Planning planted firmly on the Business TAFF agenda

29 Mar

Some highlights from yesterday evening’s  Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting at Knowle, to illustrate the mood in the Council Chamber:

  • Graham Troman, Chair of the TAFF on the East Devon Business Forum, complained about a “total lack of cooperation” from the officer responsible (Nigel Harrison) and from leading members of the EDBF.
  • There was continued strong opposition from the Chief Executive (Mark Williams) to the TAFF’s looking at planning. In reply to a question from Damien Mills he admitted he had taken no independent legal advice before telling the Task and Finish Forum they could not consider planning.
  • Robert Crick called for the Chief Executive to stand down from the O&S Committee, as it was impossible for him to give independent advice given that his own role might be examined by the TAFF.
  • In answer to a question from Barry Sangster, Mr Williams revealed that several officers who had left the Council had been the subject of “compromise agreements” (a.k.a. “gagging orders” . SIN: Why would that be?)
  • There were repeated calls from some councillors (including Bowden and Howard) for the work of the TAFF to be suspended until the police inquiry had finished. (SIN : There seemed little realisation that the police inquiry may not have actually started yet, and might take years!)
  • Cllr Bowden referred to a “murky past” concerning planning and the EDBF. Cllr Eileen Wragg mentioned “public concerns for years” over the EDBF. Cllr Derek Button said he had resigned from the Development Management Committee because of concerns over “procedures”.
  • Mike Allen, responding to a question from Richard Thurlow, seemed surprised that Cllr Claire Wright had been one of the many concerned people Anna Minton had approached while researching her report on Planning and conflicts of evidence in East Devon . See item headed ‘Local Mafia’, p. 17  at this link  Scaring The Living

One Response to “Planning planted firmly on the Business TAFF agenda”

  1. Medusa March 30, 2013 at 6:42 pm #

    Surely all this makes the CEO’s position untenable? Why has Diviani not suspended him and Harrison pending investigations?

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