East Devon Alliance responds to attack by Paul Diviani

9 Oct


East Devon Alliance rebuts Diviani allegations 

A reasonable request from a local ratepayer for more information about budget cuts prompted a fierce and totally unjustified attack on the East Devon Alliance from Cllr. Paul Diviani. In an email sent to 100 people across East Devon, he claimed that the EDA was “a self-publicist” “political opposition” group “running negative campaigns, invariably giving a misinformed story and making no useful or positive contribution to the debate”. Ironically, he also contended that “this is not the time for political point scoring”. The EDA contends that these allegations are monstrous and totally inaccurate.

The EDA suggests that, if the councillor is keen on “putting things right for all our sakes”, he should start by avoiding irrelevant and false accusations against those who do not agree with him or who are merely seeking information and try, instead, to deal with legitimate comments and questions from local ratepayers in an adult manner.

The first line of the EDA charter states that the group is a “non-party political group”. EDA has members across East Devon and, before the recent local elections, candidates from the Conservative, Labour, Liberal Democrats, UKIP and Green parties all signed the charter, as did some Independents. Indeed, the first to sign was a Conservative.

The EDA charter emphasises that it wants councils to be open, democratic and accountable and willing to engage with local groups such as EDA. Councillor Diviani, as usual, faced with a reasonable request for information, has reacted in an arrogant and bullying manner. If he objects to “half a misinformed story”, why have so many ratepayers been denied access to information and why have most meetings on the possible move away from the Knowle been held in secret? Does he recall that the decision to move from the Knowle was based on false calculations and costings?

The EDA aims to conserve the area’s priceless environmental assets for the benefit of future generations but it does support appropriate developments for housing and employment, especially for local people. Above all, the EDA wants to engage in a proper mature debate which is both democratic and transparent and during which no baseless allegations are made against the EDA which is a democratic organisation with every right to challenge the local authorities.




9 Responses to “East Devon Alliance responds to attack by Paul Diviani”

  1. Edward October 9, 2013 at 8:58 pm #

    As The EDA spokespeople are few in number and focus on primarily the negative rather than the positive or optimistic it is not surprising that they are targeted as part of the problem rather than the solution. I can understand the point being made by Cllr Diviani. To recognise that a minority of people are continually trying to find fault, make mischief and report the negative rather than more balanced reporting or indeed trying to provide wise counsel rather than criticism, must be extremely frustrating. It probably accounts for unwise bursts of rhetoric as you appear to be reporting. Both the handful of people who purport to be the spokepersons for the EDA and those on the receiving end perhaps need to try to reconcile their positions. This site for instance is only one person sitting in a house sending out everything and anything that will cause a sensation or reinforce a myth or current campaign. Surely there must be a better way?

  2. Exetatic October 9, 2013 at 10:04 pm #

    Dear Edward,

    “The Badgers have moved the Goalposts” Owen Patterson MP, 9th October 2013.

  3. sidmouthsid October 9, 2013 at 10:30 pm #

    Over 110,000 hits … keep reading Edward, it all helps raise readership!

  4. Claire Wright October 10, 2013 at 6:25 am #

    Or perhaps people view EDA, SOS and indeed myself (who seemed to be the main focus of Cllr Diviani’s fire) as standing up for the many many people across East Devon whose views are being trampled on?

    A healthy democracy is all about asking important and sometimes uncomfortable questions and providing a challenge.

    Unfortunately, EDDC’s conservative steamroller leadership does not appear share this view.

    Instead, it seems that Cllr Diviani and his allies view disagreement, challenge and questions, as heresy.

    Which leads them to smear the authors of that challenge, in an attempt to discredit them.

    But rest assured it won’t stop us.

    • Sidmouth Linda October 12, 2013 at 12:43 pm #

      Spot on Claire there are many of us in despair of the ‘bullies’ currently in charge of EDDC. If they are so confident of their decisions why not argue their case in a reasonable manner; rather than mounting personal attacks. They’ve been found sloppy, inefficient & careless in recent months. No wonder they’re on the defensive & want to withhold info regardless of FOI requests.

  5. Media Mandy October 10, 2013 at 7:57 am #

    My sentiments exactly. A bit like samizdat literature in Russia or iron-curtain Poland and, currently, Iran – “a grassroots practice to avoid censorship, fraught with danger and harsh punishment”, according to Wikipedia.

    Without blogs like this democracy cannot thrive: keep it up person in house!

  6. Tim October 10, 2013 at 8:43 am #

    I wonder if Edward has seen Cllr Diviani at work in the EDDC chamber. He treats the public and opposition councillors with contempt. He leads a council in which a few give the organisation an incredibly bad name. He will not listen and engage with the public in any meaningful way. I am sure EDA, and others, would welcome genuine opportunities to engage with the council but he has preferred to restrict such exchanges to the landowners and developers of the East Devon Business Forum.

  7. Not A Developer October 10, 2013 at 9:38 am #

    Yes, Edward, there is a better way. If EDDC was open and transparent none of this would be needed. I personally applaud these people who stand up to bullies.

  8. Karen Dwyer October 11, 2013 at 8:24 pm #

    You are the bullies. Think about it.

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