SOS Crystal Ball prediction proved right: Watchdog on East DevonBF has been muzzled!

17 Jan
For details, see link to  skewed TAFF  agenda , at top of SIN website.
For years people across East Devon  have had misgivings about  the activities of the East Devon Business Forum. As one former  chamber of commerce chair said recently” it was more of a property developers’ club than an association to promote local business.” Its powerful lobbying has resulted in council-approved plans to cover hundreds of acres of green fields with industrial estates.
Well that’s what lobby groups do! BUT this one sits at the heart of the council it lobbies. The chairman is a councillor with a planning consultancy and the honorary chairman is a council officer who helps to decide planning applications. Can this be acceptable?
No wonder there was great relief when the powerful Overview and Scrutiny Committee decided last September to set up a TAFF’ sub-committee to take an “in-depth” look at the Forum and its relations with the Council. It was soon clear, however, to the 50 or more members of the public who attended the first meeting of the TAFF in December, that it would be ‘nobbled’. The Chief Executive declared that it was forbidden to look at the Forum’s influence on planning – the very question that raises most public concern.
Yesterday the published agenda for next Wednesday’s meeting showed all the remaining controversial aspects, membership, attendance, objectives, achievements, and its lobbying activities had all been removed.
This must be a huge disappointment to the chairman of the TAFF Graham Troman who has defied intense flak from some colleagues for daring to raise public concerns over the ‘contaminated brand’ of the EDBF.
Let’s SUPPORT HIM WITH MASS SIT-IN AT NEXT WEEK’S TAFF Meeting. See you at Knowle, 6pm next Tues. 23 Jan.

2 Responses to “SOS Crystal Ball prediction proved right: Watchdog on East DevonBF has been muzzled!”

  1. Show and Tell January 17, 2013 at 1:06 pm #

    The thing about contamination is that it spreads. Not only does the EDBF look contaminated but it is increasingly making the EDDC look contaminated because of it’s embeddedness within the council. If the TAFF is being hobbled or worse still nobbled, surely it is time for an independent body to investigate the relationship between the two halves of this ‘joint body’.

  2. Medusa January 17, 2013 at 3:53 pm #

    See above. Is there anyone or any group who can put together funds for a barrister to look into this possible abuse of office?

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