Anti-Longboat councillor gets boot

PUBLISHED: 12:36 23 October 2009 | UPDATED: 12:09 10 June 2010

A BUDLEIGH Salterton councillor, the only ward member who voted against the controversial Longboat Cafe application, has been booted off the influential planning committee.

A BUDLEIGH Salterton councillor, the only ward member who voted against the controversial Longboat Cafe application, has been booted off the influential planning committee.

The Journal this week discovered that Conservative district councillor Steve Hall was, over a week ago, replaced by Exmouth Councillor Mark Williamson on East Devon District Council's development management committee.

Although Councillor Hall will be allowed to speak as a ward member at future development meetings, he will be denied a vote - and that includes when the Longboat application is back on the table.

Councillor Hall supported a vocal group of campaigners who opposed the plans to demolish the seafront Victorian Longboat Cafe and replace it with a two-storey glass-fronted restaurant.

However, mystery this week shrouded the reason why Councillor Hall was replaced. It is not known whether his Longboat stance played any part in his removal from the powerful committee.

The district council and East Devon's Tories are remaining tight-lipped over the decision.

A spokesman for EDDC said: "The decision to replace Councillor Steve Hall with Councillor Mark Williamson on the development management committee was a political matter and, as such, should be taken up with the party concerned."

East Devon Conservatives' agent Lucille Baker said: "East Devon Conservative Councillors' Group does not comment on council appointments as they are an internal matter."

Councillor Hall, who remains chairman of the service delivery and performance overview and scrutiny committee, declined to comment when contacted by the Journal.


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