, it’s nowthe very end of  2012 and, at the very earliest, the Local Plan (as it is now called) may be submitted to the Planning Inspector in 2013 and might take until 2014 to be agreed or found unsound.

How can EDDC get it so wrong?  How could it set itself targets and achievements that it showed it had no ability to reach and no intention to reach?  Will any heads roll?

Perhaps some questioning of the Economy Portfolio Holder (Councillor Godbeer) is in order,

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