Brighter prospects to look forward to in these dark days

PUBLISHED: 12:00 04 June 2020

Eileen Wragg, Liberal Democrat candidate for Exmouth Town. Picture: Eileen Wragg

Eileen Wragg, Liberal Democrat candidate for Exmouth Town. Picture: Eileen Wragg


The much awaited meeting of Full Council of East Devon District Council (EDDC) finally took place last Thursday, despite opposition from some who wanted to prevent it taking place.

The Democratic Alliance (DA), a coalition of the East Devon Alliance, Liberal Democrats, Greens and an Independent had pressed for the meeting, as the Annual General Meeting of the council had been postponed indefinitely.

It was essential that a new administration was formed, particularly as the Leader of the council had resigned his position two weeks ago and had also dissolved his Cabinet, leaving a rudderless ship which had already lost its way in its first year.

The current Chairman of the Council, however, decided that a meeting should take place to decide whether or not the Extraordinary General Meeting should be convened, which seemed itself to be an extraordinary move! (These meetings were scheduled to be virtual via video.)

The meeting did proceed, but unfortunately had to be adjourned as the facilitator YouTube abruptly stopped it due to ‘profanity’, when foul language was heard from councillors taking part, which we believe brought the council into disrepute.

Fortunately, most of the votes had already been cast for a new Leader, Councillor Paul Arnott of the DA, who I was pleased to nominate to lead the council into a new and democratic era. Councillor Arnott is an excellent communicator, a good and patient listener who has respect for everyone, regardless of belief or political persuasion.

There will be challenging times ahead, particularly because of the drying up of Government funding to local authorities, Covid-19, and climate change.

He and his colleagues will steer a steady course through those difficulties while listening carefully to those who have entrusted us to represent them.

Some brighter prospects to look forward to in these dark days.

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