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Looking back, looking forward

15 May

Some musings from Sidmouth Sid, on the outcome of past EDDC elections. And looking forward to the next one, in 2015) .

The interesting thing is that if Sidmouth had elected 7 independents rather than 7 conservatives, we would have been guaranteed representation on the Committees by law. When you consider that the Local Plan Panel voted 5-4 in favour of the Sidford employment land allocation, and there was no Sidmouth member present, there is a good chance that the Sidford proposal would not have gone through, because our guaranteed independent member would obviously have voted against. Moreover, the LPP had no local knowledge of the site.
At the Planning Committee, Sidmouth would have had two guaranteed representatives rather than one. Sidmouth was the only town at the July 17 DMC meeting to have its representations ignored: had we had two guaranteed independent members rather than one, we might have prevailed. Again Sidford and Knowle might have been kicked into touch.
Finally, with seven more independents, the political balance of the whole council would be different, and there is a good chance that the ruling Conservatives would have felt morally compelled to invite non-Conservatives to sit in the Cabinet. Again Sidmouth might then have a voice, whereas at the moment we are not represented.

Wanted In My Back Yard….latest news of possible WIMBY developments

1 Apr
SIN understands that:

  • a major bid for waterborne transport infrastructure has already been put forward by the Jurassic Coast (Dorset and East Devon) to the Coastal Communities Fund, and this is likely to take precedence over any other bids from this area, providing EDDC gets the environmental impact assessment in place. This would provide the long-desired jetty for Sidmouth. Simon Pollentine, who was a member of the PRSG in 2009-10, is the STC lead on this.
  • On the Sidford to Sidbury link for pedestrians, bicycles, buggies and wheelchairs three potential routes have been investigated by DCC. Discussions with landowners have narrowed this down to one route which should be concluded in the near future, at a cost of about £1m, to get going, subject to planning consents, in 2014-15.
  • The Feniton link is a much bigger project scheduled for progression in 2015-18 with substantial funding from a range of sources coordinated through DCC.
  • The Local Transport Plan for Sidmouth has been delayed again by the immediate crises caused by flooding
  • We can only wait and see what EDDC decides to do, if anything, about its LDP
  • An independent initiative in Sidmouth for the development of a Town Plan or Neighbourhood Plan separate from the Port Royal and Eastern Town discussion was not on the agenda at Monday’s meeting (see Port Royal Developments  1 April, at )

What site visits reveal e.g. inside the Drill Hall

4 Mar

Ready for demolition? Matt Booth, who sent SIN these recent pictures, doesn’t agree.

Does Sidmouth need more expensive seafront flats here (EDDC’s Plans)  or a high quality sea-related amenity for everyone. Lots of commercially viable ideas being pursued (not by EDDC!).

See our previous post, and the full story at




News … Independence … Sidmouth, the Sid Valley and beyond

18 Oct
The authorship of this blog has no connection with any EDDC councillor, past or present nor any employee, past or present, of East Devon District Council  nor is it authored by anyone with any past or present connection to Sidmouth Chamber of Commerce or other Sidmouth campaign groups.   It is intended to give an independent voice to local public opinion, and does not necessarily represent the views of any other body.  This site may offer information, national or global, which could be relevant to local issues and concerns.  Its focus is however, and will remain – Sidmouth, Independence and News.  We believe that the overwhelming majority of the employees of East Devon District Council are hardworking and honourable people and it is unfortunate for them and us that they are embroiled in the difficulties brought upon them by our council.

12  November, 2014. Police investigation into ex-councillor Graham Brown has been closed, with insufficient evidence to pursue the matter further.



Note from SIN  It is not illegal for councillors to work as paid consultants
For those not familiar with the events, this has been a high profile case because Graham Brown  was a former EDDC Councillor and its erstwhile Chairman of the Council’s Local Development Framework Panel and simultaneously Chairman of the now defunct East Devon Business Forum (which was supported financially and with dedicated officer time by East Devon District Council). The local Conservative Party withdrew his membership shortly after  he had told an undercover journalist from the Daily Telegraoh  If I can’t get planning permission, nobody will..but I don’t come cheap”


Some months before the above  story broke, East Devon District Council had set up a  Task and Finish Forum (a sub-group of its Overview and Scrutiny Committee) to scrutinise the relationship between the Council and Business. The Chief Executive has since advised that it cannot investigate any planning matters.  A key witness, due to be Lead Officer on the Business TAFF (which had been stalled while the police investigation was in progress), resigned a few weeks before the police inquiry ended. (He is Nigel Harrison, EDDC’s Economic Development Manager who had simultaneously been Honorary Secretary of the East Devon Business Forum.)

On 12 November 2014, in  a letter to councillors, the Chief Executive accused campaign groups and an opposition councillor, of undue influence on the Business TAFF.



Dates for your diary:

A full list of dates and agendas of forthcoming EDDC public meetings with agendas and minutes of past meetings can be found HERE.
The weekly digest of news circulated by EDDC to its Councillors (The Knowledge) can be found HERE.





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