Challenge is a misuse of money
PUBLISHED: 09:00 07 February 2009 | UPDATED: 10:28 10 June 2010
I heartily endorse the call made by Rob Langhurst, in his letter to your paper, for Sara Randall Johnson to resign from her post as Leader of East Devon District Council. The challenge to the Boundary Commission, including the cost of paying a QC, is a gr
I heartily endorse the call made by Rob Langhurst, in his letter to your paper, for Sara Randall Johnson to resign from her post as Leader of East Devon District Council.The challenge to the Boundary Commission, including the cost of paying a QC, is a gross misuse of ratepayers' money. Mr Langhurst quotes the sum of £250,000. I have no idea how much money is being squandered trying to perpetuate the existence of a Local Authority which does not seem to understand the meaning of the word "listen".It is very instructive to compare the county council's consultation over improvements to The Strand with the failed "Unlocking Exmouth" exercise, which was quickly shelved when the results were not to the district council's liking. EDDC is content to ignore a 10,500 signature petition presented to Parliament against inappropriate developments on the banks of the Exe, and a democratic town council poll, conducted following a legal public request, which revealed a 94 per cent vote against such development. The last edition of the Journal records that out of 400 UK district councils, EDDC is fourth slowest when it comes to responding to housing benefit claims. Furthermore, one of your readers writes to say that she "is appalled to see the final stage in the marina which has completely spoiled the entire development and blocked out the wonderful views across the estuary." I agree.Of course, we do want some new, positive, developments in Exmouth. We need more affordable housing, more business, bringing additional office employment, and some improvements on the seafront. Initially, I supported the idea of the bowling alley and cafe, but, one of our best Exmouth views, approaching from Carlton Hill, is that first glimpse of sea and trees. It was never made clear in the published sketches I saw that the building would be so high or bulge so widely that this view would be lost. Changes are inevitable, but they need to be in character with the town and it is the responsibility of our councillors to consult us seriously, before their minds are already fixed. The motivation for change should be for the welfare of residents and visitors alike; not to make money for the district council by selling off Exmouth's best assets.But EDDC ploughs on, threatening next to take legal advice on how they can force the Clinton estates to lift covenants limiting commercial building on the seafront. Are they thinking of selling some of the green open spaces there? What for? We simply don't know. How much will this new legal challenge cost us? Noel Harrower,6 Lyndhurst Rd,Exmouth.