Conservatives call for all EDDC meetings to be suspended

PUBLISHED: 16:27 19 March 2020 | UPDATED: 16:39 19 March 2020

Blackdown House, EDDC's new Honiton HQ. Picture: Callum Lawton

Blackdown House, EDDC's new Honiton HQ. Picture: Callum Lawton

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Conservative members of East Devon District Council (EDDC) are calling for all meetings of the authority to be suspended during the Coronavirus crisis.

EDDC Tory leader  Andrew MouldingEDDC Tory leader Andrew Moulding

The call comes in a statement issued on behalf of Andrew Moulding, leader of the EDDC Tory group.

It reads: “In line with a growing list of other local authorities and public sector organisations, EDDC Conservative Group are calling for the council and all members of it to suspend all future meetings until at least the middle of June, so that all resources available can be focused entirely on dealing with the COVID-19 outbreak, where the rate of infection is growing and no certainty of when this might peak.”

Cllr Moulding said: “I am of the view that all meetings of EDDC should be deferred until a later date.

“Coronavirus is a ‘life or death’ situation, the like of which none of us have seen before in our lifetimes and we must allow officers and councillors to direct all their working time, effort and energy to assisting the residents of East Devon.

“Officers and staff also need their own personal time to devote to their families and loved ones.

“I honestly don’t believe that ‘on-line’ meetings will work, other than in emergency situations and we will almost certainly be disenfranchising many members of the council, as well as using up valuable resources better spent on helping to combat the virus.

“Over the next few months there may inevitably be matters of an emergency nature, where I’m sure could also be dealt with by e-mail.

“Nothing is as important as the health and wellbeing of the local community.

“All regular meetings of EDDC, should be postponed forthwith, as has happened in all walks of life across the world including UK local authorities.”

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