‘..in defiance of the party leadership’

23 Nov

This letter by a supporter of both Save Our Sidmouth and the broader East Devon Alliance, was published in the Sidmouth Herald (Opinion, November 22),  with the apt heading Paying the price:

‘Graham Cooper was right last week (“Whose mandate?”, Opinion, November 15) to highlight the weaknesses of our “democratic” system of local government, where a minority of voters elect a massive majority of councillors of one party.

In local elections it should not be the party candidate that people instinctively vote for, but the best man or woman for the job.

It is worth pointing out, however, that even  our defective electoral system does return some majority councillors who think for themselves and represent the best interests of their community in defiance of the party leadership.

Sid Vale councillors Stuart Hughes and Graham Troman are good examples.

They both proposed that the extravagant plans to move the Council HQ should be put on hold, and asked embarrassing questions about how  a 12.5-acre business park suddenly appeared in the Local Plan.

They both pressed for a scrutiny committee investigation into the council’s controversial relations with the East Devon Business Forum.

It has cost them dearly. Graham Troman’s dogged attempts to keep the investigation committee working appear to have been obstructed at every turn.

Stuart Hughes was removed as chairman of the scrutiny committee by the leader of the council, whose leadership he blasted in the Herald on May 17 this year as “arrogant and spineless”. ‘

Our thanks to the author, Marianne Rixson , for sending this copy to SIN.


One Response to “‘..in defiance of the party leadership’”

  1. Not A Developer November 24, 2013 at 11:09 am #

    Integrity – that’s what we need. And a desire to do what is best for the district, not what is expedient for the Party – or their distorted view of the Party. “The Party” in East Devon is a clique, and a powerful and pervasive one that extends far, far beyond councillors who are mostly pawns in their game. Many do not see how they are being manipulated and those who do should be celebrated.

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