Good riddance to EDDC
PUBLISHED: 09:00 14 February 2009 | UPDATED: 10:29 10 June 2010
According to comments in the Journal story East Devon District Council criticises Exmouth Residents' Association (February 5), EDDC Chief Executive Mark Williams argues that the ERA is misleading itself if they think there is support for a Devon unita
According to comments in the Journal story "East Devon District Council criticises Exmouth Residents' Association" (February 5), EDDC Chief Executive Mark Williams argues that the ERA is 'misleading' itself if they think there is support for a Devon unitary authority.I wonder what he will make of the latest major opportunity to test public opinion, a No 10 Downing St e-petition* that closed on February 6? That petition, which appears to have been started by a Tory county and district councillor, advocates the retention of the present two-tiered council system as promoted by EDDC. It received a pathetic 979 signatures in support. Bearing in mind that it was open to anyone in the country to vote and not restricted to the population of Devon (1,135,000) or East Devon (132,600), the dismal 979 votes cast amount to, at best, 0.086% and 0.0738% respectively of the potential local support. Where were the 15,000-odd who allegedly supported the EDDC postcard survey?I do not expect the facts will prevent EDDC claiming 100% support in the vote and, using the logic employed by leader Sara Randall Johnson following the postcard survey, to go on now to claim that it means that there is now 100% support for EDDC.The reality is that no valid tests of opinion have been carried out to judge the support, or otherwise, for any council arrangement, as any impartial, unbiased analysis will readily show. Both the e-petition and the postcard survey offered only one option, that of supporting EDDC. In both cases, the clear majority did not choose to take up the opportunity to show support. EDDC have tried to claim a high level of support to justify the reckless squandering of massive amounts of money on retaining the status quo - and thus their jobs, salaries and allowances. This at a time when there are great shortages and better uses for limited resources (eg their postcard survey and mail shot cost £40,000, sufficient to keep all Exmouth's toilets open for locals and tourists throughout the year). It is noticeable that no other Devon council is co-funding the costly legal challenges EDDC are pursuing.To my mind, Mark Williams' comments seem more like the words of a party politician than those of an impartial public servant - but his words do one thing very well. They demonstrate everything that is wrong with EDDC. They show total disregard for considered public opinion and display a degree of arrogance on a par with that which we have come to expect from EDDC's senior politicians. Above all, they make it abundantly plain that EDDC is a council that we cannot be rid of soon enough. Tim Todd,Kastri, Coleridge Close,Exmouth.